Wonderful progress, John. I'm still envious at having such a large and beautiful environment in which to build.  In the spirit of helpful pitfall avoidance I offer this as addendums to previous suggestions.

I would highly recommend the addition of some form of leg height adjusters that make direct contact with the concrete floor.  Otherwise, when the table sinks into the carpet as more weight is added it will require constant readjustment.  Direct table contact to concrete keeps kneeling to a minimum.

The sliding disc method should be employed with all things moveable along the carpet floor.  Dolly wheels just create resistance and leave divets where they rest. 

A concrete track plan is needed now.  Before a sheet of plywood is laid, take a break and at least solidify a plan for your mainline on paper.  Sidings and spurs can easily be added on the fly if necessary. 

And here's my own inspired suggestion.   To save many unnecessary wiring trips down under, consider the cookie cutter roadbed design table top.  Feeders and other electrical connections can be threaded, soldered or fastened from up top long before the scenery is applied.  Having a carpeted floor and this type of roadbed would be the ultimate in layout noise reduction.  

Bruce

Completely designed with your mind in mind.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Sure, but if she's mad at me, she'll just roll something heavy in front of the liftgate!

And you would be stuck in the middle of your layout with nothing to do but run trains.

I don't see a problem here

Three Rails Are Better Than None 

The carpet has a very thin pad, and it's not a pile carpet.  I don't see this sinking to any degree, but I've considered some pads under the legs, just haven't come up with anything yet.  Several suggestions have been floated.

For all my storage under the layout (as you can see, it's very open under there), I plan on using carpet glides on some custom storage sleds that slide out.

I'm working on the track plan, still thinking about what I want to do, but I want to finalize something soon.

I'm not sure I'm ready to do the cookie cutter roadbed, I'm leaning toward simple here.

OK, I had a crazy idea!  I was looking at possible track plans, and one thing that I don't have is space for stuff like a reverse loop in O72 or larger.  I'm thinking, while I'm sure I can do something nice in this space, would it be crazy to add a little surface area?

Here's what I have, but the liftgate has been shifted 30" to the right in my current plan, it just didn't change any surface area.

Benchwork Before Mod

I'm thinking maybe I should close four feet of the right hand opening and end up with this.  That gives me a 10.5' x 8' end that's available for track.  I know I'll have some issues getting to the middle, but I guess I'll have to live with that for the flexibility of having more area to work with.  The good thing is, I have all the benchwork pieces to do this already.

I'm also planning on a little corner cut to allow more space at the back for the trains to make that curve.

So, what do you think?  Crazy?  Cool?  Must have?  My one concern, obviously, is access to the center of the table.

Benchwork Possible Mod

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John, 

My advice is don't do it.  When you're 95 yrs old you'll be glad it's easy to reach the center.  Unless you have space for a 100' by 30' layout you will ALWAYS have to make decisions on what you can or can't fit on the layout.   Keep it simple so you can enjoy everything 25 yrs from now as I don't believe you are planning to move in the future.

-Greg

Member of the Brotherhood of the Crappy Basement Layout

Associate Member of the NJ Hi-Railers

Image result for nj hirailers logo

 

I also believe access issues will arise from the enlarged table top.  

Reverse loops with minimum 072 curves take up precious square footage but add greatly to running variety and interest.  Both of the loops on my layout hold more than 2, 20 car freight trains in waiting while keeping the mainline open for traffic.  The next best alternative without using up as much real estate would be more sidings where possible.I

Bruce

Completely designed with your mind in mind.

I say go for it John.

An interesting track arrangement that might work if you had room off one outside corner for your reverse loop, would be to connect it to the main layout via a wye. That would give you infinite reversing possibilities. Also a little more real estate for accessories, structures or scenery. Reach wouldn't even be that bad.

It could even work with your updated benchwork plan. And you only need one reverse loop because the wye allows you to enter from both directions.

Big_Boy_4005 posted:

I say go for it John.

An interesting track arrangement that might work if you had room off one outside corner for your reverse loop, would be to connect it to the main layout via a wye. That would give you infinite reversing possibilities. Also a little more real estate for accessories, structures or scenery. Reach wouldn't even be that bad.

It could even work with your updated benchwork plan. And you only need one reverse loop because the wye allows you to enter from both directions.

I was thinking like Elliot, a WYE. Perhaps near the wall corner and build a loop table towards the column/ shop area. If not a loop, just a single line as long as the longest train you will run, which is more prototypical and requires less space. Drive in, back out. Back in, drive out. Either way. On this design, we gave up loops and ran the siding into a closet.

Wye_with_siding

That would permit you drive the trains right into the shop. You could also park a train, bring it out behind one, back the first in and park that complete train. That was part of the operational reason for the above design.

I couldn't find your track plan to tinker with something, but, I think that you get the idea.

Less disruptive to the original design and permits changing direction.

 

Carl

Arctic Railroad

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I say go for it, also. It gives you twice the distance before the train repeats its route in the same direction. My layout is a 7' wide U shape. I have an access hole on one side, but none on the other. Using a small work platform, I can reach the center. I will have buildings and streets in most of the hard to reach places, and they won't derail or have dead spots to deal with.

