Newbie Layout Questions

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by ProfLooney, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. ProfLooney

    ProfLooney New Member

    Ok guys im not a real newbie I have put together a couple small flat layouts before with a ton of turnouts and a nice yard but thats been 10 or 15 yrs ago and now I want to get more involved.

    I have been reading on some of the newer methods being used and sounds like will be a lot easier than it was before.

    Questions: (note my layout will be "L" shaped roughly 6'x8'x30")

    1. I was wondering what the shortest possible distance I need to raise my track 2" up for an incline?

    2. I also do scale Radio Controlled planes and remember when I tried to use those track nails they always seemed to either split the tie or pull it down thus causing the tracks to narrow. I use a lot of CA (aka superglue) and was wondering if a person could glue the tracks to the cork bed and since I will be using foam that the track nails prob wouldnt hold very well anyways.

    3. I have my layout all in my head and am transfering it to cad so when done just print it out on wide format and 3m glue it to my board so everything is all nice and marked.
    So is 1/2" ply thick enough for a base to my layout?

    4> and Finally Part of my layout will have a mine and part of it a logging camp I am trying to find out where to find pictures or what to look for with search engine to find old railroad loading stations at those camps. I tried a few things but got nothing. I am not sure the era i am looking for but I want it to be about early to mid steam engine time period and i dont know when that was like 1900?

  2. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Let's see now....

    Question 1: usually it is suggested that a 2% grade is the maximum, this would mean 2" rise in 100". Logging lines sometimes use up to 4%, so that would be 2" in 50". Warning, with 4%, don't expect your locomotives to pull long trains.

    Question 2: with track nails, you have to get ones small enough to go in the holes in the ties. I went the other way with my layout. Run a bead of white glue along the sub-roadbed, apply the cork and hold in place with "push pins". Next day run a bead of white glue along the cork and hold the track in place with the same "push pins".

    Question 3: the thickness of the layout base will depend on how well it is brced underneath. I used 2" foam on my layout, the foam is braced every 12" underneath.

    Question 4: Check out the Library of Congress site and any "Achives" or Historical Societies in the area you are modelling.

    Hope this helps.
  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    If you are using commercial flex track and turnouts (with plastic ties) and the foam roadbed (instead of cork), I would recommend you use "adhesive" caulking to stick the roadbed to the subroadbed (pink or blue foam or plywood) and stick the track to the foam roadbed also with the caulking. Get a small tube and a plastic spreader - you don't need much. Use some pins to keep everything in place 'til it dries.

  4. ProfLooney

    ProfLooney New Member

    thanks guys thats a lot of help i just wished the 100" wasnt so long it makes it hard on an 8 ft 96" table it seems to go up to a second level. What I was wanting to do was my 4 tracks coming into the area and have 2 tracks make a risoing turn over the other 2 and 1 track going to a 2" mtn pass type height for the logging area and the other to a second teir 4" tal to the mine area. as soon as I get the track plan finished will post so maybe can get some ideas on how to accomplish what i am trying or that my mind is bigger that reality. to me the planning is the most important part i dont like to start anything until i know what i have drawn will work so i dont waste hard earned money.

    Thanks again
    should have layout plan done by the weekend
  5. Oroka

    Oroka Member

    I intend on doing something simular to what you are doing, and I have only 8' width. What I am going to do is start the grade in the front and use the turn on the end for most of the grade. I havent decided how high I am going up yet, but I am thinking 4-6".
  6. ProfLooney

    ProfLooney New Member

    Oroka I am working on a section ofr my current website to post my track design when i get it up in the next couple days will let you know I think I have the problem solved or at least in theory I do. it isnt exactly what I wanted but I am limited by width for a huge turn but yes i start on the stgraight away and take it through the curve 1 level is 2" for the l;ogging traing which has a lake and a river for floating the logs down then the mine area is at 4"and I am thinking of contintuing it up and using a couple of spirals hidden inside scenery to raise it to 6" but more than likey will stop at 4" and may add another section and make a U design just so i can have more room. this is all in a year or so long planning stage until we buy a house next year that is the first project my wife wants me to do and I am not going to argue with her on this one for a change.

