Some time ago, TrainHead asked if someone would convert his layout drawing into software so he could see how it fit in reality and get an accurate parts list. Here is a link to the original thread. I accepted the challenge and he mailed me his scale drawings. It's taken some time with some back and forth, vacations, etc.,  but we're in the final stages and have run into a problem with one area of the conversion. So, I thought I'd post what we have and see if anyone can come up with an idea to get us closer to the drawing.

To that end, the 1st photo shows the troublesome section of the design and the 2nd photo shows where we are in SCARM.

I was able to match the drawing everywhere except the turntable section you see in the 1st photo. As you can see, there is a set of turnouts coming off the 90° crossing that lead to the 34" turntable with a 5 stall roundhouse and they go through a coaling tower. Unfortunately, TrainHead used some O-63 turnouts in the drawing that Atlas doesn't make and alternate turnouts (O-54 and O-72) have a different footprint, so things don't quite match the drawing. Also, if you look closely at the drawing, you can see he took some artistic liberty and the tracks leading into the turntable don't quite match the angle that is needed to properly connect in reality. Both those problems don't allow room for the 3 straight tracks through the coaling tower. I've tried every combination of curves and cuts I can think of, but this is as close as I've been able to come to the drawing given the size of the peninsula we have to work with. I've attached the SCARM file in the hope that someone will take a stab at it. I'm sure TrainHead would appreciate the help, I certainly would.

20190713_100804_001

dejohn 2019-07-13 daz

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Original Post

Dave, Just a passing thought and never mind if not possible (or you have already tried this). As you know, I am still layout design and SCARM challenged (you are light years ahead of me in both of these departments), but in RR-Track it seems I've had better luck matching things up with O-54 & O-63 loops using O-54 switches. The O-54s just seem to work out better for me for whatever reason (maybe not knowing any better?). So, could the O-72 switch on the main line going to the coaling tower be replaced with an O-54 and things shifted around a bit to fit? Probably won't work either, but possibly worth a try if you haven't already done so?

Another thought, would two tracks thru the coaling tower and one bypass track be possible, or is that not an option? May not be prototypical either, I don't know much about that? 

It would be nice if Atlas would make O-63 switches. I think it would make some things easier, if so I could use a few myself. Will probably  never happen... 

RTR12, I hadn’t tried O-72s off the main in this version. After doing so many versions to get this far, I completely forgot. I’ll see how they’d work, mostly how they'd affect the position of the 90° crossing and yard.

As for only 2 tracks through the tower, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work, but since that’s also unfamiliar to me I’ve been trying to stick to the original drawing. I did a version with one of the tracks off the yard into the TT to give him the option to better pick up consists and come out going clockwise, but he didn’t like that idea. Now, he has to back out through the tower, then navigate through the wye to pick up a consist or have a switcher put the consist on the main. I get the desire for multiple tracks through the tower, but I don’t think all 3 are needed, assuming there will be diesels running and not just steamers.

 

RTR12, substituting O-54s for O-72s didn't really do much, but it did give me the idea of re-configuring the leads using O-54 curves off the turnouts and I was able to come up with this. It will require a little modification of the peninsula, but I think it will be worth it and I actually got a slightly large yard too, so thanks for commenting. If it were my layout, I'd still add a LH turnout to the left most end of the top yard track to run directly to the TT.

dejohn 2019-07-13 daz

 

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That looks pretty good to me Dave, I think you've got it! Really looks close to the original plan too. Glad you got it all worked out and fit together so nicely. I like your idea for the added turnout also, I think that would be a good addition to the plan.

For some reason, with Atlas track, I have always had better luck fitting the O-54 stuff together. Every time I have tried the O-72 and larger stuff I got in trouble fitting it all together, ended up frustrated and gave up. The O-63 with no switches can be troublesome as well, but that too works better with O-54 stuff, for me anyway. 

Thanks, RTR12. Hopefully TrainHead will like it enough so we can tweak it if needed. He may have some ideas for landscaping that would preclude adding the run from the yard to the TT, so that’s totally up to him as long as he knows it’s an option. It’s something that could always be added later.

