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My current layout is about 10 years old....

It is 6x16' on 3 levels of Mianne Benchwork. The Top level is a 2x16' engine  facility.

The Middle level is the main layout with 2 interconnected loops and double reverse loops

The Lower Level is a 6x8' dual track Subway where only the subway station is visible.

I am about 90% finished wiring and scenery.....but it coming down. As a retirement present, my lovely wife has put aside money to give me a 20x30' attic room. when she asked me last summer if I would mind moving the layout to the attic in a bigger space, I said....."well, since my schedule is wide open, I think I can do it"...

Construction begins sometime in February.

Here are the final pictures of the "old layout".90F5B796-0DA0-45A8-939B-ABDF69761A2369D167A6-B15F-4F80-B685-C8A70DE23AA41E301B2D-B5C5-488B-BD80-DE805BEB41BD2E701828-F9AA-4243-947A-3790B0579E60931DE38A-7CF4-415F-938D-2DF8A1113093A08F0F34-4B73-459D-97D7-5FCC6EDD6400269BD2B1-C0F8-428E-80A2-8CF1BC7C11C9FB724B20-0AA6-4398-BBA6-49E15ECAF51FB08BAF34-72D1-44FC-AEEE-2C85F12CB17635FD4B22-C393-436A-B302-471A03076FD9E63961A2-C4FA-4A1F-B0DA-243F0AA83BE958B05E20-FAEB-44AE-B08E-906B5A26D90CF22427DD-AD1E-4F59-9F8F-01F524FF456CA2739432-5CF0-4FB7-AD68-B98C79FFA56F01CB226C-E6D0-49B1-B198-5F3FE117A112508B1BFC-89E2-4D96-B18F-73531CD556E8

You can expect regular updates.....I intend to finish this new layout!

Peter

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Last edited by Putnam Division
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

My current layout is about 10 years old....

It is 6x16' on 3 levels of Mianne Benchwork. The Top level is a 2x16' engine  facility.

A2739432-5CF0-4FB7-AD68-B98C79FFA56F

You can expect regular updates.....I intend to finish this new layout!

Peter

“I intend to finish this new layout!” - I believe that phrase will be carved on all of our tombstones

I do have one question about your old upper level, Peter... does it connect to the main level or does it require the use of the flying five-fingered crane to move serviced engines onto the mainlines???

I am looking forward to seeing your progress.

Pete,

I am so pleased for you.   This is great news!!!   

Some unsolicited advice:

  • Don't be in a hurry to "get trains running"
  • Get it right the first time - do-overs are demoralizing

Best of luck.  I will watch this thread with great interest.

Again - congratulations on your retirement.  I hope this brings you much joy.

George

Peter, I have enjoyed watching trains run on your present layout, but am really looking forward to seeing what you build in the attic.  Now that you are retired, you should be able to move along at a very quick pace!  Oh!  I'm retired, and my layout progress is crawling along at about the same speed I was taking down Christmas lights and Nativity display this warm (35 degrees) afternoon. 

Just kidding, follow George's advice and don't get in a hurry!

@Apples55 posted:

“I intend to finish this new layout!” - I believe that phrase will be carved on all of our tombstones

I do have one question about your old upper level, Peter... does it connect to the main level or does it require the use of the flying five-fingered crane to move serviced engines onto the mainlines???

I am looking forward to seeing your progress.

......the flying 5 fingered crane......it was great conceptually......if, I did it again, I would plan on better lighting underneath......I used battery-operated LEDS, and they weren’t enough.....

Peter

@Lionelski posted:

Looking forward to your updates Peter.

Breaking down your beautiful current layout has got to be heartbreaking but building a new one will be great fun.

What will happen in the old space? Will you be salvaging parts of the current layout? What did you learn and will do differently on the new layout?

The old space will be basement living space.....and one wall will eventually be built-in shelves with a library ladder......I have a huge history book collection (separate from my collection of books on railroad history and model railroading).

