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I have two types of decoupling tracks on my layout. I had bought the Atlas O version a long time back then recently bought the Gargraves version. I really like the Gargraves track because its magnet is a lot longer than the Atlas O making it much easier to spot a car on the track for decoupling.

Below is the Gargraves wiring diagram. Note track power does not flow through the track so you will need power drops on both sides. I plan on making little 'milepost' signs to aid in spotting cars on each track.

Below are photos of the two tracks

2021-06-13 decoupling track 001

2021-06-13 decoupling track 002

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I have all my signals placed on the layout and am getting ready to wire however I spent the week slowly pulling out the locomotives I have been storing for going on 5 years now, oil and greasing and making sure they work. The neat thing is that it has been so long that when I open a box I actually go "gee I did not know I had that"!

I have 3 MTH Cantilever lights - see below

2021-06-20 MTH Freight Kit Bash 017

I set up a bench test to make sure my wiring is correct. I have Lionel ITADS and Z-Stuff 1075 detectors. Both worked with the cantilevers.

zstuff

itad

I believe my Lionel ITADS are the old version. I don't have so can't vouch for the new version but please see below

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I wired a single mast Lionel signal (6-24101) to a DZ-1075 detector and an MTH 3 over 3 signal (30-11024) to both a Lionel 153 detector and to a DZ-1075 detector). I decided to wire the top and bottom separately even though I don't think this is prototypical. I have the signal in front of a turnout wired such that if a train exists track 1 the top aspect turns red for track 2 and vice versa.

The three wiring diagrams are shown below





Next week I am wiring DZ-1060 signals to both DZ-1075 and DZ-1070 detectors I have in stock. Note the DZ-1070 only works with Z-Stuff signals.

Though I did not do this the wiring diagram for a Lionel signal to a Lionel 153 detector is shown below

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I just finished wiring a Z-Stuff 1060 signal to a Z-Stuff 1070 detector. Below is the wiring diagram per Z-Stuff instructions. Below it is a wiring diagram that actually worked. In this instance I had to connect the white wire instead of the gray wire to make the signal function properly.

Next Sunday I have two more DZ-1060  signals to wire but this time to DZ-1075 detectors.

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I have been reading some old articles written by Frank Ellison, John Allen and John Armstrong more on this in an upcoming post) with respect to track work. Based on these articles I changed my east yard to make it more simple. In the previous design the scrap yard was difficult to get into and out of and because of the turnouts I was limited in the number of flat cars I could push in or take out. The new yard design gives me straight access to the yard with a long spur plus I have gained a caboose track.

Below is the original layout - note the scrap yard track with the crane - bottom right

timesaver 3 ogr

In the modified layout design the scrap yard now has its own spur and I gain a caboose track along side of it.

timesaver 3b ogr

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To get 'new' structure ideas for my layout and business I went back in time. Frank Ellison is a famous model railroader who wrote a bunch of structure articles for a now defunct magazine called Model Builder in the 1940's. These magazines are available on the internet for free. Some of his structures have been updated and re-issued by Brennan's Model Railroading. I have two kits I plan on building soon. I also plan on designing and scratch building my own.
Frank Ellison then John Allen started writing track operations planning articles for Model Railroader in the late 1940's and early 1950's (John Armstrong followed later with mostly track plans for prototype railroad operation). F. Ellison wrote a series of articles on various aspects of layout planning and building, scenery and operation. What interested me the most was his series of articles on how to set up spurs and sidings so there was a purpose for their existence. He wrote articles on where to fit industries on spurs and how to switch cars into and out of the spurs. In 1944 he wrote his famous series called "The Art of Model Railroading" which was reprinted in 1964.
To paraphrase Ellison and Allen a good model railroad must have a 'come from' and a 'go to' operation otherwise one is just running trains (no offense to 'loopers'). Even if sidings are constructed but no specific business is located to 'go to' on those sidings you can still drop of a box car, hopper or tank car or all of them at the same time since the spur lacks a purpose for those cars being there. Of the many examples of 'come from' / 'go to' one would be an output terminal at a refinery that loads tank cars with diesel, gasoline,heating oil or propane. The tank cars can then be dropped off at spurs containing a bulk oil dealer, a propane tank farm or a gasoline/diesel dealer. You can simply stop there or go further. For instance the heating oil dealer can load trucks with heating oil for delivery to city or residential neighborhoods. A grain elevator to a feed or flour mill to a freight dealer is another good example. I am still planning and building industries for the spurs. More on this in an upcoming posts.
From John Armstrong's articles and books I learned the necessity of double ended passing sidings so I can park a freight consist while a passenger train speeds by. I also learned that my yard layout was inefficient and changed it (previous post). I made my passenger station track a double ended siding also. So I can park the passenger train at the station and let the freight proceed on the same track and perhaps cross over to the outside main for an excursion around the country side. Or I can do the opposite and let the passenger train cross over to the outside main and go 'cross country' while I make switching moves (pick ups and drop offs) for the freight train at the various spurs.

