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Video note: The tunnel effect is not great.   I would have to edit my layout to make track sections align better with the tunnel portals.  And then still cars "wink out" rather than transition.

I was playing around yesterday, and came up with this design.   I have been "approved" to add a 12x20 or 12x24 train building structure adjacent to our home and parking apron.  [perhaps in a couple years post retirement.]   For fun I came up with this design to see what could go.

  • Wide curves:  O90 minimum curves, #5 mainline turnouts
  • Mostly sectional, two lengths of flex
  • My wants: a staging track, yard, turntable, double-track main, some industry switching
  • Good access and reach so I would enjoy working on the layout, and more likely to make progress rather than put-off because of hassle
  • A front viewing area for casual viewers and kids (everyone seems to want to "see" the layout, even if for only a view minutes while conversation ranges)
  • Restroom included
  • Will be heated and cooled (window air, electric faux fireplace), North Georgia
  • Side barn-door delete, front door only

Comments, suggestions, criticisms most welcome!

clear-best-barns-wood-sheds-arlington-1220-64_1000M1220A_V2a

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Last edited by Ken-Oscale
Original Post

Oooo! I have definite train-room envy.  That is going to be a very nice space.

 

WRT track-planning, I especially like the three-stub-siding industrial area (lower right). I have done this on my pike and it provides very interesting switching operations. Sort of an abbreviated Inglenooks switching puzzle. I find an Inglenooks to be much more realistic and prototypical than switchback-timesaver puzzles:

    

        IMG_3534

Depending on what is incoming and what is outgoing this four-industry area can take 40 minutes (actual, not scale time) to do the switching.

Lew

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BTW, excellent yard lead. You really will be able to have trains running while simultaneously doing classification work in the yard. John Armstrong would approve of your trackplan.

On edit: Traffic on the yard lead will still foul the inner mainline. I'm not sure how that would best be addressed.

I see a potential problem with the staging/interchange track. Because it is almost out of reach you won't be able to easily change consists. For me interchange is of crucial importance because it represents the whole outside World and thus the other half of operation. That is, I use my interchange track (which is actually a return loop in an adjacent room) as a fiddle yard where I build incoming consists using the old O-5-O switcher (hands).

         IMG_3539

Ya, on my list of #aroundtoits is to do a more workmanlike job of the return loop but in the meanwhile it does function as needed. The paintbrush, as well as being a dusting tool, indicates the next set of cars to be worked into a train. I don't use switch-lists or waybills but simply cycle through a set of possible consists. Someday when I'm really bored maybe I'll see if my math-foo is up to the task of determining the total number of consist variations and their frequency of occurrence.

Lew 

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Last edited by geysergazer

The bigger, the better.  24' is better than 20', that's for sure.

A restroom would be great, but kinda' hate to see it in the center area of the layout.  It will always be a view block, no matter where you stand in the building.  Any chance of utilizing a small portion of the 4' x 24' front porch area for a restroom?

I have to agree about changing the location of the bathroom; looks like a big eye-sore in middle of room and blocks full layout view.  However, something nobody has mentioned - if you plan to run your trains around the loops a lot, the last thing you want is a double-slip switch on that main line.  No matter who makes it or how carefully it is installed, running through that switch a speed will just be one headache after another.  Stopping that yard lead from crossing the inner mainline will solve the potential derailment problem as well.

Chuck

Ken, I like the concept of the plan a lot.  Knowing you, you will try many arrangements between now and then so I have no worries about you finding the best solution.  Putting a restroom in the building is a great idea!  I see the initial idea is to keep it out of a corner and make use of the full 12x20/12x24 for broad curves.  Paul has a good idea.  If not on a front porch, could it go in the lower left of the guest viewing area?  Just another thought.

Ken-Oscale posted:

 

M1224A_V2c

My suggestion: 

Move the restroom to the outside of the layout.  Let’s say that you are having a run session with 3-4 friends over.  Earl had lunch at Chili’s and it included a large order of onion rings and a side of baked beans.  Every 15 minutes he enters and the tuba concert shakes the walls.  Do you really want him to open the door?  

 

 

 

 

PS -  I know you are not serious, nobody in their right mind would put a chitter in the middle of their layout.  Not even cousin Eddie.

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Last edited by SantaFeJim

All the advice is good.

