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.

I seriously doubt that Ken's train building will be considered a "public place".   In any case, if it's allowed by local building codes, I think the outward opening door seems preferable in Ken's situation.

SantaFeJim posted:

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

 

 

Thanks Jim!   I am thinking to start construction within the next 12 months.   I can do an animated recording, I thought to wait until the plan has stabilized, which it seems to have now.     I was thinking to replace my 2015 Mustang (great car, nothing wrong) with a 2020, but would rather have a train building and layout, and so stay with my current machine for a few more years!  -Ken 

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

You have come a long way in a short time.  Your original track plan was good, consuming a substantial amount of the 240 sq.ft. of the allotted area.  However my biggest hang up was the water closet inside the layout.

In just a few short weeks, with the help of many valuable suggestions and opinions from the OGR community your layout morphed into this spectacular layout while keeping the most of the original plan in place.

True you did manage to increase the square footage  by nearly 50% but imho it was worth every inch.  Best of luck going forward.  

18.29



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Ken- Prior to my last post you mentioned that the module to the right of the bridges was going to be on wheels. I've seen others on the forum do swing out gates instead of lift-outs. Yes- they pivot from one corner. Just thinking out loud.

Also- one final track plan tweak- Poke a track out the front wall on the BNSF interchange to deliver a cold one to your guests on the porch.

Bob

PS- I would keep the car and build the train room.

Three Rails Are Better Than None 

Mixed Freight posted:
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.

I agree, these kits will use the cheapest materials available & just barely meet minimum code. Once you get your building plan down, you could work out a better deal with your local lumber company buying all your materials from them & on a payment plan.

I haven't seen where you will build on the ground with a concrete slab or up off the ground.

Either way, I would go with double doors opening out. Even if each door is 30", you will still have 60" of opening to bring in material. 

I agree that for the radius of curves you want to use, 14' x 24' is better; 14' x 28' would be better still.  Heck, I thought I read that you were using RailKing / traditionally-sized trains.  Personally I would reduce the curvature to O72, or even O54 to lengthen the straightaways, and gain more flexibility.  Yours is a great and well-thought-out design as it is.  But with sharper curves, perhaps the track wouldn't have to rigidly parallel the edges of the benchwork, or the walls of the room.  This is a problem I can't easily resolve in the design of my own layout!

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

By encroaching into my "precious" operating-space/person-space by about 6" in the lower left curve near Poison/Westham, I was able to make the Poison tracks all O72 minimum.   I think this is a worthwhile sacrifice of the space, the siding/run-around is more useful, and the town just looks better.  I re-aligned Cascade and added a Lionel Animated Freight Station there.

M1424A_V2c

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

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Ted S posted:

I agree that for the radius of curves you want to use, 14' x 24' is better; 14' x 28' would be better still.  Heck, I thought I read that you were using RailKing / traditionally-sized trains.  Personally I would reduce the curvature to O72, or even O54 to lengthen the straightaways, and gain more flexibility.  Yours is a great and well-thought-out design as it is.  But with sharper curves, perhaps the track wouldn't have to rigidly parallel the edges of the benchwork, or the walls of the room.  This is a problem I can't easily resolve in the design of my own layout!

Yes, currently everything I own is traditional/LionChief with one MTH RailKing diesel.   Even so, I want the layout to be capable of equipment that requires O72 - who knows? - in retirement, I may want to go with Legacy/scale locomotives.   And I really like the way trains look on wide curves, that is one of my "must haves" for this layout.   If you look back through the thread, I posted some other layout designs more along the lines of what you are thinking about, so I am aware of those kinds of possibilities.  -Ken

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

I think you're right Ken, my new layout is planned with O72 as a minimum so that there will be no restrictions on the equipment I can run.

I worked on extending the UP junction track into a staging track - double-ended, so that trains could originate on this track, and return to it.   A locomotive can run around to either end of the visible UP Staging Track, which adds another operational element to the plan.

I also staggered the ends of the yard tracks at the far right.   I thought that having the yard tracks run so close to the edge of Whitehall somewhat undermined the impression that these are two different locales.   I added a stream running through the area.

I looked at the long straight BNSF connection at the top that runs closely parallel to the wall.   I like the look of long straight tracks when they have terrain on either side, which this does not.   So I tried adding a shallow S curve into the alignment to see if I like that better.   The trains are on a 3% grade here, but this curve is very wide diameter, so hopefully will not greatly increase the drag pulling the hill.

M1424A_V2d3

My first starting sketch as a 12x20 = 240 square feet.   I expanded the area twice, going to 14x24 = 336 square feet.   An increase of 40% in area.

