"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.

Progress Report: 9/5/09

At this point in time, Rainbow Caverns is undergoing a lengthy refurbishment. The main bulk of the job will be the installation of the new spur line where I can park one of the trains off if I need too (I'm preparing for a future 2 train operation). In addition to that, the caverns will be expanded due to the larger base the layout got over 6 months ago. Then there will be smaller aspects to the refurb, including more stalagmites, more rock work, a new roof to match the real thing now that good photos have surfaced, and a bunch of other things.

As mentioned, I am preparing for a 2 train operation. It's not official yet, but I'm just prepping the layout so if I do decide to add another train, the addition will be easier to bring in. That will include the installation of a block system with 2 tethered throttles (in reality, are only dimmer switches for the transformers; I've been using this kind of operation for over a year and it works great) since I'm not going into DCC anytime soon. I've come up with a genius way to create an automatic operation too if I just want to watch the trains do there thing, with only some relays and reed switches.

Basically, if my idea works out, as one train enters a block, a reed switch triggers a relay that turns the last 12" of the previous block off, forcing the train behind that's about to enter occupied block to stop. Once the train ahead moves into the next block triggering another reed switch flipping the relay again, the previous block will clear and the train stuck in the powerless section of track resumes it's journey once power has been restored. Every block will be this way, so that even if the trains are going on their own without any human control, they won't run into each other.

In addition to that, I've also found a use for that timer relay I posted a while back. I'm planning on using that for the Rainbow Ridge section for where the train stops. The train will trigger the timer relay to shut of the power where the locomotive stops at the station for a certain amount of time. Once all the pick-up wheels enter the dead section of track, the train stops, as if it were loading and unloading. Once the timer expires (up to 45 sec) power comes back on, and the train starts the journey into Nature's Wonderland--without human control, something I've been wanting to do for a long time!