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Building a new club layout - Update: Moving on after the club

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, June 24, 2017 3:22 AM

Choops:

I sent you a PM.

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, June 24, 2017 4:08 AM

Based on Steve's (Choops) recommendations, here is the revised layout space. Have at 'er:

Dave

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, June 24, 2017 5:07 AM

Dave, I finally got a chance to read through this thread and decided to comment.

The proposed layout space reminds me very much of the space in my basement thay is committed to my layout. My layout runs 42' down one wall of the basement, 25' down a perpendicular wall, then 11' across another basement wall, so very much like your space except that my 42' run is 22' for you in the first diagram you posted.

As soon as I saw that first diagram, I saw the similarity to my own space and concluded that the 8' of lounge space should be committed to the layout, so that your dimensions would measure 30' x 25' x 11', just 12' short of my longest length. I can and do pack a lot of layout in that space.

My other thought was to abandon the portable layout and use that space for the lounge area. Now, I see that you have proposed to eliminate the portable layout, and I support that idea.

Just my My 2 Cents

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, June 24, 2017 5:25 AM

richhotrain
My other thought was to abandon the portable layout and use that space for the lounge area. Now, I see that you have proposed to eliminate the portable layout, and I support that idea.

Hi Rich:

Thanks for your input. Next step is to see if I get thrown out of the club!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

Dave

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, June 24, 2017 5:43 AM

hon30critter

 

 
richhotrain
My other thought was to abandon the portable layout and use that space for the lounge area. Now, I see that you have proposed to eliminate the portable layout, and I support that idea.

 

Hi Rich:

Thanks for your input. Next step is to see if I get thrown out of the club!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

Dave

 

Good luck!

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by floridaflyer on Sunday, June 25, 2017 9:04 AM

Congrats on a bold move, at least it will get folks thinking outside the box, and that is a good thing.

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 8:10 AM

Ya win some and ya lose some.

My suggestion that we tear out the storage room walls was politely declined. It seems that the older folks don't want to have to get down on their hands and knees to see what might be stored under the layout. They would rather make use of the storage shelves.

My suggestion that we consider scrapping the existing portable layout met with considerable (again polite) resistance. Maybe at some point in the future.

All is not lost however! The executive invited me to be part of the layout design committee so at least they seem to respect my decisions even if they don't agree with them. I am flattered that they think enough of my abilities to offer me the opportunity.

Now the real work begins!

Dave

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Posted by Choops on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 9:17 AM

Hello Dave

My current layout that I am building is similar to your space but slightly smaller.  I took my design ans scaled the side wall to 25 feet to fit your space.  The minimum raduis goes up to 35" from my 31".  It is an inverted dogbone with a staging yard below the main yard. You can see the start of the ladder tracks at each end of the main yard for this.  Double main line.  Hope this gives you an idea of what might fit or some ideas. 

Stevescaled 

Modeling Union Pacific between Cheyenne and Laramie in 1957 (roughly)
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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 3:16 PM

hon30critter

Ya win some and ya lose some.

My suggestion that we tear out the storage room walls was politely declined. It seems that the older folks don't want to have to get down on their hands and knees to see what might be stored under the layout. They would rather make use of the storage shelves.

My suggestion that we consider scrapping the existing portable layout met with considerable (again polite) resistance. Maybe at some point in the future.

All is not lost however! The executive invited me to be part of the layout design committee so at least they seem to respect my decisions even if they don't agree with them. I am flattered that they think enough of my abilities to offer me the opportunity.

Now the real work begins!

Dave

 

Dave, keep us posted.   Yes

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 6:20 PM

 At least ditch the lounge are and combine with the kitchen. Make the 'kitchen' room the storage room, so the door to it can be in the upper right, not on the side facing the layout - in the 'lounge', that way the layotu can come all the way up to teh wall of the storage room.

