Revised operating scheme.  Decided on Norfolk Southern for the connecting road (I have, and love, my LionChief+ scale SD60M in Norfolk Southern livery).   Named Lakeside in the upper right. 

No name for this railroad yet.  Perhaps Eastwick & Western RR.   Suggestions?

Operating Concept V2

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I just caught up on this thread Ken. Looks good. I'm glad you moved the bathroom too . Don't forget a good exhaust fan . Make sure the fan is on a separate switch from the lights. Regardless of the rated CFM, "odors" take more time to be removed due to the mixing with fresh air. If you run your locos with a lot of smoke you may want to have exhaust up high in the main area as well.

Love the track plan as well. Looks like a good combination of main line running and switching.

Hope you get to build it sooner not later.

Bob

Three Rails Are Better Than None 

Thanks Bob!

A future expansion might elevate the NS climbing to 8" at 4%, and then 10" at the Nuc plant.   Just roughed in.  No access into the north east corner, no solution occurs to me.   Lakeside would have to change its name, pehaps Hillsdale.

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I do have some thoughts and will reply in detail later today.   Though I love the idea of a longer exchange track the main reason I tore down my own layout is that I had areas which I could not readily reach - never a good idea especially as we age.    I strongly advise to stick to the original plan of having an access hatch since the exchange track does not add any real functionality to your railroad (other than servicing the nuclear plant).

Except for the relatively few of us who have large spaces, we all have to leave stuff out of our railroad designs and can never have all the features we'd like given the space and bank account.

-Greg

Member of the Brotherhood of the Crappy Basement Layout

Associate Member of the NJ Hi-Railers

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Hey Ken. I may be a little late incoming to the dance but here are my thoughts. I did not see anything about a different layout configuration other than the concentric loops. Since this is only an exercise in planning for the future...how about considering something like a folded dog bone design.

Here is my reason. My old layout (cover feature in RUN 255) was the same basic plan as yours. It was also about the same space you currently are considering. It took me a long time (life, kids, job) to get it complete. Honestly, towards the end I just wanted to get it finished to showcase in the magazine and I met my goal. It was a nice layout but all the trains did was run in concentric circles (3 of them) while I made up new ones in the yard areas. I thought I would never grow tired of watching them go around but I did. After the feature, it sat dormant for two years while I planned my new layout. Then I ripped the whole thing down.

Now retired, I have nothing but time to work on my new layout. Granted, the new layout is much bigger as my train room expanded to fill my entire basement. It is a folded dogbone design. Three levels. All independent from each other. No grades. Lots of scenery plus passenger yard, engine facilities and hidden staging. You may be able to do a folded dog bone and not have to deal with lift out access

Just my thoughts, I am not trying to pick apart your design. It is well thought out and I like it. I just hope you will not grow tired of the circles.

As far as a bathroom...I would nix the whole idea. Either go outside or in the house. Honestly, how many times a day will this happen?? However...I would consider adding a slop sink somewhere in your area. Once construction starts, the available water supply for washing hands is a big benefit. Once scenery construction starts and the paint, glue and ground foam starts to fly..you will be using the sink nonstop for cleaning brushes, etc. I would not want to perform that task in a sink in a bathroom setting. It will quickly get "hogged up". I installed one in my utility room and use it multiple times a day while working on the layout. And, if you need to go really bad....just turn on the cold water and have at it. That was my plumber's idea when I wanted him to install a urinal in the room!

Have a good day Ken. 

Donald

"If two rails are good, than three rails has got to be better."

 

"Give a person a toy train and watch them play for a day. Teach a person to fill their basement with trains and give them a lifetime hobby."

Ken-Oscale posted:

Greg, I also saw that possibility, but feel reluctant about it.  Here is why:

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  1. Note that we don't have to move Eastwick inward, there is sufficient room to join the circuit with a smooth O120 gentle 'S' curve.
  2. But we go from two towns with seven spurs, to two towns with five spurs and a new mainline loop.  
  3. I would enjoy the new mainline loop, but unhappy about changing the towns from terminal locations to just towns along a secondary main.   Maybe worthwhile though.
  4. I could work in another spur at Eastwick at the inside, and move the industries and station to the other side of the new spur.   (two towns with six spurs).   I am reluctant to cramp my operating area, its staring to get smaller, and three operators might be bumping into each other.
  5. I don't see an opportunity to add another spur at Westham.   To be objective, this might be a reason to say "scrap the restroom" and try to add another spur at Westham along the wall as in my earlier design (not really at Westham though, as it would be on the outside main), trying not to narrow the viewing aisle.
  6. The access area in the NorthWest corner might be available for a spur in that direction instead, retaining the restroom, but cramping that access area.
  7. Perhaps I could add another spur in the NorthEast access area - that is a bigger space.   Then to service, we would have to get permission to run down the connection line owned by the connecting RR.   That would be an interesting operating idea.

