Don't laugh too hard...It's my first attempt!

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Nazgul, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    Here's as far as I can figure this out... the area I shaded has me stumped, is it another reverse loop as the track goes from C to D to E and to the turnout near A? Have I messed up the polarity in the shaded area? If anyone can help, I would appreciate it. Sorry for the poor picture quality.

    Layout Wiring 2.jpg

    Layout Wiring 1.jpg
  2. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member



    Assuming you're going DCC, you can use the Auto Reverse Module available from MRC and others. I wonder if one of the gaps should be between the turnouts (on the actual track that makes it a reverse loop)....ugh...not sure how to say this without drawing other words, in the area you have highlighted in purple. According to the destructions...

    "When a DCC decoder equipped loco passes the insulated gaps leading into or from a reverse loop section, the MRC DCC Auto Reverse Module will automatically match the track's polarity and maintain the same direction for the locomotive."

    As for the turntable, well, I have no idea where to start with that one. I used to be familiar with the Atlas wiring back when I was planning to install one of these on my old layout, but that was years ago. If memory serves me well, I don't think you need to do anything special. But as I said it's been a while...

    More input from others may be helpful here, beyond my speculation.

  3. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

    Yes, there is another reverse loop (I marked it green) and you messed up the polarity at the turnouts in the shaded area. I think you should place the gaps as shown in the drawing (marked red). It is tricky, but I hope I got it right.

    Attached Files:

    • gaps.jpg
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  4. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Sorry, there is only 1 reversing loop as drawn. Now, if you install a double cross-over instead of the single shown, then you would have 2 reversing loops. As drawn, the main is a continuous run with a single reversing loop to give you out-and-back operation from the yard.

    Hope this helps
  5. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    So are we in agreement as to where the gaps need to be? Like this?

  6. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    No, just the green gaps you had in the 1st drawing (at the top of page 5). Depending on how the crossover that completes the reversing loop is set, the train may or may not be reversing. The automatic reversing unit will take of this for you.

    If you decide to use the gapping scheme of the last diagram, you don't need the one in the tunnel; it needs to be moved to between the turnout for the reversing loop crossover at the center top and the turnout for the mine.

    The turntable should be electrically isolated from any tracks attaching to it. If it has "split ring" wiring it will then handle the reversing itself. Note that each storage track coming from the turntable needs its own feeders. I would also insert a toggle switch in each feeder set to be able to turn each of the turntable storage tracks completely off.

    Hope this helps
  7. engineshop

    engineshop Member

    Maybe it is just me but I would get rid of the loop, I mean the switches that make the loop. You only can use the loop from one side and after you used it, the train cannot go back to the original direction of travel since there is no loop in the opposite direction.
  8. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    Fred, if I use only the 2 original gaps would not the area I highlighted be a short... forgive my ignorance.

  9. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Maybe like this??

    Attached Files:

  10. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member


    My apologies - you are correct, you need 3 sets of gaps. You need the one on the top straight track, and you need to gap BOTH diverging ends of the turnout that forms the crossover. Wish I knew how to mark on your diagrams. Your 12:47 PM post on March 7 with the red gaps is correct with one exception. The gap in the tunnel should be moved to be just before the mine turnout, between the crossover turnout and the mine turnout.

    My recommendation - don't change your track plan - you have a sweet continuous run with a capability to reverse back to the yard, called an "out-and-back". The proposed change eliminates the continuous run, giving you a "loop-to-loop" configuration. You have no operational reason for the second reversing loop.

    sorry about the error
  11. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    No need to be sorry FRED, You always give good advice and I always look forward to your input. Here now is how I'll gap the track.
    Layout 018.jpg

    I'm going to keep the track plan as is, for exactly the reasons you mentioned........cnw1961, you saw the problem and the solution you gave is essentially the one I'm using with the exception of moving the lower gap up along the track to a closer location. Thank you for your input, you were right! This was a "tricky" one, so thanks everyone for taking the time to help a poor clueless slob.
  12. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

    you are right, that’s the best way to place the gaps. I think you are doing a great job. I love to watch your project right from the start and I am curious to see your further progress. Don’t stop posting pics.
  13. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    Kurt, thank you for the encouragement and kind words. I've been laying track and am almost done with this phase. Next comes the wiring and I've a feeling that my progress will be slowing considerably. I've decided to use Caboose hobbies' manual throws for the turnouts (at least for the time being). I did drill holes under the throw bars of all my turnouts so they would be ready for switch machines later on. I ordered a Digitrax Zephyr from Tony's and it is shipping next week. Now I need a test Loco for the track. I don't want to use a really good one in case I messed something up and wind up "frying" it! Any suggestions? Thanks everybody!

