Breaking up is hard to do...

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by roryglasgow, Mar 29, 2002.

  1. Sir_Prize

    Sir_Prize Member

    To an exstant in bright light it will. In more mood lighting, or a dark room the painted scenery will be shadowed by the light coming room behind. Bringing the scenery forward with a setting sun effect.
    Like an aquarium, that you control.:D

    At least that's how it looks in my head.;)
  2. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Another idea along that vein is to attach foreground scenery elements to the glass. For example, attach a few bushes, trees, a fenceline, etc. to a strip of wood that is fixed to the bottom-inside edge of the glass. When the cabinet is shut, the scenery items would add that new layer in 3-D.

    We moved the living room furniture into position today and now I have a better idea of how things look. A small table or shelf layout on the entertainment center look like the best options at this point. I already have plywood that I can cut up for a small table layout. Unfortunately, the bookcase won't really fit, so I can't use it for folding up a table...

    But I could use the bookshelf in the master bedroom. Another idea I had was to make the shelves into modules that I could assemble into a longer layout. There are three "free" shelves and one fixed. The fixed shelf could be used for storage. The three shelves placed end-to-end would make a table 7 feet long by 1 foot wide.

  3. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    You know if you got one of those livingroom couch's the turn into a bed you could use the master bedroom for a layout room! :D :D :p :D :D
  4. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Rory & Ken,
    You guys have got me doing a little brainstorming...
    Why have the painted glass in FRONT of the modeled scenery?
    Why not have it BEHIND the scenery, a few inches or so in front of the "standard" backdrop? This seems like it would add some real depth, or "forced perspective" to the scene. You could have distant elements, like sky, distant hills, etc. on the backdrop, & closer elements, like trees, buildings, etc. on the glass...this might also present some interesting lighting possibilities between the two backdrop layers, too.
    It might also present some problems reflection, & glare...This isn't something I've really thought through, I'm just bouncing an idea back in your direction.
    I don't know how far you've gotten on the new layout, but I can't say enough good about around the wall style layouts.
    If your landlord won't allow you toi mount shelves on the wall, you can always build some narrow, free-standing benchwork that will sit against the wall.
    And have you checked out Lowe's, or Home Depot...(or one of those type places) There are lots of modular shelving, & storage systems I'm sure could be made to support a layout.
    And remember, if you don't want to go with a point-to-point style plan, you can turn an N scale train around on a 24" shelf.
    Good luck with the new layout...(and the house that came with it)! :D
  5. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member


    I'm still not decided on what to do. I'm still leaning towards a small loop, but I've been giving a p2p some serious consideration, too. I don't think putting up a shelf would be a problem with my landlord.

    My budget is VERY limited, so I'd mostly be working with recycled materials. I have enough plywood to do just about anything. I was thinking of going with a sort of open framework with that good ol' blue foam as the base. But that all depends on what I eventually end up doing! I think I might set this aside for a while, because I'm really stuck.

    Part of the problem is that I don't have a lot of space in which to build. The living room is pretty much out, but we do have space in one corner of the bedroom (approx. 40" x 50"). A 2'x4' would fit nicely there, with an extension for...a cassette. (Yes, I've decided that a cassette will most likely have to come into play somewhere no matter what I do.)

    -Befuddled in Texas
  6. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Here is a more "evolved" plan from the one I posted in the other thread. The spur in the upper-right connects to a cassette.

    The road comes up under a double-track bridge (kitbashed out of two Atlas plate girder bridges), rises up to the level of the town, then disappears into a tunnel.

    The main problem that I have with this plan is that the runaround at the top end of the branch line is very short. The reason I put in the runaround was so that I could push cars up the incline. But the spur that runs to the upper-left is too short for an engine and cars. Alternatively, I could do away with the runaround and just pull the cars up.

    Another problem is that the front sides of the buildings in town are either turned away from the operator, or hidden behind the hill (depending on which side you're working from). That's not a big deal, though. I was thinking about making that part of the layout interchangeable...maybe be able to replace the town with some other industry.

    Typical operation would be something like this: The SW9 goes up to the mine at the top of the branch line with empty hoppers (1 or 2 of them), loads up, comes back down and leaves them on the interchange track in town. Then a mainline engine could come in and pick up the hoppers. The additional spur at the top could be used for just about anything. Trains can enter and leave the layout via the cassette at the upper-right.

    I was thinking of making the mine either a traprock quarry or copper mine. Then I could name the layout Traprock Ridge or Copper Ridge or something like that.

    This plan fits snugly in 2'x4'.


    Attached Files:

  7. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    And here's another plan I've been experimenting with. This is based on a plan that Shamus posted in the other thread. I modified it to use what track I have. I still need to work out the inclines so that there would be enough clearance over the tunnels and such...still very much a work in progress...

