William 1 posted:

Good luck.  I hope you build it.

Thanks William, that is the plan, I have the money and approval from the wife.   Still need to talk to a contractor, make sure I have all my easements accounted for (look again at the property plat), check with the city, check with the home owners association.   And another think about my health/mobility - Am I really up to building a layout of this size?   I am getting better with occasional set-backs (yesterday was a bad day - today feels great!).   So construction next year gives me more time to be sure I can handle this project.   I am building my 4x10 Nickle Plate Road layout as a test of my capabilities- making progress on that small layout.

And make a final decision on the "micro" restroom.   I am looking at the possibility of creating a paved walkway beneath the deck at the back of the house, to run to a restroom on the other end (which serves the pool/hot-tub and as a changing room).  Just an alternative, I still favor the "micro" restroom in the layout building.

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

Consider thinking down the road.  The RR is built.   The mainline is up and running,  in a flat circle.

Then the creative juices start reflowing, "how about a twice around over under mainline".  Too late at that point, but not too late now.

Maybe consider revamping the basic R.O.W. to mix up the mainline.  Running mainline trains over and under with up and down grades adds considerable visual interest.  Especially with a dual main line.

In my experience, we all like to incorporate a variety  of available sidings for potential switching operations but activity frequently boils down to running trains.  

Working along the premise that when you cannot exceed the length and width, go up and down; I offer a suggestion:  As you construct the benchwork, allow an unencumbered structural provision to keep twelve inches clear directly under the platform to possibly add a subway system down the road.  Lionel  and MTH have some real nice subway trains.

Note black painted subway level.

IMG_0931

Eternity is a long time to have been wrong.

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I decided to visually separate the inside/3rd main from the three yard tracks in the upper right.   So the yard lead/3rd main is clearly running somewhere else and not part of the yard.  The minimum curvature in the yard is O81.

M1424A_V3d

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

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Pulling back the tunnels below Wolf Creek to reveal the 3rd inside main.  Better?

M1424A_V3f2

I am also experimenting with an idea:  I like the concept of elevating the double-track mainline, as the prototype does, with more roadbed and ballast.   Track running in the yard and through towns is at a lower level, closer to the layout surface.   So I thought about elevating the 3rd/inside main a bit above the table surface by 1/8".   That sounds like a small amount, but will be discernable to the eye when viewing the layout within about 3' or so.   The effect in the illustration that I have posted is small, but you can see it when you click on the illustration to zoom it (on my large monitor) on the 3rd/inside main on the right side and through Three Forks.

So I will have three levels of tracks (not counting the grade up to Wolf Creek and Cascade), starting at 0" in towns and the yard, where the tall Altas track is laid directly on top of the vinyl grassmat and ballasted.   Then an additional 1/8" of elevation for the inside/3rd main, then ballasted.   Then 1/2" of elevation beneath the Atlas track for the double-track mains.   There will be small grades to reach these levels, at 1%.   And three different colors of ballast - pretty light gray for the double-mains, down to the yard and towns at a darker gray.  I did the left side 3rd/inside main and around Deer Lodge as well.   All three mains will be at 0" elevation through Helena Yard due to the cross-over connections to the yard.

I often see real mainline roadbed/ballast in a staggered elevation of two levels, roadbed and subroadbed, with perhaps different slopes to the ballast for the two levels and different colors (lighter for the newer ballast at the top).   Whether by design/intent or a result of reconditioning the ballast periodically as part of maintenance.

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

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I love the design!  Does your software have the ability to create a 3D rendering, to illustrate the vertical separation between mainlines?  The only true "over & under" is the NS interchange on the right side, correct?  And you're gaining 7" of vertical separation in about 20 feet, right?

Thanks so much for sharing your excellent design and thought process.  Pretty soon we'll look forward to seeing pictures of the real thing!!

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

Ken - your plans look great!  Your layout looks like it will be an abundance of fun.  

Cheers and Happy Railroading,

Patrick W  

CEO - The Free State Junction Railway 

" Where the music is sweet and the trains always run on time"

Home Office - Patsburg, Maryland 

DoubleDAZ posted:

Ken, does the software capture the video? I wish SCARM did that?

