Skip to main content

Many thanks to my son for shooting about 30 short 4K videos and doing such a great job of editing and adding music to the sound track.   And to my daughter has done some great scenery work painting the clouds and mountains on all the backdrops  and making some very realistic trees starting with sage brush trunks.

A few notes:   The layout is 23 feet x 40 feet around two long walls.   It is a single main line about 240 feet long, folded over dog bone configuration.  The upper and lower levels are connected with a 1.5% grade about 24 feet in length. 

The curves are 096  minimum (48 inch radius).

Layout is powered by a ZW-C with 4 x 180 watt power bricks.   A postwar ZW provides AC for accessory and switch motors.   

The signal system is NJ International  B & O  CPL (color position lights ), Brass signal heads.  The 240 foot main line is    There are 11 blocks on the main, the signal system monitors and reports on "block occupancy" 1 and 2 blocks ahead.  This turned out, ironically,  to be exactly how the prototype B & O system worked.  The relay panel has 24 x 3PDT relays as there are 22 signal heads protecting the main line in both directions.  Many thanks to OGR forum member Stan2004 for his help designing a 3PDT relay system to accomplish this.

The layout is actually built in irregular shaped modules, so it could be taken down, and moved if necessary.  I know I won't be starting another layout from scratch, at least not here on earth.  The 1st 3 modules were actually built elsewhere, and moved into the current basement.   The benchwork is L Girder/Joist.  All the lumber is dimensional 1 x 4.

Many folks have asked for "track plan".  I did the original track plan and early modifications in RR Track V4.0, which now will only run on an old off line desk top computer.  I don't actually have an "as built" track plan, and it's pretty confusing to review as I didn't make multiple levels.   Figured, it makes, more sense, to do a Walk Around and Talk about the track plan to show how and why it evolved into what it is today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_11HRZciRU

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Thanks for all the kind, encouraging comments and feedback.  I'll tell my son his efforts were well received. 

Mark, the K Line Hudson is just a pleasure to run now that it's back from Harmonyards.    It's well worth the wait, his work and attention to detail is amazing.

Apples & Oranges:  That cover shot on your video brings back many fine memories of some of my early layouts I built in the 1/2 of the unfinished basement my dad let me use in NJ in the 60's.   Almost "haunting" in a good way that photo shot, I really need to find those old B & W photos one of these days.

WOW Chris! I just finished watching your video and what an amazing layout and a fun way to see it! You and your kids have done such an outstanding job! It just leaves me drooling wanting more!

Please keep up the great work and keep posting! You have so many skills and information that others can truly learn from!

I watched your video earlier this afternoon after seeing this thread.

Wow! What a great layout! I love how you mixed prototypical operation with a closed loop for roundy-round running. This is exactly what I would like to do with my layout someday. This way if I feel like just railfanning I can do that and if I feel like operating I can do that as well. I liked your layout so much I also watched your video on Kadees.

Thanks for sharing.  Great details and workmanship.  I really like how you provided for both operational interest and loop running. 

I know you said that you don't have a track plan schematic in a format that you can share.  However, would it be possible to post some high angle broad overviews?  I'm particularly interested in seeing how the levels transition into each other, and couldn't really grasp it from the video.  You also mentioned that the layout was built in sections - do you have any photos from underneath showing how this was done? 

Many thanks to all for all the positive feedback.   Yeah Jim that pointer is "old school" isn't it.    No working laser pointers here !

Mallard4468:  Mike G made a great suggestion which was we should have done a walk around with the video camera, but in lieu of that, here's some overhead photos down below, which may fill in some of the blanks.   Sorry for the mess, I am in the middle of installing all new weathered Pennsy Stone Block Walls between the lower and upper level.   

I don't have any photos handy of how the sections are joined. If I can get some photos in the next day or so, I'll post them.   The sections, at least the large main ones have two things in common.  The joists travel with the section on top of the L-Girder benchwork, and the mechanical joints between sections, are tapered blocks on like a 2 degree taper.  So assembly is accomplished by positioning the section up on the L Girder assembly, then pulling it in at the tapered blocks.  It forces a perfect alignment.  No tracks or switches traverse a joint.  All wires meet at terminal strips at the section joint, the only exception is some large multi-conductor cables for the signal system which only go from the main 24 relay control panel to two or three signal signal locations, but the cables are labeled as to which set of signals they belong to. 

Phil,  glad you noticed the continuous run train capability as well as some decent "operating" options.  It was on my "Must Have List".   It's wonderful sometimes to just sit down in a comfortable chair "rail fan"....

Since Christmas, I have managed to run 3 long trains on the main line simultaneously.  It's pretty cool.   240 feet of main works out to roughly 2 scale miles, so 3 trains spread over 3 miles works.  Keeps your attention when you're running alone. 

We'll do another operating video late winter, early spring, maybe show the use of the Arrival Departure Tracks, the interchange, the Mine Run

DSC07773

Attachments

Images (9)
  • DSC07773
  • DSC07774
  • DSC07775
  • DSC07776
  • DSC07777
  • DSC07778
  • DSC07779
  • DSC07780
  • DSC07781
@chris a posted:

Many thanks to all for all the positive feedback.   Yeah Jim that pointer is "old school" isn't it.    No working laser pointers here !

