Jan posted:

Yes, it's cleaner.  I wondered about the additional bridge, but them I discovered the subway layer...

I didn't mention that all curves are O72 or larger.

Jan

I like the 072 minimum curves. The subway layer is a last wishful thinking item that should be a point to point, without bridges. Not sure why you mentioned addition bridge and discovering the subway layer?

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

John,

Check out Susan Deat's Bridges.

Any moveable bridge will affect operations, You can see to operate your layout from either opening.  Since you live in western Pennyslvania you'll find that there are plenty of engineers, brakemen, and conductors to operate the trains with you. 

To men, a layout this size means operations:

  • Through freight and passenger trains;
  • Local passenger trains;
  • Way freights and industries from them to serve;
  • Yard operations; and
  • Station operations.

But you'll also want continous operations to keep you company while you work on various activities of this hobby.

This hobby can be as simple as running a train in circles to realistic  railroad enterprise.  Your decisions now on what you want will determine where you go from here,  The Forum is here to help and confuse you.

Jan

Jan posted:

John,

Check out Susan Deat's Bridges.

Any moveable bridge will affect operations, You can see to operate your layout from either opening.  Since you live in western Pennyslvania you'll find that there are plenty of engineers, brakemen, and conductors to operate the trains with you. 

To men, a layout this size means operations:

  • Through freight and passenger trains;
  • Local passenger trains;
  • Way freights and industries from them to serve;
  • Yard operations; and
  • Station operations.

But you'll also want continous operations to keep you company while you work on various activities of this hobby.

This hobby can be as simple as running a train in circles to realistic  railroad enterprise.  Your decisions now on what you want will determine where you go from here,  The Forum is here to help and confuse you.

Jan

I certainly agree with the Help and confuse you ability in this forum. Although I was confused way before I got on this forum, and the forum has cleared up more than it has muddied. I do really appreciate all the help from yourself and others on this forum. I would like to have "operations" as it seems as though it would keep the layout interesting for a much greater time frame.  Wondering now if I am making this too big???

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

Mark Boyce posted:

John, I don’t think you are making the layout too big or complicated.  I think to have some reasonable amount of operations in O Gauge you have a nice sized space.  It’s just a matter of coming up with a workable plan.

Thanks for the support Mark and You and your family have a Merry Christmas.

And Merry Christmas to everyone on this forum!

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

Hi All!

Now that the holidays are over I  can once again get back to my layout. I have to admit I was researching Train Electronics over the holidays and unfortunately started playing around with DCC. I don't have any tracks set up or engines that are DCC to run on them, however as DCC seems to be an open system, it caught my electronic eye. Part of planning for me is to learn what is available and what works or maybe more importantly, what doesn't work with what systems. I should probably take this discussion over to another area, but just wanted all to know what has my attention. Also my track plan needs a vision which is eluding me at this time. Spending time working on a general theme and putting together that list of wants and really wants, needs to happen soon.

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and are enjoying the new year.

John

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

John, you mentioned DCC.  The newer MTH engines run on DCS or DCC.  There is a little switch on the under frame to make the selection.  I use MTH's DCS system so know very little about DCC except as you said it is open sourced and there are many manufacturers that are compatible with on another in the HO market.   I don't know if Lionel is doing this or not.  Since Williams by Bachmann aren't command controlled, you would have to install a decoder.

We had a great Christmas and New Year.  Thank you!

Hello All,

I have been working on the train room via my wife's wishes for a room to be finished off for our daughter and friends to use. That is in the basement, and the other side of the basement is for trains and storage. So I have some walls up complete with taping, mudding, sanding and painted. Still have about sixteen feet of wall to go, to fully finish my wife's side, so I will be working on that first. Good news for trains, the walls are up around the train area and now real measurements can be taken and used for making a track plan. I am still floundering around the theme and reason for the railroad. Personally being torn between penn. coal industry which I spent summers in the Wiles-Barre Scranton area and growing up in NYC and riding the trains from Grand Central station and the NY subways for years. Which way will provide more long term interest and excitement are the questions I have to answer. 

Thanks for all the help from everyone.

John

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

I have to admit I am looking forward to progress also... lol Have to finish one side of basement before I can start on the train side. That is ok, as I mentioned, My concept is still undecided and is elusive. I have been reading many books and articles on layout planning and design. The more I read the more conflicted I get between having loops and running trains to point to point railroading. I am blessed with a fairly large area to work in, but it seems to shrink with the reach limitations and my inability to vision different configurations. At one point I totally stopped thinking about it and focused on finishing the extra basement room. That was probably the best route at the time.  Now I can see only a couple of weeks and I won't have that excuse.  

