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Ogden & Cache Valley RR - Layout Construction

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Sunday, January 15, 2017 12:02 PM

Onewolf

For whatever reason I have major difficulty getting spikes to fully penetrate plywood without deforming/bending.  Probably 1/3 of the spikes I try to set into plywood end up bending.  I find this 'redo' ratio tolerable when installing turnouts, but not when I'm installing 150+ ft of flex track.

I do bend a fair mount of track nails myself, but I love the ability to set the track in place instantly.  I guess it depends on whether you find the frustration of bending a few nails is greater than the frustration of the extra faffing around it takes to glue track down.  I mean, how do you even see the centerline and if the track is "true" with the glue in the way covering up the marks?  Plus the wait time and if anything dries crooked, you have to pull it up and re-do it.  It does look likke you can make it work so if you've got the "chops", kudo's.

 
I plan to install guardrails and I plan to use clear material (plexiglass?) around the outside and probably 1/8" masonite around the inside (I have a TON of leftover 1/8" masonite cutoffs from installing backdrops). 

Masonite would be a great guard rail and the clear plexiglass or Lexxan material would be even better because you could see the trains for monitoring purposes and they would be protected from the "big fall".

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, January 15, 2017 12:51 PM

Clear latex caulk is easy to see through for the centerline when wet (even more so when dry), if you cant see the centerline, it is applied too thick.

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Posted by Onewolf on Sunday, January 29, 2017 9:30 AM

I finished installing the upper level mainline track from the bridge over the aisle around to the upper level return loop. I installed track feeders and the 10GA THHN track power bus as well.











This is how I install Tortoise turnout motors when there is an obstruction underneath that prevents mounting them directly under the turnout points. In ths case (the Walthers #8 curved turnout for the return loop) the LED lights for the middle level forced me to offset the Tortoise mount.



An offset mount in one of the upper return loop staging track ladders. I ended up having to offset mount 4 of the 11 turnouts that make up the upper return loop/staging tracks.



A test/prototype of the upper return loop control/status panel. Once I am happy with the layout and functionality of the three control/status panels (lower return loop, helix, upper return loop) I plan to have nice etched plexiglass panels made.



Hinges out for access.



These are the turnout control boards (NCE Switch-8 mk2, Switch-It mk2, button board) that control the 10 staging track ladder turnouts.



Control station #3 controls/powers the Helix, Middle level center, upper level, and upper return loop.



I still have some wire tidying to complete. There is just barely enough room for me to stand/work in there.



Here's the 'hole' in the benchwork I stand in to work on the upper level turnout control components (If I can't reach from the control/status panel access hole).



I'm starting to add the 2x4 risers that will support the 3/4" plywood and 3/4" foam that will cover about half the upper return loop and provide the base for Franklin, Idaho 6" above the return loop track.



The diagonal 1x2 shows how the backdrop partition wall will line up. The upper level return loop on the right will be covered and on the left will be exposed (however it's 82" above the room floor so it won't be readily visible).



The 4ft level shows how much space there will be below the 3/4" plywood base/cover. It looks like trains on the staging tracks should be reasonably visible as they approach the fouling points (Atlas rerailers). I may install an LED strip to the bottom of the 3/4" plywood in this area to improve visibility of the staging tracks, but based on this view it may not be necessary.



Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, January 29, 2017 9:58 AM

What do you use to ensure that those long runs stay true and straight?

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Onewolf on Sunday, January 29, 2017 10:56 AM

richhotrain

What do you use to ensure that those long runs stay true and straight?

Rich

 

Flex track?  I have a variety of straight edges (aluminum Empire rulers, 18", 36", 48", 72").  Longer than 72" straight runs I'm out of rulers.  :)

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by SouthPenn on Sunday, January 29, 2017 11:13 AM

Onewolf:

"For whatever reason I have major difficulty getting spikes to fully penetrate plywood without deforming/bending.  Probably 1/3 of the spikes I try to set into plywood end up bending.  I find this 'redo' ratio tolerable when installing turnouts, but not when I'm installing 150+ ft of flex track. "

I think what you will find is the nail/spikes bend when they hit the glue layer in the plywood. Sometimes using plywood with fewer layers ( hence thicker layers ) works well for nailing/spiking.

South Penn
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Posted by Onewolf on Wednesday, February 01, 2017 7:10 AM

I cut and placed the first piece of 3/4" plywood that will cover about half of the upper return loop.



