Future home of...

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

  1. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Garage plan 1

    Okay, here's the first, (and by no means the last) plan for my garage space.

    View attachment 31100

    You'll notice the timesaver is not drawn, but the connection in the lower left corner just off the wye is mentioned.

    Scale is HO, Standard Gauge, 1"=1', (4 squares = 1"). There is a double sided backdrop running down the peninsula, with staging along the garage door. The scenicked portion of the layout ends as the backdrop ends, in the upper right corner of the drawing. All mainline curves 20" radius, with 18" radius on the wye.

    Trains come out of staging toward the turntable. Engines are cut off, turned and run around the train, if need be. Then the train enters the scenicked portion of the layout down the mountainous area over the creek twice and eventually into the tunnel. Emerging on the other side it enters the town of Murdock's Landing, where the engine is watered, turned and the train returns the way it came.

    Included in the town is a timber gantry (an SS Ltd model under construction for quite some time now) and other small buildings. Also of interest is the warehouse on pilings over the water on the tail of the wye. The road through town is dirt, and ends up out on the timesaver portion at a coal dealer.

    Trains would be freight, primarily, with flats, gons and other open cars destined for unloading to ships/barges for a trip downriver along with coal and oil for the coal dealer and fuel supply for the river tugs (all located on the timesaver) as well as shipments of other various goods for the transfer gantry and warehouse.

    A passenger/mail run would also appear, particularly troublesome if the freight has not finished its duties. A small enginehouse, also under construction, could replace the gantry and provide a home for the MDC critter or Mantua Shifter to work the landing, so freights would simply drop off and pick up without actually working any of the industries in that scenario.

    I'm not too thrilled with this plan, since it is just a branchline point-to-point run, but it is interesting and since nobody else has shared I decided you must all be waiting to see what I come up with. I'd still like to incorporate continous running for longer 'mainline' trains, but that may just be impossible without a high degree of scenic compromise.

    More plans to follow in the days ahead. Hopefully some will be yours.


    Attached Files:

  2. 91rioja

    91rioja Member


    In the area that you penciled in in one of the above posts, you show roughly an 8'x10' area, and the layout you drew IS 8'x10'. Did I miss somewhere back on the last pages that you wished access on all sides? If so, the current layout looks to me as being up against the wall. Are you planning on having a roll out layout? Or am i missing something?

    I like the design; anything I have seen from you is really good. I wish I had your thought process.

    How long of trains would you be running? I do not see any passing sidings except for the one at the bottom of the drawing. Would I be correct to assume that going from to the TT to the wye that it is downgrade? Coming back upgrade I would think may require helper assistance, so you would need another either passing or double track.

    Ok, enough babbling for now.

    By the way, what is a LEGO train???
  3. 91rioja

    91rioja Member

    Ok, I missed it

    I did miss something; just like at work the other day. If you rotate your plan 180 degrees then it does not require a roll out.

  4. 91rioja

    91rioja Member

    Timesaver Module

    Galen, my nosey self would love to know what your timesaver looks like. Would you happen to have a pic or plan?
  5. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member


    Thanks for the replies. A LEGO train is just that, a train made from LEGOs. It's got a transformer/throttle and actually runs pretty well, although not really at slow speeds. Electrical pickup comes from the flanges and the wheel face has rubber traction tires built in so it can pull like you wouldn't believe. Check out www.scltc.org for a great lego club with a fantastic layout.

    I'm going to pick up the timesaver this weekend...it's been stored at a friend's house since I moved up here and now I'm reaching a point where I actually have room to set it up in the garage...with so much shifting boxes, etc. I just wasn't ready for it yet. So hopefully I can post some current pics next week.

    Oh, and the plan as posted should be rotated 180 degrees to match the orientation of the previous sketch. I guess I should orient future sketches the same way to avoid confusion. Your assumptions about the grade are correct, sir (hah hah hah in an Ed McMahon voice). But the layout would only support short trains and probably not need the helper, although the ML shifter could act as a helper and be cut off at the top of the grade...hmmm...could add some operating interest. If you'll notice, the staging tracks aren't any longer than any of the passing tracks/runarounds. In fact, the passing track down at ML is more a runaround than passing track. I had thought about maybe just cutting it out altogether as there's a little runaround on the timesaver itself, but that would be just too much work/fun.

  6. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    I wish I had the know how to contribute a plan... but you know the deal.:rolleyes:
    I just wanted you to know I'm here in spirit if not with practical input.
    Also the way you describe the way trains would run on this and also the layout you designed for me...really helps a newbie like myself "understand" the plan. It's a little educational lesson for us!:thumb:
  7. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    It's something that comes from reading several years of MR (since late 80's) and other planning texts. You figure out what's most helpful and useful to making sense of these lines and squiggles on the page. All the best layouts (IMHO) tell a story or set a convincing scene (not necessarily realistic, just convincing).

