Building and Evolution of an Action Packed Fifties Era 027 Operating and Switching Layout

Tom  

Thanks.  I still have a few more posts and up updates for later.  It is winter and after Christmas I usually get a few train projects going since I do not have much yard work to do. Although you would think spring was here in south Louisiana as Azaleas are booming and weeds start to grow with this warm winter. 

Working on reviving a junker 192 Control Tower, having to make a roof and the moving platform that the CT operators ride around on.

I just glued some washers with GE silicone caulking to the top of the canisters.  That sticks just fine but will do no harm and is easy to take off.

 

Scotie  

I decided  the Lionel 60 street car was too big for my S gauge Plasticville main street.  The 60 has joined my fleet of #50 gang cars  (2 --50s and one MTH) in racing around the layout or going bump to bump between the portable track barriers.

Charlie

 

Post 32  4/20/2017

Installation of Lionel 192 Control Tower

Latest addition to the layout is a junker Lionel 192 Control Tower.  I bought it several years ago and would have to check my train procurement list as to where and when.  I find that keeping a list really helps as I have been into this layout and trains for over 30 years.

It was missing the roof and roof details, and the rotating part that holds the operators all of which I got to make.  I added a switch for the lights and one for the rotating operators on the control panel.

Charlie

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Charlie, Very nice and very organized of you, if you put everything on your list. I have enough trouble keeping track of when/when my locomotives came from. I see the ice station in the background. I forgot if you ever said how many operating accessories you have on your layout? 

Tom 

Post 33 6/4/2017

List of Layout Installed Accessories

Been awhile in getting back.  Been busy patching up my junk 1950s Delta 24 inch jig saw and working on stereo systems, getting an old Dual 1225 turntable up and a 1955 Hallicrafters shortwave radio running.

Scottie - No I did not install the Lionel trolley, I kept the HO trolley but had to replace the HO transformer.

Tom -

My installed accessories are:

Scratch built Turntable on page 1, Post 9

Coal Mine loading station, Scratch built & kit bashed Bach. 1975 coal tower, w/solenoid triggered gate, on page, Post 15

Milk Platform Lionel 3562

Cattle pen Lionel 3656

Gantry Crane Lionel 12834 installed with tracks for gantry

Saw Mill Lionel 464, reconstructed needing several new parts

Barrel Loader, Lionel 362, homemade base

Oil Drum Loader, Am Flyer 379

Ice car Loader Lionel 352

Control tower Lionel 192 made from some parts

Oprn. Switch Tower  Lionel 445

Gate man Lionel 145

Log loader, Cheap Lionel - plan to automate some day

Micro wave tower Lionel 199

Rotary beacon tower Lionel 494

I have a Lionelville  dispatching station, Lionel 465 that needs so fixing but no where to put it !

Charlie

 

 

Howdy Charlie! 

Being that you mentioned this above, I thought I'd share a pic of my 1949 Delta/ Rockwell 24" Scroll Saw. I've had this machine for almost 20 years, & at some point the thin casing for the swivel upright drive shaft blew apart. I managed to find another entire machine for only $150 w/ no motor or base. It was on fleabay for local pick up only, located in Nebraska. I have a friend in Indiana that offered to make the 8 hour round trip drive & pick it up & ship it to me. Instead of robbing the part off the machine, I just swapped out the main machine base & installed it on my stand, along w/ my original dual shaft motor, tabletop, lamp, & new spring head assembly. After I got it all set up, it ran like a champ. It's such a quiet, & versitale tool. I was so thankful to get this rig back in working order. I'd not call mine junk, although it was down for many years, it was an awesome day when it was finally revived. 

I've got a short video to share, as soon as I can find it...

Much like old trains, it's always a pleasure to revive old tools/ wood working machinery (that's my hobby/ trait for the past 20+ yrs). 

 

Hope you post another video of your awesome layout, & or accessories in action. 