MRL-operatingScheme

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

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Ken, I like the double tunnels on the left.  I think it is neat watching a train run through where two parts are hidden, but it doesn't give the effect of 'where did the train go?'  I also like the work you did on the staggered yard track ends and the stream.  That will definitely make for two distinct scenes. 

You may have answered this, but I did not see it.  When do you plan to start building the train building?  I don't know what part of the country you live in, so don't know if snow and frozen ground would make it a 2020 build or if you could start earlier.

Thank you.  It has been an interesting project and one of your best designs; and that is saying a lot!!

Mark Boyce posted:

Ken, I like the double tunnels on the left.  I think it is neat watching a train run through where two parts are hidden, but it doesn't give the effect of 'where did the train go?'  I also like the work you did on the staggered yard track ends and the stream.  That will definitely make for two distinct scenes. 

You may have answered this, but I did not see it.  When do you plan to start building the train building?  I don't know what part of the country you live in, so don't know if snow and frozen ground would make it a 2020 build or if you could start earlier.

Thank you.  It has been an interesting project and one of your best designs; and that is saying a lot!!

Thanks very much Mark!  I appreciate your comments and viewpoint.   Planning to start construction in 2020, not sure if early or late in the year.   Weather is mild here in North Georgia, so can do construction any time of the year.   We usually get snow once or twice in the winter (foothills of the Appalachians), so likely March at the earliest for convenience.

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

A pic from May 2019 of UP and NS power, with double-stacks and TOFC (in the distance) going past a weird rock formation.  This is further south than my layout in Montana, but illustrates how common it is to mix power these days.

UP&NS_Interesting_May2019

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

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Details to the trestle scene at the left, and a few tweeks:

M1424A_V2f

I did some measuring yesterday, and a layout height of 48" seems too tall, I want to be able to see and operate the layout while seated, so I am thinking of a height of 42" for the moment.

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

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Update to the Module/Table construction plan.  Module-5 rolls-out in the direction indicated by the arrows, which matches the alignment direction of the double-mains departing the tunnel at the bottom.   At the right end of Module-5 the track alignment does not match the direction of module roll, so a slide in track connection won't work.   Instead, there are three section track pieces that will drop in, with rail joiners that slide into the section, to allow lift out, and the replacement and joiner slide.  This will have a tie at each end separate from the track section, and beneath the joiners, embedded in the ballast and not moving with the track section.

M1424A_V2f-construction

The slide in joint to the shelf section along the mountain can be hidden by scenery and trees.  The straight joint on the right side of Module-5 will be obvious, but Oh-Well .

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

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Very nice plan and your train building plan looks really nice too! Everytime I follow these threads I want to start over on my setup. Yours has gotten better with each little change. I think expanding the building to accommodate some of the layout details was definitely the way to go, rather than trying to shoehorn the layout into the smaller space to accommodate the building size. 

I ended up with about 40-1/2" to 41" or so for my layout height (depending on basement floor slope). It has 40" legs with 1/2" plywood for a top (I'm 5'-9"). That seems to be a pretty good height for the top so I think you would be happy with the 42". I would very likely go with 42" legs if I had it to do over. I have a few shop stools that I sit on and can still see everything on top (only one level), but no chairs.

I would lose the bathroom.  I mean, how often do you need to use it.  Unless you are living in your train room, that seems silly.  I know I only go once a day.  Stay away from Budweiser and chili in a can and you should be ok.  Or if it is that important put a bump out, I mean separate room addition off to the side.  Why not make a trip to the house if the need prevails. I would think the expense of having to run sewer and water alone would be a deterrent.  Just my two cents.  Hope I am not being insensitive.

Remember pay toilets?  Was a dime at the Bears’s games back in the day.  I always thought that was cold hearted.

Cheers,       W1

William 1 posted:

I would lose the bathroom.  I mean, how often do you need to use it.  Unless you are living in your train room, that seems silly.  I know I only go once a day.  Stay away from Budweiser and chili in a can and you should be ok.  Or if it is that important put a bump out, I mean separate room addition off to the side.  Why not make a trip to the house if the need prevails. I would think the expense of having to run sewer and water alone would be a deterrent.  Just my two cents.  Hope I am not being insensitive.

Remember pay toilets?  Was a dime at the Bears’s games back in the day.  I always thought that was cold hearted.

Cheers,       W1

Lose the bathroom? 

If you're lucky, someday way off in the future you'll understand.  If not, oh well.  Our condolences to your immediate family in advance. 

