Rich -

I am going with the turn-key option.  Like many other layout builders, the customer decides how much : wiring, weathering, lighting, ballasting, figures, cars, trucks, structures, scenic details, control panel(s) you want and they comply and charge accordingly.

I guess the first step is admitting I am also a Looper.

Outdoors with my 135ft loop, just finishing my 175ft loop with 8 bridges.                         My mom used to tell me-go outside and play!

Chris S.

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Last edited by FireOne
FireOne posted:

I guess the first step is admitting I am also a Looper.

Outdoors with my 135ft loop, just finishing my 175ft loop with 8 bridges.              

My mom used to tell me-go outside and play!

Chris S.

Sounds like a FUN day.  Aren't you glad you listened to your mom.    

I have some time this morning so I wanted to post a few more pictures.  As many of you know GRJ is building his layout using multi-ply Baltic Birch over Mainne support base and he is getting excellent results.  In March I went to check the progress on my build and way amazed to find that they were using 13-ply Birch for the sub-roadbed, risers and cross members, basically EVERYTHING.

In addition, I had requested that the front corners be rounded using 24" radius corners.  This would all but eliminate guys banging into the corners.  Here is how they did that.

The back of the layout will be fastened to a wall so they will be normal 90 degree corners.

 

 

 

 

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Last edited by SantaFeJim

Yep, I'm a Looper also! Five 14 x 32 ovals on shelves at 7'-6" and 9'-0" high in my wife's 20' high kitchen-breakfast room. She deeded me the space as a means of getting me off of her Den carpet.  I built it upon retirement in 1992 at our mountain cottage in western N.C. and ran and displayed trains until removal in 2008 due to health issues.

Paintings partly shown on the wall are of the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina narrow gauge ("Tweetsie")

IMG_0001IMG_0003IMG-002IMG_0002

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Last edited by Dewey Trogdon

Hi Jim,

Seeing the benchwork for your layout gives me a better  picture of how big this build is!!  Plus the workmanship looks to be first rate ... it must be great to have a local company build it so you can keep close tabs on the progress. Of course that means more updates for us followers too...right...😉

Just a few more pictures of the benchwork.  In the early stages of construction a spinning laser-level was placed on one corner of the layout and that was used to assure all additional framing was dead-nuts level.  In the shot below some old school practices were employed.

The gap in the foreground is where the lift gate will be installed.  The left side of the picture is the back of the layout and it will be attached to my basement wall.

The long stretch on the right is the front of the layout.  In the foreground the gate gap.

From this second floor balcony I was able to capture the whole layout.

  More pictures tomorrow.  Probably track-work.  Over the weekend some on wiring.  Then a video or two by the end of the month.  Please enjoy and Stay tuned.

 

 

 

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Last edited by SantaFeJim

I have yet to build a permanent layout, fastrack makes it easy to move things around. Yes, I am a looper, I have an o60,048 loops and a 036 point to point but I put reverse loops on ends, because ultimately I like watching the trains run, and I must be an oddball because I love the loud noise that fast track makes.

Tomorrow I might take it apart and set it up again, probably with loops.

I'm going out on a limb here; most of us are loopers. Can't say what the percentages are, but I'd say the point to point layouts are a small minority.

Two mainlines on a 14x39 layout here. 

Gilly

Last edited by Gilly@N&W
Catdaddy posted:

I have yet to build a permanent layout, fastrack makes it easy to move things around. Yes, I am a looper, I have an o60,048 loops and a 036 point to point but I put reverse loops on ends, because ultimately I like watching the trains run, and I must be an oddball because I love the loud noise that fast track makes.

Tomorrow I might take it apart and set it up again, probably with loops.

I, likewise, have no problem with "noisy" Fastrack. It takes me back to the days of jointed rail. And in a 12X11 room the only way for a train to run long enough to hear the clickety-clack is.......to use a loop  

I can still summon the memory of the sound of rail joints at 90mph.

Lew

Last edited by geysergazer

Time to show some structures, I will post wiring pictures over the weekend.

This is the Central Valley double-track Heavy Duty Truss Bridge.  This was built from a kit and will be mildly weathered before final installation.   The bridge will cross over the double track main line, just as the lower tracks are crossing over a river.  This scene will be one of three major focal points.  Many more details (besides the weathering) will be added before delivery.

Next is the early stages of a small (Veteran's Park) scene that will be near the center of a small town shopping and entertainment area.

The lumber yard / building supply business is the only industry with a service spur.

Different angle.

Custom made signage at the entry point.

 

 

 

 

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Last edited by SantaFeJim

Mark, Jeff is my son he works for a major lumber supply company in the Chicago area.  In future post you will see businesses and shops featuring other family names based on their occupation or talents.

After all the track is laid, the rails are cut at each section boundary and the entire layout is taken apart.  Each section flipped 90 degrees and clamped securely to allow easy access for the wiring process.  Every wire is color coded and labeled. This will help to resolve any wiring problems.  

These pictures show some of the sections that are being wired.  Being at the 90 degree angle speeds up the wiring process as it allows the installer to sit or stand during this stage of the build.  A LOT easier and faster than scooting along and banging your noggin under the layout, 

 

 

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Last edited by SantaFeJim

As I mentioned the bridge over bridge over water will be one of three primary focal points on my layout. 