 As for the portable layout - there is no need to haev space to set the whole thing up. We do not have room to set up our layout completely - it's 28x165 fully assembled with all current sections. The work area can handle all the storage racks (which are not used for benchwork - so they are 6' tall, or as high as will fit in the trailers), but only a couple of the sections (most are 2x8 or 2x10) at a time can be set up to be worked on. After any show, whichever ones needed attention are brought out to the work area and fixed, then put back on the cart. That layout is never set up outside of show venues. If you do that, then you only need room for the packed up carts plus one or two modules at a time to be worked on between shows. We've been operating that way since the first modules were built many many years ago. The modular committee chair makes not of what needs worked on as we pack up from one show, so we know what needs to be pulled and fixed up to be ready for the next one.

                           --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 Wednesday, June 28, 2017 10:48 PM

Hey Choops!

That looks like a neat plan.

Unfortunately I can't make out any of the dimensions even when I blow the picture up. What are your general aisle widths?

35" min. radius is pretty good!

Thanks,

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 10:56 PM

rrinker
At least ditch the lounge are and combine with the kitchen. Make the 'kitchen' room the storage room, so the door to it can be in the upper right, not on the side facing the layout - in the 'lounge', that way the layotu can come all the way up to teh wall of the storage room.

Hi Randy:

It seems that the elected executives have made the decision that the storage area and kitchen stay as is. I'm a bit disappointed with that but I choose not to stir the pot any further.

The club members have also decided that they want the portable layout to be operating at least until we can run trains on the new layout. We do need to make some repairs to the portable layout. There are two or three spots where derailments are constant, especially with 6 axle locomotives. The wiring is also very poorly done. We need to drop a bunch more feeders.

Dave

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Posted by Choops on Thursday, June 29, 2017 9:02 AM

pm me your email and I can send a pdf.

Steve

Modeling Union Pacific between Cheyenne and Laramie in 1957 (roughly)
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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, June 29, 2017 10:30 PM

Choops
pm me your email and I can send a pdf.

Done

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, June 30, 2017 7:12 AM

 Jusat saying - we completely rewired our entire layout without ever being able to set it all up at once - converted from DC to DCC with new wiring harnesses using PowerPole connectors and lots of extra feeders. Testing was done as we went along - 2-3 sections could be set up at a time so as we worked our way around we kept the last section from the previous group out and went to the next one that plugged in to the completed one.

 It did all work the first show after this - other than no provision being made for the common wire between the command station, boosters, and circuit breakers. No one believed me that this was required, but all issues disappeared when they finally decided to "humor" me and ran a wire temporarily. After that show and before next one, an additional line got added to each section's wiring harness to carry the common wire. Again done without ever stting the whole thing up - there's just no way to do it in the available space.

 Since we have no permanent layout - there is a long stretch between shows at one point in the year and it might be nice to be able to set it all up. But that's because this is the only layout we have.There's no space to build a permanent layout - at least, no space you would put a layotu in, there's a huge section of the building we can;t use because of heavy equipment tha tmust be removed, leaky roof that must be fixed, no permanent electricity (we run an extension cord across the propety to another building!), and no real secured door - there are locks but a few good kicks gets you past that. The sections are safer in the carry racks locked inside the transport trailers, which are parked inside a different building which itself has locking doors - not to mention the locked gate that blocks anyone from just hauling a trailer out.

 Anyway, we deal, it's not a hardship, and saves space.

                             --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 maxman on Friday, June 30, 2017 9:11 AM

hon30critter
Hey Choops! That looks like a neat plan.

If those aisle widths are 33 inch, I think that is inadequate if you expect to have public access open houses.

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Posted by Choops on Friday, June 30, 2017 10:24 AM

maxman
If those aisle widths are 33 inch, I think that is inadequate if you expect to have public access open houses

I agree.  It was just posted to give them something to look at for what may fit in the space they have.  4 foot isles are going to eat that space up quickly.

Steve

Modeling Union Pacific between Cheyenne and Laramie in 1957 (roughly)
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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, June 30, 2017 11:13 PM

Hi Randy:

I understand what you are saying about the portable layout not having to be set up in order to do work on it, but it really won't make a huge difference if it is set up or not. The layout is only 6' x 12' when assembled. Even if partially packed up it will still occupy close to the same space given that a work area would have to be set up to service the modules.

