New Layout Design

As I find time I am building a new layout. The figure below was my 'original' design. I had the yard work wired in then showed my design to a friend who I consider a hi-rail expert. The track module outlined in red is a half copy of John Allen's Timesaver switching game module. My intent was to have something for my friends to do when they came over other then watching trains go round a circle.

timesaver 2b

When I showed the design to my friend Peter he pointed out that the Timesaver module was too far inside the board so it would be difficult to place cars where needed to start the game - something I never thought about! Peter made some other suggestions. The bottom line is the design below.

timesaver 2d

With the new design I should be able to reach in to place cars (furthest track is about 30 inches in) plus I still have the yard where I can reach individual cars to manually uncouple them. Down the road I want to install some turnouts at the end of the yard for an engine run around track.

Another good thing about starting over is that I discovered from the reading a John Armstrong book the wonderful world of easements. For various reasons I chose to run O63 and O54 curves on the main lines so easement will come in handy. Since I don't have any flexible track I found out if I use O81 1/3 curves - two going into the curve and one on the end, I end up with the same total curve pattern in area - see below. This is not much of an easement but I think it will still make the trains look better going into and out of a tight curve.

The last curve on the right is actually both the all O54 placed over the one containing the O81 1/3 curves. It is a almost perfect fit. Note this particular track is Atlas O. I started out with Atlas O sectional track so have a good inventory. However for any new turnouts or track I use Ross. A lot of the interior siding and yard work is all Ross. Since Ross does not make partial curves probably the best course would be Gargraves flexible track or cutting down an O81 sectional curve.

Easement

Joe

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Original Post

The following is just a suggestion.  If you narrow your ovals 10 inches between east and west sides and place your yard entry on the west side, you could place your yard lead switch almost at the top (north) of that west side.  That way, you can work the yard and add one arrival / departure track (siding) along that side and not "foul the main" while switching.  Using a west side yard lead also keeps the Timesaver area closer to the east edge.

Of course, I don't know what you had planned for the middle of the space, so this suggestion might be totally impractical.  Still??

Chuck

Chuck:

Thanks - I actually did what you said but did not post that design. One thing I left out. Both the top (north) and left (west) butt up against a wall so placing the yard on the west side with the A/D track along the north wall looked great but it dawned on me I did not have manual access to individual cars in the yard.  I plan to use one of the yard spurs as an A/D - Classification track. Also down the road when I can afford them I want to buy two Ross yard crossing tracks and add to the end of the yard track so I have a run around (see below).
The space at the top is reserved for a mountain scene. I don't have the room to raise track high enough for a cross over so decided to fake it with a mountain scene against the north wall. I am going to build the mountain with one or maybe two elevated tracks that go no where other than into tunnels. I will place some cars disappearing into the tunnels for effect. This way I can show off some of my wood bridge and trestle work.

Joe

timesaver 2e

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Did some more design modifications in the lower yard. I changed the Ross yard crossing turnouts to the opposite direction, moved them forward so a yard loco can back them into two separate yard tracks. I also added more track to the bottom refinery tank car stub. Now a yard diesel can remove loaded tank cars from the left and move in empties from the right.

 

CLONE of timesaver 2d

 

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Started pulling off what track I had screwed down and powered. Once I get the table cleaned off which also means clearing out all the track wiring from the bottom of the layout table my plan is to go slow with re-routing track power terminal boards making sure all the runs from the power supplies to the boards and board to board are heavy gauge wire. I believe some of the runs were 18 gauge. I want to make sure I have 14-16 gauge minimum. I am using Split Jaw connectors for track connection so the wires from the terminal strips to the track will be all 18 gauge.
Then it is on to the top. In my haste to lay track (other than painting the homasote white) I did nothing else except lay some Woodland Scenics sand mats down for the yard. I kind of like these mats. My plan was to paint after the track was installed and tested out. Since my layout is small I think instead I may go back to the grass mats. I used these  on my last layout. I had a little problem with the mats laying down with wrinkles or bumps but all in all they looked good and because of their vinyl backing provided a great moisture barrier base for further scenery work.

