progress on my layout

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by viperman, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Cool, I like it!! I need to get familiar with Xtrackcab. It looks like a great program
  2. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Tonight's your night, buddy!

    Hey there Viperman...

    Here's a plan I just threw down a couple minutes ago. I haven't read through all the more recent posts and it's been a little while since you PM'd me (back in september!) but here 'tis, better late than never, I guess, since you're still at the foam board stage. goes. I should begin by saying that it is by far complete...that is, there is more room for sidings and other industries, although I personally would not fill the whole space with rail-served structures, but that's just me.

    View attachment 32082

    Siding A is an interchange track. Your lone GP40-2 heads out from over near the wye around the back side of the layout across the 90 degree crossing and picks up the cars left there. Then the set-outs and pick-ups begin. Industry C...I'm thinking PikeStuff 'metal' industrial building with loading doors for a couple 40' hi-cube boxes. Whatever they make there, requires a covered walkway over the tracks. I remember an industry near me in La Mirada (Buena Park, actually) that had a structure like that over the BNSF main line into LA.

    Industry B...I'm thinking scrap yard...or recycling center, with front-end loaders and a crusher/conveyor, old-boxcar office building, fence made from old boxcar sides, etc. 40 and 50' gons get shoved in there loaded and hauled out empty, or vice versa if trucks haul in the stuff rather than haul it out.

    The structure in the wye is your interlocking tower, still in use, but mostly as a crew change point. The loco could remain parked on either the curved or straight section along the right of the benchwork. For local work like this, I'd even get a heavily grafitti'd caboose. Something like the TRIX UP wide vision.

    The section to the left on the other side of the scenic sky divider (just painted basic sky blue...unless you can find some cool photo backdrops to set your scene) is for your 4 foot bridge. If this is set in the SW somewhere, I'd make it a bridge over a dry wash, possibly with cattle grazing in the shade (too bad they can't be animated to jump up and run whenever your train rolled through! There was one spot near'd think they'd learn after a while!) Anyway, not sure what sort of bridge you've got, but that'd determine what kind of scenery goes beneath it.

    No grades, all curves 18" radius except the siding A, which is drawn with 20", but shifted a 1/2" or so from the inner curve for clearance. Turnouts are #4 or 18" rad. snap track. I'd go with #4's and trim to fit. The crossing on the far right near the interlocking tower is close to a 45 deg., but you may have to fiddle with the location of the turnouts on the curve of the wye to make that line up exactly.

    Okay...lemme know what you think and give me some more industry ideas so I can fill in any additional sidings you think it needs. So far you're running gons and hi-cube boxes...what else would you like to see? Pick industries that fit those types of cars. If you're going modern, I'm thinking some of those nice black cargill corn syrup tankers, and perhaps an industry that takes plastic pellets in covered hoppers. With such tight curves I'd stay away from center-beam flats and autoracks, long stuff like that. 50' gons are gonna be tight but workable, along with any long box cars (like the ubiquitous RailBox cars).


    Attached Files:

  3. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Heh he heh, I just found the post #161, I think, where you want someone to fit an Atlas plan into your space...that was my first 'serious' HO layout, the 'Super Pretzel' (no kidding, that's what the book called it!). It does fit in a 4x8 + 4x4 L shape like you have. IN FACT, I expanded it by adding a shelf, much like your 2x4 extension, only a foot or so longer and only 18" wide or so. At the end of that shelf was a 4x4 section and eventually I pulled all that trackwork up and modified the benchwork to make it an 8'x14' layout with center aisle accessed by a duckunder...a totally different (and freelanced) plan. The super pretzel came right out of the Atlas little blue plan book and included all track componants plus electrical componants to make it work. It was a fun layout, as described, especially trying to run two trains at once in opposite directions, meeting at the passing sidings.

  4. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    Galen. the back side is going to be impossable to get at without access ports. If you draw 24" circles and place the edges of them along the edges of the layout you can tell where the difficult-to-reach areas are. I did that and decided to put non-track scenery/structures in those areas.
  5. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Good point. Yet Impossible is such a strong long as the benchwork is sturdy and knees are limber...still not the best option, I agree. Just for fun, find a copy of the plan for the third Gorre & Daphetid and see how well the 24" reach holds up there...(I know, I know, John used pop-ups for some areas, but his best defense against using them was bulletproof trackwork)

    Still, this is why I didn't put any turnouts out of the 'two-foot' range of which you speak. The only touchy spot would be the 90 degree crossing. And I think he's got good access on all the other sides except the back, if memory serves me right from the picture posted recently of the pink foam addition. Adding sturdy locking casters to the legs so the layout could be easily rolled out from the wall would make access easier.

