Reply to "Building and Evolution of an Action Packed Fifties Era Lionel 027 Operating & Switching (31) Layout w/ Homemade $10 Turntable, RH & Wye --Table of Contents at Pg 1, Post 1--"

Post 23    9-19-2016

New Layout Addition Making an "L" Layout with pictures and video

We moved to Macon, GA in 1988 and had a larger living room with a bay window.  A new addition idea was hatched that would provide another loop and train running area.  A Christmas tree could be installed on the addition that would allow the tree to be seen in the bay window during the Holidays.  The outside loop of the addition would be connected to the outside loop of the original layout.  A new control panel and LW Lionel transformer would run the additions independent loop and allow a third operator/engineer.  The main layout outside loop LW could be used to operate the new addition via a transformer transfer switch and the main loop inside LW could be used to operate the new addition via the transformer transfer switch on the main control panel.

The new addition would have its own building lighting transformer.  The only change that would have to be provided to make the new addition a standalone layout is a switch transformer would have to be added.


The track plan for the layout addition chosen is below.  The red and green buttons are for switches and the blue buttons are for uncoupling or accessory operation.  The slide switches control track sections.  The short straight track with one switch is for the HO gauge trolley with a homemade timer and reversing mechanism.


Train Lots 5-10-2016 253


The width of the addition was determined by the amount of space between the original layout control panel and the right side, this width being 4 ft 7 in.  A length of 7 ft 6 in was chosen.   It has a long siding off the main loop.  It has another siding making a small loop that has two reversing tracks in a dog bone shape to allow reversing of trains in either direction.  Reversing trains is a priority for me in an operating and switching layout like I want.  The Christmas tree was installed between the dog bone loops for the holidays.  The new addition adds about 50% more area to the train layout.


Picture of the new Addition and control board in new upstairs train room after 2012

Train Lots 5-10-2016 227


Layout Addition when on floor with Christmas tree in Dec 2008 in Baton Rouge before new train room


Construction was the same as the original layout board except for the board being ½ inch plywood in place of ¾ inch particle (bagasse) board.  Wooden wheels were installed on one corner and the end and long side to allow rolling of the layout into position. 

The use of ½ inch plywood decking was noticed to be much noisier than the ¾ inch particle board and was quieted by adding small pieces of auto/truck inter tube under the track ties and switches on the outer loop and the long siding where most of the running occurs.  Inter tube rubber was used as it is longer lasting then foam rubber or foam plastic which may have added more quieting.  I have learned about the shorter life of foam rubber or plastic from having to replace speaker foam surrounds in as little as 10 years.  The air bubbles give the foam more surface area for oxygen in the air to oxidize or deteriorate the foam quicker.


A recent photo of the overall L shaped layout with New Addition.  I see another project to paint the background on the tunnel that was added when two sections of background were removed to open up the room view.

 Train Overhead views 9-21-016 2016-09-21 010



View from control panels, 1 operator, or 2 or 3, one for each LW trans. Small TV monitor for x-10camera car for engineer.  The TV feed also goes to a larger 55" flat screen TV on the wall to the right.

Train Overhead views 9-21-016 2016-09-21 027


View of backside of New Addition

Train Overhead views 9-21-016 2016-09-21 013


Here is a 2016 video of the layout operating in the new train room with the new addition.


I do not know why my videos show the trains running much faster than the actually were running.

The new addition would have a lake, ice skaters on pond and bridge, a farm scene, a small town main street and trolley track and a siding with multiple operating accessories.  Details will be given in future posts.



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Last edited by Choo Choo Charlie
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