Perhaps the biggest challenge for the ATSG Railroad was how to provide creditable scenery when there is a high line behind and above the main line? Figures 1 and 2 show the problem.
|Figure 1 High Line above Ascape Yard|
|Figure 2 High Line above Ascape|
Several solutions were tried. The first was to try to hide the high line with buildings but this required either hiding the high line completely or trying to provide a rational why the high line was above the buildings. Not an acceptable solution. A second solution was to hide the high line completely as it returned to the helix. But this eliminated more than 20 feet of railroad that could provide additional running and scenery. A ride through Echo Canyon Utah provided a possible solution. See Figures 3 and 4. Why not a series of tunnels through the cliffs forming a backdrop for Ascape Engine Terminal and Yard?
|Figure 3 Echo Canyon Utah the Prototype|
|Figure 4 Echo Canyon Utah the Prototype|
Figures 5 and 6 show the construction of Echo Canyon. The high line is partially hidden by the eventual cliffs and a series of tunnels carries this main line through the cliffs.
|Figure 5 Armature and Cheese Cloth Echo Canyon|
|Figure 6 Plaster covering Echo Canyon|
Figures 7 - 13 show the details of the resulting canyon with carved rocks, sprayed paint with chalk weathering with foliage proved by Woodland Scenics. Portals were modified to appear to be partially built into the cliffs, the roadbed was hidden by a rock wall support between tunnels 2 and 3 and a bridge between Tunnels 1 and 2. Rock was hand carved, spray painted with diluted house paint, and weathered by raw pigments and colored chalk. The scenery was sealed with dull coat. The plan is to place photograph backdrops between the cliffs in Echo Canyon. There is lots of red rock to choose from in St. George and Snow Canyon. We will illustrate these photograph backdrops in a future post to this blog. The cliffs of Echo Canyon make a very nice backdrop for Ascape. A future blog will illustrate Ascape with these cliffs in the background. The illusion of height used forced perspective by using small shrubs and trees high on the cliffs and larger shrubs and trees in the foreground at the base of the cliffs. Interest was created at the base of the cliffs by including a retaining wall in some placed, a rock fall in other places.
|Figure 7 West Portals Tunnels, No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3.|
|Figure 8 East Portal Tunnel No. 1|
|Figure 9 West Portal Tunnel No. 1|
|Figure 10 East Portal Tunnel No. 3|
|Figure 11 West Portal Tunnel No. 3|
|Figure 12 East Portal Tunnel No. 1 Echo Canyon|
|Figure 13 West Portal Tunnel No. 2 Echo Canyon|