Mallard4468:  Mike G made a great suggestion which was we should have done a walk around with the video camera, but in lieu of that, here's some overhead photos down below, which may fill in some of the blanks.   Sorry for the mess, I am in the middle of installing all new weathered Pennsy Stone Block Walls between the lower and upper level.   

I don't have any photos handy of how the sections are joined. If I can get some photos in the next day or so, I'll post them.   The sections, at least the large main ones have two things in common.  The joists travel with the section on top of the L-Girder benchwork, and the mechanical joints between sections, are tapered blocks on like a 2 degree taper.  So assembly is accomplished by positioning the section up on the L Girder assembly, then pulling it in at the tapered blocks.  It forces a perfect alignment.  No tracks or switches traverse a joint.  All wires meet at terminal strips at the section joint, the only exception is some large multi-conductor cables for the signal system which only go from the main 24 relay control panel to two or three signal signal locations, but the cables are labeled as to which set of signals they belong to.



...

Thanks for the pics - no need to apologize for the work in progress.  Interesting ideas re the sections, as L-girder is difficult to build so that it can be semi-modular.  Looking forward to seeing some pics of the sections.

Thank you.   Bob,  yes I am really glad I connected the upper and lower levels.  It doubles the time it takes to do a lap no matter what size the layout is.   I did this on a layout my son and I built back in 2004 and I was sold.  That layout was 8 ft.  x 13 ft., but we still managed to run 2 trains simultaneously on a single main, folded over dog bone. 

Roll the dice:   The turntable is an old 26 inch diameter Bowser TT.   I have redone the drive, but it's on the list to re-do the drive again.  Cut a new Drive disk for underneath, right now there's a low HP 12 VDC motor and fine tooth drive belt wrapping the disc, so it's working OK.    Not long after I sourced & installed that small drive motor and toothed aluminum pulleys, I  located a used Dayton 12 VDC drive motor with built in gearbox, just haven't found the time to work on that.   I scratch built the deck, the fence rails and the arch, still have to install the deck boards on the walkway.... someday that'll get done. 

Amazing layout Chris - thanks so much for showing this. Beautiful structures and details. Am curious about the  C&O #1601  2-6-6-4 steamer. Which model is that please?  Don't recall ever seeing one of those. Just watched the Trainz video of the fictional PRR FG-1 where they 'created' a Pennsy version of the N&W 'A' Class which looks so similar to yours!

Last edited by c.sam
@chris a posted:

Many thanks to all for all the positive feedback.   Yeah Jim that pointer is "old school" isn't it.    No working laser pointers here !



DSC07773

Thanks Chris for the added pictures.   Now your layout is more in focus!   It still fosters envy even though you have unfinished areas!  Cheers, Dave  

PS:   One more question:  What is Santa Fe and Western Pacific doing so far east????  Call me curious!  

Last edited by darlander

C. Sam:  The 2-6-6-6 is 3rd Rail Sunset with TMCC/RS from the factory.   It was issued many years ago,  I bought it used at least 10 years ago, might have been 15.   

Dave:  While I am trying to stick to Steam Era time period, I decided some time back that if I liked a steam engine, I'd buy it and pretend it's on lease or bought in the secondary market.  Yes I know I have some Santa Fe Heavyweight Pullman's too, found the pair at a show 2 1/2 years ago, and couldn't walk away.   

Ok, Chris A, I just watched your video and have a cool idea, change out your white pointer stick and wear a nice black Tuxedo, get a orchestra leaders Baton, turn on some Mantovani music and let the trains roll. Your video is so cool, I love the NYC Hudson (possibly a Kline rebuilt) pulling the heavyweight cars, I love the Sante Fe heavy northern locomotives double headed pulling the long freight trains over your beautifully laid track work. You have a wonderful train world that looks so realistic, your weathered trains, structures, scenic detailing are amazing. Your signaling and attention to prototypical operation sure stands out. The multi level design coupled with beautifully laid curved turnouts, and excellent use of sidings and the use of wide radius curves is outstanding. Your layout should be featured on the pages of OGR The Magazine. It’s Wow. Oh yes, near the end of the video you pulled out a beautiful Allegheny locomotive which gracefully began running with that beautiful hooter whistle, so unique. Keep up the great modeling and do some more videos. Very Entertaining. Happy Railroading Everyone

Thanks so much to all of you for taking the time to share your positive thoughts and comments.   I read everyone of them.

We will post another video with "less" talking, and more trains operating before too much time goes by.

Mark :  You're correct, once I decided to expand into the last area in the basement and make the layout 40 feet long rather than 27, it didn't take long for me to decide to convert the plan to a "folded over dog bone".

The original plan was going to be two distinct levels with a single track on a 2.5% grade to get between levels.  That track is now going to serve as a short cut for a switcher to make a trip between the classification yard, and the interchange track without having to "foul up" 1/2 the main line to get there.   

The original plan was tailored to fit in my original condo basement and was restricted to the shorter length.  After my dad passed away I sold that condo and moved into his condo.  Even though it was a smaller 2BR unit, it has a "larger" basement as the main living floor is all on one level, the other unit was 3BR/2 1/2 baths but on two floors...  It all works out for the best.

Yes Leapin Larry that is the K Line Hudson upgraded by Pat at Harmonyards.   Thanks so much for your help with getting me hooked up with Pat to do that project.   The "new Hudson" is amazing !

Last edited by chris a

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×