Future home of...

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by ocalicreek, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    ...the Ocali Creek Railway (and possibly the Big Tujunga Lumber Company and a connection to the VGN Ry).

    In one picture you will see two doors. The door to the left is the door into the house and on the right leads to the side yard. In between these doors, currently (these pics were taken back on the 19th and much stuff has been moved in since) reside a large shelving unit and freezer. To the right of the right side door is currently the previous owners junk that she left here :curse: but will eventually be a workdesk (not a workbench, since it's more a desk than a bench, really). Air rights above the desk are available, but take into consideration the electric panel access and cable access. These can be seen in the second picture, showing the shelving unit built in place. This monstrosity was not built by me, but whoever built it used a ping pong table, cut into 4 sections. SO, from the garage door to the cable access is 10'. From the wall to the garage door is about 26 inches.

    This side of the garage is mine. The hot water heater and heat pump/AC is on the other side along with three more gorilla racks, my craftsman tool cabinet, and eventually the family car, once our stuff is sorted and unpacked, etc. I have given myself 8-9' from the garage wall on 'my' side out into the center of the room and from the garage door inward about 12-15'.

    I have constructed a 5'x14" Timesaver module that I'd like to incorporate somehow. I consider access along the garage door a good thing, kinda like Bob Smaus, where his staging is fully accessible if/when the garage door is up. So planning layout all the way to the within 6" or so of the door is fine. Also, there needs to be an 'aisle' down the center of the room beneath the garage door opener where passengers will get in and out of the family car.

    (Picture carrying a two year old along side Daddy's layout to put him in the car...do I really want that Alexander Coaling tower back in pieces again? 'Cause I'm sure he'd help me get it there if I needed it to be, as he grabs it, a few trees and little people along with that Jordan Miniature's truck I spent hours on, trying to get the headlights to stay on and inadvertantly drops them on the concrete floor or carrys them with him into his carseat.)

    I'd love to access the layout from this side, but you may see the potential problem here.

    SO, have at it. I don't have the all-in-one printer/scanner/copier hooked up yet so no drawing tonight, but perhaps later this week. For now, you get two pictures. Good luck, and may the force be with you.

    The next post will contain more specific givens and druthers about the content of the layout itself.


    Attached Files:

  2. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Givens and Druthers

    As for the layout itself...

    I built my Timesaver module with operations from both sides in mind, so access from both sides is important. Also, I am going all out on detail both scenically and with rolling stock (eventually) so close to eye level viewing would be nice. BUT, there is a catch. It's scenicked as a river landing and should be considered the lowest track elevation on the layout. Yes, I do want track at or even above eye level and mountainous terrain (think West VA or the Blue Ridge). I'm 6'0".

    I have found a club locally where I could run some of my longer passenger equipment or long coal drags but they're a DC only club and I'm going DCC, slowly but surely. I suppose dual decoders could work, but suffice it to say I would love an option for running long (12'-16') trains at home.

    The timesaver is also to be considered the end of a branchline, and somewhere along that branch should be a small engine facility for steam, primarily, with only a modest hint that diesel is on the horizon. I want to model the 1920's & 30's more than the 40's/50's, although my FM Train Masters must appear on occasion. So plan curves for six axle power and Mallets as well as Pullman Palace cars.

    Somewhere along the line I want a coal mine and there should be a degree of scenic common sense here. If the mine could have built a conveyor down the hill to a spur off the main, then why was the branch built around the hill to reach it?

    As far as a major yard or urban scene, well, it'd be nice, but not necessary. Backwoods is fine, really, preferred. Someplace the short line would have stopped and the Class I would have passed through.

    Alrighty I'm tired, so there you go, any questions, just post and let's see what we can come up with together.

