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Giving my new layout its own build thread.  Size is 4x7 as 8 foot made it hard to get to the latches that lock the layout in the closed position.   The frame on the wall is 1x10 pine bolted with L brackets to the studs.  The table portion is 1x4 pine with a thin plywood top with drop down 2x2 legs that drop out as you ,lower the layout down.   I based this design on my best friends layout his dad built that folded down over his bed.  Only change was from 2x10 wall frame and 2x4 table frame as its not going to have a pair of kids climbing on top while playing trains.(it was all the two of us could do to lower it down as 10yr olds, it was **** heavy back then).   I can fold this down by myself.   The underside will be enclosed once wiring is done so that it looks nice when closed.   I added the grass mat today and my track should be here soon.   I plan to do a double level with prewar OO on top and my 1946 Berkshire set on the lower loop. A Lionel Type R will power the trains and a small Lionel transformer will handle lights and so forth.   Here are a couple progress pics.  My nice bridge I got from one of the Trainworxx flash sales is sitting on the layout.   ADnewfoldinglayoutnewfoldinglayoutclosedlayoutgrassbridge

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Wall frame is 1x10 so that some scenery can remain in place when closed.   My friend shortened the height of the bridge so it fits in the closed position with about 1/2 inch of clearance between it and the wall when its closed.  So the upper deck will be very simple in scenery with just some basic items to remove.  The layout fills over 3/4 of the room when its down in the running position.  The curse of living in a very small house.   AD

I came home to a box of Lionel tubular track and a pair of 022 switches I bought, so I started tinkering with track plans.  I use Johnsons Rubber Roadbed for sound abatement(highly important for someone on the autism spectrum).  So I dug out what I have of that, but I still need more of it(mostly straight sections and another 031 circle of it).  I only wish Lionel OO 3 rail track was this easy to come up with, and as inexpensive!  I have a love affair with the prewar OO line and the NYC Hudson.  But the horrid cost of original track keeps that dream as that right now.  If only someone made switches to match the Gargraves OO track.   So for now, I am enjoying O and hoping to add an upper level with a simple loop of OO in the near future.  It is that loop that will use that bridge.  I did run the Berk a couple laps just to see it run, with my wife sleeping in the other room, a good run with some cars will have to wait till tomorrow.   I am still undecided on track plan beyond the angled section as that corner is where the control center will be and I have laid it out to see how I want to fasten it all down before I drill any holes.  Only the type R is screwed down so far.  There is a plug strip/surge protector mounted under that area.   AD

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The other option on the upper loop is a 225e with a small train, but whatever runs on the upper level will be late prewar.  Just have to make any scenery up on that level removable.  With only 7' to work with in width, I think grades up and down would eat up all the real estate to build and over and under using that bridge.   Here is a plan, granted the pic is on a 4x8, that was under consideration to give a double loop, but its really a single track railway.   twicearound

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Doing some brainstorming how to incorperate that bridge.  This is where it could sit if I put 031 track on the upper level, it would be slightly further toward the rear of the layout if I put Lionel OO track on it, which has an 27" radius.  Once I have the bridge set up to be used, it will go to a friend of mine to be sealed and nicely painted in the colors of Lionel's boxes.  Orange lettering and the insets in the piers, the rest will be dark blue with a dark grey roadbed area.  ADlayoutbridge2

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Yes, over and under works great when you have enough space to makes the grades very slight so any engine can pull a reasonable train.  I run a 1946 edition 726, so dual worm drive but no magne traction.  But, it only pulls its original freight consist, so it would have no issues on the grades, I just dont want the headache of controlling speed up and down.  Two flat loops will be easier to construct.  Trying to find my mandrel for my cut off discs in my dremel so I can custom cut a couple pieces of track to finish out the lower loop.  AD