Double slip switches are pretty uncommon in the USA except in some of the old large passenger stations.   Probably for same as the reason above, they require a lot maintenance and tend to create places for derailments.

the yard lead crossing the main would be nice to eliminate if possible.     Generally, only switchers will use the lead and only freight cars, so the radius/diameter of the yard lead could be smaller than the mains and roundhouse leads and any passenger traffic.   so you could possible rearrange the lead to access both an arrival/departure track and the class tracks inside the inner main  using a smaller radius.     The A/D track/s are used to hold an arriving train off the main until broken down, or to build a new train for departure.    they are best double ended.

the restroom sticks out like a sore thumb in that location.    As was suggested, could it be put on the "porch" or perhaps at one end or the other with the mains only passing behind it.    the mains could be going through a tunnel.    

And having earl over after Chilis - or a large Cinncinnati Chili 5 way might make the whole place unhabitible for periods of time.

I cant see how that bathroom is feasible. 3x3 as drawn is an airplane bathroom and you eat another ~8" of space with the framing and drywall (so you're either 28" square or 44" square). I dont even know if building code allows it to be that small. If you gotta have a bathroom (it adds the need for plumbing which is otherwise unnecessary), then stick it in a corner, not in the middle of the layout. Both for the above mentioned reasons and also for re-sale. No one will understand why there's a bathroom in the middle of a building that small. 

Honestly, in a 12x24, I think I'd run back across the driveway. 

Last edited by Boilermaker1

Thanks everyone for the comments and discussion.   Lots of design "trade-offs".  First the "fun" one, the "powder room".

  • Yes, 3x4 OD is very much small/micro, but I found plans that fit that space with a space-saving commode and a tiny wash basin in the corner, with the door swinging out.  Clearly not ADA compliant, but it works.  "Tiny Houses" are all the rage with some innovative space usage features.
  • I also found another idea for a combined commode&washbasin fixture.   
  • Why inside the layout:  access - if outside the layout then I need to figure out how operators will access the powder room - get across the mains.   Not easy.   Then the space needed expands because the door has to swing out to somewhere, again cramping/shrinking the mainlines, reducing length of yard spurs, and a host of other consequences.   When inside the mainlines, the door swing area is into the operating area.
  • If inside the layout its easy to duck in and out: no tracking of dirt and leaves and whatnot in and out of the layout room from the great outdoors.   And little kids need to go too, and at inconvenient times:  with this layout they can duck under the bridges and "hit the head" with little fuss.   And some of us older guys need "to go" often, depending...
  • Scenery construction often needs access to water (depending on technique).   With water in the center of the layout this is easy and convenient.   Easy for water to wash brushes and etc.
  • "Air quality" concerns.   Perhaps an "industrial strength" bathroom fan will do.   Or two fans.  I think this concern is "overblown" (pun intended).
  • Washroom on the porch.   Really!?  How will that look to my neighbors and the homeowner's association.   No go.   Perhaps sticking out the back (into the yard).   But the building is pre-designed and the lumber comes pre-cut, saving construction costs.   Modifying the plan adds substantial costs - I am not trying to build a second house here, or even a "tiny house".

Future resale of property - inconvenient location in the middle of the space.  True.   But its my space for my purposes now.   

Jim, I guess I will have to live with your assessment that I am not in my "right mind".   There are so many advantages to putting it inside the mains that argue the other way.   Sure, its "outside the box thinking".

Re-locating the washroom to the lower-left corner and deleting the industry tracks there might be a good alternative.   Two less walls 4" in width each.   Cramps the viewing space some though.   Not quite as convenient as its past the lift-out bridges - one has to stop the action on both mains to "hit the head".

Last edited by Ken-Oscale

Mainline through the double-slip turnouts.   I have been concerned about this myself.   Did a search and did not find concerns about these Atlas turnouts.   But perhaps I have missed these issues?

I may have gotten complacent after using the nearly bullet-proof FasTrack turnouts.   

The double-slips save so much darned space they are tempting.   Perhaps I should look at using Ross/Gargraves.   Ross has #4 turnouts that will save some space.   As they say if football "Its a game of inches".   

Switching the yard ladder fouls the inside main.   Agreed.   I have gotten used to designing small layouts where compromises have to happen.   If two operators, then one can switch the yard while the other runs the outside main.   But even better if I could have three operators, one on each main and one switching the yard.   Or for solo operating, two trains circling unattended while one switches the yard.   

I will look for a re-alignment that avoids this problem.

Here is an alternative to think about.   It has a conventional corner location for the washroom, easy for guests to get to, but operators must stop the trains on the mains to lift out the bridge.   And we lose the generous and lovely curves near the bridges, two spurs, and the viewblock that has been discussed.   Trade-offs.  

I extended the staging track into the access area to make swapping cars easier, but getting to the access area is not that easy anyway, so not sure if this is an improvement.

No change on the switch lead fouling the inside main yet.

M1224A_V3a

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Ken-Oscale posted:

Here is an alternative to think about.   It has a conventional corner location for the washroom, easy for guests to get to, but operators must stop the trains on the mains to lift out the bridge.   

