Thank you Paul, very kind, much appreciated!   This design might make an article longer than I usually submit for publication, with lots of detail and considerations.

The building kit is from Best Barns, their Arlington model at 12x24  12x24 Arlington.  The current cost at Home Depot is $7670 for the materials kit.   Includes a loft and pull-down stairs, for lots of storage in the loft, can almost stand up in the center.   To that kit I have to add:

  • Site prep - remove one large tree, cut some existing concrete parking apron.
  • New concrete slab, 16x24 (including the 4' wide front porch)
  • Plumbing: sewer, water for restroom, turbo fan
  • Insulation and sheetrock for interior walls, interior painting
  • Ceiling insulation and drop-ceiling
  • Exhaust fan in ceiling to clear train "smoke"
  • Electrical: outlets and lighting (not determined yet)
  • Shingles for roof
  • Carpet
  • Likely would need to re-side the structure to match the existing home, for appearance and within covenants, paint to match house
  • Add-on front porch
  • Construction labor
  • Contractor overhead
  • One window AC unit, one faux fireplace (electric) for heat.

Perhaps $35,000 - $40,000 for the entire building?  Have not talked with a contractor yet.

Then of course, there is a cost for the layout itself and track, scenery, etc.   Power supplies supporting TMCC/Legacy and DCS.   Three power zones?  The two mains and the interior yard and town mainline?   Maybe $4500?   The turnouts are over $100 each, and there are a lot of them ($26)!

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

Interested in your opinions:  This version increases the operating space, by deleting one yard track and the locomotive ready track, and condensing both towns by eliminating the passing tracks (back to all O72 again).  So its a trade-off - is this version better, or the previous version?

M1224A_V9d3

Now, if it turns out that the contractor doesn't see a big advantage to going with the building kit, I might just increase the width by 1 foot (13x24), and return to the previous version, and "call it a day".

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

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Ken, I like this version. More room for the humanoids plus better reachability for maintenance and derailments are very good things. Also, I like Westham and Eastwick better this way. I found the passing sidings problematic if not downright superfluous. If I were operating this pike I'd usually have  the bridge between the two towns removed and operate each town as an Inglenook.

It is interesting how planning things "just growed". The Plywood Empire Route serves (6) industries with 14 cars typically spotted.  Having developed this very simple operating scenario if I had the space I'd construct an interchange yard with trackage to drill&block at least 40 cars. In addition there'd be a 2 track hidden staging yard with space for 80 cars. That's what it would take to semi-prototypically support a railroad serving just those 6 customers.

Lew

Lew

 

Operator of the Plywood Empire Route in the Beautiful Berkshires

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

Ken-Oscale posted:
Now, if it turns out that the contractor doesn't see a big advantage to going with the building kit, I might just increase the width by 1 foot (13x24), and return to the previous version, and "call it a day".

I think I agree with your contractor.  That's a lot of money for the kit, and I'm no fan of OSB for anything that needs to stand up to weather.  Also, the big doors on the end are a liability, just another big hole you have to deal with.  It's hard to believe that a stick built building would be more expensive, we're talking a very simple structure here.  Framing something like this isn't that difficult, and you'll have a much better product when you're done.  I notice it doesn't even include the roofing shingles in that price!

Ken-Oscale posted:

Now, if it turns out that the contractor doesn't see a big advantage to going with the building kit, I might just increase the width by 1 foot (13x24), and return to the previous version, and "call it a day".

I'd definitely check with the contractor, Ken.  I believe that most building kits merely contain enough raw materials to build the said structure.  At least some of the lumber must still be cut to size/shape by the assembler.

I've actually built a few garden sheds (the last one really nice!) in my younger days when garden shed kits were also available.  However, I ended up saving a fair amount of money in buying the lumber and all other materials and paints separately instead of buying a 'kit'.  I didn't like the way the kits were built (there were built samples available to look at), they look pretty on the outside, but the construction methods and hardware were cheap on the inside.  I built my shed a lot stronger and a lot nicer with much better hardware than the kits came with, and still saved money.  Can't remember exactly how much I saved, but it seems like it was a good 30% or more at the time.

That's been about 25 years ago now, but the same may still hold true these days.  Like I say, check with your contractor first.  That extra foot would be worth its weight in gold if so.

Paul  

Ship Rock Island ROCKET FREIGHT

 

2 Rails?  3 Rails?  Doesn't matter, I can't count that high anyway.

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

I personally don't like eliminating the yard track and the ready track.    I also like run-arounds in towns, not necessarily long enough to be a passing track, just enough room to run around 2-3 cars while switching.     I like the branch like a lot.    I don't car for the 3rd inside loop.    I guess if your goal is to just loop 3 trains, it makes sense, but if you want to add some operation, I think  you could use the space better to add operating interest.    

