Tips for my layout?

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by RailMonkey, Oct 7, 2005.

  1. RailMonkey

    RailMonkey New Member

    Hey all, new here.

    My dad gave me a bunch of O27 stuff a few years back, and I've been collecting more and more stuff and I've set up a loose set of tracks downstairs as a "layout" I'm going to post pictures and I want you guys to give me your hardest critique for making it better. I'm not modelling any specific era, but I perfer earlier diesel and steam locomotives and freight lines, and I like action, prototypical operation is fun but optional.

  2. 77railer

    77railer Member

    Looks like its gonna be fun...keep at it man...let em run,lol. But you might want to move the foam in the first picture...your steamer is gonna eat it up,lol

  3. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    Looks a lot like my initial O27 layout. Is that two 4x8s?

    Here's a tip: If you put a piece of weatherstrip under each tie, and attach the track to the table with plastic zip ties instead of metal screws (drill a hole, stick one through it, then zip another one onto it from the bottom to secure it) you'll have a quieter layout.
  4. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    If you want quiet try homosote.

    I have tried all the tips for quiet and believe me there is a certain amount of racket you have to live with.

    I have tried glue, foam. nails. ties, homosote, and cork ..just do the best you can.

    I suggest cork road bed, it helps a little and looks OK. You can paint it or glue ballast.
    I suggest for a guy starting out to get a good but simple track plan and just run the trains as you have them.

    After a while add track side and operating accessories, then a little scenery. Bachman Plasticville buildings are cheap. A lot can be found on auction sites and at train shows. Go to train shows and look around.

    Here is the bottom line have a lot of fun at the skill level you are at now. Run your own trains, not someone else's idea of a lay out. Other fellows may have years and thousands of dollars in their lay outs. Dont try to compete with an idea of what appears to be the perfect set up.
    Just enjoy and experiment, live and learn. Just dont paint your trains, LOL

    Take then as they are, dont glue on parts or change the couplers.
  5. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    By the way that is a good track plan, the table is good and you are starting out well. I wish I was there to work on it myself. At this time you are well ahead of me.
  6. spankybird

    spankybird OTTS Founder

    You have a great start to your layout. :thumb: I would sujest that you replace the Lionel switches with new K-line low profile ones.

    The K-line has great advantage over the Lionel in
    1. they can run from track power
    2. both the swtich and controler has lights
    3. they don't buzz as the cars - trains go over them
    4. they have a low profile to allow longer cars and larger engines to run thru them.

    Oh did I memtion, they don't buzz when you run your trian thru them.

    They can be pick up for about $25.00 each, a great price :D

    Oh did I memtion, they don't buzz when you run your train thru them.:)


  7. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    I built the same track plan some years ago in a combination didning room and kitchen, I had to move the ice box to work it in. It was 12 by 6 by 8 feet if I recall.

    I used 54 inch Gargraves on it.
    Chief, that looks well planned and well executed.
  8. RailMonkey

    RailMonkey New Member

    Thanks for the feedback everyone...

    First off, it's actually THREE 4x8s and a little bridge between them, arranged in a C pattern. The first two tables are the ones covered in grass, then the little bridge area (see transformer pic) joins it to a third, bare table.

    I'm actually planning on ripping it all up and relaying it in more or less the same arrangement, but "properly". You know, railbed and feeder wires and proper trackplan to work with, cutting pieces to exact lengths and such. Right now its a loose "slap together" arrangement.

    Actually, any tips for that? Also, I'm having a serious issue putting track together and taking it apart, any tips for that as well?

    Replacing the switches isn't an option really, too much invested in them, but I'll keep the K-Lines in mind.

    Does Lionel sell flex track? Or any body else sell it in a configuration that won't look out of place? Obviously Gargraves ghost rail stuff with the black ties would stick out...

    Thanks all
  9. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    NO flex but you might find some old what ever they call that stuff from the 50's.

    I would junk that 027 stuff and get regular o 31, it is cheap used.

    It goes down with screws, not niails and I have used and reused section fifty or more years old. It stands up.
  10. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    The problem with replacing the O27 track is it would also require changing the switches. I prefer the O27 profile track, and you can get wide-radius track in that profile (042, O54, O72, and if you're lucky at shows, old Marx O34 as well). My layout is mostly O42 and O34.

    As far as putting track together and taking it apart, there's a very expensive device that's advertised in the back of magazines, but as I recall it costs something like $170. Not worth it unless you're going to build layouts professionally, I don't think. I got a pair of pliers at a dollar store and filed a groove in it to use to reform rails if the pins get loose.

    The general rule (not that I do a very good job of following it myself) is to run feeder wires every three track joints, and start counting over again after switches. It gives smoother operation.
  11. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    Well OK.:rolleyes: .................................

    Howwever with O ga track, use a screw and remove a screw...peroid.
  12. RailMonkey

    RailMonkey New Member

    Is there some trick to getting it together? if I try loosening it with a screwdriver blade I can't tighten it up well, if I try using a block and rubber mallet the rails pop off the ties and lose alignment..etc....then there's the cuts...

    Yeah, tips please?

    (By the way, this is the best model railroading forum I've found to date, but are there any others that are good? More info is never bad)
  13. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    Pull hard I guess.
  14. RailMonkey

    RailMonkey New Member

    It may be the sleepyness, or the back pains taking over my mind, but I'm having a little trouble understanding that, can you reword it please? Thanks!
  15. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    I am sorry, twas late when I wrote it.
  16. spankybird

    spankybird OTTS Founder

    Gill, I use all 027 track and use #4 x 3/4 long screws to hold the track. You can pic up these screws at home depot or lowes. I have never used nails to hold down my track.

    If you can't find the #4 screws, then you could drill the hole in the ties larger.
  17. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    '''Actually, any tips for that? Also, I'm having a serious issue putting track together and taking it apart, any tips for that as well?"""I was writing to rail monkey however I misunderstod.

    I thought he was having trouble getting the track UP...not apart.
    I must have been drunk when I read it, sorry :oops:

    All I can offer at this point is to pull harder.
  18. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    With the greater radii you can do a lot with 0 27.

    It is a matter of preffernce I guess.
  19. RailMonkey

    RailMonkey New Member

    Thanks for the tip about pulling harder ;-)

    What about getting it together without hurting myself or distorting the track? I'm not too fond about prying it loose, I don't think I'll ever get it quite tight again...
  20. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    Keep a package of extra pins arounfd and a pir of SIDE cutters to cripm lose track with. They work well on O 31 maybe also with the O27.

    Use a block of wood aout a 1x1 and a foot long and tap the out sides of the ties, first one side then the other.

    Or wear gloves and pull them apart.

    The track is chaep so buy a few exra sections for replacements if needed.
    After all those years, they may be rusted in places, so you could use a little liquid wrench.

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