Starting Over Decisions

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Bob Collins, Nov 25, 2004.

  1. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Yeah, I agree - Just post the address.
  2. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Peco have come out with North American prototype turnouts now, in code 83. I like Peco because they snap into place with no ground throws or switch machines. Also, they are beautifully made and the ones I have required absolutely no dressing of rails.
    They of course come in electro and insulfrog.

  3. revandy

    revandy Member

    Any chance of getting that address?
  4. gcodori

    gcodori Member

    OK guys, here is the link to the scans. All you will find are 5 files. 4 of them are the contest winner plan, plus drawings/info.

    The 5th item is my trackplan I am working on.

  5. gcodori

    gcodori Member

    Note - I scanned the pages in B&W in order to save the file size. Only the overview drawing and the track plan were in color.

  6. wjstix

    wjstix Member

    I've never really cared for cork, I use 'ribbonrail' upsom board roadbed (you can get it thru Walthers catalog). It's pre-cut in straight and curves from I think 15" to 48" radius. Nice thing about that is that you can lay out your trackplan fullsize with the roadbed sections before laying track - just to be sure everything fits!!

    BTW on a smaller layout I think the ability to differ track heights by using WS subroadbed would be more desireable not less?? I have some track that is only a 1/2" different than nearby trackage, but it does make a big difference in appearance to my eye.
  7. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Fired Up Again

    I spent this afternoon at The Great American Train Show being held here in Council Bluffs this weekend and I guess it has gotten me fired up enough to get started doing something about getting a layout up and running, finally :)

    We'll see how long it lasts :rolleyes:

    I have a situation where I have begged sufficient space upstairs in the loft to build my empire ;) , but I also have a problem. I don't have the saw type tools to get into cutting up the lumber to build the bench work I will need. I have been looking at the Sievers Benchwork pamphlet and think it would do the job for me, but am wondering if anyone else has tried it and if so, were you satisfied with what you received for the money? I think it is a bit pricey, but sometimes you go with the flow and bite the bullet on something like this, I think :)

    Actually I think I would buy the pieces that make up the modules and purchase the legs locally. Sievers uses 1" X 4" lumber and I think I prefer 2" X 2", as it is easier to drill the bottoms of each leg to insert a leveling bolt. I also have something of a strange situation where in one corner of the layout area there are some floor cupboard that I will need to be able to open once the benchwork is in place, so will need to customize the legs in that particular area. It would be easier I think with the 2" X 2" legs.

    Any advice is most welcome.

    Oh, and the good news is that my wife went along this afternoon and I got to break the news to her that I want to use the new Walther 130' turntable as a center piece on my layout. She didn't even blink an eye when I told her how much it costs :thumb: :thumb:

  8. sammyd

    sammyd Member

    Actually Bachmann seems to offer quite a large selection for their EZ Track line including 3 foot straights and a complete crossover to cut down on joints. No flex stuff that I've seen tho.
    And actually comparing Atlas code 83 flex with cork and ballast items with their True Track the cost is pretty close to even.
    But as was mentioned everything is pretty sectional and requires lots of joiners and I think the biggest turnout I've seen was a 5 from Bacmann.
  9. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member


    Thanks sammyd. I am specifically interested in the benchwork at this time. Once I get the frames and legs in place my plan is to cover them with first oxboard (cheaper than plywood and just as sturdy) and then either 1 or 2" insulation. I plan to use cork and atlas flex track and I'm still researching the turnouts because I plan to use DCC and I think I need to use turnouts that are "DCC friendly."

  10. gcodori

    gcodori Member

    Here's a suggestion...If you know what you need in terms of cut lumber (make a plan of the benchwork, not just the track plan), you can get lumber cut at places like home depot when you make your purchase.

    Get all the legs cut to a uniform length. The get enough pieces to make a simple box frame. Then use extruded (1-2 inch thick) foam (the pink of blue stuff) as the base. This can be cut with a large kitchen knife.

    I'm sure many here will point you in the right direction regarding this method. The key is to have everything planned out before you start kutting (measure twice, cut once!).

