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  • Topic: Building Log of the Manufacturers Railway Switching Puzzle

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    • June 22, 2017 10:12 PM EDT
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      Building Log of the Manufacturers Railway Switching Puzzle

      One of my long time retirement goals has been to build a switching layout in HO, mimicking the prototype trackage of south St. Louis in the area between the Budweiser Brewery and the Mississippi River at the Foot of Arsenal Street. Between 1982 and 1989, I was assigned to the United States Coast Guard Marine Safety Office and the Captain of the Port of St. Louis.  As a Chief Boatswain Mate, I was responsible for the boat operations, and we kept our larger Ports and Waterways vessel, CG32314, at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Base, also at the Foot of Arsenal Street.  Literally, a chain link fence separated the Corps Base from the 6 tracks you crossed of the Missouri Pacific Railroad's old Iron Mountain Southern tracks and the MRS Engine House, Cherokee Street Yard, River Yard and the "Pocket Track" and Scale House of the Interchange.  Lots of time was spent watching those beautiful little green engines work the area.  Since then, lots of models have been built and collected.  Lots of research has been collected and analyzed.  I've got to do something with all of this wasted time and brain cells.

      .    

      History
      The railway company was founded in 1887 by Adolphus Busch, the President of Anheuser-Busch. By 1906, Busch was still President while William D. Orthwein was Vice President.
      The company's line connected with the Missouri Pacific Railroad, and after the 1982 merger, the Union Pacific Railroad, Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis and the Alton and Southern Railroad in East St. Louis, Illinois. The MRS accessed the Alton and Southern Railroad utilizing trackage rights over the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis via the MacArthur Bridge.  MRS owned railroad cars used to transport Anheuser-Busch's products. It also provided locomotive maintenance and painting services to other companies.  In the 20th Century, the MRS switched many industries in the immediate "South St. Louis Area", along the western banks of the Mississippi River, just south of the area dominated by the Gateway Arch.  Amongst these were Ralston Purina, Nooter Boiler Works and a large American Car and Foundary facility, plus many other industries along Second Street. 
      On March 25, 2011, it was announced that Anheuser-Busch had applied to shut down the MRS, after the brewery began shipping outbound products via truck instead of rail. However, on April 8, Foster Townsend Rail Logistics (reporting marks: FTRL) announced that it planned to take over operations of the line once Manufacturers Railway ceased operations. On October 2, 2011, FTRL Railway began providing rail switching services at Anheuser Busch's St. Louis brewery.  But by 2017, all ingredients and all product are shipped by truck.

      .

      Lots of you guys know of my fascination with switching puzzles and John Allan's 'Timesaver".  In the articles written on his railroad and the "Timesaver", there are pictures of the "Double Timesaver".  This is two "Timesaver" puzzles, where the operators have to work together to move the cars with cooperation between the two puzzles.  Lots of grid paper and pencil lead has been used and abused trying to come up with a workable puzzle and not stray to far from the trackage at the Foot of Arsenal Street and the surrounding area.

      .

      And so this Saga begins. 

    • June 22, 2017 10:39 PM EDT
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      If you have access to Google Earth, type in "Arsenal Street, St. Louis, Missouri"

      The basic area we are talking is this - 

       

      and this is a better picture in 1988

      This post was edited by Ric Golding at June 22, 2017 10:50 PM EDT
    • June 23, 2017 6:58 AM EDT
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      Your gonna need a bigger garage................

      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • June 23, 2017 7:37 AM EDT
      • Easton Mass. some times Cocagne NB,
         
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      N scale?

      ____________________________________

       My you-tube

      The light in the tunnel might not be an engine , but a light in the caboose of my own train on my Roundy Round Rail Road !    My empire is complete...I think...

    • June 23, 2017 9:10 AM EDT
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      Hey Ken and Sean, thanks for looking.  Sean its HO standard gauge. There was a lot of compromises in these new digs.  One was that the spare bedroom, also to be a hobby room, besides holding a hide a bed, for when the kids come. Its actually Jan's idea, because she hated me always sitting at the table in the old house breakfast nook.  Of course, for those that remember, that was my office for the marina for about 17 years and the "Dispatcher's Office" during Ops.  She forgets how and why that was built.  So anyway, we got this 2 bedroom, independent living duplex and the second bedroom is suppose to be a spare bedroom for guests.  We both always knew this would be my "Man Cave", "Train Room", "Hobby Room", "Basement".  The display duplex, we based everything off of and even tried to move in to, had the "master bedroom" on the outside of the floor plan with cross ventilation, its own bathroom.  Really a nice room.  This is what we expected, when this unit was going to be constructed.  

      .

      Damn the luck, they draw up the plans, and they reversed the floor plan.  The nice room with windows on 2 sides for cross ventiation and where we always felt would be our bedroom and certainly is as big as the one in the display duplex, but it doesn't have the master bathroom.  They put the bigger room in the middle of the floor plan, with its own bathroom.  Jan really likes cross ventilation, where we sleep.  That means I had to take the bigger bedroom stuck in the middle of the duplex.  Suffer with it having its own private bath and 2 closets.  We use one closet for storage, like train stuff, and the other for my clothes, and some extra stuff of hers.  Like I care about where i throw my cloths?  Anyway.

      She got the smaller bedroom, which is good size, with her cross ventilation and I'm stuck with a 17 x 13 foot room with 9 ft ceilings and a great view, to the east of the Kaskaskia River Valley.  Sometimes you have to make minor sacrifices for the sake of the marriage.  And l'm not sitting at the dining room/kitchen/ breakfast table working on a model or talking to friends on LSC.           

    • June 23, 2017 9:28 AM EDT
      • Easton Mass. some times Cocagne NB,
         
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      I was thinking with n-scale you could fit it all 

      ____________________________________

       My you-tube

      The light in the tunnel might not be an engine , but a light in the caboose of my own train on my Roundy Round Rail Road !    My empire is complete...I think...