I did some tweaking and I think we have a final plan that only requires cutting 3 tracks (2 by the coaling tower and 1 in the upper green reversing loop) and minimal changes to the end of the peninsula. I shortened the straight track coming off the 90° crossing and re-positioned the Wye a bit to allow for better placement of the turntable and roundhouse. The roundhouse encroaches a bit on some of the aisle, but I think it's worth it to get the desired size turntable. I tried smaller turntables, but the angle of the whisker tracks going to the roundhouse on those is different and results in either a larger footprint for the roundhouse or fewer stalls. I'd still add a shortcut from the top yard track to the turntable, but that's just me.

dejohn 2019-07-25a daz

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Jan posted:

Dave,

That's an awful big turntable for a layout with O54 curves.  What is the logic for selecting that size?

Jan

I agree.  The yellow loop looks to be O72 based on the footprint but those curves coming into the wye after leaving the roundhouse don't look to be. If that's the case you can't run large steamers out of the roundhouse so why the large turntable?

-Greg

Member of the Brotherhood of the Crappy Basement Layout

Associate Member of the NJ Hi-Railers

Image result for nj hirailers logo

 

Works for me, Jan, but I don’t know about TrainHead. My task was to convert the scale drawing, so that’s what I did. Maybe when he sees this he’ll be open to deviating from his drawing. I made a few suggestions when I was having trouble following the drawing without the O-63 turnout, but didn’t go this far after I finally got it close. From what I see, operation is basically the same, but the roundhouse infringes a little more on the aisle. There’s a lot more storage though, so I think that’s a good trade-off. I’ll send an email to make sure he sees this.

Jan posted:

Dave,

That's an awful big turntable for a layout with O54 curves.  What is the logic for selecting that size?

Jan

It’s what was asked for. I think there’s a long steamer involved as well as the 5-stall Millhouse River Studios Roundhouse. He’d accept a smaller turntable if need be, so my goal was getting it to fit if I could. I’m not well versed enough in roundhouses, his equipment, etc., to argue about the size. Heck, I’m still trying to wrap my head around what he’s going to have to go through to get cars to/from the yard and engines coupled to consists after they pull out from the coaling tower. Seems to me there’s going to be a lot of maneuvering through the Wye.

I’m also concerned that the roundhouse might not be exactly where it needs to be for the engines to go into the stalks without hitting the doorways. I have no specs on how far from the turntable it needs to be, I just placed it to cover the whisker tracks. The only dimensions I found were of the overall footprint of the roundhouse and for all I know it was kitbashed using a Korber parts. This is one area where software doesn’t do much to ensure things will fit during the build. In my version and Jan’s version, I’m concerned the roundhouse will have to be moved and encroach on the aisle. I’ve always thought the 34” turntable and roundhouse were too big for the space. It looks okay in the drawings, but some liberties were taken in the drawing with leads and whisker tracks not being exactly parallel to their connection points. One can’t just draw lines without knowing specific connection points and those differ with the size of the turntable. With the smaller turntable, there are fewer connection points and the whisker tracks come off at wider angles changing the overall footprint. And if TrainHead has an engine that can navigate O-54 curves, but needs the 34” turntable, I’d like to make it fit.

Yes, Mark, we did nix the turntables in your initial design, but the questions here are size and brand. TrainHead mentioned Millhouse River Studios, but also mentioned 30” and 34”. SCARM only has 24”, 28” and 34” models in the library, so I did versions with each. He also mentioned the Korber 5-stall Roundhouse, but SCARM doesn’t have it in the libraries. So, I tried searching and found a thread that had some dimensions. I created an object to emulate the footprint and placed it in the design, but I have no way of knowing if the dimensions are accurate. SCARM has 34” models with 24 positions at 15°, 36/10°, 48/7.5°, 60/6° and 72/5° as well as 24” models with the 24/36/48 and 28” models with 24/36/48/60. However, they all result in a different footprint for the whisker tracks as well as the 3 connecting points to the coaling tower.

I thought using a turntable with the same positions/degrees would give the same footprint for the whisker tracks and while that’s true to a point, they all result in a need to move the roundhouse further from the turntable so engines can clear the doors. I didn’t experiment with them all, but I believe those with 48/7.5 are the turntables that work with the 5-stall roundhouse. That suggests that the 34” could be replaced with the 24” or 28” models with slight repositioning of the roundhouse and reworking the leads from the tower.