My favorite concept is 2-3 staging tracks - hidden or not - that can hold complete trains.    Then a single track main with passing sidings in each town.    I would have "through" trains come in from staging to the yard, set out cars, pick up cars, and perhaps change locos and cabooses if it is a division point.    then the through continues on and goes back into staging after a few loops or so.     I would have one it each direction representing through traffic.    

Then I would have a "crew" get a loco (older and smaller like switcher or geep) and make  up a local train with the cars that arrived and take it to one or both towns.    And maybe a second local for the other town, and one for the branch.    

Basic switching at industries - car type for car type - if you pickup a boxcar, you set out a boxcar etc.    No paperwork.    If you want some basic paperwork, make car cards for each car with a pocket for a way bill.   Micro mark sells these or yuo can make them.   then make waybills for each car type, boxcar, hopper etc.     On one side place an industry name that  uses that car type.   On the other side place one of the staging tracks (Interchange or other RR).    When a car is on the staging tracks. put a new waybill in the pocket routing it to an industry.    When at the industry, flip the waybill routing the car to one of the staging tracks/through trains.   It is a pretty simple system to set  up.   

I want a strong attic pull-down stairs to the storage above.   This one is a rated at 375lbs capacity, which should be more than sufficient for me and what I might carry .   Shown is location of the opening in the ceiling above.

werner-attic-ladders-ah2510b-64_1000

M1224A_V9d4

When down, the stairs will just clear the edge of Westham, so a person could walk straight through the front door, through the lift-out bridges, and turn to go up the stairs with the new "goodies" from the train store.

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

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mike g. posted:

Hi Ken, I just wanted to put mu 2 cents in. I built this 12 X 24 Train room myself for a little over $3500. It is only 1 story but here is the link if you would like to check it out.

Mike

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...-room-started?page=1

Awesome!   Thanks so much - very encouraging on the cost.   You did the labor yourself, which is beyond my capabilities right now, and I added a restroom, and interior insulation and walls and etc.  But still...!!  So I will look at a 13x24 train building next.

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

Here is a look at a 13x24 train building/man-cave.   I stretched the viewing area and restroom by 4" - room for a 28" door rather than 24" - excellent!  The other 8" I put into the main operating area - much improved!

M1324A_V1a

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

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Iowa Interstate System Map (from their web site).

Iowa-Interstate-STATE_FINAL_5.6.2015-Converted-1024x383

Westham could become Cedar Rapids.   Eastwick:  Peoria.  Both on branches off of the mainline.  Bailey Yard could be the yard at Rock Island.   Norfolk Southern connects at Des Moines and Peoria, not from the yard at Rock Island, but I suppose I could fudge that in my representation.  Or, BNSF (another fave) junctions at Rock Island.

Mike Condrens pic of Chinese Steam:

ChineseSteam

Interesting: from Wikipedia: A spur of the Rock Island Railroad that ran beside a small hotel in Eldon, Missouri owned by the grandmother of Mrs. Paul (Ruth) Henning also inspired the popular television show "Petticoat Junction" in the early 1960's. Ruth Henning is listed as a co-creator of the show, along with her husband Paul, who also created "The Beverly Hillbillies" and "Green Acres."

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

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Just as a heads-up, don't some area building codes specify that exterior doors open inward?  I know that here where I live in SE-PA, the building code is for inward opening exterior doors.

Thanks John, I didn't consider that.   Starting with this as a train shed, and sheds can have doors opening outward, but then it clearly evolved to a more residential type structure with a bathroom, carpet, AC, heat...   

With the front door opening inward, I have clearance issues with anyone trying to view the layout - not a good experience for them.   I have a couple ideas to consider and work out.   Thanks again for mentioning this, I bet a contractor would see it and then I would have a delay later in the process, rather than early (now). 

I don't know the rules in my neighborhood on this question, need to research.   I can't do this on my own, as Mike did, so need to follow "the rules" I suppose.   Ken

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

Ken-Oscale posted:

Thanks John, I didn't consider that.   Starting with this as a train shed, and sheds can have doors opening outward, but then it clearly evolved to a more residential type structure with a bathroom, carpet, AC, heat...   

With the front door opening inward, I have clearance issues with anyone trying to view the layout - not a good experience for them.   I have a couple ideas to consider and work out.   Thanks again for mentioning this, I bet a contractor would see it and then I would have a delay later in the process, rather than early (now).

I did some looking around and I see that some localities now allow outward opening doors on residential buildings, so you'll have to check the local building codes. It also might depend on the exact usage, though with a bathroom, etc., I'm guessing it'll be classed as a residential building.

