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I am concentrating on electronics after a summer hiatus and playing around with OpenBVE where I intend to build a Staten Island fantasy subway line.  I am almost complete with 95 of the 123 current detectors needed for my layout. Once that is done I will wire up the blocks for each of the detectors.  All my detectors will have an LED which is used to determine whether the detector is functioning properly.  The purpose of these detectors and other accessories on the circuit boards is to control signals and lighting.  Each board is focused on a module (table) and contain a multiple number of detectors (as many as 14).

All current detectors have been built and tested.  Currently finishing the logic and electrical design for the signals in my 9 track yard.  After that is done I will be running bus wire for all SIX proposed lines, 3 subway and 3 elevated.  The subway line is currently on the layout.  Also I will be running the drops from the bus wire to all blocks.  Each block will have a single current detector and there are 123 total for all 6 lines and the yard.  I will also be running bus wire for 5 volt accessories such as signals, station lighting, building lighting, street lighting, and general power for all current detectors and signal controllers.

I am in the process of reusing and re-configuring a lot of my old layout.  My old Baltic Street station was 8 feet long and had 2 tracks.  There was a flimsy station entrance module.  There was LED lighting and the wiring was visible.  The platform pillars were 10 scale feet tall and the "BALTIC" designation was 1960s style.  The platform was 16 scale feet wide and you could see the screws used to attach the basswood to a piece of plywood.  A painted thin yellow stripe is visible. It was a nice design and had to be dismantled when I moved.  Originally there was my first generation 3rd rail.  Here are some pictures.


My new layout will have the same station. It will still be 8 feet long, but there will be 3 tracks instead of 2.  There will be an express track in the middle.  The station pillars have been cut to 9 scale feet tall.  The same LED configuration is used but all the wiring is hidden.  The "Baltic Street" designation is of the current era.  A new station entry module for both local tracks was built based on my SketchUp design.  All the pillars have updated bases since they were cut to meet the needs of the new design.  The platform is 12 scale feet wide and uses 4 foot square tiling with a yellow rubber protection strip that is 2 scale feet wide. The second generation 3rd rail is used.  Here are pictures for a 4 foot section on a single side. You cannot see the platform tiling or the rubber protection strip in these photos.


There is now uniformity in the way the LEDs are positioned.  I will add photos showing the platform which will illustrate this.  I am liking this design and it is incomplete.  Any opinions.  All is welcome.


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Here is another view showing the LEDs and rubber yellow protection strip.


Hidden wires in tubing.


This is my old station entrance module.  It was flimsy and used Plastruct sheets for the base structure.  Not shown is the tubing used for stilts to raise the module to platform level.


The new module uses a fine pine structure.  It was designed using SketchUp and has a complex internal structure. The vertical tubing is NOT part of the module.  This tubing pipes the wires underneath the table.


Lastly I addressed the building of signals.  Shapeways signals are nice, but I need a lot of them in various forms. I built a jig to drill holes at precise locations in Plastruct deep channels.  I have lenses that fit precisely in the holes and use magnet wire to connect the LEDs.  The wire is then piped through an aluminum tube to the circuits beneath the table.




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Section 7 is complete minus the signal logic.  I am currently designing Section 3 which has a lot of interlocking and a fourth track which is the track serving the connection from the elevated line TO the subway.  The track serving the subway TO the elevated line is at the switch at the far end if the section.

Here is the RR Track version.


Here is the SketchUp version minus the roof and tunnel lighting.




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Check out the interlocking that I will be using for section 3 of my layout.  What you see on the right are the switches that lead to the elevated line.  In the distance are sections 6 and 7.  These sections contain the Baltic Street station and about 12 inches of tunnel.  Section 7 structure is complete minus the signal logic.  I will hand build all these signals. Four of the signals for section 7 have been built and are on the layout.



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Joe P posted:

Here is a 12 inch section of tunnel wall.  Notice the blue emergency exit light and a tunnel light whose brightness is shaded from the motorman's viewpoint.  All wires are hidden via the use of tubing and channels.



This is nice work.

What materials are you using to build the closely spaced girders between the tracks (both the vertical girder and the "arms" protruding at 45° angles) as well as the more widely spaced green girders on the platforms?