The Mianne Benchwork will be reused and I will get with Tim for an expansion.

I believe that I will switch to all Ross track and switches. I am toying with a few plans.....

The big changes are that I will try to leave more room for viewing and have at least one O72 loop.

Peter

@G3750 posted:

Pete,

I am so pleased for you.   This is great news!!!   

Some unsolicited advice:

  • Don't be in a hurry to "get trains running"
  • Get it right the first time - do-overs are demoralizing

Best of luck.  I will watch this thread with great interest.

Again - congratulations on your retirement.  I hope this brings you much joy.

George

Agreed.......I’m not going to finalize a plan until I see the room......then I will make sure it doesn’t overpower the space......

I have no deadline for getting trains running since I will have the modular group layouts to run on......

I am re-reading Dennis Brennan's wonderful book from about 10 years ago. I am reading the new Jim Barrett book now. I will be reviewing certain OGR and TM videos, especially those that deal with urban cityscapes.

@Mark Boyce posted:

Peter, I have enjoyed watching trains run on your present layout, but am really looking forward to seeing what you build in the attic.  Now that you are retired, you should be able to move along at a very quick pace!  Oh!  I'm retired, and my layout progress is crawling along at about the same speed I was taking down Christmas lights and Nativity display this warm (35 degrees) afternoon. 

Just kidding, follow George's advice and don't get in a hurry!

Mark.....I'm also going to have helpers from the Modular Group.....

Peter

Let's look at the space.....the attic is approximately 30x40 at the 5' knee wall.5EB475F2-D8C2-4E58-8DA3-44A71BEFB9FD

A stairwell cuts off a 6' cedar closet on the right end.

This leaves approximately a 30x30' space, plus the stairwell area. 10x20' is reserved for storage and the HVAC unit.

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What have I been doing? We moved here 17 years ago......besides the train boxes, we have ben putting "stuff" up there ever since......plus, the stuff we brought over from the other house. My job this month is to move it out.

I rented a 10x20' storage unit to put everything in during construction. I have been moving train boxes down to the basement and am slowly packing trains...

The rest of the stuff: Legos, Rokenbok, American Girl Dolls, blocks, Beanie Babies, etc is being carted to storage along with multiple GoodWill trips.

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I found some old friends

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The storage area is 2 adjacent 10x10 units.....this is the kids stuff. The trains will be just next door.

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This project has also showed me how "healthy" model railroading is as a hobby......since I retired, I am doing over 20K steps a day.......90% of them in the house, going up and down the stairs, carrying loads......

Once I clear it out, the contractor and I will go over the plans.....

Peter

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Last edited by Putnam Division

Hi Peter,  Your space is enviable, soon I will start a similar but much smaller project. Here is something to consider before you insulate, as I recently got a smaller space ready ready for a permanent layout.

I rough wired multiple locations for 2 circuit tracs, running 14-3 type nmb  (romex). I treated each Trac as a home run (single 14-3 cable between each Trac and J box)  I ran the Home Run to a hidden but accesible junction box that also had a 15Amp 14 Gauge 120VAC power circuit.  Using multiple and amiable Trac heads with LED spot and floods I will be able to do many different lighting scenes. The many different scenes can then be programed into Lutron Caseta switches with unlimited possibilities such as simulated dusk using your cell phone to control the out of sight Caseta switches.

I also installed  2each  4" flexible ducting from high points on the ceiling  to a Panasonic 300 cfm remote fan exhausting to the outside.

Before I retired I had installed a lot of like equipment for my customers.

Anyway good luck you appear to have the talent and the space, I wish I had the same.

kevin

@Fast Mail posted:

Hi Peter,  Your space is enviable, soon I will start a similar but much smaller project. Here is something to consider before you insulate, as I recently got a smaller space ready ready for a permanent layout.