Greg, thanks for the discussion.  Further thoughts?

Ken-Oscale posted:

One possible configuration related to the discussion above, seven spurs and one more industry (warehouse).   I guess this is satisfactory to me, all constraints considered, gonna think about it some more.   Thoughts?

I see that Eastwick becomes more interesting to service, with spurs in both directions.  The crew has to use the bridge as a switch lead for this opposed direction spur.

Perhaps the station and new spur in the NorthEast deserves a town name:  dunno - Bywater, then decorate the edge of the access area as a lake shore?M1224A_V5g

Hi Ken,

Some other thoughts:

Keep the rest room as it's apparent it's a given for you and that's really all that matters.

With respect to either configuration copied above -  I completely understand your not wanting to connect the sidings to make a 3rd loop.  I have the same scenario in my new layout.  Here is one option - Heading west out of the yard on the siding to Westham which goes behind the roundhouse, you could truncate it at the end of the service track at the length of your longest engine in order to preserve the run-around track.  This would force all industries to be serviced by an extended east bound siding via Eastwick.   Switching across a bridge (and through tunnels) even can be found in prototype examples.  Servicing all the industries through Eastwick will certainly add additional operating interest.   The area from the removed westbound siding can be scenicked with trees and a hill to act as a scenic block.   See the section to be removed in yellow:

You could also redesign Eastwick to add a passing siding to assist with switching from the front or rear end.  This would involve moving the building in your station spot slightly forward (Seed and Feed in my redesign):

Note: I got the dimensions of the Menards buildings from their website.  The milk platform is Lionel and the station is the MTH Country Passenger station.  The generic industry is just random to copy your original drawing.

With respect to extending the northeast interchange track up to the Reactor I already provided my recommendation against but it's your railroad so of course include if you choose.  If you choose to go with the original design I do have a suggestion:  I would remove the station and industry as it probably is on the rare side to see something like that on a prototype.   Along the back wall I would build a hillside with a tunnel portal to give the illusion the line goes somewhere.  If you have the space to add a 3 to 4" border you can model a body of water to indicate a lake.   You could even stage a small engine in the tunnel and bring it out to couple to a cut of cars and start to pull away through the tunnel.  In place of the station and warehouse you could include a scenic element, such as a hobo camp.

Regards,

Greg

 

Member of the Brotherhood of the Crappy Basement Layout

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Donald, thanks, I hear you.   I worked on a folded dog bone for 12x20 a few years ago, which I decided I liked enough to build - but then work got busy and my health deteriorated (much better now, can work on a layout).   Both still have trains "just" looping around.   The most recent design maximizes the curvature at O90.   

I guess its a trade-off and preference, appeal.  I think that any layout will eventually lose it "new and amazing" aspect, and perhaps become boring.   [unless its a monster layout, which I could never finish].   I am actually considering the lack of complexity in construction as a positive, I don't want to bite off too much.   Anyway, your points are good, thanks!

The 12x20 layout below could easily be extended to 24', and allows trains to reverse themselves.   At one time I felt that being able to reverse a train's direction would be a cool way to send a train out from the yard, reverse it while running the loops, and return head-in back to the yard.

M1220-01_12X20_O72--O60_V10c

A variation in 12x18:

M1218-01_12X18wO72-O60-O48v10d

Here is another 12x20 I did a few years back.  It has a couple of interesting features, but still loops around the room.

M1220-01_v3e

Your points are good, and I don't know what the "right" answer is, its just based on your "givens and druthers", and right now I feel that I want a plan that maximizes the curvature with numbered turnouts so I can watch trains smoothly run through the track.   I like the bigger operating area where a couple folks can feel comfortable (and I can use the space as my 'Man Cave' with a computer and large monitor.  I expect it will get old at some point as all layouts seem to do.

