G.E.C's Northeast Corridor

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by green_elite_cab, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Hey guys!

    You haven't seen much of me, mostly because i've been doing alot of work for school and scouts.

    However, i've been toying with the idea of a new layout addition, and my parent's only requirement was to not take over the basement, which i think i can do, lol.

    Right now i'm working on an NEC plan. I won't be tearing down my current layout, but i will be moving it to a different spot, and the area where the layout is now and where it will be later is the area i intend to build my addition. I'll have to take pictures tommorow morning.

    right now, a big problem for me is trying to find a way to get a freight mainline to co exist on the new layout without being in a parrallel scene with the NEC stuff. At the same time, i'd also like continuous running ( although the train doesn't have to be visible at all times)

    I've settled on just making a huge radious 4 track oval, with city buildings, bridges, and trees dividing the different sides of the NEC layout, to the point where the other side can't be seen at all (where areas my current layout has gaps between buildings that destroy the one-sided effect).

    Originally, i was going to make a double track semi dog bone, but I would have had to hidden the turn arounds, leaving little mainlined in the space i had left, add reversing sections if i wanted to "change tracks", and i just did not like that.

    at the same time, its challenging to figure how i could get my freight goals in there. While the area between the old layout and the NEC area could probably host some industries (even the NEC has some industries that get switched), to have a seperate freight mainline is seeming very difficult. I also want to avoid using double decks, so i'd like to keep things close to the same level.

    I'll post pictures soon.
  2. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Sounds great! Looking forward to the visuals! :)
  3. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Sweet G.E.C.!!!!! Cant wait to see some new pics of the extention :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
  4. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Check it out guys! It may be alittle hard to see, but here is the basic rough plan. the NEC (northeast corridor) is the large 4 track oval. it is above "ground level". Meanwhile, most of the freight tracks are in a "cut", below table level. the small 4x8 oval represents my current layout.

    If we start by leaving the old layout with a cut of cars, you have a small interchange which is pretty much just a passing track. as you move forward, you pass under the corridor, where there is alot of track work. Straight ahead is the mainline. to the right is a passing track, and an automobile transfer facility, while to the left is acess to the NEC. continueing up the mainlin, you pass under the NEC, to "points west". the freight train emerges on the other "half" of the layout, going westbound, in a deep cut from under the NEC. there are some industries here (not entirely sure just yet). the train weaves through some curves, and pass under the NEC again, and head past an oil Refinery. the refinery has loading racks and a yard for the tank cars. the train then heads west past the autoracks.

    Meanwhile, on the NEC, an Amtrak train weaves between tracks to pass a local freight the delivers a few cars to some of the industries on the corridor. the big electrics approaches northern New Jersey, passing through Linden and Elizabeth. a NJ transit commuter train stops at a local station.


    Sometime i'll have to draw in buildings and things. Again though, i'm getting worried about space. I've learned that you can't just cram loads of track into a layout, without space for sufficient scenery. I want to make the scenery between "halves" (bisecting the layout from "top to bottom"). I need room for the stock buildings you find around the NEC, as well as room for more trees and things. Catenary is also a concern, since i need to make sure the NEC has enough clearance up to 12 feet from the outer tracks to place the caternary towers.

    the autorack yard might have to be removed, although i'd really like to run some kind of big freight. I'm also considering adding staging directly under the NEC. In all cases, continuous running is required (some days, i don't feel like "operating" the train. watching the steel wheels roll is just as much fun!).

    in the diagram on the right side, i noticed i put "duplicate" crossovers. they should be "opposites"

    the outer curves of the NEC are 36", while the mainline curves are 24".

    what do you guys think? any suggestions?
  5. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Well first of all, WOW! That's quite an undertaking. A Layout that size would at least, only wood, nuts and bolts, track, cork, with NO scenery will probably cost upwards of $1500.00, easily more. Just a thought.