  3. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    My sage advice

    After careful consideration of the space available, limitations, obstructions, ect. Also taking into account your "givens and druthers" and the vision you have for this project...I would like to offer my advice, gleaned from practical experience and considerable study of this subject:
    I got nuthin'
    Hope this helps:thumb: ....your friend, Steve (track planner to the Stars):D

    Now to be serious...
    Galen, you know I really won't be able to help much, if at all, given my short time in this hobby. But what little I can do, I will. If I can only encourage and support your effort, then that's what I'll do. Just know I, and many others, share your enthusiasm and excitement for this project (so long in coming) and can't wait to see it unfold.
  4. 91rioja

    91rioja Member

    Good to see you back


    Good to see you back again! I went to my grandmothers funeral (don't mourn, she was 95 and lived a wonderful life) in Blacksburg this weekend. I remember you saying something about the VGN and N&W and few months back, and with the new space you have, we may be able to come up with something. You could blend in elements of the New River and the mountains of the Blue Ridge. I am not aware of any lumber operations in the area, but it's your layout, so do what you want.

    You could do some great things with the ex-N&W on one side of the New River and the ex-VGN on the other side.

    My two cents worth. By the way, what gauge?
  5. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    Looks like a good place.:thumb:
  6. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    steve, chris, et al, thanks for the encouragement! I will need patience, perhaps, more than anything, but persistance to remain focused and follow it through.

    Wanna know how three F's add up to an A?

    Faith + Focus + Follow-through = Achievement.

    This is true for much in life, including our model railroad dreams and visions! I am very thankful for my wonderful wife who is really enjoying being a Mom now and unpacking, even when it's frustrating. We are out of the rental house completely now. Looks like this weekend, Fri-Sat at least, will be sunny and great for a garage sale.

    Now the scale is HO, standard gauge. Minimum radius on the branch line should be 18", used sparingly. On any sort of class I main, (read display and continuous running loop) I would go for 22-24" min, again used sparingly. I'd love for larger radii, but the space probably won't allow.

    Yes, the VGN/NW heritage connection is strong...but then again, I got to do a little impromptu railfanning on the way to work today along the Weyerhauser line. A lashup of 3 switchers (SWs?...the lead unit cab-forward) with a GP-9 spliced in, all bright yellow with shiny silver trucks and that unique blue strobe light on each, a train of 5 tank cars and 11 'dedicated service' garbage/waste flats with green containers (one even painted black with 'DARE to keep kids of drugs' logo) tailed off with a short wide-vision caboose. Mmm. There's a nice spot inside a curve and between two grade crossings where it's easy to park and watch. Almost makes me want to sell most of the HO and get into Proto-48. I knew a fellow who worked for CSX in Jacksonville that had 2-rail O in his garage, linked together with bridge segments infront of all the doors...hmmm...

  7. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    btw, all that stuff in the pictures was the former owner's. It's not all bad, I mean, there's a grill, a dremel, some hand tools, a stand mixer, a digital scale (for food and rolling stock!), camping gear, and so much more, most of which will hopefully be sold next weekend or taken to a thrift store/Goodwill. What's not so great is that what you can see in the pictures isn't even half of what she left.

  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Hello again Galen, am I correct that you are getting 1/2 of the garage for a layout space? Is it a standard 2 car garage?
  9. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Russ: Good to hear from you. I think it is standard...not exactly sure what standard is. But I know it's bigger than our rental house garage, that is, deeper and a little wider. I am getting about half. The freezer pretty much has to be in my half, along with other obstacles.

  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think a standard 2 car garage is about 20 feet by 20 feet, maybe a little deeper than that. I was just confirming that it isn't a one car garage. I think it would be helpful to see a pic of it cleaned out with the freezer and modeling desk in place.
  11. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    A cleaned-out space


    Indeed it would be nice to see the empty space with just the freezer and desk. Hopefully after this weekend this will be possible.

    I did get a rough dimension of the room from garage door to back wall, just at 21'. With the occasional (ha) rain and snow we get up here in the Winter months (so I've heard) parking the car in the garage is pretty important. This week is supposed to be beautiful, and I've heard the wet weather really starts to set in after mid-October, so we're shooting for then to be totally cleaned out and ready to build.

    Also, when shopping for a replacement dryer plug (4 prong here, 3 prong when it was installed at the rental) at Home Depot I noticed they have 2'x8' sheets of pink foam in 1" and 2" thicknesses. Lowes didn't carry it. However, there is a lumberyard in Chehalis area that has homasote...I don't want to start a great debate here, but I'm personally considering the options between a foam and homasote subroadbed/roadbed.