After cutting and placing the second piece of 3/4" plywood.





A view of the space under the plywood for the upper level return loop track.  I will be adding additional support risers under the plywood on the left side.



I finally finished installing the 2ft carpet tiles in the center platform.



The center platform floor is about 16ft x 10ft (on one end) x 8ft (on the other end). And the helix/upper return loop Blob projects into the space by about 3 ft.



Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by Choops on Wednesday, February 01, 2017 9:12 AM

I would suggest splitting that large piece of plywood that covers the switches into two pieces.  If there is ever a problem you won't have to rip out the whole section.

I am doing it on my layout.  My staging is below the main yard.  The end of the yard covers the staging switches.  If I need to get in there i can cut the yard tracks and lift out a 1' X 2' piece and replace it when finished with repairs.

Keep up the good work.

Steve

Modeling Union Pacific between Cheyenne and Laramie in 1957 (roughly)
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, February 01, 2017 9:28 AM

What is the purpose of the plywood over the return loop?  Seems to me that would limit access to the tracks if you need to reach trains.  Is that so you can climb around up there and have a platform that can support your weight?

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by wickman on Wednesday, February 01, 2017 11:41 AM

This is really going nicely.  Today I had noticed you had a photos link in your signature, makes it real interesting to skip through your steps and each photo  is well documented.  Well done.

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Posted by Onewolf on Wednesday, February 01, 2017 11:54 AM

riogrande5761

What is the purpose of the plywood over the return loop?  Seems to me that would limit access to the tracks if you need to reach trains.  Is that so you can climb around up there and have a platform that can support your weight?

Franklin, Idaho is going to be located above the return loop.  Franklin will be serviced by the "Cache Valley Branch" which climbs from the OSL mainline up to Franklin through the Cache Valley.  Which also explains the name of the layout:  Ogden & Cache Valley.

The return loop/staging track under Franklin can be accessed from both inside the helix structure as well as outside the helix structure.  And yes, the plywood base could support my weight, but not once I install the 3/4" foam on top.  Well, it would still support my weight, but it would appear that Godzilla had wandered across the area because of the large indentations it would make in the foam.  Big Smile

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by Onewolf on Thursday, February 02, 2017 4:26 AM

Starting to work on the wall panels that will complete the "room within a room" and the final upper level backdrops will mount to.



I have decided that I need to move the near end of the diagonal wall panel in about 2 1/2" to provide a smoother backdrop corner. This means I need to make additional cuts on both pieces of plywood.

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, February 02, 2017 7:45 AM

Ah, plans within plans.  Makes sense to have a visible working area located above a hidden staging. 

You are really stacking it deep and cramming in maximum operation using the vertical as well as horizontal space.  Dang!

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by Onewolf on Thursday, February 02, 2017 9:14 AM

riogrande5761

Ah, plans within plans.  Makes sense to have a visible working area located above a hidden staging. 

You are really stacking it deep and cramming in maximum operation using the vertical as well as horizontal space.  Dang!

Amongst the items on my very long list of 'Druthers' while designing the layout were the ability to run fairly long (30-35 car) freight/coal trains without the front end being in one 'town' and the back end being in another.  I also wanted to provide the feeling that trains are actually going somewhere (a journey). This required a long mainline run (~500 feet).  Doing a three level mushroom design allowed for this and it also provides for spacious aisles (4ft+) and spread-out operators. I think the layout should comfortably support 12-15 operators without being crowded at all.  The three level mushroom design has certainly been an real world engineering challenge but I'm very happy with the results so far.

Doug

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by Onewolf on Saturday, February 04, 2017 12:56 PM

The view of the new wall panels above the upper return loop as you enter the layout room.



The new wall panels above the upper return loop. The 5mm door skin panels are noticeably more pink than the (faded) panels that have been installed for over a year. I will be painting all these panels the light beige room color eventually.



You can see all the risers supporting the plywood base (and wall panels) above the upper return loop.



The exposed half of the upper return loopand staging tracks.



I plan to install 3/4" foam on top of the 3/4" plywood.



It's ready for the 1/8" masonite backdrop panels to be installed.



The Atlas rerailers mark the 'foul point' clearance locations in the staging tracks. As long as locomotives/trains don't pass the rerailer they will not foul the turnout ladder/mainline.



After installing the 1/8" masonite backdrop panels with coved corners.





The backdrop is ready for the screws and seams to be spackled/faired/sanded/repeat.