    I like this one because there are three different places to go, and the curves are a little broader. There's room enough for a station, mine and other interesting things. Plus there's the appeal of three levels...

    The main thing that I have a problem with (besides the inclines) is that one turnout that would be hidden in a tunnel...I just don't feel comfortable with that...but there are a dozen GOOD reasons to ignore that problem and go with this plan...

    This one is 2.5'x5'.


    Attached Files:

  8. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    OK, here is a version of Shamus' design that I think accounts for the inclines. I used about a 3% grade on the branchline, and it seems to clear everything well enough. It might have to be a little steeper...

    The light green area is the lowest level, medium green is mid-level, dark is highest. The brown sections are inclines.

    I think I figured out a way around the hidden turnout problem: place it in a "canyon." That also shortens the tunnel on that end, making it easier to reach the track from an access port along the back.

    Now I just need to figure out how to place some structures on it. I really like this design.


    Attached Files:

  9. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Rory that last track plan is excellent and you have room for buildings. For what it's worth here is how I see it. The bottom track is your interchange with cars being left on the spur. Maybe a tower by the turnout on the right and a farm scene in the lower left. The next trackage up (med. green) is town. You have 6 to 10 inches between the tracks and the "mountain" to put buildings. The top (dk. green) tracks are industry. I would use a puplwood yard on the left. This would be a small office and a front end loader with a couple of trucks sitting around. The right side would be a copper mine (so you can use those short ore cars to make your train seem longer) with a gravel road going off the top left of the layout. Along the gravel road would be a company store and a few company row houses. For operation I would stage a train at the top (light green) track facing left.If you have one of billk's world famous "cassettes" it would be hooked to the lower right. My local would be on the spur in town with a combine. The first train of the day would be to take the miners and loggers up to work then return to town to drop off the combine before heading down to the junction. Then I would bring the mainline train into the junction to drop off 2 empty flat cars for the pulpwood yard and pick up 2 fulls left the day before, then continue counter clockwise back into staging. Then my local would leave town for the junction going to the left so is not to be on the same track as the train in staging. While taking the flat cars to the pulpwood yard the train on the cassette would come into the yard and drop off 3 empty ore cars and return to the cassette. The local drops off the flats picks up 3 full ore cars at the mine and heads for the junction. After switching out the ore cars going back up the mountain and spotting the empties it goes back to town to get the combine to bring the miners and loggers home. Or something to that effect. Having said all that you said you are on a very limited budget. If you move again will you have to trash all your hard work? If so I would trash this whole idea and go back to something I could move with me so the R.R. had a permenent home. I.E. the bookcase or entertainment center or Charlie's idea about the modular shelving. Damn I could have finished my layout in the time it took to type this reply! :D
  10. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    That sounds like a great plan of operation to me! Thanks for the effort--I didn't think about the combine and putting both a copper mine AND pulp yard. I'm really thinking that this is the plan that I want to go with. I'm making a few adjustments, though, because I discovered that I'm not quite getting enough clearance over the inner tunnel on the left. I'm trying to keep the grades around 3% or lower. In one version, I did away with the siding on the middle (town) level and made it into a couple of spurs. This allowed me to make the top level a little higher and keep the grade down.

    I like the pulpwood yard idea. I have the perfect buildings for the office and company store, too. And the gravel road would make a nice touch.

    As far as moving is concerned, this layout would be significantly smaller than the last one, which means that it will be easier to find it a space in a new home. But even if I couldn't, then I'd have the excuse to tear it down and build a new one! :)

    I'll post the revised plan after I've figured out where the buildings can go.

  11. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    OK, here is a more refined version of the Shamus plan. I eliminated the siding at the town level and replaced it with spurs. The incline actually travels clear up to the first turnout on the third level (as you're travelling up).

    I placed the store on the third level in the upper-left and the office for the pulpwood yard on the left. The company houses could be located nearby. I don't want the mine to be very large, so I'll probably have to scratchbuild something (it seems like most kits are large). It will be located on the right.

    I stuck an Atlas switch tower down by the cassette exit. It probably doesn't need anything that big...

    The dirt road can run from the mine to the store, then split off heading to the pulpwood yard and to the upper-left off the layout. A paved road can come out of a tunnel on the second level, run through town, then maybe disappear into another tunnel...or maybe it will just dead-end...I dunno yet.

    I think with a farm at the lower-left corner (or maybe the edge of a lake) and a whole bunch of trees, it will look rather nice.

    It's still a work in progress. I'm going think on this one for a few days. Please make suggestions!