M1224A_V3a

Ken, can’t they duck under the lift out?

If it were me, I would keep the beautiful broad curves (awesome visual) and use the facilities inside your house. But it is not my call.

 

Last edited by SantaFeJim
SantaFeJim posted:
Ken-Oscale posted:

Here is an alternative to think about.   It has a conventional corner location for the washroom, easy for guests to get to, but operators must stop the trains on the mains to lift out the bridge.   

M1224A_V3a

Ken, can’t they duck under the lift out?

If it were me, I would keep the beautiful broad curves (awesome visual) and use the facilities inside your house. But it is not my call.

 

Ducking under the bridge needs a layout at a higher level.  Can be done of course, you are correct, but I wasn't planning on that for viewing access by little kids from the front area, which does not have a lot of width for a step for them to stand on.   And when I "need to go", I don't want to have to crouch down to get under the bridge, if you get my meaning.

Re the restroom, [small] RV bathrooms are typically 21" wide and that has never been an issue for me in many years of use. Thus to me 24" ID would be generous. This bathroom was (previous RV) 30" wide with sink (the floor pan was 21" wide) by 35" deep. It worked well. The step-in is because this was a so called "wet bath" wherein you could shower sitting on the toilet, a feature probably not needed in a train-room 

                    IMG_1385

Probably moot though, because if you are hiring out the bathroom work they will have to follow code and that will be substantially larger, Bothe width and depth.

Lew

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Last edited by geysergazer
geysergazer posted:

BTW, excellent yard lead. You really will be able to have trains running while simultaneously doing classification work in the yard. John Armstrong would approve of your trackplan.

On edit: Traffic on the yard lead will still foul the inner mainline. I'm not sure how that would best be addressed.

I see a potential problem with the staging/interchange track. Because it is almost out of reach you won't be able to easily change consists. For me interchange is of crucial importance because it represents the whole outside World and thus the other half of operation. That is, I use my interchange track (which is actually a return loop in an adjacent room) as a fiddle yard where I build incoming consists using the old O-5-O switcher (hands).

         IMG_3539

Ya, on my list of #aroundtoits is to do a more workmanlike job of the return loop but in the meanwhile it does function as needed. The paintbrush, as well as being a dusting tool, indicates the next set of cars to be worked into a train. I don't use switch-lists or waybills but simply cycle through a set of possible consists. Someday when I'm really bored maybe I'll see if my math-foo is up to the task of determining the total number of consist variations and their frequency of occurrence.

Lew 

Lew - just wondering what diameter curve that is for the reversing loop and if there's enough room to stick an Atlas 24" turntable in there ?

I went back and re-read the comments about the Atlas slip-switch, and decided I had better replace them with conventional turnouts.   I looked at converting to Gargraves and Ross, but that would not save/improve very much - not enough to change the configuration.

M1224A_V4b

At either side, there is along curved lead, with industry tracks at the end.   Arrivals eastbound from either main can use the east yard lead (O81); arrivals westbound from either main can use the west yard lead.   Then either back-up or maneuve to the west lead, and from their into the yard.   

Access/reach is good, with one problem and one note:  the widest part of the yard is too wide to get to the back, and out of reach from the upper-right access area.   Note: access inside the mountain for the lower right.

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Last edited by Ken-Oscale

I like your concept. I offer some suggestions, FWIW

  • Perhaps you can keep the end doors for ability to move large pieces of wood, etc, into the train space.
  • Railroad height. Model railroads always look better when they are higher.
    • For the occasional child, a movable step, with a low rail. Since you don’t appear to have any operating accessories, a child’s interest will quickly wane. Experience
    • If you raise the elevation, you can tuck a lower level staging yard into the plan, located near the front of the yard area, with, hopefully, a reasonable grade to reach a merge with the main trackage. The present staging track location almost guarantees it will seldom be used.
      • That given, the area along the back wall could be used for a station façade and a city façade (like John Armstrong’s model RR). I assume passenger service.
    • If you raise the elevation access to the accesses will be a bit less painful.
  • Depending how you arrange the toilet, you could run the track through a corner of the bathroom and hide the fact with a mountain.
  • There are several industry tracks with no obvious space for industries.
  • Depending on the grade required, you could raise the engine service area above the end curves with a suitable tunnel and provide more room.
    • I assume from the turntable that you will be running steam. Must you have a turntable? If your layout represents a division point you can do without and leave considerably more room for engine servicing facilities. Including the inevitable diseasels…

I agree with much of what has been posted so far.  Bathroom OUTSIDE the ovals.  Also, the comment about accessibility of the staging track in the far corner.

