Bryant Dunivan 111417 posted:

John,you are on th right track with a program like Scarm.  You can also use their module to place a train on your layout to see it work.  I spent about 6 months planning before I ordered track. 

Also, remember to create a theme (s) or a storyline in your plan.  If you don't, you will get bored and  use your new layout to test new engines and shut it off.  I would also consider a trip to York to see what is available for you to incorporate.

One more piece of input.  Consider adding a 4 way or something to park about 3 or 4 engines or locomotives.  They are heavy and sometimes delicate.  Best to minimize handling.

like others on the forum, I could go on and on. One more thing.  Do not ballast until your layout wiring is complete, dead nuts sure.  Run your layout without ballast do r a f e will months to m a key sure you are satisfied.  It is your layout and creativity.  "To thine own self, be true".  Good luck.  You will be a kid again.  It's fun.

I did go to the York show this past Oct. I was just overwhelmed at all the trains, displays and such. Too much to take in without knowing what I will be doing or wanting to do. I went Friday and stayed overnight and went Saturday morning then headed home. (long trip for me)

Yes I am working on a theme/storyline for the past couple of months. Although it appears to me as a chicken/egg thing. Of course I want a million things, however space and design dictate how many of those things are possible. I originally wanted the following:

1. Freight Line with industries
2. Passenger line with stops
3. At least one Small town and other scattered buildings
4. Major passenger station (thinking Grand Central Station in NYC)
5. coal mining and industry
6. Subway with end stop Coney Island in Brooklyn NY
7. Some Mountainous area (Coal mining area Scranton/Wilkes Barre Pa. )

I know the Grand station is probably out as it would require a major skyscraper area.  And yes a yard would be nice also to have. I pictured Sunnyside Yards in Long Island City where my Dad worked for the Pullman company. I will remember about not ballasting till totally satisfied with layout! So many wants, so little space and time.

Thanks for the input

DoubleDAZ posted:

John, I don't see any "S" curves, but then my eyesight isn't what it once was. An "S" curve is where there are 2 curved tracks connected together that go in opposing directions. The solution is to add a straight track between them, usually a 10" or longer track. This eliminates the stress on the cars and couplers from getting pulled in opposite directions at the same time. It appears you'e done that.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that by adding the O54 curves, you are limiting the size of engines you will be able to run. That means you won't be able to run anything that requires curves larger that O54, like the MTH Premier 4-8-8-4 Big Boy steamer. Personally, I don't have a problem with it because anything I buy will run with O31 curves, but I felt I needed to point out the limitation you are imposing with the tighter curves.

I'd also like to take a moment to discuss grades. I noticed some of the elevations got changed to 3" and that just won't work, so I changed them back to 6.5". Then I fiddled with the subway grade at the top of it's run. You can see I moved the beginning of the grade (Blue track) which changes where it will appear (Orange track). It also increased the grade to 4.7%. Have you considered an auto-reversing trolley instead of a subway?

I wasn't sure about the "S" thanks for clearing that up. As far as large trains small curves, at present the largest I have are 4 - 18" passenger cars Lionel 19079 heavyweights and a Diesel set K-Line K28701H which are 17.5" long. They are huge compared to the rest of my collection and although they look fantastic, if they won't work or look out of place I might sell them and get a smaller replacement. Not sure on how that will pan out yet. I did get a good deal on them at the time a couple of years ago. I still haven't taken them out of the box to run or test.

The 3" elevation was me playing with scarm table depth and valley terrain. I think adding the "subway" threw things off so to speak. And yes you are correct, this is by no means a final layout, but scarm practice and getting an idea what is possible in the space I have been given. Again which came first Chicken (design wants) or the egg( actual room size and layout constraints)

I picture the subway will be it's own layer under the table and then at the end elevate up to end at Coney Island. So it will skirt the edge of the table as much as possible with stations along the way. Not sure how far below main table it will/should be yet. The subway will probably be last part of the build, if it gets put in the end design at all.

Again Thanks Dave.

John,

Yes, it is hard to know what you may want on a first layout that is more than just circles around a Christmas Tree or on a sheet of plywood.  Some folks like a lot of switching cars at industries and in the yards.  I find a little of that okay, but not a steady diet.  I am more of a railfan, wanting to see a train run through multiple scenes Some people like a number of independent loops and have several trains running at a time.  Of course like most of us, you want to replicate scenes and train movements like you have seen in the real world; ie the subway.  You are ahead of many since you realize you can't have it all, Grand Central Station would look odd without a whole set of skyscrapers and how do you fit that into your space with Anthracite Mountain running?

