Thunder Mesa Mining Co. ~ On30 Complete Plan
Here is the most up to date plan for the TMMC. The layout is being built in four sections with a wall mounted backdrop wrapping around three sides. Center aisle width is 36". To see the full size version of this plan: Right click > Open in new tab.
Evolution of Thunder Mesa
The TMMC started out as a very simple 3' x 6' scenic display with a loop of track. Here's how plans for expanding the layout have evolved over time.
This plan was drawn up in February of 2015 and includes the On18 Calico mini-layout and 6% grade up to Big Thunder. Merging San Lorenzo with Thunder Mesa and adding a reverse loop at Calico led to the revised plan in use today.
Art studio/train room plan. This plan shows the previous location of the N scale Pagosa & Southern before it was moved/downsized to make room for an expanding TMMC.
Loop to loop design. Approximately 11' x 8.5'.
Revisions in this area of the plan consist of adding a new switch and straight section of track to create a reverse loop. The previous hidden wye switch and return loop would be removed.
The Calico section as revised from previous plans to include a reverse loop and a better representation of Calico Mountain.
Thunder Mesa 4' x 8' plan. This plan was created when the layout was expanded from its original 3'x6' footprint to 4'x8'. At that time an On18 tram was planned on the high line but was later switched back to On30.
Early expansion ideas. This plan was drawn to explore different ideas when I first started thinking about expanding the original 3' x 6' display.
The original 4' x 6' plan.
Calico Gold Company ~ a Portable On18 Mini-LayoutCalico was originally envisioned as an On18 feeder line for Thunder Mesa but that idea evolved into this portable mini-layout that would "plug-in" to the TMMC (see the plan from Feb 2015 above). Adding the town of Calico and a reverse loop to the On30 mainline led to the shelving of this idea. Now I've returned to the original concept with an On18 mining tram running between Big Thunder Mine and the ore bins at Calico (see most current plan at top).
The Calico section of Thunder Mesa is being built as a portable min-layout in On18. Peco HOn30 track is being used to represent On18 mine track. Minimum radius is 10" and the steepest grade is about 5%.
Concept illustration for the portable Calico Gold Company. When not on the road, the Calico layout will "dock" with the larger Thunder Mesa layout as shown in the plan at top.
Before Thunder Mesa
Below are plans for other model railroads that were started or merely dreamed about before work began on Thunder Mesa.
Big Thunder & Western ~ On30. This plan was created for the precursor of Thunder Mesa, the Big Thunder & Western RR. Though never finished, many of the scenes and ideas for this layout have found their way on to the TMMC.
Big Thunder & Western ~ HO Scale. The first Big Thunder & Western was begun in HO standard gauge before switching to On30. This plan was loosely based on Malcom Furlow's San Juan Central.
More On30 Track PlansHere are a few early plans I made when first thinking about an On30 model railroad.
For my post on N scale track plans, click here.