Intoduction and First layout

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Amrap1, Nov 24, 2006.

  1. Amrap1

    Amrap1 Member

    Looking east on the right leg. The houses will be changed to a cull-de-sac...smaller yards?
    The MAIN roads will be most likeky between the tracks. In front and back of the city linking it to the houses.


    Attached Files:

  2. Amrap1

    Amrap1 Member

    Maybe they would go better here......

    Attached Files:

  3. Amrap1

    Amrap1 Member

    What's up people?

    Doesn't anyone have any comments, suggestions or questions?

    ('s Parma, Ohio spelled backwards)
  4. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    How did you cut that white foam at the correct angle for the upward slope on the back end?
  5. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Looking much more advanced than mine.

  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    This is a good idea, unless you're set on having a stream or river feature. Either way, I'd add a partial view block between the two tracks, so that the view of the high bridge is somewhat obstructed: a little "mystery" to help disguise the "edge of the world". Just put a jog in the road or stream, then add a small structure or a grove of trees. Obviously, for a stream you'll need to cut out part of the base layer of foam.
    I think your town looks good, but I'm wondering if you've got much industry planned to give the railroad something to do. (Btw, who makes the houses? This is an aspect that's lacking on many layouts, as space is usually at a premium. I have a couple of small areas planned for houses, but most of the structures so far are railroad-related.)
    Did you ever solve your problem of finding something to hold the tracks in place? I still think that the Atlas track spikes are your best bet: they're made for the job, and are pre-blackened, so they're not very noticeable once installed. You can also remove them after you've glued down ballast, as it should hold the track in place.
    I also have some reservations about the method of joining flextrack: on a curve, a railjoiner will better align the ends of the rails. It doesn't take much of a rough spot to derail an HO train.:rolleyes: I do like the idea of soldering the jumper wires for good electrical contact. For making curves with flextrack, I use railjoiners, soldering them to the rail and joining enough pieces of track together to make the curve before laying the track. This way, the rails become one continuous piece through the curve, with no ends jutting into the gauge from the inside rail. All of the track on my layout is soldered together at the rail joiners, with electrical gaps cut later, as required. I notice in many of the photos, you've used sectional track: it's also a good idea to solder the rails together where they join, as these areas may cause electrical problems over time. Some modellers prefer to add separate feeder wires to each section of track, instead. Either method will work.

  7. Amrap1

    Amrap1 Member

    Woodland pre-cut risers. Most hobby stores that sell trains carry Woodland products.

  8. Amrap1

    Amrap1 Member

    I was thinking about a stream/river flowing to the edge. I may have to raise the areas on each side as well as the inside track.
    I could have it dump into a lake with a dam at the inside edge.
  9. Amrap1

    Amrap1 Member

    Yes. I found bigger flat head needles to temporaly hold the track down. The outside run works fine.

  10. abutt

    abutt Member

    Hi Ed...

    Wondeful start. A smooth running design. I wonder if you've given any thought to what your railroad is doing and where it's going. This is an important part of the hobby and one that helps to keep the interest up in your railroad.

    Keep up the good work.
  11. hooknlad

    hooknlad Member

    Welcome Aboard Ed, Its always great to see new people here at the Gauge !!!!!
  12. Amrap1

    Amrap1 Member

    I started out thinking about just a dog bone layout with tunnel/mountain with trees and maybe a few structures and leaving alot of room to add to. I built a 4x8 layout with a mountain made of foam and plaster cloth. Learned about SuperTrees from a train show and made a bunch. The mountain looked GREAT! Being new I couldn't figure out how to put a tunnel through my mountain! I went to alot of train shows and hobby shops. After seeing so many layouts, I figured I'd make it bigger, still having a mountain/tunnel and maybe a river or lake. I really have no idea of exactly what I want my railroad do...except look cool and hopefully get my sons or grandkids get interested. I hope I can learn and add to it as I do.

  13. Amrap1

    Amrap1 Member

    I should have added...The 2 DCC Locos run fine! I thought my problem with running stock on the locos was the couplers. All the cars I had have the old Tyco couplers. I tried to switch them to McHenry Knuckles but there is no easy way. Nothing I tried worked and everyone I asked had no ideas.