I had two large passenger engines and two sets of long passenger cars I thought I could run on wide 072 loops while having other track for mountain hauling.  Well you may have seen in my topic where I discarded that idea, sold the big engine and long cars, and am going with just the small ones.  Nothing larger than a 2-8-0 Consolidation and first generation diesels, with 15" passenger cars.

Yes, the trip to York is a long trip for me too.  I have gone twice, but didn't go this past October.  We should join up and go together sometime.

Mark Boyce posted:

John,

Yes, it is hard to know what you may want on a first layout that is more than just circles around a Christmas Tree or on a sheet of plywood.  Some folks like a lot of switching cars at industries and in the yards.  I find a little of that okay, but not a steady diet.  I am more of a railfan, wanting to see a train run through multiple scenes Some people like a number of independent loops and have several trains running at a time.  Of course like most of us, you want to replicate scenes and train movements like you have seen in the real world; ie the subway.  You are ahead of many since you realize you can't have it all, Grand Central Station would look odd without a whole set of skyscrapers and how do you fit that into your space with Anthracite Mountain running?

I had two large passenger engines and two sets of long passenger cars I thought I could run on wide 072 loops while having other track for mountain hauling.  Well you may have seen in my topic where I discarded that idea, sold the big engine and long cars, and am going with just the small ones.  Nothing larger than a 2-8-0 Consolidation and first generation diesels, with 15" passenger cars.

Yes, the trip to York is a long trip for me too.  I have gone twice, but didn't go this past October.  We should join up and go together sometime.

Hi Mark,

Grand Central Station in the middle of the mountains would take more than imagination to be plausible. Yes I did read your letting go of those large items and scaled down the trains to fit the space/layout design. Your space is similar to mine and I do like your layout. Lots went into it and wow the transitioning from the smaller 12x12 to what you have now is fantastic. Going to York together sounds like a great idea and lots of fun.  I am so ignorant of Model railroading terms it is pathetic.  You wrote:"Nothing larger than a 2-8-0 Consolidation" 2-8-0 are the wheels on the loco I assume, how do you get length or size from that? Or is it just a look it up and read the dimensions.

 

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

Bill,  Many thanks for the diagrams of the Whyte notation.  

John, the manufacturer will give the length, but perhaps more important, the recommended minimum curve for each engine in its documentation.  My MTH engines have this information right on the label on the box, and online.  Other manufacturers do the same.  It is something to keep in mind with passenger cars and long modern freight cars as well.  

Here is an example using my largest engine:    https://mthtrains.com/20-3166-1    Now, I bought this engine used for a little more than than half the original MSRP from a member of this Forum.  All but one of my engines were bought used.  The new one was an inexpensive small diesel.

Mark Boyce posted:

Bill,  Many thanks for the diagrams of the Whyte notation.  

John, the manufacturer will give the length, but perhaps more important, the recommended minimum curve for each engine in its documentation.  My MTH engines have this information right on the label on the box, and online.  Other manufacturers do the same.  It is something to keep in mind with passenger cars and long modern freight cars as well.  

Here is an example using my largest engine:    https://mthtrains.com/20-3166-1    Now, I bought this engine used for a little more than than half the original MSRP from a member of this Forum.  All but one of my engines were bought used.  The new one was an inexpensive small diesel.

Hi Mark,

I looked up the curve for my largest diesel and it is 0-72 minimum Shame I will now e-bay this unit with passenger cars. However it will be a better looking fit with smaller size engines in this space. I have acquired several engines and freight cars from a local auction in Ct. when I lived in that state. I did get some real good deals and will at least break even I hope. These were new in box as they came from a bankruptcy. We will see how they do on e-bay. I may wait till next fall as I do not have the time to list and ship. Plus it is so close to Christmas I might do better next year.

Thanks for the Info! Extremely helpful as always!

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

rtr12 posted:
Aegis21 posted:

I'll be 66 this Saturday! LOL Happy Birthday in Advance

Happy Birthday to you too!  We are pretty close, mine's a week from tomorrow. 

Thanks! I don't know if I should celebrating anymore... lol

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

Mark Boyce posted:

John, I like listing trains for sale on the OGR Forum For Sale section.  You have much better chance of working a deal with an honest person here than on EBay.  I do not mean to criticize EBay, it is just that the comradery here is better 

Well noted! Thanks

Jan posted:

I took a couple of hours this evening to work  on our plan,  Momimum mainline and revering loop curves is O63.

Jan

NICE work Jan! I was playing around a bit with a yard on the left side which put the purple curves back to a larger size. Again I was just playing around so to speak. This layout has no purpose as of yet, (except to run trains) But it is a great start and gives a great indication of what can be done in this area. 

