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Hi, I’d like to introduce myself, I’m an aircraft mechanic and aerobatic pilot from northeast pa. Been a closet train nerd my whole life. My great grandfather started our families Lionel layout in the 30s. 2 years ago my dad passed it on to me. Well it’s set up in my basement and I’m addicted. Keep adding things and now working on expanding it. Me and my dad have done all the track work and my lady friend builds the “town”, which is quite unique. We put together a nice video of the layout and our family’s history with it. Figured you might enjoy it. I’ll keep this updated as we modify the layout. Thanks!!

 

chris

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DKQrVU01dc0

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Thanks for enjoying the video.  Been browsing this forum for a little while learning. Going to be pulling some of this up and expanding it. Plus, just got another NW2 that I’m going to rewire the motor so it starts “in reverse” so I can put the two cab to cab. Also going to wire them to both pick up power from the lead locomotive so one doesn’t get out of sequence and while I’m at it wiring them in series.

Well, got the layout all ripped down and rebuilding. Going to have inclines. One is rather steep, it’s a descent and will be hidden in a tunnel.  Main line makes 2 loops around the table with a small yard.  There is an inside loop for the old trains.  We decided to model summer, fall and winter in different sections of the layout and looking forward to the scenery building aspect. 2 mountains with tunnels and a good rock cut as well. The lady is looking forward to rebuilding town and we are eying up some building kits. Putting some of that gray foam roadbed under the track and going to ballast it. Hope to have the road bed down by this weekend. Then going to work on rail power. Going to solder the wire right on the track and figuring every 6 feet or so. I’ll put up some pics tonight

Hi Chris,

I enjoyed your family Christmas video. I particularly like the wall your grandfather built. I have a western town my great-grandfather built in the 20s. These family heirlooms are special.

If your NW2 is postwar with an e unit, it should have a lever underneath to disengage the e unit. You wouldn't need to do any rewiring. Just get the train you want as the b unit running in reverse and while it is running hold it and reach under and move the lever. This will disconnect the e unit and keep it in reverse. Do the same thing with the other unit in forward and you will have your lash up.

@C_Murley posted:

...Going to have inclines. One is rather steep, it’s a descent and will be hidden in a tunnel...

Really enjoy the concept of what you're doing.  

And you've probably already thought of this, but just in case - 'steep descent in a tunnel' - be sure to allow plenty of access.  No matter how well it runs while testing, as soon as it's covered by a tunnel, the gremlins will move in.

So after a kitchen and entranceway project I’m back on the layout. We got all the track wired. Power solder directly to the rail. Now to build the switching control board and then on to mountains, scenery and town. So I love my Williams NW2’s and I have no plan on leaving conventional control so I needed power for the Anthracite Express excursion train. So I picked up a Williams RS3. Man I thought the TBP on the NW2’s was good, this thing sounds fantastic! The DL heads up the valley not far from my house in greenridge, Scranton and I hear those Alcos chugging along every weekend! Anyways, First thing I did was wire the RS3 in series, then lube it and put it to work. The last of my cars arrived today. All atlas O trainman 60’ coaches. Have read mixed reviews but these run great! No issues noted, at all! Enjoy!

 

 

im not all set on Pennsylvania locomotives, but I loved me some black and yellow......

 

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A little update. Gotta wire up the signals then wiring is done. Pressure switches I had won’t work with the foam rail bed so I gotta come up with another idea for that. Got the tunnel structures built with foam board, now to build the mountains around them and on to scenery!  Middle line is for the bump and go trolley. Not on the layout yet but has been tested before building the tunnel!!!  Also gotta make placards for the control panel!

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Nice, really nice!  Your YouTube video put me in the Christmas spirit, and that's still 18 weeks away (but who's counting!)

My only suggestion would be to avoid using cotton balls, especially near the track.  I love snow scenes with trains, and I once built a winter layout myself.  I don't know how you kept that loose cotton of the gears and side rods!  The second year I used a sheet of cotton batting from a craft store.  A few pieces of thin foam under it here and there looked just like snow drifts.  Sprinkle a little of the loose stuff on the roofs of houses, etc., and it looks like a day's worth of melt has occurred.

Really look forward to seeing your progress, especially when it gets decorated.  Thanks for sharing!

