And So It Begins (Layout info/questions)

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by n2trains, Mar 11, 2004.

  1. n2trains

    n2trains Member

    I'm in the process of planning my layout, have a track plan that is just a sketch on a normal 8 1/2" x 11" piece of lined paper that I doodled out while bored one day, will have a picture probably by this evening.

    However, I'm unsure of how to build my benchwork, I have read the books but keep hearing the suggestion of 2x2s working quite well and being fairly lightweight and sturdy... anybody had real good success with this method? I have already helped a friend build his benchwork, but it's not lightweight... at all. Probably nearing 70 pounds per section, which he has about 6 sections on his layout in an L shape (lower part of L=8x4, upper part of L=6x3), but he has more of a permanent sort of thing going, I'm going off to college after this summer, so I'm going to probably spend 90% of my freetime on trains, since I enjoy working on them so much. They are what interested me in becoming an Electrical Engineer in the first place, which is what I'm going to college to do (and play baseball/football).

    The room is 10'x11' approximately, and it's going to be an around the walls sort of thing, varying from 18"-30" around the layout, with an approximately 18"-24" peninsula coming out from one side of the room for the switchyard, engine facility and intermodal-ship loading facility. Will have a module of about 24" long that will be interchangeable, with one being an all the way through to the other side of the layout, connecting both sides with 1 long facility, and then one with a reverse loop for each track, where they come down to one track again from each side and turn back on itself back through the switch yard. Not sure how well this is going to work, but with my plans as always, it's definitely not a firm one.

    The area I'm modeling is the Pacific Northwest (Puget Sound from Bellingham to vancouver WA), will have to run BNSF to be prototypical, but I prefer the UP much more. Also, I need to find an Amtrak Talgo that I can add the detail parts to so it can be the Amtrak Cascade since every Sunday my neighbor/friend and I go out to the mainlines going through Olympia, WA and railfan, ever since we saw 9 trains in one night (about 3 hours) this past summer and we see the Cascades almost every time, along with the Coast Starlight. Anybody know of where I could find the right motive power/articulated rolling stock that would be appropriate? I am going to be getting an airbrush fairly soon (before the summer) and would love to do up the cars my style, or if it comes factory painted correctly, that's just as well.

    Hope to have updates throughout the process for the next few months. I know the layout won't be the large, awe inspiring OMG sort of layout that is insanely well done by an obviously experienced modeler. I'm just an 18 year old guy that loves trains and has been planning a layout since I was about 11 years old and it's finally coming through thanks to my sister moving out I can use my old room now that I have hers.

    The track plan to be posted this evening hopefully, scan it on when I get home (school right now, heh)
  2. n2trains

    n2trains Member

    also forgot to mention that I'm also in the process of building a website full of pics and info about the layout, hope to have it up within a couple weeks

    haven't really gotten much done on it, since I have not been able to contact the guy that gave me the space for a while to ask some questions.
  3. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Hi and welcome! :wave: Good luck on your layout. I don't know about 2X2's but they should work. I used 1X4's on 4 foot centers and I can walk around on top of the benchwork (I weight 170 lbs.) no problem. Please keep us posted on your progress. :)
  4. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    I still use and always have, the L girder method. The structure can be light weight if properly braced as you want as firm and solid surface as you can get so trains don't get accidently bumped off the track.
  5. n2trains

    n2trains Member

    Sorry for the lack of track plan, but that's due to lack of performance by my scanner, will hope to have up in next 3 days

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