Curious, what do O90 curves get you, that O72 doesn't?  And if you're running large steam locos, will a 24" turntable be enough??

One more thing... as much as possible get a guarantee about the INSIDE dimensions of the finished building.  I went through this with my own house.  The studs and drywall took away almost a foot!!

Thanks for the comments gents!   Clever sign Jim, have to do that!   This version adds structures including the roundhouse, and modifies the cross-over in Westham to #5s.

  • Mainlines:  O90 minimum curvature with #5 turnouts, 4.5" center rail spacing.
  • Bailey Yard:  O108 minimum curvature with #5 turnouts, 4" center rail spacing.
  • Yard Leads (two)  O81 minimum
  • Towns of Westham and Eastwick:  O72 minimum curvature.   Mainline through O72 turnouts minimum.  Industry spur turnouts O54.
  • Building frame O.D. is 12x24.  Shown with 4" walls.
  • Operating Accessories:  Westham - cattle pen, coal loader, oil-derrick with nodding donkey, work house with sound.   Eastwick - Milk Can, work house with sound.   Rotating beacon on mountain.   Two additional work house w/sound.   Coal tower in engine service area and turntable.   Total=11.  Not counting lighting - there are two yard lights.

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Last edited by Ken-Oscale
gunrunnerjohn posted:

Never saw one of those, pretty tricky!   Looks like they're all the rage in Europe and the Far East where everything is smaller.  If  you've ever traveled in Europe, some of the bathrooms need these, you can't even turn around without bumping into something!

I scanned the description which says the wash basin waste falls through into the commode bowl - pretty good re-use/conservation of water!   You can choose a 3 or 6-liter flush.   Now why isn't this common here in the states, or at least in california?

The one I am looking at currently is 20 inches wide by 33 inches long.   Fits within 3x4' perhaps?  Perhaps a bit more length for maneuvering.

Last edited by Ken-Oscale

Personally, I would use as much space as possible for the layout like your original versions use and I would lose the rest room and use the ones in your house for 4 reasons:

  • There will be times when two people will need to use it at the same time
  • One of your guests, probably male, will need to have a rather smelly #2, which will become apparent to all in a small enclosed space
  • You and your friends are getting older and I venture will eventually forego the small bathroom in the train shed for a regular sized one in the house. How fun is it really to use a small bathroom like you find on airplanes and in some European countries?
  • If you're not ready to have guests use the bathrooms in your house you probably should think twice about having them over to run trains

 

And I agree with the revisions to remove the double-slips and clearing the mains with the yard lead.  You certainly have a knack for designing track plans!

-Greg

 

gunrunnerjohn posted:

I actually read a similar description, and I saw several comments that were critical of that feature.  If the sink has too much soap or anything else run through it, that sits in the tank and will require cleaning the tank inside periodically.  I have no idea of the validity of the comments, just a note of caution.

John, I think that is the different design that I am also looking at, which seems to have problems: design fills the tank from the washbasin - best use of water, but will need cleaning in the tank occasionally - I am thinking soap scum.   

The "other" design (picture above) where the basin waste goes into the commode bowl doesn't save as much water, but  "california: if its yellow, let it mellow..." is diluted from the wash basin waste.   No internal tank to clean - just clean the commode bowl.  At least that is my understanding at the moment.   Interesting stuff.

Pretty wild that a layout design leads to exploring innovative plumbing fixtures!

Last edited by Ken-Oscale
Greg Houser posted:

Personally, I would use as much space as possible for the layout like your original versions use and I would lose the rest room and use the ones in your house for 4 reasons:

  • There will be times when two people will need to use it at the same time
  • One of your guests, probably male, will need to have a rather smelly #2, which will become apparent to all in a small enclosed space
  • You and your friends are getting older and I venture will eventually forego the small bathroom in the train shed for a regular sized one in the house. How fun is it really to use a small bathroom like you find on airplanes and in some European countries?
  • If you're not ready to have guests use the bathrooms in your house you probably should think twice about having them over to run trains

 

And I agree with the revisions to remove the double-slips and clearing the mains with the yard lead.  You certainly have a knack for designing track plans!

-Greg

 

Thanks Greg: if more than one needs the facilities at the same time, one can run into the house - but pretty convenient most times for a single need at a time.  Anyone that prefers can run into the house anyway.

Something like this perhaps:

M1224A_V4e

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Last edited by Ken-Oscale

OK, so here is a serious exhaust fan for those concerned:  selectable 50, 80, and 110 CFM exhaust, "whisper quiet".   Will that do?

white-panasonic-bath-fans-fv-0511vqc1-64_1000

The restroom works out to about 67.5 cubic feet.   So at its highest power, this fan could totally replace the entire restroom volume about twice a minute!  What a rush (of clean air)!

