The first attempt at Copper Cliff

In the previous post on this topic called Modelling Copper Cliff on the Webbwood Sub, I introduced the scene at Copper Cliff on the WRMRC layout, and put it into context with the surrounding rail network.  In this post, I’ll show you how I got started building, or should I say rebuilding the scene.

The Copper Cliff scene is situated at the end of an aisle that has one long shelf with scenery more-or-less complete. Scenery was roughed in at some point in the distant past, and someone made a start on the non-operational tracks at the Inco mine loader.  Here’s what it looked like when I started.

You can see that someone got a pretty good start on building the scene.  I initially expected to be able to put the Highway 17 bridge in front of the hole in the backdrop and start laying the rails for the Inco loader.  After I built a mock-up of the highway bridge, it became apparent that there was at least one major problem.  The bridge is supposed to go over the Webbwood, but the Copper Cliff spur is supposed to look like it’s running beside the highway.  The distance between the mainline and the spur was insufficient to build the west bridge abutment.  I decided that the best approach was to move the spur toward the edge of the layout.  Doing this would encroach upon the tracks at the Inco loader, so in the end I chose to tear out and relocate the spur track and the Inco tracks.  And in order to remove the industrial spur track, I had to tear out the curved part of the backdrop behind the scene.  In the military, I think they call this “mission creep.”

After the devastation, I started to experiment with the new alignment for the industrial spur.  Initially, I expected to build the roadbed on plywood sections joined with biscuits and held up with risers.  You can see in this shot that I was able to move the industrial spur away from the Webbwood Sub by a few inches – enough room to put the abutment for the highway bridge and the fill for the highway.

I bailed on the idea of using plywood very early on.  I decided that I would have to build the new connection from the Webbwood to the helix down to the Copper Cliff industrial area using spline, which is the standard roadbed at the WRMRC.

In the next update, you’ll see how the roadbed, track, and backdrop progress.

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6 thoughts on “The first attempt at Copper Cliff

  1. I was the one that did the initial scenery work that is seen in the first photo in this post. I tried to work around the trackage that was already in place to form up the scene. I got stuck roughly the same place you did – the bridge. Ah well. As long as there’s hopefully still enough room to include the INCO mine (a signature part of the scene) the complete rebuild will look a lot better than anything squished in to the original configuration. The track work didn’t really leave enough room for the scenic elements.

    • That scene is tight, and the way the tracks were laid out, there was really no way to put the highway bridge where it needed to go. The realignment of the spur has taken a long time! I’m hoping things will move faster now that I’m into building scenery.

    • By the way Chris, we should talk about the scene you’re working on at Romford. If we take a few pictures while you’re building it, I can write it up on here, or you could write a guest post. The scene is coming together nicely, and if we wait too long, there will be no story to tell 🙂

      • We might be able to work something out there. I only manage to get out about once a month, so that scene’s not moving THAT quickly right now, but I try to get a little done in that area when I’m around. I also have a bunch of photos of the construction of the other side of the scenery, above the staging yard operator’s position, which was assembled in the workshop and installed later.

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