Southeast Michigan Woodworkers

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 Post subject: Take your kids to this
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 4:55 pm 
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Obsessed

Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:12 pm
Posts: 1842
Location: Ypsilanti
I just heard that this will be the last regular summer of operation of the Junction Valley Railroad, the largest 1/4-scale model railroad in the world, open since 1982. It's a big model train, but you can ride on it. Located just north of Frankenmuth. www.jvrailroad.com A Michigan treasure, and one man's obsession.

I recommend this place, even if you don't have kids. I'll have to borrow some kids to go there soon. BYO picnic, although they do sell some snacks, and also sell model RR parts for other scales,if you are so-inclined.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 3:50 pm 
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Elite
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:17 pm
Posts: 1002
Location: Farmington Hills
We took the kids a few years a go it was a neat place to visit.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:34 pm 
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Master
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 10:06 pm
Posts: 191
Location: West Bloomfield Mich
We took a drive up there yesterday, Wednesday, for one of our day trip-vacations.
Mid week is not too busy and we waited for someone else to show up so there were
4 plus to take the ride. That gave me time to ask LOTS of questions.

The grandson runs the locomotive and does most of the maintenance. 90% of the
cars and locomotive is built from steel sheet stock. Wheels cut from 1.5 inch
plate, turned and the axle hole drilled. The wheel carriage welded up from
parts as are the couplers. The air lines look like they were from the air line
connections you see from the tractor to trailer. Power is from 250 Cu In Chevy
straight six. I failed to ask about the transmission.

The rails are 3/4 by 2 inch steel with a welded on base. Turns are cold bent,
no heating, as I was told the stock bends easily. It looks like all of the
track extras and switch gear is hand built. There were some standard railroad items
such as the bell you hear at the crossings. All of the switching is automatic
as the system knows the train route.

At 20 some years the maintenance is increasing. The rails being solid are prone
to buckling and bending in the heat. Down in the main area some of the concrete
has heaved breaking the connections. You can see the tracks have shifted and feel
it when you take the ride. This is why they are shutting it down. Too much work
for the family.

I would recommend a visit to see this before they stop public tours/rides. See
attached pictures.

Attachment:
File comment: Orange 'building' is a converted trailer. Small red building is the original ticket office
gvr1.jpg
gvr1.jpg [ 215.35 KiB | Viewed 398 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Enter and exit is the same track. As you go down the family house is on the right (did not take a picture.)
gvr2.jpg
gvr2.jpg [ 140.75 KiB | Viewed 398 times ]

Attachment:
gvr3.jpg
gvr3.jpg [ 227.57 KiB | Viewed 398 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: From this view the back of the family house is to the right. Lots of track in the backyard.
gvr4.jpg
gvr4.jpg [ 241.61 KiB | Viewed 398 times ]


Attachments:
File comment: You can see the deck on the back of the family house - look underneath the orange cars.
gvr5.jpg
gvr5.jpg [ 354.17 KiB | Viewed 398 times ]
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 Post subject: more pictures
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:42 pm 
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Master
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 10:06 pm
Posts: 191
Location: West Bloomfield Mich
90% of the track is 'down the hill' in a low area behind the family home. One can see the work in progress
cleaning up trees that have been dropped. There is unfinished work on something related to the setup from
the open holes and dirt piles.

Attachment:
File comment: Detail of the cars is great. The box cars will allow passengers, there are doors that open. But visually you are limited.
gvr6.jpg
gvr6.jpg [ 244.12 KiB | Viewed 395 times ]

Attachment:
gvr7.jpg
gvr7.jpg [ 336.31 KiB | Viewed 395 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: At one time you could schedule birthday parties. Still might be able to do so.
gvr8.jpg
gvr8.jpg [ 264.2 KiB | Viewed 395 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: That is a low and tight tunnel. I thought my hat was going to get taken off, and I am not that tall.
gvr9.jpg
gvr9.jpg [ 253.25 KiB | Viewed 395 times ]


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 Post subject: Last set of pictures
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:50 pm 
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Master
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 10:06 pm
Posts: 191
Location: West Bloomfield Mich
I posted these in the order they were taken as we went through the ride.


Attachment:
File comment: LP tank for the tanker car. And I missed getting a standalone picture of the engine!
gvr10.jpg
gvr10.jpg [ 257.32 KiB | Viewed 395 times ]

Attachment:
gvr11.jpg
gvr11.jpg [ 283.84 KiB | Viewed 395 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: The far end you travel 2x. A lower track by the pond and then an elevated track.
gvr12.jpg
gvr12.jpg [ 223.58 KiB | Viewed 395 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: I also missed a picture of the control center house that runs the switches. I was told the house knows where the train is and the route. All switches are automatic.
gvr13.jpg
gvr13.jpg [ 281.53 KiB | Viewed 395 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: last bridge and heading back out to the depot.
gvr14.jpg
gvr14.jpg [ 318.29 KiB | Viewed 395 times ]

Attachment:
gvr15.jpg
gvr15.jpg [ 352.34 KiB | Viewed 395 times ]


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:07 pm 
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Obsessed

Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:12 pm
Posts: 1842
Location: Ypsilanti
Martin, I'm glad you liked it. The main family business was/is a truck-and-trailer service outfit that is out front, so no surprise that some trailer components are used on the railroad.


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