Thanks for the interest.

John

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

Hi All, Another handicap I have uncovered through this process is my inability to plan in 3D. I would like trains on bridges going over another track and or road way, however, between keeping grades to a reasonable pitch and visualizing the track layout is (at this point) close to impossible for me. I am a hands on person, so maybe if I ever get that area cleared out I can lay track on the floor and figure it out hand over hand so to speak.

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

Hello All, I still am wrestling with space, reach, amount of track and walking room. I have included jpeg's of two ideas for train table layout. One with a walk around the outside and an isle inside and the other against the walls with access panels and an interior isle. The black lines are hard walls and the blue lines are dimensions or table top area out line. I know people here have seen/have many layouts and a ton of experience. Yes everyone has an opinion, which is what I am looking for, opinions based on experience.

I hope the pics show up ok

Thanks

John

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

Attachments

Photos (2)

Well, you'll find the walk-around will be a ton more convenient when you're building and working on the layout.  Since we're talking about O-gauge, I'd grab that extra ten feet right now, I suspect you're going to want it!

I am starting to lean in that direction, since reaching will be harder and harder with age. Also using access holes isn't too appealing. I wonder how often they are used once set is up and running?

Thanks

John

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

Mark Boyce posted:

I’m for around the walls layout.  No place with track out of arms reach.  I’m younger than John, but enough over 60 to want no other.

Hi Mark,

It seemed to me with a walkway along one wall as well as isle, things would not be out of reach or longer than need be.

And as far as age, it is the mileage that really matters. I think I have about worn down my knees to join your quest in knee replacements.   Being new in area I haven't a clue about the surgeons out here and their reputation. And there can be huge differences between technique and materials used.

Hope your wife is doing well!

Thanks

John

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

Looks like this thread has come full circle and we're back to square one. 

Your examples are skewed though and are not fair comparisons. In the 1st one, you expanded certain sections and added access hatches that are only needed if you design a layout that needs them, such as some of those that were offered earlier in the thread. In the 2nd one, you shrunk the area where you had access hatches and moved the upper section down away from the wall.

Photo 1 shows the approximate space available for decking for an around-the-room design. It has a min 36" reach all the way around.

Photo 2 shows the approximate space available for a walk-around design. It also has a min 36" reach and the upper aisle is 30" wide, the lower 36".

Photo 3 is just a sample.

The only reason previous designs included access hatches was your desire for reversing loops when you don't really need them. You have more than enough room for double mains that can cross over/under each other (Photo 4).

Photo 1
deck1

Photo 2
deck2

Photo 3
john 2019-08-12

Photo 4
overpass

 

Attachments

Photos (4)
DoubleDAZ posted:

Looks like this thread has come full circle and we're back to square one. 

Your examples are skewed though and are not fair comparisons. In the 1st one, you expanded certain sections and added access hatches that are only needed if you design a layout that needs them, such as some of those that were offered earlier in the thread. In the 2nd one, you shrunk the area where you had access hatches and moved the upper section down away from the wall.

Photo 1 shows the approximate space available for decking for an around-the-room design. It has a min 36" reach all the way around.

Photo 2 shows the approximate space available for a walk-around design. It also has a min 36" reach and the upper aisle is 30" wide, the lower 36".

Photo 3 is just a sample.

The only reason previous designs included access hatches was your desire for reversing loops when you don't really need them. You have more than enough room for double mains that can cross over/under each other (Photo 4).

Photo 1
deck1

Photo 2
deck2

Photo 3
john 2019-08-12

Photo 4
overpass

 

Hi DoubleDaz,

I have not abandoned original ideas. Just at this point, all options are still open and train table space, accessibility and usability are things that could use a second look.

Yes my examples are skewed and are only there to give a visual of what I would not do a good job of explaining. (you get my point from the last sentence lol ) I do not see your pics on this post, so I cannot comment on them at all.  Please repost those pics as they certainly will help.

Thanks for bringing my maybe foolish idea of reversing loops to light. Love to hear other opinions on reversing loops as I am certainly not steadfast on that idea. I have actually redesigned the layout with trying to incorporate track over and under ideas with the reversing loops, I had a great bowl of spaghetti when done. I did post I am having trouble with 3d design, meaning a flat surface with not tracks crossing I can visualize to a degree. Taking a design and then having different levels eludes me and may be a mountain of a road block, I could live initially with a flat layout to test my equipment and decide which control system to use and finalize the Railroad's purpose. It's purpose may only be to run trains and include various industries and move passengers from place to place. So prototypical operation may or may not evolve.

PS  I am sure over thinking everything!

