Pennsylvania and Pacific RR Construction

After tearing down my first layout last winter, moving in April, finishing the basement myself, I am finally ready to build this layout. I have been planning this since we were under contract for this new home, because the basement is quite large. After spending my summer finishing the basement I convinced my wife to give me a large portion of real estate for this layout.

My goal for this is to use a MRS 28 inch turntable as the centerpiece of the left section of the layout and a mountain scene/staging yard on the right. I want to be able to run 2 trains at a time on two spate loops. During my design process I drafted up 10 different layout designs, all around the same general shape. This plan is layout #9. The 10th rendering provided me with some ideas on expansion in the future, but right now, this amount of track will be enough to keep me busy for a long time!

After listening to a tip by a fellow forum member (G3750) I've jotted down some stats for this layout.

 

Vital Statistics of the proposed Layout:

  • Size & Shape:  Dog bone “L”   – Top section 9’ x 35’  bottom section 10’ X 25’. 
  • Track:  GarGraves and Ross with RCS turnouts
  • Yards:  Staging Yard, Menards Grain Mill, Morrison’s Door Factory, Auto Rack Yard, Oil Refinery, Turntable w/ roundhouse
  • Command System: TMCC/Legacy
  • Wiring & Blocking:  Planning for 6 blocks, Bus wiring.
  • Power:  Lionel ZW will be used to power TBD blocks, Lionel 180 bricks will be used for remaining blocks and turnouts. Accessories will be powered with 12v adapters.
  • Signals:  TBD.

Construction Goals:

  • Table will be uniform @ 36’’.
  • ½ plywood will be used as the subroadbed
  • Cork roadbed will be used.
  • Appearance boards will be applied at the conclusion of the build with skirts.

 

Operational Goals:

  • Operation of at least 2 engines at a time with activity in yards.
  • O72 Min curve
  • Long track plan for extended operation

 

Scenery Goals:

  • Industrial down feel around the turntable and passenger station
  • Mountains at the lower section of the “L”
  • Tunnels will be used for returning track
  • 48 inch truss bridge will be used

 

 

I will keep this thread updated as much as possible during this process. Any tips or suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Chris 

Chris Montagna

TCA  17-72757

Attachments

Photos (3)
Files (1)
Original Post

With some time off of work I've gotten started on the table construction and laying out the curves around the engine facility. The outside curves are O96 and the inside are O80. Currently waiting for a few items from RCS before continuing. 

Chris Montagna

TCA  17-72757

Attachments

Photos (2)

I would lengthen to the right the siding where the top turntable lead connects and connect it into the reverse loop connected to the 4-track stub yard.  This will give you a place to build a train without fouling the main.

Jan

Chris:

Nice layout design and the progress is looking good. Please keep us informed.

WRT the 12 volt adapters you may be interested in a single power supply - the Mega-Watt series. I am using the S-350-12 power supply. They are about $60 each. Most have three channels at about 10 watts each channel.

Joe

 

Over the past week or so I have added homasote to the tabletop and secured track down. Today I added another 8 feet to the table and worked on the turnouts which will lead to the turntable. I also added a platform for the station, paint to come later. 

Currently, waiting on some more switches from Ross and fellow forum members. I hope to get another piece of plywood up tomorrow and begin the big curve of the L. 

Plan update: since the first post I was examining my plans and decided to add a second reversing loop to counter the upper level reversing loop. I've added this to the center of the layout and it will lead to an autorack yard with 3-way switch. 

Have a great weekend,

Chris 

Chris Montagna

TCA  17-72757

Attachments

Photos (5)

Another week gone by and a little more progress on the top and bottom of the layout. This week cut out a small stream that will run between the auto rack yard and Morrison's Door Factory. I also added another section of ply and homasote to the table and extended the track as far as possible. I also began the incline along the back part of the layout. I've only placed two straight sections down so far, but it's progress. I'm not as focused on the upper level right now, so I don't expect to be working on this too much more between now and the new year. 

The next section will begin the right turn for the lower section of the layout. I hope to finish the table by New Years, we will see if that happens! My daughter's Polar Express may need to find a new home soon! 

 

Under the layout I began running some wires. Nothing too exciting, just wanted to get that process started.

Have a great Sunday!

Chris Montagna

TCA  17-72757

Attachments

Photos (6)

It's been a busy week and it's only Saturday! Having off on Monday and Friday of this week really allowed me to get a large portion of track laid. I've almost completed the two mainline loops, I only have the upper right corner to go which will connect the two. Once this is complete the only track remaining to be installed will be the yard, auto rack facility and the engine facility, which is waiting on the MRS turntable (hoping for a mid January delivery). 

With the holiday coming up I'll only have a few hours today to work on the layout. I'm hoping to finish the curve and begin wiring up some feeders so I can run an engine to set the inclines by the bridge on the outer main. I added this slight elevation change last minute to provide some more depth to the scenery.

Have a Merry Christmas!

 

 

IMG_0257IMG_0258IMG_0259

Chris Montagna

TCA  17-72757

Attachments

Photos (3)

Well, it's been a busy week! With the holiday break I was able to get a good amount of work completed on the layout. I started with finishing the incline to the second level as well as continuing the second level towards the reversing loop area. I was hoping to finish the table work for the entire second level, but after cutting and shaping plywood all day I was pretty shot so decided to move onto something else. I also wired up the two main loops as independent power blocks as well as adding a third block for the passenger siding (seen below with the SD70 and auto rack). I am getting full power on all tracks with my single ZW, which I am impressed with. I did wire each block to its own 8 amp breaker. 

