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Looks like a fun to operate layout you are designing.  Having built and operated many layouts, I have found that most running issues (i.e. derailments) happen at or around switches so I try to have all switches within easy reach.

You may consider moving relocating the switch at the back of the layout further around to the end of your isle.

Good luck with you build.

Happy railroading,

Don

mjrodg3n88 posted:

Thank you, Carl.  Yes, the Plan B that I have setup is what I plan on using in the 8' x 10' room.  Actual dimensions are 100" x 117".  It was too wide?  So the ground tracks tie the outside rails together then?  I did not know that.  I could also solder them, correct (assuming thats what it does)?

100" wide may work, but it won't leave much clearance to the wall. length seems fine, although close.

yes, it does join both. The anti-derailing feature of the switches interrupts the rail continuity as well as which side of the track the lock-on is installed or the orientation of that terminal track.

Soldering a jumper will work. That's what we did at the museum layout.(250' of RealTrax and 15 switches) Made a bunch of jumpers, tinned the stripped ends. Tinned a drop on the track terminals and then attached them. I find that it provides better running.

DGJONES posted:

You may consider moving relocating the switch at the back of the layout further around to the end of your isle.

 Don, see the attached update, I know some of the track doesn't line up, but I have a feeling I can make it work.  This also gives me two reverse loops.

Moonman posted:

100" wide may work, but it won't leave much clearance to the wall. length seems fine, although close.

I may be able to take out a 3.5" inch in a few places and change a couple of the other pieces.

Soldering a jumper will work. That's what we did at the museum layout.(250' of RealTrax and 15 switches) Made a bunch of jumpers, tinned the stripped ends. Tinned a drop on the track terminals and then attached them. I find that it provides better running.

Do the ends need to be tinned?  (Do you do that just with solder?)

Also, I went to HD at lunch and picked up a gallon of SW Tibetan Sky paint.  They have the color codes right in their computer.

Here is an updated attempt.  I like that it moves the second crossover to within reach as Don has stated.  Also, I like that it provides a second reverse loop.  The only issue is that it takes a little bit away from a viewing area and also the one siding.  

The track I have highlighted in yellow was to be my engine shed/maintenance area, but I'm considering eliminating that and putting an access hole there instead, as Mark has suggested.

Final Layout - 2 reverse Loops 2-6-17

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  • Final Layout - 2 reverse Loops 2-6-17
Last edited by mjrodg3n88

Yes Mike, as John C. Suggests, figure no reach over 30".  I have seen guys use those ladders like museums use that allow you to reach over farther, but you have to maneuver the thing in and I still think they would be a pain.  You are young enough to be able to use a pop up access opening with ease!  :-) Besides, you can get your wife to take a photo of you surrounded by your layout literally!  ;-)  those photos are always cool!

The Sky color is actually a white tinted with a little blue. You'll see it when the dot on the can dries. The color off of the wall will look different depending on the amount of light hitting it.

I never liked the obvious robin egg blues or darker colors that looked unnatural. The sky is tough color mimic. I hope you like it. if anything, you'll want more blue at first.

I got away from Behr and went to SW commercial lines. ( a commercial store is not too far from me.) I get better smoothness and more mileage.

Make a 100" x 117" table (tool box) and move the whole plan B (yours) on to it. I wasn't trying to upset the applecart.

The access hatch can have a shed on top of it. Just supply track feeders to the hatch track. You can cut a track in half for the seam.

Thanks, Mark.

Eliot, I definitely did that earlier today.  I think it was you that suggested it on another thread at some point.  I use the heck out of the search feature on this forum.  I usually always search before asking questions.  That video was very helpful and priced out Lexan on my trip to HD at lunch.

Carl,  I saw exactly what you mean with the color.  I looked at the dot and asked the guy if he mixed it haha, it looked white.  Its okay, I was contemplating blue or white, so this will be perfect I bet.  No worries at all about "the applecart," I welcome all ideas, changes, suggestions.  As far as the access spot, I considered just leaving a hole there, but I could definitely just make it a hatch and leave the scenery on it.


If my drywall mud (final skimcoat) has dried the way I hope, I should be able to maybe get the room primed and possibly one coat of paint on tonight, we will see.

for the aux power on  your TIU.  just use a small transformer from a WIFI.  I get them on Ebay all the time.  ill post a pic of ones that I use.  that way, you can use the Z500 for lighting or small power of the layout Channel.  Id go get some z1000 for the TIU.  I got a bunch at the Train show at monroeville.  

Thanks, Dave.

Moonman posted:

The track plan I recreated fits in a 100" x 117". The sides are about 3 1/4" roadbed to wall. The top and bottom are about 1/2".  No Big Boys overhanging the O54.

Thanks for your help, Carl.  No worrying about a Big Boy, they are are WAY out of my price range!

