I am building the Nickel Plate Road in 4x10 using Lionel Fastrack.

M410F-05b_Nickle_Plate

Here are a couple of pics of construction so far: mainlines up and running well:

Nickel_Plate_01Nickel_Plate_02

I have a track planning article with discussion submitted to OGR.  I plan a follow-on article on the construction of the layout.

Here is the layout section design:

M410F-05b2_Nickle-Plate_Labels

And here is a short clip to demonstrate the clearances:  about 4.25" centers.   Its tight, but everything works, almost but not quite touching.  The locos in the clip are: on the outside main, the SCALE SD60M Norfolk Southern LC+2.0 pulling Menard's double-stacks with the camera caboose at the end (fun!).   On the inside the BNSF Tier 4 LionChief pulling an assorted BNSF train.   I have run these trains for about 2 hours total, with no problems.

 

The above clip is before a slight re-alignment, the re-aligned plan is shown in the track plan diagram.  So I will record another clip after I adjust the track on the layout.   The adjustment adds about 3/16" to the outside mainline width, to add just a bit more clearance (for comfort) .

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

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IMG_0288

Though not yet complete, you can see the smooth curves making the figure-8 crossing of the inside mainline, very nice.   Trains also move nicely through the "indent" making the cross-overs, with the O72 curves leading in and out of the cross-overs.

There are five sections (highlighted in purble/dark-blue) that need to be trimmed, removing a short piece of the plastic roadbed to mate with the O60 turnouts (without using the 1-3/8" sections in those locations).

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

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I have the LC+ NKP Berkshire - Its a sweet runner!

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The New York, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad (NYC&StL) (Nickle Plate Road) was a Midwest road which linked Buffalo with Chicago, St. Louis, and Peoria, with connection to Detroit and Indianapolis, with the mainline running through Cleveland.  The NYC&StL gained its famous nickname, Nickel Plate Road, from a Norwalk, Ohio newspaper columnist who complimented its high standard of construction by referring to it as a "double-track nickel-plated railroad."  The Nickle Plates’ 2,200-mile network linked Buffalo with Chicago and St. Louis within the hotly competitive Midwestern rail transportation market.  During the railroad merger years, the Nickle Plate Road was merged with the C&O, then Norfolk & Western, and is now within the Norfolk Southern railroad.   This track plan with closely-parallel mainlines of shiny Lionel FasTrack fits the Nickel Plate image.

The Nickle Plate was known for its high-speed freight trains running behind its famous Berkshire locomotives.   Lionel has announced for 2019, a fine LionChief Plus 2.0 Berkshire, #765 (product number 1932030).   The LC+2.0 steam locomotives feature upgraded sound with four chuffs per revolution, with smoke timed with the chuffs.   The upgraded LC+2.0 command control system integrates TMCC with LionChief Plus features, including Bluetooth to allow operation with a handheld device or smartphone, or controlled through a TMCC controller (or Legacy controller in TMCC mode) and Lionel’s Universal Remote.   This excellent locomotive runs on O36 curves, so will run anywhere on this layout, inside or outside mainlines.

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

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The parallel track centers at the closest point is 4 3/8", an improvement over the 4 1/4" originally.   Will see if the actual revised construction works out to this measure, and will post a clip.

M410F-05b3_Nickle-Plate_Labels

This illustration also shows the optional external framing, using 1x3s (adding 3/4" of clearance around the perimeter.

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

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Ken,

I really like your track plan. I wish that you would publish a list of Fastrack components sometime. I know that is some work, but it would help other people that might want to try your track plan. I know it has numbers printed on it, but those are hard to see.

prrjim posted:

The Nickel Plate was basically a single track RR with passing sidings.     Is there a trackplan that sorta depicts that around someplace?

Interesting.  As I am no expert, I looked around at various online sources, but could find nothing on double-tracks.   Too bad, it makes for a good story, and I suppose, good press/headlines in those days.

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

prrjim posted:

The Nickel Plate was basically a single track RR with passing sidings.     Is there a trackplan that sorta depicts that around someplace?

Ken's track plan does a really good job of depicting the Nickel Plate's single track/passing siding scheme.  Of course, in a 4' x 10' area, you're gonna' sorta' have to put your imagination to work. 

Paul  

Ship Rock Island ROCKET FREIGHT

 

2 Rails?  3 Rails?  Doesn't matter, I can't count that high in either case.

I love the smell of fresh-brewed creosote first thing in the morning.

If the government knew how much fun O-gauge railroading was, they'd outlaw it!

Common sense is my second best trait.  Nonsense is my first, of course. 

I wanted to be more careful/precise about my measurements in track center spacing, as this is important in actual train operation with clearances for two trains on parallel tracks.   This shows a center-rail spacing of 4.25" between FasTrack O36 and my O44.5 compound curve arrangement used in this layout. (Generated using AnyRail).

O44-5_V1b_track_diagram

You can see that the outside O44.5 is not perfectly circular (as expected), with the spacing at the widest point (bottom in this illustration) a bit more than 4.25 at 4.5".   Spacing larger is fine, as long as it is nowhere less than 4.25".