New Layout 001

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Hi Joe,

If I may offer a few suggestions.

First,

The passing siding at the top of your layout is already connected to the inside loop on both ends.  See the red circles on the diagram below.    Since it's already connected to the inner loop the third connection at the bottom of your layout is not really necessary.  See the red X.

Capture 1

My suggestions would be to:

- remove the lower connection to the inner loop on the bottom part of your layout

- use the inner left side of the layout to create a small stub end yard

- remove the timesaver

- in place of the timesaver and in the rest of the space inside the inner loop why not create several industries which creates more prototypical switching opportunities which may hold more interest both operationally and visually to those who want to do something besides watch trains run in a circle.  You really don't have room for scenic elements within the timesaver the way your layout if configured.  You even have room to create a runaround covering most of the passing siding and can run your switching moves off of that.

- if you do create a runaround off the passing siding you now can use the siding as an interchange to drop off cars from a mainline consist.  You can use smaller curves on the runaround and tracks to industries to give you more room for scenery as switchers can navigate down to O31 or O27.   This is very prototypical and would enable you to add even more interest to the layout both operationally and visually.

Either way, you have a nice looking layout in a modest space. 

Keep us posted on your progress.

Regards,

Greg

 

 

Member of the Brotherhood of the Crappy Basement Layout

Pennsy Fan

 

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Greg Houser posted:

Hi Joe,

If I may offer a few suggestions.

First,

The passing siding at the top of your layout is already connected to the inside loop on both ends.  See the red circles on the diagram below.    Since it's already connected to the inner loop the third connection at the bottom of your layout is not really necessary.  See the red X.

Capture 1

My suggestions would be to:

- remove the lower connection to the inner loop on the bottom part of your layout

- use the inner left side of the layout to create a small stub end yard

- remove the timesaver

- in place of the timesaver and in the rest of the space inside the inner loop why not create several industries which creates more prototypical switching opportunities which may hold more interest both operationally and visually to those who want to do something besides watch trains run in a circle.  You really don't have room for scenic elements within the timesaver the way your layout if configured.  You even have room to create a runaround covering most of the passing siding and can run your switching moves off of that.

- if you do create a runaround off the passing siding you now can use the siding as an interchange to drop off cars from a mainline consist.  You can use smaller curves on the runaround and tracks to industries to give you more room for scenery as switchers can navigate down to O31 or O27.   This is very prototypical and would enable you to add even more interest to the layout both operationally and visually.

Either way, you have a nice looking layout in a modest space. 

Keep us posted on your progress.

Regards,

Greg

 

 

Hi Greg:

I see what you are saying - yea it looks like some redundant turnouts.  I have a detailed plan attached. since the inside loop will contain a passenger station I think I will delete the turnout at the top left. I will delete the track going to it from the blue turnout (third track from top) and replace that with a simple curve into the passenger yard. Your idea actually frees up the main line so the passenger train can run while yard switching goes on inside.

My original intent with the timesaver module was to have something for friends to do when they came over. I have it set up as steam locomotive yard so I will have various cars (tankers, hoppers, gondolas, box cars, etc.) I could position for the game. But you are right I have only two customers - the flour mill and the refinery. Looks like you are going to responsible for keeping me awake tonight while I ponder!

 

CLONE of timesaver 2d full

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Joe,

By your reply to my suggestions, I'm not sure I made myself clear.  I was suggesting that you place the initial switch for your yard in the northwest corner and run your yard lead all the way down the west side.  At the southwest corner, the lead would curve into a mirror image of the yard you now show.  If you shrink your ovals enough on an east-west basis, you could easily include a yard lead and an A-D track on the west side without jeopardizing your reach issue very much.