We don't want to store the portable layout in its trailer because the trailer sits outdoors all year round. The temperature and humidity changes would likely wreak havoc with the layout.

Dave

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, July 1, 2017 1:26 PM

 6x12 doesn;t seem like much, but then when you allow room for people to walk around it - you are up to using 12x18 of the floor space and that's just leaving 3' on each side for people to walk through, which is rather small for a public display. Unless you put it in a corner and only expose 2 sides.

 Our sections in their trailers are in an unheats/uncooled space - our museum is an old factory coomplex where the machinery and so forth have been removed, leaving large empty buildings. Large enough to drive vehicles in, but they are not sealed and have no HVAC. The only reasont he trailers are inside one of them is to protect the trailers themselves - so while the sun doesn't beat directly on the trailers, it does ont he building and it gets quite hot in there. Cold in winter with the leaky walls, doors, and windows and no heating.

 The layout USED to live in an old school bus - the seats were all removed and rackes built inside to hold the sections. We outgrew that (too many sections) plus handling them one at a time into venues where there was no drive in access took hours and was an exhausting task. It takes 2 guys to roll a rack of as many as 6 sections - it also takes 2 guys to carry ONE section by itself. Witht he racks and trailers (the racks roll on and off the trailers) we can unload and have the layout operating in 2-3 hours.

 Anyway, of all mu suggestions, swapping the kitchen and storage would have a big impact ont he layout space if the doors were relocated - and those that insist would still have their kitchen/lounge and store room. Insisting on a walled off kitchen makes me wonder if the members want to build a layout or just have a social club Big Smile  I'm tempted to remove the half bath I have in my basement just to increase layout space by the about 4x8 feet it takes up! If I didn;t have bad knees I could easily justify it, just come upstairs when I need to use the bathroom, but for now the knees win out of more layout space (there's a sink in the laundry as well so even without the bathroom I'd have a utility sink to wash brushes and stuff). I'm all for maximizing layout space at the expense of "it would be nice to haves". Already moved to engineering a tall, removable backfrop to hide the furnace and water heater, as I gain significant layout space by eliminating the small room they are currently in.

                              --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 Monday, July 3, 2017 1:55 AM

rrinker
 6x12 doesn;t seem like much, but then when you allow room for people to walk around it - you are up to using 12x18 of the floor space and that's just leaving 3' on each side for people to walk through, which is rather small for a public display

Agreed.

rrinker
Insisting on a walled off kitchen makes me wonder if the members want to build a layout or just have a social club 

Actually, unfortunately the members weren't asked about the floor plan. The decision was made by the executive. Only a couple of members have questioned the plan (I'm one of them) but I am wary of pushing the issue further. I don't want to create friction within the club.

FWIW, the decision to not store the portable layout in the trailer is firm, and nobody is objecting.

Thanks for your input Randy,

Dave

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Posted by maxman on Monday, July 3, 2017 1:03 PM

hon30critter
but I am wary of pushing the issue further. I don't want to create friction within the club.

If you don't like meatloaf and don't complain when someone serves it to you, you will get served meatloaf for the rest of your life.

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, July 3, 2017 2:18 PM

 I'm not even saying get rid of the kitchen at this point. Just flip the use of the two spaces so the sotrage room is the one against the outside walls, or the upper right if those aren't exterior walls, and the kitchen is the space between the entryway and the storage room. With the storage room door NOT on the bottom - that would allow the layout to butt right up against the wall that forms the storage room. If they really want to have their kitchen, fine - but there is a more space efficient way to do it.

 Does the club constitution or bylaws specify anything about making a decision like that without involving a member vote? Yeah, question the top executive's unilateral decision might stir up a hornet's nest, but unless this guy owns the whole thing and just allows the rest of you to use it as a club of sorts, it's a bad precedent to allow stand. 

                                    --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 floridaflyer on Monday, July 3, 2017 2:25 PM

Dave knows the makeup and politics of his club, although it sounds like one guy makes the rules, and others follow. It may not be worth the grief to rock the boat. Shame though as it appears most of the space is going to be used for non-layout related items, leaving a relatively small space for the layout.

