Prepairing to begin again

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by LoudMusic, Oct 7, 2006.

  1. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    An observation on the English language....Given:
    1. Old, and eccentric, are often paired in descriptives.
    2. Old, and crank, are often paired in descriptives.
    3. Steam locomotives are OLD, and they have Eccentric cranks !!! :D :D :D
  2. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    Crank or cranky? ;)

    I never really thought I'd like model steam locos much. Though I probably developed that opinion looking at inexpensive representations with weak mechanics that flopped about in an unrealistic way. Somehow now I enjoy them quite a lot more. Could also have to do with recent visits to Steamtown and other such facilities.

    But now I'm excited about running some On30 stuff. Perhaps the larger size also helps.
  3. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I am a crank.
    I am only cranky, when I am not partying!

    "Now, on deck, station the party detail, all hands make preparations for heavy drinking!"
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Use them alone or in combination as the need arises:

    "You old crank!"

    "Cranky *&^#$@#"

    "Cranky old eccentric!"


  5. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    Ok, still hammering things out in my mind. I've changed the module design to incorporate the riser ends as someone mentioned earlier. And I've layed them out to give myself a little ups and downs. In the following picture:

    4.1667% grades (2" raise / lower for 48" section), I'm OK with that
    8x12 total space, 4x8 central operator pit
    50" duck under (due to second lifted section), I'm OK with that
    10 Boxes are 2"(wide)x7"(long)x3"(high) average representing all rolling stock


    First question, are those measurements acceptible for On30 average locos and cars? Think Bachmann Shay and various log cars.

    Is 2' deep enough for two seperate runs of track? I'd like to have a folded over figure-8 with both sets of track varying their elevation above and below eachother in hilly terrain. Perhaps lower track following a creek and upper track clinging to a hill side.

    2' in O scale is 98'. If I roped off a square area, 2'x2' I'd have a scale 98' x 98' area. Is that enough real estate to make a (very) small logging company? I figure if the sawmill operation / camp are mostly facades against the backdrop there should be plenty of room for a mainline to passthrough (perhaps even hidden in the buildings) and another to pass through the operational area with sidings and equipment laying around.

    I guess I need some average dimensions so I can continue my 3D modeling. This sure is teaching me a lot about and giving me plenty of practice in Sketchup ;)
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Have you looked at Paul Templar's stuff? He was an active poster here at the Gauge for some time (look for "Shamus"). He also runs his own forum called "all model railroading (AMR)". Sorry I don't have a url, but you can google it...

  7. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    From his site,

    GASP! It's all gone! Well, on to the new pictures.
  8. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    I've posted these over at AMR, but they're old and slow ( ;) ) so I thought I'd get opinions here too.

    First thought was a simple 8x12 with a duck under. It includes two independant loops that can be "crossovered" into a folded figure eight. I like this very much, but it's pretty stinkin` crowded, which is what they said at AMR.


    Second I went ahead and made better use of the room, dog-boned the track, and also stuck in a hinged bridge. Walk-in (yay!) single loop (meh ...), LOTS more surface and trackage (WOOHOO!). I've not done much with sidings yet, so don't let that factor in.

  9. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    The first is definitely in the style of Shamus, and I like it, but I like the second better. I would be interested in seeing what you might do with sidings, etc on that.

  10. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    Interesting, because he said it was too crowded and didn't really offer much in the way of design aid, other than it needs to have plenty of 'wide open scenery'.

    The second is obviously better in many ways. No duckunder and nearly 50% more layout space in the same room. But 50% more cost in building materials ;)

    So I suppose it's back to track design on the bigger option. I'd rather avoid 'loop to loop', as it makes it difficult to "just let trains run" having to flip turnouts and electrical blocks (if using DC) constantly. So I've still got the moderately crowded look of two 'main lines' cutting through 2' of scenery. One, or I suppose both, could be hidden in tunnels with a solid 2' deep of no tracks showing at all in some areas. I also thought of having the bit of track that uses the lift-out be a completely independant loop with a couple crossovers or some-such. It could get crazy again!
  11. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    With the second, yes you may have two tracks in any one scene, but there are a few places in the first where there are four (4) sets of tracks...!

    I still like the second best. Once you add some hidden (tunnels, etc) trackage, and a few spurs, it will be better. Remember that logging railroads were built pretty much only long enough to get to the trees (at least the spurs), so it will blend well with the woods - not like a super clean, high profile, 100mph mainline...

    The other thing I wanted to say is that the folded loop plus the duckunder gives you two options for continuous running, which is great.

  12. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    The AMR fleet seemed to think I should ditch the duckunder / lift / hinge apparatus. I figure it could be as high as 54" so it really wouldn't be too much of an issue. What are the thoughts at The Gauge?

    Here's another plan on the same benchwork.