 

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

DoubleDAZ posted:

Wonderful job Jan. I like it, but am concerned about the reach to the double crossover, unless John adds an access hatch by the spurs.

Thanks for the heads up on the dreaded reach factor.  I would like to avoid an access hatch if at all possible. Could possibly move the left crossover to the left until it becomes reachable. The other crossover could be moved towards the right as far as the Bridge??? Again Thanks Dave for picking up on that!

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

Mark Boyce posted:

I like having a purpose for my railroad, such as hauling coal or logs from point A to point B.  Some folks are quite happy with the purpose of just running trains.  Either is great!  It depends on what you want to do.

I would like to have a purpose for the railroad. Not totally sure yet what that maybe, but coal is definitely on the short list of mine. And sometimes just having a train run is nice, kind of like setting on the porch and hearing the diesel horn off in the distance and anticipating the train coming past the neighborhood.

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

I agree about the reach problem, that any of us over 60 should make sure we don’t design something we can’t maintain.  Just since we designed my layout I now that I have a disk and sciatic nerve problem.  I am glad my plan provides for easy access to all points.  

That said, I don’t know how to fix the problem other than taking a different approach to that area.  I guess I could put on my thinking cap, but I don’t know where I left it!!!

Aegis21 posted:
Mark Boyce posted:

I like having a purpose for my railroad, such as hauling coal or logs from point A to point B.  Some folks are quite happy with the purpose of just running trains.  Either is great!  It depends on what you want to do.

I would like to have a purpose for the railroad. Not totally sure yet what that maybe, but coal is definitely on the short list of mine. And sometimes just having a train run is nice, kind of like setting on the porch and hearing the diesel horn off in the distance and anticipating the train coming past the neighborhood.

I always have a continuous run ability to use on occasions I want to break in a new engine or just run trains.  You may have seen that discussion early on in my topic.  A true point to point only layout was suggested.  Most people don’t go for that.

Mark Boyce posted:
Aegis21 posted:
Mark Boyce posted:

I like having a purpose for my railroad, such as hauling coal or logs from point A to point B.  Some folks are quite happy with the purpose of just running trains.  Either is great!  It depends on what you want to do.

I would like to have a purpose for the railroad. Not totally sure yet what that maybe, but coal is definitely on the short list of mine. And sometimes just having a train run is nice, kind of like setting on the porch and hearing the diesel horn off in the distance and anticipating the train coming past the neighborhood.

I always have a continuous run ability to use on occasions I want to break in a new engine or just run trains.  You may have seen that discussion early on in my topic.  A true point to point only layout was suggested.  Most people don’t go for that.

Hi Mark,

I did read your entire layout planning topic. My preference at this time is the double loops. I am not sure if that will change in time when I get to see more layouts in a functioning setting. At this time I am wondering, and questioning the two main line set up. I know it adds a lot of long runs and track, however the loops get messy and cluttered and limits other aspects. I hope you and others with more experience than me (which would be almost everyone) will chime in with comments and any reasons one way or the other.

Thanks John

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

The double crossover does not have to be there.  Is there any reason why there can't be an open window in that wall above the crossover?  The wall doesn't exist yet, so this would be a location for viewing.

In western Pennsylvania you wou;d have slow-moving iron ore unit trains running between Lake Erie and the steel mills in Pittsburgh.Also coal/cole for the furnaces.  The Pittsburgh and Lake Erie operations would be a starting point.  You also have the NYC and PRR to study.

Jan

Aegis21 posted:

I would like to avoid an access hatch if at all possible. Could possibly move the left crossover to the left until it becomes reachable. The other crossover could be moved towards the right as far as the Bridge?

Here's an alternate design where I believe there's sufficient access to the switches. Note that I replaced the 11° switches with O72 switches located on the curves for a smooth transition. I also moved the rightmost tracks in a bit to get them away from the edge and give the lift-up bridge structure more room. When you get to planning for the bridge, take a look at this thread of Mike G's, especially the 2nd video of the bridge in operation.

I placed a yellow access hatch just for information to show where it might go. What you do is place some landscaping on it and make it removable. That way it's there if you ever need it. Many modelers place they accessories on removable platforms whether they be access hatches or not. It's a lot easier to work on animated accessories if they can be moved to a workbench for repair.

 Capture

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Jan posted:

The double crossover does not have to be there.  Is there any reason why there can't be an open window in that wall above the crossover?  The wall doesn't exist yet, so this would be a location for viewing.

In western Pennsylvania you wou;d have slow-moving iron ore unit trains running between Lake Erie and the steel mills in Pittsburgh.Also coal/cole for the furnaces.  The Pittsburgh and Lake Erie operations would be a starting point.  You also have the NYC and PRR to study.