Below is a partial list of books and articles I read.
1. John Armstrong "Track Planning for Realistic Operation" - Model Railroader Books
2. Frank Ellison "Fast Freight" Model Railroader Dec 1949
3. Frank Ellison "Freight Yards" Model Railroader Jan 1950
4. Frank Ellison "Way Freight" Model Railroader Feb 1950
5. Frank Ellison "Route Switching" Model Railroader Mar 1950 - an excellent article
6. Frank Ellison "Where to Locate Your Industries" Model Railroader Jun 1950 - another excellent article.
7. Frank Ellison "Art of Model Railroading" Model Railroader Mar to Aug 1944

Last edited by Joe Fauty

Joe,

Sorry it took so long for me to respond, but the ITAD descriptions I was talking about are in your 7/11 post where you show two signals (1 MTH & 1 Lionel) wired to DZ-1075 detectors and two signals (1 MTH & 1 Lionel) wired to ITADs.  Both ITAD descriptions say they represent wiring for the "OLDER" ITAD product, but I think one of them is supposed to be the newer product.  Or, are they both supposed to be for the "OLDER" ITAD product and just showing the differences between an MTH signal hook-up and a Lionel signal hook-up?  What's confusing is that one description references a hook-up diagram for "NEWER" ITAD product "on the next page."

I whole-heartedly concur with your reading recommendations and track plan changes; "operating" can be so much more fun than "running."  However, the 1964 version of "The Art of Model Railroading" is actually a re-do of an earlier version by the same name.  Don't remember the year(s) of the earlier version, but I know the earlier version track plan had a turntable at Raymondale and the later version did not.  I will bet, just like you, Ralph made changes after initial construction to improve operations, just like you!

Chuck

Last edited by PRR1950
@Joe Fauty posted:

To get 'new' structure ideas for my layout and business I went back in time. Frank Ellison is a famous model railroader who wrote a bunch of structure articles for a now defunct magazine called Model Builder in the 1940's. These magazines are available on the internet for free. Some of his structures have been updated and re-issued by Brennan's Model Railroading. I have two kits I plan on building soon. I also plan on designing and scratch building my own.
Frank Ellison then John Allen started writing track operations planning articles for Model Railroader in the late 1940's and early 1950's (John Armstrong followed later with mostly track plans for prototype railroad operation). F. Ellison wrote a series of articles on various aspects of layout planning and building, scenery and operation. What interested me the most was his series of articles on how to set up spurs and sidings so there was a purpose for their existence. He wrote articles on where to fit industries on spurs and how to switch cars into and out of the spurs. In 1944 he wrote his famous series called "The Art of Model Railroading" which was reprinted in 1964.
To paraphrase Ellison and Allen a good model railroad must have a 'come from' and a 'go to' operation otherwise one is just running trains (no offense to 'loopers'). Even if sidings are constructed but no specific business is located to 'go to' on those sidings you can still drop of a box car, hopper or tank car or all of them at the same time since the spur lacks a purpose for those cars being there. Of the many examples of 'come from' / 'go to' one would be an output terminal at a refinery that loads tank cars with diesel, gasoline,heating oil or propane. The tank cars can then be dropped off at spurs containing a bulk oil dealer, a propane tank farm or a gasoline/diesel dealer. You can simply stop there or go further. For instance the heating oil dealer can load trucks with heating oil for delivery to city or residential neighborhoods. A grain elevator to a feed or flour mill to a freight dealer is another good example. I am still planning and building industries for the spurs. More on this in an upcoming posts.
From John Armstrong's articles and books I learned the necessity of double ended passing sidings so I can park a freight consist while a passenger train speeds by. I also learned that my yard layout was inefficient and changed it (previous post). I made my passenger station track a double ended siding also. So I can park the passenger train at the station and let the freight proceed on the same track and perhaps cross over to the outside main for an excursion around the country side. Or I can do the opposite and let the passenger train cross over to the outside main and go 'cross country' while I make switching moves (pick ups and drop offs) for the freight train at the various spurs.