    Thanks for the encouragement! It's always appreciated. I'm really getting frustrated with the shuffling of boxes and shifting of stuff. I must keep the vision in front of me of what could be. I'm working on a plan now that includes a large loop for display running while the branch line makes its way from above the loop to below while traversing the bulk of the layout. Maybe they'll interchange...maybe not. We'll see...

    I'm inspired by this scene from a layout that used to be near the town where I grew up in Florida.

    Here is the picture from another post I made:


    What I like (and have always liked) about this scene is not only the large bridge but the great miniscenes beneath it. There are a couple other shots I made of this area that show the tracks below actually running through arches in the concrete piers for the trestle...pretty whimsical, but I bet there's a prototype out there somewhere. Not entirely scencere, but hey, I can bend "the rules" now and then. Besides, I see this and can think about areas back in the hollows (pronouced hollers) where different railroads crossed over each other as they wove their rails around hillsides to reach the coal seams. So some plausibility.

    Japanese composer Toro Takemitsu said this about his music: "Sometimes I use the octatonic scale, and sometimes I use the other notes." Anyway, back to work.


  8. 91rioja

    91rioja Member


    You have to remember that moving is the pits. We've all done it. We'll all do it again. So just hang in there, all the stuff will be put into its rightful place eventually. . . but not soon enough for the model railroader looking at his/her space.
  9. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    True indeed, never soon enough. This is all especially frustrating when you're sick. Spent the last few days home and can't do more than a few minutes work without getting weak & winded. Friday is typically my day off and today was beautiful up here! At least I got to walk my son around the block on his new tricycle. (It's got a parent handle that sticks up in the back so you can steer and push...his feet can just barely reach the peddles, so he's really just along for the ride until he can propel himself.) But some clearing out in the shed happened as well as a bit of organizing in the garage, so there is some progress. PLUS, the sketching I've been doing is great fun.

    Okay, enough rambling. Thanks again for the encouragement.

  10. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    No, really, it is a step forward

    Here are a few pictures of the timesaver (yeah!) and the room after an afternoon of sorting and unpacking. These were made with available room lighting plus my desk lamp and flourescent tubes laying on the desk...no photographic reasoning there, it was just the place I set it down as I was rearranging...eventually I'll hang it, probably over the timesaver. Which, incidentally, is pretty much where it may end up in any future plans. It's about as far into the garage as it can go, well, maybe a foot more, but I want to leave good access to the freezer and pull down ladder.

    If you remember the previous shots you may notice that the pingpong shelves are beginning to come down. Once a bit more rearranging happens and the items up top are moved then the shelving can come down. I'm hoping to have that done by Halloween...that is, unless I start running trains on the timesaver and get distracted...we'll see.

    View attachment 31209

    General Room Shot

    View attachment 31210

    Connecting end of the Timesaver. Track is offset 6" from the side where the shed is located, 8" from the closest side in the photo. An Alexander Little Hook sits on the pedestal next to the dock and shed. Another dock just like the one there now will go on the other side so two cars can be spotted there. The coal dock in the front will hold 2 short hoppers easily.

    View attachment 31211

    The fuel depot...I usually spot a tank car here and add to the 'fun' by putting a 'respot when finished' order on it for the crew. (Okay, just me, usually) Any car there will most likely be moved during the course of a switching run just because it's on the runaround.

    View attachment 31212

    A section shed usually sits on the white platform.

    View attachment 31213

    The 'old' dock, now used as storage for the section gang. Eventually will hold stacks of rusty rail, tie plates, etc. The 'new' dock is at the other end.



    Attached Files:

  11. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    WOW! That's fanyasyic scenery work there!! Did you make those stones? They look Great! Where did you get them?
  12. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Still debating what I want to see in the open field shown in the last photo. Originally I had planned on a river lighthouse (these were surprisingly common in the East, even west of the Blue Ridge.) but other ideas have ranged from Beekeepers (a cool WS figure set) to a section foreman's house complete with laundry on a line, outhouse and water pump.

  13. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    It's nice to see some of your modeling.....It's what I expected..........................TERRIFIC[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Really love your track work!
  14. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    The scenery base is foam (the white beady stuff...no probs if you saw it in short motions with a smooth edge kitchen knife) and on top of that I spread a layer of lightweight spackle. This is great stuff. For the stonework I color it a basic gray color by adding black acrylic craft paint (Delta Ceramcoat)...what's really cool is that it dries the same color as when wet, unlike some plasters. Then 'carving' the stones is simple. I make the lines between stones by pushing them into the spackle (after it dries) with a small screwdriver blade.

    To color the individual stones I make a palatte of colors on a plastic plate. I squirt the base color in the center, with a tan, lighter gray and a darker gray in blobs around the center. Then I use the brush to mix the base color with each of the accent colors so I end up with the base, three mixed shades and the original highlight colors to choose from. Actually, I think I mixed the two accent grays with the tan as well. Anyway, I paint the colors on full strength at first then go back with a little water and dilute them on the brush/palatte. This way I have a diverse coloring on the stones but it's all in a similar family of color so it doesn't look too far off. I hope it comes across that these 'stones' could have been all quarried in the same place.

