G.E.C's layout pictures

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by green_elite_cab, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Personally I think American Hardware has more architectural detail, and thus is alot more interesting to look at on your layout. Perhaps turn GEO. Roberts into a huge building flat? What happened to that layout extension? Save it for that.
  2. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    yeah, i hate flats, lol. That extension is going to be trouble, since i can't find a good way to get my oil refineriery and other freight switching goals into the first part of it. I also wanted to atleast begine to have some sort of heavy freight mainline involved somewhere, so that all my big Conrail diesels would have rails worthy of them.
  3. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    I like the Geo. Roberts :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
  4. sgtcarl

    sgtcarl Member

    Great lookin' layout! but, uh, for some reason. this last page, I couldn't get the pictures to show. Just that darn red x that means someone in florida is voting! Just kidding!
  5. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    A 4X8 is a terrible waster of 8X12 feet of your room, why not embark on a completely new, larger layout?

    I went from a 4X8 to a 9X12 modular, around the walls layout (not that it needs to be) in the exact same space as my 4X8 and gained alot of track and lost all those sharp curves and roundy-round operation. I also gained a HUGE amount of industry, roughly 4X more with still room for more.
  6. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Miles makes a good point. 4x8 is a good starter layout. Your not a beginer in the hobby anymore G.E.C. :mrgreen:
  7. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I've decided to keep the American Hardware supply where it is, because it works well as a view block, while the george roberts is to small to work effectively.

    I'd like to, but there are a couple things holding me back

    1. My layout is not entirely finished. Even though i have moved up in skill, i don't feel good abandoning my layout without it being finished the way I saw it. Then again, i could just expand from it, so this might not be an issue.
    2. I don't have nearly as much space as i'd like. The layout can only afford to stick another foot or so from that wall, beacuse it is a major pathway in my house to get to our freezer. If i had to make it wider, i'd have to move my shelves to. The wall along those shelves have the fuses and some piping, so i can't expand to far out or it will get in the way if maintenance needs to be done. The rest of the basement is fairly open (save for an iron pole holding the house up), but i'm not sure how much space my parents will give me.
    3. I don't really know what i'd build. I want to build a Northeast Corridor layout, so that i can run my electric and commuter locomotives, but the only large freight trains were pulled by the heavy electrics on conrail up to 1981 when they stopped electric freight. Even though I'd like to model GG1, E33s and E44s pulling some large freight, most of my Amtrak/NJ transit models are later in the time line, and there have also been major changes in trackage and overhead wiring since 1981 that could cause some continuity issues i don't want to live with. Current freight on the NEC is pretty small in the regions i want to model, so i don't get to do any large freights, and certainly no double stacks under the wire. the biggest train i've seen had an SD40-2 on it, and a couple cars. They do often run cabooses though, so NEC switching is something i'd like to include if there is space.

      Its also difficult to find a way to incorporate a line that would be running big Conrail C40-8Ws and SD60Is (did you see that ad with the conrail SD60I? Beautiful) with double stacks into a layout that has the NEC on it, because those tracks generally are not parallel. Its hard to get them to work together. They also cut out a big chunk of the rest of my amtrak and NJ transit models (the bulk of my roster) if I wanted to take the Heavy Freight route.
    I'd love suggestions on ideas though. There are only a few things i think i really need on the layout, listed in priority. Even if you don't know, it is helping put my thoughts in writing.

