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Based upon back and forth over wonderful layout by Dougie Fresh in this thread:

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...42#78438393800506442

Since they live in an apartment in Queens and this will go on a 2" thick foam board and stand behind a dresser when not in use, and since there is no room for remote switch controls I wanted to go with manual turnouts.  After a lot of research I decided that manual 036 Fastrack switch throws easily break and according to Caboose industries are nearly impossible to use their 208S on.

So I decided to go with Gargraves manual switches that use the 208S Caboose manual switches because if he breaks them off they are easily and cheaply replaced.

Here is what I have and the SCARM plan is included.

Connor's Manual Gargraves 4 x 8 Layout

I also need an exit back out at the top from the inner loop to the outer loop, but I can't figure that out.

Thanks for the help.

John

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Last edited by Craftech
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John, just add a second set of switches on the top side between outer and inner loop, this allows for full access.

Have you planned for transitions between the gargraves and fastrack?

Using foam, how are you planning to fix track to the board?  I would use zip ties and a thin plastic square underneath, quick repairs/removal and keeps it quieter with fastrack.

1. Are you aware of how to mate the Fastrack to the Gargraves track ?

2. The upright mechanism for manually turning an 0-36 FT switch can be prone to breakage, but they can also be manually switched via two other methods, a) by moving the switch points with your fingers and b) by turning the lantern, so all is not lost if the mechanism breaks off and you might re-consider.

3. Unless I'm missing something, the "exit" at the top would simply be the reverse of the exit at the bottom.

4. It also looks like the clearance/track spacing at each end might be an issue with two trains running and potentially sideswiping the other.

   

I tried a couple of different switches at the top, but they don't seem to fit properly.  I think I have too many small sections, but every time I substitute them I end up with something not meeting.

Gargraves sells transition pins for Fastrack.

Thanks for the tips on fastening to the foam board.  I plan to do that after I am sure everything works.  The problem is I need to spend a bunch of money first for switches before I can do anything.  I have a lot of Menards tubular track in most of their sizes so I may substitute some of that in different places.  I can also easily cut that stuff.

Not sure if he will run two trains, but he might.  Right now he as a trolley and a Lion Chief set with separate controls for each.

John

@Craftech posted:

I tried a couple of different switches at the top, but they don't seem to fit properly.  I think I have too many small sections, but every time I substitute them I end up with something not meeting.

Gargraves sells transition pins for Fastrack.

Thanks for the tips on fastening to the foam board.  I plan to do that after I am sure everything works.  The problem is I need to spend a bunch of money first for switches before I can do anything.  I have a lot of Menards tubular track in most of their sizes so I may substitute some of that in different places.  I can also easily cut that stuff.

Not sure if he will run two trains, but he might.  Right now he as a trolley and a Lion Chief set with separate controls for each.

John

Correct, but you will probably also need to shim the Gargarves track/switches to meet the height of the Fastrack.

@Richie C. posted:

Correct, but you will probably also need to shim the Gargarves track/switches to meet the height of the Fastrack.

What about these?

Lionel 6-12040 Transition Piece FasTrack

I also have the Menards version plus I have no problem shimming it.  My biggest dilemma is figuring out the switches.  I have been going round and round with this for a few weeks that's why I finally posted my progress in a separate thread.  My first experience with SCARM or any other software is this plan.  Some tracks are not in the program.  Then there are some switches that come with another small section (for what I don't know) and those are not in the program either.

I guess if I figure out the switches and order them I can mess with the layout hands on, but I think I need help with that.

John

Last edited by Craftech
@John H posted:

Pins are too large for Gargraves, and the last I knew, Gargraves was out of transition pins.

I have one package of a dozen #801 track pins and Legacy station says they are in stock if I need more:

Gargraves 801 O Guage Mating Pin

Gargraves website says:

Lionel

Fast Track to GarGraves: Use Lionel item no. 6-12040 and GarGraves O Gauge Mating pins item # 801

Lionel O Gauge to GarGraves: Use GarGraves O gauge Mating pin # 801

Lionel O-27 to GarGraves: Use GarGraves O-27 Mating pin #802

John

@Ron_S posted:

John, Your right, I went back and measured the ones I used as to the shorter sections. If you reduce each side the same, the end result is more spacing.