 

Cheers My Fellow Train Friend, 

 

~Eli 

~Eli

Riding the rails of Flint Rock Valley Lines   

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Eli   Thanks for the response.  Yes old jig saws are very handy and fun to fix up.  I have had an old 1950s 18 inch Craftsman jigsaw since the 1970s.  You can see a picture of my Dads childhood pedal pedal powered #1 Amateur Velocipede Scroll Saw (used by my brother and me from age 7 or so through high school) on post 10 in page 1 of this thread.

The 24 inch Delta jigsaw just begged me to take it home from a church sale in 2012.  I saw it on the floor in poor shape with part of the bottom casting broken.  We left to go to several garage sales and about noon I told my wife I decided to get it if it was still there.  Well it was and was 1/2 price after noon, at $12!   I used Marine Tex metal filled epoxy putty to rebuild the castings.  Marine Tex has been around for over 50 years and has been used to fix cracked engine blocks.  It much stronger and more of a putty than J B Weld.  I also found some new washing machine motors and installed a 1/3 hp one with two speeds.  It is not a capacitor start (but that is not needed for a easy to start jigsaw) and has an open case so I must make a shield to keep the sawdust out as well as a belt guard.  It has taken from 2012 to get it going as I had to build a garage and up stairs train and audio/video room.

 

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Here is picture of my new Dual 1225 turntable I got at another church sale last month.  It said take me home too.

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Charlie

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Thanks for the pics Charlie! 

Here's a few pics of my 1949 Scroll Saw. Like I'd said above, it's a mixture of two machines to make one. It's a smooth runner, & nice stable & very quiet. It's been down for so many years, I'm so glad to have back up in working order. 

I apologize to all you folks for getting off topic, I just had to share these few things w/ him. I'll post a few pic/ vids for y'all, & try to get back on the right rails. 

Hope Y'all are all having a Great Day!!! 

~Eli

Riding the rails of Flint Rock Valley Lines   

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I have no idea how I missed this topic last year up thru today.   This is quite possibly my all time favorite on OGR in the 10+ years I've been here.

This is my kind of layout.   I love the classics.

Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us, and detailing how you did everything.   There are not enough superlatives for me to use to express how happy it made me to read this entire topic today!

Nice work!

Music, trains, boneless chicken farming
David

David

Thank you for the kind comments. 

I hope members who like the older 50s style layout and those just thinking or planning can get inspired to just start and go with what space, resources and skills they have and enjoy this hobby.  My basic first board layout and four $10 Lionel 242 locos,  two Lionel LWs and 17 Marx 1590 switches and used 027 track cost less than one fancy new locomotive.  So one can have a lot of fun building a layout and running it with your kids, grandkids or friends.  Other locos, cars and operating accessories were picked up over the last 20 years, all used and most junkers a couple per year.

 

Adriatic

I do not know.  I just grabbed an LP from the stack leaning against the JBL L-50 speaker below to adjust the point where the stylus drops to insure it hits the start of the LP.

Hatari! is setting on the turntable next to the new one.  I have several turntables set up along two walls of speakers and receivers.

Charlie

Post 35   6/22/2017

Unit trains on my Layout

A unit train is a freight train carrying the same type of commodity, from origin to destination. ... The locomotives pulling the train will usually stay connected from origin to destination and return with empty cars.

I was familiar with unit trains as Alcoa used them from my childhood company town, to transport alumina from the alumina refinery in Point Comfort, TX to the aluminum smelter in Rockdale, TX.  We loaded and shipped 25-30, 100 ton covered hopper cars each day, 365 d/y by unit train.

I thought it would be neat to have a unit trains for common commodities on my railroad layout.  So I made and collected some covered hopper cars used for alumina and they can be run on the layout even though I do not have an alumina refinery to load them.

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Unit trains give an operator another reason to seek and collect rolling stock. 

I have a coal mine so coal cars are needed and are shipped in a unit train.  So I started collecting 3 or 4 dumping coal cars, so I can load them at my coal mine loading station and unload them into one of those Lionel coal bin/trays.

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I have 3 or 4 oil tank cars, chemical tank cars, gondolas, boxcars, flat cars, log cars, milk cars, cattle cars, etc. to make unit trains for each type car.

