Here are my ideas, help please

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by 3duvalls, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    The area you mention, the "area blocked off by stairs to the lower level", is that just walls or do you actually access the stairs in the layout room? What I am asking is, can the layout actually be built up against the right hand side of the room like the alternate plan above?
  2. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    If you're using Xtrcad, why do you need the dimensions? Just curious - unless you're trying to add a turnout that's not in the parameter library?

    If you really need to know, just drop a turnout anywhere on the layout, zoom in on it, and use the measure tool (looks like a ruler, right next to the layer drop-window in the toolbar) to measure the dimensions you want.

    You could also probably get the dimensions from the parameter files, but you'd have to figure out how they're coded to relate which number to which dimension.
  3. 3duvalls

    3duvalls New Member

    Hi all,

    Per Gary S.' question,,, The stairway does not lead into the train room. Actually it is open though. There is a wall about four feet high around this section. So, I can actually lay the tain around this wall with no issues. Thanks for your help on this.

    Per Squidbait's question,,, I thought it sould be that easy too but apparently I am missing this library. I installed the demo of XtrkCad and I downloaded it. I tried to register it but couldn't figure out how since the place I got it said it was not being supported currently. But, I have done the demos and it looks quite powerful. Just can't find any switches listed in the library. When I try to add one, it tells me that none are defined. So, I threw some numbers into a few swicthes and started using them even though they are not correct I am sure. Please help me with the library for the switches. I appreciate any help you can give.

    Thanks again...
  4. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    OK, first you want to go to File > Parameter Files > Browse and then select some of the track parameter files. Atl is Atlas, and load the NMRA file for standard, numbered turnouts.

    To register, follow these instructions:

    Just for reference, where did you download it from? It should be version 3.1.4. I haven't tried it, but apparently there's some problems with the open source version 4.something.

    Best place to get it and get support is the Yahoo! Group:
  5. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Here's another thought on increasing the "mainline length" of your layout. I like it, because I am partial to around the room layouts. This is assuming that the crawlway door is cut down to a smaller vertical height.

    Attached Files:

  6. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Here's another thought. Me, I like this one the best. It could be used as a point to point for operations, and the removable bridge could be used for continuous loop running.

    Attached Files:

  7. 3duvalls

    3duvalls New Member

    Hey to all,,,

    I haven't had much time to work on this over the weekend but here goes with what I know.

    My XtrkCad is 4.0.b4 which I believe must be a beta. So, I plan to look for the version you recommended and uninstall this one I have. Thanks for the heads up on the buggy version. This probably explains why the libraries don't work correctly.

    The wife approved the draft of the full room layout. Cool! Is the bridge much of a problem to put across the door so it can be removed? Man this is gonna be a blast. Thanks for the cool idea...

    Back to the drawing board.
  8. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Removable bridges are loved by some and hated by others. I have one across a three foot door, which gained me another 20 linear feet of wall space, so it was definitely worth it.

    There are a number of different ways to build them. Some engineering will definitely be in order, but to me, that is half the fun of model railroading! I took a very simple approach, and have a truss and girder bridge supported internally by a steel channel. The area across the door isn't scenicked or anything, just the bridge going across.

    Now, just so you know, my layout is nowhere near complete, but I have used the bridge with some of my preliminary track plans that I laid out on my foam, and it worked great.

    There is a thread here on the Gauge showing the bridge, I'll see if I can post a link. Also, others may have suggestions on how to build the bridge, and may have way better ideas than mine.
  9. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

  10. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Also, have you given any thought to how your benchwork will be constructed? Are you going conventional, or will you use shelf brackets on the walls?
  11. 3duvalls

    3duvalls New Member

    I tried the link and couldn't get it to open. Not sure what I did wrong. I am thinking it will be best to use the conventional framework. That is kinda what I have in mind. What are your thoughts? Thanks...
  12. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    I thought that link looked strange. Try this one:

    As for the benchwork, do a search here on the gauge: Search for "shelf brackets" and/or "benchwork", any thing along those terms. You'll find some threads with good discussion and you will see some good ideas and options.

    Building the layout as shelves is what I did, and I like having the open area under the layout. Others prefer conventional benchwork. There are alot of options: blue foam, open grid, plywood, etc. Make sure you look at the options, consider the advantages and disadvantages of each before you make a decision.

    If you decided to go with shelf brackets, there may be a concern for the "partial wall" on the right side of the diagram. I am assuming that wall at the stairs is only a "half-height" wall = not suported at the top. Is it very sturdy and unmoving? Maybe conventional would be better on that side.
  13. 3duvalls

    3duvalls New Member

    Gary, Your bridge is remarkable. The metal under it is not even noticeable at all. Looks real to me. I can;t wait to get my hands on this project. You did a fine job on that bridge. How do you move it in and out of your layout? Just curious.

    Also, The half wall may become a "ledge" that I simply build on so the strength may not be an issue. It may be a good height to set the whole thing on. I will have to check. My wife had suggested making it visible on the half wall. What a great wife I have. She is kinda excited to help on this I believe. She is a great artist and teaches art at a local public school.

    I'll follow up on the bracket idea. I haven't thought much on them though beacuse I had not seen them used. I will definitely look at this option.

    Learning more all the time. Thanks again...
  14. 3duvalls

    3duvalls New Member

    Okay, Here are some photos to help describe the half wall stairway area plus some other pics my son wanted me to share. Hope this makes sense. The pic of that area is made from the center of the train room facing that half wall stairway area. The height of the half wall is 32". The other dimensions are labeled on the pic.

    He added a large pic of a map from an IC depot from 1951 we have hanging on the wall of the train room. He also added a shot of his locos. Very proud of our project. Sorry for the poor quality pics.

    Attached Files:

  15. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    any progress on the layout?
  16. 3duvalls

    3duvalls New Member

    Sorta,,, Been so darn busy this week. We have a start but had to put it down for a few days to get caught up on some other stuff. Hoping to put up some new ideas tomorrow or Friday on The Gauge...
  17. 3duvalls

    3duvalls New Member

    have started, what a hoot

    Sorry for the delay in my postings. Lots happening to keep me busy but we have started construction. I am having a ball with this. It is a great father and son project. Everbody needs to do a project like this with their kids.

    Well, We are using shelf brackets to hang the model on the wall. And, to widen it out, it will hang on the brackets and have front leg supports as needed of course with lots of braces. We are running the main line all the way around the room and have a temporary mock up of this. The shelving is in place with a 1/2" foam bed on it. I have ordered balsa wood to build a large trestle across one area about 40" long. In another area, the doorway bridge is in progress but it is functional. I used a piece of steel stock to lay the track on and put guides at each end to slip it down in. I have to work on its structure for appearance.

    In the meantime, I am working on several other aspects of the model. I am looking into casting my buildings using homemade molds. Not sure if I can do it but my wife is an artist / art teacher and can do it if I can't...:thumb: I am also gathering as much information on 1950s ICRR locos and rolling stock that I can plus photos. I plan to use these to put together my trains. A very cool reference sight I have found is: . I have learned so much about locos using this. On the side, I am working on my current rolling stock and getting it running as smooth as possible. Man, wheels and hitches are expensive.

    I will try to post some pics next week of our progress.

    Thanks to all for your help...:wave:

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