-Ken

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Thanks Greg, considering and reflecting on your suggestions - interesting!

One of the features I think I might miss on the current layout design is a vertical element.  No, I am not sold on the East side expansion idea, that is just an idea to see how it might work - I would certainly regret filling in the access in the North East.   All layouts are compromises of course.   On other layouts I have added an elevated On30 circle, but don't see where that might go in this recent design.

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

Trying out an idea:  two lift-out bridges, one the double track, and another single.   The double-track main has been elevated at 1% rising from the yard, to reach 1", to help differentiate the mainline from the branchline loop serving the towns.   Maybe this is better, perhaps even just an inch in elevation will help the visuals.   Running to the restroom requires lifting two bridges instead of one, less convenient of course.M1224A_V5i

Needs a water course, added a stream below grade.  I'll draw in trestles.   And a lake shore in the upper left.

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You could also just raise the outside main, remove the passing siding, and make this line's lift bridge the one that's elevated.  You'd probably have to do a 4-5% grade to get up to 6" but it's certainly doable.

-Greg

Member of the Brotherhood of the Crappy Basement Layout

Associate Member of the NJ Hi-Railers

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Greg Houser posted:

You could also just raise the outside main, remove the passing siding, and make this line's lift bridge the one that's elevated.  You'd probably have to do a 4-5% grade to get up to 6" but it's certainly doable.

-Greg

Yah, that could be cool!  But I like the double-track mainlines look (though they could be a different elevations, perhaps 1/4" different).   Anyway, they should be level through the bridge.  The mountain would need to get taller and steeper to clear a line at up to 6".  Maybe.

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

Perhaps this would work to preserve access for maintenance and detailing, yet reach the Nuc Plant on the elevated NS.   The track beneath the monitor could be a shelf disguised as a long bridge.   I can't use the NS as an interchange track above the yard because of the slope.   But I can still receive and depart trains for the NS that head up the grade.  My RR would need the NS dispatcher to clear access to service Hillsdale and the Nuc Plant, and NS would need operating rights to bring trains in and out of Bailey Yard.

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Added trestle details and elevated terrain.  Its beginning to look "complete", not to say perfect.   Its looking like we have about max-ed out all that we can wring-out from the design decisions made so far.

Not to say that the design is "frozen", I am still open to more changes or re-alignments.   It appears there is enough room on the NS branch to add 18" at 2% as vertical easements on either end of the grade (not shown).

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  • 8 industry spurs/sidings, with 14 industries.
  • 3 stations
  • 3 distinct locales
  • 3 continuous running loops
  • O90 minimum, #5 turnouts on main and yard (one #7.5 turnout). 4.5" center rail spacing with 4.25" over the 40" double-track truss bridge.  O81 minimum yard leads (2) and in the yard, yard with minimum 4.25" centers.
  • O72 minimum with O72 turnouts on town branchline.   Some O54 industry spurs.
  • Elevated NS connecting line is O72 to the Nuc plant, O54 at the nuc plant.
  • Passenger equipment up to O72.  Freight cars up to O54.  Mainline power can be up to O90 minimum, handling the O72 standard for scale power.   Switchers and local freight power: O54.
  • Max grade of 4% with 18" of 2% vertical easement
  • Six traditional operating accessories, with two buildings with animation, plus three  of Lionel's WorkHouse with Sound, plus the operating turntable.
  • Modern layout height is recommended at 42" or higher, unless you have little kids viewing (I want the layout to be "kid friendly") so 36" in that case.   That provides clearance for rolling storage and computer desk beneath.  As mentioned, the front access area does not have the width and space for a step.   But a rolling footstool like libraries use might be included.
  • Restroom with combined wash basin and commode, and "turbo" fan.  Us older guys have to go quite often at times.
  • Access and reach are very good.   There are two problematic areas, the width of Bailey yard and across the NS to touch the wall is 35", and under the tunnel at the lower right.  Plus the lift-out section on 2" foam sheets in the upper right corner.
  • AnyRail layout design software has been a pleasure to use - I can work out ideas or make changes and re-alignments quickly.   I am not saying its the best or better than others, just that its very good and was helpful in working on this and other layout designs.
  • Atlas-O 21st Century Track was a good choice for this layout, with a variety of sectional curves up to O108, #5 and #7.5 turnouts, O72 minimum curved turnout, flextrack, and easy to install (OK looking) turntable.   Ross/Gargraves would also be a very good choice to build this layout.   MTH Scaletrax would also work well and look good, with #4 and #6 turnouts, but at O80 maximum sectional track diameter, would require lots of flex and hassles with alignment of this layout's broad curves.   Lionel FasTrack could be made to work with its max O96 curves, but the lack of numbered turnouts means O72 in the yard and for cross-overs, not really an option (hoping Lionel will add #4 or #5 FasTrack turnouts to their offerings).

