It begins...

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Wiredup, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. Wiredup

    Wiredup Member

    I like the idea, and it would work, but unfortunatly I don't have the two walls to build off of. the island style is actually the best way to do it, or I gotta go with a shelf thats only 2ft wide. I'm still going to play around with how things are in the room though and see if I can get that idea to work, because it is ideal.

    1 foot isn't too bad, I have my old HO board setup in their now, and it's not impossible to get around, but it's not the easiest either.
  2. bob_suruncle

    bob_suruncle Member

    I have to agree with Squid on this.... unless there is some physical obstacle stopping you from going around the outside of your area a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood in the middle of your room with 1" aisles offers much less visually and operationally... and wont allow others to enjoy your trains with you... maintenance would be a bear too with only 1' on each side.
  3. Wiredup

    Wiredup Member

    to be honest, I doubt that more than my family and I will be viewing these trains....

    but I sat in that room and did some planning and it looks like I can use 140 inches of one wall, and then another 55 inches of the other wall. I plan on coming out about 30-32 inches in width. So I should be able to get something on that.

    The long section would be on the west wall and the shorter section on the north wall.

    How hard would it be to build a staging area underneath the main layout with a small grade? would it be worth it?

    I bought the magazine of Model Railroad Planning that MRR has been advertising for a bit now, it's a yearly thing apparently.. I forget the exact title. but it came with a mini booklet that had some industry to model and I tried to model the auto-factory on the short shoulder of the floor plan and ran outa room... so I'm getting frustrated again! :p

    I'm messing with ideas, should have something a little later on tonight.
  4. Wiredup

    Wiredup Member

    Well, this is my redesign using the wall instead of a central 4x8 table. I must say I'm much happier with this layout and feel it a little less of a cluster $#% in terms of track. I hope others share the same opinion.

    Anyways.... some operational details.
    Minimum radius is 11", but has the ability to be modified for a min radius of 13" if needed. (which will probably happen, as my heavy weight passenger cars still look fugly on 11" radius)

    The western section will be filled by a small town; north of that will be a passenger terminal, south of the terminal (the large industrial section) will be a brewery. The brewery track layout is based off the 'Model Railroader Magazine Workshop Tips, Layout planning ideas' mini-mag that accompanied the Model Railroad Planning 2008 mag.

    The engine mtc facility's exits will lead imediatley to the sanding and water towers with an ash pit on the far side of yard (not very egronomical, but I plan on fixing that in my first revision)

    the eastern side of the layout is where I find I'll have my biggest hill to climb in terms of modeling. The turnout that has a track to nowhere and a connecting loop to the main section of the layout will be at a mouth of a southern facing tunnel. The tunnel will encompass most of that run around track, but will also hide the ramp that will lead downward into my hidden staging area below the main layout. The staging area also has a reverse loop so that trains will be able to run a very long, and full circuit to simulate longer train trips (naturally) I also have many sidings for auxillary trains, locos, and extra rolling stock.

    The theme of the layout has also be revised, taking place in the late transition era:

    While still a fictional roadname, the 'Pacific Great Southern' is owned by 'BC Rail'. The fictional town of which it resides (yet to be named) is situated in a small valley within the Canadian Rocky Mountains near the southern border of BC (about 200km from the Idaho border). This town houses one of Canada's favourite brewerys as it's main industry, but is also home to a small oil pumping facility as well.

    The town also sees four passenger trains a day during the week, with limited service on weekends, mostly commuters, coming in from Canadian National and Union Pacific railways.

    The PGS also has purchased many of it's motive power from the three neighbooring major railways of the UP, CN, and CP. The fleet is made up of a majority of steam power consisting of Pacific, Lt Mountain, Mikado, and Hudson class locomotives, with a couple of F7 A&B's making up for light diesel power. There has also been rare sightings of UP Challangers, CN Northerns, and CP Selkirks steaming through the area.

  5. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    So it looks like you've got a 5x12 space? Are those squares 12"?

    That's a definite improvement over the first couple of tries! :)
  6. Wiredup

    Wiredup Member

    It's actually a bit wider than 5ft. its 5ft from the wall to my workbench which is about 1-1/2ft long. then I got guitar cases along the wall.

    each square is a foot yes.
  7. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    A 3' wide layout against a wall will be hard to reach.