However, using a smaller turntable will result in not being able to turn the longer engine. I believe he said it was 36” long, so the wheels will fit on the 34”. I remember noting that nothing could be near the turntable that the engine overhang might hit. I think he said everything will work with O-54 curves, but he’ll have to confirm that. And those O-54 turnouts were originally O-63s, but Atlas doesn’t make them. If the long engine can’t work with O-54s, then he won’t have a choice but to add an O-72 turnout to the yard and connect it to the turntable, something I think should be added regardless.

in any case, here’s what a 24” turntable would look like. Note the roundhouse didn’t move much, but I didn’t really play with changing the the tower area pending comments from TrainHead.

dejohn 2019-07-25b daz

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Well if he already has a 36” long engine then that settles the diameter of the turntable.  In that tight space I would be concerned the roundhouse would need to be farther away.  It would be nice if Mulhouse had dimension data on how to plan using the turntable with roundhouses on the market 

Okay, here's some more info for those who have questions.
 
FWIW, the MTH Premier Big Boy measures 35” and works with O-54 curves, so I’m not sure why the concern that the 34” turntable is too large. Now I don't know if that's the engine in question, but it addresses the reason for the 34" turntable with the O-54 curves. And remember, this is not my design, just my conversion from paper to SCARM.
 
If you check the Korber Models website, they have templates for their 3-stall roundhouse and add-on stalls. They even make a spacial add-on kit for the Big Boy (and other long engines?). I didn’t find these before because I didn’t see the links in the product descriptions or the data has been added since I looked. Anyway, they show various configurations with the roundhouse using different position points and different distances from the turntable. They show how the whisker tracks then fit inside the stalls with the most desirable distance appearing to be 16.20” from the turntable so the engines are dead center. The exact measurements of the roundhouse are 5" for front doors, 9.48: for back walls, 30" for standard side walls and 36" for Big Boy walls. It turns out I got close, but didn't do so well on the width or the placement. It's much closer than 16.20", so it has to be moved further from the turntable. Since I now know they make a separate add-on for the Big Boy, I can reconfigure the roundhouse to have only 1 long stall and 4 shorter stalls to see how I can best fit it without encroaching on the aisle.

Here's my latest attempt. Things don't quite line up the way they do in the template, so I need to keep working on it. However, it does seem to show the footprint is larger than I thought. FWIW, the first tracks going to the roundhouse are 16.20" long, so the roundhouse doesn't even work there. Looks like the template uses a turntable with a different number of positions/angles.

dejohn 2019-07-25d daz

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Yeah, Mark, I’ll do some playing tomorrow. I need to study the templates some more, but I tried every version of the 34” turntable and various positions for the roundhouse and I can’t get things to line up like their diagrams. Maybe I’ll fiddle in RR-Track where I can specify the coordinates for each stall, but I think they’re already pretty close.

That is a big one, the Big Boy that is!  Wonder how MTH got it down to the 0-54 curves? Anyway, I bet there is some serious overhang with that rascal, even on all 0-72 curves. I was starting to feel bad about suggesting the 0-54 stuff earlier. But, one can only do so much with a given amount of space and I think you have done quite well fitting all this together here.

It always seems like our layouts are either too small, too expensive or too time consuming, or all that in one! There's probably more that I missed...   I wonder if too large could also be a problem, if one had all the resources necessary for it that is? (And a very large crew of expert craftspeople to build it, of course. )

But the layout works with both the Railking and Lionmaster Big Boys.

He could step down to the 28" turntable (the BBs would fit but overhang as in real life) and since there are 8192 indexable finger points he'll be able to fit any of the roundhouses.

Jan

Jan, I could be wrong, but I think he might already have the engine and that's why I'm trying to fit the 34" turntable. Here are some things I found this morning.

Here’s a link to another thread with a setup similar to the one he’s trying to emulate. Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide any dimensions or specify which turntable was used. However, the specs in this link say the 3-stall Korber Model 304 roundhouse footprint measures 15” across the front, 28.5 across the back and 30” deep. This link says the footprint for a single stall measures 5" across the front, 9.5" across the back and 30" deep. This link says the Big Boy extension measures 9.5" across the front and 6.5" deep making the overall depth 36.5". Put all these together and you get a footprint for a 5-stall roundhouse with 1 space for a Big Boy that measures 25" across the front, 47.5 across the back and 30" deep with at least 1 stall being 36.5" deep.
 
So, I created a polygon that measures 5" x  30" x 9.5" and duplicated it 5 times. I added the Big Boy extension to the middle stall and then tried to align it as close as possible for the tracks to be in the center of each stall. This is what I ended up with.
rh
 
One of the photos in the links shows the roundhouse positioned 16.2" from the turntable and that is the length of the first track in each whisker. As you can see, I had to go to about 20" to get close to centers for the engines. I can't tell from the photos in the links which specific turntable they used. The SCARM default has 48 positions at 7.5°, but I tried the others and still can't match the photos.
 