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by Onewolf on Sunday, February 05, 2017 6:34 PM

 I built the 3/4" plywood subroadbed for the Cache Valley Branch line as it climbs from the mainline elevation at 82" up above the upper return loop at 88" (Franklin, Idaho). It's about a 40 ft climb at 1.25% grade and the total length of the branchline is about 58 ft.



The mainline as it passes under the Cache Valley Branchline. The minaline will enter a tunnel right about here.



I also installed the Woodland Scenics foam roadbed for the Cache Valley Branchline. Here's where the branchline splits off the mainline using a Peco Code 83 #8 turnout.



The #6 turnout is where a spur that services a coal mine facility will be located.



The branchline climbs as it heads out and back in the right 'wing'. The mainline is in the foreground.





The view of the branchline passing over the mainline as it heads up and over the upper return loop.



The connection for the branchline subroadbed to the plywood base above the upper return loop. There will be a 3/4" foam insulation panel above the 3/4" plywood base.



Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by Onewolf on Thursday, February 09, 2017 5:47 AM

Starting to patch/fair/sand the masonite backdrop.



First coat of primer.



Second coat of primer.



"Dancing Blue" sky color



All the upper level backdrops have been painted the basic sky blue.



After spraying some white haze/clouds.





I installed the track for the Cache Valley Branchline. It's the track on the right here. The middle track is the mainline and the track on the left is the helper district service track.



The track on the left is the Cache Valley Branchline. It starts climbing a 1.25% grade here in order to get above the upper return loop/staging tracks.



The branchline uses the right 'wing' to climb up to Franklin, Idaho (above the upper return loop).



As the branchline passes over the mainline.

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by JEREMY CENTANNI on Friday, February 10, 2017 10:26 PM

So how is the trackwork doing?  I know you have had to run some stuff down it alreadyBig Smile

Work is pretty mazing so far and moving quickly.

 

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Posted by Onewolf on Saturday, February 11, 2017 12:52 PM

JEREMY CENTANNI

So how is the trackwork doing?  I know you have had to run some stuff down it alreadyBig Smile

Work is pretty mazing so far and moving quickly.

The mainline track is now fully functional all the way from the lower return loop up to the upper return loop.  That is 600 ft of track.

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by Onewolf on Saturday, February 11, 2017 12:52 PM

The 1" foam is glued down and seams are caulked. I have also installed a 2" tall 3/16" fascia to hide the edges of the 3/4" plywood and 1" foam.



It's ready to install the branchline and spur tracks that service Franklin Idaho.





I'm starting to work on installing the 5/8" plywood and 3/4" foam base above the lower return loop where the city of Ogden will be located. Because the city base is about 45" deep the backdrop in this area will be removable.



Installing the risers that will support the 5/8" plywood (and foam) city base.





I have installed the first 5/8" plywood base piece and now I'm working on fitting the (removable) backdrop 1/4" plywood panel.



I plan to build a large "high rise" interpretation of downtown Ogden in this area. The pirates from the Great Salt Lake who founded Ogden were very successful in attracting large multi-national banks and corporations with their programs of low tax and lez a faire attitude towards corporate governance. :)



Half of the lower return loop is still accessible by going under the benchwork and coming up in the large openings next to the removable backdrop. I will also be connecting the track coming thru the wall from the model workshop (offsite passeneger service facility, aka 4 tracks of passenger train staging) to the spur that services Ogden.

Painting the removable backdrop panel the base "Brilliant Skies" blue before installing it on the layout.

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by michaelrose55 on Saturday, February 11, 2017 8:05 PM

I'm glad I'm not the only one obsessed with the railroad... nice progress!

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Posted by Onewolf on Sunday, February 12, 2017 2:17 PM

 I have mounted the removable backdrop and painted the room wall the base sky color. Unfortunately the double switch wall plate and thermostat will intrude somewhat but there wasn't anywhere else feasible to mount them.



I've got the second plywood base section mounted and all the risers and ledger boards mounted for the next two plywood sections.





Two more plywood base sections cut and placed. I need to make some small refinements to one of the plywood sections before mounting them.



After cutting and mounting the last two plywood sections I will start working on the backdrop panel that goes between the removable panel and the room wall backdrop.

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, February 12, 2017 4:07 PM

 The switch plate you can just paint the same color. If the paint is plastic compatible, you can probably paint at least the housing of the thermostat, if you are careful. Can't do much about the display though.