I rough wired multiple locations for 2 circuit tracs, running 14-3 type nmb  (romex). I treated each Trac as a home run (single 14-3 cable between each Trac and J box)  I ran the Home Run to a hidden but accesible junction box that also had a 15Amp 14 Gauge 120VAC power circuit.  Using multiple and amiable Trac heads with LED spot and floods I will be able to do many different lighting scenes. The many different scenes can then be programed into Lutron Caseta switches with unlimited possibilities such as simulated dusk using your cell phone to control the out of sight Caseta switches.

I also installed  2each  4" flexible ducting from high points on the ceiling  to a Panasonic 300 cfm remote fan exhausting to the outside.

Before I retired I had installed a lot of like equipment for my customers.

Anyway good luck you appear to have the talent and the space, I wish I had the same.

kevin

Thank you....

Peter

Peter, That is a good plan to keep the existing layout up for running trains until you get things going in the attic.  I also agree all that exercise up and down the stairs carrying boxes and then at the storage unit makes up for exercise elsewhere.  During the last 10 years I was working, I was in an office on the second floor.  In good weather I walked outside at lunchtime, but in the bad weather I walked up and down the stairs.  My legs were stronger during the winter and so was my breathing capacity.

Take down continues.....I am still mostly clearing out the attic and packing trains up.

I curtailed my weight training temporarily......I am doing plenty of lifting......

I'm averaging 18-22K steps (up and down the stairs) daily.....no need for my 3 mile walks right now!196BD28E-866E-4F9D-8CCC-7BF6719CAE8C

Peter

Tonight on Storage Wars...  Dave Hester hits it big when he find all of Peter's Trains packed away.

HI Peter, first a huge congratulations to you on your retirement.

Your new layout space offers a world of opportunities. I look forward to your planning and progress.

I had a layout in the attic space a long time ago in a galaxy far far away - during the build I don't think my legs could have gotten any stronger from all that climbing up and down with material.

I wish you all the best in this new chapter,

Paul

Coming along! Except for bookcases which I'll need help moving, the attic is cleared out (compare to earlier pics) and ready for a "sometime in February" construction start up.....

I will start working on the plan again, but I'm not going to commit myself to a final plan until I see what the room looks like.

Packing has been fun.....I came across a ton of things I had forgotten about that "came aboard for the ride", some of them from long ago.....

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415 Diesel Fueling Station.....in pretty decent shape for something about 65 years old.....

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A collection of buttons from previous Yorks......

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One of these was mine as a kid and I acquired one with a collection I purchased....forgot all about them.....

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.....I don't think I'll use this stuff.....it actually solidified.....

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It's amazing what one accumulates over a lifetime in the hobby!

Peter

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Coming along! Except for bookcases which I'll need help moving, the attic is cleared out (compare to earlier pics) and ready for a "sometime in February" construction start up.....

I will start working on the plan again, but I'm not going to commit myself to a final plan until I see what the room looks like.

Packing has been fun.....I came across a ton of things I had forgotten about that "came aboard for the ride", some of them from long ago.....

EF09B618-EA26-45B9-BBA2-7BE1CE5B8C6C



It's amazing what one accumulates over a lifetime in the hobby!

Peter

Enviable space, Peter.

@lehighline posted:

Peter,

May I presume you have a contractor lined up to make the space hospital, layout and visitor friendly?

Yes......the house is 21 years old and we are nearing the end of a 3 year upgrade/refresh....when the house was built, the subfloor and kneewall were put in with the intent to finish. It was wired at the start.

Peter

Last edited by Putnam Division

Peter, Your attic looks huge, but I'm curious as what the vertical wooden structure (pole, shaft) is in the center. Will it hinder what otherwise appears to be a obstruction free area?

Steve

Not an issue......the entire room is 30x30.....that post is about 10 ft out from the side which will be walled off for an approximately  10x30 area for storage and the HVAC unit. It leaves me an area a little larger than 20x30.

Peter

@NeophyteMRR posted:

Looks like you have a lot of natural light to take advantage for your space.  Are you going to have wall space for train display shelves or do you like to keep them in boxes?  Might want to leave some space for a mini-fridge and a half bath-once it’s finished it might be hard to pry you out!  

