"Howdy Folks! Welcome to the little mining town of Rainbow Ridge, the gateway to Nature's Wonderland"

This is my documentation of my miniature re-creation of the long-gone Disneyland attraction: Mine Train Thru Nature's Wonderland. This is a selectively compressed model railroad, in On30 scale at 5' X 7.5' that has been in progress since 2005; even after almost 10 years of work, it's still not finished.

I started the layout when I was a sophomore in high school with basic skills and over the years the layout has been improved and reworked in drastic ways to match my ever improving model making skills. In fact, since I started rebuilding the sections to better quality and standards, I've actually created a whole new layout, piece by piece.

This is a stand-by basis project without a deadline, so it tends to hit the back-burner a lot due to other things with higher priorities. But whenever I can, I'll give an update when there is something worth talking about. All of my updates since day one are here, which include photos, videos, and plenty of rambling notes and descriptions.




Progress Report: 8/28/09

The balancing rocks have been pretty much finished--mechanically. Appearance-wise, not so much. All the gears have been give new axles and much of the rocks given replacement parts and an overall refurbishment. I added a second motor to the gear system, giving the mechanism quite a bit more power. I placed it on the other side of the tracks where the "gear chain" pretty much ends. (The gear system starts with the spinning rock, travels parallel to the tracks, crosses under the tracks, and travels parallel to the other side of the tracks towards the tunnel).

Since there is a motor on either side of the tracks powering the "gear chain" I can either have each side operate independently if I take out a gear, or the motors help one another if the gear is left in. The blue areas indicate where the future access hatches will go. The one in the top-left is already there, but it needs a new cover. The large ones at the bottom will the large buttes as hatches. The next phase is to patch up the area and make it nice, pretty, and presentable!



Now I can be confident that the propulsion system will keep the rocks moving for years to come.

I picked up one these neat pulse timers  which are really timer relays for circuits. Using the adjustable timer, you can either turn off a circuit for a certain amount of time, or turn on a circuit for a certain amount of time, or both which makes this gadget really cool. All it takes is a quick pulse of power to the trigger wire and the timer starts. Really useful. I'd use this for my balancing rocks if I take out my light sensor, but I've got some reed switches coming to replace that.