I am slowly planning to make this a prewar OO layout, but stuck on whether to go 3 rail or 2 rail.  Track will be Lionel for the most part.  I can get a complete look of good unwarped Lionel 2 rail, full circle with power feeder track and 4 straights, which will be all I really need initially.  I would try to find a couple Tru Scale switches to adapted to it eventually to give a couple sidings.  Two rail would require a slight extension to the front of the table and notches cut in the wall frame top board to let the track pass thru when the layout is closed(Lionel 2 rail is 48" diameter).   I also can get a full oval of the 3 rail track, it doesn't fill much of the table up at first, much more straight track will be needed to do that.  My 2 locomotives, a Lionel Hudson and Scale Craft ten wheeler can be set up for 3 rail or 2 rail(currently 2 rail) operation and both are AC powered.  I cannot afford to do both 2 and 3 rail due to the very high cost of track. I wont use Gargraves as its way to "hi rail" and detracts from the scale look of Lionel's OO line. I also do not want to do the On3 flex track route either, I like the sectional track style Thoughts?  Suggestions, should I make the table/wall frame mods for 2 rail or just start buying up 3 rail track as I can afford it/find it?     AD

AD when I think of prewar I see 3 rail track on the layout. If the 2 rail would require an extension of the table would it still fit into your space requirement and require a modification to the enclosure? From previous posts looks like you have a good amount of 3 rail already. That way you can be running trains sooner. Just my thoughts. I’m sure you will make the correct decision for your situation.

Most of my 3 rail O gauge is for train show set ups and wasnt for the layout, was just using it for it.  I have a fair amount of 2 rail OO stashed away with more $$ wrapped up in it than my O gauge.   So far, I have a Lionel 003/003w 2 rail Hudson with whistle tender, Scale Craft 4-6-0 with the universal motor and manual reverse unit for AC operation, 2 new in the box scale craft freight car kits to build and a Scale craft passenger car to paint(In NYC pullman green of coarse!).  So my lean is toward 2 rail despite the mods I will need to make to my set up.  The extra 4 or 5 inches of table is an easy fix for my friend and his woodworking abilities.   We would make notches in the wall frame along the top for the track to pass thru, that way the table still closes square against the framework the the latches lock solid.  Obviously, I have Lionel AC transfomers, my little 45w one is probably enough juice to run them, that is what I used on my 3 rail OO Christmas layout last year.   Now, I can easily convert both engines to 3 rail operation, but not sure the Scale Craft engine will go around those tight 3 rail OO curves.

Now if that curve diameter was 42 or 44 inch, I would not even hesitate to buy the 2 rail sectional track I have found.  The 2 vs 3 doesnt really speak "prewar" to me as both were available as was 2 rail for O scale(with outside 3rd rail or without).  That 2 rail market was what Lionel was going for, they figured that out after the first year of OO, that crowd wanted scale radius curves and 2 rail track, not toy train 3 rail with super tight curves.  Hence why its easier to find the 003 and 004 two rail Hudsons vs the 001 and 002 3 rail ones.   The lack of uniformity, two rail vs three rail, AC vs DC power are some of the reasons that HO beat OO to become the dominate scale in those prewar and early postwar years.  These days is the high cost of original track, the difficulty of finding said track, that hinders those that enjoy this oddball scale.   AD

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By 3 rail I ment the O gauge track on the layout now, which was ment to only be temporary.  Building a layout in OO has long been a dream.  Just wish I could do more than a basic oval, but thats all its really gonna be.  Need to figure out what to do with the big open space in the middle of the layout.  I hope to find a couple OO switches that I can adapt to the track I choose so I can make a couple sidings for industries.  In regards to the OO track, I will decide later tonight if I am going to go the 3 rail route or 2 rail.     AD

Here is a video of trains running on my fold down layout.  In time, the layout will be completely prewar Lionel OO, but aquiring that much track will take time and $$.  So for now I am running both OO and O gauge.   I also picked up a hybrid 2333/2344 NYC F3 pair at the fall NMRA show at Danville, IN. They have late 2333 shells on 2344 chassis.  Got them for a great price and they run well.  I also got that Scale Craft OO passenger coach painted, just need NYC decals for it.   Enjoy!   

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