Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by belg, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. belg

    belg Member

    Guys I'm looking for some info on how to design a home layout in HO using module sections,is there any place to get some more info on this subject?
  2. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Related to the hotrak group is this page:

    by railway bob, who sometimes posts here at The Gauge. He has laid out a really nice, comprehensive how-to on module construction, including two options for legs.

    Now what he shows is the "standard" module, with all the specs to make it interoperable with other modules. If what you want to do is make a "modular" home layout so that it can be moved easily at some future date, but not necessarily operate with others, you can make "sectional" benchwork. This would simplify your wiring, etc, but still make it easy to move (once or twice).

    Sectional benchwork does not have to conform to any particular standard. THe idea is just to make it simple enought to "break" into manageable pieces if you ever want to move.

  4. belg

    belg Member

    Thanks for the input guys, what Andrew describes in the second half of his post is what I'm looking to do. How do sections like these get joined together and how does the track get laid differently then in a regular layout? Those are the types of things I'm looking for.

  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    How different from "regular" will depend a bit on how much moving you plan to do. If it's a show layout that will be travelling every month or so, you need to hold things down more thoroughly than if you're just going to move it when you change houses.
    Sections can be joined with anything from C clamps to bolts to pattern makers dowells.
    The track joints can be lift-out track sections, butt-ends with sliding railjoiners, or rail soldered to flathead screws at the table edge.
  6. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    There are two ways to join modules together for the track. One is to solder brass screws under the ends of the rails so the two modules butt together, and the other is to have a small piece of track (4") which fits over the join in the modules. I used the latter myself.
  7. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    On our club's travelling layout, we use the 4" piece of track method. For the wiring, we use the same clips you would use if you wanted to hook up a trailer to your car.
  8. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    I use a 9" tracks to join my modules together. I usually make the joints the middle of a road and use atlas 9" rerailers as grade Xings. That way the ballast isn't missed and the joints seem less noticable (to me). FRED
  9. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Food for thot :)

    Even if you don't want it to operate with other folks modules, you might consider designing it so some or all of them are "standard" as far as entering/exiting track is concerned. By "standard", I mean your standard or one that is already developed. My reasoning is that if you move to a different size/shape layout room, it might be nice to add/remove/replace/relocate some modules to fit. Of course, you woulkd be in for major surgery as far as scenery goes. You could, on the other hand, always build an adpting module to do what needs to be done at the time of the move.
  10. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Re: Food for thot :)

    I agree with that. All my modules are interchangable (well almost) and it also allows me to rearrange my layout occasionally as well as replace and build new modules easily. It's so much easier to build a 30" by 8 ' module low in the shop with no train trafic than it is to build it in a working layout enviroment. Some call this a domino layout. Anyway I like it and reccomend it. FRED
  11. belg

    belg Member

    Fred, I really like your suggestion about using the rerailer as a grade crossing, I would love to see this close up do you perhaps any pictures? I tried to go to your homepage but got an error message is it still active or did you change the addy?

    Gents there is some real good info in what you've given me and will certainly take some of these things into consideration.

    Anyone have a close up shot of how these things are joined together could you please post it? I NEEED a visual reference Thanks Pat.
  12. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    For the best (or one of the best) ways to connect true modules together, see the link I gave you to railway bob's web site (above).

    For connecting sectional benchwork (i.e. your own modules that don't connect anywhere else), pick whatever seems easiest to you. I would imagine some sort of bolt or screw between each section.

    As far as making joints in the rail, I would not bother. I would just lay the track as if it was a permanent layout. When it comes time to move, just take a dremel to the track.

    NOTE: The reason Shamus suggested the brass screws under the track is to provide a place to solder the rails at the edge of the section. That way, you can be sure that they don't move at all. You could do this, but without cutting the track. Cut it when you move.

  13. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    I don't know if this will be of any help, but this shows the joint of the yard section of my HO layout.
    I have a 1x4 screwed to the main section on the right to support the yard section until the two 1/4" bolts are installed.

    Attached Files:

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  14. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    This is the joint with the 2" foam and sectional track that bridges the seam.
    I have a turnout over this seam and would recommend avoiding doing that if possible.

    Attached Files:

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  15. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Sorry about the link not working, I just posted it yesterday and fat fingered it. It has been corrected and works now.:oops:

    Here's a picture. The background ones use the screw method. FRED

    Attached Files:

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  16. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    This is the seam of the other 2 sections. These 2 sections stand on 4 legs each and are bolted together.

    Attached Files:

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