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Building a new club layout (and other club related activities)

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, May 09, 2019 9:30 PM

maxman
Sounds just like little kids playing soccer.

Yep! That describes it exactly!!LaughLaughLaugh

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 12:28 AM

Great night tonight at the club!

I brought in a pile of donuts because it was my 65th birthday. All we did was sit around, eat donuts and talk while a couple of guys ran trains. Totally relaxing and fun.

We did have a serious discussion about what we need to do to control movements on the layout and how to train people to avoid collisions. About five minutes after that discussion ended the two guys who were running trains had a collision!Bang HeadBang HeadBang Head LaughLaughLaughThe only thing we could do was laugh and admit that we have a ways to go before we will be able to operate smoothly.

The good thing is that this evening's events as well as previous running sessions with similar problems have spurred us to develop some sort of dispatching method ASAP. A couple of the more experienced members have given us some very good and very simple methods to experiment with so that we can determine how we want to control the trains.

Cheers!!

Dave

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, May 16, 2019 9:54 PM

 Well happy birthday. And I think the other guys should have brought donuts for you, since it's your birthday. Timmy's? 

 OK, I have to laugh at that - 2 guys running trains, on that size layout, and managed to run into one another? I don't even want to know....

 Absent actual controls in palce, you could implement track warrants, and a dispatcher could use one of those magnetic boards to track traisn with no electronics involved. Need some small radios, if you don't already have them, and trains cannot proceed past certain points without getting a clearance from the dispatcher. No signals needed. Granted, it's an anachronism if you are modeling an earlier era as this is a fairly modern way of doing things, but it may be a stopgap until you get a signal system built. 

 ANd some mild demerits - say, ignorign the DS and rnnign where you aren;t supposed to means go sit down for an hour before picking up a throttle again. Actually physically crashing traisn together - you're done for the night. Especially of oen train was supposed to be there and the other wasn't. I know it's all in fun, but whiel I don;t add all sorts of superdetail to my locos and rolling stock, I still don't want someone smashing their loco into mine and damaging things.

 Or ease into it - at first, make the offender run the rest of the night with a big DUNCE cap on his head. After an introductory period so everyone can get used to the rules, go with the timeout. Just - don't get carried away and start ordering pee tests. Laugh That's carrying prototypical modeling just a little too far.

                            --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 hon30critter on Friday, May 17, 2019 12:29 AM

Hi Randy,

I like the idea of the dunce cap, but given our current situation we might have to get one for every member of the club!DunceSmile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

Thanks for your track control suggestions.

One of our members suggested a card system where various signal aspects are drawn on cards and the appropriate card is placed beside the track where the operators need to decide whether to stop and wait, or continue through. I'm not sure I fully understand the details but it seems like a good place to start. He suggested that the system would allow us to figure out exactly how each signal needs to be configured before we spend a bunch of time and money installing real signals.

One good thing I do have to say is that all the members are looking forward to developing some means of layout control (in other words we are all equally embarrassed by the confusion and the cornfield meets that we have experienced so far!).LaughLaughLaugh

Cheers!!

Dave

 

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Posted by gmpullman on Friday, May 17, 2019 2:56 AM

hon30critter
One of our members suggested a card system where various signal aspects are drawn on cards and the appropriate card is placed beside the track where the operators need to decide whether to stop and wait, or continue through.

Hi Dave,

Seems to me there was an article in MR, maybe a year or so back explaining just such a system.

http://mrv.trains.com/-/media/Files/PDF/Modeling%20projects/2017/02/Papersignaltemplates.pdf

 I just put fresh ice in my drink and that helped me remember Big Smile April, 2017. (Issue # 1000) by Bruce Carpenter, P. 66.

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Friday, May 17, 2019 2:58 AM

gmpullman

Seems to me there was an article in MR, maybe a year or so back explaining just such a system.

Yes, I recall such an article. It may have been on Model Railroad Planning? Or maybe regular MR, don’t recall but I’m certain it does exist.

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, May 17, 2019 11:10 PM

Thanks Ed,

The signal indication drawings and explanations are very helpful.

I have to say one thing though. If you have to put a second set of ice cubes in your drink then you are drinking way too slow!Smile, Wink & GrinDrinksThumbs Up

Cheers!!

Dave

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, May 18, 2019 12:58 AM

hon30critter
If you have to put a second set of ice cubes in your drink then you are drinking way too slow!