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Posted by maxman on Monday, July 3, 2017 3:02 PM

rrinker
Does the club constitution or bylaws specify anything about making a decision like that without involving a member vote? Yeah, question the top executive's unilateral decision might stir up a hornet's nest, but unless this guy owns the whole thing and just allows the rest of you to use it as a club of sorts, it's a bad precedent to allow stand.

Yes, if it is a benign dictatorship where someone owns the property, funds everything, and allows others to come and play, that would be one thing.  Otherwise I would think that the voting members (those that pay the dues and support the organization) would wish to have a say.  Especially if, as alluded to earlier, the President and Vice-President are going to move on to other pastures.

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, July 3, 2017 9:44 PM

rrinker
 Does the club constitution or bylaws specify anything about making a decision like that without involving a member vote?

Hi Randy and maxman:

I'm not sure what the club's constitution says about these things.

I have more or less decided that I will raise the question about having all club members involved in deciding on how the layout room will be used, but I won't do it in a general meeting. I will wait until the layout design committee meets on July 10th, and I will try to do it as gently as possible.

One thing that we have to keep in mind is that the club only has 16 or 17 members. We really can't afford to lose people because things got into an uproar.

By the way Randy, moving the kitchen would be a huge task given that the floors are concrete. In fact we are lucky to have a functioning kitchen because there are complications with the existing set up that the landlord has already spent a lot of money to address.

As for the precedent that might be established, I'm not too concerned. Age will address that soon enough.

Dave

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, July 4, 2017 12:18 PM

 AH - so the missing piece of the puzzle, the kitchen is already there. Thought you were planning on building one. Like I am not moving my basement bathroom because all the drains run in the poured concrete floor.

                                 --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 Tuesday, July 4, 2017 11:16 PM

Hi Randy:

I found out about the club constitution and bylaws. There is no constitution that anyone is aware of. There are bylaws but we can't find them. They are not in the binder where they are supposed to be. Get the picture?EmbarrassedLaughLaughLaugh

We have decided to approach a couple of clubs in the area in the hope that we can copy their rules and then adjust them to suit our needs.

Yes, sorry, I should have been more clear. The kitchen is already in place as is the storage room. The walls for the storage room are not structural and we do have permission to remove them.

Dave

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, July 5, 2017 6:42 AM

 It is most unfortunate that the doorways to those spaces faces the layout area. That is the biggest obstacle in fitting the most layout in the available space because it forces a wide aisle to be in that area where otherwise it would not need to be. Are duckunders out of the question (for operators, not spectators)? 

                                        --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

  • Member since
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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, July 5, 2017 9:55 PM

Hi Randy:

Duckunders are a non starter. We had one at the old location and everyone scraped their back on it. I saw a layout last fall that had a long bascule bridge instead of a duck under. It worked very well, but I would be a bit concerned about its longevity given the frequence of use.

There is nothing to prevent us from relocating the doors. That is an interesting idea. However, it would still require the agreement of the executive to relocate the lounge to the storage room, and the storage room as it sits now would be too small for a lounge. We would have to move the storage room south wall a few feet into the layout area. I think it would be more effective if we just removed the walls period. The kitchen would be open to the lounge and the lounge would be open to the layout room. Storage would be under the layout.

Dave

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, July 6, 2017 6:48 AM

 That would probbaly be the best way to maximize the space. Maybe a lift bridge, not a model of a bridge but a lift up section. We have one which is part of the sectional layout do it travels in the trailers and all, and gets heavy use. Been around for about 8 years now and since it's the only way to get to the middle where we run from, have table and chairs, and eat lunch, it gets used a LOT. Carries 2 mains plus a yard lead, too. In this case - I am proposing something like that just for operators, the spectators would not negotiate such things. The idea being the layout could fill the space up more than you would typically do because of reach issues, but the operators would still be able to get close to their trains with no reach issues. Spectators would be on one side of the layout, operators on the other rather than sharing aisle space. I'm thinking a mix of old style display layout with modern 'operator is close to their train' capability. Instead of a big solid area, the middle is carved up into an operating trench.

                            --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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