    I think you're severely underestimating how much length it will take to get to a staging area. If you want the staging to be accessible from the front or side, you're probably looking at a 8" or even more elevation difference. And 1" drop in 4' is just over 2%, a reasonable grade for such a situation...
  8. Wiredup

    Wiredup Member

    Oh I agree the 3' wide layout may be a bit tricky to get across, but I'm willing to do a workaround using castors and modular benchwork.

    as for the staging area. I plan on the incline being as long as the bench :mrgreen: So I got... 9 feet or so to drop down to the lower deck. obviously I'll need a bit more than 1" though, so maybe a helix?
  9. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Have you considered going with some kind of folded-dogbone? You could put the staging on a lower level, and the waterwings design means you wouldn't have to build a complicated sliding benchwork to get at the underside - it's open in the middle.

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  10. Wiredup

    Wiredup Member

    it becomes a compromise of what I want out of the hobby, and the space requirements. Unfortunatly the whole room cannot be dedicated to the hobby due to limited storage.

    The folded dogbone is a good idea, and I can see the advantage for reach in this setup. The lower staging yard still needs to be properly planned out due to grade. I'm thinking a 10 foot long incline from the east to west should give me about 3-4 inches at a 2.5% grade? I could always put a helix underneat the layout on the west side of the layout to get it lower if I have too.

    The whole modular thing isn't going to be too much of a PITA to construct. I already have that part of it worked out... a good friend of mines a carpenter by trade and will be able to help me out with my benchwork to make it as easy as possible to get around and move around.

    I still got revisions to make... I mostly want to get that north eastern corner more accessible, as thats going to be my biggest challange for reach. the main oval section shouldn't be too bad.
  11. SD90

    SD90 Active Member

    If you rise 2" in just over 8 feet, or 100 inches, you will have a 2% grade. A simple way to figure it out is use a 2 foot level, and raise it up on the low end with a 1/2" piece of wood, when it shows level, you have a 2.08% grade.
  12. Wiredup

    Wiredup Member

    So many things have changed since my last post.... and we'll follow along with pictures. :mrgreen:

    Before the first picture... a lot happened. I started work on a modified version of the layout on the previous page, but was stalled when the wife took my room out from under me and moved me into the hallway... out of frustration and because we needed the storage space underneath said layout...(we got a lot of crap due to my parents using our place as a storage unit as they build their house) ....I seemed to have been forced to use an 8x4 sheet of plywood for my layout base. Which really screwed with my plans.

    I did go in head first with a very minimal plan, but so far I'm quite happy with the result. This is the track plan I ended up designing once the manline run was completed:


    There are some messes though....

    And they can be explained by looking at the following picture:


    All the colored sections are of inclines on the layout. The Green section is about a 2.5% grade...and has a slight inward angle when it reaches the bridges. It's not much, but not very prototypical of the steam era. And even though I'm not following any specific still doesn't look right when a Challenger takes that angled curve.

    The yellow section is a really soft 2% grades and has no issues... except that its underneath a tunnel now that will be a staging ground...and I forgot to cut an access hole in the top so I could remove the top... I gotta do that tonight.

    The big one is the red section. Heading from east to west up to the first blue dot is OVER 5% grade. I actually think it's about a 6% grade. Believe it or not, my Kato Mike can haul a 9 car train up that hill without stalling, slipping, or crying for help. The Challenger can do 14 on it's own...but derailed before it made it all the way. I got vids at the bottom of the post to show this off. :thumb:

    The following picture is very early during the construction process. This is the incline up to the small loop that goes around the roundhouse. Which has quickly become one of my fav areas to watch the trains


    Now this pic is from the same general time....but a sky view of the western part of the layout


    Same profile view....but how it looks today!


    AND.... if we look at it from another angle.


    This has now become a pretty busy intersection on the layout.

    So after the mainline was completed and the mountains in place, it was time to start on the yard....

    I took the inspiration for this yard design from a MRR article in the Trackplanning 2008 issue. This is from the little insert that was included that had an article about designing industries that could take up a whole layout. The yard design I used is based of the brewery industry. in fact, my town will have a brewery... Which will be built using a kitbashed paper mill kit from Walthers.

    Here's the yard:




    And a sky view


    Finally some of my fav pics so far of the layout:



    Now the videos:
    YouTube - Nscale layout tour

    A tour

    YouTube - Challenger derails on 6% grade

    6% grade with challenger

    YouTube - Mikado and yard goat double head

    6% grade with Kato Mikado and Proto 0-8-0

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