Well, its been awhile since I have posted on this forum. Last time, I had designed a layout, that I could run Big Articulateds on, in a small space. I've had a change in plans and decided to model the late steam era on CP "somewhere" in the mountains.

  Basement is too small(common complaint among all of us), however it does force one to become more creative in what DO have, as opposed to what we DONT have.

   Ive had trouble loading the file, but it downloaded as a pdf file. Hopefully, you can see it without any issues.

Look forward to comments

Al

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Hey Albert,

How's it going? No pretzel? Too bad.

 

Anyway, I opened your attached file and it's blank. No layout, no anything. You saved a fresh start.

 

Just click on add attachments, then point the file chooser to the location where it is saved on your computer. It's My Documents by default, click on it, and click ok.

 

On our end, we have to right-click it and "save target as", then open it with SCARM after it lands.

 

I am interested to see your new idea. The pretzel was cool and was borrowed by a few forum members. You have a good eye and imagination for making a lot happen in the space that have.

Carl

Arctic Railroad

  I think this plan has a little more interesting operating, as trains have to go up and over. I was thinking to two trains operating on the mainline and maybe switcher for around the yard.

  Minimum is O72 with O84. Scenery....well, lets say very mountainous terrain.

 Grades should be OK( 3%?). Atlas TT and two roundhouse kits(I had to do it)

   I have some of the other plans that evolved from my original pretzel layout to this one, I case anyone would like to see them posted.

  I will see If I can post my crappy basement plan as well

Al

Als Pretzel Layout Buildings

basement

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I really like all of the plans
I'm building a medium size --- roughly 10x20 --- layout now
Access to center without cutouts is a problem
Something similar to what you are doing is on my radar

Are any of the track plans standard Atlas, etc ?
Thx
Joe S

Good Luck
Well since my last post here I was laid off from my job and just recently started construction. I did post last week on the "what did you do to your layout today" thread.
Here are updates in my construction using 2" foam board(cheap). Things are coming along rather well so far.
AlIMG_20150907_213615IMG_20150911_225245IMG_20150909_185449IMG_20150906_185109IMG_20150911_225328

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  Layout is basically 16'x 8' with an 8'x 8' off one side. Its all I can really fit in my basement unfortunately. On a positive note, it makes things a little more manageable without having "too much" layout(if that's possible)and I can probably get things done.

  So far I haven't installed pop ups yet for access and I've been crawling on top of the layout to get at the hard to reach places. That's why I made the bench work out of 2x4 for framing and 1/2" plywood top.

   It seemed easier to do foamboard as opposed to the "cookie-cutter" method of grade work, as mentioned by Carl.

  I did have to eliminate the one siding on the top main where the reverser loop was, due to actual space constraints. It looks like the grades will be tolerable with most of my motive power and the fact that freight trains will be only 8 or so cars in length.

  I will be constructing some bridges and trestles so it wont look to closed in, down the road. Priority is to get trains running and then pick and choose what I feel like working on.

   Al

Here are a few pics of recent progress. Almost done completing the mainline trackage, probably by the end of the weekend. Drilled holes for all the wire drops on the switches and I will neeed to drill more when and where I decide to add power connections to the track. I will be soldering 2/18 awg stranded cable for these.
   Soon time to get out the hot wire and do some basic carving. Then buy some tan coloured paint for the flat surfaces and some grey for the vertical surfaces. I purchased a can of expandable spray foam to fill gaps at various locations as well and will post some pics of this after
AlIMG_20150919_004645_editIMG_20150919_004638IMG_20150919_004519IMG_20150919_004241IMG_20150919_004217IMG_20150919_004128IMG_20150919_004029IMG_20150919_004009IMG_20150919_004645_editIMG_20150919_004241IMG_20150919_004009

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It is so cool to see it come alive. You didn't say much about making the basement area into a train room. I recall the early photos. You put a lot of time into that.

 

You may want to start running with one connection for track power. If the train slows in an area, check the track tabs first. Mike of Lionel has a "continuity with FasTrack" video on youtube that shows how to slightly bend the track tabs.

 

If that doesn't fix it, then add a drop.

 

If 18awg is what you have, that's fine, but 16awg is tried and true.

 

Thanks for update.

Carl

Arctic Railroad

Great progress, Al.

Your home made method of elevating the track is brilliant.  How are you notching the risers so they become flexible in the curves?  I'm guessing it's just a saw or box cutter slice 1/2 way through every inch or so.

A guy could go broke doing it all with Woodland Scenics foam.  Hopefully you find using foam helps quiet Fastrack.  I look forward to your impressions once all is up and running.  I might just rethink doing mine using your method.

 

Bruce

 

 

Completely designed with your mind in mind.