Oil Tank cars

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Milk cars

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Pictured here are 4 auto loaders operating as a unit train.  I have to be careful with these when using heaver metal cars as they are top heavy on curves.  I picked up a box of red metal 57 Chevy convertibles but plastic ones are better for auto loaders

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So you can see unit trains add interest and fun to the layout and operation.

Charlie

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Mitch

Now that is great couple of lines of giraffe cars.  I can run 5 giraffe cars and they get the attention with all that head and neck ducking. They are the most enjoyed train for visitors, large and small and I always have the giraffe train on the layout.

I did not include giraffe cars in my post on Unit Trains as I have trouble calling giraffes a commodity !   I did use the giraffe cars as my favorite action car in a recent post.

Charlie

Post 36

Train Shelves for the Train Room

 

My train shelves are made in two sections each to allow moving thru doors.  They also stand on the floor and are held to the wall by two 1" x 1" angles screwed into a wall stud.

 

Construction is 1" x 4" straight pine lumber with grooves routed in for train wheels.  They are glued and nailed together and have 1/8 " Masonite nailed on the back to keep the shape square and keep from marking wall.  Pieces of white felt are glued on the back of Masonite to keep from marking wall also.

 

I chose to paint the shelves glossy off white.  One reason was to hid the knots and wood filler and another is I think the light color makes the train cars show up better and makes the room brighter and more cheerful.  I use a 2 in x 12 in piece of clear Saran Wrap on the shelf where an engine goes to keep the white shelf clean of grease from the wheels.

 

Over all view of one shelve shown below

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View below shows joint between two halfs of shelves, notice grooves for wheels

routed with veining bit on all shelves

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 Some 6 inch wide shelves allow display of accessories.

012

 

Photo below shows powered track to allow lighting cars

009

 

Next picture shows shelf legs setting on floor, showing cut out for base board.  Extra, a Boxcar Willie LP record.

008

 

 Top shelf is 8 inch wide to hold other train items

014

 

Over all view of all 3 shelves

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The two large shelves on the left and right of the picture above were in the halls of my present house and three prior houses for many years until the train room was built making the spouse very happy!

Notice in last picture I have added two more small shelves under two windows for more trains.  One never has enough trains and thus shelves.

 

Small shelf under window below.

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All shelves are standing on floor and held to wall with angle brackets screwed into studs.

Shelves come apart to allow removal and moving to another room or house.  Build once for life!

 

Charlie

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Choo Choo Charlie posted:

Eli   Thanks for the response.  Yes old jig saws are very handy and fun to fix up.  I have had an old 1950s 18 inch Craftsman jigsaw since the 1970s.  You can see a picture of my Dads childhood pedal pedal powered #1 Amateur Velocipede Scroll Saw (used by my brother and me from age 7 or so through high school) on post 10 in page 1 of this thread.

The 24 inch Delta jigsaw just begged me to take it home from a church sale in 2012.  I saw it on the floor in poor shape with part of the bottom casting broken.  We left to go to several garage sales and about noon I told my wife I decided to get it if it was still there.  Well it was and was 1/2 price after noon, at $12!   I used Marine Tex metal filled epoxy putty to rebuild the castings.  Marine Tex has been around for over 50 years and has been used to fix cracked engine blocks.  It much stronger and more of a putty than J B Weld.  I also found some new washing machine motors and installed a 1/3 hp one with two speeds.  It is not a capacitor start (but that is not needed for a easy to start jigsaw) and has an open case so I must make a shield to keep the sawdust out as well as a belt guard.  It has taken from 2012 to get it going as I had to build a garage and up stairs train and audio/video room.

 

IMG_0442

 

Here is picture of my new Dual 1225 turntable I got at another church sale last month.  It said take me home too.

IMG_0418

Charlie

That's a sweet looking Dual! My layout days are over, but fixing up old hi-fi gear has taken its place - right now I'm listening to a pair of Dynakit MK IV tubes amps I rebuilt, and have been accumulating a nice stash of NOS tubes that I occasionally peddle to fund more purchases (I'm running Amperex from Holland EL34s/Mullard GZ34/RCA 7199s in the amps, and Amperex 7308s are in my Musical Fidelity X 10-D buffer stages)...