Once again, thanks and my appreciation for all the comments, suggestions, criticisms - very helpful!

Maybe the RR should be the Iowa Interstate, according to wiki:  "The Iowa Interstate is unique in that it is the only Class II railroad in the US that has connections to every Class I railroad, affording its customers a reach not offered by other regional railroads. "   So I could legitimately run any modern Class I power.   The big bridges could be over the Mississippi.   I might research and rename the towns/locales.   What do you think?   They also run the two Chinese 2-10-2s brought over last decade.   Perhaps the Rock Island in a previous existance?

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I think you've pretty much covered everything you'd like given the space available.   You have a comfortable viewing area which is easy for kids 3-100 in age to access, a bathroom, lots of accessories to add visual interest, and the ability to run 3 trains at once "hands off" if you're entertaining "non-hobby" folks or run prototypical ops if you want to have an operating session with hardcore hobbyists.  As long as you add cup holders on the fascia you're set to go! 

-Greg

Member of the Brotherhood of the Crappy Basement Layout

Associate Member of the NJ Hi-Railers

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Greg Houser posted:

I think you've pretty much covered everything you'd like given the space available.   You have a comfortable viewing area which is easy for kids 3-100 in age to access, a bathroom, lots of accessories to add visual interest, and the ability to run 3 trains at once "hands off" if you're entertaining "non-hobby" folks or run prototypical ops if you want to have an operating session with hardcore hobbyists.  As long as you add cup holders on the fascia you're set to go! 

-Greg

Thanks so much for all your thoughts and observations!   I will remember about cup-holders and remote-holders, those are good ideas!

I had planned to run the turnouts on many layouts using TMCC/Legacy which is easy to do with FasTrack and its integrated command-control switch machines, so I would not need control panels on the fascia.  That is possible with Atlas-O using additional TMCC devices.   The Atlas-O switch machines are ugly to me, would like to use an under-table machine, but then expense and construction time added (there are a LOT of turnouts).   Perhaps I can use the FasTrack switch contollers with the Atlas-O switch machines.

I wonder if anyone has taken the Atlas switch machine and flipped it over so that it projects down into the roadbed, rather than above.   Might help to conceal these ugly beasts, would need a cover of course, so the ballast won't get into the machine, and then ballast over the top to help conceal it.   If this is possible, it would allow installation from on top of the layout surface, rather than underneath (hard for me to work under the layout).  [I also plan to run power to as many buildings as possible from track power (have not worked out load requirements yet), so that I minimize under-table wiring.]

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

I think it is an excellent plan.

Extending the interchange track along the wall would provide room for the 'ole 0-5-0 to do it's work of exchanging incoming and outgoing cars.

Oh, and I so agree with your wish that Lionel produce at least Fastrack #4 switches. I tire of the non-prototypical 18 foot spacing between adjacent tracks when using Fastrack.

Lew

Lew

 

Operator of the Plywood Empire Route in the Beautiful Berkshires

Growing old is so much more fun than the only alternative.

geysergazer posted:

I think it is an excellent plan.

Extending the interchange track along the wall would provide room for the 'ole 0-5-0 to do it's work of exchanging incoming and outgoing cars.

Oh, and I so agree with your wish that Lionel produce at least Fastrack #4 switches. I tire of the non-prototypical 18 foot spacing between adjacent tracks when using Fastrack.

Lew

Hear Hear!   "I tire of the non-prototypical 18 foot spacing between adjacent tracks when using Fastrack."   It just looks ridiculous and breaks the illusion of a double-track main.   Come-on Lionel, just do it!   Some of my recent designs work out a 4.25" center-rail spacing, which looks very good (and operates all my traditional equipment on O36 and O44).   If Lionel worked out #4s with 4.5" spacing, that would help bring FasTrack up to big-layout expectations.