Well, it seems I get so enraptured in these forums that I sometimes forget to take a sip Whistling

Here's to 'ya, Dave Drinks

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 2:23 AM

Our lease is up for renewal. The landlord asked for two years at 5% per year. We decided that 5% is a bit steep and we also decided that we want to be guaranteed more than two years in the place given all the work we are putting into the new layout. We agreed upon 4% over five years. Yes, that is higher than the rate of inflation, but the landlord agreed to keep our MIT fees, which are very reasonable, the same for all five years. He is also willing to ignore the fact that while we are paying for 800 sq. ft. the actual space is a bit over 1000 sq. ft.

What this will mean for the members is that the membership fees will have to go up over the five years. Right now we pay $230.00 per year. We anticipate that the fees will have to rise to about $350.00 per year by 2024. I think that is still a real bargain!

A few members will likely object, but the reality is that we as the Executive have a responsibility to ensure that the club will continue to be financially viable for many years to come.

The other reality is that there isn't anything else available in Barrie that we can afford. We looked for years before we found our current location. It suits us very well. I hope we can collectively count our blessings instead of getting our shorts in a knot about an increase in the membership fee.

Cheers!!

Dave

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 5:48 AM

What is a MIT fee? 

Sheldon

    

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 12:39 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
What is a MIT fee? 

'Maintenance, Insurance and Taxes' (I believe I have that right).

Dave

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 5:01 AM

hon30critter

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
What is a MIT fee? 

 

'Maintenance, Insurance and Taxes' (I believe I have that right).

Dave

 

That's interesting. Here in the US, there is not usually any separate breakdown of such costs.

Property taxes and primary structure insurance are the responsablity of the landlord, and are built into the lease amount.

But the landloards insurance does not cover the tenants possessions, tenants must secure their own "renters insurance".

Maintenance costs are often negotiated on commercial properties, often requiring the tenant to bear all interior renovation and maintenance costs, while the landlord excepts some level of resposiblity for the building "shell".

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 6:09 AM

I'm employed in the financial industry and its called a triple net lease, or nnn.  It may be the most common lease between a landlord and tenant in America.  Usually big partnerships that own strip malls, retail centers, large office buildings, large warehouses etc., where the lease reflects lawyers combing over the fine wording.   More mom and pop buildings might be leased on more general terms.

triple net lease (triple-Net or NNN) is a lease agreement on a property where the tenant or lessee agrees to pay all real estate taxes, building insurance, and maintenance (the three "nets") on the property in addition to any normal fees that are expected under the agreement (rent, utilities, etc.).


A model railroad club that leases space in an otherwise fairly marketable property is going to have to meet the market terms,  and lease on a NNN basis.   A more mom and pop landord could be more suitable.  But "MIT" fees can be negotiated as part of the monthly rent anyway.  In the end, the landlord has to make money so the tenant pays for that stuff one way or the other, whether they are carved out separately or built into the rent. 

The big players in commercial real estate leasing have lawyers work out these terms to the nth degree, in order to establish who pays for what.  Because if its all combined into one rent payment, inevitably there are squabbles about who is supposed to mow the lawn.

- Douglas

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 6:20 AM

Doughless

I'm employed in the financial industry and its called a triple net lease, or nnn.  It may be the most common lease between a landlord and tenant in America.  Usually big partnerships that own strip malls, retail centers, large office buildings, large warehouses etc., where the lease reflects lawyers combing over the fine wording.   More mom and pop buildings might be leased on more general terms.

triple net lease (triple-Net or NNN) is a lease agreement on a property where the tenant or lessee agrees to pay all real estate taxes, building insurance, and maintenance (the three "nets") on the property in addition to any normal fees that are expected under the agreement (rent, utilities, etc.).


A model railroad club that leases space in an otherwise fairly marketable property is going to have to meet the market terms,  and lease on a NNN basis.   A more mom and pop landord could be more suitable.  But "MIT" fees can be negotiated as part of the monthly rent anyway.  In the end, the landlord has to make money so the tenant pays for that stuff one way or the other, whether they are carved out separately or built into the rent. 

 

"Most common" might require some definition. I am well aware of such complex leases for the types of properties you mentioned, not sure they are most common by any means. But then again I live and work in rural America........so I could be wrong.

I am currently working on selling my rental properties..........it was a great gig for decades, now not so much.  

 

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 9:08 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

 

Doughless

I'm employed in the financial industry and its called a triple net lease, or nnn.  It may be the most common lease between a landlord and tenant in America.  Usually big partnerships that own strip malls, retail centers, large office buildings, large warehouses etc., where the lease reflects lawyers combing over the fine wording.   More mom and pop buildings might be leased on more general terms.

triple net lease (triple-Net or NNN) is a lease agreement on a property where the tenant or lessee agrees to pay all real estate taxes, building insurance, and maintenance (the three "nets") on the property in addition to any normal fees that are expected under the agreement (rent, utilities, etc.).


