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Model Railroading > NASA's VLA track plan in Kalmbach book? Help! (Found it,Thanks)


Date: 05/16/20 13:00
NASA's VLA track plan in Kalmbach book? Help! (Found it,Thanks)
Author: pilotblue

Hey Gang,

If you look a few threads down, you'll see some chatter about Nasa and railroading. I am trying to find the model trackplan about the Nasa Very Large Array that was published some years back, might be quite a few. Originally I thought it was in MR but thinking harder ( which I try not to do too often because it hurts), it may have been in one of Kalmbach's track planning books. I've done the usual searches, no go. It had to do with how locomotives were used to move the big antenna assemblies to change the characteristics of the antenna field and also to do maintenance to them.

Can someone point to the book or plan? I am trying to help one of the respondees  to the previous NASA thread. Thanks in advance!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/17/20 12:15 by pilotblue.



Date: 05/16/20 13:48
Re: NASA's VLA track plan in Kalmbach book? Help!
Author: PHall

It might have been in Trains magazine. But I don't recall seeing anything about the VLA in MR.
IIRC Popular Mechanics had a writeup on the VLA too.

You should be able to pull it up on Google Maps. IIRC it's not connected to any other railroad.
And they don't use regular railroad equipment either.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/16/20 13:50 by PHall.



Date: 05/16/20 13:50
Re: NASA's VLA track plan in Kalmbach book? Help!
Author: pilotblue

You're right, google maps will show me the railroad in detail but I am looking for the model railroad track plan but thanks for your help.

PHall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It might have been in Trains magazine. But I don't
> recall seeing anything about the VLA in MR.
> IIRC Popular Mechanics had a writeup on the VLA
> too.
>
> You should be able to pull it up on Google Maps.



Date: 05/17/20 10:26
Re: NASA's VLA track plan in Kalmbach book? Help!
Author: bdhicks

I believe the plan you are looking for is in the April 1983 Model Railroader, though if you're looking to model operations on the VLA I think you'll be a bit disappointed, since it mostly uses the VLA as a backdrop for a (fictional) industry that builds smaller dish antennas that fit on standard flatcars and are sent to a (fictional) interchange.

I think if you actually want to model the VLA (and are up to scratchbuilding an operating transporter and multiple dish antennas), you'd be better off making a all new linear plan based on the west leg, since that's where the antenna assembly building is as well as the siding and wye for the MOW equipment.

Also note that the VLA is not part of NASA but the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO).



Date: 05/17/20 10:54
Re: NASA's VLA track plan in Kalmbach book? Help!
Author: pilotblue

Yep, that's it! Thanks for the help. I looked at one on an auction site. A photo showed the table of contents, so its on the way to me now. I will let the other poster know about this. GOOD JOB!!!

bdhicks Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I believe the plan you are looking for is in the
> April 1983 Model Railroader, though if you're
> looking to model operations on the VLA I think
> you'll be a bit disappointed, since it mostly uses
> the VLA as a backdrop for a (fictional) industry
> that builds smaller dish antennas that fit on
> standard flatcars and are sent to a (fictional)
> interchange.
>
> I think if you actually want to model the VLA (and
> are up to scratchbuilding an operating transporter
> and multiple dish antennas), you'd be better off
> making a all new linear plan based on the west
> leg, since that's where the antenna assembly
> building is as well as the siding and wye for the
> MOW equipment.
>
> Also note that the VLA is not part of NASA but the
> National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO).



Date: 05/17/20 11:41
Re: NASA's VLA track plan in Kalmbach book? Help!
Author: Rmosele

What is the railroad used for? In Google Earth there are a few small locomotives and what look like empty open hoppers. But on the VLA website there is a picture of a wheeled transporter that is used to reposition the dishes.



Date: 05/17/20 12:00
Re: NASA's VLA track plan in Kalmbach book? Help!
Author: Rmosele

Ok. As I dug deeper into the VLA website, even though it looks like the transporters have rubber tires they actually move on the double track railway to move the dishes. They can pivot 90 degrees at each dish location to deposit the dishes onto the concrete piers in place to support them. Don't know what the other rail equipment on site does, though.



Date: 05/17/20 12:34
Re: NASA's VLA track plan in Kalmbach book? Help!
Author: PHall

Rmosele Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ok. As I dug deeper into the VLA website, even
> though it looks like the transporters have rubber
> tires they actually move on the double track
> railway to move the dishes. They can pivot 90
> degrees at each dish location to deposit the
> dishes onto the concrete piers in place to support
> them. Don't know what the other rail equipment on
> site does, though.

Maintenance. Those big dishes are pretty delicate and don't like rough track.



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