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

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With this labeled track diagram showing the 4.25" center-rail spacing.

M410F-05b3_Nickle-Plate_Labels

The layout "closes" at 1/32" maximum tolerance everywhere (most closes perfectly) except the straight section between the bottom right two O60 turnouts (of the three O60 turnouts at the bottom), with that straight section of two 10" and one 1-3/4" being short by about 1/32".   Anyway, very close to perfect, and the layout will (should) assemble without gaps between sections, or any compression or twisting of section joints.

As previously mentioned, the track runs right to the edges of the 4x8 sheet, so the outside frame of 1x3 or 1x4 adds 3/4" (1.5" total) to the length and width, giving 3/4" of space for clearance for any cars or locomotive overhang.

The small sections of dark-blue need to have the plastic roadbed trimmed (easy to do), to fit with with the O60 turnouts without the 1-3/8" "fitter" sections at those locations.

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

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"The small sections of dark-blue need to have the plastic roadbed trimmed (easy to do), to fit with with the O60 turnouts without the 1-3/8" "fitter" sections at those locations." 

I have done this at several locations with O72 Fastrack. Sometimes there is nothing to be done:

        IMG_3026 [2)

There is no way to address this 1/16" gap so I just live with it. 

Lew

Lew

 

Operator of the Plywood Empire Route in the Beautiful Berkshires

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

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Ken-Oscale posted:

O44-5_V1b_track_diagram

You can see that the outside O44.5 is not perfectly circular (as expected), with the spacing at the widest point (bottom in this illustration) a bit more than 4.25 at 4.5".   Spacing larger is fine, as long as it is nowhere less than 4.25".

I might have to go get my eyeballs re-calibrated.  I'm not seein' it - it looks perfectly circular and concentric to me. 

Paul  

Ship Rock Island ROCKET FREIGHT

 

2 Rails?  3 Rails?  Doesn't matter, I can't count that high in either case.

I love the smell of fresh-brewed creosote first thing in the morning.

If the government knew how much fun O-gauge railroading was, they'd outlaw it!

Common sense is my second best trait.  Nonsense is my first, of course. 

Ken-Oscale posted:

With this labeled track diagram showing the 4.25" center-rail spacing.

M410F-05b3_Nickle-Plate_Labels

The layout "closes" at 1/32" maximum tolerance everywhere (most closes perfectly) except the straight section between the bottom right two O60 turnouts (of the three O60 turnouts at the bottom), with that straight section of two 10" and one 1-3/4" being short by about 1/32".   Anyway, very close to perfect, and the layout will (should) assemble without gaps between sections, or any compression or twisting of section joints.

As previously mentioned, the track runs right to the edges of the 4x8 sheet, so the outside frame of 1x3 or 1x4 adds 3/4" (1.5" total) to the length and width, giving 3/4" of space for clearance for any cars or locomotive overhang.

The small sections of dark-blue need to have the plastic roadbed trimmed (easy to do), to fit with with the O60 turnouts without the 1-3/8" "fitter" sections at those locations.

It is clear that using FasTrack is not always inexpensive.   It is, for many simple track plans, but not for many, like this one, that I design trying to match circle diameters other than the 12" diameters that Lionel give us.   The number of turnouts is a cost factor, but one that I do not mind paying due to the high reliability and command control operation option of these turnouts.

Another aspect of layout cost is the number of small straight sections needed.   FasTrack is not easily cut into straight tracks of custom width.   One can do it, but its hard to get a good and strong joint between cut pieces of FasTrack, with a small gap between the combined pieces.  Or perhaps someone has an easy and reliable way, used with success on their layout - I would like to hear about it and see pictures?   = Wouldn't it be nice to be able to cut down a 30" section to a 22-3/4" section?

Anyway, in this plan above, there are multiple pairs of short sections, that could be reduced if Lionel made a section equal to two smaller sections - like two 5" make a 10".   How about two 1-3/8" = 2-3/4"?   Or two 1-3/4" make a 3.5".  Or two 4.5" make a 9".  My quick count finds 13 pairings that could be replaced.   At roughly $5 per section, that would save me $65, not really a lot considering the high costs of O-gauge overall.

Well I suppose the issue is financial.   Some cost to set up the tooling, and packaging of the new pieces.   But Lionel would sell fewer sections overall.   The cost of a 2-3/4" would be only a bit more than a 1-3/8", not making up the revenue of selling TWO 1-3/8" sections.   Would more folks build a layout with FasTrack because of these paired sections available - not much.   Too bad..., but it is, what it is, as they say.

Perhaps more usefully, I had hoped, that Lionel would produce an O60 curve in half-sections.   And a half-section of O96.   But I have been waiting in vain.   Again, not a big financial winner to produce these.   Along with this wishful musing, perhaps Lionel could produce curves in O-45 and O-54.   O45 with O36 would produce a double-track in a 4x8.   O45 and O54 would produce a double-track in 5x9.   No doubt Lionel has considered.   And then why not a #4 or #5 turnout?

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

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