Well, I have finally been able to run some trains on the layout! I have had to "blast" some additional clearances out on curves at various locations when running my CP Selkirk and heavyweight passenger cars, with my hot wire soldering gun. All and all I'm happy to say the 2-10-4 will haul 4 MTH heavyweight cars up all the grades with minimal slipping. I built all my custom bridges with 1/4" mdf board so all track sub road bed is able to handle the weight of the trains without relying on the support of just the fastrack.
   In response to Bruces query on the foam construction, this how I went about it.
First I purchased 2" and 3" foamboard in 4'x8' sheets. For the risers I ripped them in 7.5" widths on my tablesaw. With the blade fully extended I could not cut all the way thru so I would have to flip and turn the sheet around to cut all the way thru.
    Once ripped into the appropriate width, I proceeded to cut the "slots" along one side only at approx 1 to 2" intervals.
Of course you need to adjust the blade depth of the cut so there is still atleast 3/4" of material left. This will allow the sheet to bend at whatever your desired radius is.
   You may need to make the cuts closer together if you require tighter radius bends.
I need to state you should be very confident in using a table saw as it can be dangerous repetative work and a table saw is unforgiving if you are not cautious.
   All track was laid out on 2" foamboard sheets which covered my 1/2" plywood table top. With the track laid out I traced out the upper routes with black marker. With the risers cut and easily bendable to curves I could now use white glue to affix them to the base foamboards.
I used 3" nails placed along the marked lines to hold the curves in place while the glue dried.
Hopefully this helps those who might want to try this method of construction as it is quite fast once you have all your risers precut.
    One negative is that cutting the foamboard on a tablesaw is MESSY and it gets everywhere so have a shop vac handy lol.
Al

I thought about the mess made by using a power tool to cut foam.  Best done in an enclosed space where you can confine and trap the debris.  That is, unless a winter scene is what you're modeling...then let'r rip!

 

Gotta admit, notching out foam to add clearance has to be the easiest form of adjustment.  Not so much when working with wooden supports.

 

Bruce

Completely designed with your mind in mind.

Well, it's been a while since was had a chance to work on my layout. Finally started a new job in Nov on a 6 month contract in construction of new headquarters for Imperial Oil(Exxon) here in Calgary. Lots of walking which has not left me with much energy to stand around working on my layout lol(gettin older). Anyways, started working on an additional spur for a mine and tunnels on the one end of my layout.

 Purchased a "handy pak" of 1 1/2"foamboard(2'x 4') from Home Depot to start. I also stocked up on another bottle white glue.

   With my trusty soldering gun converted to hot wire duty, I started carving out and adding supports for the new mine area. I recessed the area by 1 1/2" to accomodate the spur track off the Main, which also inclosed the lower main loop as a tunnel. 

 Here are a few pics showing the latests modifications

 I've been busy on my layout, de-cluttering, organizing things I haven't had the time to do til now.

 I have wanted to have a place for the small coal mine spur on the top level and have decided to move it the the opposite side of the layout...lol. This will require partially covering the top of the 2 track siding on the main level. This will allow me add more bang for my buck.

 I have cut 2" strips of foamboard at 5 1/2 and 7 1/2" widths , build the upper mine addition.

 Here are some pics showing the progress

AlIMG_20160625_202430IMG_20160625_202412IMG_20160625_184148_editIMG_20160625_184256_editIMG_20160625_184218IMG_20160625_165753

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 Ok, I've been busy on the layout(feels great) and have the upper mine area ready for more mountain elevation now that there is a good solid base.

   I also cut out an access by the station area and am planning a river gorge area where the arch bridge(s) are.

 I am going to cut out the plywood where the ravine will be to add another 4" of depth.IMG_20160702_200044IMG_20160702_200052IMG_20160702_200809

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  Been workin on detailing a few MTH buildings and scrath-building CPR style telegraph poles. I went to Micheals a putchase the materials which were pretty cheap, even in CDN dollars(under $25).

 5   3/16" x 36" wood dowels

1   bag of match sticks

1   small container of beads

   I can give more instructions how I did it, let me know

AlIMG_20160708_135559_edit_editIMG_20160709_231357_editIMG_20160709_231342IMG_20160709_231957_editIMG_20160709_233103_edit_editIMG_20160709_233959_editIMG_20160708_135559_edit_edit

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Hey Al; looking good. That gorge is going to be great. Nice use of those arch bridges to make it happen. Overall I really like your track plan and your use of foamboard for all elevated track. And it should be nice and quiet. I need to bring my VL Bigboy over soon so we can make sure your clearances are adequate. It will find any tight spots for sure!

Rod

We are never too old to learn something stupid....

