Garrett's Christmas layout 2017

It's quickly approaching the best time of year, finally.  I plan to get an early jump this year and would like to start building the benchwork in October.  The goal is to be completely finished the week before Thanksgiving week.  I will probably use 4" foam as the base material.  There will be two bases with bridges in the middle.  The right side base will rest on the tv stand and the tv will be elevated above the tracks and village pieces.  The left side will feature some elevation and tunnels.  It will be my first experience with foam carving but I'm sure it will turn out fine.  Lionel Fastrack is planned with O31 curves.  I will udpate this thread as the layout progresses.  Views below:

Xmas 2017 frontXmas 2017 rightXmas 2017 leftXmas 2017 topXmas 2017 rear unseen

 

George Bailey: You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are? Anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles!

It's a Wonderful Life, 1946

 

Check out my Lionel and MTH auto trains

http://gwpreisch.wordpress.com/

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Original Post

  That's the chalkboard where he traditionally schools us on how to do a Christmas layout right

(Elevated television)

 

Ok, bought my ticket. Time to kick back and enjoy the ride.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Looks like a grand vision. I'm still working on mine from last year, got derailed with all the stuff with my mom being in and out of hospitals before she passed away this February. I have to make some legs on mine, was thinking of getting some 4x4's cut down to fit screw in brackets and pick up short screw in legs of some sort.

Thank you all for kind comments.  I am only using one track this year since I feel the double tracks of past layouts limited the number of village building and accessory pieces.

Since this track length is pretty long, I was considering running two trains on the same track.  The potential issue is that one locl would be slightly faster and eventually bump into the rear of the other consist.  I think I have that solved by using one conventional locomotive and one LionChief Plus locomotive.  A conventional loco pulling a longer consist would require higher voltage to move.  Getting that consist moving at a constant medium speed ought to allow enough voltage to power a LionChief Plus led consist that I can manually control to ensure separation between the two and avoid a collision.

George Bailey: You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are? Anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles!

It's a Wonderful Life, 1946

 

Check out my Lionel and MTH auto trains

http://gwpreisch.wordpress.com/

Garrett,

Your plan looks very interesting to me!  I like the way the trains will wind their way around.  I know you will work out the speed of the two locomotives so one train won't run into the other.  I think you will like working with foam.  It is easy to work with, making changes when you don't like a certain outcome.  I'm looking forward to seeing your progress!

Is the raised blue circle the space where your Christmas tree will go?

Garrett,

 First, I like your design, it will be interesting to watch the train weave its way thru the layout.

But ...

It is possible to run two conventional engines heading your consists without worry of them running into each other by using a “Block Section” and an “Isolated Outside Rail Section”. Using two 6-12069 Fastrack Block Sections with the jumper wires connecting the outside rails removed and using 6-12029 Accessory Activator Pack. Connect the isolated rail to either of the outside rails located between the Block Sections. Thus when the moving train passes thru the Accessory Activator Pack section, the electrical connection is made to start the train which is stopped in the Block section.   A couple of things to keep in mind are the train in the Block section must be stopped before the train traveling going thru the Accessory Activator Pack section and the Block section must be long enough to stop the train inside the Block section. This link to a youtube video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQTH5fnVOH8, shows my old Christmas Layout where the upper level trains Stop and Start.

 

 

 

For consideration and if you decide to run one train, I would suggest combining the straight lengths into one and installing two turnouts. This will add interest to the layout as the train will traverse each end loop in a different direction each time it approaches a turnout. This is due the non-derailing feature of the turnouts. I have included simplified  RRTrack design.

 

 

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Mark Boyce posted:

Garrett,

Your plan looks very interesting to me!  I like the way the trains will wind their way around.  I know you will work out the speed of the two locomotives so one train won't run into the other.  I think you will like working with foam.  It is easy to work with, making changes when you don't like a certain outcome.  I'm looking forward to seeing your progress!

Is the raised blue circle the space where your Christmas tree will go?

Mark, the raised blue circle is the planned location of an animated ice rink.  I have the Dept 56 version with the Charlie Brown gang.  It's a crowd pleaser.  Cue the sound track song "Skating"

George Bailey: You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are? Anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles!

It's a Wonderful Life, 1946

 

Check out my Lionel and MTH auto trains

http://gwpreisch.wordpress.com/

For consideration and if you decide to run one train, I would suggest combining the straight lengths into one and installing two turnouts. This will add interest to the layout as the train will traverse each end loop in a different direction each time it approaches a turnout. This is due the non-derailing feature of the turnouts. I have included simplified  RRTrack design.

 

 

Since you brought it up... I am planning to create a second layout in another room and have an open house for the neighbors.

I am considering use of two separate "dog bone" tracks like you show above.  Each will be fairly long, about 30 feet end to end.  I would like to know how I could use the block/accessory activator technique to run two trains on one dog bone track.  I would like the length of each train to be at least 10 track pieces (loco, tender, 8 cars).  The center could be lengthened and a block/passing track could be added there or a rounded passing track could be added around one of the ends.

