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We finished laying the track on module #2 today. After tweaking on this for so long on RRTrack, it's really nice to see the trackwork come to life. Jerry's Reese's car is being used for the first track checks. Nice and smooth, and noisy. The 036 curves make a zippy turn, but no less than what you'd expect for a toy layout.

Last night I kicked around the idea of adding extra 5" sections in the center of the curves to make the OA trackwork wider. But, I was not excited about taking module #1 all apart to do it over again. We spent a lot time centering/squaring/spacing on that first module in order to get it just right. A heck of a lot of work for an extra 5" 


Module #1 is disconnected and stacked to the left. We have modules #3&4 setup. The goal is to get the track on these two modules tomorrow. Then we'll take down module #2 and setup modules #5&6.


Don't think you can just snap FasTrack together, screw it down and move on. It's coming together slowly, but surely. This is a 12x15 layout. I can say it 100 times, but when it actually comes together you realize that this sucker is going to be big. 

A lesson-learned: If you use FasTrack for a modular layout; on the "joining tracks" you'll want to take nippers and cut off the nub that is used to snap the track sections together. That way when you put the modules together, those pieces slide together on the track pins only. We are also putting 2 track screws on the sections adjacent to the joining tracks.


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Last edited by Gilly@N&W
Pat Kn posted:

 Is there a reason for that S curve?

Just making the train snake around:

  • adds some visual interest for the viewing public
  • forces the consists to stick with traditional sized cars
  • discourages members from running at warp speed around the layout
  • Opens up the possibility for a Gomez Addams wreck, and the public absolutely loves to see that!

It's makes my brain turn into Jello watching a model train (for hours) going straight, turn left, straight, turn left, straight, turn left, straight, turn left, straight, turn left, straight, turn left, straight, turn left, straight, turn left, straight, turn left,...….

Last edited by Gilly@N&W

In probably the most insane move of the year, we are taking the new 12x15 "L" Layout to Charlottesville this coming Saturday. We have buzzed out all of the wiring and as I type this "think" we have everything sorted out. However, it has not been powered-up and no locomotive has made a lap. That will happen in Charlottesville.

The cart has been powered-up. We know that it is good to go.

Wish us luck...



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Last edited by Gilly@N&W
Gilly@N&W posted:

In probably the most insane move of the year, we are taking the new 12x15 "L" Layout to Charlottesville this coming Saturday. We have buzzed out all of the wiring and as I type this "think" we have everything sorted out. However, it has not been powered-up and no locomotive has made a lap. That will happen in Charlottesville.

The cart has been powered-up. We know that it is good to go.

Wish us luck...


Must say real gusty!  Wish you guys the best of luck.


The gang has been busy.....on August 4th we ran trains at the Charlottesville Show of the Virginia Train was the 1st time we ran our 12x15 new "small venue". More detail work and scenery is left to do. We have to be finished by "Midlothian Village Days" which is the Saturday after York......our official start to the Fall/Winter  train exhibition season.

Setting ip and running the new "small venue" layout in Charlottesville on 8/4:


Some views from underneath looking at the connectors.....


Our new "power cart" modeled on the National Capital Trackers is a great idea and we are happy to follow your lead......


Just "roll it in" and "plug it in".


Check out my K-Line GG1 Pennsy work train......with cars from Lionel, Weaver, K-Line and MTH.....


Now on to upgrades of the 20x42 main layout.....working on the station module....touching up and/or re-working scenery and ballast. Painting  new pieces.....


How about our new painting forms?  


A specialized white glue mixture container.....




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Mark Boyce posted:

So did everything work out good with the new small venue layout?  Looks good.

Almost. The strategy for power feeds on a modular layout is "over-kill". We have a lot more than we really need. BUT it ensures no power problems around the layout.

On power-up, the outer loop was perfect. Despite all of the checks, there was a short on the inner loop. Long story short, I ended up disconnecting all 12 of the power feeds to the inner loop. As luck would have it, it was the last one. When we replaced a section of track with a broken pin, the feeder on that section was accidently reconnected backwards.