    As for operation, it leaves me wanting for some more mainline run, as I dislike tail-chasing. However, given the size of the "racetrack" it seems like you could get some running in there, and with some superelevation on your curves, achieve top-speed on your acela trainset, HHP-8's and E60's as the zoom acroos your layout, it could prove very interesting.

    My question is: How many years do you think you can keep a basement layout like that?
    -How much will it cost (if you build it well)
    -Would you be committed to a layout this size?
    -Do you realistically consider that It could reach a state of completion?
    = I'm just saying this from expirence. I don't want you to spend $1000's of dollars for something that won't blossom into the incredible layout you depicted here. It's all about commitment if you want to go big like this? Can you handle it personally, finacially, or time-wise?
  6. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I don't expect it to get built all at once. patience i suppose is key. I might only build some parts of it at a time. I might have the interchange and refinery up sometime by this time next year. Its still possible i can't build this. this is a concept, although i will eventually build something very close to this.

    I'm not sure wood will cost me that much though. my 4x8 only cost me $52. thats still alot, but i think when i apply that to the whole area, its not so bad. wood is pretty cheap, and i know how to build the stuff, and i have all the tools and wood working equipment (atleast my dad's) i need to make this thing at home. I might also get help from my parents, since they need storage for things in the basement ( in fact, i think thats part of the deal. our basement is a mess, and there are boxes of books and things still there from when we moved into this larger house). If there is an attempt to store stuff, an layout going across the top wouldn't be a problem i don't think. So i recognize it will be expensive, but i can certainly do it, as far as benchwork goes, especially since i'll be building it slowly.

    the track though, that might cost me, but i actually do have alot of track already lying around. again, i might only build alittle at a time.

    Oh trust me, the layout was built long enough to avoid that. most passenger/commuter trains are 6/8 cars long. Since there is about 7 feet straight run on the NEC on each side, and the cars are only a foot long, so a regular train should fit in a station, and be well within one "half" of the layout. Longer trains like the Silver Star, Silver meteor, and others pulled by the likes of the E60MA and HHP8 maybe a bit long (13 feet), but it would still fit, and you wouldn't not be able to see both ends in a single "scene". Much like my current layout, you shouldn't be able to see the other side, period. I will be useing a veiw block except for the curves, but even those will have someway to help obscure whats around the corner.

    Similarly, the freight line will be hidden in the same manner from one side to the other. going under the NEC gives it the illusion that trains are leaving and entering the layout, which i think is cool. I don't need to much in the way of operations as far as freight goes. I already have that on my current layout.

    The ultimate goal is to have some 4 track NEC with nice broad curves.

    -While i don't think that this basement is going to change ownerships soon, it is true that by this time next year, i might be heading off to college, and i might not be able to be around to work on my layout so much. I'm mor concernd if i have to move that thing. that might be a problem, but will just have to build it to be taken apart (although i might build my layout over the joints anyway, since its not likely to move anytime soon).

    -No clue how much it costs. I know it will be alot. however, i plan to avoid dropping any kind of massive bills down on the layout at one time. I'll just buy alittle at a time, and build it in phases. As far as track work is concerned, the atlas program says that it will cost just about $500. it might be less, because included some track i already have into the plan. I might buy a particular section's worth of track at a time, and so i won't be plopping down $500 at once. additionaly, some tracks are just there as concepts and fillers. just about every stub end siding except for the oil refinery is likely to be modified or removed entirely. the only buildings i will definitely include is the refinery, and George Roberts Printing. I do have the autorack loading ramps and facilities, but i still might not use the autoracks, since they are very big and hard to move around.