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.

Not insensitive, William.  It is just that you must not have hit that point in life where one has to go to the bathroom many times a day.  I can relate to Ken's concern.  I have to constantly be making pit stops when working outside.  I'm glad I do office work now, and the bathroom is down the hall.

rtr12 posted:

Very nice plan and your train building plan looks really nice too! Everytime I follow these threads I want to start over on my setup. Yours has gotten better with each little change. I think expanding the building to accommodate some of the layout details was definitely the way to go, rather than trying to shoehorn the layout into the smaller space to accommodate the building size. 

I ended up with about 40-1/2" to 41" or so for my layout height (depending on basement floor slope). It has 40" legs with 1/2" plywood for a top (I'm 5'-9"). That seems to be a pretty good height for the top so I think you would be happy with the 42". I would very likely go with 42" legs if I had it to do over. I have a few shop stools that I sit on and can still see everything on top (only one level), but no chairs.

Thanks RTR12, I appreciate the feedback.  So my table legs will be 40", with the 2" thick foam sheets making 42" in height.   The kids viewing on the "kick stools" will have a good view!

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

Mark Boyce posted:

Not insensitive, William.  It is just that you must not have hit that point in life where one has to go to the bathroom many times a day.  I can relate to Ken's concern.  I have to constantly be making pit stops when working outside.  I'm glad I do office work now, and the bathroom is down the hall.

That is my situation exactly Mark and Paul!  Particularly after my morning meds kick in.   I am keeping the restroom for now.

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

Take it from me Ken, you'll use the restroom!  People that come down to my trainroom are always jealous that I have facilities right at the site.

Lets see, the building interior (deducting wall thickness) is 13.33 feet by 23.33 feet, which totals to 311 square feet.

The restroom including the interior walls on two sides, is 2.75 feet by 4 feet, which totals to 11 square feet.

The restroom consumes 3.5% of the building's interior.   I am keeping the restroom.

Another way to think about the question, is what is the "opportunity cost" of the feature.   I would like to have more space in the interior.   6" (or 0.5') x23.33' is about the same as 11 square feet.   So if by magic, I could trade the square feet for more interior space, that is what I could get for it - about 6" of width in the interior.   I would be tempted if such a trade were possible in our real world in two dimensions.

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

Keep the restroom! I have an unfinished basement, but it has provisions for a full bathroom. I've been seriously considering using those provisions, at least for a toilet and sink at minimum. As posted earlier, the older one gets the more useful these things become! 

Ken-Oscale posted:
rtr12 posted:

Very nice plan and your train building plan looks really nice too! Everytime I follow these threads I want to start over on my setup. Yours has gotten better with each little change. I think expanding the building to accommodate some of the layout details was definitely the way to go, rather than trying to shoehorn the layout into the smaller space to accommodate the building size. 

I ended up with about 40-1/2" to 41" or so for my layout height (depending on basement floor slope). It has 40" legs with 1/2" plywood for a top (I'm 5'-9"). That seems to be a pretty good height for the top so I think you would be happy with the 42". I would very likely go with 42" legs if I had it to do over. I have a few shop stools that I sit on and can still see everything on top (only one level), but no chairs.

Thanks RTR12, I appreciate the feedback.  So my table legs will be 40", with the 2" thick foam sheets making 42" in height.   The kids viewing on the "kick stools" will have a good view!

Ken - why 2" thick foam ?

Why not 1/2"- 3/4" Homasote and then 1" foam ?

balidas posted:
Ken-Oscale posted:

Here is one idea of what could be done with the restroom space:

M1424A_V3b

So a third town could be worked in, coming off the UP line.   Would the trade-off be worth it?  

Maybe you can put the bathroom outside at one of the porch ends?

No can do, the covenants would not allow that in our neighborhood.  In addition to easements and building permits, I have to get approval from the homeowners assoc.   The structure must match the exterior of the house.

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

Richie C. posted:
Ken-Oscale posted:
rtr12 posted:

Very nice plan and your train building plan looks really nice too! Everytime I follow these threads I want to start over on my setup. Yours has gotten better with each little change. I think expanding the building to accommodate some of the layout details was definitely the way to go, rather than trying to shoehorn the layout into the smaller space to accommodate the building size. 

I ended up with about 40-1/2" to 41" or so for my layout height (depending on basement floor slope). It has 40" legs with 1/2" plywood for a top (I'm 5'-9"). That seems to be a pretty good height for the top so I think you would be happy with the 42". I would very likely go with 42" legs if I had it to do over. I have a few shop stools that I sit on and can still see everything on top (only one level), but no chairs.