Chuckle:  I suppose I might need an outside air intake at the floor level, so this jet engine doesn't pull all the heated or cooled air from the train room out the roof.

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Last edited by Ken-Oscale

This much fun should be illegal:  I have added a couple buildings on a rolling cart for 'Eastwick a la carte'.   One connection to the layout for building power, just disconnect and roll away!   I already have these buildings from Menards, might just as well use them.

M1224A_V4f

The Menard's Red Owl Grocery has rotating fans on the roof, so I guess that makes 12 operating accessories?  Am I expanding the category to include both operating accessories and animated accessories?

This could double as a "Man Cave", with a comfy rolling executive office-chair, a computer cart on wheels, with a big 30" monitor for working on layout plans and streaming shows over the wifi from the house.   A microwave somewhere? and a mini-fridge under the layout for cold beverages.

I suppose I could mount a deer head with antlers and couple of rifles on the walls, for "man cave" credibility with the local "Georgia Boys".   Or is that finally going too far?

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Last edited by Ken-Oscale
Ken-Oscale posted

 

If more than one needs the facilities at the same time, one can run into the house - but pretty convenient most times for a single need at a time. Anyone that prefers can run into the house anyway.

Something like this perhaps:

M1224A_V4e

Well then, why all the concern over having any bathroom at all? 

Can the "can", save a few $$$ and expand your railroad.

Can I get an AMEN?  

Last edited by SantaFeJim
SantaFeJim posted:
Ken-Oscale posted

 

If more than one needs the facilities at the same time, one can run into the house - but pretty convenient most times for a single need at a time. Anyone that prefers can run into the house anyway.

Something like this perhaps:

M1224A_V4e

Well then, why all the concern over having any bathroom at all? 

Can the "can", save a few $$$ and expand your railroad.

Can I get an AMEN?  

Jim, I see you feel strongly about the idea.   No AMEN from me, still seems like a good idea.   Actually, the restroom cuts into the front viewing area, not the layout space - maybe a couple of spurs.   If deleted, I would just have a bigger viewing aisle, so no gain there.   Sure, there is some expense, but if added at the time of construction, not that much.   We are looking at some substantial dollars either way... a few more bucks for comfort and convenience might be worth it.   I could get by without AC and power seats in my Mustang to save a few dollars as well, but why would I want to?   To each their own, as they say... just a personal preference, like my desire for a turntable - I could build a layout without one.

I also had the thought, that after I am gone and my wife clears out the layout and trains, the structure could be repurposed and remodeled, with running water and a sewer connection a "mother-in-law suite" could be fashioned without much expense.   Might be a selling point for when the wife passes or downsizes.  

I am thinking the building could be done for upwards of $40 large.   The restroom adds a $250 fixture, a $130 turbo fan - running cold water and a sewer connection would be the bigger expense - $1-2K?  Just ball-parking here.  So if the building comes in at $40K and the restroom an additional $2K, what is that, a 5% increase?

Last edited by Ken-Oscale
balidas posted:

Could you make it so that the whole thing slides under the layout when not in use?

Nice layout. I kinda liked the slip switches tho.

Slide which part under the layout, "Eastwick a la carte"?   Perhaps that could be done if I can raise and lower the cart in some way.   An idea to think about, not sure at present, thanks.  Folding legs?  Telescoping legs?

Last edited by Ken-Oscale
Garrett76 posted:

having grown up in a house that featured a 1/2 bathroom in the family room area, I highly recommend DELETE the bathroom from your layout.  LOL

Garrett, at the risk of "beating a dead horse" ... got your opinion, thanks, but you didn't say why, so you didn't change the balance in my thinking.   

  • Are you in the camp that even with the turbo fan, there will be unacceptable odors?   
  • Or is is it the idea that there will be highly usable space for a couple of spurs that would be gained?
  • Or is the cost of a Legacy loco and a couple of cars ($2k) the basis for your opinion?

I wonder why so much concern about this idea, it seems like a nice convenience to me, not a big deal if its my preference.   --Ken

I gotta say, I'm not sure I understand the antagonism toward the PR, especially since it's a separate building.  If it's cold, snowing, or raining, it'll be nice to have the facilities in the same building.  Having running water will also be a nice convenience.  I also think the odor issue is somewhat overblown, if that's such a problem, let's get rid of all bathrooms in the house and just go back to an outhouse in the back yard!  That's what I had as a kid, and I can tell you that it was mighty uncomfortable in upstate NY in the winter!  Besides Ken, it's your RR, so it's your rules!  