    Today I bought 2 Athearns "assemble them yourself" cars. They have the knuckle couplers and are mounted on the body and not the truck. It's been along time since I put a "model" together but with patience and some duct tape ( just kidding ) they both came out real nice! I went down to my layout with a big grin and started to line em' up with one of my Bachmann Locos. The Bachmann's coupler is higher! Just enough to uncouple even at slow speed. SO, I tried the other Bachmann...same thing!

  14. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

    OK, try this if you have the patience and a lil skill, its no problem. If you buy a Kadee #5 kit in the packet from your Local Hobby Shop, you'll get a set of draft boxes. Trim the coupler boxes off the trucks and body mount the Kadees using screws, if you have the bit sizes to drill the holes, or even just super glue. You'll find that the cars, even cheap cheezy ones, will track alot better in both push and pull ops. The cheap Tyco and Life Like cars, such as 5 bay centerflow hoppers, will look alot better with Kadees. Spend a lil money and get a height gauge, its worth it.:thumb:
  15. Amrap1

    Amrap1 Member

    Getting REALLY frustrated here!
    I went to a Train Show today. Brought the Bachmann Locos and the 2 Athearn cars I built and showed them to 5 or 6 dealers. One guy told me to contact Bachmann..."they may have a fix for this". A couple of others showed me all kinds of different types of conversion kits that "with alittle of work these should work". The rest mainly tried to sell me a whole new train set so that "all the cars and couplers are compatable".

    I'm beginning to believe the last guys.

  16. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Models built to NMRA standars will have compatible couplers. Some older Athearn locomotives had low couplers because the standard horn hooks were at the correct height, but when you switched to Kaddees, it was necessary to insulate the metal coupler shanks from the loco frame and that lowered the couplers. You could file the bottom of the coupler mount to raise the coupler up, or use a Kaddee off set coupler. If you have cars with talgo (truck mounted) couplers, you will need to modify them anyway. Even if the couplers line up, body mounted couplers will swing to the outside of a curve while truck mounted couplers will track around the center of the curve. It is easy to body mount the couplers. You might think at first glance that you want to convert all of them to talgo, but that would be a mistake. If you try to back your train around a curve with talgo couplers, the cars will derail first time every time in ho scale. Lionel or LGB may work because of the weight of the cars, but the side forces exerted on the coupler will always cause the cars to derail. You can easily modify your cars with the talgo trucks to body ount the couplers. If you are always going to run on your own railroad and never operate your cars on someone else's layout or at a club, just take a locomotive and set all of your cars coupler heights to that locomotive. The best way to do it however is to get a Kaddee coupler height gauge. I think the price is around $10.00. Use it to set all of your coupler heights
  17. Amrap1

    Amrap1 Member

    How do you know if the model (new in box) is "built to NMRA standards?

    I've given up on trying to modify them. I bought Athearn Blue Box kits. They all line up and I can push them all over the layout with no problem.

    How do you set the coupler heights? AND why should you have too? I'm not buying a "made in Iceland..should work with every train". The locos are Bachmann DCC and the cars are Athearns. Don't these companies follow the NMRA standards?

    Why? Just to prove that they don't line up?

    I'm not being a smart ass. Just the opposite! I'm a NOOB and I don't understand why this is happening....So in LAYMAN'S terms......

  18. Amrap1

    Amrap1 Member

    Again not being a smart ass...I'd like a train to run around my track with no problems. Aside from that...I'm more into the scenery. I have houses built, autos, people and most everything ready to go into a layout that I'd pay to see.

  19. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member


    Couplers don't line up at standard height for a variety of reasons. The coupler tabs on truck-mounted (talgo) couplers often sag. Athearn BB kits are known for the weight warping and causing the couplers to be off height (among other problems). A car manufacturer may change trucks that are supplied, and the bolsters are lower or higher than before, which will also throw off coupler height. Craftsman kits often do not include trucks and couplers, so the builder may have to adjust for the chosen couplers and trucks. And, manufacturing tolerances may be just a little sloppy, which can also throw off coupler height.

    The Kadee coupler gauge is the easiest way to ensure all couplers are at the correct height, and the trip pins won't snag on the track.

    yours in training
    Fred W
  20. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    By the way, I've never found a kaddee coupler with the trip pin in the correct position out of the package. Every single one that I have installed needed to have the pin adjusted, most hung too low.

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