Chuck

I have re-worked the design and came up with the following. I combined the time saver module with the yard track, moved it to the edge of the layout and now have a long yard track. With this design I can manually reach everything in the time saver module and yard. The time saver module will double as a diesel and steam locomotive yard. I left the passenger train yard double ended so a train could pull in and out.

CLONE of timesaver 2d rev 1 track

 

CLONE of timesaver 2d rev 1 full

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The table has been cleared. I am waiting for some Woodland Scenics sand mats for the yard at the bottom and the diesel / steam yard on the right side. In the meantime I am going to re-route all the power and ground lines under the layout, hopefully clean them up and make them look neater.

Chuck: Thanks for your idea about the yard lead. it worked out great. No more fouling the main.

Train Board Nov 2017 001r

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Just finished up re-routing the ground wires. Since I was dropping down to 14 gauge wire at first I was going to use a common ground for everything to hopefully save on wire runs but as I started running wire I decided on two ground circuits. I have my three track power supplies on one common ground and the ITADS, ACC, and Turnouts on another ground circuit.

Next week I will start re-routing power. This will be fairly straight forward just as with the ground with the following exceptions:

1. Power for each of the three power districts (track power) must be electrically isolated from one another.

2. Power district 2 will contain spurs with on/off switches that must be wired from the control board.

3. Power for the ITADS and turnouts could be ganged together but since I have separate transformers for these I will keep the power lines isolated.

4. All accessories are powered by a 12VDC supply so this power for this circuit must be kept separate.

Sand mats came in the the two yards. Once I get the wiring done I will lay down the mats and start placing track.

Joe

A VIEW FROM THE UNDERGROUND (pun intended)

I spent Sunday under the layout routing power wires for track, ITADS, Acc, and turnouts. Below are some photos. I actually cleaned up a lot of 'hanging wires' bit it's a jungle under there.

Wiring 001

This is the back of the power supply drawer. I have two 180 watt power bricks plus the MTH Z4000 to power the three track power districts. The 14 volt AC output will power all ITADS. I have a 30 watt 12DC power supply (3 taps at 10watts each) to power all accessories and a small Lionel 1 amp Acc supply for my turnouts.
It is hard to see however other than power cords I have all output wires from the supplies connected to European style terminal boards on the bench-work with enough slack to allow me to pull the drawer out. A close up is shown below.

Wiring 003

Next to this drawer is another pull out drawer that is my 'control board'. It contains toggle switches for the turnouts, Accessories and track spurs. The connection scenario is the same as with the power supply drawer.

Wiring 002

There is a lot of clutter under here and it is only going to get worse when all spur tracks, turnouts and accessories are connected. Note - all the red 'connectors' hanging off the European terminals are wire ferrules.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=os66cID30Ek

I also tweaked my design by adding a long track lead to the industrial siding. The thinking here is that a diesel can drop off its delivery of empty cars and pick up  loaded cars from each siding. I just need to determine if I still have enough room for the buildings I want to fit.

CLONE of timesaver 2d rev 4

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Spent Sunday filling in holes with putty. I decided to cover the worst sections (periphery) with Woodland Scenics vinyl grass mats. I have used this before. It provides an excellent scenery base to build up on.

Rather than using double sides tape I opted for the mat adhesive Woodland Scenics sells. It appears to be a basic contact adhesive since one has to brush the adhesive on both the mat and mating surface. I have the grass mats installed in the back of the layout. I will be running sand mats along the front and right side where the freight yard and time saver module (actually a locomotive yard) will go.

Layout 12-4 [1)Layout 12-4 [2)Layout 12-4 [3)

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Glued down some more mats. I am waiting on two more sand mats to finish off the freight yard. In the meantime I started to place track for the freight yard and time saver module.

The track work is a mixture of Atlas O and Ross Custom.

Prescott Layout ver 2 001

Prescott Layout ver 2 002

Prescott Layout ver 2 003

Prescott Layout ver 2 004

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