What are you thoughts about how to make it work, where to place the accessory activator track, and how to synchronize the switches?

Thanks!

George Bailey: You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are? Anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles!

It's a Wonderful Life, 1946

 

Check out my Lionel and MTH auto trains

http://gwpreisch.wordpress.com/

Mark Boyce posted:

Wow, Garrett!!  The animated ice rink sounds great!   I haven't seen one, but it certainly sounds like a crowd pleaser indeed!!  I'm looking forward to seeing it and the whole layout take shape!

Mark, thanks.  In my recent search for interesting operating accessory items, I discovered that Lionel makes an operating ice rink.  It's small when compared to Dept 56 products, but it can be easily wired for button activation and visitor interactivity.  I plan to add it to a developing second layout that will be the centerpiece of an open house for the neighbors.

George Bailey: You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are? Anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles!

It's a Wonderful Life, 1946

 

Check out my Lionel and MTH auto trains

http://gwpreisch.wordpress.com/

GARRETT76,

To get two trains to STOP and GO using the layout ultilizing the two turnouts would be quite a challenge as one would have to keep the following in mind:

First lets call one train "TRAIN A" and one train "TRAIN B"

  • Both TRAIN A and TRAIN B would have to occupy a loop at the same time
  • Both loops would need two STOP Sections
  • TRAIN B would have to be positioned ready to exit the turnout 
  • TRAIN A would be moving and would have to STOP behind TRAIN B once it cleared the turnout and would have to START TRAIN B
  • TRAIN B at some point would have to START TRAIN A and TRAIN A would have move and STOP before exiting the turnout
  • TRAIN B would need to move across the layout and would need to STOP once it cleared the turnout and would need to START TRAIN A
  • TRAIN A once moving would need to START TRAIN B
  • TRAIN B would need to STOP before exiting the turnout
  • Once TRAIN A cleared the turn out it would STOP and would have to START TRAIN B
  • repeat   repeat    repeat

Not sure if I got this right, but this would be quite an undertaking and at the end of the day I'm not sure how to get done.  All I can do is wish you luck.  Below is my START and STOP layout.  TWO trains traveling the same direction, stopping and starting each other.

 

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Garrett76 posted:
For consideration and if you decide to run one train, I would suggest combining the straight lengths into one and installing two turnouts. This will add interest to the layout as the train will traverse each end loop in a different direction each time it approaches a turnout. This is due the non-derailing feature of the turnouts. I have included simplified  RRTrack design.

 

 

Since you brought it up... I am planning to create a second layout in another room and have an open house for the neighbors.

I am considering use of two separate "dog bone" tracks like you show above.  Each will be fairly long, about 30 feet end to end.  I would like to know how I could use the block/accessory activator technique to run two trains on one dog bone track.  I would like the length of each train to be at least 10 track pieces (loco, tender, 8 cars).  The center could be lengthened and a block/passing track could be added there or a rounded passing track could be added around one of the ends.

What are you thoughts about how to make it work, where to place the accessory activator track, and how to synchronize the switches?

Thanks!

I will look through the dealer displays for a the one that does this. There is a stop at a switch, the train waits until the second train exits a tunnel and passes. Then the switch is thrown and the train is started. A similar action occurs at a second location. The timing of the trains is controlled by a station stop and the wait for train block.

Anyway, the wiring diagram will educate you on how to do this. Dale H's techniques are on JC Studios. The websites has been down for a little. Too bad, a lot of great train stuff was there.

Carl

Arctic Railroad

For anyone to consider and respond:

My interest is piqued in automatic trains and reversing loops.  Using the below track plan as reference, how would I wire it such that

Train 2 is parked at B

Train 1 moves A-C-D-C-A-E-F-E-A and stops at A

then

Train 2 moves B-E-F-E-B-C-D-C-B and stops at B

then it all starts over again with Train 1 as described above

auto trains route

 

George Bailey: You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are? Anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles!

It's a Wonderful Life, 1946

 

Check out my Lionel and MTH auto trains

http://gwpreisch.wordpress.com/

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Photos (1)

I would like for the plan to be stretched enough that a 14 unit train (loco, tender, 12 cars) can stop in each area and traverse the reversing loops.  I supposed that might require 1-4 additional track lengths in each area for insulated rail or IR controllers

George Bailey: You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are? Anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles!

It's a Wonderful Life, 1946

 

Check out my Lionel and MTH auto trains

http://gwpreisch.wordpress.com/

Garrett,

check out the link below. This layout had a thread on here a couple years ago. The "Grandpa Russ layout" is essentially the same as your diagram above, only folded over itself. 

Two train automation, two reverse loops, and passing siding in between. Automation is accomplished through relays.