 

The second will be the passenger station with the two sprawling platforms.  The station is a Walther's kit shown below.

City Station -- Kit - 17-5/8 x 5-7/8 x 4-3/8

 

It has some resemblance to the old Santa Fe station in Fort Madison, Iowa.

Image result for fort madison iowa

Here it is pre-weathered and about 90% assembled.

The twin platform will each be about 40" long with butterfly shelters fully lighted, benches, luggage carts, phone booths and many passengers.

The station will be named Fort Madison and Santa Fe Logo's on all four sides.

 

In an earlier post I mentioned that several business would br named after family members.  The following pictures will should explain it.

An old house converted to doctors offices will serve as an office for my daughter in law.  This sign will appear in front of the house which appears in left side of the next picture.

 

My wife, who has a passion for baking will have her shop here.  You may have to expand the pictures to read the text.

My daughter works for large international legal firm in the budgeting and finance area.

She is represented by this modest office on the 2nd floor.

As mentioned earlier my son Jeff works for a lumber and building supply company. 

Even my son's dog will be getting in the act.  This structure will be re-named Westley's Doggie Treats.

 

That's all for now, check back later.

 

 

 

 

 

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Last edited by SantaFeJim

Jim,

It looks awesome .. it is really coming together nicely!

Even cooler is how much fun you seem to be having with this build! I'm enjoying just watching the posts of your progress.. it's plain to see you have been looking forward to this for a long time.

Enjoy my friend!

With the bulk of the wiring in place it was time to assemble the layout.  With all the connections secure the crew is ready for the first test run.  I made several short videos that day and here is a link to the first.

Last edited by SantaFeJim

Slipping in a little something extra.  Had breakfast with 10 of my best train buddies and then we waited 3.5 hours for dessert.

 

Last edited by SantaFeJim

This "Drone's Eye View" video was taken from the balcony.  I wish I would have at least completed a full lap.  Maybe on my next visit.

Last edited by SantaFeJim

Glad I read this thread! I too am a 2 looper, no switches, just two long loops through buildings and scenery that I love to build! Now that I realize I don't need therapy for this I can buy more kits to build! Thanks Santafejim LOL

Mark Boyce posted:

It looks great, Jim!  How far do you have to travel to get to their workshop?

Mark,

The builder is about 25 miles from my house.  Of the 25 miles 80% is tollroad so I can get there in under 30 minutes.

 

 

MR-150 posted:
SantaFeJim posted:

Last one for a while.  I may go visit the builder next week to check on progress.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZVfkbuw9Ns

 

That HO locomotive not only looks good but sounds good what brand is it.Im happy for you Christmas will come early this year.

Mark,

The Santa Fe F7 is an Athearn Genesis with a  Tsunami sound decoder.

Jim

 

 

Went to check the progress of my layout build.  Long discussion on lighting; buildings, street, parking lot(s) etc.  Also long discussion on signaling.  Sorry to report that there is not a whole lot available.

 

On the bright side I did snap some more pictures that I can share.  The first pic is the EAST tower of the Colton Yard.  It has a twin on the West end.  More weathering and lighting details are scheduled for both structures.

 

This is NOT an antenna farm.  It is a section of one of the primary focal points, which is a LARGE farm with crops and many cattle.

 

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Last edited by SantaFeJim

SantaFeJim wrote:

"Also long discussion on signaling.  Sorry to report that there is not a whole lot available."

Curious about this statement.  I know of a few options:

  • http://www.digitrax.com/products/detection-signaling/      This is the route that one of our Friday night crew has went down, integrated it with his entire Digitrax system.  His CTC panel drives the signal system, and is PC based (not using JMRI, uses something else).  BTW, if you want to use Digitrax as a stand-alone system for signalling, you can do that.  I love my NCE DCC system, and it works quite fine for what it does.  I've considered an overlay of APBS on my railroad, and using Digitrax to operate it to keep it separate from my command bus.  My round robin buddy is not using the Digitrax LED signals, he is using BLMA signals IIRC.   BTW, I have dispatched his railroad under CTC, it is an absolute hoot.  
  • https://www.nmra.org/lcc      This is LCC, which stands for Layout Command Control.  Looked into this also, and there is one manufacturer at the moment that is standard compliant:       http://rr-cirkits.com/    I am not sure if there are more suppliers of LCC compliant signal components.   
  • My buddy Warren, who you have met, had Signalogic do his system. Kevin Rudko is the owner.  He is a railroad signal consultant in real life, has done quite a few model railroads.   http://www.signalogicsystems.com/index.shtml  Warren's system is ABPS.  Kevin does an outstanding system.  A young guy that should be around for a long long time too.
  • And then there is Atlas.   https://shop.atlasrr.com/b-int...s-signal-system.aspx      Don't know a lot about their system, but they definitely can do dual track ABS, which is what I think you want.  IIRC, in the era you are modeling, I think that is what they had in their dual track territory.  Not sure when SF implemented CTC on their railroad, and where it was implemented first. 
  • Or, you can "roll your own"        https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/32179        There is a link in this thread to Ron Paisley's web page also:  http://www.circuitous.ca/CircuitIndex.html

 

Regards,

GNNPNUT

 

 

 

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