New layout in the works.

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by nolatron, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Shaun, that plan is looking REALLY COOL!! and looks like it will be a blast to run!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
  2. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    Here's the drafts I came up with last night for a point-to-point layout.

    The level 1 yard would be made to simulate just the beginning of a much larger yard. (ie: a mirror would be used to simulate tracks just keep on going).

    I would keep some hidden staging along level 1's north wall. Just to have a spot to hide some trains that go to where I call "some other place". (ie: build a train either yard and send off to "some other place") until another session.

    I was also toying around with the idea of creating maybe a little staging cart, something I can butt up against the south end of level 1, to run some other "ready to roll" trains as run-throughs. I would want to store the cart under the layout on the south wall, so I would have to figure out a way to raise the track up and down about 4-5" from cart top to layout level.

    I'm also debating on going back to all manual turnout control. One goal with the continuous loop was to be able to build fully computer controlled scenarios, utilizing the full east/west hidden staging yards. With a point-to-point, I don't think that would work as I would want.

    So... I'll probably use humpyard manual turnout throws for every turnout. Signaling with block occupancy will still be done by Digitrax and JMRI. Will have to look into how the DCC system would be able to set signals using manual throws. With DCC it was all a piece of cake with signal protecting turnouts and what not.

    All and all I think things are coming together and I'll still end up with a good layout. I won't be able to sit back and watch trains run around the layout continuously, but at least I'll still be able to watch trains on a layout. :)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Shaun, I think you will be a lot happier with the p to p layout. I had one with loops on both ends and it looked really toy like running a train. To me your track plan looks great and a lot of fun to operate.

  4. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    Oh, and another reason for manual turnouts. $$$

    At 39 turnouts, that's almost $600 in tortoise devices alone, plus another $300-$500 or so for decoders. That's at least $900!

    Humpyard manual turnouts - around $253. Little easier on the wallet.
  5. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    Also, the staging area will be hooked up with IRdot-p detectors for automatic train stopping.

    A recent issue of MR had an article about these.

    Yeah, I think the P-2-P will be a good layout to do. I also find myself wanting that continuous run ablity, but in my previous layouts I really didn't spend all that much time running trains,mainly cause I was still building, hehe.

    This will be my first p-2-p so it'll be fun and challening to do. I'm also glad that the layout will now be a consistent 15" depth all around the room (except the helix, but that's in the alcove). It'll make the office not look so cramped having that loop part stick out so much.
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    I am not sure how you want to wire your turnout controls, but did you see the ones Gary S. made? I use them and they work great !

  7. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    Hmm. Can't remember what they look like off hand. I'll search around for them. Thanks!
  8. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    Just a look at the room in it's almost current state::


    The desk on the right was moved to where the book shelf was.

    I called Ace to check up on my order of 2x2x18 wooden stakes (I'm chopping the pointy end off to make a 15" brace for each bracket), and it looks like they will be tomorrow hopefully. Yay.
  9. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    Another idea popped into my head while looking at the layout and trying to figure out how to turn trays and simulate thru-trains, etc…

    I first thought about using a staging cart. Basically a little I could roll out from under the layout, raise up to level height and roll trains on and off. But figuring out how to raise the tracks that high for level 1 and 2 seemed like a pain. Then the idea of a caddy/tray hit me.

    So here’s my thoughts. On level 1 I would remove the yard ladder totally. It’s place I would put 2 arrival/departure tracks simulating the tail end of the yard the train is approaching. Under each track (2 yards and 1 main) I would cut of a 1″ deep channel into the blue foam that will be on top the 1/4″ plywood (or 1/2″ haven’t decided yet). Length would be about 40-50″, width maybe 1″ or 2″. I’ll have to tinker with real stuff to determine that. In each channel I would then place a piece of 1″x?” plywood with track attached.

    I now have a removable “staging tray” for trains. This would allow to me turn trains around such as an Amtrak train, and simulate the train entering the yard and leaving layout without having to use up real estate for another yard. One yard is enough for me and the budget, heh.
    I would do the same for level 2, just had a straight section behind the refinery for the tray piece to remove trains that are continuing on past the refinery to where ever they are headed. I could also have several trays where I can build trains manually and have them at the ready if I wanted to run something particular, like a special steam excursion or something.