He includes a wiring diragram. take a look:

http://corycraft.blogspot.com/...randpa-russ.html?m=1

 

IMG_2439

JD

JD

 

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I think I figured it out.  If both trains make their initial run to the right, I think an insulated activator track at G (top left) that supplies power to both A and B will work.  If Train 1 goes to the right, through the loop, and returns traverses the top siding into the left reversing loop, then when it crosses G, Train 2 will be powered and will move out to the right.  Train 1 will return to the top siding and stop when it reaches A.  Train 2 will complete the right loop then traverse the lower siding and proceed to the left loop and cross G which will get Train 1 rolling.

Thoughts?

auto trains route 2 

George Bailey: You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are? Anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles!

It's a Wonderful Life, 1946

 

Check out my Lionel and MTH auto trains

http://gwpreisch.wordpress.com/

Attachments

Photos (1)

What kind of insulated activator track are you going to use?  

If it's only an insulated section of track that transfers ground to the sidings, train 1 will stop upon its first return to the top siding from the right loop because nothing is on G to complete the electrical path. 

You will need a relay activated by G that alternates the circuit to one siding then to the other.

You could do it without relays, by using insulated track only, but you will need two separate activation spots - 1 for each siding.

 

JD

JD

 

my plan is blown up in a good way.  I will be doing a more robust layout in another room as the basis for a neighborhood open house to view the trains.  the new track plan will be two 4x8 platforms combined in a 12x8 "L" shaped layout.  I am hoping to create some interesting scenery elements.  Design plans are pending.

George Bailey: You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are? Anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles!

It's a Wonderful Life, 1946

 

Check out my Lionel and MTH auto trains

http://gwpreisch.wordpress.com/

this is the general plan.  going to pack in many Lionel and MTH operating accessories.  the right side will feature the new MTH red arch bridge with lights and one Lionel covered bridge behind the neighborhood.  The open center area will be a neighborhood of Dept 56 houses.  the center will feature the church with "living nativity" and associated Dept 56 accessories.  the left will be the mountains, some structures, and aviation related operating accessories.  I have some other elements in mind but will keep those under wraps until the final build pictures are released.  in addition to a fun personal Xmas build project, the secondary purpose of this layout is to be the centerpiece of a neighborhood get together.  should be a nice memory for everyone.

Xmas 2017 basement mk 12 mod 2

George Bailey: You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are? Anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles!

It's a Wonderful Life, 1946

 

Check out my Lionel and MTH auto trains

http://gwpreisch.wordpress.com/

Attachments

Photos (1)

Garrett,

    Do you have your Christmas layout set up yet, if so how about some pictures. I have been building the 1st part of my permanent Train Room layout around the ceiling in our new home, also working the smaller living room under the Christmas Tree layout, was interested in how your big Christmas layout was coming along.  I might want to swipe a couple of your good ideas for the Formal Living Room layout!

PCRR/Dave

One of the 072 corners, of the Shelf Ceiling layout in the Train Room/Bar area.

DSCN2349

 

 

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

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Zeke13 posted:

GARRETT, hope your layout came to life and that your family and guest enjoyed it.  Do you have any pics or video.  I would like to see your final layout.

Thanks for asking.  Construction of this year's layout is a big fat FAIL due to several disruptions on the homefront.  Last night, I did click together a simple oval of O36 fastrack under the tree.  No trains on rails yet.

 

 

George Bailey: You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are? Anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles!

It's a Wonderful Life, 1946

 

Check out my Lionel and MTH auto trains

http://gwpreisch.wordpress.com/

Pine Creek Railroad posted:

Garrett,

    Do you have your Christmas layout set up yet, if so how about some pictures. I have been building the 1st part of my permanent Train Room layout around the ceiling in our new home, also working the smaller living room under the Christmas Tree layout, was interested in how your big Christmas layout was coming along.  I might want to swipe a couple of your good ideas for the Formal Living Room layout!

PCRR/Dave

One of the 072 corners, of the Shelf Ceiling layout in the Train Room/Bar area.

DSCN2349

 

 

Thanks for asking.  Answered in a different post.  Nothing happening this year due to other pressures.

George Bailey: You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are? Anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles!

It's a Wonderful Life, 1946

 

Check out my Lionel and MTH auto trains

http://gwpreisch.wordpress.com/

Pine Creek Railroad posted:

Garrett,

   Bummer I alway's look forward to seeing your Christmas layout, hope all the other pressures dissipate quickly.

Merry Christmas!

PCRR/Dave

Thanks

Post-Christmas, I plan on putting together a 4x8 layout with about 10 operating accessories for a local fundraiser on Sat Jan 6th.  It will benefit the St. Vincent's School for the Handicapped.  I hope to have that almost complete by New Year's Day.  Will post pics of that project once it's in progress.

George Bailey: You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are? Anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles!

It's a Wonderful Life, 1946

 

Check out my Lionel and MTH auto trains

http://gwpreisch.wordpress.com/

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