I'm planning on floor to ceiling shelving on 2 walls. It's no fun for me taking trains in and out of boxes.....when that happens, I find I change things out less frequently.....

Peter

Last edited by Putnam Division

Moving right along Peter. I envy  that space for sure. One comment of what will be more I'm sure. Have you thought about sound proofing for the bench work? Besides tabletop, I would recommend something under the table legs as well. Vibration isolators will go a long way. Since you are on top of your living space the clickety clack may get to be an issue later on.

Vibration control | Vibration isolation | Neoprene pad | Eaton

Bob

@RSJB18 posted:

Moving right along Peter. I envy  that space for sure. One comment of what will be more I'm sure. Have you thought about sound proofing for the bench work? Besides tabletop, I would recommend something under the table legs as well. Vibration isolators will go a long way. Since you are on top of your living space the clickety clack may get to be an issue later on.

Vibration control | Vibration isolation | Neoprene pad | Eaton

Bob

Great idea!

Thank you!

Peter

Peter,  That's a really nice space.  Great idea w the HVAC.  Looking fwd to seeing the lift pics.  How's your wiring / power availability to the room. I'm assuming they'll be pulling in new wire for the hvac unit; if you don't have enough existing power available for the layout, you may want to have them pull in some train room dedicated additional power.  In our train room i ran 2 separate 12-2 circuits to power only the wall plugs and put each feed on a 20a heavy duty wall switch, so that when we leave the room we flip the switches and kill all power to the room / layout. A safety thing for young kids and old guys who forget 20200513_091020stuff.     

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@BillYo414 posted:

Will you be taking some photos of the lift??

I stayed home today to take pictures and video......the truck with the drywall was supposed to be here at 1PM and it broke down  ......now it's planned for 7:30 AM Wednesday......I hope they're not late.....I have to head to the Chesterfield County Fairgrounds at 11AM to be one of the afternoon vaccinators.

@TomSuperO posted:

Peter,  That's a really nice space.  Great idea w the HVAC.  Looking fwd to seeing the lift pics.  How's your wiring / power availability to the room. I'm assuming they'll be pulling in new wire for the hvac unit; if you don't have enough existing power available for the layout, you may want to have them pull in some train room dedicated additional power.  In our train room i ran 2 separate 12-2 circuits to power only the wall plugs and put each feed on a 20a heavy duty wall switch, so that when we leave the room we flip the switches and kill all power to the room / layout. A safety thing for young kids and old guys who forget 20200513_091020stuff.     

This has been part of a house renovation/refresh that started in early 2019. We're getting to the end. When we did the pantry and laundry rooms, we extended the wiring from the basement. We are lucky that when the house was built, they put in 400 amp service.

Once the framing is done, I'm meeting with the electrician to plan wall outlets and at least 2 floor outlets.

Peter

Late to the thread. Congrats on both your retirement and new train room.  I live in the RVA area and noticed we finally have a good stretch of weather to get the material delivered.

I’ve been fighting the weather and the contractor on getting my deck rebuilt.  Contracted in August, but material delays pushed me back to bad time of year for weather.

Progress!
The room is divided into a 10x30 storeroom and an irregular 20x30 train room.

An overview of the train room.....

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Room for bookcases between the dormers......

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Another view of the stairwell enters the room to the right.....

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The storeroom......

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The room from the other end......

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I’m getting very excited......

Peter

You're a very smart man, Peter. I'm not -  I would have one big 30 by 60 train room if I had that much space. LOL.

HVAC is done!

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The 10x30 storage area......

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The view of the layout room from inside the storage room through the framing......

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The view of the layout room from inside a dormer....

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I am getting very excited.....I am starting to really take the layout plan seriously......my wife and I have been to the flooring place. The electrician arrives next week.  Then, it is time for drywall installation.   I'm thinking 4-6 weeks?