It was kinda' interesting reading about the doors, one of the reasons for inward opening doors was security as the hinges are on the outside in the case of outward opening doors and are a weak point.  However, new design hinges have largely  eliminated that it seems.  Another reason was the ability of emergency services to "break in" in an emergency, outward opening doors resist being pushed in a lot better than inward opening doors, makes it harder for them to get in.

Perhaps a sliding glass door set would eliminate the opening-outward vs code issue. Sliding doors aren't my favorite but are a way to deal with clearance problems.

Lew

Lew

 

Operator of the Plywood Empire Route in the Beautiful Berkshires

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

Unless you spend a lot of money, double doors are a royal PITA to seal properly, that would be my major concern.

I think I'd find out what code is for your area about outward opening doors first.  This may be a non-problem.

As far as I can tell, from the state building code, and discussions confirm, in Georgia for residential housing doors can swing in or out.  Min 36" main door, whatever suits the builder/owner.   Discussions confirm that new style hinges are not really more difficult to break into with either swing direction.   Fire department comment confirms out-swing doors are harder to break down in an emergency.

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

So I've gotten "greedy", with this wider 14x24 version (18x24 with the porch).  Cutting into the back yard 1 foot more - need to check with the wife and my space/easements.

M1424A_V1b

I brought the yard tracks around the curve: now longer and closer in length:  126, 143, 152 inches.

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

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Yah, approaching the size of a double-car garage.  We might like that, with the layout above.  To be continued....

The extra foot sure makes a difference in the operating area and livability.

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

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Gee Ken, pretty soon it'll be another house, where are you putting the kitchen and bedrooms?

Maybe in the basement?     

Paul  

Ship Rock Island ROCKET FREIGHT

 

2 Rails?  3 Rails?  Doesn't matter, I can't count that high anyway.

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

Ken- l love the creative process you're going through. Thanks for sharing with us.
A few thoughts- keep the run around tracks and sidings. You can't have too many in my opinion.
Can you shift the bridges to the left and just use module 5 as a swing out instead of both?
I bought a great telescoping attic ladder from Werner several years back. It's more compact than a traditional type and works great.

http://www.wernerladdersreview...attic-ladder-10-foot

I think the two car garage idea with the trains upstairs may be a winner (assuming you need a garage too).

I would look at conventional construction over a kit as well. Talk to some local contractors for their thoughts.

Bob

 

Three Rails Are Better Than None 

Ken-Oscale posted:

As far as I can tell, from the state building code, and discussions confirm, in Georgia for residential housing doors can swing in or out.  Min 36" main door, whatever suits the builder/owner.   Discussions confirm that new style hinges are not really more difficult to break into with either swing direction.   Fire department comment confirms out-swing doors are harder to break down in an emergency.

But swing out doors enable people to leave a building faster & safer should there be an emergency, say like...a fire. Down here, it's rare you see a house with entrance doors that swing in, unless it's an extremely old house.

balidas posted:

Down here, it's rare you see a house with entrance doors that swing in, unless it's an extremely old house.

Well, up here all the doors swing in, including new construction.  I think the building codes are changing in some localities, but so far, not in ours.

I have been in thousands of houses, apartments, townhouses, cabins, mobile homes and RVs. Have only ever seen outward-opening doors on RVs and eight-wide mobile homes (old and trace their lineage directly to travel trailers). If you've ever RV'd you know one very good reason for inward-opening doors: wind. A wind-whipped door can be deadly to either people or property. That is why storm doors have chains and closers but a big wind can tear that stuff off and whip the door against the house. Only in a well-protected area would I consider an outward-opening door.

Lew

Lew

 

Operator of the Plywood Empire Route in the Beautiful Berkshires

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

Fire codes require that all exits from public places open out to prevent crowds from jamming the doors closed.  Storage sheds have outward opening doors so as to not obstruct access to the interior.  Most residences will have an inward opening main door with an outward opening storm/screen door.  Big crowds are not expected in a home.

Jan

RSJB18 posted:

Ken- l love the creative process you're going through. Thanks for sharing with us.
A few thoughts- keep the run around tracks and sidings. You can't have too many in my opinion.
Can you shift the bridges to the left and just use module 5 as a swing out instead of both?
I bought a great telescoping attic ladder from Werner several years back. It's more compact than a traditional type and works great.

http://www.wernerladdersreview...attic-ladder-10-foot

I think the two car garage idea with the trains upstairs may be a winner (assuming you need a garage too).

I would look at conventional construction over a kit as well. Talk to some local contractors for their thoughts.

Bob

 

Thanks Bob!  Your point on the run-around tracks is good.  Now that I have allowed my space to expand to 14x24, I could put those back in and crowd the operating space a few inches.   I may do that.   Not sure what you mean about a swing module rather than slide out: that implies that the end by the bridges is a fixed pivot (right?), and that the module joints is a curve (hard to get perfect).   I will think about some more, I may be missing your point.