                     --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by Onewolf on Thursday, February 23, 2017 8:58 AM

I bought an SQ8 from Amazon last week and shot a trainview video of a train traversing the entire length of my mainline from exiting the lower return loop all the way up to the upper return loop and then back down all the way through the lower return loop back to the starting position.  I speeded up the video 4X real-time because it took about 27 minutes in real time.

It really highlights numerous issues where I need to work on the track 'smoothosity'.  :)

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by michaelrose55 on Thursday, February 23, 2017 10:25 AM

Doug, you make me want to rip everything out and start building a German mushroom!

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, February 23, 2017 12:35 PM

Onewolf:

Impressive video! I guess my eye isn't trained enough because I couldn't see very many spots that might need smoothing out.

Dave

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Posted by Onewolf on Saturday, March 18, 2017 7:30 AM

I have been very busy with work over the last month so progress (and updates) on the layout have slowed.

Working on the risers, plywood sub-roadbed and Homasote roadbed for the track that connects the branchline in Ogden through the backdrop to the 'offsite' passenger train facility (staging) in the model workshop. The steel brackets that support the middle level benchwork are in the way relative to the original track plan so I modified the track plan such that the first turnout in the model workshop yard is a right hand turnout and it will come through the hole in the wall on a diagonal allowing the connecting track to follow the right edge (inside) of the lower level staging track loops.



I have installed the final backdrop panel and I have begun the spackle/fair the screw holes and the edge on the left side where the panel meets the room wall.



I have cut and dry placed the 3/4" foam sheets that will make the 'base' for the city of Ogden.'



I built a tunnel enclosure and painted it flat black to 'hide' the inside of the layout benchwork behind the backdrop panel. This opening in the backdrop will be shielded (mostly) from view by a fairly large building.



I have painted the last backdrop panel. The edge between these two panels is more visible than 'ideal' but the panel on the right is removable from the back side and the left panel is positioned at an oblique angle which required a mitered cut. 1/4" luann plywood does not miter cut as well as thicker plywood.



Gluing down the next section of 3/4" foam.



I am going to have a 24"X20" removable section of foam that will allow me to stand here when I need access to the middle level above here for construction and maintenance purposes. I was originally thinking about having a permanent piece of 3/4" plywood here but then I realized using a piece of removable 3/4" foam would be a MUCH better idea.



The removable section with the 5/8" plywood underneath.



The view when standing in the 'removable' foam area on the benchwork.



The view from behind the backdrop of the lower return loop track and the elevated track that connects the city level track to the 'offsite' passenger staging tracks in the model workshop.



Here you can see the 'tunnel box' where the connector track goes through the backdrop on its way into the model workshop. The tunnel box is painted flat black inside and just sits on the 5/8" plywood benchwork on the left end and horizontal screws on the right side so it is removable.

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Saturday, March 18, 2017 8:39 AM

Onewolf
 
BMMECNYC

Onewolf,

Just out of curiosity are you going to be on the NMRA convention layout tours in August?

 

 

I considered that possibility, but I don't think the layout will be far enough along at that point to be worth it for others to be on 'the tour'. 

 

At the 2015 convention in Portland, there was a layout that had about 10 linear feet of completed scenery.  It was on the self guided tour.  It was well attended. 

You have construction to the point of trains can run.  The worst you can do is ask the NMRA division what they think about the current state of completion. 

Many modelers like to see in progress layouts as well as completed ones. 

Rule 108: In case of doubt or uncertainty, the safe course must be taken.
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Posted by Onewolf on Sunday, March 19, 2017 3:09 PM

After caulking the seams and painting the foam base. This paint color (Nightingale gray) is mostly to just hide the purple foam but it will also provide some color for underneath the track that will be installed directly onto the foam.



The city of Ogden will be built above the lower return loop and 5 staging tracks .



I installed 1.5" tall masonite fascia along sections where I want access to the lower return loop underneath and 12" tall fascia where I can access the double track mainline from underneath the benchwork.





The tunnel portal for the double track mainline and entrance to the lower return loop will be located somewhere around here.

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, March 19, 2017 5:02 PM

BMMECNYC
Many modelers like to see in progress layouts as well as completed ones.

Onewolf:

FWIW, I would love to be able to see works in progress like yours. There is so much to be learned for those of us who are starting a layout, whether it be a first layout or the third!

Dave

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