Thanks RTR12, I appreciate the feedback.  So my table legs will be 40", with the 2" thick foam sheets making 42" in height.   The kids viewing on the "kick stools" will have a good view!

Ken - why 2" thick foam ?

Why not 1/2"- 3/4" Homasote and then 1" foam ?

The 2" thick foam is a usable structural element, that is, it will support the weight of trains and scenery on 16-24" centers.   Easy to work and shape to the irregular dimensions of the layout plan.   Easy to carve for below-grade details.  Easy to plant trees, easy to run wires, easy to poke holes though to the underside.   Besides those points, its become my favorite layout surface for quite a few years now.

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

Mark Boyce posted:

I setup a ‘temporary ‘ Christmas layout on 2” foam supported by about 20” centers.  It stayed up for 3 years without a sag.  Now I’m building permanent on 1/2” wood and Homasote for track, but I don’t mind building a town on foam .

Mark, I did a test of 12" overhang with a train parked for about 6 months, with no discernable deformation of the foam.   I am planning on 16" centers, but with 2"x2" supporting the foam at each center, so really about a 14" span between supports.

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

There is a town of Dillon (pop. 4200) on the UP, making a connection at Butte, so that is a candidate name for the optional new 3rd town.

Or, if I want to follow the prototype more closely (not sure that I do), I could center the layout at the yard at Helena, with the BNSF branch to Great Falls, short branches to Deer Lodge at the left (west) and Three Forks at the right (east), and a connection to the UP at Silver Bow (optional 3rd town instead of the restroom).   This makes for a nice/suggestive set of place-names:  Cascade, Wolf Creek, Deer Lodge, Silver Bow, Three Forks, and then Helena Yard.  [Cascade, Wolf Creek and Deer Lodge are actual towns with sidings on the rail line, that I added in the correct location as they were left off of the MRL map from the Internet, as they are actually on the BNSF.]

 My_Montana_Rail_Link

No Norfolk Southern this far north and west, that is a bit of a fudge/imagination.   The branch to Deer Lodge is on the BNSF, along with the branch to Wolf Creek/Cascade.  

Back in history, the NP connected from Whitehall/Spire Rock to Butte, and the Milwaukee Road from Sappington to Butte; thus making a big oval like the layout!   The NP and Milwaukee from Butte on different routes, met at Deer Lodge and then ran parallel west on separate mains (the NP exists as MRL and BNSF, the Milwaukee is gone).

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

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Ken-Oscale posted:

There is a town of Dillon (pop. 4200) on the UP, making a connection at Butte, so that is a candidate name for the optional new 3rd town.

Or, if I want to follow the prototype more closely (not sure that I do), I could center the layout at the yard at Helena, with the BNSF branch to Great Falls, short branches to Deer Lodge at the left (west) and Three Forks at the right (east), and a connection to the UP at Silver Bow (optional 3rd town instead of the restroom).   This makes for a nice/suggestive set of place-names:  Cascade, Wolf Creek, Deer Lodge, Silver Bow, Three Forks, and then Helena Yard.  [Cascade, Wolf Creek and Deer Lodge are actual towns with sidings on the rail line, that I added in the correct location as they were left off of the MRL map from the Internet, as they are actually on the BNSF.]

 My_Montana_Rail_Link

No Norfolk Southern this far north and west, that is a bit of a fudge/imagination.   The branch to Deer Lodge is on the BNSF, along with the branch to Wolf Creek/Cascade.  

Back in history, the NP connected from Whitehall/Spire Rock to Butte, and the Milwaukee Road from Sappington to Butte; thus making a big oval like the layout!   The NP and Milwaukee from Butte on different routes, met at Deer Lodge and then ran parallel west on separate mains (the NP exists as MRL and BNSF, the Milwaukee is gone).

Trying-out the new place-names:

M1424A_V3c

An idea occurs:  cut the inside 3rd bridge, and instead elevate Deer Lodge to about 6", allowing clearance over the double-track mainlines to connect Silver Bow to Deer Lodge, closer to the prototype arrangement.   Probably won't do, but an interesting idea.

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

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PRR1950 posted:

Heck, if you raised Silver Bow high enough, you could have your 3rd town and a bathroom at the same time, just a low ceiling in the bathroom.  

Chuck

Chuck, I know you are being silly:  the line from the yard to Deer Lodge is the constraint in elevating that town (and hence Silver Bow).   It would have to be steep just to get to 6" elevation, about 4%.

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

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