Hey Lew, Geysergazer, are you also a fan of Yellowstone?   I love being out there, and Grant Teton is magnificent!

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

Just thinking about constructing the Hillsdale module:   Before installing Bailey Yard, I would put the module in place, then run the track and grades, and fill in the hillside terrain, and perhaps do some minimal scenery on the module.   This way I could get the grades perfect with easy reach and access.   The module is conveniently, three O72 curves and one 4.5" straight section.   Bailey Yard might be the last area to construct.

The wife and I and two friends are leaving tomorrow on Amtrack for a short trip to New Orleans.   Should be fun, back end of next week.

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

Ken-Oscale posted:

 

Maybe the RR should be the Iowa Interstate, according to wiki:  "The Iowa Interstate is unique in that it is the only Class II railroad in the US that has connections to every Class I railroad, affording its customers a reach not offered by other regional railroads. "   So I could legitimately run any modern Class I power.   The big bridges could be over the Mississippi.   I might research and rename the towns/locales.   What do you think?   They also run the two Chinese 2-10-2s brought over last decade.   Perhaps the Rock Island in a previous existance?

   

Paul  

Ship Rock Island ROCKET FREIGHT

 

2 Rails?  3 Rails?  Doesn't matter, I can't count that high in either case.

I love the smell of fresh-brewed creosote first thing in the morning.

If the government knew how much fun O-gauge railroading was, they'd outlaw it!

Enjoy the trip to New Orleans!  It's like my second home as my wife is from there and has many family members still living there and in Metarie and Baton Rouge. We always have a good time visiting that city.

-Greg

Member of the Brotherhood of the Crappy Basement Layout

Associate Member of the NJ Hi-Railers

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Ken-Oscale posted:
geysergazer posted:

I think it is an excellent plan.

Extending the interchange track along the wall would provide room for the 'ole 0-5-0 to do it's work of exchanging incoming and outgoing cars.

Oh, and I so agree with your wish that Lionel produce at least Fastrack #4 switches. I tire of the non-prototypical 18 foot spacing between adjacent tracks when using Fastrack.

Lew

Hear Hear!   "I tire of the non-prototypical 18 foot spacing between adjacent tracks when using Fastrack."   It just looks ridiculous and breaks the illusion of a double-track main.   Come-on Lionel, just do it!   Some of my recent designs work out a 4.25" center-rail spacing, which looks very good (and operates all my traditional equipment on O36 and O44).   If Lionel worked out #4s with 4.5" spacing, that would help bring FasTrack up to big-layout expectations.

Hey Lew, Geysergazer, are you also a fan of Yellowstone?   I love being out there, and Grant Teton is magnificent!

Yup, I am a geysergazer: someone who sits around all day watching a hole in the ground hoping to see it erupt a column of boiling water  We both volunteered for several summers for the YNP park geologist. Our work was.....watching geysers. Have probably made the round trip between Pittsburgh and Old Faithful at least 30 times. We remember which gas stations on all the routes between have filthy bathrooms. The Tetons are wonderful but elevations above about 8000 are off-limits to me so we have to be content to stay at the bottom and look up 

Lew

Lew

 

Operator of the Plywood Empire Route in the Beautiful Berkshires

Growing old is so much more fun than the only alternative.

This variation adds two things:  additional operator and viewing space by a small amount, and adds a bit more drama:

  • The push-in of the double-mains at the bottom leading to the bridge creates a very gradual curve.   The secondary mainline through Westham now goes through a pair of O72 turnouts leading to the single-track lift-out bridge.
  • The viewing space has been widened around the entry/door area by about 2".  The operating space above both Westham and Eastwick has also been widened by about 1/2".
  • The elevated NS line at the east side now comes out over the double-track mains below for a dramatic scene.
  • The elevated NS around the Nuc plant is now all O72.   In fact, the layout is now O72 minimum everywhere.
  • The elevated NS line now runs further west to create a longer staging track and a place to add/remove cars for the connecting/staging NS in an easily accessible place.
  • If the single-track truss bridge connecting the towns is removed, the original terminal intention for both towns is now recovered.  Both towns can be switched without the bridge.
  • The outside main passing track in the lower right has been deleted.
  • This variation has an option for all lift-out bridges to use the Lionel Lift-Out Extended Truss Bridge of 30" in length.   Though I could make these bridges longer with custom bridges.