  11. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Thanks Greg;

    As I look at the prices on the Sievers stuff I am more inclined to do as you suggest. We have a Home Depot and a wonderful place called Menards where the prices and service are much better. I think I'll do exactly as you say regarding the benchwork and legs. I was just doing some measuring and decided that since I want an area I was going to put again the wall to be 36" wide, I will now more it out 24" from the wall which ought to give me plenty of room to move along that side of the layout. I want to put some hidden staging in there and am afraid if I put it up against the wall I may never see some of my rolling stock again :D The other way to handle it would be to put a lift out over the staging, which I may also do too before I'm finished.

    So, I'm off to start doing some measuring and then a trip to the lumber yard within the next couple of days. I know it is going to feel good to get started, finally :) :)

  12. gcodori

    gcodori Member

    I seriously suggest drawing out the benchwork ahead of time, even if it is going to be a 24" x 48" shelf.

    Here are some good links to read as you get started:
    benchwork theories
    benchwork theries
    n scale, but good for all scales!
    There's also a yahoo group that follows the building this railroad tutorial, and is a place to discuss ideas.
  13. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    Bob, Hows it going?? Progress being made??
    Benchwork complete??
    Anyone in Iowa have thier Corn planted yet ;)
  14. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Benchwork is completed except to apply the foam insulation which I will do this weekend. Having done all this once before helped a great deal in knowing what I could and couldn't do and have what I wanted as the end result. So far I am fairly well satisfied.

    Track laying for me is very time consuming as even though I use Atlas flex track I take a lot of time to get it down the very best I know how. I have no time constraints except old age :) :)

  15. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Oh, and with a few snow flurries yesterday and more predicted for Friday, corn planting is on hold :D :D

  16. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    Have you ever considered putting it on wheels? Like you, I have space limitations. In order to maximize my benchwork surface, I put my entire 8'x11' "L" shaped layout on adjustable casters. Although it is pushed back in a corner most of the time, that way I can roll it out from the walls when I want to get behind it. I made the casters adjustable due to th eslope in my basement floor. Just a thought.
  17. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Doc, excellent idea, except I have two problems. First of all the floor is carpeted and the second problem is that I have had to build the benchwork over some build in cabinets which means I have a set of legs shorter that the others. Moving them off the tops of the cabinets would surely cause a considerable sag and crack the scenery :( :(

  18. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    My basement is carpeted as well. I used 2" round ball casters. They roll on carpet no problem. Thecabinet issue is a little trickier, depending on theie depth. Most people build benchwork with the legs at the outside edge or corners. I saw a tip on a forum when I first started that recommended moving the legs inside from the edge and have the benchwork cantilever past. I used a 12" overhang which keeps my feet from hitting. I do share your concern regarding scenery cracking, but haven't gotten anywhere near that far in my layout.
  19. toolman

    toolman Member

    Bob, when I planned my layout which is flat and point to point. I have a small finish basement and wanted to keep the size reasonable. I bought that Atlas software... what awaste, didn't know was coming or going. I bought a template, looked at the model train magazines and drafted up a track plan...... pencil and paper for me worked great. Track I used sectional and flex, have very little derailments and when that happens I correct it. Gotta go now, have to get some....:sleeping:
  20. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    I spent about 6 months, off and on, looking through MRR's etc, and finally decided on a plan out of 101 Track Plans (#56). I had basically overlooked it as not having enough of "what I wanted" whatever that means as I can't define it.

    I have a plan that a double loop, with several places for yards, a turntable (I'll get the new Walther indexed one) and broad curves (30" and 32") on the mainlines. It is going to be flat, although I have some extra space where I could add something else in the future, but have given that area no thought as all. I will more than likely get the last few pieces of foam insulation down this weekend and then start marking out curve radii, etc. I also need to figure out how much flex track and how many of which turnouts I'm going to need and get them purchased next time I go to Omaha and am near the hobby shop. Need also to read up on how to hook up my Digitrax again.

    Other than that I am finally making slow, but fairly steady progress :) :) :confused:

    Happy Easter


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