TBA II Progress thread

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by seanm, Feb 14, 2005.

  1. seanm

    seanm Member

    I thought it would be a good idea to put all of my progress in once place. Some of this will be review of other threads, but I would like to use this space as sort of a log of my progress on the new layout. I will continue to post out side of this thread, but though it might be a good idea to have something more chronological and in one place.

    The original TBA was on one wall of my garage and had a loop going around the entire garage. I made the layout too wade to work on easily, had made some mistakes along the way and decided it was time for a change. Here is a link to the old layout web site: http://pegnsean.net/tba/

    For the new images (no text) including those not included here try this link: http://www.pegnsean.net/pics/trains/new_tba

    I ripped all of this out near the end of 2004 and started over with a clean slate and garage.

    The plan is a double decker around the wall layout using a helix to transition from onelevel to another. I like yard action, so there is a VERY large yard on the lower level. I used XtrkCad to create the plans. This is a great program but takes some getting used to. best of all it is free! Here are the latest workign copies. Sidings are not in stone yet.


  2. seanm

    seanm Member

    The garage is actually about 11'x19' but we needed some room for the washer and dryer... darn!

    The benchwork is attached to the walls with 2"X2" wood. Bulk of the benchwork is 1X3 with some 1x2 miked in there. The upper level is self supporting using some L brackets to make it strong. The lower level is L guirder construction with legs here and there. The sub roadbed is on 1/2" ACX plywood.

    The electric hazard has been eliminated and was just temporary!

  3. seanm

    seanm Member

    I used 1/8" non tempered masonite for the background. It bends real nice in the cornersd. I taped and mudded the joints and painted it a sky blue.


  4. seanm

    seanm Member

    After the benchworkj and backgrounds were done, I started thinking aboutlighting... especially for the lower level. I only had 3 " of space to work with. What I found were some really neat bulb recepticals that "clip" onto the wire.


    I used some Romex and about 25 of those clips. I am using 25w and 15w lights and it looks about right to me and does not produce too much heat.


  5. seanm

    seanm Member

    Time for the Helix. This was my Layout party project.

    Here are the stats:

    Atlas code 55 track
    18" radius with 12" strait section (oval)
    Rise is about 18"
    Rise per lap is about 2.8"
    6.5 laps
    137" of track per lap
    Grade aprox 2.1%
    890" track total (2.2 scale miles!!)
    1/2 ACX Plywood construction.
    Strait cuts 16" long side with 22.5 degree cut on each end.
    Joined with #20 biscuits.
    Support 16ea 1/4-20 threaded rod, nuts and washers.

  6. seanm

    seanm Member

    Latest addition is the main yard. It has now gotten it cork and is about to get track.

    I am using Atlas code 55 both #7 and the dreaded #5's... I have tested the #5's and they seem to work for me. Maybe I am just lucky.

    I have been using Liquid Nails (in the caulking gun) to attach the cork and track. Works very fast and allows for some wiggling.


  7. seanm

    seanm Member

    Well, this gets me right up to date. More info here as I make more progress!
  8. SD90

    SD90 Active Member

    Nice work on the layout so far! I can't wait to see more progress shots. I think it's really fun when a layout is in this stage. It can turn into almost anything at this point! Have fun!
  9. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    It is a good idea to have your progress here so we have the opportunity to see your progress Sean. I am always impressed by folks who have built helixes like yours. Looking forward to seeing how your turntable and roundhouse works out.
  10. Groove

    Groove New Member

    That Helix is obscene! I want one! :D

    infact I want two!

    nice work sir!
  11. SD90

    SD90 Active Member

    How long does it take a train to get to the top of that helix?
  12. seanm

    seanm Member

    Ya know, I have not timed it!! My guess would be at freight speed about 4-5 minutes. At passanger speed, about 2.5 minutes... This is a guess based on the length of track, not actual measurements.
  13. seanm

    seanm Member

    Got most of the yard track in place. Still need to fill the gaps in the ties and add feeders. The code 55 track is pretty smooth!! Only had one switch that gave me any trouble and I am using many of the infamous #5's.



  14. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    The yard sure looks like it has great capacity Sean
  15. 2slim

    2slim Member

    I second Robin's comment, you could have a blast and never leave the yard limits!! Swweeeeetttt!!

  16. seanm

    seanm Member

    Thanks both of ya!

    I learned what I liked from my previous layout. I like bumping around the yard and long runs... so this new layout has both. Nice to be able to build something that fits my idea of fun and to see all the other users here doing exactly the same!!
  17. seanm

    seanm Member

    Big progress this weekend at TBA Railway!

    We had the first train take its trip around the lower level mainline!! No derailed cars! Even ran it backwards and into the yard and still no derails even though the switches have nothing hooked to the throw bars.

    I wanted to talk a little about the pull out bridge for the lowr level. It came out really well and is very reliable. (so far)... Not sure how it will be long term, but time will tell.

    I needed to span about 28" with a slight curve to mate the two sides of what is essentially a C: chape. Have a look at the plans above.

    I used nothing but plywood and 1X2's to make the bridge. It is not part of scenery so looks on this bridge are not too important.

    First I created a abutment on both sides to have the plywood set deck set on and leveled everything up. I made a cardboard template of the deck and then transfered it to plywood. I put a 1x2 spine on the bottom of the deck to keep it rigid and then added two "tongues"that were 90 degrees to the abutments.

    This is the underside of the deck.

    If you look close at the tongues, you will see a u shaped piece of metal with a screw attached and wires connected. This is how I get the power to the bridge tracks. The north rails come from the east side of the bridge and the south rail power comes from the west.


    I placed the bridge back on teh abutments and then glued and clamped alignment blocks on either side of the tongues and let them dry.


    You can see the metal contact here as well with the feeder wire on the left to the incoming track to the bridge with the main power connected to the right side. What this does is if the bridge is out of the socket, no power can go to the track about 2 feet before the bridge location. Hopefully this will stop mistakes.

    Here you can see how it fits together. The picture is a little washed out, but you can see how the contacts are made with the tongue and the side contacts.


    And it makes a real positive electrical and physical connection.


    I then put cork and track on the deck. I placed the track (Atlas code 55 flex) over the "gaps" at the end of the bridge and glued it all down with liquid nails. Then I used THIN ACC to cement the track to the ties aver the area of the "cut". Once the glue was dry I used a jewlers saw to make the cuts. You almost can't tell the cuts are there...well, almost.


    The train made it across with out a hiccup!


    I am really pleased with how positive the attachment of the bridge is and how it routs the power not only to the bridge track but to the approaching track as well.

    This is my first time with a jewlers saw and I have to say, it maked the finest cuts I have ever seen! Also, I really think the cementing of the rails to the ties with the CA BEFORE cutting was a big help.
  18. Sir_Prize

    Sir_Prize Member

    Looks, and apparently operates, wonderfully!
    Good on ya'!

    I envy ya' the the helix, but not the work I'm sure it took you & your lads.
    Yard is look'n like it'll be true to life.
  19. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    That is some awesome work you're doing there, Sean!
    :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:
  20. seanm

    seanm Member

    Thank you both for your kind words.

    I am having a lot of fun. It seems as I get older I like the process a lot more then the goal.... Even though progress has been pretty fast, I am really taking a lot more time then I did when I was younger. I enjoy thinking through the problems more and doing projects with a bit better quality.

    Still have LOTS to do and will keep posting interesting items as I go.

    The bridge I just described is a "utilitarian" piece, but I do have a "pretty" bridge to span the two upper levels in mind and it should be a fun project as well.

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