    -I definitely would be committed. Since i've started Model railroading, i've wanted to do the NEC. I compromised and tried to do the North Jersey Coastline, which is alright, but it just doesn't delive the expierience i'd like. I don't mind taking my time, and even if i have a barren 4 track table, i'll be happy. Maybe you are right, and i can tray to scale down, but i suppose the NEC is just a difficult prototype. I could just have a static section, but that would be boring. Other plans i've tried just end up wasting track space, and leave me with only a little "corridor". I tried a double track semi dog bone, but in the end, i'd have to cover the turn around loops, wasting space, then i'd have to find a good way scenery wise to hide the splitting of the mainline. in the end, i might only get 4 or 5 feet of NEC mainline that you can see the trains. I suppose i could build more freight over the hidden areas, but still.

    at the same time, i don't want to have to stop and reverse trains. they might do that in real life, but somedays like to day i like to kick back and watch them run.

    -it might not. I think though, that if i am able to build it, i will eventually get something up resembling the corridor. everything in this early plan is likely to change.

    = lol, since 2003, i've accumulated thousands worth of stuff already, and i didn't even have a job until last summer. Realistically in the future, i won't have so much despensible income, but i think that if i just save alittle and do a little as i go along, i can start getting atleast the track and wood so that if i have to build elsewhere, i'll have the materials. Considering all the modeling stuff i already have, i figure i'm committed for life, lol.

    something like the corridor will end up being built.
  7. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    sign1sign1sign1Now that's funny! I hope your willpower is better than mine! It seems I can't go anywhere near a hobby shop without leaving several hundred poorer each time. Sheesh, anymore, one engine = one massive bill.... never mind double heading and then converting all to DCC w/ sound.
  8. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    yeah, i know! I think i've got just about all the locomotives i need though. the only one i'm looking into is a trackmobile that has DCC in NJ transit, or maybe just un marked. It seems pretty cool, while still being tiny and useful. other than that, i think my locomotive buying sprees are over, lol.

    I already have to much equipment for my current layout.
  9. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Thanks for taking the time to address my concerns, as I just went through all the building of benchwoork to track, and I know that my 9X12 layout has more than $1100.00 into it, and that isn't anything other than modules with track on it! lol sign1

    It kinda scared me when I stepped back and realized how much money it too to make some tables and track to run it on..

    College WILL eat into your modeling time, but if you stay at home, and commute to school, you'll have time to enjoy it. Heck I'm taking a year off as I write this to grow my model building business, and to play with my trains! (Now THERE's understanding parents!) :D

    Anyway, I agree with your corridor idea, it does give you what you need! now I cannot wait to see it! :)
  10. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    thank you for asking them. It allowed me to put more thought into this. I might be commuting for the first few years before i find a place i'd like to go. I really don't know where i'm going yet though, so its a problem.

    I certainly know where you are coming from. one day a few months back i went and added together the worth of just a few of my locomotives. no good! to much money spent! Its surpising when you realize you have over a thousand in train stuff.

    I'll have to see how much the wood will cost though. I know that the 4x8 boards and things aren't so bad to buy I suppose its gonna be all the later supports and things that will be tough.
  11. platypus1217

    platypus1217 Member

    Wow, looks exciting. I wish I had the space to model a 4 track NEC. *Sigh* maybe some day.

    Have you thought about access points for your layout? It is a long stretch from the outside of the NEC tracks to the inside of the auto yard.
  12. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I'm still young, lol. I might make some access to it.
  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I'm not familier with the Northaeast Corridor, but I'm wondering. Having to reach over the NEC to work the freight tracks may pose a problem. Also I think the protoype would have put in multiple tracks to get the freight trains out of the way of the passenger traffic, but as I said I don't know much about the NEC. I think it would work better to design a layout that integrates your current layout into the larger NEC. You could continue to run your current layout, and build the new addition. Then when the track is laid in the new addition, rip up what is not going to be used in the current layout and add in the necessary connections. Also since you still live with your parents, plan the layout to come apart in sections small enough to be moved when you get a house of your own. Even if you don't end up using the layout at your own home, but build a new one, you should still think in terms of how easy it is to get it out of your parents house when you move out.
  14. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    On the NEC atleast, its almost all passenger traffic, with only a few freight customers. even then, only short trains move quickoy up and down to their delivery points, and usually there is a 5th track for the freight train to sit while the commuter and intercity trains use the mainline, so freight is pretty much off the NEC, except for a little.