    • Inclusion of most of my equipment: I pay way to much for these things to let them sit there and look pretty. North Jersey was my focus, and so most stuff would revolve around there.
    • Continuous running: Even though the prototype is all for going back and forth (whether it is push pull commuter trains, or a branchline), there are times i just want to run trains. Nothing would annoy me more than to have to stop the acela express or the Silver Crescent to reverse at the end of the line. It wouldn't bother me so much on a little freight spur, but the main line needs to be able to run continuously.
    • Electric locomotive operations: All but one of my amtrak locomotives have Pantographs, and soon the majority of my NJ transit fleet will be electric to (I'm going to invest in some Arrow III EMUs) Even a growing portion of my freight locomotives are electrics. The NEC is the best canidate to include all of them, even some of my freight diesels.
    • An oil refinery: This has been one of my big goals that i just could not include in my 4x8. I have most of the structures i need though, i just need the space. I intend to make it the "stand out" industy, with a 16 car capacity, and maybe a yard for cars to be stored like the prototype.
    • A heavy Freight line: I have a growing collection of large Freight locomotives from Conrail, CSX, NS, and the western roads. I also have the desire to run doubl stacks and autoracks (although they just have to "appear" long.
  8. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    So you're in a situation where you can't follow the axiom that you can double your space by replaing the 4x8 with an operating pit and the aisle around it with layout. Some of your aisle space is only usable as an aisle.
  9. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    I can sympathize with you, GEC. My garage has all the makings of a great layout room, just not a very good 'around-the-walls' layout. Maybe around some of the wall for a few feet here or there, but not all.

    I solved my freezer problem by relocating it. And actually now it's in a much more convenient space. Somewhere I read the advice to put your workbench (not necessarily model train related) against the back wall of the garage, or one that is shared with the house since that's going to be a bit warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Those two ideas got me thinking about a rearranged furniture scheme for the garage that paid off big in kicking my butt back into gear for cleaning and organizing out there.

    All these well intentioned planners are right that around the walls will increase your real estate for running trains, allow broader curves (and trains look better from inside the curve, especially long passenger cars) etc. But, like in my situation, they need more info to go on before the suggestion can be tailored for the specific needs of the room.

    I have about 10 feet along one wall before I run into an electrical panel & cable wiring box, then another 6-8 feet beyond that before I hit the side door to the outside, and heading around the corner there's plenty of wall before hitting the door to the house, and after that's the AC and water heater, plus that side of the garage is the best place for the car, etc. etc.

    SO my switching layout occupies one segment of wall and a 4x6 'layout' (read: test loop for the time being) sits in the 'stall' on that side with some room for the kiddo's ride-on outoor toys. My modeling desk is at the head of that stall with the workbench next to it...Oh and I forgot to mention the need to keep an aisle free for the garage pull-down stairs?

    Despite all the difficulties, I did come up with several great plans to utilize some of the wall space, all variations on U or J or L or even G shaped plans. But these required a larger committment in time, money and energy than I was/am ready to make. Since I've settled on my switching layout & 4x6 plus working on a pile of unbuilt kits, I've been quite happier as a modeler although I occasionally get the itch for a big layout with broad curves...all those passenger cars boxed up calling to me to set them free...

    I'd say count your blessings and make a long pros and cons list. Then if you're really serious about trying a bigger layout make the most detailed drawing of your space (pole, freezer, etc. included) with traffic flow, lighting, power outlets, etc. included. Lumber is cheap compared to brass (or BLI) and the payoff in operating satisfaction may be worth it. The decision is up to you so make an informed and well-thought out one.
  10. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    yep, here is a proportioned but crude map of my available space. clear areas are safe to build, the "yellow zone" i can allow the layout to rech in provided the area is still "open". red lines signify areas where people need to be able to walk or access.

    the bottom right is an odd area, beause depending on how i build the addition, i can make a moveable bridge so that people can walk an alternate way from left to right across this section of basement.

    My basement is much bigger, but this is the only region my trains can be built in.

  11. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Shoot, i forgot to add the power outlets and lighting. Most of that has to be built in anyway, so that can go wherever. There are outlets along the bottom wall near the couch, and thats where i'm currently plugged into via extension chord.

    there are small ceiling lights, but they are nothing fancy i have intended for ages to get real lighting for my layout, so that can be built to match any plans you draw up to.
  12. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    What are the availble measurements for that space you have there, the drawing is worthless without them.
  13. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Here's a painfully basic sketch of an Idea I had for your layout. Big sweeping 30" curves, and plenty of industry.
  14. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    How are your carpentry skills? If they're like mine (novice at best) do you know anyone who'll help? Integrated lighting in a shadowbox/diorama setup could be really great in your setting.

