"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 September 2005. In May of 2016, I finally got the layout to a point where I declared it "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.

"Publicity" shot

Progress Report: 8/30/09

As of late last night, I'm proud to say that my Balancing Rock Canyon is now controlled entirely by reed switches! I have a magnet in the third car trip the first switch, activating the relay which turns on the rocks as the train starts to enters the section. Then once the entire train enters the Caverns, another reed switch flicks the relay, turning the rocks off.

Even though I did get an Atlas Snap Relay, I ended up making my own relay from an old Life-Like turnout. The snap relay didn't really operate to my satisfaction, since it required a lot of power (more than most of my transformers put out), buzzed quite a bit, couldn't switch completely sometimes, and heated up a bit.

Using the same idea with the solenoid controlled switch, I took the old automated turnout I had (since I wasn't going to use snap track anytime soon again) and turned it into a relay. I soldered one wire to one rail and the other to one of the switch points, so when the two touch, a circuit is made. To my surprise, it works! It doesn't just work, it works GREAT! The neat thing about it is that it doesn't take much power (so I can run it off the same transformer that's powering my rock motors) it's quiet, doesn't buzz, doesn't create heat, and is reliable every time. It was one of those situations that was kinda like "whatever floats your boat"; I'll be using my makeshift turnout relay for as long as I want, as long as it works every time.

Progress Report: 8/30/09

Here's the craziness going on the desert, replaced the final few axles today. All the rock are getting a refurbishment, which means replacing glue joints and lubricating rods and such. I've also ordered some reed switches and a relay to got with them, so I'll be experimenting with that. I've got a circuit that looks like it'll work so when I draw it up, I'll post it (and maybe even animate it!). At some point I should be back where I was before the fiasco with the mechanical issues and the grade issues started.