I had mentioned the above a garage idea earlier in discussions with Mary (wife, who organizes "train vacations" for me), and she was interested.   Have not yet brought up the idea again, but did spend some time looking at double-car garages on the internet yesterday - 24x24 seems to be about the minimal practical size.

Thanks on the ladder idea, cool!

Best, Ken

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

geysergazer posted:

I have been in thousands of houses, apartments, townhouses, cabins, mobile homes and RVs. Have only ever seen outward-opening doors on RVs and eight-wide mobile homes (old and trace their lineage directly to travel trailers). If you've ever RV'd you know one very good reason for inward-opening doors: wind. A wind-whipped door can be deadly to either people or property. That is why storm doors have chains and closers but a big wind can tear that stuff off and whip the door against the house. Only in a well-protected area would I consider an outward-opening door.

Lew

Lew, Good point about the wind - I have lived in a very windy area (North Dakota) where this is an issue.   I have had numerous closers and chains ripped off during storms and blizzards over the years, I have even seen storm doors ripped off of their hinges (one time).   Where I live now in Georgia, we don't have those kind of winds.   Perhaps being under a porch with buildings adjacent, the wind will not be as much of a problem.   Thanks for that observation!

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

Jan posted:

Fire codes require that all exits from public places open out to prevent crowds from jamming the doors closed.  Storage sheds have outward opening doors so as to not obstruct access to the interior.  Most residences will have an inward opening main door with an outward opening storm/screen door.  Big crowds are not expected in a home.

Jan

Thanks Jan!

I am thinking at this point, that if I need an inward opening door, I will try the two door entrance with two 32" doors.  The ones I am looking at come in a a steel frame pre-hung (but expensive!), so I would hope that the seal issue that John mentioned would not be a problem in that case.   The double-doors would certainly make moving materials in and out easy, and when I have a crowd of kids or families come by to look at the layout (my hope), the wide entrance would be convenient.   Will leave that as an option for a final decision later.  -Ken

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

Here is how a 14x24 might look with the run-arounds in both towns, with the O54 restricted sections in red.   The O54/O72 curved turnout at Eastwick is the only O54 restriction from that end of the siding, the bridge end is O72.

M1424A_V1c

I wonder if it adds much to operations, to think of Oak Point as an interchange/junction, and the line running past the warehouse is actually a connection to another road.  So, the connection labeled NS, could actually be BNSF (as in the prototype at Rock Island/Davenport), and the new connecting road is NS.   Trains then could arrive and depart the yard intended for two different directions, and trains could be imagined at the staging siding as either coming from BNSF or NS.   Just an idea.

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

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I added another junction or interchange, with the UP at the lower left by the restroom.   And marked the change to BNSF with a NS connection on the high line.   And began changing place names to prototypical:  Rock Island Yard, Cedar Rapids, Peoria.   Will research towns for Hillsdale and Oakpoint in the future.

M1424A_V1e

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

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Considering an identity change to the Montana Rail Link / Northern Pacific.  Have long admired the MRL, and has connections to BNSF and UP, with interesting branch lines - one runs to Poison, Mont.  Cool name.   Have watched trains from the pedestrian overpass at the Missoula yard.

M1424A_V2a

Montana-Rail-Link

The connections don't actually come in at Missoula, so some poetic license needed.

BNSF has a currently unused connection from Helena to Great Falls, through Wolf Creek and Cascade.

MRL-locomotive

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

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Ken-Oscale posted:

I added another junction or interchange, with the UP at the lower left by the restroom.   And marked the change to BNSF with a NS connection on the high line.   And began changing place names to prototypical:  Rock Island Yard, Cedar Rapids, Peoria.   Will research towns for Hillsdale and Oakpoint in the future.

M1424A_V1e

Hi Ken,

I got your Oak Point rename: A quick google search resulted in finding the "Quad Cities Nuclear Generating Station" at Cordova, Illinois, located in Rock Island County.  This is northeast of the Quad Cities (Rock Island, Moline, Davenport, Bettendorf) along the Mississippi river.

I don't know if this was originally on Rock Island trackage, but based on the one map I was looking at, it appears that it might currently be served directly by the Iowa Interstate Railroad.

Do some searching and see what you think.  Hope this helps. 

Paul  

Ship Rock Island ROCKET FREIGHT

 

2 Rails?  3 Rails?  Doesn't matter, I can't count that high anyway.

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

Ken,

The BIGGER your layout gets, the BETTER it gets.  The latest 14’ x 24’ is awesome.  

I love the it.  Do you plan on starting construction this year or next?

Are we going to be treated to and “animated” version of your layout any time soon?  Hope so.  That really brings the track plan to life.

thank you,

jim

 

 

18.29



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