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i wanted to provide you with an update on our tinplate layout.  We only have to install a few more pieces of "fly off the table" protection, but it is 95% complete at this point.   It has been quite a journey.  I tried to do everything on top of the table as it would have been done in 1938.   Repros, restorations, and survivors are the only items on the table.  Even the screws are slotted (not Phillips heads).  Controllers and switches are all period 1938.  At some point I would like to replace the 012 switches with the 223 switches with built in non-derailing feature, but the 012s have been modified with accessory power shunts and insulated tracks to emulate non-derailing.  

Mostly the trains are tolerating all this, but they do have trouble negotiating the curves and the friction of the curves causes variations in speed which if you lose situational awareness can lead to a pretty horrific derailment (that's why we have the "fly off the table" protection).   AMTRAK are you listening?

 

 

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Last edited by Jim Katz
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"Hi Jim, great workmanship and the lights are perfect! Miketg"  

Each of the street lamps and the signal tower are fitted with a 1N4001 diode to cut the voltage down to give a warmer effect.  The diode is in the common feed to each device.  (Back in the day, they would have run the lights in pairs in series.)  All the lamp commons and feeds come back to a bus bar which is powered by a CW80 transformer that provides all the accessory power in phase with the vintage Trainmaster V that powers the train tracks.  

This equipment has been collected over the last 12 years and we are glad to be able to finally put it to work.  You can see the standard gauge layout on floor to the right side.

The goal was to create a portable layout that could easily be set up for display purposes.  To accomplish this, I need to provide a disconnect between the two halves of the layout.  I'm still working on that, but the modular guys are using those eight wire quick trailer connectors, and that may be how it goes.  Then I would need at least another person to help move it.  Wife will only do so much.

Thanks to all for the comments.

 

Last edited by Jim Katz
eddie g posted:

The boy looks like he would rather be playing with a computer.

I'll bet Jim Katz appreciated that little negative jab, huh. (You just can't resist, can you.)

I thought the boy looked interested in and proud of what he was being welcomed to play with. Also, he seems a pleasant and peaceful, contented person.

Last edited by Moonson

We tried to keep it in that era (toy trains) wherever we could.  We added a vintage Lionel ZW transformer to the layout and did not realize how much damage a short circuit to do to the old Lionel turnouts.  So we added in line fuses to the power and accessory feeds (7 amp) and they have provided the protection we need.  tinman3rail.com helped us by rebuilding the old switches with new switch motors.

Last edited by OGR CEO-PUBLISHER
@Elgaucho posted:

Great job Jim! Truly a labour of love.
What’s the significance of the year 1938 in particular?

The 1938 Lionel Catalog has many of the items I collected over the years in both Standard and O Gauge.  I have items going back to the late 1920's as well.  I just needed a plausible time frame for a layout that would incorporate what someone might have collected over the years leading up to 1938.

@Jim Katz posted:

The 1938 Lionel Catalog has many of the items I collected over the years in both Standard and O Gauge.  I have items going back to the late 1920's as well.  I just needed a plausible time frame for a layout that would incorporate what someone might have collected over the years leading up to 1938.

Great story!! I love going back in time and imagining these sets and layouts, as they would have been looked at in that time If folks here have photos of these store displays from that era.. that'd be great!
Keep it up Jim! Wonderful hobby.

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