Hey Dave.   To create these video recordings, I develop the layout in AnyRail.   Then export the layout to a file understandable by TrainPlayer (math behind the track as a spreadsheet), and export a pic of the layout.   Then import the layout math and pic into TrainPlayer, place trains on the track, get the trains moving.   Then, while TrainPlayer does its thing, I use MS Powerpoint to create a screen recording (no control over frame rate and such).   If I had a mic capturing the sound output from TrainPlayer, the recording would capture that as well (I just didn't bother with that this time).   I would like a higher frame rate, but of course the file would get larger, and the forum limits a post to 100MB, which is about 2min+ of these recordings at the set frame rate.

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

Ted S posted:

I love the design!  Does your software have the ability to create a 3D rendering, to illustrate the vertical separation between mainlines?  The only true "over & under" is the NS interchange on the right side, correct?  And you're gaining 7" of vertical separation in about 20 feet, right?

Thanks so much for sharing your excellent design and thought process.  Pretty soon we'll look forward to seeing pictures of the real thing!!

Thank you Ted!   AnyRail does a 3D rendering, but its not really that good, so I rarely use it, but sometimes.   The only real grade is as you observe, on the BNSF climing at the top and over the right side and across the long bridge to Cascade.

The grade climbs 9" in 24 feet (about 3%, the precise 3% would be 9" over 25').   I use the approximation of Woodland Scenics inclines, which is based on inches climbed in 8', or 96", which is close to 100 inches.   So Woodland Scenics is off a bit on the math, but then easier to use based on 8', 4', 2' etc, much more convenient and practical.

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

SantaFeJim posted:

Love It....  

 

That is just too cool.  I can't help but notice that it has attracted a good audience.  

Is the software smart enough to hide the train as it enters the tunnels?

 

Jim, TrainPlayer will recognize tunnels, check the recording I inserted at the top of this thread.   For a better recording, I would need to align the track section joints with the tunnel portals (which would mean revising the layout with flex track and creating joints under the tunnels - more work than I want at the moment).   Even if I do that work, still the cars disappear and reappear as a whole, "winking-in" and out of the layout, rather than a gradual transition.   Perhaps there is a way to break track in TrainPlayer advanced versions, I am just using the basic edition of the SW.   Too bad this effect is not better.   Even so, it is fun to be able to see trains run the layout.   

In TrainPlayer, you can run individual trains under control, throw switches, couple and uncouple, blow the horn/whistle, import loco specific sound files, and set trains to run automated routes.   

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

Tom Tee posted:

Consider thinking down the road.  The RR is built.   The mainline is up and running,  in a flat circle.

Then the creative juices start reflowing, "how about a twice around over under mainline".  Too late at that point, but not too late now.

Maybe consider revamping the basic R.O.W. to mix up the mainline.  Running mainline trains over and under with up and down grades adds considerable visual interest.  Especially with a dual main line.

In my experience, we all like to incorporate a variety  of available sidings for potential switching operations but activity frequently boils down to running trains.  

Working along the premise that when you cannot exceed the length and width, go up and down; I offer a suggestion:  As you construct the benchwork, allow an unencumbered structural provision to keep twelve inches clear directly under the platform to possibly add a subway system down the road.  Lionel  and MTH have some real nice subway trains.

Note black painted subway level.

IMG_0931

Ted, you make good points.   Perhaps there is room to have the two mains change elevations and swap positions.   I started with the idea of a double-track main, I really like that.   But you make a valid point, perhaps giving up that design goal to have more vertical "play" would be worth it in the long run.  [somewhat more difficult construction - I have been trying to do an easy to build design.]   Perhaps I could have the 3rd/Inside branchlines climb or descend - I will think some about that idea.

"In my experience, we all like to incorporate a variety  of available sidings for potential switching operations but activity frequently boils down to running trains."   True for me!   Perhaps this layout will be different, with the operating plan, switching, a small yard, etc.

Subway - that is an idea.   I had considered that perhaps a future expansion would be some kind of under the table layout, as you suggest, but my thinking has not gone far down that path.   If I set the layout height at 48", then an under the table subway would be easy to view.   I am not a big fan of subways, however.

I had looked a bit at adding an elevated On30 layout (which I have done on a number of other plans), rather than something more below the layout.  Perhaps interchanging at Cascade.   I haven't found a good way to do this yet.