Really like the layout and the rapid progress.  Nice use of tubular track, postwar (and similar) trains, and old-school control panel, all in a nice room.  You've provided a lot of ideas for how I can revise my current layout.

In the area at the front of the layout (in the 2nd video) where a lower level track is very close to the risers for the upper level, do you have enough room to add a retaining wall?  The center area looks like a bit of a reach - do you have really long arms, or a topside creeper?  And I really hope those enclosed tunnels work out OK - they're nice, and it looks like you have excellent trackwork, but the universe has a way of focusing on inaccessible areas.

Nice touch having a beverage sitting on the corner.

Your layout is really taking shape nicely.  I was also wondering about your plans for arm's reach to some areas, or do you plan to climb on the layout.  I gave up on climbing on things a couple years ago.  I think I had to do too much of it in my working years.    I love enclosed tunnels, especially if you have any thoughts of using Go Pro or other on board cameras.  Do you have plans for accessing derailments.

My background was scale HO trains as a child and up until I was about 55.  Over the last 8 or 9 years, I have accumulated a small collection of scale offerings mostly from Lionel and MTH.  I love the details, but once the train is moving at any speed at all, I can't see the details.  Your trains look great!  Sometimes I wonder if I will be selling mine at some point and going with post-war and other less detailed semi-scale trains, as I am more clumsy with breaking detail parts.  I really like what you have done, and agree with others, you did a great job with the tinplate track.  It took me some getting used to the third rail of O gauge, so I am also getting used to seeing tinplate track.  All that to say, I am impressed with what you have done!!! 

@Mark Boyce posted:

Your layout is really taking shape nicely.  I was also wondering about your plans for arm's reach to some areas, or do you plan to climb on the layout.  I gave up on climbing on things a couple years ago.  I think I had to do too much of it in my working years.    I love enclosed tunnels, especially if you have any thoughts of using Go Pro or other on board cameras.  Do you have plans for accessing derailments.

My background was scale HO trains as a child and up until I was about 55.  Over the last 8 or 9 years, I have accumulated a small collection of scale offerings mostly from Lionel and MTH.  I love the details, but once the train is moving at any speed at all, I can't see the details.  Your trains look great!  Sometimes I wonder if I will be selling mine at some point and going with post-war and other less detailed semi-scale trains, as I am more clumsy with breaking detail parts.  I really like what you have done, and agree with others, you did a great job with the tinplate track.  It took me some getting used to the third rail of O gauge, so I am also getting used to seeing tinplate track.  All that to say, I am impressed with what you have done!!! 

Mark, I had HO,N,and O guage. Recent!y I focusing on Postwar. I don't have a huge amount of command engines so I'm keeping those I have but from here on it's going to be postwar.

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4AC15AC2-8A76-4E8A-9E84-301250F74EB83E9FA387-D459-4810-9C81-CE663ECF7746F7CACE9A-EAB6-4082-9BD9-EAF966F2B98CThanks for all the comments and for enjoying my layout progress! Some of the questions, I can reach just about all theme way through the tunnels. Could also reach the entire layout. If you see the “hole” in the layout by the pole I can pop up through that and reach the middle. That will have a lid of scenery that can be lifted off if I need to get in there. Avoiding cotton on new scenery, only one mountain will be winter scene. But you’re right those darn side rods sure do like to wrap up in it! Built my coal breaker this weekend. Gotta order some corrugated metal for it and making frosted windows out of bead blasted lexan.  Dollar store foam board is fantastic!!!

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@John A posted:

12 feet of my layout is my dad’s hometown of Swoyersville, PA.  I will take some pics of whole town tomorrow, and post.  Keep an eye out for it. JohnA 

I look forward to seeing this.......although I currently reside in Maryland I am from Swoyersville.......had to smile when I saw the Harry E. and the Roosevelt theater........great memories........ 

Hi Murleys All,

I loved your original post with the story of the history of the layout.  And it appears that now you have been bitten by the year round layout bug!  I loved the mention of Wheeler Ave and other Scranton area things as I was born just up the street, off of Wheeler at Butler St. in Dunmore.  

I saw your mention of coming up with a method to replace pressure switches. Look into insulated outside rail control for your activation needs. 

Your names and faces are familiar; Boys Scouts, If I recall? 

Let me know if I can be of assistance in any way. You can find my email in my profile. 

Earl Trygar  

 

 

 

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