Again Thanks for the help

Always Appreciated

John

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

DoubleDAZ posted:

John, photos should be there now. I have no idea what went wrong.

Hi DoubleDaz,

I do see the photos and lean towards #1 around the room. I guess all that middle room seems "wasted" It is 4'x17' of added walking space. It may very well lend itself to a more comfortable overall experience. But since I have no experience I cannot pass that judgement.  Now to incorporate passing sidings and spurs to service. Thanks for adding the elevated area's as that may help wrap my mind around those kind of ideas.

Further studying will hopefully shed some more light on my weaknesses.

Again Thanks

John

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

It's around the perimeter for me (just opinion/personal preference) for reasons:

(1) Curves viewed from the inside appear less sharp to the mind's-eye than do curves viewed from the outside.

(2) I don't like spaghetti-bowls and sans that the maximum route-mileage is obtained by using the perimeter. 

(3) Around-the-perimeter minimizes the real estate required for isles and thus maximizes the square footage available for the railroad.

(4) I want a model railroad to go from one place to another and for me that works best with around-the-perimeter because the sight-line is limited and keeps changing as the train moves along.

Lew

Lew

 

Operator of the Plywood Empire Route in the Beautiful Berkshires

Growing old is so much more fun than the only alternative.

John, I don't think you're overthinking. It's not easy to visualize the over/under if you haven't mastered elevations and grades. As you can see, I use colors to differentiate things. The blue track is obviously the outer main with an elevation of 0". The bottom gold track is the inner main, also with an elevation of 0". The upper gold track is the elevated track with an elevation of 7". The purple tracks are the grades going from 0" to 7". The reason I color code them is so I can double-click to select a given segment when I need to make changes. I've attached the SCARM file so you can play with it.

Elevation editing can be a little tricky until you get the hang of it.
- Zoom in to see mostly the upper gold track.
- Turn on the Height icon (red h) and Input icon (red I). You should now see that the elevation for each track is 7.
- Click on the left one and change it to 9. To do that, you have to delete the 7 and then enter 9.
- Click on the right one and change it to 9 also. You should see all of them change to 9. If you don't, try again. If you really mess up, simply open the file again (without saving changes).

Grade editing is even more tricky.
- Zoom in on the right purple segment.
- Make sure the Height and Input icons are still on. You should see that the track close to the gold track is 7 and the one far away is 0.
- Click on the one that says 7 and change it to 9. You should see it display the % of incline.
- If the incline is too steep, add another track to the far end, change its color and re-select the segment.
- This time you can change the 0 to 0 or the 9 to 9 again and that will recompute the % of incline.

Good luck.

BTW, you'll see I added a small Wye to let you turn engines.

Attachments

John, If I had more room/didn’t have to contend with 4 doors and a wall of windows that needed to keep full access I would have not bothered with the turnback loops.  On the other hand the door and window access made for access on three sides and no pop up hatches.

geysergazer posted:

It's around the perimeter for me (just opinion/personal preference) for reasons:

(1) Curves viewed from the inside appear less sharp to the mind's-eye than do curves viewed from the outside.

(2) I don't like spaghetti-bowls and sans that the maximum route-mileage is obtained by using the perimeter. 

(3) Around-the-perimeter minimizes the real estate required for isles and thus maximizes the square footage available for the railroad.

(4) I want a model railroad to go from one place to another and for me that works best with around-the-perimeter because the sight-line is limited and keeps changing as the train moves along.

Lew

ALL Excellant reasons, especially #1, 2, 3 and 4

Thanks

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

DoubleDAZ posted:

John, I don't think you're overthinking. It's not easy to visualize the over/under if you haven't mastered elevations and grades. As you can see, I use colors to differentiate things. The blue track is obviously the outer main with an elevation of 0". The bottom gold track is the inner main, also with an elevation of 0". The upper gold track is the elevated track with an elevation of 7". The purple tracks are the grades going from 0" to 7". The reason I color code them is so I can double-click to select a given segment when I need to make changes. I've attached the SCARM file so you can play with it.

Elevation editing can be a little tricky until you get the hang of it.
- Zoom in to see mostly the upper gold track.
- Turn on the Height icon (red h) and Input icon (red I). You should now see that the elevation for each track is 7.
- Click on the left one and change it to 9. To do that, you have to delete the 7 and then enter 9.
- Click on the right one and change it to 9 also. You should see all of them change to 9. If you don't, try again. If you really mess up, simply open the file again (without saving changes).

Grade editing is even more tricky.
- Zoom in on the right purple segment.
- Make sure the Height and Input icons are still on. You should see that the track close to the gold track is 7 and the one far away is 0.
- Click on the one that says 7 and change it to 9. You should see it display the % of incline.
- If the incline is too steep, add another track to the far end, change its color and re-select the segment.
- This time you can change the 0 to 0 or the 9 to 9 again and that will recompute the % of incline.