Thanks Ron,

I'll mess with it some more.

John

I shortened it, but I end up with a small space on the lower left in the photo.

Revision 1

But it will all change when I figure out the transition at the top inner to outer using Gargraves.

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Last edited by Craftech

I must be missing something here... the key words are "five year old"

Just my opinion, but if I were setting something like this up for a 5 year old (been there, done that), I would design it in two phases. Sketch out and design the complete setup in all fastrack then:

Build phase 1: inside loop, outside loop located in the same position they would be in if the switches were there. No switches.  At 5, kids want to see trains go around the track, not switching, yards, etc.  Add buildings scenery etc, keeping in mind that phase 2 may follow!

If you use Fastrack, when the child gets older...

Add phase 2: the switches can be swapped in.  Remove a 10" section and put the switch(es) in. no other changes needed.

As I said, it's just MHO but I really think the interest level is way different at age 5 than at 8 or 9.  Feel free to ignore my thoughts, just offering an option based on seeing 5 year olds and trains!  Moving trains, sound, smoke... that's what they seem to respond to.

@eddiem posted:

I must be missing something here... the key words are "five year old"

Just my opinion, but if I were setting something like this up for a 5 year old (been there, done that), I would design it in two phases. Sketch out and design the complete setup in all fastrack then:

Build phase 1: inside loop, outside loop located in the same position they would be in if the switches were there. No switches.  At 5, kids want to see trains go around the track, not switching, yards, etc.  Add buildings scenery etc, keeping in mind that phase 2 may follow!

If you use Fastrack, when the child gets older...

Add phase 2: the switches can be swapped in.  Remove a 10" section and put the switch(es) in. no other changes needed.

As I said, it's just MHO but I really think the interest level is way different at age 5 than at 8 or 9.  Feel free to ignore my thoughts, just offering an option based on seeing 5 year olds and trains!  Moving trains, sound, smoke... that's what they seem to respond to.

Thanks Eddie,

Connor is obsessed with trains - since a little over a year old.  He won't play with Thomas because they aren't "real when they have faces".  He is quite the enigma.  He quickly bores of ovals and is constantly stopping and starting my layout to pick up this and drop off that.   I fixed my coal loader and he loved it.  "When are you going to fix the cattle loader"?  etc

He loves my N Gauge trains as well.  I recently built a DCC++ EX arduino setup and he loves running them with his mother's phone and my tablet.  He knows every command without labeling them.  It's not that he is brilliant.  He is obsessed with trains. 

When he was a year and a half I sat him in my lap and put Mike Armstrong's video called "California Trains" on YouTube.  It is one hour long.  Connor watched it for 45 minutes.

Normally I would agree with you.  None of my kids (or myself) had that lever of interest at such a young age.

John

I get the kid thing for sure. My grandkids are very keen on the o scale stuff; we have thrown down tubular every holiday they are around and done some crazy things crossing the entirety of rooms. One year we had o42 and smaller laid out in a weird sort of dog leg with a cross at 90 and a cross at 45, so double crossing itself. They loved that. We did it because it was the only way to get all of the passenger cars on the track due to their length. This year, its the 30" MTH bridge w/ lights + trestles. That has gone over immensely well.

Our daughter thought, is MUCH more keen on things from an engineering point of view. She is dying to go to one of the Steam Days at B&O railroad museum, and wants to check out the real Allegheny up against the not so real but scale sized one we just got (that has yet to see runtime!!!). 

We have a TON of n scale stuff from Kato complete with a sound box and chips for the sets we have, all with light and sound. Train stations, passing sections, pretty much everything we see when we go to Japan for family or visit. For her, its a real treat. The grandkids? MEH, break out the big trains. Hah!

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