M1224A_V8d

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Lew, I added a run-around track on the NS high line adjacent to the Nuc plant, to aid in converting outbound NS staged train to inbound, for the run back to the yard with "new" interchange cargo and cars.  All O72 minimum.

I was able to reduce the grade on the high line from 4% to 3%, with the top elev. at 9".

M1224A_V8e

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Oh, good idea, Ken! It's easy for me to forget how how big your plan is. That would be a long run backing the whole way and distinctly un-prototypical 

Lew

Lew

 

Operator of the Plywood Empire Route in the Beautiful Berkshires

Growing old is so much more fun than the only alternative.

Overall it's a great plan!  I'm glad you reduced the grade, but 3% is still significant.  How are you going to stop cars parked on the NS interchange track from coasting down onto the main?  Another participant on the forum developed a rod that pops up between the rails to hold cars in place to facilitate gentle coupling.  That might be one option...

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

Ted S posted:

Overall it's a great plan!  I'm glad you reduced the grade, but 3% is still significant.  How are you going to stop cars parked on the NS interchange track from coasting down onto the main?  Another participant on the forum developed a rod that pops up between the rails to hold cars in place to facilitate gentle coupling.  That might be one option...

Pretty sure the only place he'd place a cut of cars to be interchanged is on the divergent route of the first turnout past the bridge where everything is level.   Placing a cut lower blocks all the switching moves prior to that point.  

Jan posted:

Ken,

Think about having the two mainlines in a tunnel. Let the local line run along the hillside in a river cut.

Jan

I agree--increases the scenic element.

-Greg

Member of the Brotherhood of the Crappy Basement Layout

Associate Member of the NJ Hi-Railers

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Thanks again for all of our comments and suggestions!   Not sure if I have the right idea on the mainline in a tunnel, but here is a go:  rock wall represented by a gray line, not sure how to capture this better.

Also looked at Greg's earlier suggestion about a run-around track in the towns.   Westham would need to use the bridge with the run-around, Eastwick does not.  Was able to make it work and added some space to the operating area, which I am happy about.   Mainline is O72 through both towns, with O54 industry turnouts in Westham.  Both the mainline and the passing-track in Eastwick are O72 minimum.

M1224A_V8h2

The double-track mains are around 54-58' in length (est.).   For display, I could have two 12' trains circling in each direction simultaneously on each main, and then a fifth train on the inside town-to-town main.

There are six "locales": Eastwick and Westham, Bailey Yard and the Engine Terminal, and on the NS Hillsdale and Oak Point.

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Ken,

I needed to add lower left to my comment.  A few Forumites will know when I refer to the N&W running along both banks of the New River near Pembroke. Va.  The N&W only had room on each bank for one track with the western track dug into the side of the mountain.  In fact, they bored a 100 yard tunnel through a solid limestone rock.

Jan

I had forgotten that if using Lionel's Extended Truss Lift-Out Bridge there are 5" piers at either end.  So I can use Lionel's if I want to, or use custom 36" bridges (single and double-track).  There was an O54 reverse curve on the industry side at Westham that I eased with this revision.   The mainline through Westham remains O72, and the switching there looks a bit more interesting.   The viewing and aisle in front got a bit longer in usable space.   The NS elevated siding at Oak Point was lengthen by about 4.5".   Also reworked the engine terminal to save an inch in width.

M1224A_V8i

Getting a bit crowded today.   Thats me chillin in my office chair, adult beverage not shown.   Some of our friends stopped by with their kid to see the trains go.

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Mark Boyce posted:

Ken, This plan is getting so good, it makes me want to scrap my new layout and build yours!!    Well, maybe I'll just continue what I started!

Thanks so much Mark!   I am enjoying your layout construction thread, thanks for sharing with us, things are looking outstanding!  -Ken

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

Here is a close-up image of the engine terminal.   You can see there is a conveyor to empty the ash pit to a waiting hopper on the yard lead.

