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Reply to "O-72 & O-60 6'5" X 18' Lionel Fastrack Layout Plan, with turntable and Lionel Extended Truss Bridge"

A few comments now that I have some time to post this morning.

The reason we went with Fastrack was because of how much I already owned.  My current collection came from a one time buy, belonging to a former boss. The purchase consisted of all his trains and his layout.  It was buy all or nothing deal.  It was enough to fill to the top of the cap I have on the back of my full size pickup.  I sold about a third of his trains to pay for most of the purchase price.  I was left with a couple of dozen trains that consist of conventional, DCS, and TMCC, but no Legacy.  The buy also included all of his Fastrack.  The track included a little over a complete loop in 060, 072, and 084, and enough straight track to complete a layout.  I had also picked up the large bridge last year on a sale, in anticipation of a future layout.  His layout was powered by a TMCC system with cab 1 and 4 180w power bricks, along with a DCS system.  There was command accessories.

I had no room for my layout in my house at the time, but a job change and subsequent move provided and opportunity to build a permanent layout.  Train space was a major requirement when house hunting.  The new house has a walkout finished basement that is dry and conditioned.  But  the space had to accomodate my other needs.  The basement has been divided into thirds.  One third is my newly completed woodworking shop (my other hobby). I made a decision that I would not think about a train layout until I moved my shop. The middle third is an already existing entertainment area with a large screen projector and seating the family enjoys.  The remaining third is what I had to work with for a layout.

Ken's original design he references in his post, utilized the large bridge and would fit nicely in the available space. His design also used Fastrack, but with 060 and 048 curves.  I asked if it could be expanded to prevent me from having to buy any 048.  All of my current trains will run on 036, but I do like the option of going larger if possible. The  biggest limit was 6' 8" depth in order to still have access to a closet along one wall.  That meant the 084 track I already have would not work.  Buy going with 072 and 060, along with limiting the back of the layout to two parallel lines, he was able to fit it in the space with a few inches to spare.  The larger track added length, but still allowed me a little over 2' on each side for access.  His revised design fits perfectly in the available space.  The entire family was excited about his idea to add the newly proposed Atlas turntable to the layout.  Did not think that would have been a possibility if I designed it myself.  The rounded front corners make the construction a little more complicated, but I have built curved front furniture before, so look forward to the challenge of making those corners functional.  I really like how the project combines my two favorite hobbies.  I get to do some woodworking and then play with trains when completed.

The next step is to design the tables for the layout and acquire the missing track pieces over the next few months.  There will be a wait until the Atlas turntable is released, but I can get a functional layout before that is available.  I have no switches, and will be focusing on picking up those.  I want to use command control switches on the layout.  In researching  the available switches on the market, I see that there are two command control switches in stores, with two different model numbers. For example, the 072 RH command control are available in model # 6-16827 and # 6-81952.  Searching the forum, it looks like Lionel changed the model numbers a few years ago, and some of the old model switches are still available.  I can't really see where they are any difference and are interchangeable.  If not and there are difference, please let me know because I plan to take advantage of one or two 4th of July sales to add pieces to the layout.  Thanks.

 

John

Last edited by jstraw124
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