Below is a partial list of books and articles I read.
1. John Armstrong "Track Planning for Realistic Operation" - Model Railroader Books
2. Frank Ellison "Fast Freight" Model Railroader Dec 1949
3. Frank Ellison "Freight Yards" Model Railroader Jan 1950
4. Frank Ellison "Way Freight" Model Railroader Feb 1950
5. Frank Ellison "Route Switching" Model Railroader Mar 1950 - an excellent article
6. Frank Ellison "Where to Locate Your Industries" Model Railroader Jun 1950 - another excellent article.
7. Frank Ellison "Art of Model Railroading" Model Railroader Mar to Aug 1944

Joe among these articles which did you find to be the most interesting / enlightening? Where to locate your industries sounds very interesting/helpful, was it written from the perspecitive of being prototypical or how to optimize your layout?  Lastly, did you just hunt down old issues for these articles or is there another online resource?  Thank You in advance, Jim

Jim:
With respect to the Model Railroader articles one needs to be a subscriber then add on digital access.
With respect to the old Modeler Builder mags these are free - http://original.trainlife.com/magazines.

As for articles -
Frank Ellison "Route Switching" Model Railroader Mar 1950 - an excellent article
Frank Ellison "Where to Locate Your Industries" Model Railroader Jun 1950 - another excellent article.

I look as these articles as to how to improve my layout so I can run my trains with a purpose in mind.  I believe Ellison's Delta Lines was freelanced but set up for 'prototypical' operations.

Jim:
I sent an email to A.Arnold asking if I can post reprints of magazine articles. We'll see what he says.
Joe

Update - re-printing even internet 'free' articles may violate copy right laws so I can't post any article. What I can say is that https://trainlife.com/pages/mo...der-magazine-archive has an archive of Model Builder magazine articles on the building of just about every structure F. Ellison made.

Last edited by Joe Fauty

Ran into a big problem with my layout covered in https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...nal-from-legacy-base.

So far I know one powermaster is dead but I don't know why. I also know that the power/ground connection to my control board (toggle switches for spurs) is all of a sudden causing an issue but again I don't know why. I have a new powermaster on order from ChasRo. Funny thing is if the wires are connected to one the two working powermasters the track will turn on for about two seconds then turn off. No warning lights on powermaster (the red light usually blinks fast in case of short) and the 180w power brick does not trip.

@Joe Fauty posted:

Jim:
I sent an email to A.Arnold asking if I can post reprints of magazine articles. We'll see what he says.
Joe

Update - re-printing even internet 'free' articles may violate copy right laws so I can't post any article. What I can say is that https://trainlife.com/pages/mo...der-magazine-archive has an archive of Model Builder magazine articles on the building of just about every structure F. Ellison made.

Thank You, I really appreciate your help/guidance.  Jim

Well, I know the feeling of having thoughts of moving to a new home, my wife wanted us to move to a smaller home last year, Wow, what a situation she placed me in, thinking that it would be a down sizing on our budget, but, I talked her into staying as a new home, half the size would cost more than our present home. We built our home 25 years ago, it’s been well maintained, and all I need to do is sell a bunch of over stock trains. Great thread, glad you didn’t have to move…. Relief… Happy Railroading Everyone (I really like the play by play, so to speak, of your layout progression)

Yes Mark, thank you, it was a relief to me when she realized that downsizing would not really benefit her, or our family, our neighborhood is very safe, we are basically debt free, we are ok health wise. Now, this thread is very educational, lots of interesting wiring diagrams, very well organized. Thank you Joe Fauty for your detailed descriptions on building your layout. Happy Railroading Everyone

Thanks Larry

I have one signal left to install today. I had two DZ-1060's and DZ-1075's however the yellow wire on one D-1060 broke (my fault) so I opted to take the black electrical wire off the sensor and install the signal by simply connecting power and com to the respective terminals. I will use the DZ-1075 with the the last signal.

I was going to start wiring lights next but decided to hold off since I don't know how I am going to layout my town streets yet nor do I have a design for the section that will hold my refinery. I still need to build structures for the town and surroundings plus the refinery so I will add the assembly of these to this thread.
I will wire the lights for the buildings I have on the layout but that is just simple power/gnd connections so not worth reporting on this thread other to say all my lights are 12-18VDC/AC, even the Model Power/Lionel LED versions. I have a dedicated 10W 12VDC power supply which should run all lights on the layout. I have toyed with the idea of adding one of the various lighting systems like Woodland Scenics Just Plug or another manufacturer's (can't remember who) Genie system but I am already set up with a system. I know the Just Plug system starts out at 24VAC and by the time one gets to the actual output for the lights it ends up at 16VDC. The lights have resistors to knock the voltage down to the required 3VDC. I may try one light with my system by simply cutting off the plug it comes with and see how it does with the 12VDC

In the meantime I am going to run trains for the enjoyment plus figure out where I need to add more power drops before I commit to ballast. Normally one would 'follow nature' and do scenery first then ballast. Since I will need to walk and crawl over the layout to add ballast, if I do it this way a lot of scenery is going to be messed up. So ballast comes first.
Joe