I really like the idea that I have a PR in my train room, and it'll be even more appreciated when I have guests and we're all swizzling beers!   OK, maybe diet coke...  

' gunrunnerjohn posted:

I gotta say, I'm not sure I understand the antagonism toward the PR, especially since it's a separate building.  If it's cold, snowing, or raining, it'll be nice to have the facilities in the same building.  Having running water will also be a nice convenience.  I also think the odor issue is somewhat overblown, if that's such a problem, let's get rid of all bathrooms in the house and just go back to an outhouse in the back yard!  That's what I had as a kid, and I can tell you that it was mighty uncomfortable in upstate NY in the winter!  Besides Ken, it's your RR, so it's your rules!  

I really like the idea that I have a PR in my train room, and it'll be even more appreciated when I have guests and we're all swizzling beers!   OK, maybe diet coke...  

Here, Here, John!!    I am in total agreement with Ken's idea of putting facilities in his train building!  I agree about the over concern about the odor issue.  If any of the rest of the 'old guys' here are like me, they can't smell hardly anything any more either!!  I have to ask my wife if I or my clothes smell!  My dad's place still has the old brick outhouse out back anyway.  The story goes, my great-grandfather asked his cousin to build an outhouse that the kids from down the hill in the village couldn't push over the hill every Halloween.  His cousin got over cooked bricks from the local brickyard and built the outhouse on a concrete foundation on the hillside.  Is still stands and is usable over 100 years later.  It always came in handy when working outside.  Otherwise you had to come in, take off your work shoes to not get reprimanded from Mum, traipse through the house and upstairs to the only bathroom.  Ken's bathroom essentially solves the same problem in the 21'st century!  As always, Ken is thinking outside the box, or in this case inside the box, so to speak!  

Last edited by Mark Boyce

Ken, you realize your PR is not ADA-compliant?  (Said with tongue firmly planted in cheek).  Seriously, is it within the realm of possibility that someone in your locality would consider your trainshed, and it’s uses, to fall under the ADA purview?

I’m not trying to be facetious, but government has rendered some “strange” conclusions regarding compliance. 

Mark Boyce posted:
' gunrunnerjohn posted:

I gotta say, I'm not sure I understand the antagonism toward the PR, especially since it's a separate building.  If it's cold, snowing, or raining, it'll be nice to have the facilities in the same building.  Having running water will also be a nice convenience.  I also think the odor issue is somewhat overblown, if that's such a problem, let's get rid of all bathrooms in the house and just go back to an outhouse in the back yard!  That's what I had as a kid, and I can tell you that it was mighty uncomfortable in upstate NY in the winter!  Besides Ken, it's your RR, so it's your rules!  

I really like the idea that I have a PR in my train room, and it'll be even more appreciated when I have guests and we're all swizzling beers!   OK, maybe diet coke...  

Here, Here, John!!    I am in total agreement with Ken's idea of putting facilities in his train building!  I agree about the over concern about the odor issue.  If any of the rest of the 'old guys' here are like me, they can't smell hardly anything any more either!!  I have to ask my wife if I or my clothes smell!  My dad's place still has the old brick outhouse out back anyway.  The story goes, my great-grandfather asked his cousin to build an outhouse that the kids from down the hill in the village couldn't push over the hill every Halloween.  His cousin got over cooked bricks from the local brickyard and built the outhouse on a concrete foundation on the hillside.  Is still stands and is usable over 100 years later.  It always came in handy when working outside.  Otherwise you had to come in, take off your work shoes to not get reprimanded from Mum, traipse through the house and upstairs to the only bathroom.  Ken's bathroom essentially solves the same problem in the 21'st century!  As always, Ken is thinking outside the box, or in this case inside the box, so to speak!  

I'll definitely third that. I see no problem with an indoor loo in the train room. Lots of houses have such facilities and people don't seem too grossed out  ....especially since the alternative is an outhouse (illegal pretty much everywhere unless sealed vault).

Lew

Thanks to all who commented and for the 'lively' discussion!

Just to circle back around, I have abandoned my preference for an interior location for the restroom.   Why:  the layout has expanded inward, both Eastwick and Westham now encroach on the interior operating space, and Bailey yard as well with four yard tracks with a separate East yard lead.   And of course the corner location is a more conventional location for a restroom - better for future use of the structure.

Balidas had a good idea:  the computer and keyboard are now under the layout at the right, with the keyboard able to pull/slide out from under the layout.   The computer monitor hangs on the East wall.  Shown is an alternate location for "Eastwick a la carte", when the computer is in use, and for fun to have a second location (might make more mods to this cart in the future).