    Layout 019.jpg

    Layout 020.jpg

    Layout 021.jpg

    Layout 022.jpg
  14. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You don't have to worry about "frying" a locomotive. The worst thing you can do electrically is to create a short circuit, and if that happens, the overload protection in the transformer/power pack should shut it down. I hope you haven't put rail joiners in all of your track or at least you can remove some of them. It is much easier to wire up a section of track, test it, then wire the next section, and test it, etc. If your whole layout is connected together and you start wiring and get a short, it could be through a rail joiner anywhere in the layout. For test purposes you want more than a locomotive. The locomotive will be fine for testing the electrical hook ups, but you need a car or two behind the locomotive to test your track work. Sometimes a locomotive will work on a section of bad track, or one with too small a radius, but when you couple a car to the locomotive, it gets pulled off the track.
  15. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    Russ, I did solder the flex track on the curves and only the shortest of straight pieces, no solder was used on any turnouts. However a LARGE percentage of this layout consists of curves. Any way I should be able to disconnect the lay out into about 4 sections. I will also take your advice about adding a couple of cars for track testing. Thanks Russ
  16. Kurgan

    Kurgan New Member


    I'm like the other folks here, I have also enjoyed you progress. I almost asked if I could use this track plan also, but I thought it might be " un-cool". so I came up with a design of my own that I will post in the next few days for everyone to critique.

    Are you going to glue your track to the roadbed? I am considering using foam risers rather than "cookie cutter" since it will make the water element I want to add a lot easier to do.

    Please keep posting pics. I check the forum everyday to see the latest updates.

  17. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    Kurgan, Thank you for your interest and I'm glad you posted here. It's nice to "meet" people who are watching the layout progress unfold. I am eagerly awaiting the opportunity to see your design. Just so you know, I think it would be "cool" to see how you would do things differently with this same layout plan. I bet they would each be uniquely our own. Now to answer your question: I do not plan on glueing my track down. the track nails seem to be holding it pretty tight. However, this may change after I start testing it with trains. If that starts to loosen up the nails then i will rethink it. I remember reading from somewhere that your track will eventually be glued down when you ballast, so that's my plan. Just remember, 2 months ago I didn't know anything, so take anything I say with that in mind. As far as using WS foam inclines and risers...I would highly recommend it. It allowed me to follow the track lines I had drawn on the bench top and place my elevated sections in exactly the right spot with little fuss......I checked out the post you started. Did you get Your Zephyr yet? Incidently I bought all my track and switches online at "first" and they were outstanding. Looking forward to your design....I finished laying the track tonight so I need to start wiring......
  18. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You are right, when you glue down ballast it will glue down the tracks.
  19. Kurgan

    Kurgan New Member


    I'm sure you could take the same plan and give it to a room full of folks and have a room full of different results because of the individual interests and personalities of the individuals. What happened to me was that I looked at so many track plans that I hit a "wall" and wasn't really sure what I liked best. The only things I was sure of was that I wanted a Shay and I want to power it with Digitrax.

    I saw Badger Creek and I REALLY like everything about it. I don't pretend to be able to accomplish that level of quality but I do want it to turn out functional and attractive. I most likely won't be completely accurate with what details I use on my layout but I will use what I think looks good.

    Its good to know the ballasting process will hold my track down since I didn't relish the idea of glueing it down with Liquid Nails, mostly because of the hassle involved if I wanted to add to my layout. I do plan to add a bit later on even though I am starting out with more than I originally wanted.

    Half of the benchwork is completed, I would post pictures but they would be kinda big and I dont have a program loaded that wil reduce the size. Maybe I'll post them with a warning that they are a bit large.

    I haven't decided if I want to use the Zephyr or the Super Empire Builder. I need to make a decision soon, tho'.

    I bought my track from a "local" hobby shop. "Local" means it takes an hour to get there. There are two that are closer, but one is a national brand with unfriendly folks running it and the other looks like a bomb went of in it and its hard to even walk through it. Still, I may go back there for some of the rolling stock because he had quite a selection that was still on the shelves and the owner is very helpful. I know saving $$$ is important but I can't help wanting to support the local folks as much as possible.

    Anyway, I need to make a lumber run to finish my benchwork so... before I go, if you want to check the railroad I'm going to loosely model, it is ..
  20. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    Kurgan, that's a great website, so much inspiration! Anyway, I'm waiting on the Zephyr so I thought I would see how the manual ground throws are going to work out....not too good.:cry: Guess I should have seen this comming, the tracks in the yard are kind of close. Looks like I'll have to do some excavation in about 3 or 4 places. I learn some thing new every day ( today I learned to think before I buy)........
    Layout 025.jpg

    Layout 023.jpg

    Layout 024.jpg

    QUESTION: can a 72' passenger car fit on 18" curves? I can't find any 60'...unless some body wants to sell some!:D I'll Post when I screw up...I mean when I progress a little farther.

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