New home,New layout, New challenges

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Chessie1973, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. Chessie1973

    Chessie1973 Member

    It's been a while since I have been active here on the Gauge. Been busy.

    I have relocated from Fletcher, NC to Tacoma, WA and bought a house with a partially finished basement.

    Looking to build a layout and, as usual, I have managed to find myself brimming with far too many questions and in need of the expert advice of the fine community here.

    Thanks to the track planning forum I discovered XtrkCAD and have been playing with things a bit.

    And thanks to Nazgul's absolutely gorgeous work on his layout I have been inspired to go a bit larger than a 4x8 this time.

    The attached image shows what I have so far as best as the forum limit allows.

    I plan to have somewhere in the range of 4" of incline between the bottom front and top rear of the layout on both ends with a coal mine in the hills on the right side.

    Other than that and the current fleet of rolling stock consisting of CSX and Clinchfield I don't have much planned.

    I will be using my Digitrax Zephyr to operate the layout and I do plan to use sound decoders and money allows to buy more then the El Cheapo MRC's currently in three of the loco's.

    I am hoping to follow in Nazgul's footsteps a bit here and keep track of the progress using this thread to see how things evolve and will be linking of posting pictures as time and progress allows hopefully.

    Attached Files:

  2. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Welcome to Western Washington, Chessie. Even though I don't live there anymore. I grew up and spent 60 years there. Have you been to the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma to see their huge layout? A real bunch of dedicated craftsmen built that one.
  3. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Just looking at your layout a little closer and I got to wondering about accessability to the tunnel for rerailing etc. can you get to the back of the curve to retrieve things? Or on a further look, maybe that isn't a tunnel in the upper center?
  4. Chessie1973

    Chessie1973 Member

    In regards to the museum. I have plans to go see it at some point. Working third shift makes little trips like that exceedingly difficult at times.

    As to the tunnel access. The middle section at the top is actuall not in the tunnels. I purposely made sure the turnout section up there would be outside of tunnels just in case I needed to tweak things.

    I opted to put the tunnel more on the slopes of the grades to allow for a bit more scenery since I am thinking of locating a town around the "operations pit" in the center of the layout with the train skirting things between tunnels.

    As for the lower tunnel, I plan to make the layout on a table that has caster to be able to pull it away from the wall and I am going to build hardshell for the mountains and such on a fairly rigid framework along the back so they will be hollow once they are good and cured.
  5. BigJim

    BigJim Member

    Yes I am "Big" Jim but I thinkI would find 18" width just a little narrow. If you have room for 6 more inches on one side a 24" access area would be nice. If not, maybe the track could be 9" back from the edge toget the 24".

    I like the look of a double crossover. They actually cost about the same or less than the four turnouts you have at the top. With a little work you can control them with a single switch machine and save a lot. Have you considered using one?

  6. Chessie1973

    Chessie1973 Member

    Actually I have been trying to find an example of one to see how it loks. Unfortunately the copy of XtrkCAD I downloaded apparently does not have them in it so I had to go with the turnouts instead in doing this layout.

    As far as the size of the middle area. I actually had it set to 24 inches originally and I narrowed it to make a little extra room in case my turns were too narrow. I will probably widen it back a bit in the final version of this layout design.

    My primary goals with this one are to allow for constant running of two trains and still have some small operational aspect of it for those days where I need to get away from real life for a while and meditate on things to the sound of my trains on the rails. Prototypical this is not going to be by any means.
  7. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Chessie:wave: , welcome to soggy Tacoma. I live in the outskirts, a little area called Elks Plain. The layout at the museum is well worth the visit.
    Anyhow, you can make a double crossover in xtrk with 4 #4 customlines and a 25 degree crossing. Might be able to use #6s, never tried.

    Try to stay dry.:D
  8. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Hey grewsome; And an apology for hijacking the thread, chessie. I have family in Lacey and Olympia. Another big layout in the area north of Tacoma is the Boeing Employees MR Club in Kent. You might want to contact them for open house times.
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Thanks Jim, didn't know about them.

  10. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Chessie, I think you can get what you want in that space without going to the waterwings and having all the turnouts a far reach at the back.

    Can you tell me more about the space you're putting the layout in? Is it occupying the end of a room? Or will you have access to more than one side of the layout?
  11. BigJim

    BigJim Member

    XTrkCAD has both a single and double crossover listing in the turnout designer.
    For a Walthers #6 double I use 2.875 for the width and 19.25 for the length. Super easy as it only needs these two values.
  12. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Chessie, I can't get a plan like yours without some seriously tight curves... what radii are you using? I tried it going with 24" on the outer lap and 22 on the inner, and to get the waist up where you have it has about a 15" radius curve... which is way too tight for a mainline.

    How set are you on the double-track main?
  13. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Maybe another q is how set are you on the tabletop idea? You might look at a 24" wide
    bench all the way around a 2' x 7' operating pit. Much wider radii would be possible, and
    it would provide better access to all areas with no pulling out from the wall.

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