    I wouldn't call the drawing worthless, but yes, measurements would be helpful. I understand 'Paint' can be tricky with numbers and such.
  15. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Very nice, MilesWestern. I was thinking a center operating pit as well. One design element that stuck in my head was the flyover crossing, or flying crossover. Fits the urban setting with big concrete or stone retaining walls as it rises and falls, and could allow twice around running along with a nice vertical element to divide a scene.

    Hmmm...sketch sketch sketch...
  16. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Yeah, I'll have to get out some grid paper or something. I didn't have any real good way to put down the measurements. I had drawn it in MS paint to S scale, but when i posted it, it was to small. Apperently we have no basement schematics.

    That layout looks pretty good. It could definitely be worked to fit the odd industrial tracks that run along New Jersey's coast across from Manhattan. My GPs and U-boats would fit well there. The lone station is probably the only off thing. the commuter rails in this area are dense, they are almost always double track mainline. That would be a good spot for one of those Nu-line warehouses.

    I proably should have listed Commuter operation on my list, since that is a good portion of my roster.

    I'll definitely be considering the "doughnut" style layout. I originally didn't like the idea of a central pit, but we'll see how it goes.

  17. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I'm alright at carpentry, but my dad is a master, lol. He builds furniture and things from scratch with wood all the time. its his hobby, and so on the far opposite side of the basment, we have all the tools for wood working. I'm lucky to have a tool for every concievable benchwork need, and someone who knows how to use them. My grandpa is also good at it, and he helped me build the layout.

    Lighting is something i want to go all out with in any new layout. What exactly is integrated lighting/shadow boxes?

    I might. After it failed to stay to scale as i had originally drawn it, you can't even translate any of it to S-scale, so now its just loosely shows the space i have. Its still proportional though.

    Interesting idea. It would allow me to build up a background, something my current layout really lacks. the basement walls don't stand in for sky that much, and I can't keep taking blue bed sheets.

    I'm curious to see how this comes out.
  18. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Yeah! A flying crossover would indeed be awesome, something like this (just add catenary!)

    3&4 are the mainlines that cross over the mainline at 1&2, with 5 being an industrial spur and 6 being another spur. Earthen fill embankment, with concrete retaining wall and a double track plate girder bridge! :thumb:

  19. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    that drawing made sense to my eyes, lol. the Double track would definitely look good for the New Jersey Transit stuff. It looks like shooving in that amtrak realistically is going to be a problem again though. Amtrak pretty much only runs on the Northeast Corridor in these parts (which is all 4 track mainline until you go past New Haven). Its all good though. I can just imagine my U23B folling down the lower tracks with some NJ transit Arrow III EMU cars sailing across that bridge to a station or something.
  20. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    I've got some planning books with real spaghetti bowls of track, designed around commuter operation. I never could understand why a little plastic person would take a train to go somewhere only a few flights of stairs or a brisk walk away, if you know what I mean. But it really does make for interesting trackwork to see trains crossing over tracks and under bridges, etc. And these plans are designed as point-to-point with intermediate station stops and a long, twisty mainline in between. I'll have to dig around a bit and see what ideas get sparked.:eek:train97

    As for lighting, well, there was a neat set of articles in Railroad Model Craftsman about constructing sections of railroad to be light and portable (but not necessarily like modules getting moved all the time, just built with the option that should it become necessary to move, you could). They were basically boxes with one side cut out and no top. Iain Rice is a big proponant of this idea.

    There's also what the midwestern modular group does with each module having sections of pipe that rise up in the back and bend out over each section with a light on the end shining down on the track/scene. These are painted black and really look sharp. Modular layouts can't always depend on the setup location's lighting so incorporating that into the module makes sense for consistant light. Makes coloring consistant and dependable too. WYSIWYG.

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