  6. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    Based on the pic, he should be able to reach the back by coming in from the sides. And since the benchwork is free-standing on legs, he could always put the whole thing on adjustable rolling casters like I did with mine so I cann roll it away from the wall to get to the back side.
  7. viperman

    viperman Active Member

    I do have access from all but the back, but even then its not much of a probem. The layout is sitting on smooth concrete, so it slides out fairly easily, just need to add some bracing to the legs if I want to be doing that a lot.

    I'll have to post a pic of that 4' bridge I have. I got it for free with the original layout. I don't NEED to have it in there, but I figure since I have it, may as well try.

    Tom, that is pretty much what I was thinking there. Leaves room for watching, and for industrial modeling, though more turnouts would be needed for that.

    Galen, I do like that plan too, I'm just not crazy about having the backdrop in the middle as a divider. I'd rather have some type of scenery to divide scenes, or just not divide it at all. Not to say I won't see how I like once its built though. So far, I have collected a couple 40' boxcars, a 50' gondola, an ACF centerflow, 55'(?) bulkhead flat, 40' flat w/ stakes; not sure what else. When I buy new cars for this thing, I originally wanted to get a wide variety of cars, but now I've just been worrying about the 40' boxes.
  8. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Okay...I can work with that! Now tell me what sort of scenery did you have in mind? BN (assuming you're gonna use that or the BNSF - Big New Santa Fe - as a prototype or at least inspiration,) covers alot of area with a diverse topography/setting. Knowing if I can get away with a hill or even a tunnel as a scenic element really helps the planning process.

  9. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!


    trust me from expierience, just because its easy, doesn't make it a good idea. it still drags, and there is still risk to your models.
  10. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    ALL RIGHT!!!!
    Things are heating up around here and the ideas are flying. I like the design. the best of both worlds...continuous runnin' and ops......even an interchange...and room for scenery!:thumb:
    I agree with GEC....If you even think you'll be moving this layout...use wheels:) . In addition to the bracing I would add plywood down low for extra support and storage (if the budget can handle it) just a thought:thumb:
    It's going to be great to see this take off...whatever you decide:thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  11. viperman

    viperman Active Member

    I was thinking some type of hill/tunnel, wooded area, something to that effect. Maybe industry A could be changed to a logging mill or something, to go along with that scenery idea. Then that would give me more room and flexibility to build that type of scenery around it, but then that would make my 40' boxcars obsolete, or would it?
  12. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Not necessarily obselete...depends on the age of the cars and the modeling era. Also, some short lines kept 'home road' cars in service (like old passenger cars used in MOW service) that were outlawed for various reasons in interchange use. But I'm not familiar off hand with the dates for such when roofwalks were outlawed, etc. Anybody?

    Okay...back to the drawing board and hopefully later tonight a revised plan. Your input is most helpful!

    Oh, and look in December 1997 and January 1998 MR if you have them, at Lionel Strang's odd-shaped modern era logging layout. Perhaps the mill may fit in somewhere...I'll see if I can find it myself.

  13. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Revised plan


    Here's the lumber-themed revision.

    View attachment 32136

    As you can see, a few things have changed. First, the wye area has become a small yard with an engine and car shop.

    Next, the backdrop/divider is gone and in its place is one large scene centered around a Walthers Lumber Mill. I've tried to sketch it pretty close to actual dimensions (having a Walthers Catalog around can be pretty handy for sketching). As I alluded in the last message, it seems like a reasonable choice for a more 'modern' mill. The loading shed is not to any exact dimension, nor is the woodchip loader. The piping to the chip loader will have to be kitbashed to go across the tracks, but I don't think that would be too hard.

    The outer curve around the log pond is a 22" radius curve, and I suggest a grade here to elevate the bridge area, returning to level before reaching the 90 deg. crossing. This is just a cosmetic thing.

    As for the inner curve...the trestle over the log pond stream (and perhaps bog/marsh) could be a low pile trestle. You won't need the whole curve for log dumping, so perhaps the trestle area could be car storage for extra log flats. The log dump curve is also your switchback area for switching the loading shed, where box cars and other centerbeam flats, etc, will be loaded by forklift.