A model railroad club that leases space in an otherwise fairly marketable property is going to have to meet the market terms,  and lease on a NNN basis.   A more mom and pop landord could be more suitable.  But "MIT" fees can be negotiated as part of the monthly rent anyway.  In the end, the landlord has to make money so the tenant pays for that stuff one way or the other, whether they are carved out separately or built into the rent. 

 

 

 

"Most common" might require some definition. I am well aware of such complex leases for the types of properties you mentioned, not sure they are most common by any means. But then again I live and work in rural America........so I could be wrong.

I am currently working on selling my rental properties..........it was a great gig for decades, now not so much.  

 

Sheldon

 

Ok.  Very common. 

The issue I see is that those types of terms are generally negotiated in a "corporate" type of atmosphere.  Retail strip malls, outlots, 50 story skyscrapers. 

I'd wonder what type of space a model railroad club leases if the landlord is getting that precise in his language.  Is the space of the type and location that captures the attention of the big players?  There is a greater risk they may eventually want another tenant .

Maybe the landlord is simply careful enough to want things spelled out, in case somebody slips on the ice and he gets sued because it was unclear who was responsible for waking up and spreading the ice melt at 5am.

- Douglas

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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 9:11 AM

In California there is a problem with NNN which I am sure is addressed in alot of leases. This is in the property tax part in that if someone sells, the tax instantly goes up or down to reflect 1% of the sales price and you get a 1% increase of tax every year. 

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 8:26 PM

We are in a large complex. I'm not sure how many units there are but it could 100+.

I think the good thing about the MIT (NNN) fee that we pay is that it is fixed over the five year life of the lease. It works out to about $900.00 per year. Considering the fact that our rent is affordable, and much cheaper than anything else available, we are better off to pay it instead of arguing with it. If it was included in the lease price it would be going up by 4% per year to about $200 more per year by 2024.

Dave

 

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Posted by davidmurray on Friday, May 24, 2019 8:36 PM

Dave:

Here at the Pine Ridge Railroad club our dues are about the same as yours, and projected to go up the way yours are.

We have a lease on a floor in a wing in a church, one of our members is chairman of the board of said church.  We have developed a habit to always run clockwise, as we need another passing track to be able to run both ways without really long waits.

Other than really short trains limits (seven cars) we have very little movement controls, and no dispatcher/controller.  It seems to work.

Mondays are free run nights, bring in stuff from home, run the length train you want, take in off and home when you are done.  I ran 37 ore cars one time.

Dave

 

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, May 24, 2019 9:31 PM

Hi Dave,

Sorry I didn't have more time to talk to you at Lindsay. My back was so bad that weekend that the only thing I managed to do was get the layout trailer to the show and pick it up again on Sunday.

We had a discussion with the members last Tuesday about the projected dues increases and everybody was fine with them. They understood the need to keep the club solvent, and in fact they agreed to increase the dues for 2019/2020 even though we could have managed without an increase for next year.

The Treasurer, Dave Wetherald, and I had a meeting with our insurance broker this morning basically to negotiate for additional coverage now that more has been invested in the layout. I do not like this broker! He doesn't finish his sentences, he guesses at what might be covered and what might not be covered, and he uses examples over and over again that are completely irrelevent to our situation. I'm going to suggest that we shop around.

We are taking the portable layout to the Midland show for the weekend. It is supposed to be raining on Saturday morning so I decided to hitch up the trailer tonight. Good thing! No trailer lights! It took me two hours to fix. The single male pin on the four pin connecter had broken off. All is well. The lights are nice and bright now.

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 4:38 AM

We had a Layout Committee meeting on Monday night and we managed to make some decisions about the large area in the center of the peninsula. The spurs that will lead to a quarry and a pulp logging operation will have to be very close to the mainline so that we can reach them, but that is not a problem.

We decided that we will build an access hatch into the center of the peninsula. We will still make the mountains removable, and that has been made easier because now we will have three clearly defined smaller mountain sections which can be removed independently of each other in order to allow work to be done on them off of the layout.

The center section will be mounted on the hatch so we will have to do something to make the sides of the scenery on the hatch more durable. We are thinking about using 3/16" ply to cover the sides of the seams on the mountains on the hatch as well as the adjoining hills so that the foam doesn't get torn up over time.

Any comments would be most appreciated as always.