 IMG_0316

I purchased 5 sheets of 4x8 hardboard (1/8 inch) for the backdrops and ripped them down to 8x2. I looked online for some image backdrops but a few things deterred me from purchasing any. 1. The websites are horrendous. 2. The prices were a little steep. So I decided to make my own backdrops, they turned out okay, however, I think I'll continue to touch them up over time. I do plan to add building flats to the front of the backdrops, so I think that will help break up all the blue!

In the image below, the corner doesn't have a "curved" backdrop due to a pop out which can be seen in the foreground. The retaining wall will be airbrushed and it will be "retaining" a large hillside. This will sit in the back corner hiding the access hole. 

IMG_0315

On the second level I began some mountain work, specifically in the corner after the incline. My plan is to use plaster cloth over the weaved cardboard. I will also be making my own rock molds for the steep sections were the mountain was "cut away" for the railroad. 

The large opening below is were the main yard will be. The 4-way switch is in the mail, however, I don't plan to install it until a good portion of the scenery for the upper track is complete. 

IMG_0318

As I was working on the upper level I was thinking of different ways to add some more elements to the scenery. Since this layout has a minimum of O72 curves I decided to add a "road to nowhere" with an unused O42 switch. I'll add a mirror inside the tunnel portal once everything is all said and done. 

IMG_0319

And the last 'big' item that I was able to get started this week was the auto rack yard. I added 1/4 plywood up to and between the rails. This will all get painted with a concrete woodland scenics paint. 

IMG_0320

 

Currently waiting on a few bags of ballast from Dennis Brennan. Once they arrive I will begin ballast work around the turntable loop and hard to reach track areas. Eventually, I'll get back under the layout and get all the switches wired up. My plan is the have a main control panel at the turntable and have the controls for most of the switches there. However, I think I'm going to wire the switch controller that aren't near the TT area to the facia in close proximity to the switch itself. 

 

Thanks for tuning in. Until next time...

 

-Chris 

 

Chris Montagna

TCA  17-72757

Attachments

Photos (5)

A few snow days this week allowed me to spend sometime on the layout. The MRS 28 inch turntable arrived yesterday, which was convenient since I was off for the snow. I was able to get the TT mounted to the table by myself. To do this I built a temporary support out of 2x6's. This made the job pretty simple. Kudos to Alan at Millhouse River Studios for making an great product!

C2F99CEA-21AB-461D-A727-880767D8CA63

62B50832-B2BD-452C-A99C-96083B340772Once I got got the TT in place I was still waiting on some switches for my lead in tracks to the TT so I spent some time under the layout wiring up turnouts and crossovers. I'm using old CAT5 wire for the DZ1000 machines. I quickly realized that I'm going to need to find an told CAT5 that is pretty long to reach the far end of the layout without multiple solder points. 

Right after my last post I was able to finish installing the plywood for the upper level. I also spent some time working on some cardboard backing for plaster cloth. I also painted the station platform and autorack yard with Woodland Scenics concrete. Nothing too exciting. 

28150A82-0937-46D6-B6AD-959F22312D0F

Today, I was off again for snow and the switches that I needed arrived in the morning. I spent my afternoon working on my approach tracks as well as some whisker tracks. I am planning on 10 whisker tracks to start. I'll run power to each whisker track as the track is installed. 

 5C1FA8F5-D0DC-4FFC-B681-4A962021FBDF975CA635-73ED-4BF4-836F-DA725E6BE09A4D30EE87-1413-4F6A-85FF-8C3181C69403

 

That's all for now. My goal over the next week or so is to continue adding the whisker tracks and wire them up the a control panel board. I ordered a 12x24 sheet of Lexan online and I'm using car pinstriping to mark my tracks. I'll also continue my work on wiring up switches, a process that seems to be endless! 

Chris Montagna

TCA  17-72757

Attachments

Photos (6)
PRR1950 posted:

Chris,

None of your pictures in the last post show up for me.  Did you change something in how you posted?  Blank space just says "Image Not Found."

Chuck

Chuck, interesting. I just deleted and reuploaded the photos. Thanks for the heads up. 

Chris Montagna

TCA  17-72757

Another week in the books! This week I focused my attention on wiring up power to switch machines as well as the whisker tracks around the turntable. I've got 4 whisker tracks wired up at this point. The reason I haven't finished this is because I am waiting on receiving a schematic plan for the Korber roundhouse. Once this is in hand I can properly place the remaining tracks so when I get a roundhouse I won't need to make major adjustments. 

IMG_0382

On the topside I have begun to ballast some track in the harder to reach areas, you can see some of this in the image above. I also continued to to add cardboard lattice, plaster cloth, and added sculptamold to certain areas, most notably the grade to the second level. I also began to at a base of brown paint to the sculptamold. 

IMG_0383IMG_0384

The image below shows the curve in the layout. This is where the yard will start. I am hoping to start this soon, possibly this weekend, it depends on how much working room I'll still have on the far side of the yard to access the upper level. 

IMG_0385

The last part of the layout has little progress, a little lattice and plaster, that's all. I did get the o72 curves for the reversing loop, however, they aren't screwed down yet. I am waiting on some casting resin to arrive this week. Once that comes I will be able to begin rock molds. 

IMG_0386

 

Thanks for checking in. As always feel free to leave a comment or suggestion!

-Chris 

Chris Montagna

TCA  17-72757

Attachments

Photos (5)
GB posted:

This a great looking layout, is this your own design. 

GB,

Yes it is. I began drafting this layout about a year ago. As I worked on finishing my basement I continued to revise the design about 100 times before I was happy. 

Chris Montagna

TCA  17-72757

Add Reply

Likes (7)
Darren CarusoMELGARNJCJOEbriansilvermustangG3750Sluggerpennsynut
The Track Planning and Layout Design Forum is sponsored by

AN OGR FORUM CHARTER SPONSOR


OGR Publishing, Inc. PO Box 218, Hilliard, OH 43026 330-757-3020
www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×