    Attached Files:

  12. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Looks good to me!:cool: When do we see pictures???? I see a GP7 or RS3 doing mainline duty, with a SW9/1200 working the local. Don't forget the plaid sky's and cottage cheese weather fronts:D. You saw my tobacco farm, 200 to 300 trees in that one area ( about 30 inches x 24 inches ) which explains why so many people model the barren Rockies I guess. But covered with trees (Ozarks maybe?) it would be a sharp looking layout.
  13. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Rory, I like it a lot. I'm confused about operations on it though. This isn't surprising as I don't know squat about USA switching operations.

    Should the crossover on the middle elevation not be on the right hand side? That way the goods delivered from and to be delivered to the bottom elevation can be handled more easily. As it is, I just can't fathon it (maybe it's an age thing :( ).

    I suspect there is space on the bottom elevation for a grain handling building on a short spur. My my my, I think you just kicked my brain into gear about ideas for my N layout! THREE elevations!!? Sounds better every time I hear it :D :D

    (Can't wait to see it built with that wonderfully unique sky you get in your area, yeah, the one Tyson is talking about!:D )

  14. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    I think you've hit on something with that middle section, Errol. I intended that one side serve the station and the other be a sort of storage or team track for things that couldn't be loaded via the station. The problem, as I see it, is that engines would have to be at the rear of the train for downhill trips...and I wouldn't think that would be desirable. I might just do away with that spur that runs to the left.

    The bottom elevation is an interchange with another railroad. Cars brought from the industries at the top elevation are left on the spur, awaiting pickup by a mainline engine to be run around the loop and/or off to the cassette. I might be able to squeeze in an elevator, though, in the lower left, if I can figure out how to get a spur in place.

    I'm hoping to get the sky thing worked out properly this time! :)

  15. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Hey Rory
    Don't forget to give that bacdrop-as-a-scenic divider some maybe behind the town between the second, & third levels...?
    If you could isolate two sides of the layout visually from each other, you could really create the illusion that the layout is much bigger than it is.
  16. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    I've made a few modifications to the track plan. Mainly, I eliminated one of the spurs at the town and converted the spur on the bottom level to a longer passing siding. I'm going to study this for a day or two more, then I'll post an updated picture.

    I failed to mention that this layout will have to be placed in a corner. That's one of the reasons that I wanted to keep the depth down to 2.5' or less. The corner is located in the upper-left of the track plans I've shown here. So the backdrop will have to be across the left and top sides. I figure that I'd be able to reach most everything from the "exposed" sides. And, if worse comes to worse, I can always scoot it out away from the wall a little bit so I can get to trouble spots along the back.

  17. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Hi Rory,
    Here's another thought...
    If the lower level tracks at the top of the plan are not going to be visible anyway, why not go on & cover them with that upper level? As long as you provide some access to them, maybe on the back side of the layout...
    This way you could provide yourself with more room for track, or scenery on the top level.
    Also, you could put the benchwork on casters (wheels) to make accessing the "wall side" easier.
  18. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    That's a very good idea, Charlie. I'm going to ponder it for a while... I've already made a few changes to the plan since the last time I posted it, including a new tunnel on the top level. Covering the back portion would give me extra realestate, and I could even expand the track into that area...

  19. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    OK, yet another revision...

    Here is the latest...

    The spur at the bottom has been eliminated and replaced with a longer siding.

    I did away with the tunnel on the upper-right so as to leave that corner and the back side more accessible.

    The "lower" spur on the top level has been moved. Instead of the pulpwood yard I'm toying with putting a cattle yard there. It may not look right, though...I might go back to the pulpwood yard. (I just have all those freakin' stock cars!)

    I drew in a mine on the right side of the top level. This is just a rough sketch.

    The color scheme is the same as before, except that the darkest green is a mountainside for the mine, and the brown track sections are trestles.

    -Rory (who's goal in life is to fill up this thread with too many pictures!)

    Attached Files:

  20. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Not that anybody cares or anything but here's my 2 cents worth. Making the passing siding at the lower level longer and removing the left spur at the middle (town) level are excellent ideas. However you no longer have a interchange track on the bottom level. You could use the passing siding but trying to set out and pick up with cars on both tracks at the same time will be a pain in your hogger's a** (don't ask how I know). I would also remove that extra siding on the top level, left hand side to make the scenery better(course I operate under the less is more idea). I would probably put a turnout on the bottom track in the picture on the left side where it curves back up to the main and run a spur to the left edge of the layout for my interchange. If I was going to have a stockyard I would use that spur I guess cause it makes more sense down in the "valley" than on top of the mountain, but of course you lose your interchange again. Course you good get rid of the local and the train in staging at the top of the layout and have the train on the cassette come on to the layout do all the switching then go back to the cassette and you wouldn't need the interchange then. But then you couldn't leave the train in staging at the top of the layout running the loop for "atmosphere" while your local is switching on the upper level. And if you keep listening to idiots like me you will never get the layout built.:D :p :D

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