12 x 8 Fastrack layout--need help!

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February 20, 2012 1:04 PM

Been working on expanding the layout (originally 4 x 8) and now up to nearly a 12 x 8 (it's 84 sf). 

Pics attached of the revisions we've made to the track plan, where we are now, and suggestions on best way to finish.

We ran out of track!

 

 

The goal is to run 1 train on the elevated section in a simple oval, probably a winter scene, tunnel on the back side.

This elevated platform will become a "mountain" with scenery, trees, tunnel, etc.

 

2 more trains will run on the main section.  Since I am new to the hobby, I am not familiar with blocking (although I got some good tips on the forum), and initially plan on keeping the lines separate and running a transformer for each.  Is this a good way to start?

Some have suggested a Z-1000, but might just go with another Lionel 80w. 

 

We put the town in the middle and plan to have the industries/and accessories behind it.  Most of the operating accessories will be located there.  The large empty section on the left will be "seasonal" with rotating items like amusement park, pumpkin patch, etc., and the area to the front /left of town will be small beach area. 

 

Had hoped to elevate one of the tracks coming out of the future tunnel (under the platform) and run it diagonally over the edge of town across the  industrial section before bringing it back down or possibly using a switch to have it loop back so the train can change direction.

 

We are also using standard 036 curves.  Will this be an issue to run a Hudson 4-6-4 or similiar?

The 4th and 5th pictures are the layout in it's current state. 

Thanks for taking a look and let me know if you have any suggestions about how we can improve the layout and fun factor.

train layout Jan 19

train layout Jan 22

train layout Jan 23

train layout Feb 18

train layout feb 19

 
Last edited by Santa Fe VA February 20, 2012 2:48 PM
 
 
Photos (5)
train layout Jan 19
 
 
 
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February 20, 2012 1:18 PM

Looks great!  Just be careful with the S turns.  In conventional, the trains will slow in those sections and speed up on the straights so it makes it harder to run the train at a slower pace.

 

When I get back to wiring on my layout, I can post more pictures. 

 
 
 
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February 20, 2012 2:34 PM

Tmack....thanks.  The "S" turns will go away when we get more straight track!!

Do you think we would be better off with an elevated line behind the town and have it loop back?  Always worried about my 9 year old using too much speed and the train flying off the elevated track! 

 

 

 

 
 
 
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February 20, 2012 7:26 PM

9 is old enough to manage the controls.  My son is 8.  I think for the "kid factor"  multiple levels, tunnels, sidings with operating accessories are all part of keeping the interest factor.

 
 
 
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February 20, 2012 8:41 PM

I take it you haven't had any issues with your elevated track so you must be right.

 

 

 

 
 
 
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February 20, 2012 9:01 PM

Santa Fe VA: HI! I personally enjoy reverse loops. Built into a track plan, they offer a lot of variety-trains changing directions ends the monotony of loop running. Also the fun factor of turnouts holds interest. The way your layout is set up, you have plenty of room to do it on the lower level. Just something more to think about!  

 

Pete

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

Pete

 

Boynton Beach, FL. 1035 miles south of Pittsburgh, PA.

 

The P & LE: Operated 1/10 of 1% mileage of class 1 railroads, but moved more than 1% of the nation's tonnage!! THE Little Giant!! 1879-1992 A great regional railroad!!

 
 
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February 20, 2012 9:19 PM

Originally Posted by Santa Fe VA:

I take it you haven't had any issues with your elevated track so you must be right.

 

 

 

Well,  I am not sure those PW pieces will be on the elevated section when we have our party.  My kids are fine they know how to handle the trains the other kids that come over, many times have never operated trains so we usually have a few derailments in the teaching process.

 
 
 
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February 20, 2012 10:04 PM

Originally Posted by Santa Fe VA:

2 more trains will run on the main section.  Since I am new to the hobby, I am not familiar with blocking (although I got some good tips on the forum), and initially plan on keeping the lines separate and running a transformer for each.  Is this a good way to start?

Some have suggested a Z-1000, but might just go with another Lionel 80w. 

 


We are also using standard 036 curves.  Will this be an issue to run a Hudson 4-6-4 or similiar?


 

I have a small layout (6x9) and run two CW80s (Both G code versions) and like them very well.

 

I also run my PW 665 Hudson and 736 Berkshire on O36 Fastrack with no problems.

 

James

 

 

James
Santa Fe All The Way

 
 
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February 20, 2012 10:22 PM

Originally Posted by iakobos:
 

 

I have a small layout (6x9) and run two CW80s (Both G code versions) and like them very well.

 

I also run my PW 665 Hudson and 736 Berkshire on O36 Fastrack with no problems.

 

James

James--thanks for your input.  Are you using the CW80s for separate tracks?

 
 
 
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February 20, 2012 10:39 PM

Right now they are powering two separate tracks.  I have had them powering two different loops that were connected by switches.  The loops were separated into two blocks at the switches.  The CW 80s worked fine with no problems.

 

 

James
Santa Fe All The Way

 
 
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February 21, 2012 12:33 AM

I have 3 CW-80-s  Will have a 4th soon. One of my 3 does not have the G Code, but I will probably dedicate that to my trolley or Superstreets.

 

Each loop is powered by it's own transformer. 

 

If you have only one transformer and you have a loop with a siding, you create a separate block on the siding and control the power to that siding with a toggle switch.  Turn the switch off and you can store a second engine and run the other on the loop.

 

Below shows 3 blocks on one transformer.  

 

1. The main Loop

2. A Passing Siding

3. A Yard Siding 

 

 

You can run two trains on here all day long. Park a train on the siding (green), turn off the toggle switch and run the other train on the loop.  Park the train on the loop on the Passing Siding (blue), turn off the toggle switch, turn on the toggle switch for the green line and bring the train out of the yard onto the loop.  You can add as many sidings and toggle switches as you want, you just have to tie into your main center rail feed.  The idea is that you are interrupting the power to each siding with a toggle switch.

Blocking

You can connect two loops on separate transformers and use the block section to separate the power districts, you just have to make sure you have the power phased correctly, if you have two CW-80s (G coded) the plugs already are phased.  This way you can bring a train form an inner loop on a separate transformer out to a outer loop on a different transformer.

 
 
 
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February 21, 2012 3:24 PM

Santa Fe Va,

   Very nice clean layout, the reverse loop was suggested, definitely a good idea.

I would also up grade the transformers with at least a ZW and eventually a DCS.

The kids ran our multi level layout all the time, the boys can get a little wild at times,

I find having them help build and learning the cost of the layout, tends to make the kids understand how fast to run the layout.  We seldom if ever had a spill from the tracks.

PCRR/Dave

 

 

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

 
 
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February 21, 2012 8:29 PM

Dave, thanks.  That's reassuring what you and Tmack said about your "safety records."  I hope to work on the loop when I get more track, should be fun.

 
 
 
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