You mentioned these are Plastruct parts in an earlier reply, but if you could let us know the Plastruct catalog nos/part nos it would be helpful.  Everything that you've done looks so good that I'd like to know the dimensions of the items you're working with.

Great job.  Thanks in advance for your help.

Steven J. Serenska


Last edited by Serenska

Track pillars: 90064 (H-6) 3/16" ABS H-Column w/ 95412 (BM-6) 3/16" Base Mount on top. Total length about 3-1/2.  Slide the bottom into a 90204 (ST-10) 5/16" ABS Square Tube which is cut 3/4".  Total Height is 4".  Each pillar is spaced 1-1/4".

Arms: 90084 (T-4) 1/8" ABS Tee cut 1" and placed at 45 degree angle.

Station Pillars: 90066 (H-10) 5/16" ABS H-Column w/ 95415 (BM-12) 3/8" or 95415 (BM-10) Base Mount on top.  Total Length 2-9/32".  You could use the base mounts on the bottom also.  I had to cut them off as I am reusing old pillars from another layout that were taller.  The base of the pillars here use 1/4 x 1/16 inch basswood. Each pillar is spaced 3-3/4".

Thank you.

I know there are those who have done 2 rail with a working 3rd rail. That is very impressive work indeed. Others have converted the trucks to work on 2 rail thereby eliminating the center rail. I decided against any train or rail modifications and focused on the modeling aspect as well as signaling.

Joe P posted:

Thank you.

I know there are those who have done 2 rail with a working 3rd rail. That is very impressive work indeed. Others have converted the trucks to work on 2 rail thereby eliminating the center rail. I decided against any train or rail modifications and focused on the modeling aspect as well as signaling.

Hhmm if there was a way to route the pick up roller wire to the outside of the truck and attach it to a (contact shoe) one could have a working 3rd rail and keep the protosounds system in tact.....

Joe, that is really nice work.

Your pictures remind me of the Broadstreet subway line that I took in the early 90s from S. Philly to Temple Univ. Later, when I worked for the Phila. Water Dept. I got to see some areas of the subway that commuters could not see - fascinating history and construction. Subways are very neat and you've captured the essence beautifully.

Joe P posted:

Here is another view showing the LEDs and rubber yellow protection strip.


Joe P, I showed just this top photo to my wife, and she agreed with me that this looks like a photo of a real-life subway station. She was surprised when I showed her the other shots. This is absolutely masterful work, It's only the presence of the middle-rail, visible in the other photos of this scene, that let one know this is modeling. Your powers of observation and crafting are wonderful.

This was very enjoyable to see. Thank you.


Last edited by Moonson

Thanks for the compliments.  Here is another photo of additional tunnel lighting.  The express pillars show double blue emergency lights.  I have yet to build the far end as well as the last quadrant of the Baltic Street station.  Progress is slow and I would like to get the trains running.  Right now the 2 modules containing the station and one foot of tunnel are electrically isolated with the power cut off from those sections.  I have a design to connect the 2 electrically isolated modules to the main power bus and to continue as a work in progress as more sections become isolated.



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It's been a while, but I have been working on the layout.  Just tedious wiring under tables.  Finally got the wiring to the transformer table to get trains running again.  There are 28 bus wires, 3 +/-5VDC  (6), 6 train lines +/- 0-22 VAC (12),  6 trickle 12VAC power lines (6), 1 Switch Controller line +/-18VAC (2), and 2 express directional indicators.  Here is a sample of what is being done.  Note this wiring does NOT include signal logic nor switch controllers.


Here is the basically completed Baltic Street station.  Note the not yet operational signals.  TRAINS ARE RUNNING AGAIN!!!  Videos coming soon.



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AMCDave posted:

A very cool and unusual model train layout.  Having just ridden my first subway, in Los Angles of all places, it looks great!! 

Thanks Dave.  If you see my prior posts you will notice I use 3D modeling software (SketchUp) to construct detailed design.  Here is a tunnel section complete with signals that I am currently working on.


And here is the overall design using RR-Track showing a layout that will eventually have 6 subway lines (3 underground, 3 elevated).  I was able to model the steel work for the proposed elevated.  It is not yet complete.  This software is good for building a design quickly and is not as detailed as SketchUp.



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