    Also, i wanted a second major freight line, because the NEC is electrified, and the catenary isn't high enough to accomadate tall rollingstock.

    I really wish there was a better way to model the NEC. I'm starting to wonder if its still size prohibitive to make such a layout just yet.
  15. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    It probably is size prohibitive. I think that one of the challenges of the NEC is that you have a lot of big cities. It can take a lot of layout space to model big cities effectively, and it probably isn't practical to model more than one city. If you don't have the space to model the NEC effectively, you might model a section of one of the cities served by the NEC. Put a double ended hidden staging yard underneath the layout from where the passenger trains would come and go. Then model your industrial section of the city somewhat separate from the NEC so that you would have an area to switch industries in that is actually totally independent of the NEC.
  16. Metrocityrr

    Metrocityrr New Member

    i dont mean to sound like im trashing you idea honeslty it sounds great but as a fellow ho scale modeler I think you should make it based on the northeast corridor but have more of a futuristic feel to it i mean we are in the 2010's now if you're planning to put skyscrapers make them like how you would think they would be and renovated or newer train stations along the line and etc
  17. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Well, considering you responding to a three year old thread, i do think this is a little outdated. For one thing, I'll say it first, the plan in this thread sucks. It does, but thats because i was trying to squeeze it into a space that was unrealistic. there is no way an NEC layout will be able to fit down there for the time being (though i may model a segment passing over an addition).

    But I'll bite. I've actually decided to STAY in the late 70s, around 1978/79. This is because it "looks" better.

    What do i mean by that?

    Basically, all the recent commuter equipment, like NJ transit multilevels and Comet Vs, are expensive kits. While i do like the Multilevels sold by IMW, some of the other Comets would require me to do all sorts of modification work that would blow several fuses in my brain.

    At the same time, The early conrail period has such a variety of paint jobs and patches that there is always something interesting and unique to model.

    i've even managed to aquire E44 electrics, as well as many MU car models. All the EMUs i received are meant to model the "As delivered" configurations (for example, my fleet of Arrow III EMUs do not and could not easily be made to represent today's version).

    It also makes things easier.

    Instead of needing a second "freight mainline", if i model the Early conrail period, freight STAYS on the corridor, and besides, there are "side" tracks that allow locals to switch freights without holding up fast passenger trains.

    I even have an ever growing fleet of E60s, Metroliners (all to be repowered with Stanton drives, similar to one i've installed in an old IHP Silverliner III).

    I also have a multitude of books and manuals from that time period the detail exactly how and what i would need to model the area accurately.

    Some of my Awesome NEC stuff that I've been collecting-

    My triplet of E44A electrics. Technically, 4465 is still an E44, the A stands for a more powerful motor installed in the rebuilt units. This picture was taken on Andy Rubbo's Lane Tower module.


    Need more GG1s!


    Got a good pair of E33s as well, one of which i rebuilt to match its real conrail configuration (working on the other one).


    One of my E60CHs under construction. this is an old American GK/Walthers kit


    My MU car fleet- 8 metroliner MUs (most to be repainted) 15 Arrow III MUs (7 Married pairs and a single, though half of them aren't there), a Silverliner IV, two Silverliner IIs, and two Silverliner IIIs. ALso got some PATCO cars, but they don't count.


    Close up on the Silverliner IV. Yes, its Reading, but why not?


    Silverliner IIIs i'm rehabilitating- will be 225 and 236



    Almost forgot some MP54s i'm working on rehabbing.


    I've been building catenary as well!

  18. S class

    S class Member

    wow you've made some nice progress keep us updated

    (you're not updating on another forum are you? as I think I have seen that table top fleet shot somewhere)

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