All the same, it cost 1/2 hour to fix. We were running in time for the show opening. The "fix" is to remove the offending section of track, swap the connections, and then swap the wiring underneath. We'll handle that on the next work day.

The other learning was that with the S curve, we have to run the inner loop clockwise. For now, if we try to run counter clockwise the train will pick the points on the switch in the middle of the curve.

Last edited by Gilly@N&W

Public venues "swallow" layouts. 99% of the time people assume that our 6'x11' is a 4'x8' layout. Many guests have shared how they had a "4'x8' layout just like this one" when they were a child.

This one is 12'x15'. In a garage/home setting, ok it's not small. Peter's garage is the only one large enough for us to set it up in.

For me, our #1 design criteria was satisfied. We can unload, setup, and be running in less than 1 hour. That clearly distinguishes it from our "big layout". It allows us to do single day displays. That is not practical with the big layout.

Perhaps we need to have a "name this layout" contest. So far "small" and "L" don't seem to be catching-on.

Last edited by Gilly@N&W

We continue to move along with our preparations for the Fall/Winter exhibition season. We completed the "small venue" layout and will be able to use it this season. We will finish the scenery next Spring/Summer. Another work party active worked on the 20x42 large modular layout......her are some pics.....

First of all, a "SHOUT OUT" to Gilly@N&W.....with all the rain we've been having, it is important to back the truck up to the garage......Tom does this without any difficulty whatsoever!. Look at my driveway....he backs the trailer down and NEVER touches the modular layout building, it is important to have skilled members who know and can operate 12” to the foot equipment!


The street is at the top of the hill....


Thursday was ballasting....


Friday was making the plexiglass barriers and cleaning the track.


Saturday was mounting the barriers.




Some work by the another work party on the large layout.....




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Last edited by Putnam Division

We built 16 three foot barriers. They are made of 3/16" polycarbonate. The big layout uses 3/32" Lexan. The guys asked for "thicker" and we delivered.

As you can see from Peter's pictures, we made two drill jigs. They located the holes in the center of the wood section, six inches from the end. This will allow us to install any barrier in any position. It is critical to maintaining our one hour or less set-up time criteria.

The scenery will be a series of lift-out panels. The plan is to drop the panels on the module. Building "foundations" will be recessed in the panels. All lighting pre-wired for simple plug-and-go operation.

As for backing the trailer, my Crownline buddies won't play "Trailer Rodeo" with me anymore. FWIW, this 12' trailer is much more difficult to back than our 24' trailer.

The bottom photos are for the club's train station modules. We'll be cleaning up the wiring rat's nests next week.

Last edited by Gilly@N&W
Seacoast posted:

What type of plywood for the table top are you using

We use 1/4" Luan on the tops. For the first time, we've used glue only to attach the tops.

Looks like your framework are 1”x4”?

The perimeter framing is 1"x 4". Cross bracing is 1"x 3" for larger modules and 1" x 2" for smaller.


Peter and Gang,   as always, you do quality work!  Making the barriers universal really was a great step to take. 

Gilly, short radius trailers are absolutely the worst. I prefer 40' and larger and get slightly sweaty when doing a 15' single axle, and having not backed one for several years, would probably be practicing in a Fry's or Walmart lot until got the touch back before tried a driveway or approach like Peters, Kudos!!

Mark Boyce posted:

Looks great!!

My compliments to Tom Gilly for being able to get down and sit on the floor like that!  

You'll note that is wasn't my knees in contact with the floor . Hips and ankles are fine, however.

Ron_S posted:

Gilly, short radius trailers are absolutely the worst. I prefer 40' and larger and get slightly sweaty when doing a 15' single axle, 

 Don't you know it. You need to stay ahead of the trailer movements. Once it starts moving the direction you want it to go, you're almost too late. 

We just moved the 24' tandem axle trailer this weekend. It was a cinch to stuff into a very narrow driveway. 

Last edited by Gilly@N&W

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