 A few more Vids of the F7s and an MTH FM Trainmaster. I am still in the process of converting the 3rd Rail CNR U2g to PS2. Should have it going in the next couple of days, I hope.

 Layout wise, I'm happy with the current track plan and need to wire all the turnouts to the AIU. 

   Then, hopefully back to some scenery...

Al

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  Here are a few pics of projects I'm working on.

   I decided to paint the scratch built CPR caboose, built from Evergreen styrene and pvc pipe(roof). Still more details to add on.

   I have also repaired the 3rd Rail CNR U2g. This entailed resoldering tender handrails(and removing incorrect piping from tender sides). Also, I figured I would rework the valve hanger assembly to closer resemble the prototype. It still has a glitch in the upgraded PS2 I installed from another loco, but that's another story.

 AlIMG_20160817_003339IMG_20160817_004717IMG_20160817_010221IMG_20160817_010835IMG_20160817_011008IMG_20160816_174421IMG_20160816_174436_editIMG_20160816_174405_edit

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 Just finished re-assembling an MTH Crossing Tower, after re-painting. Lots of detail that's hidden comes out after the detailing. Also, working to get this DCS issue resolved now, with the CN Northern. 

 Hopefully, get back on track with layout building. I will be cutting out another access location, as well, so I can get where I need to be when it's scenary time.

AlIMG_20160817_205331

 

 

 

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  Mark, it's always important to be able to run a train, no matter what stage of construction a person is at. 

   Life has a funny way of throwing curve balls at you and it's nice to know one can retreat to the basement for train Runnin therapy, when needed.

 Last year was tough and I had the layout in a mess(more of a mess lol). No trains were able to run and it was overwhelming at times, where I just didn't have the energy or time to get things goin again.

 No matter how big or small your layout is, make sure at the end of your work session, you can RUN A TRAIN(if possible)

 That's my soapbox speech for now

 Have Fun! This is a Great hobby

Al

 Well, I'm happy to say I just started a new full time job this week, so not much happening on my RR till today.

 I am starting on the TT and roundhouse and and starting with the Roundhouse construction, combining 2 Atlas kits.

   Took about an hour or so to unpackage all of the parts ALL wrapped in plastic(potential rust issues?)

   Anyways, I have started by painting the 2 main colours I have chosen(see pics)

 Gotta go and start Masking parts and paint, so I can hopefully start construction

   Thanx for looking!

Al

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 Just finished up painting the base colours for the Roundhouse. Ran out of paint for the bricks, so I went with good Ole red primer(pretty much exact match). All windows, doors, gutters a roof are painted flat black.

   I will probably paint the mortar lines on the walls(since I've gone this far).

 AlIMG_20160827_204544IMG_20160827_220837IMG_20160827_220853

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  Yet another update on the Roundhouse build. I have applied the mortar treatment to all the walls and have started to cement together the stall floors. I am going to glue only the front and back section for now, in one stall modules.

 I am using vice grips to clamp the joints flush together after applying cement.

AlIMG_20160828_205451IMG_20160828_212552IMG_20160828_212635IMG_20160828_220210IMG_20160828_220135

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  I have been busy working my 1st week at the new job, so layout work has been somewhat delayed, mainly the Roundhouse construction. While still in progress, I decided to run trains(since I was out of glue and paint).

 It was time to run one of my Selkirks, so I have posted a few vids of #5931, pulling a time freight along the recently revised lower mainline.

Al

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 New job has been super busy and when I finally get home, with the intention of "workin" on the layout, it just hasn't been happening as much as I'd like to. Extending the wiring on Fastrak switch controllers is a PITA as it involves workin under the layout. Not much fun with all the surprises in gettin older(you know)...anyways, I thought it would be fun to run some CP steam around the layout . Just to relax and imagine 12 of the new CPR Lionel box cars, in trains all over the layout. Enjoy!

 Al

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   Hello Mark,

   No Woodlands Scenic here. I couldn't afford it...lol. I used 3" 4' x 8' Styrofoam from Home Depot that I cut into various widths for risers and grades.

It has been great to work with, as I have re-arranged the track on numerous occasions, re-locating grades etc.

  I think I'm finally getting to where I'm happy with the track plan and getting ideas for mountain placement etc. I will be purchasing another 4x8 sheet of Styrofoam for mountain construction

 Al

albertstrains posted:

   Hello Mark,

   No Woodlands Scenic here. I couldn't afford it...lol. I used 3" 4' x 8' Styrofoam from Home Depot that I cut into various widths for risers and grades.

It has been great to work with, as I have re-arranged the track on numerous occasions, re-locating grades etc.