  12. 91rioja

    91rioja Member


    We'd even take a rough dimensional sketch of the area and what/how much you have to work with.
  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Galen, you might give consideration to a pulley system to lift the peninsular that is near the car up towards the roof when not in use. It would give you more access to the car, and protect the railroad from bumps when loading and unloading the car.
  14. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    A layout that has to be put into place each time it is used is really not something I'd choose...but perhaps it is a good solution here that will allow me more freedom in planning.

    I'll work up a sketch as soon as I can and get it scanned in, hopefully later tonight or tomorrow. This is a busy work week as is, and with planning the garage sale it may not happen soon. We'll see.

  15. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    If we're this impatient...I can imagine how you feel!sign1 :thumb:
  16. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I was thinking in terms of the whole peninsula going up in one piece, and then lowering it on top of a set of folding saw horse type legs. You would only have the tracks at one end of the peninsula to put joiner tracks in.
  17. hooknlad

    hooknlad Member

    Hello Galen: I love you ideas and your nice new spread you have there.. Is the family car really a necessity when it comes to trains? They have nice car ports at SAm's club for about $100, sure it wont last, but................ Enjoy, I cant wait to see the progress, I think we are more excited than you, in fact, mind if a few of us take some time off and head over your way and donate some time to this endeavor? Better not, a mans trainboard is his trainboard, his ideas, his thoughts, his person...

    God bless and enjoy,,, DID i mention that we cant wait to see it?
  18. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Sure, come on over!

    Serioiusly, if any of you live in the SW WA area, then come on by. Just email and we'll set up a time...in a few months, that is, once plans are done and construction begins.

    I do have a rough timetable here...September and early October is the time to clean out and organize the space. I want to have at least some track laid by Christmas/New Years. Like I said, a rough timetable.

    I may do a cardboard box spooky maze for the kids in the neighborhood in late October, for Halloween/All Saints Eve/Day. There are so many kids, I bet trick-or-treating is pretty wild up here. When I was that age in Florida, a local school principal built a cardboard box crawl-through-the-dark maze in his garage with spooky sounds and other effects. It was good clean fun and one year I even helped him build it. SO now I want to pass this fun on to the next generation. I guess before any layout gets built in the way is the time to do this.

    What about a rolling peninsula? Has anyone had any experience putting a layout on casters? (hint hint steve)

  19. 91rioja

    91rioja Member

    I would think that anything you do in the garage should not contain any liftout or roll in/roll out structures due to the severe change in environmental conditions (I'm thinking severe warping). I'm not sure what the conditions are like in WA, but that is something you may wish to take into consideration when building.
  20. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Galen. I just thought of a way to make castors work without having the table move about when you are operating. Make the legs with the casters short enough to stow the peninsula under the main layout when not in use. Get length of "closet rod" (the large dowel material you hang clothes from in your closet) from your local home center. Get it in a long enough length that you could cut it in half and use one half at each end as a cross brace to make your leg assemblies into a letter "H" shape with the top of the "H" screwed to the benchwork, and the casters fastened to the bottom of the"H". Then get some exhaust clamps from your local autoparts store to just fit snugly arouund the closet rod (probably 1 1/2"?). Cut a flat on each end of each cross brace and fasten it between the legs with screws. Pick up 4 cheap automotive scissor jacks and drill holes to match the muffler clamps. You put the muffler clamp over the closet rod cross brace and through the holes you drill in the jacks and fasten the jacks to the each end of the cross brace just inside of the casters. Mount the cross braces high enough on the legs that the jacks don't touch the floor when in the closed position. Now you can roll the peninsula out of the way, even stow it under the main part of the railroad. When you want to operate, roll the peninsula out from under the layout, line it up with the main layout where the tracks should join, and jack up the jacks to lift the casters off the floor and level the layout. I haven't priced them, but if there is a harbor freight nearby, they probably sell scissor jacks for about $10.00 each.

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