Which Code?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by ukulele8421, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. PWRR-2207

    PWRR-2207 Rogue Islander


    Did you get the “Incline Set” or a pack of “Incline Starters”? I am hoping you got the “Starters” because you could just go up and down a half inch over a section of your layout and use a half inch thick piece of foam for the raised but level area (shown in dark green below).

    Elevation idea.jpg

    I also found these tables on Welcome to Woodland Scenics! Home of everything for Model Railroad Scenery! that may help a little if you got the “Incline Set”. Note that “Woodland Scenic’s” also warns you about testing to see if your engine can handle steep grades like your proposed 4 percent grade...
    Incline Sets Table.jpg
    Incline Starter Table.jpg
  2. ukulele8421

    ukulele8421 New Member

    I got the starter set. I spent like an hour at the hobby store trying to understand what was in the package, and the Shop's owner wasn't there to ask, but his wife was, and she didn't know anything about it.

    I made sure my engine could do the 4%, too. I've been in this hobby for a few years now, but I never made my own layout. Wait, why did I just say that? Thanks guys. Any more suggestions?
  3. jesso

    jesso Member

    Crud I calculated wrong. 3% is what is needed to go from the bridge to the switch. Big sorry. Forgot that 3% goes to 4.5 inch, I had calculated it out using it at 4. Again I apologize.
  4. ukulele8421

    ukulele8421 New Member

    Don't worry about it. I'll just double the 2% and make it 4%. It it doesn't work on tests, I'll just get 3%. Nothing harmed there.
  5. ukulele8421

    ukulele8421 New Member

    You don't have to worry now. I just tested the 4% grade with some bachmann track I have (just like 50" of straight track), and it works. No problem there.
  6. PWRR-2207

    PWRR-2207 Rogue Islander

    The best laid plans of....

    I understand about the whole “first layout” experience. My first free-standing, semi-permanent layout was weeks in development and research once I ‘negotiated building permits’ to construct it in a spare bedroom within the detailed constraints outlined by my roommates at the time.

    After designing various configurations ranging from just two loops to complex switching, bridges, water falls, entire villages with harbors, boats, ships, cranes… Gah! Planning it alone was a great deal of fun even though I knew I lacked the space or money to do a tenth of the things I could envision. Finally I hit on a plan and then began the whole “What should I use for sub-roadbed, roadbed and track?”

    Turning to magazines, books and two local clubs in search of answers, I spotted this neat idea for a sub-roadbed – thin strips of wood mounted on risers that would form more natural turns. Since I had access to a band-saw and lots of scrap lumber, I whole heartedly began making 36 inch long, 1 inch wide by 1/8 inch thick strips of pine.

    I then carefully assembled a surprising large number of the evenly spaced and leveled strips into a 6 foot long straight section with beautiful, gracefully flowing curves at both ends. I decided to test my creation with some cork roadbed and a piece of Flex-Track. Success! Silent, flowing, a work of art to behold!

    Taking my new Atlas #8 Turnout out of the box, I began mitering in wood strips to support the first of numerous turnouts. I then got out the Atlas Switch Engine and looked at it with all the plastic, wires and brass fittings… This would not do, not on “My Railroad!” and so I was back to researching for a ‘better, more elegant way’.

    Another week of digging around for information and ideas and I am thinking “automated, remote controlled switches… Yes, that is what I want!” I finally find one in a local Hobby Shop. It looks well made, will hide inconspicuously under the bench work and even if someone looks underneath, it looks pretty nice even with little wires sticking out of it. So I buy it and bring it back to “My Railroad” that evening.

    It is finally Saturday morning, free time at last, and I am reading the instructions for my brand new shiny green “Tortoise Slow Motion Switch Machine”. Easy to mount and wire – check. Accepts DCC control – check. All the parts are in the box – check. ‘Clearance required for proper operation’… Oops!

    Well, I can put in piano wire instead of the supplied wire but that is really pushing the torque limits on the Tortoise’s engine and does not solve the height problem below the risers in various “do not even think about putting anything near this spot” issues with my roommates… Bottom line - I had to rip out all my nice woodwork and start over to be able to operate “My Railroad” with the Tortoise Switch Engines.

    The wood strips were not the only casualties of that first attempt – I still have the Walther’s Engine House with a Turn Table sitting in storage along with a few other structures that were a lot of fun to build but just did not fit in the space provided. So maybe it is time to set the Inclines aside for a little while or try to trade them in for the “Starter’s Set”, after all, are we not doing this for fun and entertainment?
  7. ukulele8421

    ukulele8421 New Member

    Holy... that was a lot! Well, I don't even have a board to build on yet. I am doing this for fun, and half the fun is figuring out how to use what you have. My engine clears the 4% grade with ease, and so my next step is getting the wood, track, roadbed, and whatever the heck I need. ONE STEP AT A TIME! Ok, I can't really do anything without the wood base, so I am going out "hunting" for one this weekend. Thanks. More advice welcome, and a lot more thanks to everybody that has been helping me so far, and will hopefully help me on this for the long run.
  8. SeriousSam

    SeriousSam Member

    One mistake I made, that you might run into with this track plan is the "S" curves. You should try to put atleast a short straight in between them. Youd be surprised how often model trains derail and/or become uncoupled on these.
  9. ukulele8421

    ukulele8421 New Member

    I'll remember that, ir maybe just make it straight instead of an S curve.
  10. mummert

    mummert Member

    If you didnt buy plywood yet you may want to check into foam board like they use to insulate house walls. If you have any plans of putting a stream in you can easily carve into it. Also it is easy to push small pins into to hold your track in place until you glue it. It also might be cheaper then plywood depending on how thick you get it. Here is an example of how I carved into mine for a stream. The board I got is actually pink I just painted everything green so I dont have to look at a pink layout until I'm ready to do scenery.
  11. ukulele8421

    ukulele8421 New Member

    Well, I have gotten a 3'x4' board, which means it is 1' short. The thing is, it was free! YAY! But, that meant I had to re-do the layout. Here it is. Remember, I will be using flex track on this, so the sectional track idea is just used as a reference.
    There will be no switches, and the slope will be 4% leading up to the straight, which will be on top of the tunnel going under it. I plan to make it so the layout is like a forest them, si I can run basically any era on it.

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