    In this design the bridge is required to make a loop. There are single lap helixes on each side to raise the bridge by an additional 6". This added elevation also adds to the physical interest of a "logging" railroad, with spurs and switchbacks included in the area. The resulting elevation of the switchback in the upper right can be over 16" higher than the lowest rail elevation on the layout and still not use greater than 3.5% grades.

    I still don't like that in this design I can't reach the back corner. And because I am actually starting to like the idea of a hinged / lift-out bridge spanning the walkway I've come up with a couple other ideas.


    Obviously both doors have to come off their hinges, and the only problem with that is keeping the cats out of the room. If I leave off that last 4' section on the 'tail' both doors can stay intact, but of course I loose the 4' :) What I like about this arrangement is the 4x8 section in the center is fully accessible and provides a LARGE area for modeling stuff, more than just running trains along a shelf.

    So I think I'm done with the previous layout designs for the time being and am going to work on something for this new arrangement.

    Any questions, comments, observations? I'd love to have more advice and general discussion :)
  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Re: doors

    You can always build a shorter (two or three foot) module, rather than losing the whole four feet. Alternately, you could create a "dutch door" to keep the cats out. Cut the top of the door off so that the remaining bottom will swing under the layout... Just an idea ;)

    Re: reach

    I like the latest sketch best, not withstanding the door issue. I think that you will find that On30 logging is a kind of hands-on thing, and you will want to reach all parts, not only for construction, but for operating as well.

    Re: centre 4x8

    I think that this feature is good, and will give you some great chances to capture the look and feel of a mountainous logging area. You could conceivably build landscapes high enough to block the view of other parts of the layout, which would be fantastic.

    Re: Duckunder/lift section

    There is nothing to say that the duckunder has to be right at the door. In your last Sketchup sketch, you could have the whole left side as a "branch", and have the duckunder/bridge from the end of the penninsula to the far wall, giving you a loop around the right side of the layout at least.

  14. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    There is a closet door which that tail end is covering - near as I can tell the legs in the most recent design would just clear the opening leaving a nice "crawl space" into the closet. So the module would either have to stay that size or be removed entirely. Bummer, eh?

    As far as dutch doors are concerned, I love'em! But our cats are quite frisky. The boy cat named Chips (indoor / outdoor hunter) can leap onto a 6' tall privacy fence from a standing possition. And the girl cat, Athena (indoor snuggler), would make short work of a 40" barricade ;)

    But we do see a dutch door in our future, seperating a much dreamed of "dog room" from the rest of the house. It would keep our pair of 60 pound mutts from romping freely about the fine furnishings that the cats have so gracefully applied their loose fur to.

    I think this is another reason I like the idea of narrow gauge and logging - you get to get in there and "get dirty", as opposed to punching buttons on the edge of the benchwork to operate turnouts, uncouplers and large mechanical models. I'll be throwing all my turnouts by hand, and working an uncoupler tool.

    On30 ~ 'Goin`Dirty'

    I hadn't even given much thought to virticle obstructions ... yikes! Yes a large mountainous region would be great, with switchbacks running up a steep grade to reach the oldest of big trees. Fun fun!

    I had looked into moving around to different locations. Let me get a bit more work done on this current track plan and then I'll post it. My issue with moving the duckunder further around is that I don't get as much of a 'run up', so either it ends up being lower or the whole layout ends up behing higher.

    We'll see :)
  15. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    Well I was working on this sort of thing before I realized I'd left 2' off the tail, which is exactly what you were recommending! Ha ha! But judging by the measurements I posted earlier in the thread that would put the legs SMACK in the middle of the closet doorway.


    Have no fear! I have even more thoughts in my head waiting to be squiggled onto a piece of digital graph paper.
  16. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I don't know what the costs would be, but have you considered the use of "pocket doors" that would slide into the adjacent wall to open?
  17. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    Ah, hadn't thought of that for this project. But we did get a quote for pocket door installation on the downstairs half-bath due to similar reasons (the door actually hit the toilet lid ...). The expensive part wasn't the door installation but moving the electrical stuff that were where it was headed inside the wall. The same would be true for this bedroom, unfortunately. There are three lightswitches in the wall that it would need to slide into, and they'd have to be moved into an opposite wall which would require a fair bit of wiring.

    So to heck with the door! Shackle the cats!


    What I'm realizing is that I'm spending a lot of time trying to get altituide to cross this duckunder. IT'S A DUCKUNDER not a walkunder, which'll likely be completely removable anyway. I need to ditch those two mini-helixes and snap back to reality.
  18. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I would never design a layout like that. I always try to keep duckunders by the entrance. That way, you have to duck to enter, but you can walk around and operate without stooping.
  19. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    Hmm. Good call. Hadn't thought about that.
  20. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member


    There is lumber in my garage waiting to be sliced and diced, screwed and bolted. Woohaa! Maybe this weekend I'll find a few hours to run the circular saw. Need to get the D-Walt charged up and ready to go.

Share This Page