Just another new member

Discussion in 'The Caboose' started by jgottrains, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. jgottrains

    jgottrains New Member

    I thought it was about time to say hi. I have been reading through the site for about a month and signed up about a week ago to look at some of the pics.

    When I was younger I had a 6’ by 16’ HO setup and I’m looking forward to a new layout that I’m planning on starting in a few months. I’m still in the very beginning stages of planning of the layout and am weighting on an order thought my LHS to come in so I can setup a test track so I can test some stuff for my setup. I have a 20’ by 30’ room with a 10’ by 10’ workshop / office for my train set.

    Currently I’m planning a 16’ by 4’ storage yard that will be 16” under the main layout with a smaller layout about 16” above for a coal mine, oil wells, food processing plant and a few small towns. The main level will have 2 huge switch yards with turntables and stuff, a power company refinery, a few towns, and 3 or 4 cities. I’m thinking about setting up a few farms and stuff like that.

    I’m not planning this off a real train company or anything and I have not thought of a time period for my setup yet. I’m thinking about setting it up right on the edge of the coal to oil change over with the loco’s.

    Currently I’m looking at the Digitrax for my DCC. I’m planning on the switches on the main lines and all of the sidings to be DCC. The switch yards will be electric switches on local switching terminals.

    I have been making some buildings and stuff for the last 9 months but I suck at painting so there still in the rough if you know what I mean. So far I have a power company, small oil refinery, oil tanks, gas tanks, gas stations, oil wells, coal mine, coal processing stuff, 3 medium and 8 smaller passenger terminals, coal towers, water towers, sand towers, 50 some houses, and a bunch of other odds and ends. I need to pick up a digital camera and take some pics for everyone.

    So far I’m planning on 32” min on all turns. Main lines will be 34” turns. All grades will be under 2% except for the transferring of the levels that will be around 3%. Main line track spacing will be 2.5” (planning on superelevating about .02”). 2” for everything else.

    I’m paining on using code 83 flex track and #6 turnouts on all my track. I’m planning on soldering all of my track connections and wiring in every other track joiner.

    Now for some questions and your comments are welcome.

    What company would you use for the track and turnouts?
    What time period should I be using for the type of setup that I described?
    What other stuff dose it sound like I have not thought about?
    Any good DVD’s out there for painting buildings and stuff?
  2. Packers#1

    Packers#1 Ultimate Packers Fan

    Welcome to the gauge, man. It's a great place.
  3. BobGui

    BobGui New Member

    Hello and welcome.

    That's quite a grocery list of parts you have there but my guess is that you'll be modeling the mid to late 50's or early 60's. Late steam and early deisels. (Great era by the way). The steam engines can be either coal or oil fired and the deisels can pick up fuel from the refinery.

    You have a ton of room for your layout (slightly envious) and personally I can tell you that there is no way to completely plan for the layout. Personally, I am picking a section of what amounts to a very generic idea and working on that until it works properly before moving to another section.

    Painting= practice, practice, practice. Pick a smaller building that will be back out of the way, grab some paint and see what happens. I work in N-Scale and while I can't put eyebrows on my townies I can get a building trimmed out not to bad but have gotten good at taking paints off buildings without causing too much damage.

    Track and stuff I'll leave to the HO guys but like your plans for the controls etc.

    Sounds to me like your off to a great start and I look forward to seeing your progress.
  4. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!


    Glad you could join us. I'm thinking you'll get some more responses to your questions.

  5. jgottrains

    jgottrains New Member

    I have read so much bad stuff about the atlas switches and I’m thinking they were the old switches but I don’t know. That’s why I was asking

    As far as the painting I’m good as long as nothing needs to be weathered. But if I’m not going to whether anything then why even paint it to begin with.