    I really like this idea and it’ll be a snap to implement. Here’s a really crappy drawing I made on a post-it note [​IMG]

  10. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    My order of 2x2x18 wood stakes arrived at Ace today, so I ran over to pick 'em up as soon I got home from work. Made a little "assembly line" in the garage and in 4 passes cut the tip off all 'em to make a 2x2x15 wood brace. Each of these will be attached to a shelf bracket, plywood on top, and then 1" blue foam.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  11. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    The latest plans:

    Getting close to a pretty set plan now.

    Removed the Level 1 yard, angled the Level 2 yard to get away from the constant squared/straight track, and added the straight sections on each level to be used for the removable staging caddies.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  12. berraf

    berraf Member

    Looks great:thumb:
  13. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    Just an update on the shelves. On Friday I got all the 2x2x15 braces attached to each bracket. Just need to drill a hole in 40 of them for cable running.

    The very top shelf I am using I think 3/8" Luan plywood. It only need to act as a "sky" so I didn't go with anything fancy for that level.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Today I then visited Lowe's and picked up 2 4x8 sheets of 15/32" specialty plywood. I had them cut it to 6 15"x8' sheets to limit the number of cut's I'd need to do at home.... and to fit it all in the car! 8' just fits in the Mazda 3 5-dr if you ever wondered :)

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  14. berraf

    berraf Member

    I wish I had all that space Shaun :)
    You have the kind of room that I my dreams...

    I'm glad for you and wish you all the best :wave:
  15. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    Hehe. Thank. During our house search and made it a point I wanted a large "office" room to build a shelf layout in. We got lucky and stumbled on a great house with 3 bedrooms and a study which we quickly jumped on.

    Nex step, drill holes. I'm so tempted to by the $80 drill press at Lowe's to make this a easier process than using a power drill, but I think the Wife would kill me if I can home with yet another garage toy this month :)

    I also finally got around to naming the layout and cities. The layout is totally freelanced, and I wanted to start using names that meant something to me but also looked regular town names that I've seen. So I decided to the names of my family back home in New Orleans.

    The layout is official known as the Georgetown Sub now. :)
  16. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    Shaun:wav: , i next to never make it here in the N/Z section of this forum:oops: , but when i see the letters UP it instantly sparks MY interest:mrgreen: . I'm REALLY looking forward to seeing the UP "Georgetown Sub" get up and running:up:. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!:up: :mrgreen:-Deano
  17. berraf

    berraf Member

    A proud name :)
  18. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    This weekend I managed to get level 1 (the lower level) completed.

    I drilled two holes into each bracket for cable routing, and went ahead and ran the DCC bus cable while I had the decking off. I then secured the the benchwork top with 2-4 screws per backet depending on location.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Then it was time to add the supports for the backdrop, which is aluminum trim coil. I picked up some 2"x48" pieces of wood strip from lowe's and cut them down to 10" pieces. Then using Heavy Duty Liquid Nails, I glued the wood strips straight to the exposed bracket.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Next up, the trim coil. This is was just a matter of puting more liquid nails on the wood strip, pushing up the trim coil and moving to the next one. I used some staples from a staple gun a some spots to hold the trim coil in place, like the corners.

    I had to break and cut the coil and one spot cause it was angling up and creating a bulge. I glued the two pieces together and will eventually use some caulking probably to blend the seems. Shouldn't be visible to much.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Trimmed out the area for the bracket to go in.


    and voila! An (almost) seemless brackdrop running around the whole level.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  19. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    Level 2 completed.

    After getting the trim coil up on the top level and the top benchwork on, I gave the coil a nice coating of Kilz and then painted on "Skyline" colored paint from Ace.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Here's a panoramic shot of the room too:

  20. Travellar

    Travellar Member

    congratz, you've finally gotten to the point where it's no longer just a paper dream, you're actually starting to get something in there now! (most of my projects die as paper dreams...)

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