Jan

Hi Jan,

There isn't a reason why there cant be a window there, other than my wife possibly not wanting one there. I will have to propose that to her and get her feedback. Good Idea!

We currently live in western Pa. where my wife is from, however I spent most summers in eastern Pa. with coal all around. There was a train that went behind my Uncles house and we would "walk the tracks" with my Aunt and pick up pieces of coal that fell off the trains. We would have a bucket and bring them back to the house for the coal bin. We did this all summer and it was amazing at the pile we had by labor day.  I haven't a clue what railroad ran through there at the time 1962 ish time frame. Being from New York City we took passenger trains from Grand central station to upstate NY to visit my other Aunt & Uncle. Great rides and fun times. Grand Central station was bigger than life for a 10 year old and seeing the rolling hills of upstate NY and the foothills of the Adirondack mountains was awesome. 

Thanks for the ideas and getting my memory active.

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

DoubleDAZ posted:
Aegis21 posted:

I would like to avoid an access hatch if at all possible. Could possibly move the left crossover to the left until it becomes reachable. The other crossover could be moved towards the right as far as the Bridge?

Here's an alternate design where I believe there's sufficient access to the switches. Note that I replaced the 11° switches with O72 switches located on the curves for a smooth transition. I also moved the rightmost tracks in a bit to get them away from the edge and give the lift-up bridge structure more room. When you get to planning for the bridge, take a look at this thread of Mike G's, especially the 2nd video of the bridge in operation.

I placed a yellow access hatch just for information to show where it might go. What you do is place some landscaping on it and make it removable. That way it's there if you ever need it. Many modelers place they accessories on removable platforms whether they be access hatches or not. It's a lot easier to work on animated accessories if they can be moved to a workbench for repair.

Capture

 

Great Job as always Dave! Thanks for the link to Mike's Bridge and the access hatch advice. Since I haven't tackled scenery and diorama's the hatch is scary from that point of view.(how to hide it and make it easy to remove) I am sure this is not the first hatch on the forum and probably a wealth of knowledge on here to help calm my fears.  Your pic is not visible to me "Image not found" Message where pic should be, so I opened the scarm file and snipped it for this reply.2018_12_22_dav

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

Attachments

Photos (1)

Weird, I fixed the photo and it fixed your quote too. Not sure what happened, so I just reattached it.

I was wondering about a door to the crossover, but then I remembered you only mentioned the green and red walls at one time. I assume the wife will not want to see through to whatever will be on the other side of the wall, but curtains can take care of that. I'd be inclined to consider a picture on a section that swings into the room.

If you're up to the challenge of adding a lift up or lift out bridge, you can handle a removable access hatch, you just have to plan for it when you design the framing. There are plenty of techniques available to hide seams, but that all depends on your choice of landscaping. Oftentimes it's a sidewalk, road or parking lot.

DoubleDAZ posted:

Weird, I fixed the photo and it fixed your quote too. Not sure what happened, so I just reattached it.

I was wondering about a door to the crossover, but then I remembered you only mentioned the green and red walls at one time. I assume the wife will not want to see through to whatever will be on the other side of the wall, but curtains can take care of that. I'd be inclined to consider a picture on a section that swings into the room.

If you're up to the challenge of adding a lift up or lift out bridge, you can handle a removable access hatch, you just have to plan for it when you design the framing. There are plenty of techniques available to hide seams, but that all depends on your choice of landscaping. Oftentimes it's a sidewalk, road or parking lot.

Asked my wife and she would prefer no windows or doors on that wall. She wants to place sofa and furniture along that wall so that preference is a Hard no Building hatch is doable, just would have rather not, however after reading your post on servicing and or building on it on a bench makes it appealing. Always a different look at hings is good. Thanks

As far as the bridge is concerned, I will ask Mike for any info rather than reinvent the wheel. He did a fantastic job!

 

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

Aegis21 posted:
Mark Boyce posted:
Aegis21 posted:
Mark Boyce posted:

I like having a purpose for my railroad, such as hauling coal or logs from point A to point B.  Some folks are quite happy with the purpose of just running trains.  Either is great!  It depends on what you want to do.

I would like to have a purpose for the railroad. Not totally sure yet what that maybe, but coal is definitely on the short list of mine. And sometimes just having a train run is nice, kind of like setting on the porch and hearing the diesel horn off in the distance and anticipating the train coming past the neighborhood.

I always have a continuous run ability to use on occasions I want to break in a new engine or just run trains.  You may have seen that discussion early on in my topic.  A true point to point only layout was suggested.  Most people don’t go for that.