    I’m planning on starting with the storage yard, the top layout a small amount of the main layout then go back and detail it all out. This will give me the room to be able to run some trains so it will not be all hard work.
  6. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Dieselization was earlier than that in general. Except in the northeast and east-central regions, American railroads generally started eliminating steam right after the war. In those areas, new steam was purchased for a few years more. In the southeast and midwest, many roads retired their last steam in the early 50s. In other areas, many roads lasted withs team into the late 50s. After 1960, it was pretty much gone in all regions.
  7. hickstmj

    hickstmj Marcie

    Welcome to the Gauge! I too suck at painting but I enjoy it so I'll keep trying. NHS Hobbies has good prices on Atlas flex track & Tortoises but not on everything. I have purchased from them & they shipped quickly for a good price. It pays to shop around for each item you will be purchasing. I have heard good things about MB Klein also but I have not purchased from them. Good Luck with your layout. I am jealous of the large space you have.
  8. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Welcome to The Gauge. Reference your comment about a coal to oil changeover, there wasn't a definite period such as that. Some railroads stayed with coal right up to the end of steam operations. Some had both right up to the end. The NP used both oil and coal fired locomotives in different areas of the country.
    Although I have never seen one of his DVD's, Paul Scoles sells two DVD's on scenery. From some of the articles he has done in various magazines, I would say that he is a master at scenery. www.paulscoles.com Above all, have fun.
  9. jgottrains

    jgottrains New Member

    I have done a little looking around and I think I’m going for the late 40’s early 50’s. I don’t care to much if I don’t hit the time period on every peace of rolling stock. As far as the rolling stock goes I can put it on the lower storage yard or run it into the shop when the nit pickers are coming over. I’m planning on a dual track into the shop next to the train room so if something needs a new paint job, have issues with something, or building something I have a place to put it on tracks.

    Dose any one know of a site that would have some info on the late 40’s and early 50’s? I’m having problems finding stuff.

    I’m about half way with the setup of my test track and it looks like it’s time for the 4th cutting of alfalfa in a few more days so I’ll be stopping for a week on all the time consuming stuff. I can’t wait for fall so I'll be done with all the farm work...
  10. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    What kind of information? Since you were mentioning rolling stock, http://www.steamfreightcars.com/
  11. jgottrains

    jgottrains New Member

    I’m looking for about anything with out anyone having to do any searches. Once I get a few more sites I’ll come up with the right stuff to search with.

    Triplex thank you I did find some good info on that site.
  12. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

  13. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    Welcome To The-Gauge. As you can see you asked a question and everyone is helping you out with it. We are just one big family here that helps one another out. Hope you find everything that you need.
  14. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I've been at the NMRA National convention all week and haven't had much time to stop by the Gauge lately. I glanced at your first post because it is past midnight here now and I'm getting sleepy. I will answer a couple of your questions.

    The problem with the Atlas switches, even Custom Line, is that they use very thin sheet metal points that are riveted to the turnout. If you are lucky, you won't have any problem with them. If you are not lucky, the rivets will loosen up and the points will "lay over" and the rolling stock will fall on the ballast. They can be helped by using some .010" styrene to tighten up the guard rails to hold the trains against the stock rails; but if either of the points loosen, the turnout is pretty much junk.

    As far as whether a steam engine ran on coal or oil, as far as I know that had much more to do with the area of the country the locomotives ran in than anything else. A steam engine running in an area where coal was mined would run coal. A locomotive being used in an area near an oil field like California, Texas, or Oklahoma, would run oil. The one exception to this would be S.P.'s cab forwards. They were designed to pump oil from the tender past the smoke box and boiler to the fire box at the front of the locomotive just behind the cab. To my knowledge, none of them were designed to move coal to the firebox from the tender. Of course, as far as I know, the cab forwards were only used in the mountain districts of California, which was oil country anyway. They may have gone into Oregon and Washington if they had to deal with mountains up North, but the S.P. did not go far enough East to encounter the Rocky Mountains at all.

    There are probably some ore help I might be able to give, but I'm falling asleep at the computer right now. Welcome to the Gauge.
  15. Chief Eagles

    Chief Eagles Active Member

    Hey neighbor [NC and VA]. I spend time on the VA side of Kerr Lake [you all call it Buggs Island]. Also some in Lexington and Roanoke. Welcome. Come visit the caboose coffee pot and chat.
  16. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Oddly enough, SP used mainly oil-fired steam... except in Texas.

    I think when he said "coal to oil" he meant steam to diesel.
  17. jgottrains

    jgottrains New Member

    Just got back in town and it looks like I have to go back out of town in a few days so I wouldn’t be around.

    I’m planning on running some coal and some diesel loco’s. I’m not thinking much about oil steam. I have already built most of the coal stuff but I don’t think I will be do any of the oil wells and refinery.

    Who makes a good turn out? I have read about the atlas turn outs loosening up for quit a while now.

    [FONT=&quot]As far as my location I’m close to the I81 / I77 interchange[/FONT]

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