The Raven Pulp & Paper Company was recently overhauled to better take advantage of the additional layout space, and to enlarge the capacity of the service tracks to better reflect the large amount of traffic an industry like this would require. The additional space allowed me to plan for continuous running and increased staging capacity. To do this the mill was torn out and almost entirely rebuilt. Only the chemical unloading track was left intact, along with the addition of an additional chemical track shown in the photo below. This increased the chemical car capacity to a possible 5 cars.
Some additional parking space was included at the chemical facility as well as a security office. It is enclosed by a chain link fence which I plan to model operating gates that crews will have to unlock and relock as part of the switching chores. A neat little operational detail I picked up from Lance Mindhiem's newest book "How To Operate A Modern Era Switching Layout".
The mill still hides the staging tracks. But now the total staging capacity of the two tracks is 24 cars. A considerable increase from the previous capacity of 10. Below is the part of the mill that covers much of the hidden tracks in the form of the shipping and cooling tower area. The entire mill is built in small modules and the whole thing can be removed for track cleaning, structure dusting and should there be a derailment in the staging tracks.
Shown above is the yard ladder for the mill service tracks. Here we see the mill switcher "old number 14", a Alco S4 preparing for a days work around the mill. More on this little guy can be found on the updated roster page. The mill tracks in this area actual enter through the bottom of the kraft mill between the pulp tanks and the digester building just to the left of the Alco.
The digester building was made using the wallpaper technique. A photo of a real structure is glued onto a gatorfoam box. (see the January 2012 issue of MRH magazine). Below are the pulp tanks and scratch built pulp processing area.
The maze of pipes, railings and conduits are mostly bits and pieces from my scrap box. While I have a basic understanding of the processes used in making paper, no attempt was made to faithfully reproduce this tangle of hardware on the model. I just started adding things and will continue to do so. I feel the overall representation conveys the complexity of the real industry.
Above is the rotary dumper for the plant. It is a Walthers kit modified with a motor to actually operate. And it did for about 20 cycles. Unfortunately, after the pit was installed in the benchwork and scenery installed, it only operated a single time before the plastic gears began slipping on the metal shaft. I attempted to use CA to cement the gears to the shaft but this didn't hold more than a few cycles. I'm guessing the solution would be to find suitable metal gears and solder them to the drive shaft, but getting the whole unit out of the bench work might be more trouble than it's worth. Below is a overall view of the wood chip piles and the dumper area. The staging tracks pass under the wood chip piles which are removable and made from sawdust collected from my wood shop.
The mill is not yet complete. More details will be added and my scratch built digester will need to be completed.