EngineTerminal

I plan on having two of these Rubbermaid kick-stools (libraries use these).  When weight is applied, the castors retract for stable stepping stool about 12" high and 16" diameter.   For kid viewing, 36" high layout is recommended, with these kick-stools, the layout could go up to 48" high.   These stools will fit in a recess under the front edge of the layout viewing space, to get them out of the way when not in use.  I will have to figure out some kind of handrail or border that the kids can hold on to for balance.

Rubbermaid kickstool

At 48", some folks (and kids) may be able to duck-under the lift-out bridges while in place.   Getting to the access areas and under the mountain at the lower right will be much easier at 48" high.

M1224A_V9a

The two longest stalls within the engine house are 24", with a couple additional inches out the doors in the rear.   For comparison, the Lionel LC+ Berkshire is 19" long.   I have had my eye on the MTH Railking Imperial Challenger for some time now, it measures 25" long, so would fit in the stall plus the open door room at the rear.   It can also "hang out" on the ready track which is 64 inches in length.

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

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A few odds&ends added.  The scale of the "people" really helps to understand the size (compactness, really) of this 12x24 building.   Its (only) about the size of a dining room.   Without the figures, my imagination tends to exaggerate the size of my space.  I would be great to build a bigger building, but this is the space that fits within our yard, easements, parking apron, and what has been discussed with "the wife".  I really don't want to attempt something bigger, anyway, given my limitations.   If I did "find" an extra foot or two, I would not change the layout configuration, just stretch the plan to give a larger operating space in the center.

M1224A_V9b

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

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Here, I am sketching-in some construction ideas.   I like using seven 2" thick 4x8 foam sheets (which if you have not used, are stronger than you might imagine).   They are easy to trim for the varying shape of the layout surface.  They cover the surface pretty well, needing only a shelf for the NS staging.   Because access and reach are quite good, I will not be up on or leaning on top of the foam to reach to the back, so the foam sheets are strong enough.

The layout surface will be supported by wood tables (design not certain yet) to give a height of 46-48".  The foam sheets are strong enough for 16" centers between runners.  Because I am lazy  I will likely just lay-down and glue Woodland Scenics grass mats to start, and then build up the elevations, grades, and etc. on top of this surface.   The stream on the left below grade will need some additional thought - it will be 2" below grade, so a length of foam below the 2" thick foam underneath will serve.

M1224A_V9c

This construction will make tear-down easier after I am gone and the space will need to be re-purposed, perhaps in prep for a sale of the property.

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

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  1.  I plan to start with table/modules 1,2,3 in the back. 
  2.  Beginning with Module-3, I will lay the double-track mainline and NS connecting line (on grade) working East. 
  3.  Then rough-in the lift-out Hillsdale module.
  4.  Then Module-4, and continue laying the mains and NS elevated.   Rough-in the Oak Point mountain on Module-4.
  5.  Then attach the shelf "S" for the elevated, and a shelf below it for the outside double-track main beneath the elevated NS.  The edge of the shelf follows the NS elevated.
  6.  Module-5 will be the only table on castors.  The idea is that with the lift-out bridges removed, I can slide out Module-5 to get access to Module-4 for detailing.  The double-track mains inside the mountain are sectional track and will hold their shape as I cut through them and install rail-joiners.  This could be tricky, to ensure that the tracks will line up perfectly when Module-5 slides back in, both for the mains and the elevated.   There will be four track joints joining Module-5.  But if I can make this work, it will nicely solve the access problem in an convenient way.  I plan to give it a try.
  7. Then modules 6 and 7 in that order.

M1224A_V9c3

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

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Ken, I am totally enamored with this design.  It has morphed into one of the finest layout designs I've seen in a long time IMHO, bar none.  Based on the scale, size, layout plan, and operation potentials, I haven't seen such a great plan in the space that you have come up with for a long time!

The staff of OGR had better plan on doing a complete magazine write-up when you are substantially done, or else I will take some time off from work and personally make a special trip out east to administer some haircut and butch-wax treatments to these folks!!!   

Paul  

Ship Rock Island ROCKET FREIGHT

 

2 Rails?  3 Rails?  Doesn't matter, I can't count that high in either case.

I love the smell of fresh-brewed creosote first thing in the morning.

If the government knew how much fun O-gauge railroading was, they'd outlaw it!

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