I love operating accessories.  Some of them may not be too realistic, but I don't care, they're toys to be played with.  

The dilemma for people like me is that there is only so much room on our layouts.  So the thought occurred to me to have a shelf type layout in addition to my operating layout.  Because I love to simply sit back and watch my trains run.  And not just a single train.  

At present, I have a very small experimental layout.  It's where I am testing ideas for my permanent layout yet to be built.  

So my thoughts are to build the shelf layout to house all of the operating accessories that do not fit on my operating layout.  Operating rolling stock doesn't have to move.  They can be positioned at their respective counterpart and activated where they stand.  

Just thinking out loud.

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I'm also a fan of operating accessories, so I decided to build an extension on the front of my layout to house them. That way they are easy to reach and see. My layout isn't finished, but here are a couple of pictures of the operating accessories.

IMG_20180526_170223415IMG_20180526_170308775

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I too have had to be a little creative.  I went even further that some of the sidings (for the dump car, unloading milk car and horse corral) have no connections to the running portion of the layout.  I have the TMCC crane and sound car on an inside siding with the culvert loader/unloader  that I may place on a special track not connected to have a small area where the grandchildren can put it through its paces. 

johnf posted:

I'm also a fan of operating accessories, so I decided to build an extension on the front of my layout to house them. That way they are easy to reach and see. My layout isn't finished, but here are a couple of pictures of the operating accessories.

IMG_20180526_170223415IMG_20180526_170308775

I also use some unconnected sidings for some accessories like my crane car. Not to derail the thread but John how did you make those rock faces? Look great.

Thanks Doug. I used latex molds from Bragdon Enterprises to make hydrocal castings. I placed these as close together as possible and filled in the seams with carving plaster from Woodland Scenics. Then I used a small metal scraper to rough up the carving plaster to make it blend in with the hydrocal castings. Finally, I painted the rocks using the "leopard spot" technique that is described in this video from Woodland Scenics. Here is another picture from earlier in the process to help give you a better idea of what I did. Some of the hydrocal castings are stacked up under the bridge.

mountains

 

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Dan Padova posted:

I love operating accessories.  Some of them may not be too realistic, but I don't care, they're toys to be played with.  

The dilemma for people like me is that there is only so much room on our layouts.  So the thought occurred to me to have a shelf type layout in addition to my operating layout.  Because I love to simply sit back and watch my trains run.  And not just a single train.  

At present, I have a very small experimental layout.  It's where I am testing ideas for my permanent layout yet to be built.  

So my thoughts are to build the shelf layout to house all of the operating accessories that do not fit on my operating layout.  Operating rolling stock doesn't have to move.  They can be positioned at their respective counterpart and activated where they stand.  

Just thinking out loud.

 

 

johnf posted:

I'm also a fan of operating accessories, so I decided to build an extension on the front of my layout to house them. That way they are easy to reach and see. My layout isn't finished, but here are a couple of pictures of the operating accessories.

IMG_20180526_170223415IMG_20180526_170308775

winrose46 posted:

I too have had to be a little creative.  I went even further that some of the sidings (for the dump car, unloading milk car and horse corral) have no connections to the running portion of the layout.  I have the TMCC crane and sound car on an inside siding with the culvert loader/unloader  that I may place on a special track not connected to have a small area where the grandchildren can put it through its paces. 

While they may not be realistic or prototypical, kids of all ages love to see them operate. Glad to hear about your endeavors to get them out for visitors to see and use!

My layout is only 5x8, so I have some of my operating accessories along a "siding to/from nowhere" (meaning not attached to any "running track") along the front edge of the layout. So a gondola sits on this track while the oil drum loader guy does his loading. The next car might be a milk car, etc. They don't move...just operate. Not ideal maybe, but it works for me.

On my 5x9 Dealer Display Layout I’ve packed a lot of accessories into the 5x9 space. Of course that was the whole purpose of these Lionel-designed layouts.