Thanks! - Ken

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

Some thinking about getting more elevation "play" into a basically flat layout (with some small elevations of mainlines, and the BNSF to Cascade grade).   A limitation is the viewing area in front, I don't want to block that clear view across the layout, so that rules-out a number of ideas.  And I need clearance to scoot under the tables to the access areas in the two corners (upper left, and under Wolf Creek). 

So I have this idea to get more elevation changes, without actually much change to the layout track plan.   I want construction to be simple on flat tables, not complex like Tom's pic above.     But, its no big deal to lay sheets of 1" thick foam, or 2" thick foam, and use Woodland Scenics inclines and risers, on top of a flat table of 2" foam 4x8 sheets.   So with 0" elevation as the lowest level at 42" actual height, I have the yard at 1" and tracks descend to the towns in both directions.   The double-track mains climb at 2% to 2" increase to 3" in height.   The BNSF to Cascade is unchanged, except starting at 1" and reaching its apex at 10".

So in front of the viewing area, the double-mains are at 3" above the table surface (45" from the floor), and the towns themselves are at 0" (42" from the floor).   An interesting view, so the eyes have things to look at level, below, and above to the mountains.   And then across the room to the yard/engine service at 1" and the BNSF branch climbing to the right.  Anyway, what do you think?  Scenic detailing not yet done for the changes.

M1424A_V4a

Also exploring the possibility of an On30 above the UP staging track/mountain.

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

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Ken-Oscale posted:
SantaFeJim posted:

Love It....  

 

That is just too cool.  I can't help but notice that it has attracted a good audience.  

Is the software smart enough to hide the train as it enters the tunnels?

 

Jim, TrainPlayer will recognize tunnels, check the recording I inserted at the top of this thread.   For a better recording, I would need to align the track section joints with the tunnel portals (which would mean revising the layout with flex track and creating joints under the tunnels - more work than I want at the moment).   Even if I do that work, still the cars disappear and reappear as a whole, "winking-in" and out of the layout, rather than a gradual transition.   Perhaps there is a way to break track in TrainPlayer advanced versions, I am just using the basic edition of the SW.   Too bad this effect is not better.   Even so, it is fun to be able to see trains run the layout.   

In TrainPlayer, you can run individual trains under control, throw switches, couple and uncouple, blow the horn/whistle, import loco specific sound files, and set trains to run automated routes.   

Ken, I watched your with the “tunnel effect” and now I understand why you did not use that feature in your last video.  It really distracts from the overall viewing experience.

Having said that, I have another question.  Can you expand the viewing window to include the lower right hand corner of your layout?

FYI, this is quickly becoming my all time favorite thread on the OGR Forum.  Thank you and Keep up the great work.

 

 

 

95



Ken, I did some research after I posted my question and figured out that you exported the design for TrainPlayer and I found references to PowerPoint, but couldn’t tell if you used that or if TrainPlayer did the video directly.  I have an older version of PowerPoint that doesn’t have the capture option. I’m not sure if it’s worth upgrading just for that. Thanks for the information.

"In my experience, we all like to incorporate a variety  of available sidings for potential switching operations but activity frequently boils down to running trains. "

Very interesting. My experience has come to be just the opposite. The more varied and interesting I make switching operations the less absorbing I find looping trains to be. By now the only thing that loops on the Plywood Empire Route is the Royal Gorge because that is when I reminisce about riding  trains.

It truly is a matter of different strokes for different folks, isn't it?

Lew 

Lew

 

Operator of the Plywood Empire Route in the Beautiful Berkshires

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

So, working on the idea of doing more at elevation:   a try at adding an On30 loop and route.   Yes, just a circle, for continuous running, but perhaps a back-and-forth could be worked out.   Bachmann On30.   I might think of this as an "operating accessory" that adds, motion, color, and more trains to see.   I am not yet convinced, but am interested.

M1424A_V4b

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

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I am thinking about this On30 idea, invest in an automation system, so the train backs out of the siding in the lower left, runs the circle twice, heads across the bridge and along the ridge, then back to the circle, around twice, and into the siding.   Press a button and the sequence starts, and then repeats after a delay interval.  Cool?

M1424A_V4b2

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

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