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Modeling Washington Metro revisited

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  • Member since
    April 2021
  • From: City of Gravella
  • 4 posts
Modeling Washington Metro revisited
Posted by GravellaTransit on Monday, April 5, 2021 4:26 PM

Hello everyone. 

 

I noticed a post on here from 2012 about modeling the Washington DC Metrorail (http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/203646.aspx).  That's been something I though of doing ever since I first visited DC as a kid in the 1980s. I purchased the Walthers models, first through the catolog in the late 1990s, and then acquired other units though ebay in the mid-2000s. After purchasing my house I began constructing a layout complete with an section under "downtown" for the DC Metro trains.  Soon after, my children were born and the layout was nearly forgotten. A few years back, as the kids were becoming old enough to show interest in the layour I started to work on it yet again. It was very bare bones and not too detailed. However, the purchase of a 3D printer last May was a game changer.  It's allowed me to almost print anything I could think of.

 

Please allow me to share some videos of the subway track testing.  The stations are still under construction. Some of the wall and ceiling pieces are not in place yet.  Want to make sure the trains run well on the tracks.

 

I have more videos on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMJGgssVARd65MUKJ2cMuPg

Gravella's River Bridge station

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 19,777 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 12:09 PM

Welcome aboard, fellow subway modeler!  Welcome

As a new member, your first few posts are moderated so they won't show up right away.

I built a subway model based on the NYC system, using the Life-Like / Walthers cars.  I built the subways first, and then built a "normal" layout above them.  A couple of stations were visible from the layout edges.  My avatar and signature show some of this.

I installed a miniature video camera with an RF connection so I could actually watch the tracks ahead from the front of the train.  I scenicked the insides of all the stations and tunnels, so videos do look pretty neat.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    April 2021
  • From: City of Gravella
  • 4 posts
Posted by GravellaTransit on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 4:26 PM

MisterBeasley

I built the subways first, and then built a "normal" layout above them.  A couple of stations were visible from the layout edges...

 

You could be describing my layout as well. I have a 6'x12' table with stations underneath the edges.  Bridges and "tunnels" continue the routes to parts of the layout that run along the walls of my basement. The "normal" part will have a city scene with the mainline commuter and frieght trains running above.  I'll also have streetcars running on the surface level. Once I realized what I could make with the 3D printer I took the surface level part of downtown off to completely overhaul the subway part.  The photo below is a junction station, taken prior to putting the walls an ceiling on.

Gravella's Metro Center station under construction

MisterBeasley

I installed a miniature video camera with an RF connection so I could actually watch the tracks ahead from the front of the train.  I scenicked the insides of all the stations and tunnels, so videos do look pretty neat.

 

I'm planning to do the same with a mini camera with WiFi connection for the inside the cab view.  I used it last night to record some views from a station platform.  It's up on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GD9JzZcNKx4

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 19,777 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 12:05 PM

To be honest, the train cam was just a gimmick.  After all the effort of putting the camera inside the car and providing DCC power, I got a couple of videos out of it, but after that I never used it.  My subway was basically just a loop with a couple of sidings going to dead-end stations, so running the subways was not particularly interesting.  I usually let them run around the loop unattended while I did other stuff elsewhere.

The best subway accessory is the CMX track cleaning car.  I actually have only a few feet of inaccessible tunnels, but it takes a long time to remove all the covers.

Like the Boston subways, I also have trolleys which run underground.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 19,777 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, April 9, 2021 3:03 PM

I found a few pictures.  Here's a station, with the R-17 cars in the background and a PCC trolley in the foreground approaching the lower mezzanine platform that accomodates its lower doors.

I actually took this picture with a film camera, it's so old.  I had it on my computer at work as a screen saver.  A fellow employee, a long-time New Yorker, came in and said he recognized the line, but not the station name.  He asked where it was, so I told him above my garage.  He thought it was real.

Normally this is covered by a street scene with shops and cars, but here it is uncovered.  I did the tiles and platforms with poured Hydrocal molds.  I got pretty good at letting the Hydrocal get to almost-hard and then folding it around molds to create curved walls and those supports.

This is a video.  My old version of Windows XP says i can't play it, but we'll see.

 

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    April 2021
  • From: City of Gravella
  • 4 posts
Posted by GravellaTransit on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 6:49 PM

Looks great, especially the walls, I don't know if I have the patience and/or tact to work with the molds.

I've had people ask that same question when they recognize the look but aren't aware that it's a model.

I love how the minature camera virtually shrinks the view down to HO scale.  And I've noticed with some of my "front cab" videos taken from my commuter rail main lines, it appears to the viewer that they're going 80mph, whizzing by trackside structures.

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