Intriguing Track Plan

Hi Folks,

    The photo below is a screen capture from a YouTube video about an older gentleman who gave his antique attic layout to a kind friend, however I cannot find the link at present or remember all the details.  I believe this layout is now in a museum of some sort.





     This meandering track plan reminds me of old amusement park "Fun House" dark ride track plans.  I like the way the crossovers are used and feel inspired to use elements from this old layout for perhaps a charming Christmas layout.  So I figured I'd post it in hopes it inspires others, especially for use with smaller O27 equipment with short locos and short rollingstock, on tight curves.  I gather GarGraves flex track would be the best choice for the custom curves but bending GarGraves to even O27 curves is a little tricky, and frustrating.  And I cannot figure the angle of those many crossovers or the radius of the curves, but guess the 45 degree O27 crossovers and curves would work with a little fudging.   Even On30 would be good here.

    Take care, Joe.

Original Post

Wow, very interesting and very old layout! Here is a link with some more info:

 

1905 Carlisle and Finch layout

  

Carlisle-and-Finch-layout-02

 

I found this using Steve's information. The track gauge is 2 inches. Not exactly sure if this is the same layout or one of similar style?

 

"the trackage ... includes three 45-degree crossings, eleven 60- degree crossings and four switches."

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Tinplatetimes.com sez:

 

 The train navigates all of the trackage, which includes three 45-degree crossings, eleven 60- degree crossings and four switches. 

 

Carlisle-and-Finch-layout-03

 

But in this one photo you can plainly see 5 turnouts. And the other photos plainly show some 90-degree crossings. I'm still trying to figure out the complete track plan by looking at the different photos.

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Hi Ace,

 

     I have been trying to sketch it out on paper, the old fashioned way, and it is deceptively complex.  I guess that someone just made a typo meaning 90 degrees but inverting the number "9" to a "6."  Perhaps other typos were made.  I have been trying to plot out the crossovers and switches, then sketching in the track.  Not easy!

 

Take care, Joe.

 

It looks like the Carlisle & Finch layout Elbridge Russell left to Fritz von Tagen.  Here a couple more photos, from the McComas Layout book.  Von Tagen took it apart to move it, and it may not have been reassembled exactly the same.

 

Good luck figuring out that track plan, it's labyrinthine to say the least.

 

 

img484

img485

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Originally Posted by Joe Rampolla:

Hi Folks,

 

     Please excuse the sloppy sketch, but I think this is the basic shape of the meandering track plan.

 

Take care, Joe.

 

 

 I think that's it, Joe. The switches provide reversing in both directions and some alternate routing. When I get time I'd like to draw an O27 version, but it won't include all the meanders!

Originally Posted by hojack:

It looks like the Carlisle & Finch layout Elbridge Russell left to Fritz von Tagen.  Here a couple more photos, from the McComas Layout book.  Von Tagen took it apart to move it, and it may not have been reassembled exactly the same.

 

Good luck figuring out that track plan, it's labyrinthine to say the least.

Hi Hojack,

 

     Thanks for the additional information and photos!

Take care, Joe.

Did that layout use the light bulbs to control the track voltage? I remember hearing about one that ran on house current and adjusting the bulbs adjusted the train speed. Was wondering if this is the one they were talking about.

Matt Jackson
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Originally Posted by AGHRMatt:

Did that layout use the light bulbs to control the track voltage? I remember hearing about one that ran on house current and adjusting the bulbs adjusted the train speed. Was wondering if this is the one they were talking about.

Hi Matt,

    In the video that was on YouTube, the next owner was working with the light bulbs to operate the layout.  Perhaps someone here could provide more info on that old type of control that I gather took the place of a transformer.

 

Take care, Joe.

 

Carlisle-and-Finch-layout-06

 

I forget where I found this photo online, but it shows the lights which I presume are wired to drop the voltage for the trains without using a transformer. It's very interesting to see such an early electric-power layout!

 

Following is my O27 version of the track plan which is schematically similar. I omitted two turnouts to simplify but the remaining four turnouts provide reversing for both directions.  

 

Carlisle-and-Finch-03a

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Now can you do that in Fastrack?

Dennis
Piscataway, NJ

NJ Hi-Railers Member

North Penn O Gaugers Member

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LCCA/LRRC Member

 

If you haven't checked out the new NJ Hi-Railers Website please do. Go to the "Photos" page to see galleries of their events and check the "What's New" page periodically to see what they have added.

Hi Ace,

 

     I have combing through many YouTube videos but cannot find it yet.  I came across it while looking at toy train layouts and the piece was professionally done by a local t.v. station, if I remember correctly.  It focused on the story of the older gentleman giving or bequeathing his layout to a kind younger man who befriended the older man.  The attic was rather dusty and unfinished, perhaps an old farm house.  That is about the best I can remember.  I did a screen captured to get the basic layout in a photo.  Then I enhanced the shot in an editing program to brighten and sharpen it to reveal more detail.  I will continue to look for it.  I believe I chose the suggested link from a photo of an old tinplate steam loco, like a little 0-4-0 toy steam loco.

 

Take care, Joe.

 

 

Originally Posted by AGHRMatt:

Did that layout use the light bulbs to control the track voltage? I remember hearing about one that ran on house current and adjusting the bulbs adjusted the train speed. Was wondering if this is the one they were talking about.

This is the one.

More from the McComas Layout book:

(click to enlarge to read):

 

 

img486

 

 

 

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Hojack, Thanks for the attachment with the explanation of the electrical control. I just got to realizing that this is 2-rail power with reversing tracks, and early layouts like this would have made people start thinking about the advantages of 3-rail for easier train reversing.

Hi Folks,

 

    Been going crazy trying to find the video, but I cannot.  I have retraced my internet steps back on Jan 29 this year when I saved the screen caps and perhaps I saw something that day either here or on the other forum that lead me to that YouTube video. (I did save photos from this site on that same evening.)  So if some has the TM "Great Toy Train Layouts of America" part 4 on video, please see if this rings a bell.  Perhaps this is Mr. Von Tagen in the photo:

    Thanks! 

 

Take care, Joe.

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