I also have a ‘siding to nowhere’ where the cattle and milk cars operate.

IMG_20190106_195232830

TCA, LCCA

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Last edited by johnstrains

What was most impressive about your operating accessories, Dan, is how well you tuned them so they seemingly ran perfectly. You did a prior post demonstrating your flawless accessories, as I recall.

In order for me to post any videos showing the operation of my accessories, which do not run flawlessly, I would need a partner in crime to either run them or make a video of them running while I do the other task. Any volunteers?  It's too much of a juggling act for me to do both, all by my lonesome. Poor me. LOL, Arnold

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

Dan,

Sorry for the late post to this thread, but I just went through old emails, and saw a forum digest dated from Feb 13 that I never read.  I have followed your other posts regarding vintage Lionel accessories, and we seem to have similar interests.  Thought you might be interested in my "dream layout" still under construction that is designed to have grandkids operate as many accessories and motorized units (slowly adding LC+ units) as possible.  Here are descriptions of the numbered photos attached. 

First to your comment about an experimental layout.  I began mine about nearly 5 years ago.  Photo 1 shows the general plan in Feb of 2016.  Consisted of a temporary table top of styrofoam sheets on tables and work horses.  I knew there would be an around-the-room double-track passenger mainlines on the upper level, with a single track main line on the main level and lots of spurs for accessories and various freight road names important to me.  I added a 3rd level for the rocket launcher, with a spur that will appear to continue into a mountain tunnel.  The intention was to have grandkids operate accessories from the ledge on stools, as well as other accessories from inside the room that require my supervision/assistance (milk and cattle cars). 

1-General view Feb 2016

Photo 2 shows a closer view. Note passenger station in background on left and milk/cattle cars at top of inner area.

2-Closer view Feb 2016

Photo 3 shows current status.  It is a panoramic shot so the ledge is distorted and looks curved - it's not.  Backgrounds (intend to have 4 seasons) and permanent bench work added.  Also shows that I decided to move the passenger station (will create one long platform) along the ledge and the milk/cattle cars on a spur and in a different area to allow me to be at the top of the inner opening to operate the controls.  Gets a bit tight with the grandkids inside.  Photo 4 shows the location of these and other accessories.  You can see classical ones: magnetic cranes, coal ramp and loader, bascule bridge (that's a newer version to replace the original that finally gave out), yard man, log loaders (164 and 364), and sawmill.   Blue paper represents harbor I will create. 

3-Panoramic view March 20194-Closer view March 2019

Photon 5 shows that I wanted to add some fun and fantasy to the layout...why not??  It begins with a log dump into the 164 log loader, then logs roll down a ramp to the sawmill (get about 75% of them in the bin!), then I place them on the 364 log loader to return to logging area, where someone else picks them up and returns them to log dump car to repeat the process.  The photo also shows the control box for the rocket launcher on the ledge.  The grandkids fire the rocket and other "people" into space, but I retrieve them.  Don't want the kids firing them without supervision.  There are also lots of other buttons around the layout to operate other units: ice skaters, sound modules, Moe and Joe lumber car, lumber jacks, etc.

5-Logging area

Last photo shows the hinged access for me to avoid bending and head butting to access in the inner area.  I followed the method described by Jim Barrett in OGR Magazine and it works like a charm. 

6-Hinged access March 2019

So to your question about a shelf-style layout to accommodate those accessories, it can certainly work!  I have spurs that either go nowhere, or are connected to the main line and have operating cars that just sit there.  Starting with an experimental layout is best.  In tight quarters, tolerances are critical, so took me some time to make everything fit.  Also be sure you have good access to remove and maintain those vintage accessories.  They need constant attention.

I have finally reached the point where most everything works...today, at least. My next major phase is scenery.  That's my least experienced area, but have lots of resources and eager to experiment to learn how to do it. 

Hope this helps  Have fun!

Michael

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