  I think I'm finally getting to where I'm happy with the track plan and getting ideas for mountain placement etc. I will be purchasing another 4x8 sheet of Styrofoam for mountain construction

 Al

Albert

How did you cut the Styrofoam to set the grade?

Keith

albertstrains posted:

   Hello Mark,

   No Woodlands Scenic here. I couldn't afford it...lol. I used 3" 4' x 8' Styrofoam from Home Depot that I cut into various widths for risers and grades.

It has been great to work with, as I have re-arranged the track on numerous occasions, re-locating grades etc.

  I think I'm finally getting to where I'm happy with the track plan and getting ideas for mountain placement etc. I will be purchasing another 4x8 sheet of Styrofoam for mountain construction

 Al

Al,

My assessment on WS as well!  I'll look back through your topic as I forgot the beginning!  lol  Thank you for the tips!

Al,

I see back on Dec 31st a guy named Mark Boyce wrote this,

"This is the first I have seen your layout build topic.  You have made great progress.  I like your method of building track risers out of foam.  Also, I am glad you got a new job even though it does tire you out.  Thanks for sharing."

After reviewing what he was referring to, I agree with Mark!  I like your method a lot.  I have a shop vac, but need a table saw as I plan to build a new 12 x 12 layout next year.

Thank you for sharing!!

Al, that is a great looking locomotive. If it wasn't for 3rd Rail, authentic Canadian steam would be just about nonexistent. On a Canadian note, thanks to Beth Marshall at Public Delivery Track, she tipped me off that Golden Gate Depot had an eight car "The Canadian" passenger car set available. Had been searching for this passenger set, thought they were all gone, warehouse find, UPS delivered today.    

Finally purchased a new Samsung  phone and decided to take a few videos and pics of recent rail action on the layout.

   I have installed the roundhouse tracks with power but threw a belt on Atlas TT motor.....arrrgh. So that will be my next project.

  I am having to run additional  feeders to the station tracks as I'm losing TMCC signal, which can be annoying.

   Other than that I still have 8 more switches to wire up under the layout. I keep putting that off tho. Lol

Al20170702_21073720170702_2202269Running 

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   Well tonite i decided to run some trains and blow off some steam from another crazy day at work...lol

 I havent ran my Weaver G5a #1200 in a while, so......on the tracks it went and coupled up to an MTH set of passenger cars. Only able to pull 4 cars up the grade, which i think is pretty good.

   It is a great running and looking loco for sure.

    Kali is my resident smoke inspector

   Here are few vids of the action

Al 

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I have been working on repainting some 90s vintage Lionel NYC heavyweight cars into CPR. 

  Money has been tight even though I have been fortunate enough to be working full time but with adult kids living at home and my daughter going to university.....its been a struggle. 

I haven't been able to purchase the GGD heavyweight cars yet so in the meantime ......here is my progress 

al 20170715_16560320170717_22420520170717_22412320170717_224018

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 This weekend was all about painting and lettering the 4 car passenger set and prepping a bunch of freight cars for lettering to CPR.

   These have been on my to do list for a while so i decided to get at it.

     The  passenger cars were lettered with Black Cat decals and the freight cars will get CDS dry transfers

Al20170723_19351020170723_23064520170723_23085920170723_23080120170723_23072820170723_23130920170723_231215

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Al, your railroad is doing the CPR proud !   You have an excellent stud of motive power, too !

Remember the days when Canadian Pacific described itself as the world's greatest transportation company? They had the railroad, an airline and steam ships, plus a string of hotels. 

  I like the look of the Lionel Heavyweight cars better than the MTH ones as well, Arthur. Unfortunately, these cars did not have the interiors, so I opted to install "blinds" on the windows which helps in hiding this fact. I would like to find some diaphrams to install on the cars, but probably too expensive if available.

   Better scenario would be to find some later version Lionel cars with interiors and diaphrams lol.

  Mark, I wish I was around back then to have seen things back in steam days.....oh well.

 My next project is repainting an MTH Royal Hudson(Im on a roll lol)

 Mark / Arthur

Thank you for the comments. There are a lot of CP and CN steam era cars that have NOT been done, other than by Weaver, which are nearly impossible find now. It seems that buying other roadnames and re-decorating is the cheap way to go for me.

   I am hoping to purchase either a K-line 18" CPR passenger set or 6 of the new Lionel CPR Box cars

Al

Funny thing about being so old that steamers were commonplace . . .all we wanted to see were diesels! 

Steamers? Bleah! a dime a dozen! 

Yep, that's how it was for a train watching kid in the early fifties in Canada. I recall trying to get around one stopped at the station before it started moving. Got a shower of cinders in my hair for my trouble. I actually had hair! 

How things change! 

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