John

Located in the real Upstate NY

gunrunnerjohn posted:
stangtrain posted:

I installed the controller for the liftgate out of sight but within easy reach just under the benchwork. Besides being convenient for me, it keeps curious visiting hands off:

With a 4 foot span, my arms aren't long enough to reach that from both sides.   If I want the outside switch to be disabled, that's easy to do with a simple switch on the inside.

My goal is to have the two switches, one on each side.  They'll actually trigger relays in a control box that actually controls the liftgate.  There will be an interlock so that when one relay is activated, the other one is locked out to avoid the dreaded short circuit with opposing switches.

John- what about a simple set of 3-way switches to control power to the lift gate? One switch on each side in a discrete location would send power to the controller. Once the gate is moved you can flip the switch on the other side and kill power to the controls. Add a pilot light at each switch location to confirm if power is on or off. Here is a basic 3-way schematic. Several other options here.

As the guru of all things electronic, I'm sure you have a great control system planned but I'm a firm believer in the KISS method.

Bob

Three Rails Are Better Than None 

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I'm still thinking on the added surface area.  The worry is as stated, it'll be a big expanse that's hard to reach. 

FWIW, I was considering a long single loop that actually had two reverse loops, both in the expanded area.  One would be elevated and go over the first one, so you'd have two complete loops around the table and just make the loop and go down the other way.  The entry and exit from each of these loops would be on opposite sides of the layout.  Reversing trains would be simple in that case, just two pairs of switches between the two tracks gets it done, one pair for each direction.  I'd also like to have a separate loop around that can be switched in and out to either be a separate run or contiguous with the main double loop.

Bob, my idea for the liftgate control is two relays with a simple logic interlock to avoid them ever being energized at once.  The control switches will be low voltage, and I'll just lift the guts of the liftgate control and plug them into my modified control.  I won't change the wiring at all to the liftgate so it can be returned to stock if desired.  The only 120 volts will be inside the liftgate control box.  I want dual control that are a single switch that always works, and of course I can add a disable switch if I feel the need.

Go for it John. You can stand on a small 6-7" high stool and increase your reach considerably. Long term satisfaction and operating fun over rule the exaggerated "reach" problems we talk about.  Anyway you will never have a derailment--probably just wiring errors .

A&Y RY[NC's Southern/N&W connector].

I am considering a lift-out, probably not that large.  There are 2x2 sections in the framework, so that would be a good size for the liftout.  I'd make it right inside the loop so I'm not moving any track.

I was thinking more along the lines of something like this.  Either one or both could be fitted, depending on exactly what ends up in those locations.

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I'd only be ducking under to work on things, so I don't mind.  I like the idea of having more real estate, so I think I'll go that way.

Works for me. It's not like you're going to be ducking under all the time. My guess is you'll take your time doing things right the first time to minimize problems. You will probably be ducking quite a bit though as you build and when you add landscaping. Looking forward to following the build.

The deed is done.  I now have a 10.5' x 8' chunk to do the stack O72 reverse loops, should be sufficient to get it done.

Benchwork Step 06

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Yep, it was just bolt a few parts in place.  The bonus was I already had all the parts I needed to stick it in, do it was a 15 minute job.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

The deed is done.  I now have a 10.5' x 8' chunk to do the stack O72 reverse loops, should be sufficient to get it done.

Benchwork Step 06

That’ll pay off when you send your first steamer backing down the loop to couple on to an outbound....****loads of fun!........Pat

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep

Don't you love my little test loop on the floor?  I just build the layour around it, can't wait to lose that and be able to test stuff on a real layout!

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Don't you love my little test loop on the floor?  I just build the layour around it, can't wait to lose that and be able to test stuff on a real layout!

Who cares!.....LOL!....let’s see the reverse loop!....I want one so bad...but I just can’t give up the real estate!....I’m jealous!..........Pat

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep

I didn't want to have a big expanse that I couldn't easily reach from the floor, but the realities of the space I have, that's the only way I could see getting two O72 loops at that end.  Now the mainline will be a large folded dogbone, so I can run continuous on about 100 feet or so of track.  Not huge, but enough to have a decent sized consist and not be chasing my tail. 

Mark Boyce posted:

John, You just showed how easy it is to alter what you buy from Tim and get it ready for a tabletop.  I'm looking forward to seeing you progress.

Mark, don’t let him fool you, he’s most proud of the loop on the floor!.......Pat

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep

Hey, at least the loop on the floor is functional, don't knock it!

I'm glad I delayed putting wood on, I think I'll like this much better than what I had planned before.

I'm glad I had a bunch of spare pieces, I just dug into the inventory and had everything I needed to stick that section in.  It really is easy to modify, I ended up modifying the original plan as well, I moved the lift-gate and reconfigured one of the sections to give more space under the layout.  It was a piece of cake.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Hey, at least the loop on the floor is functional, don't knock it!

I'm glad I delayed putting wood on, I think I'll like this much better than what I had planned before.

I'm glad I had a bunch of spare pieces, I just dug into the inventory and had everything I needed to stick that section in.  It really is easy to modify, I ended up modifying the original plan as well, I moved the lift-gate and reconfigured one of the sections to give more space under the layout.  It was a piece of cake.

The reversing loops are a great idea, and a lot of fun....Grandad always said the most fun he had was during the war when he worked OT as a hostler, when man power was short he got the chance to back down a hudson on the reversing loop to couple on to a train just brought in by an electric at Harmon......anytime he told that story he’d say..”I was a big dog that day”.............Pat

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep

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