  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    You can sometimes "cheat" on the grades by having the other track go down as the first one goes up. That will cut the length in half.
  8. GeorgeHO

    GeorgeHO Member

    If you're using 9" sectional track either for the design program or for laying it on the layout, you can figure 12X9=108, so count 12 pieces of sectional track from the overpass to the underpass for your 100". A 2 inch rise (in N gauge) is 2%, or if you're working in HO, the 4" rise is 4%. I'm working in HO so the 4% grade is what I plan as a maximum, and you might need the same grade in N gauge. While this is not ideal, at least you are saved by the fact that your logging and mining cars weigh a lot less going up the mountain as empties, as opposed to going down the mountains fully loaded.
  9. Oroka

    Oroka Member

    Well, in my case I think I will go with a 4% upto 2" over 50". My layout is 8'x4', so I wont be haulin' any 40 car consists. I currently own... 5 cars :D The scene I am modeling usually only sees consists of 15-20 cars at most with 2 power units, so I dont think 4% is too bad.
  10. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    For a logging layout, 4% isn't too bad, and shorter trains are the rule.

    If you are modeling the logging camp itself, the things to include in the log loading area, circa 1900 or so, would be: Steam donkeys, which drag the logs down from the logging area, a small deck made largely of unfinished logs, where logs are dragged before loading onto the cars, a small crane for log loading, and a couple of camp cars or portable camp structures which can be loaded onto flatcars. There will also generally be a lot of "slash" as the loggers would have trimmed smaller branches off the logs prior to shipping.

    The track itself will be pretty lightweight. Logging roads were temporary, only used until that hillside was denuded of trees, so they were not built to last--minimal ballast, widely-spaced ties, light rail.
  11. ProfLooney

    ProfLooney New Member

    thanks guys helps A LOT. Oroka I have also come up with the short disance rise problem i figured it out last night while taking a ride to deposit my check (working out of town so have to drive 20 miles to my bank) anyways as I was driving I saw the train running on top of a rise kinda like a berm or dike. My idea was why not mount the outer train where I want it to go up on top of 1" foam it will cut my rise distance in half. The inner track heading to town to drop everything off can be below it and I can make the berm start the incline meaning I only really need to rise 1" instead of 2. I could always have my turnout and run downhill into town without having a problem then on the backside of town hidden inside a tunnel have the "ground level" train have a turnout to head back into town (ie concentric ovals) or go straight andstart inclining in the hidden area to get up to the 1" section of the other track.

    Does that make sense or is it cornfusing?


    PS I also thinking of haveing a nice long 40's era trestle bridge crossing over a section of the mountain i think it would add a little more realism coming out of a tunnel onto a trestle bridge over to the next mountain snd it would also be fun breaking out my wood and framing each trestle up I got the idea from the sept/oct N-Scale mag
  12. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    First logging and mining railroads could have grades up to 10%!! So,special logging engines was used such as Shays,Heislers and Climax locomotives.These type of engines use gears instead of the more common side rods and drivers use on steam locomotives.
    Here is 2 sites that might help you.
    First logging camps.

    Then the logging and mining engines.

    Of course mines was served by the common railroads with grades up to 2.5%
  13. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Joe: that berm is called an embankment. Done the other way around, it's called a cutting. Railroad planners liked to have the cuttings and embankments balance each other. Often they would put in wood trestles and later on (years later on!) come back and dump stuff in and around the trestle to make it solid ground.
    If you want to see grades on logging layouts, check posts by Shamus.
  14. ProfLooney

    ProfLooney New Member

    thanks guys i just wanna make sure my little engine that could will be able to pull abt 15 or so cars up whatever grade I use

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