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I apologize for the delay, I've actually been at this project for a few months but I haven't sat down to put together an explanation.  I initially tore down part of the layout last year to make room for the pool table, but I never really liked how it came out.  I decided at the end of summer to tear the whole thing down and re-design the layout.  Of course this caused a rift and my wife really did move out (don't think its bc of the layout, LOL) but the basement is a much better place to be now and viewing the trains will be an enhanced experience with hopefully a lot less headaches.

I kept the same L-girder framework, but made improvements with how the homasote was attached, wiring, track spacing, accessibility, etc.  Overall, I learned A LOT over the past 9 years.

I've included some photos that I took and I'm going to try to add a link to the latest youtube video I made.  The photos show the area from when the layout was tore down to approximately a few weeks ago.

https://youtu.be/iWMDsC4q6qA

I've been asked to show the track plan, which is in the photos.   I know it is not easy to follow, I created it on SCARM and printed it out into 4 sheets of paper so it is easier to look at.  Basically it is one giant loop that meanders up three levels then comes back down. The red is the lower level, green is the middle level, and the blue is the upper level.  I don't include switches in my initial plan, those are added in later.  There is also going to be a yard, turntable and roundhouse.  There also will be tunnels and bridges, again, I don't put these into SCARM.

I have been, and plan on, reusing all of the items from the last layout and adding some additional items to the new one.

I will keep posting as I make progress, the plan it is have trains running the entire layout before Christmas, fingers crossed!

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Wow...so the track plan...is that essentially just a regular single track dogbone but folded a few times, on different levels? How long is the continuous run? I can't tell the dimensions but looks like it would be several hundred feet, at least. That's going to be a lot of wire, and a great layout for blocks/signals. Maybe passing sidings too.

Fortunately for me I have accumulated a lot of track and a lot of wire from the last layout.  I also have some unused track still in a box.  I'm not sure of the total distance yet but the rough dimensions of the layout are 28" x 28" L-shaped, with widths at the ends between 10-12', enough to turn the trains around and accommodate large engines.

One thing I tried to accomplish on the last layout was to have a train cover a lot of distance so I don't see it every 10 seconds.  With the last layout being so crammed this was impossible, now, with the layout covering more of the basement I think I will have obtained the desired look.  Folding the layout was the only way I found I could get the most track on the layout.



CAPP, once I get the mainline completed I will start on the sidings & yard.  I have aches and pains but I'm pushing through it, LOL.

I've made some progress in the past week or so, its as much of an assembly line process as I can make it; benchwork, homasote, cork, track, wiring, then testing.  Honestly, I can't wait until the trackwork and wiring are complete.  I seem to be having more issues than I can remember, but I am hoping to have the "bugs" worked out and trains running before Christmas.

I will comment that I used a silicone adhesive to secure the homasote instead of drywall screws and I do notice a reduction in noise when I run the trains.  I have no way to do testing but everyone who watched the trains before compared to now agrees that it is not as noisy.  I also believe the layout reconfiguration helps, less congested, trains are more spread out.

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Nice work! My big lesson learned for multilayer layouts was to use open grid and not try and build a 2nd layer on top of a plywood base. Getting the 2nd deck leveled properly was a giant pain. If I had built my first level using an open grid, the 2nd level would have been a lot easier. Lessons learned. Please keep us posted on your progress.

I finally have trains, well one train, running around the layout, the rest are still boxed up.  I have a link for a short YouTube video we made yesterday.  Some little boy was extremely happy on, as he calls it, "Christmas Eve Eve".

https://youtu.be/b3pRigkOhPo

I think I've made good progress, but I know I still have a ways to go.  The next steps are to complete the yard area trackwork, cut in my switches, and start on the city area.

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This is a wish I had comment, in that I wish I had that much room just for me.  Your layout is impressive, and so is the workmanship.  I  have an around the room double track of about 11 X 14,  in a loft with a sloped ceiling that is 4 feet high on one side, and 5 feet on the other, with just enough height in the the  middle to let me stand up straight.  I love to let 'em rip on the main line.  But one of the caveats to a layout like this, something just about every layout book warns,  is that at some point, trains chasing their tails can get old.  Crossovers to make things interesting, and a few sidings to give your railroad someplace to make a profit by dropping off and picking up freight cars is a plus.  I squeezed in some sidings in the corners of my layout, and in the one wide place, a station with a siding.  Had to add in that one of the best tracks to add, is an interchange track.  This allows for a myriad of cars to come and go, plus engines that are not of you railroad that might be heading to a service facility somewhere.  All you need is one turnout and a track leading off table, but be sure to interlock power so you don't make a mistake and drive to the floor.

Last edited by CALNNC

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