Peter

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A few pics from current progress.....the electricians have been here all week......

The flooring is picked out.

After the electricians finish, then comes drywall, then flooring and then painting. I suspect a May 1 finish......

Then the rest of the current layout comes down and dismantled with the Mianne parts going up to the attic.

I am talking to Tim at Mianne this week and I will figure out what I need and figure a delivery in June.

I have made a contact with Steve at Ross and he says a 3-6 week time for orders. I will aim for July.

Later I will post some track plans.......with explanations of what I am doing......and listen to suggestions for changes.

A lot of different angles to give you an idea of the fixed obstacles (doors, ceiling hatch) that I will have to work around.

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I get more excited each day!

Have a great and safe weekend, folks.

Peter

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That looks awesome, Peter!

I am so excited for you.

Looks like you're taking care of the important business first, too.

That's crucial, because it's very difficult to put in the correct walls, HVAC, insulation, backdrop (don't ask me how I know ),  lights, etc. after you start building the layout.

You're doing great!  Just keep on keepin' on. 

George

Wow Peter, it has been way too long since my eyes got in here and on the forum in general. It's almost like I have been hibernating like most of my friends say I do during the winter months. With spring officially sprung today I guess it's safe for me to come out of my cave(den) and see what's going on in the world. I really need to pop out and say "hi" more often.

BTW, your work looks great. Soon that attic will have the right feel of climate that the trains will smile as they come up the stairs anxious to begin running. Of course they'll have to wait for all the necessary things like bench work, track laying, wiring, testing, and more testing before the really fun stuff begins. Main lines will be in before you know it, and then we'll see some NYC magic as well as all the other rail lines you enjoy.

P.S., I've got to work on my own small space.

So here goes.....I have some room constraints......2 doors, the stairwell and HVAC ceiling access.

The following is an older plan.....not one that I'm using.....but it maps out the room. You see where the dormers are. On the top, on the other side of the wall is the 10x30 storage room.

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The walls on the top and the right will have floor to ceiling Glenn Snyder shelving....if the trains aren't easily available, they won't get run.

I need an area for a small couch and my desk. The aisle minimum is going to 3 feet. There are bookcases built into the space between the dormers. I want to have area to move around.

I will wait for the finished room to finalize everything.

Here are the latest plans that I am considering.....for background, please note that I prefer and model industrial/urban landscapes.

On both plans, I will use a Mianne Lift Gate to enter the layout from above into a 2x5 open area.

This is called 8L. It has 3 main lines with a wye and reversing loops.

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A lot of track.....this is a revision, removing a part of the 3rd Main Line. This plan is called 10L

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On both plans, underneath the main level, on the right will be the Subway.....2 loops covering a 6x7 area. A station will be visible like on my current layout.

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The electricians are finishing up today......next will be drywall.......

Peter

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@RSJB18 posted:

Looks great Peter.

A thought just popped into my head.

What are you going to do for display shelves? If you are planning shelves on the walls, have your carpenter install blocking between the studs. You will be thankful later when you don't have to go hunting for the beams to drive a screw.

Bob

Great suggestion, Bob!  I always have trouble finding studs.  

Peter

A suggestion for the high ceiling area above the new attic-based layout ...

I presume you'll add insulation and then cover the ceiling and walls drywall. Paint the ceiling dark blue, add some wispy clouds with glow-in-the-dark paint, and string white mini-Christmas lights in random patterns to simulate starlight. Bonus feature:  arrange some mini-lights in the Big Dipper configuration. Some stargazers will recognize it!

Mike Mottler    LCCA 12394

Very nice, Peter!

I was curious if you were going to go the spray foam route. Now we have the answer...

And I'll take Mike's comment about one step further: Find an astronomer to put some actual constellations on your dark ceiling with glow-in-the-dark paint. Then when you dim the lights for night running, voila! The glow-in-the-dark will not be obnoxious in full room light. Rust-Oleum makes it. Look in art supply stores.

Chris

LVHR