    Now you may notice there is not a runaround at the Mill. Here's the fun. I envision this more as a Mill owned railroad. Operationally your interchange function is served by the small yard (where supposedly a Class I railroad comes sometime and retrieves the cars, OR, the mill line hauls them to another interchange yard somewhere...). Practically this means woodchip loads are removed from their hoppers and other cars are exchanged by hand between sessions. But it doesn't have to be that formal, either, hence the loop for the times when you just want to watch em roll.

    So when you want to switch the woodchip track or finished lumber track, you can either run straight out of the yard with those cars to be swapped or run light with just a caboose across the back and over the 90 degree crossing directly to the mill. To switch the log dump track, you can either shove cars over that same route (hence the caboose) OR back the train out of the yard and run it the other way around the layout over the big bridge.

    Of course, you can also just substitute the wye option from the previous plan and maybe add a small yard instead of the scrap dealer.

    I live in a mill town and watch the Weyerhauser's trains come in and out of town all the time. Look up the 'Columbia & Cowlitz Railroad' sometime for possible ideas. Neat older switchers, painted yellow with blue strobe lights on top (for mill safety, since so many other loaders, etc. use yellow).

    Okay...lemme know what you think.


    Attached Files:

  14. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Oh yeah, the question marks...these are up for grabs. With such a strong theme for the overall layout, perhaps something different would be nice, like a little old main street that's being 'revitalized' (be sure and include a Starbucks or the ubiquitous espresso shed or better yet both if this is the Pacific NW). Or maybe a truck stop like a Flying J...never seen one of those on a layout yet. Anyway, it's up to you. Trackwork-wise I think the layout is already busy enough. Let that space be for character and scenery.

  15. viperman

    viperman Active Member

    I'm really diggin' this Galen! Thank you so much for the help you've been!
    As for bridges, I have that monster of a bridge which, like I've already said, doesn't need to fit in (it is fairly tall, probably about a 3" gap under the plate to the bare foam), a plate girder, and a tressle. I can always get something else, but that will take time with the budget I have.
    I have one Stage1 1" riser kit, and one Stage2 2deg incline kit. Those could be combined to make the outer track elevated over the input for the log pond. Speaking of which, should the inner track be elevated too, or just the outer?
    As for the question marks, I would put some type of a town/village there. I could always add the forest type scenery in the top left corner, and have the town/village area to the right. Maybe make it similar to the old time mining villages. I do like the idea of putting a Starbucks there (where aren't they?), and maybe even a furniture store that builds their own from wood supplied at the mill - pick it up in a pickup truck type of thing.
    I do like the yard on this one without the scrap yard, and having a mainline starting there to go off the edge of the world, hey, those martians need wood too! hehe
    What type of car would the mill need for the logs? Plain old flatcars? I have hoppers I can put in the woodchip loader, but I will need some new ones, or at least some new trucks, and fabricate some kadee couplers.

    This is turning out sweet!
  16. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    Even a small tremble registers a 9.1 on a layout. :D :D :D :D
  17. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Wow, I am liking that lumber plan.

    I think that will look awsome with that forest in there and then a lumber mill down the line. Nice drawling Galen:thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  18. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Vman...what does this long bridge look like?

    Glad you like the I've been looking at it I can see one modification I might make over near the yard...a switching lead/staging. So perhaps I'll sketch that out sometime today. Gee vacation time is nice.

    As for the grades, well, that's something you'll have to play with in place. The inner track...well, it could be on a grade as well, but for contrast I'd leave it down low. Do a google image search for log ponds and see what the dump tracks look like. The flats can be any sort of flats you find, as long as you heavily weather the decks, include plenty of scale chain and/or stakes and plenty of bark scraps scattered around.

    There are many little towns in the NW that still have an old-time feel, even if the buildings weren't false-front style to begin with they've been modified to look like the old West. So modern stores in old-style buildings (complete with tourists, of course) could be pretty cool.

  19. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Oh, and as for woodchip could start with whatever regular sided hoppers you have and build styrene extensions to raise the sides...could be a good kitbashing project. A challenge will be in making or finding a suitable "netting" to go over the top of high loads.

    Spray them a basic color and 'stencil them' with VPMX or some other private home road (it's WTCX around here or CLC). I was watching a train roll by today and admiring the home-built woodchip cars - outside braced with plywood sides and plywood or sheet metal patches bolted or riveted in place all over the sides. Steam-era logging lines aren't the only creative make-do-with-what-you've-got home grown outfits! It's still happening today!

  20. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

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