Chris D posted:

for the aux power on  your TIU.  just use a small transformer from a WIFI.  I get them on Ebay all the time.  ill post a pic of ones that I use.  that way, you can use the Z500 for lighting or small power of the layout Channel.  Id go get some z1000 for the TIU.  I got a bunch at the Train show at monroeville.  

Chris, like Mark, I'm using the Z500 because it was there.  I'm content with that.  I went with Lionel PH180 instead of MTH Z1000s because of the fast acting circuit breaker in them.  GRJ suggested a nice DC power supply for LEDs on the layout, so I think I'm going with that for lighting and my old KW for the turnout and operating track power.

Charlie,
I will definitely be going with Lexan.  I have a few ideas about it already.  Thank you.

I've been working like crazy on preparing the train room since I've last posted. 

20170208_223156
To the right, you can see the switches for the train room, one for the lights, the other which has a "pilot" light is to turn on all of the outlets in the room.

20170208_223222
You can see on the floor how much (or little) I opened up this doorway.


20170208_223245
The window in the room is at ground level and I don't particularly trust people, so I tried to secure the window while leaving able to be opened.

20170208_223320
I secured a chain in a joist so that I could hold the wood up if I want to be able to see out of the window.

20170208_224004


Now for the track plan, I had an idea last night (that may not be a good thing, ha).  My Proto 1 Southern F3 ABA along with its cars (I have 7, but all of them will probably be too much for a small space like mine) I would like to keep on the track somewhere, but can't do that in the current configuration.  With that, I considered adding an underground "yard" slash reverse loop.  I'd leave the F3 and its cars on that underground track except for when I wanted to run it.  My question is, will it work?  I know it is said to keep grades below 4% (best at 2.5%) but since this is not for looks and more for function, could I drop it at 5% (or more)?  I would need it to clear one of the mainlines pretty quickly, I just don't if that engine will pull cars at such a steep grade.  If this doesn't work, its not a big deal, I just thought it'd be easier to get that particular engine out and running.

Thoughts?  See the underground track in blue.
Final - from Moonman Lower Level

Now, for the great news, well at least for me it is.  The train room is ready, and tonight, I will finally start building the benchwork.  Which leads me to another question.  I'm going to be using 2x4s (because they are much cheaper than 1X) and already have about 25 of them.  I only understand L-Girder a little, but I'm wondering if I should try to mimic that or go to open grid (I think thats what its called).  I plan on using risers for the track and think that I could get away with open grid.

Thoughts again?

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  • Final - from Moonman Lower Level

Mike,

First of all the room looks great!!  It looks like you thought of everything!  You have accomplished a lot in a short time.

I like the idea of parking that train, but as you mentioned that is a short, steep run!  Why don't you set something up temporarily like I did to see if my engines could pull the length train I envisioned using up the grade.  I happened to have my Woodland Scenics foam grade riser sections from 25 years ago and tested 6%, more than I needed.  If we can meet up at the Greenberg show on Saturday, I will bring them along and you can keep them until I see you again.

i have built open grid and L-girder.  Both worked fine for me.  I say build what you are familiar with, unless someone else can convince both of us to the other. 

Here is my test in an 11 1/2 foot room.2017-02-05 16.47.44

 

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  • 2017-02-05 16.47.44

Mike,

The problem with going down at that location is that there is only the 4 - O42 curves to achieve the drop of 5" is a 9.5% grade to provide clearance for train, then you have increase that another 3.75" to clear the framing.

Since the train is almost 14' long, this needs a rethink.

I just tried a few different ways. Not enough room to stay at level. From the switch near the bridge to the switch at the top of the O54 loop, it will hold the engines and six cars. That's both 90° corners and the long straight run. That's a 5.6% slope in 143" to 8".

Mark, thanks for the offer!  I'm not sure I'm going to do it yet or not.

Carl, I completely agree with you, that first proposal definitely would not work.  I'm sure your suggestion would work, however...  I never mentioned this, but I planned on having an elevated town (on top of tunnels) in the back left of the layout so I don,t know if I could pull it off.  Yesterday I did a reconfigure of just the loop we are talking about to this (another under):

Final - from Moonman Lower Level alternate

I did the math and I think it would be a 5% grade down to clear everything, BUT..... I laid the track out on the floor last night and I think the curves will end up being too close to the wall.  The cars following the ABA are 18" long passenger cars requiring O42 curves.  I think the overhang may smack the wall.  In that case and not sure if I'd do the elevated track, I may just scrap this idea.

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  • Final - from Moonman Lower Level alternate
Last edited by mjrodg3n88
DoubleDAZ posted:

It's unfortunate that you started another thread on the topic of bench work because you are going to get comments in both threads and some will be duplicated depending on who's reading which thread. There are already several comments in the other thread.

Thanks, Dave.  I know that, but unfortunately not everybody looks at member's build threads, therefore a post in the other seemed more appropriate.  I even mentioned that in my initial post in the other thread.

Also, thank you for your service.

Last edited by mjrodg3n88

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