Paul's idea of just a urinal in the restroom is a possible.   I will keep that idea in my "back pocket" if needed, but for now I will stay with the washbasin/commode combo to satisfy my lady visitors (and the wife!).  

A re-alignment of the lead to the turntable/engine service added 1/2" to the operating area there.   Re-aligning the curves of Bailey Yard with a center-rail spacing of 4.25" saved about 1" of operating area.M1224A_V5b

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Last edited by Ken-Oscale

I would scrap the mainline connections to Eastwick and Westham in order to preserve the Inglenooks switching operations in those two areas. Also, I'm not sure what the purpose is of the outer-main passing siding hidden under the mountain? Being under the mountain this track cannot be used as a fiddle yard?

I don't know what the codes might be and I don't know about frostline in your location but wrt the bathroom, there are macerator toilets that pump the sewage through a 1" line and can even pump up to iirc 10" head. They were designed for basement bathrooms in structures where the sewer connection is higher than the basement floor. Could be a way to simplify the sewer line to the house.

Lew

Two thoughts:

4.25 C/L may be a good sized regret down the road.  That limits loco size for passing long cars.

PR facilities great idea however it would be best outside of the 12 X 2? foot print.  In reality a 12' width is a marginal bet with sweeping curves to start with.  To cut in a PR brings overall design and significant operating compromise.

Remember, this is your retirement dream.  You have worked, saved, spent, planed, then thrown in the great PR idea only recently.  Consider a bump out in the design of the room.  An ADA bump out.  None of us has any guarantee,  you may well be the one needing the turn around space.   Having spent some time in a chair post surgery I made my last PR ADA compliant.

If the structure was 5' wider you could still have a center entrance with a PR to one side and a utility room to the other side.  You will greatly appreciate both provisions.

I vote for a pair of 110 CFM fans, one big stinker could send everyone out into the cold. (it's so easy to spend other peoples money.  )

 

For many of us here that is the elephant in the room. My train-room and her sewing-room are on the second floor. She suffered a ruptured tendon and torn tendon in her foot and has not been able to negotiate the stairs. If/when that sort of issue becomes permanent for either of us we will resort to a stair-elevator. This was part of the plan when we bought this house.

If I were building a dedicated building I would plan for such [possible] eventualities. Of course, I'm not averse to porta-pottys or peeing in a jar if that's what it takes to keep on keeping on.

Lew 

geysergazer posted:

I would scrap the mainline connections to Eastwick and Westham in order to preserve the Inglenooks switching operations in those two areas. Also, I'm not sure what the purpose is of the outer-main passing siding hidden under the mountain? Being under the mountain this track cannot be used as a fiddle yard?

I don't know what the codes might be and I don't know about frostline in your location but wrt the bathroom, there are macerator toilets that pump the sewage through a 1" line and can even pump up to iirc 10" head. They were designed for basement bathrooms in structures where the sewer connection is higher than the basement floor. Could be a way to simplify the sewer line to the house.

Lew

Lew, I added the mainline connections at Eastwick and Westham thinking a passenger train serving either town doesn't have a passing track to run the engine around to the other end of the consist for a return.   Other than that, I agree with you and would prefer to not have these connections.  I noticed that they give me a third circle mainline around the layout (O72 min through turnouts) just sharing the bridge, so perhaps a third train could run if I protect the bridge with signals and etc.   

Agree, the passing track is an add-on, not sure what it does for the layout plan, perhaps nothing.  I might delete this feature, and yes its not a good place to add/remove cars after all.   Perhaps I would want to stage a train on this track?

I am OK on the water/sewer connections, they are close by and easy to tap into from that corner.   Sewer drop is OK.   Thanks on that.

Tom, the minimum curvature is O108 for the yard tracks at that 4.25" center spacing.   I am thinking that would do, but have no experience with very large scale equipment.   If a problem in the future, there is room to pull the yard out with wider curves at about O120 if needed.   I don't suppose there would be much need for a Big Boy or Challenger to be positioned down these tracks?  Thanks.

Sometimes we see a locomotive "ready track" (not sure what correct name would be) at engine service facilities for locomotives serviced for an outbound train, ready for the call:M1224A_V5c

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Last edited by Ken-Oscale

Made a few minor changes:

  • Deleted the Eastwick a la carte, and made those industries permanent along the line for more switching.
  • At Eastwick I deleted the Suburban Station and small warehouse in favor of the large (impressive) Menards earlier station.   The layout has three stations, each different: Menards at Eastwick, Lionel Animated Frieght Station at Westham, and Walther's station east of Bailey Yard at the connecting RR, serving both lines.
  • At Westham I did some realignment, including the bridge piers for the lift-out bridge, at both Westham and Eastwick.
  • I had purchased Menard's Oak Point nuclear plant on a lark.   I would probably run this only for visitors and kids, it generates a nice light show!  On the hill above Eastwick.   Moved the rotating beacon to the hill on the west side.

