Finally the Layout is moving along!

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Trainiac77, May 16, 2007.

  1. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

    If the configuration allows I usually hard wire the end where the hinges are. The wires are tied in such a why that there is a one turn coil that moves with the bridge. On the other side I use copper rivets as contact points (soldered to the track with wire) and then some sort of simple latch slide underneath to lock the bridge down, nothing worse than someone lifting the bridge as a train is approaching!wall1
    I'll try to post some pictures.
  2. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

    Weekend update

    The main line on the first level has been powered! The inaugural run was almost successful. I had some minor bumps to file down, but all in all it was great as I haven't seen my rolling stock out of the boxes for almost 5 years.

    Anyway here is an updated first level schematic:

    I've added the Buckore mine from Suydam. I've never built a metal kit so it was pretty interesting to solder all the parts. Certainly was easier to change things when I made mistakes! There is still a bunch of scenery to do on this scene, but at least the track is down for it. I think the turnouts will all be manual for this scene. Any suggestions welcome!

    Attached Files:

  3. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    I'll bet it was great to get things out of the box and running again. Looking good! I like that mine!
  4. wickman

    wickman Member

    Wow 5 years in storage. They sure look like some nice cars, I could use a half dozen of them:mrgreen:
  5. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

    I ran into a great sale on Stewart ore cars at a show one time $4.00 for a pack of 4 all with different numbers, I bought 1 each of 5 different sets, then I got a set of 12 from IHC with all different numbers. Looks pretty cool being pulled behind one of the 2-6-6-2 that I run. I still have to weight down and change the couplers on the IHC cars but it's worth the trouble :thumb:
  6. Scoobie

    Scoobie Member

    That's nice! I like a lot turns. So, were do you sleep, under that big ol layout.:mrgreen:sign1
  7. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

    Long train

    Finally ran some long trains last night. :thumb: Took out all 38 ore cars that I have plus some other hopper cars. The train was so long that as the cars were still on top of the bridge as the engines passed underneath. I first tried using on 2-6-6-2 Spectrum engine but that wouldn't pull up the 3% grade so I double headed it with another 2-6-6-2 Spectrum. Pretty cool to watch and no problem going up the grades. Still have some track issues to take care of, but over all very satisfying!:rolleyes: I'll post some pix next time.
  8. wickman

    wickman Member

    Are you sure the grade isn't greater than 3% , my 2-6-6-2 bachman had at one time pulled up a 3% no problem. Is it possible the track is just a bit slick, maybe go over it with a 600 grit wet . :wave:
  9. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    i thought you were not supposed to sand track because it provides a place for dirt to stick and corrosion take not sure but i swore i heard it somewhere.--josh
  10. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

    I thought 1/4" rise to 12" run was a 3% grade. Is that right? (I forgot to mention that there were 40+ cars in tow)
  11. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

    Grade Forumla

    Actually I had it wrong and had to search :confused: to find the right formula which is as followes:

    Slope is rise/run, and the % grade is 100 times the slope

    So .25"/12"=.0208 Slope

    Grade is .0208*100=2.08 % grade

    So the grades are better than I thought :mrgreen:
  12. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member


    I got my train-cam up and running last night, Surprised I could find all the pieces, Can anyone tell me how to post the video? :confused:
  13. wickman

    wickman Member

    You lost me I only know how to make a video on a digi camera but I'm lost when it comes to uploading it anywhere.:wave:
  14. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member lets you upload video
  15. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

    Any switchback suggestions?

    Sorry I haven't posted in a while but had to take a small break. Anyway I have started to build the lead in to where the Helix would be. However after sizing it all out I would really only have room for about a 18" radius turn otherwise it would just take over.:cry: I'd rather not even bother because I like to run big steam. So I was wondering on doing a switchback instead. I've never done one before. It would mostly be hidden I think, since it would be following the wall. Anyone have any advice, I need it.:confused:
  16. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    I don't know that a switchback is going to be any better of an answer if you are running big steam. The tail tracks of each switchback - where the train has to fit while the turnout is thrown to go up the next grade - has to be long enough to fit the entire train. If you have multiple switchbacks, each end of the grade has to have the train length tail track. Tail tracks for long trains will take away from the run for your grade significantly.

    Let me give you a small example from my layout plan. There are 2 switchbacks on an 8 ft long layout section. I have set the tail tracks at 21" long - a very short train, 2-3 cars and a tiny engine. Allowing 9" for the turnout before the grade starts gives a whopping total of 36" to climb 2" on each switchback. (96" - 2*(21"+9")). This means a 6% grade before easements. With easements at each end, the peak grade ends up at about 8%. With the 2 switchbacks, I have gained 4" in 8ft at the cost of 21" trains and 8% grades. Which is fine for a backwoods narrow gauge line, but not very good for Class 1 railroading.

    When you add the space for the tail tracks in, you can probably gain just as much if not more vertical distance at a reasonable grade without the switchbacks as you can with the switchbacks. You would have to 3 or 4 switchbacks to do better.

    Next issue with switchbacks - is your trackwork and rolling stock good enough to handle backing through turnouts and up or down grades flawlessly? Helix trackwork needs to be bullet-proof; switchback trackwork even more so since 50% of the time you are backing up.

    Last point - to many folks, switchback operations are even more boring than grinding up a helix. And unlike a helix, you can't just set the throttle and wait. The turnouts have to be thrown, and the train stopped, reversed, and started at each switchback.

    Just some thoughts you might want to be aware of. Real railroads avoided switchbacks whenever possible - for a reason.
  17. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member


    Thanks for the advice. Fortunately I have about 20 feet to create the initial climb and then an additional 63 inches for the tail track. I think with this length I'll be able to get away with about a 3.5 to 4% grade and I'll only need one tail track to make the climb. While a helix was in the original plan, unless I change the layout bench work it wouldn't fit into the layout. Hopefully I'll post some pictures after the weekend.
  18. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

    Starting Over

    OK I'm starting over! :cry: After adding a second level and putting a switch back in I wound up with 6 lift out bridges, 4 of them being in front of the door. Way too much work when you have to make a quick trip to the hobby shop (or bathroom!:confused:)
    I like to run long trains and many at the same time. This will allow at least 4 trains running plus operation in the yards as well. There will industry on the first level that will deliver to industry on the second level and vic-versa. Passenger service will original on the second level and make extended trips to the first level.

    So here's how the redesign goes. There will be 2 lift bridges, one on the first level and one on the second and a helix. The new bench work is almost complete so I will have more pictures soon.

    I have broken through the wall for both the first and second level. The utility room is behind the wall so there is plenty of room to use. Click on the pictures to see the full size.


    The Helix: 22" radius, 3 turns rising 12". Since I'm still in the design stage, I might increase the outside radius to 23" and add a 19.5" radius inside loop, but again this is in the design stage.


    The second level is 14" off the first level and will have a double mainline with freight yard and some industry above the workbench area and a station to the left of the helix.
    Please post any comments. I would greatly appreciate any constructive criticism! :thumb:
  19. viperman

    viperman Active Member

    wow, nice layout. Great benchwork too!
  20. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member


    Last night I lowered the center table of the first level to incorporate a subway. Does anyone know where to buy a subway type station or is that going to be a kitbash project for me?

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