Hi Mark,

I did read your entire layout planning topic. My preference at this time is the double loops. I am not sure if that will change in time when I get to see more layouts in a functioning setting. At this time I am wondering, and questioning the two main line set up. I know it adds a lot of long runs and track, however the loops get messy and cluttered and limits other aspects. I hope you and others with more experience than me (which would be almost everyone) will chime in with comments and any reasons one way or the other.

Thanks John

John, 

Double loops is always a good choice.  I grew up near the B&O double track main line, and it was really exciting when I occasionally saw two trains came through in opposite directions!  The same is true on a layout!!  Since I am trying to sort of replicate the Elkins line in West Virginia, which was single track, I wanted to go with that for the scenic effect.  As to the double track with a passing siding, two crossovers, I think it will look much less messy in real life than on the drawing board.  It is the reversing loops that balloon out into the aisle space that I think make it a bit messy.  I wish I could think of another way of doing it that would flow better.  All of us hear will say the choice is yours, but as you saw on my topic, I needed some suggestions to get the creativity to flow.  I'm sure it is the same with you.  I do like this last plan the best so far though!  Dave and Jan are doing a great job.

John,

By the way, when Christmas and New Years are over, and I get into working on my layout again, I will invite you down so you can see what you read about actually taking shape.  Though I am no woodworking craftsman, I do have some experience in building a layout.  I think it would be very beneficial.  

My only comment about dual mains is that they don’t need to be parallel around the entire layout. Obviously they need to be at the bridge and crossovers, everywhere else they can meander, go over/under, etc.

And crossovers don’t need to be close to each other either.

The wrinkle I see is the subway and I’m still not sure how that’s going to run. I assume it will eventually run close to the edge on a shelf with viewing stations at various points. It’s hard to design the run though without knowing what the min curve size needs to be, etc. if you hide most of it, it’s just a waste of track and money.

Mark Boyce posted:
Aegis21 posted

Hi Mark,

I did read your entire layout planning topic. My preference at this time is the double loops. I am not sure if that will change in time when I get to see more layouts in a functioning setting. At this time I am wondering, and questioning the two main line set up. I know it adds a lot of long runs and track, however the loops get messy and cluttered and limits other aspects. I hope you and others with more experience than me (which would be almost everyone) will chime in with comments and any reasons one way or the other.

Thanks John

John, 

Double loops is always a good choice.  I grew up near the B&O double track main line, and it was really exciting when I occasionally saw two trains came through in opposite directions!  The same is true on a layout!!  Since I am trying to sort of replicate the Elkins line in West Virginia, which was single track, I wanted to go with that for the scenic effect.  As to the double track with a passing siding, two crossovers, I think it will look much less messy in real life than on the drawing board.  It is the reversing loops that balloon out into the aisle space that I think make it a bit messy.  I wish I could think of another way of doing it that would flow better.  All of us hear will say the choice is yours, but as you saw on my topic, I needed some suggestions to get the creativity to flow.  I'm sure it is the same with you.  I do like this last plan the best so far though!  Dave and Jan are doing a great job.

I also like the last plan and agree Dave and Jan are doing a fantastic job. Not only do I need some creativity flowing but general railroad knowledge and how real railroads ran and sorted cars and got goods from point "A" to point "B".  I agree on the reversing loops being congested and changing elevations like your layout has is something that may clean that up. Although it is cleaner now with this last revision. 

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

Mark Boyce posted:

John,

By the way, when Christmas and New Years are over, and I get into working on my layout again, I will invite you down so you can see what you read about actually taking shape.  Though I am no woodworking craftsman, I do have some experience in building a layout.  I think it would be very beneficial.  

I would love to stop by and see your progress and learn all I can. I'll also lend a hand if needed.

Thanks for the invite.

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

DoubleDAZ posted:

My only comment about dual mains is that they don’t need to be parallel around the entire layout. Obviously they need to be at the bridge and crossovers, everywhere else they can meander, go over/under, etc.

And crossovers don’t need to be close to each other either.

The wrinkle I see is the subway and I’m still not sure how that’s going to run. I assume it will eventually run close to the edge on a shelf with viewing stations at various points. It’s hard to design the run though without knowing what the min curve size needs to be, etc. if you hide most of it, it’s just a waste of track and money.

Thanks for the dual mains help and tips, same with crossovers. The subway will run close to the edge on a shelf with station stops along the way. At one point I hope it will elevate to main level for the last stop. I am not sure how and if that will work at all, however this is the dreaming stage. As far as a waste of track and money, well I can not argue that at all at this point. It will be the last part of the build and if funding runs out then so be it.

Thanks again for all your help!

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

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