M1224A_V5d

Bailey Yard spur lengths are 90", 111", 128", and 141"

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Last edited by Ken-Oscale

Hi Ken,

My take away from your very first post was that the structure was pre-fabricated and looked like the picture you posted but your recent post states in part "building costs of ~ $40k".

Have you received any estimates yet?  I ask as that estimate seems a little high based on pricing where I live (outside of Philadelphia, Pa) and you may be able to afford an alcove which extends to one side where you can put in a bathroom and a small kitchen area (say refrigerator, sink, microwave, etc).   Many of the local shed-builders in my area will customize their existing designs (including adding insulation, electric and plumbing).

I'm going off the pricing a friend of mine received on a "she-shed" he had built for his wife.

You have, however, not mentioned two critical design elements - installing cup holders and remote holders along the facia of the layout. 

-Greg

Greg Houser posted:
My take away from your very first post was that the structure was pre-fabricated and looked like the picture you posted but your recent post states in part "building costs of ~ $40k".

Have you received any estimates yet?  I ask as that estimate seems a little high based on pricing where I live (outside of Philadelphia, Pa) and you may be able to afford an alcove which extends to one side where you can put in a bathroom and a small kitchen area (say refrigerator, sink, microwave, etc).   Many of the local shed-builders in my area will customize their existing designs (including adding insulation, electric and plumbing).

I think if you consider heating, cooling, and plumbing, the 40K starts to sound much more reasonable.

gunrunnerjohn posted:
Greg Houser posted:
My take away from your very first post was that the structure was pre-fabricated and looked like the picture you posted but your recent post states in part "building costs of ~ $40k".

Have you received any estimates yet?  I ask as that estimate seems a little high based on pricing where I live (outside of Philadelphia, Pa) and you may be able to afford an alcove which extends to one side where you can put in a bathroom and a small kitchen area (say refrigerator, sink, microwave, etc).   Many of the local shed-builders in my area will customize their existing designs (including adding insulation, electric and plumbing).

I think if you consider heating, cooling, and plumbing, the 40K starts to sound much more reasonable.

I should have been clearer - the 'she-shed' he had built included those elements and was 10x20. 

I'm no expert on "she-shed's" and assumed they all came with that.....being ladies and all and we all know they always want to "accessorize" for maximum comfort...lol

It's funny - my wife was teasing me if we didn't have to figure out how to pay for college for our son she'd be bugging me to get one built for her.  Apparently in her mind my getting our "cold, dark, damp" unfinished basement for my layout equals her getting a "she-shed" for her use. 

-Greg

Last edited by Greg Houser

I lieu of the connections at Eastwick and Westham, you could put another crossover between the mains on the "viewing" side of the layout to accomplish your runaround for passenger trains.     perhaps right in front of the Westham area is enough straight section clear of the bridge to do this.

As for the siding under the mountain, it looks too short to be of much use.   If it is not long enough for most of your trains, I would eliminate it or lengthen it.

You could also do either of these:

First - remove the switches which connect the sidings with the main by the viewing area:

My thinking is that you are just fouling the main on the other side of your layout and by not having the sidings connect increases the switching interest as any runaround moves need to be done in the yard.

Second, if you do want the sidings to connect for a third loop or branch line, you could make the curves tighter coming into Eastwick, bump the city closer to Bailey yard and connect the sidings off the one running past the Morton Salt branch.  This will require a 3rd lift out brigde/section.   Tighter curves on sidings/branch lines are prototypical too.

Regarding the passing siding under the mountain - it is too short for most trains it seems you will be running but I would keep it.  You could always use it for a short freight or stage cars there.  It would even make for a nice MOW scene as well.

-Greg

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

M1224A_V5e

  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?

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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

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Last edited by Ken-Oscale

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

Last edited by RSJB18

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

Last edited by Greg Houser

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

Ken-Oscale posted:

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

M1224A_V5e

  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

 

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Last edited by Greg Houser

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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Last edited by Ken-Oscale

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.

Last edited by Ken-Oscale

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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Last edited by Ken-Oscale
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.

Last edited by Ken-Oscale

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.

M1224A_V8b

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Last edited by Ken-Oscale

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).

M1224A_V8c

  • 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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Last edited by Ken-Oscale

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

Last edited by Greg Houser
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.]

Last edited by Ken-Oscale

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

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!

Last edited by Ken-Oscale

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.

Last edited by Ken-Oscale
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?

   

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