The bottom line is I don't think this is going to fit unless the coaling tower is moved or the turntable is separated from the roundhouse and that impacts the space for the yard. He might have to live with a smaller turntable with just a parking space for the large engine. I've attached this test file if you want to double-check my work.

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Jan posted:

since there are 8192 indexable finger points he'll be able to fit any of the roundhouses.

This might be why I can't seem to position the roundhouse correctly. I don't have any experience with them, so I'm using the SCARM position points and perhaps they simply don't align with the roundhouse stalls. Can I assume the whisker tracks can be positioned at any of the index points and not just where SCARM shows position points? If so, then perhaps I just need to use 1 whisker track and position the roundhouse 16" from the turntable with that track centered?

Dave,

Here's a tutorial that Eric Siegel did on the turntable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fhKOh1Fva8

I think that your approach will work.  The design (arc width) of the RH stalls will  determine the actual whisker spacing and the distance from the TT center. You can insert a section curve track at the start of the whisker to alter the distance between the RH and TT edge.

Capture

Jan

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Thanks Jan, that was a great tutorial and now I understand that I’m wasting my time trying the align the roundhouse to the turntable using the SCARM position points. I pretty much assumed how it worked, but I didn’t realize how precise the indexing was. I was also curious why he didn’t use a straightedge to align the whisker track, but he might have done so previously or just has enough experience to eyeball them. I also noticed that he had some whisker tracks aligned using curved track, something I thought was to be avoided, though I never quite understood why. The tracks in your photo are centered in the roundhouse, but aren’t perpendicular to the turntable. Are you saying I can add a section of curved track to connect them as long as the radius of curve is big enough for the engines, something like O-72?

Yes, and you can apply the same idea to the leads.  This will allow you to reduce the total space of the TT/RH.  They do recommend a short straight section between the curves and the TT, but if one is careful and aligns the rails the pilot truck won't jump the track.  You can also add weight or spring compression to pilot to help keep it from riding up over the rails.

Jan

Jan posted:

Dave,

I swapped the location of the turntable and the yard ladder.

Jan

dejohn 2019-07-25 daz -jan

Jan/Dave

I am liking Jan's design. It gives me a nice yard.

My TT doesn't have to be 34" and I would settle for a 28" just as long as I have a TT. I am considering the Altoona Models Works RH and not the Korber brand.

The dimensions of Altoona's RH can be found on their website...https://altoonamodelworks.net/...-footprint-drawings/.

How much would a 28 TT help this design? My largest engine is 30" I believe.

I want to thank all of you for your help.  I love this hobby and its not because of the trains but because people like you!

Thank you again.

Bob

 

Bob, Jan, everyone,

Here is the Altoona Model Works O-Scale roundhouse Bob mentioned. The site has 2 footprint templates; one is 55" for a 28"-30" turntable and the other is 63" for a 34" turntable. They offer a 6" extension for the front and a 3" extension for the rear. As near as I can tell from reading the "description", both are the same model with or without extensions. Looking at the last photo of a single stall and reading the dimensions in the "additional information" section, it appears that the front doors are 4" wide.

Since the 28" TT in SCARM has 36 points at 10°, I drew the darker lines from the center of the TT at 10° angles. I then created a 4" door and rotated 2 more to create a 3-stall front wall. The RH in the 55" template is 14" from a 30" TT, so I positioned the 3 doors 15" from the 28" TT and found they lined up with the middle of each door. I found that they also lined up with the center rails of the whisker tracks.

I then figured the walls for each stall would be at the half way point, so I added the lighter lines. I drew the yellow polygon from the front door along the lighter lines and connected them along the back to get a footprint. Without accurate dimensions I can only how it's close enough for the design process.

tt

As you can see in the next photo, I reworked the baseboard and there is just no way to fit a 5-stall RH or add a front extension for the long engine without infringing on the aisle way too much. The best I could do is add 2 more outside whisker tracks. If Altoona added the extension to the rear like Korber does, it would be possible to extend the middle stall, but still no way to add 2 more stalls without shrinking the aisles. I also changed the size of the coaling tower. I found one in RR-Track that is 6"wide and 9" long, so I made it 18" wide and 9" long. That's another item without accurate dimensions.

tt2

Another thing that was brought up is that the view from the right side of the payout will be at the read of the RH and not the front. I don't see how it can be done any other way, but thought I'd mention it.

Here's the latest version:

dejohn 2019-07-30b daz

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