Good luck.

BTW, you'll see I added a small Wye to let you turn engines.

Love the orgainization of colors and how you use them to your advantage in Scarm

Big thanks on the height and grading in scarm, that has been a sore spot. This should be a big help. I did spend time reading the scarm info but just lost track (no pun intended) of which was which as far as height verses grade.

I can't wait to see the wye too!

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

Mark Boyce posted:

John, If I had more room/didn’t have to contend with 4 doors and a wall of windows that needed to keep full access I would have not bothered with the turnback loops.  On the other hand the door and window access made for access on three sides and no pop up hatches.

I do like you setup and was taking your turn back loops as a mini goal as it seems to have some added interest in operation. Again I do not know, as I have never built a large layout. Only a 4x8 ovals when I was a tot.

Thanks for your input as always

John

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

It’s a small Wye just to show it’s possible to include one, even with O-72 curves. I also did a version with a 28” turntable, no roundhouse though.

The thing about reversing loops is a lot of times the same effect, trains going in both directions, can be achieved with dual mains. Mark’s design could be done using dual mains instead of reversing loops, but the Parson’s area would have to be expanded and then reach might become a problem for him.

DoubleDAZ posted:

It’s a small Wye just to show it’s possible to include one, even with O-72 curves. I also did a version with a 28” turntable, no roundhouse though.

The thing about reversing loops is a lot of times the same effect, trains going in both directions, can be achieved with dual mains. Mark’s design could be done using dual mains instead of reversing loops, but the Parson’s area would have to be expanded and then reach might become a problem for him.

Makes a lot of sense for sure. Curious on the turntable without roundhouse. I do worry about reach both during the build and then running trains.

Again Super Thanks

John

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

Aegis21 posted:

Makes a lot of sense for sure. Curious on the turntable without roundhouse. I do worry about reach both during the build and then running trains.

John, bear in mind that these are just samples to show you what an around-the-room layout might look like. Here are some photos with a 28" turntable instead of the Wye. Note that I added 2 bridges, raised them to a flat 3" and adjusted the grades on both sides. All grades are 3% or less. I even added a storage yard for rolling stock,though it's quite far from the turntable.

You can have 2 or more trains running on each track in opposite directions so they pass each other and go over/under each other. You get all the visuals you'd get from reversing loops without the added expense and limitations, the biggest being a single mainline between them.

john 2019-08-12b

overpass

 

Attachments

Photos (2)
Files (1)
DoubleDAZ posted:
Aegis21 posted:

Makes a lot of sense for sure. Curious on the turntable without roundhouse. I do worry about reach both during the build and then running trains.

John, bear in mind that these are just samples to show you what an around-the-room layout might look like. Here are some photos with a 28" turntable instead of the Wye. Note that I added 2 bridges, raised them to a flat 3" and adjusted the grades on both sides. All grades are 3% or less. I even added a storage yard for rolling stock,though it's quite far from the turntable.

You can have 2 or more trains running on each track in opposite directions so they pass each other and go over/under each other. You get all the visuals you'd get from reversing loops without the added expense and limitations, the biggest being a single mainline between them.

john 2019-08-12b

overpass

 

Great ideas abound for sure with these possibilities. Love the bridges and actually have a Pratt Truss Bridge that can make that span. I think it is for two tracks, but not sure. Like the turntable idea and yard possibilities. I see your point and others that have pretty much agreed on the around room layout. It does give better distance impact and overall visuals.

Thanks

John

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

DoubleDAZ posted:

Here's 2-track bridge view.

dejohn 2019-08-10 60 alt bridge

Looks perfect! I have plans on making it swing up if the ceiling height allows. It has been so long ago now, but I got them from mike_g  on this forum.  BIG SHOUT out to Mike!

I can't wait till my knee feels good enough to finish the other side of the basement and finally clear the train area out!

Thanks

John

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

http://www.scarmhirailers.com/

The 2-track model isn’t in there though, I just put that together using the single track model for a start. You can copy it to a new file and save it as just another object. They don’t show up as part of a library. You have to open the individual file, copy the object, then open your file and paste it in.

DoubleDAZ posted:

http://www.scarmhirailers.com/

The 2-track model isn’t in there though, I just put that together using the single track model for a start. You can copy it to a new file and save it as just another object. They don’t show up as part of a library. You have to open the individual file, copy the object, then open your file and paste it in.

Dave,

You lost me at save it as just another object LOL

You did a great job!

Trying to get to work on my railroad...

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