    Then the whole thing gets a blackwash, my own secret recipe of black acrylic craft paint and water...the secret's in the ratio...it's so secret not even I know what it is! (Really, it just looks right, after some trial and error). If you look closely you can see that the coal dock has really been toned down whereas the fuel depot has not been blackwashed much.

  15. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Some grass for Nazgul

    Hey Steve,

    Here's a few shots of the Silflor 'in action'. Thanks for the kind words, the track is all handlaid (my first attempt...great fun!...I just kept telling myself, only five turnouts, only five turnouts...). I had some fun playing around with a portable spotlight, since the first set I took came out so dark.

    View attachment 31216

    A 'sunset' shot? I think the shadows highlight the fine texture of the weeds/grass.

    View attachment 31217

    How nice, that patch of wildflowers grew right up next to the rocks and the track. I bet the crews enjoy that in the springtime.

    View attachment 31218

    The same area as the first shot from a different angle with general lighting (spot pointed at the ceiling to reflect fill light). It does take some practice to get the placement just right to be able to blend the high and short weeds in with the wildflowers (which come in a thick mat). This stuff is fun to use, and is a different look than the woodland scenics field grass.

    Oh yeah, I should add that I just glued the stuff on (with Sobo white glue) right on top of the WS ground foam and dirt that was already there. I layer my ground cover dirt first followed by a base grass color then a highlight or two (darker or lighter or both), and now Silflor weeds, grass, etc. Although, if I were planning a big field of wildflowers, I'd probably skip the dirt/foam step and just add it where I think it will show through since the flower mat is so thick.


    Attached Files:

  16. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    Thank you for posting those shots of Silflor "in action":thumb: It really helps to see it on a layout as opposed to their website. I must say, it really does look sweet! The flowers are real eye catchers. Because of the amount of ground cover I'll need for my layout...I'll use Silflor to augment cheaper foam. But even doing that, it will make it something special (I hope).:D

    I like your rock work as well...very natural looking (you pulled off the gray look better than I did) but in retrospect, that was probably for the best;)

    Now that I see the hand-laid track up close...I like it even more:thumb: I like the spacing of the ties, and of course, the look of them much better than prefab. Since you have this under your belt...You should have no trouble what so ever hand-laying your future layout...piece of cake, right?..........right?sign1

    Thanks Galen
  17. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    silflor use, etc.


    I think you're right about using Silflor to augment existing foam. :thumb: In your case specifically, I'd use it to highlight any specific scene you want to call attention to. Trying to use it to bring up the scenic level of the entire layout could get pretty expensive.

    In my case, I'd have a hard time using all of the sample packs just on the timesaver. It's not even 6 sq ft. and most of that area is track, water, rocks or stonework. And while the rocks and track will get a few tufts here and there, I don't plan on burying the line completely in the weeds. This is still a pretty active area and there is a section house right there!

    As for the hand laid track...well...it's useful. Not sure I'd want to lay it all by hand, but if I go with anything like the current plan I'm working on (perhaps I'll post it tonight) then I will need to do some hand laying at least in the town connecting to the timesaver. There will be a loop of 'high iron' for longer trains and it will probably be good quality flextrack weathered appropriately with deep balast, although most of the visible portion will be on a high viaduct over the river town, essentially hand-laid. Central Valley or ME bridge tie strips should help there.

  18. 91rioja

    91rioja Member


    The timesaver looks great! Very nice work indeed. I can now see where you come up with all of your creative ideas from.

    I got to thinking, and I'm thinking about a variation on the Gum Stump and Snowshoe myself. Something to be said about a small well scened layout. . . .
  19. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Indeed...I was just sitting here at my desk doodling while on a coffee break, wondering how I was going to include the existing dioramas I've got into the layout scheme. There was a nice article in MR a couple years back about a guy who modeled Southern Ry, I think, anyway, he constructed dioramas then built the layout around them, basically. For me, working on a small, well-detailed scene whether a diorama or on the Timesaver, has been a good 'scenic' outlet while I have been living in spaces not-conducive to larger layout construction.

    One of the guys in the modular club I belonged to in SoCal modified a GS&SS and incorporated it into a 10' (2-5'sections) module. There are two mains across the front, of course, but the switching portion ties into the third optional main (8" from the fascia) and includes a runaround track to aid in swithcing moves. I think Russ has described this layout well in another post somewhere.

    Okay...back to work! Thanks for the comments.

  20. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Latest Plans

    Here are the latest planning ideas. I abandoned the 'main line loop on a big bridge across the scene' idea for something similar. I realized I was trying to combine two disparate ideas into one layout. The generic loop to run my larger equipment just didn't jive somehow with the backwoods branchline. So I still have a loop to run the longer trains, but it's now part of the overall storyboard for the layout.

    AGGGHHH!!! It's not letting me atach the files! OK...not sure what to do here.


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