Thanks,

Dave

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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 9:51 AM

hon30critter

We had a Layout Committee meeting on Monday night and we managed to make some decisions about the large area in the center of the peninsula. The spurs that will lead to a quarry and a pulp logging operation will have to be very close to the mainline so that we can reach them, but that is not a problem.

We decided that we will build an access hatch into the center of the peninsula. We will still make the mountains removable, and that has been made easier because now we will have three clearly defined smaller mountain sections which can be removed independently of each other in order to allow work to be done on them off of the layout.

The center section will be mounted on the hatch so we will have to do something to make the sides of the scenery on the hatch more durable. We are thinking about using 3/16" ply to cover the sides of the seams on the mountains on the hatch as well as the adjoining hills so that the foam doesn't get torn up over time.

Any comments would be most appreciated as always.

Thanks,

Dave

 

I came up with a way to make mountains that were very durable but very light weight. I started out with a beaded foam base and covered it with plaster cloth. Then any place I wanted rockwork I added plaster rocks but these were not the normal bricks. These were made by painting the inside of the molds with hydracal and then laying in plaster cloth cut to size, lapping as neccisary and painting on the back of the plaster cloth with the plaster. Once set up this made really light weight rocks with all the details of plaster rocks and they would crack in a way when fudged into place that lock very relistic. I made a 4'x4' module this way and could lift the whole thing with one hand, track trestle and mountain and 1x4 base, Pictures of this are out there on the net but MR has rulrs about me telling you where.

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 9:57 PM

Hi rrebell,

rrebell
These were made by painting the inside of the molds with hydracal and then laying in plaster cloth cut to size, lapping as neccisary and painting on the back of the plaster cloth with the plaster.

That is a great suggestion for making light weight rock castings!

Thanks,

Dave

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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 10:03 PM

pm me if you want the site for my work

 

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, May 30, 2019 1:43 AM

rrebell
pm me if you want the site for my work

I sent you a PM.

Dave

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Posted by railandsail on Thursday, May 30, 2019 5:57 AM

I would like a reference to that site as well. (I tried the PM but it didn't work)

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, May 30, 2019 7:28 AM

Bragdon, if they are still around, and another company make lightweight foam casting systems to make VERY lightweight AND durable scenery. For moveable hatches - probably a better way than covering it with plaster-based scenery.

                     --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 hon30critter on Sunday, June 02, 2019 11:15 PM

We had another look at the staging area. Originally we planned on being able to access it from both directions on the mainline loop that goes around the service area, but one of our members realized that that wasn't necessary. We have a reversing loop close to the staging yard that will accomplish the same thing as the wye that would have been formed with the first plan.

That has allowed us to vastly simplify and reduce the size of the bridge leading into the staging. The bridge is neccessary to allow access to the electrical panel. We can now use a relatively small liftout section instead of the rather large hinged bridge that was needed to accommodate the wye. That will improve access to the panel even more.

We have also added a fifth yard track to the staging as well as a caboose track, and we have added cross overs on the far end of all of the yard tracks so that we can get a locomotive from any of the five tracks to any other track. That means that we won't always have to back the trains into the yard.

We were putting off building the staging area. It now seems that our procrastination was a good thing. Sober second thought!

Dave

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Posted by railandsail on Monday, June 03, 2019 9:57 AM

hon30critter

We were putting off building the staging area. It now seems that our procrastination was a good thing. Sober second thought!

Dave

 

 

I found that same thing,...even while being chastised for moving along too slowly

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, June 03, 2019 11:30 PM

railandsail
I found that same thing,...even while being chastised for moving along too slowly

Yes, I noticed that you received some flack for the amount of work you put into developing your layout. Pay them no heed. You are having fun and that's all that matters.

I spent years working on my own layout plan. If I had charged ahead with my first design when I was still physically able to do the work it would have been an operating disaster. Over a few years I learned what I had done wrong, and that knowledge allowed me to design a very workable layout for the club. The club layout's mainline is now operable, and so far nobody has found fault with the plan.

Alas, my back problems preclude me from doing much in the way of construction so my personal layout will never be.

Dave

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, June 04, 2019 6:08 AM

hon30critter
rrebell These were made by painting the inside of the molds with hydracal and then laying in plaster cloth cut to size, lapping as neccisary and painting on the back of the plaster cloth with the plaster.

hon30critter
That is a great suggestion for making light weight rock castings!

So this process makes "hollow" rock out-croppings?  Correct?  Great Idea.

Now I'll see if I quoted all of this right. Confused

Mike.

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