After a lifetime involved with HO scale trains, i've decided to make a major change and build an O scale HiRail layout. Having an uncle who is deeply invested in O scale 3 rail, a dad who is constantly at train expo shows surrounded by vendors, getting older where my hands can't stay steady enough to deal with the smaller models, and Amazon Prime which is full of awesome model train videos, O Scale seemed like a decent size to work with. I just moved into a 1000 sqft house, have a 3rd bedroom that happens to have the entrance and closet doors along the same wall, and is roughly 11.5' x 10.5'.....first thing that came to mind..."Train room!"
Work on this layout began back in February with a concept I had which I built with the Rail Modeler Pro software. The design ended up being revised numerous times as I browsed the internet for ideas for trains and building. I found the best option for track was Lionel Fastrack. They seemed to offer the greatest variety in sectional pieces to make my design work. The layout is an outer loop, a passing siding, a reverse loop, a series of sidings, a station area, an engine servicing area, and for fun, a girder bridge with a road underpass. Because I have smaller space to work with, i've decided to go with O-31 curves, a variety of O-31, O-36 and O-72 remote switches. Power is provided by an MTH DCS TIU, a Z-1000 power brick, and a DCS WIU. All controlled from an iPad Mini.
Layout size is 4'x8' with a 12"x24" extension for the steam locomotives to be stored. Benchwork is Mianne Benchwork, with a 1/2" plywood base, and (2) 2" pieces of foam, 1.) so I have something to carve into for my road to duck under the bridge, and 2.) for sound dampening.
Since the roster for my layout is limited to the O-31 curves, I have focused more around switchers and smaller freight cars.
The current locomotive roster consists of:
MTH Premier PRR A-5 - 0-4-0 #94 - PS.3 - 20-3598-1
MTH Premier PRR A-5 - 0-4-0 #730 - PS.2 - 20-3265-1
MTH Premier PRR A-5 - 0-4-0 #1587 - PS.2 - 20-3173-1
MTH Premier PRR B-28 - 0-6-0 #7641 - PS.2 - 20-3280-1
MTH Premier PRR E-6 - 4-4-2 #5209 - PS.3 - 20-3624-1
MTH Premier PRR GE 44-Ton #9339 - PS.3 - 20-20888-1
The current freight roster consists of:
K-Line PRR H31b Outside Brace 2 Bay Hopper #220924 - K6255-18923
K-Line PRR H31b Outside Brace 2 Bay Hopper #220944 - K6255-18923
K-Line PRR H31b Outside Brace 2 Bay Hopper #220965 - K6255-18923
K-Line PRR H22a 4 Bay Hopper #412356 - K626-18933
K-Line PRR H22a 4 Bay Hopper #412422 - K626-18934
Lionel PRR GLd 50 Ton 2 Bay Hopper #156155 - 6-81686
Lionel PRR GLd 50 Ton 2 Bay Hopper #156811 - 6-81686
Lionel PRR GLd 50 Ton 2 Bay Hopper #156885 - 6-81686
MTH Premier PRR N6b Wood Caboose #981790 - 20-91221
MTH Premier PRR N6b Wood Caboose #980824 - 20-91442
MTH Premier PRR N5c Steel Caboose #477926 - 20-90018F
MTH Premier PRR Bobber Caboose #476087 - 20-91635
The current passenger roster consists of:
Atlas PRR USRA Single Sheathed Box Car #46129 - 6454-8
Lionel Railway Express Agency Milk Car #1742 - 6-17364
MTH Premier PRR R50b Express Reefer #2618 - 20-94267
MTH Railking Rugged PRR Madison Diner #4489 - 33-6245
Labella O-353 Soo Line 50' Open Platform Combine (still to be built and painted in PRR P70 scheme)
Labella O-356 Soo Line 50' Open Platform Coach (still to be built and painted in PRR P70 scheme)
In case you didn't notice, i'm a bit of a PRR snob
There are quite a number of buildings, vehicles, water spouts, 3d printed engine sheds and trees I have purchased and plan to add to the board once the track is secured down. I'm going remove the track, clean them, and add a sheet of Woodland Scenic grass paper on top of the foam next. That'll give me a nice base color and texture for when I add more ballast and grass. I do have one concern about my switches regarding the remotes. I took the back panel off the switches and their remotes to see if the wire could be detached fairly easily so I could maybe feed them down and under the benchwork, but it seems in both places, especially the remotes, the wire is a little more involved than just unclipping it. If anyone has any suggestions of an easy way to go about feeding the wires under, i'd really appreciate it. If I have to remove the backing plates on each switch and detach the wires, then thats just what I'll have to do.
I am very new to this O Scale hobby, so i'm still learning a lot about what options are available. But I am very excited to finally have a bit of time and space to work on this layout. Like I said, the concept of my layout began back in February, an extensive amount of researching, eBaying, and shopping on various store's sites took a good 2 or 3 months to gather all the items I have now, and i'm sure i'll keep getting more.
I plan to add progress photos to this thread as work continues.