Starting Over With An HO Layout

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Drew1125, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    I’ve begun construction on a new project…an HO layout depicting an Appalachian shortline set in the 1930’s - 1940’s…
    I’ve always wanted to do something along these lines, but my primary impetus here was to build a RR that I could share & enjoy with my grandsons (at this writing, aged 3 & 4)
    My wife started prodding me a month or so ago, by saying, “You don’t have anything down there that the boys can watch you run trains on!”
    I started to respond by saying that I had really gotten more into “building models”, & that why I didn’t have anything that was “up & running” at the moment, & then I stopped & realized she was right!
    I was actually in a kind of slump, & I thought maybe this is the kick in the pants I need to get going on something!
    I decided I would go back to my roots & start over…a good old fashioned HO layout…a simple trackplan, with a little operational capability so not to get boring…
    I had a corner of the basement available…I had about 10’ along one wall, & 12’ along the other…The first job was to get it cleaned up!
    Here the corner I had to work with…
    After doing a little measuring, I decided that I could build a walk-in design, using four 6’ long sections…something like this… (these should have been labled “sections” not “modules”)
    I roughed up a trackplan…sort of a folded figure-8...I’m not real good with drawing plans…I’ll make a lot of this up as I go…it’s just something to give me a jumping-off point…
  2. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    That's great Drew! Let the fun begin! Best wishes on the new layout!
  3. trainnut65

    trainnut65 Member

    That should be a nice HO layout. Wish i had room i the house for my Ho stuff.
  4. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Thanks guys! :)
    Well, here’s the base benchwork, along with some masonite panels for the backdrop.(& yours truly)
    Like I said, I’m building this with my grandsons in mind, so I’m keeping the benchwork only 36” off the floor…looks like the highest track elevation is going to be about 41” high…
    This is “old school” construction…L-girders with 1x3 cross-pieces…the sub roadbed will be ½” plywood…
  5. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Here’s a couple of pics of how I’ve painted the backdrop panels…along with the beginning of some sub-roadbed…
    I know the backdrop painting isn’t very good, but a lot of it will eventually be covered with scenery, & my hope is that it will just kind of give the hint of some hills in the distance…
    I used the backdrop to hide this basement support pole…I’m wanting to use this area to stage trains off the layout…
  6. 0-4-0 Steamer

    0-4-0 Steamer New Member

    looks like your off to a super start!
  7. myltlpny

    myltlpny Member

    Man, I wish I had a basement. But basements around here tend to end up as swimming pools.
    At any rate, your layout looks good so far. Actually, it's very similar to the one I have in my bonus room, but mine is double tracked. I took it from a Linn Wescott book, but reversed the grades.
  8. Kanawha

    Kanawha Member

    Ditto that, I wish I had a basement. No one in AZ realizes how much cooler it is below ground level, they only see how much it costs to dig in hard soil. Its not that hard really.
  9. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    Great layout start, Must be twice as my space! Here in BC you can barely find a house without a basement!
  10. wickman

    wickman Member

    Hey Drew any trains running yet sign1
  11. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Wow Drew! You work fast!!!!!!
  12. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Fast? yeah, lightning fast, that's all I can say. Good to see you found something to keep you busy and out of trouble...:thumb: :thumb:
  13. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Thanks for all the comments, guys! :)

    I did get the benchwork up pretty fast I guess…
    But things have slowed down some…I’m almost to the tracklaying phase…I’m wanting to go ahead & jump into DCC with this layout, & I’m also wanting to use Tortoise switch machines with decoders…so for someone who has never really liked the wiring aspect of the hobby too much, this is a pretty daunting task I have before me at this point! :confused: wall1

    I’ll keep ya posted! :wave:
  14. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    I’m still puttering along here…
    This is where the high line will cross over the lower line…I’m wanting to build a concrete arch bridge here that will cross over the tracks where the boxcar is, & a stream, (indicated by the green line)
    This is where I’m planning on building a small town scene…the boxcar is sitting on tracks that will be hidden under the town…I’m going to make a removable section directly over the track there for access…
    Well, hopefully I’ll have some more updates soon!
  15. wickman

    wickman Member

    Great to see some progress Drew. Can't wait to see some scenery get started and that new DCC running the first train.:wave:
  16. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I suspect the biggest problem for doing a basement in Az is like So Cal. All of the sewer lines are located about 4 feet below ground. If you dig a basement, you need a sump pump and check valve to keep a sewer back up from turning your basement into a sewage swimming pool.
  17. cwwees

    cwwees New Member

    Az basement

    As a resident of Arizona, I'll point out that the problem is expansive soil. With little vegetable matter and very little airpsace in the desert soils, they expand when wet. Dig a basement and it will get crushed when the soil gets saturated (once a year). If you dig it when wet, you will find no pressure from the dirt outside the basement when things dry out and the walls will sag outwards.

    This can be addressed, partially, with sufficient drainage space around the basement and with placement on a hillside so that it drains (at least one wall of your basement needs to be open - able to have windows down to floor level).

  18. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Just an update...
    I've been kind of busy with another non-RR project, & we've got a big family vacation coming up in a few weeks...time & money...the old story...
    Anyway, I have still been puttering along with the sub-roadbed...
    This area will represent a coal mine, small mining town, & possibly a timber trestle span...
  19. chooch.42

    chooch.42 Member

    Drew, Concept and progress looking GREAT !! Just stumbled on your thread (don't get on here as often as I'd like), and seeing what you've planned and done may actually get me off my duff !! Keep up the good work and update us when you can, and have a great vacation ! Bob
  20. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Track-laying in progress…

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