A while back I bought some Gargraves gantry track then a Lionel TMCC Gantry Crane (6-82097) and programmed it as an accessory on my Cab2. Once I finished with the last signal I decided to wire a Lionel TMCC Crane sounds Work House (6-82035) I had purchased. The work house comes with a three wire set up connected to 3-pin male connector. I wanted to connect the work house directly to track power in the same power district that the crane is connected to. So I simply cut off the connector, stripped the wires and connected red/black to track. I left the white wire alone. Neither the instruction manual or Lionel's web site explain the function of that third wire. I programmed the work house with the same ACC # as the crane - turned on power and WOW!

The work house has a constant back ground noise (you can turn the sound off with the remote) but also contains different sounds depending which function of the crane you choose to operate. There is even dialog programmed in. I was not really a fan of operating accessories. This is my first one. I can say I will be having a lot of fun with this.

2021-07-25 Comtrol Panel 005

A also took some time to print some ID tags (Avery white full sheet shipping labels) to identify my track spurs and accessory lighting. For example I labeled the spur that goes to a wholesale bread and bakery shop as "Bakery". The toggle switches for the spurs is on the bottom right.
The accessory switches (Atlas O SPST on/off) are top right. The toggle switches on the left are for the turnouts and the gray and black switches top left are Gargraves/Atlas O for uncoupling tracks. The control board slides in and out of the table.

2021-07-25 Comtrol Panel 004

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Down towards the bottom of the layout I a two track spur which is dedicated to a modern looking 2-stall diesel shed.

Inkedtimesaver 3b diesel shed_LI

This will be my first project (please bear in mind I have only Saturdays to work on this). Back in 2015 while
Rich Redman still owned Korber Models he put together the pieces for two custom diesel shed kits based on the Korber #1032 shed design based on a design a friend and myself submitted. my kit has been sitting on a shelf all this time during construction of my table and track work. Below is a photo of the kit my friend built. Some extra material was used to make a small 1-story office in the back of the shed.

IMG_20190323_151041978

I will start this project next week end.

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I ran a locomotive real slow over all the track and had no issues (hope so since I dropped power about every 3 inches......ah just kidding).

I have started the Korber-Pecos diesel shed build. I have built these kits for customers so learned some stuff that I will describe as the build proceeds. Rich had put together an instruction sheet that is very helpful. The shed was designed with 6 side walls but available space limited the length to 5 walls. I put all the pieces on my table saw bench to make sure everything was there. You can see how the building will look from the bottom  left of the photo below. There will be a brick concourse at both levels. From the upper left you can see the back wall. The left bottom wall will be brick. the right side will be a entrance to an office.  

2021-08-01 Korber - Pecos Modular Building 003r [2)

Below in the fronttwo walls. As you can see I will need to cut away the bottom to make an entrance. I will also need to build up the wall height using the bottom pilasters since there will be no foundation wall attached.

2021-08-01 Korber - Pecos Modular Building 003r [3)

The back wall is shown below

2021-08-01 Korber - Pecos Modular Building 003r [4)

I spent most of the afternoon cutting flash and mold nibs off all the pieces and sanding the edges. I then glued 2 wall units together. the corner wall on the left is what the completed wall will look like with windows and brick installed. Note the brick inserts are all one width. The insert for the top course is used as is. However since the foundation has a lip that overlaps the first floor window wall the brick insert needs to be trimmed to fit.

2021-08-01 Korber - Pecos Modular Building 003r [5)

I trimmed the nubs on the sides of the walls so they would fit together. The instructions say to build the wall units separately, glue them together then add the pilasters. I learned to deviate from this as shown below. If you attempt to trim and sand to make the walls absolutely flush with each other and glue them together then the pilasters won't fit and you will up up having to trim their widths. I have learned to trim the nubs just enough so the walls will fit however I use the pilasters as spacers when gluing the walls together. I fit the walls together then glue in the pilasters while pushing the walls flush with the pilasters.

2021-08-01 Korber - Pecos Modular Building 003r [6)

I leave the top pilaster at its original length and glue it in first. I then glue the foundation pilaster at the bottom.
Because this is a two story building I need to trim the middle plaster to length to fit.

2021-08-01 Korber - Pecos Modular Building 003r [1)

Next week I will try to finish gluing all the remaining walls together. From there I will assemble the 4 walls into a structure then start painting everything.

Right now it looks like:
- Caribbean Sand for the base structure (I may make this darker to look more like concrete rather than plaster)
- Dark red for windows and the door
- Dark red for the brick with joint compound for mortar.

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