 When you post, I get the same rush of excitement I'd get when a new issue of one these brought; especially when I was a boy; I'd stalk the pharmacy shelves for them before they vanished. Your builds are like time refined creations out of a "best of" issue.

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  You keep pumping out gold Charlie, I'll keep taking on fluids for my excess drool.

  No train covers handy, these all contain kit car info for ones I ended up choosing to restore....two decades later, still had boyhood refrences lol.    That's the kind of long term influence this kinda stuff has on me.

My first power tool was a Dayton or Dweyer jig saw (forgetting at the moment), a gift from my machinist Grandfather, beginning of 4th grade. Got tipped by someone when I was about 15 and the beam clipped a pipe plug and snapped from the shock. I moved to a bandsaw. Older and stronger, I used a coping saw more on carvings by then anyhow and needed a bandsaw for metals, but oh the memories.  No money at OUR house, but a music lover,  I'd hack junk radios together till I had one that worked and make cabnets for them. My knowledge about them was nill. I just swapped stuff around with the best logic I could muster, and flipped the switch on and off switch fast, waiting for silence :dissapoint: smoke , or sucesses  

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





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Fellows, thanks for the views, comments and likes.  There is really not extra shelves as there are 3 or 4 shelves of trains on the layout and many more cars in boxes!  I have a plan and wall space for one more section.

MTN - I am not into tube audio gear but 1970s, mostly silver faced and walnut veneer, like Sansui 9090 and db.  I find audio gear cheap at garage and estate sales and that have discrete transistors that I can repair.  I had a Hallicrafters tube SW receiver years ago and did not like the drifting until warm as we used for VOA, BBC, and AF Radio for news overseas and sold it.  A friend gave me an old 1950s Hallicrafters tube to fix recently.  These old jobs are shock hazards and have to be rewired to make safe.

Charlie

 

Choo Choo Charlie posted:

I hope members who like the older 50s style layout and those just thinking or planning can get inspired to just start and go with what space, resources and skills they have and enjoy this hobby. 

Charlie, I have to say this is one of my favorite topics on the forum. I had a 4x17 layout as a kid, and always thought it would be fun to build another. I had put it off for a while due to lack of space and time.   However, you and your layout inspired me to get started on a layout,  and let it evolve over time.  I'm in the early stages now, but work on it a little here and there when I get time.

I really enjoy the enginuity of everything on your layout from the turntable, to the wiring, to the roller wheels on the edge of the layout,  to the coaling tower, etc. etc. etc. 

Thanks for taking the time to show the details and tell us how you did it!

All the best,

JD

JD

Thanks for the encouraging words and you are exactly the type of train fan this topic is aimed at.  Does the 2035 in your forum name stand for the Lionel 2035 steam engine?  As you probably know the 2035 is my last favorite engine for my 027 track and Marx switches and allow me to pull heavy trains with operating cars.

I found the planning of the track diagram went pretty fast.  I would try to study other layouts to see where you might want to go in the future and try to plan for that or make it expandable if you can.  I never originally planned to have or build the addition but fortunately it could be built in an L and that fit one of my living rooms and also other houses.

It will take time to accumulate train stuff to get good prices.  Living in Illinois should be great for train meets and train club shows to met train guys who will be good contacts and sources for trains, track, switches, transformers etc.  The north, north east and center of the country model train areas, way more than the south (colder winter up there, I play golf in Jan and Feb in south LA).

I made the main train board in three or four months working some evenings and some weekends with family of 3 yr and 1 yr and leaving home at 6am, back at 6pm if lucky.  The first Christmas we had the board, control panel, turntable and all track and switches.  No new buildings but a few Plasticville and two from my kid layout my Dad had made.  But trains ran and we had fun.

Charlie

At some point in the near future I'm going to start working on our new layout. I'm going to work back through through this thread to crib some ideas from you. I'll sit down with my little helpers and scroll through everything to ask them what ideas they like best and incorporate them.

Thank you again for doing this.

-Ed, O-27 trains and track, building out our little train empire one piece at a time

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