    • June 23, 2017 9:56 AM EDT
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      So WHAT do I want in this layout and track plan?

      Maximum trackage and switching with minimum scenery and structures.

      Realism, relationship with prototype.

      Unobtrusive, able to exist in a mutli use area without dominating the area.

      Great place to display models.

      Challenging puzzle with simple electronics

      Great staging for bringing models on to the display and interchange through a "Fiddle" yard.

      Fun for one person or for up to four or five friends.

    • June 23, 2017 10:52 AM EDT
      • Port Orchard, Washington
         
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      Find yourself a copy of a Sanborn Fire Insurance map of that area and you will have all of the trackage and buildings layed out for you!
    • June 23, 2017 11:16 AM EDT
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      The possible proposed track plan - draft 47.245

    • June 23, 2017 1:43 PM EDT
      • Nashville, IL
         
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      man, if you can throw in about half a dozen double-slip switches, it would really be interesting...   

    • June 23, 2017 6:50 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Challenging puzzle with simple electronics

      Great staging for bringing models on to the display and interchange through a "Fiddle" yard.

      Fun for one person or for up to four or five friends.

      Dead rail?

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • June 23, 2017 8:19 PM EDT
      • Port Orchard, Washington
         
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      It would be a great layout for dead rail!
    • June 23, 2017 8:26 PM EDT
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      Andy, my thoughts leaning toward the double slips like Allan has.  Maybe?

      Dave, "Dead Rail" - imagine 2 "Timesaver" puzzles connected by an "interchange" track.  Each operator could use an idler to push cars into the "interchange" track, but with track power, neither operator could get to close to the insulators of the "Dead Rail" because his engine would go dead or loose power.

       Maybe a double throw/ double pole switch so either transformer could power the "dead rail", but the idea would be that they couldn't.  I get lazy trying to get something done, like moving an engine or setting up a switching puzzle, but think it would be neat never to have the ability.  Kind of like cars on a car float and the engine never go on them.  AndyC has a grain elevator that the engines shouldn't go under.  If your "pick ups" get to far back in there, you have to grab an "idler" to go get them.  Yes, Rooster, you could move them with your foot and nobody would see you.  

    • June 23, 2017 8:39 PM EDT

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      Craig Townsend said:
      Find yourself a copy of a Sanborn Fire Insurance map of that area and you will have all of the trackage and buildings layed out for you!

      Sanborne maps are not always correct and besides in the early 1980's were defunct

    • June 23, 2017 8:46 PM EDT

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      Ric Golding said:

      Fun for one person or for up to four or five friends.

      OK Ric I will help you with this project and try to find you four or five friends.

    • June 23, 2017 8:52 PM EDT

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      http://nooterconstruction.com/about-us/history/

    • June 23, 2017 8:59 PM EDT

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      Removed picture as it was Madison not St. Louis

       

      This post was edited by " Rooster " at June 24, 2017 9:16 PM EDT
    • June 24, 2017 10:35 AM EDT
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      Hey Rooster,

      Great find! on Nooter Boiler Works.  It sits north of the area I'm modeling, but for the last century has been a main stay of south St. Louis history.  The  main plant and, I guess, headquarters sits just south of the Arch along I-55 between the interstate and the Mississippi.  When I graduated from high school in 1967 and trying to decide how I wanted to spend my life there was lots of opportunity in the St. Louis area.  World Headquarters for lots of businesses, existed withing 20 miles of where I was raised.  Nooter was just one of those big old businesses.

      Business Headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri in 1967 -

      Anheuser Busch

      Assemby Plants for Chevrolet, Chrysler and Ford

      Cerro Copper

      Emerson Electric

      General Dynamics

      Granite City Steel

      Illinois Terminal Railroad

      McDonald Douglas

      Missouri Pacific Railroad

      Monsanto Chemical

      Nooter Boiler Works

      Ralston Purina

      Scullin Steel

      St. Louis Car Company

      St. Louis - San Fransico Railroad

      Trans World Airlines (TWA)

      US Air Force Scott Air Force Base

      US Army, Corps of Engineers

      US Army Defense Mapping

      US Army Granite City Army Depot

      USCG Second District Headquarters

      Ozark Airlines

      This is just a partial list that I can think of.  I'm sure there are a lot more. 

      Many had plants along the Mississippi River south of the Arch and along the Second Street tracks of the MRS.

      Alas, all or most are gone or merged into another Company outside of St. Louis.

       

       

    • June 24, 2017 11:09 AM EDT
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      Attended the Rail Prototype Modelers (RPM)Convention for a couple of hours in Collinsville (St. Louis Metro area), yesterday.  First day really out amongst people.  Lots of guys aware of my

      interest in the Manufacturers Railway, from my posting on the Yahoo Group - St. Louis Railroad Enthusiast.  Picked up another copy of the 1942 (revised 1948) TRRA Map of Manufacturers Railway Company and some more pictures of MRS rolling stock. I have a copy of this map, but my perusing of it has "dog eared" it a little.  Took new copy, immediately to Office Depot to have scanned and an enlargement of the Cherokee Street Yard and Arsenal Street Area.  Both of these prints were then taken to JoAnn's to be framed for "Art" in the room Jan calls her spare bedroom.

    • June 24, 2017 9:21 PM EDT

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      Ric Golding said:

      Hey Rooster,

      Great find! on Nooter Boiler Works.  It sits north of the area I'm modeling, but for the last century has been a main stay of south St. Louis history.

       

       

      As you know I love history and what has been lost with time !

       

      BTW I found you a friend so now I need to find 3 or 4 more but working on it.

       

      Good stuff !

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