Hello, long time viewer, first time poster

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by SD70BNSF, Aug 13, 2003.

  1. SD70BNSF

    SD70BNSF Member


    I thought I would introduce myself having finally registered yesterday. I have been reading through the forums for a couple of months now and finally decided to join the regular ranks. I thought I would tell you all a little about myself, and what my plans are.

    I'm 34 years old and and work for a electric utility as a turbine engineer. My wife and I have 2 darling little girls who bring us much joy, a little frustration at times, and dirty diapers (though our oldest has just learned to the use the potty every day now for the last week!). I had a 4 x 8 oval HO gauge train set with a single spur when I was 12 years old. My father's friend had a much larger cookie cutter layout which really sparked my interest in the hobby. I quickly discovered that I could get more done in N scale, but alas, never built a layout.

    My plans are to build a medium-large N scale layout in my basement, I've even received the OK from my wife for the space. I want to build a 2 deck affair where a mix of operations and scenery can be modeled. I plan to build a present day freelanced layout based on the BNSF SD70MACs that bring 130 car coal hoppers to our power plant almost every other day.

    I can tell I've been blabbering way too much (engineers love detail), but after seeing how great all the folks here are, I'm sure I'll find place to fit in.

  2. Clerk

    Clerk Active Member

    Hi Chris. A big welcome to the Gauge. You and your wife must really have your hands full with the two little girls.

    There are several modelers on the Gauge who have double deck layouts and they would be glad to offer any advise and help you need.

    Myself, I have a medium size N gauge that I am building. Just finished laying the last of the track yesterday. (A spur track). Now comes the landscaping and ballast.

    UP_STEVE Member

    welcome chris :)
    im sure you can get all the help or information you will need on a double deck layout here, as well as alot of other subjects :D
    have fun!
  4. Catt

    Catt Guest

    Hi Chris,welcome to the Gauge.Your among friends allready :D
  5. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Welcome aboard, Chris!
    This is a great place to find help if you need it, help out others if they need it, talk about what you're up to, post pictures, or just hang out & shoot the breeze!:)
  6. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Hi Chris, pull up a chair, have a seat and make yourself at home! :)
  7. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    A BIG welcome Chris. Sounds like your railroad is well on the way.
    Will lookfoward to hearing about your progress.
    Sounds like you have a great family and who knows, those daughters of yours may become real train fans
  8. garyn

    garyn Member


    A word of advice as you plan your layout. As with prototype, keep your mainline grade as SMALL as possible. Most especially since you want to run LONG trains. Someone told me that each % of grade will reduce your pulling capacity by 50% of what you could pull on a flat.

    I have a 4% grade on my layout, and that grade has severly limited my operations. And 4% was as low as I could get it. And based on my results, that 50% reduction in pull per % of grade is about right.

    Also use LARGE radius curves for the same reason, less resistance.

    <edit begin>
    My LL 2-8-8-2 could only pull 5 cars up the 4% grade. Others have said it will pull 30 cars on a flat. So maybe the formula for grade/loss of pull is more aggressive in the loss of pull, but I can't test the formula. I don't have a flat tangent (straight) long enough for 30 cars, so I can't verify the flat track pull. I might play around and see w my smaller engines what the loss factor is.

    Although you can always do as prototype and add more engines; front, mid-train, and end.
    <edit end>

    Good Luck and Njoy
  9. jmarksbery

    jmarksbery Active Member


    Welcome home Chris, great bunch of people here, plenty of help or whatever you may need. (just be careful of jon-monon) he-he ;)
  10. gary,
    what you need is MORE LOCO's :D im kinda loco crazy:rolleyes: :D

    hi chris im chris and welcom to the gauge
  11. garyn

    garyn Member


    I already have too many engines...NOT (grin)

    Well right now, I only have a 4x8 and anything more than an AB or AA set of F units just looks too much.

    I'm dreaming about the next layout I want to make, either under the house or in the attic. Then I can have my LONG mainline w flat or shallow grade (1%) and large radius curves for passenger trains.

  12. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Welcome aboard! Glad you could join us. I'm an HO modeler myself but have always envied N scalers for what they can do with space. Long runs with long trains. Sounds great! I'm trying to increase my hopper roster as well but am nowhere near 130! Looking forward to hearing about it as the layout takes shape!
  13. SD70BNSF

    SD70BNSF Member


    Thanks for all the warm welcomes. I am looking forward to building my empire. At the moment I'm in the throws of track and room planning. I have an L shaped area that I need to erect two walls to turn it into a "train room". The two long sides are 20' and 17'. I'm trying to figure out where to put the door, how I want the benchwork laid out, etc, etc. It's fun but a little daunting. I come up with a plan, then scratch it out. Going through lots of graph paper at the moment.

    As for the 130 car trains that arrive at my plant, I calculated that a 25 car N scale unit train would be about 10 feet long on the model. Besides that's about $400 bucks worth of rolling stock in coal hoppers alone. (I want LBF to make an N Scale Auto-Flood II with UCEX road numbers on them!), so I don't think I'll even try that long of a train. Besides, I don't think I can get 3 N Scale SD70MACs to push/pull that many!
  14. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Don't sweat it Chris...
    Effective modeling (IMHO) is a game of compromises...it's more to do with creating an illusion, or facsimile of something than it is building an exact duplicate. Like you said, in the 1:1 world, a 130-car coal train is pretty impressive. But in the 1:160 world, a 25-car unit train, on a moderately sized layout, can look pretty impressive too...(& MUCH easier to deal with logisticaly!:rolleyes: :D )
    N scale itself was a compromise for me, & it's led me down a path that I've really been enjoying now for the last couple of years!:cool:
    This is a great thing about the hobby...you never know where the next idea is going to come from, or where it will end up taking you!
  15. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Naw, I still want to see a 130 car train! Just kidding. Thank goodness for selective compression! I imagine a 25 car train will do a great job conveying big time railroading. 15-20 car trains look long on my layout.
    Best wishes on train room construction, et al.!
  16. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    Another Chris, glad to meet ya;)
    Lot`s of GREAT N Gaugers here, Have FUN.;)
  17. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    Welcome aboard cris,I have an idea what your going through. I spent 3 years tearing up graph paper(but hey ,i recycle :) )
    If this is your first Model RR in awhile,can i make a suggestion.As you are planning your empire,work on a module that you can fit in to the eventual empire.Really, it will give you an opportunity to try differant techniques and learn a little.It will also give you a place to run trains when you feel the need because a big layout takes a long time to build.Give it some thought,better to make a mistake on a small module than on an empire.It also makes you feel like you accomplished something because believe me after a couple years with benchwork and only half your track in, your gonna feel the need to see something accomplished :D
  18. SD70BNSF

    SD70BNSF Member

    Step by step

    You can't have too many Chris' around I say....

    I like the idea of doing a smaller "test" bench. My thought was to get involved with the Mississippi Valley N Scalers and do a N-Trak module for the club. That would give me some experience building and a chance to have a project finished much earlier. I just wonder if I would get to use the module as part of the larger setup very often.

    Right now I am concentrating on the end loop of the home layout. I have a preliminary design (on paper and pencil) for a coal plant unloading loop. I want enough space to model the plant and the conveyor system that gets the coal inside. (using selective compression). I actually got a quick tour of our unloading pit and conveyors at the plant late last week. I am also wrestling with much aisle space to give. I am using 3 feet minimum at the moment.

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