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Interesting plan, Tupper Lake & Faust Junction

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Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 1:57 PM

SpaceMouse

I agree, you clearly have one more loop than you need. You could eliminate that loop and still get the same amount of operation.


I think I only have two 'loops', one upper one, one lower one? And you want me to remove one of them?? Then I might as well not build a double deck layout???

BTW I have several switching operations in mind, but to tell the truth I'm NOT a major fan of switching. I like working on the trains themselves, kitbashing, sound install, etc.....

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 2:02 PM

I commented long before I figured out that this post was 3 pages. I deleted it when I got to it. 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by cuyama on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 2:02 PM

If you get serious about building this plan, you will want to check your grades. Once you allow for not changing grades within or too near a turnout and for transitions from level-to-grade and back, I think they are a lot steeper than you hope as drawn.

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Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 2:23 PM

Byron,

I assume you are talking about those turnouts associated with my 'connector tracks' at both levels? Yes, as I have them drawn in here they are too steep,...they need to run out longer before coming back to the 'connecting mainline'. .....Didn't have enough room to relay that info on these two dwgs. That will come later when I figure out the freight yard layout, AND how to access/connect to my stagging tracks, which is presenting me with real head aches.

My other turnouts on these drawings are all dead flat I believe?

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Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 11:00 AM

Helix Elevations

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Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 3:57 PM

Accessing My Staging Tracks, Problem that needs solution(s)

This is a dilemma that has been bugging me for quite some time. Suggestions would be welcomed.

I want a staging track area of at least 8 tracks wide (maybe more for multiple train consist I have), and my thoughts were to place those 8+ tracks under the long, lower shelf on the right hand side of my layout. The tracks would be mounted on a firm piece of plywood shelf that would be supported by the metal wall brackets as shown in this photo and sketch. I figure I can get away with at minimum an 8” clearance under the bottom top deck plywood subroadbed down to that staging shelf., and particularly since my shelf right above the staging will not be real deep.

My dilemma is how to get an access track to that staging area? At first I thought just make an addition to the helix that would drop down in some manner to that staging level. But what I don't like about that is it puts my helix circles too close to the ground. My helix structure is an 'outdoor affair' and I don't fancy getting that low to the lawn/dirt/whatever to have a look up inside the 'cylinder'. In fact, even if it was an indoor helix I would not fancy playing 'limbo' to go up inside the helix to fix things.

 

So I began to think of numerous ways I might drop an access track down along the opposite long side (left side) of the layout, or down along that helix end of the shed. I can't make use of the other end wall of the shed, as that is my doorway into the layout, and will be bridged by 2 removable bridges (upper and lower) across that opening.

 

So lets assume I try to drop a single access track down along one of the walls of the shed. It needs to drop at a minimum, the 3/4” thickness of the plywood subroadbed plus the 3/16” thickness of the metal bracket supporting that plywood, plus 3.5” to clear the tallest cars that would be staged, plus the 3/16” height of the Atlas track,.....total approx 4.6”.

If I were to accept a 4% grade in this access track that means I need 115 inches of horizontal trackage to get that 4.6 inch drop in the access track at a 4% grade.
 

My metal shelf brackets are spaced every 24 inches along the walls (stud spacing), so I need to 'interupt' 4 of them to get that drop in the access track. That is NOT an appealing thought! Those metal wall brackets are being utilized in a cantilevered manner to support that upper deck, and thus require their integrity in a whole manner, rather than cut out to provide a drop for that staging access track.

 

This is my main dilemma,...how to 'dip' that access staging track down under lower deck of the layout plan, while not disturbing too much of the lower deck's support structure??

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Posted by cuyama on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 4:14 PM

It always seems hard for people to understand, but there is a very good way to address these kinds of issues. The lowest layout support (grid, brackets, L-girder joists, whatever) goes below staging. Then staging and the visible deck are supported by risers from that level. There’s no need to “interrupt” anything.

Risers. Is there anything they can't do?

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Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 4:39 PM
I'll have to give that a more thorough examination.   thanks.
 
One question, .....that does mean that I have to built both the staging track area itself, AND the area of the drop down access track in that same manner?
 
And doesn't it make it more difficult to reach (more obstacles) to reach staged train cars??

Brian

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Posted by cuyama on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 4:53 PM

railandsail
And doesn't it make it more difficult to reach (more obstacles) to reach staged train cars??

No

It's only crowded right at the joists or brackets. In between, wide open -- as shown in the diagram I just posted.

Thousands of layouts have been built this way. Works fine.

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Posted by railandsail on Thursday, February 15, 2018 3:44 PM

Modify One Side Only?

@Byron,
I'm thinking I may only have to modify my lower deck supports, as you suggested, on one side only?

The side that contains the actual 8 tracks of staging is already well below the lower deck/shelf of the layout, ...so it could still have the type of support that I originally had in mind.
Long plywood sub-shelf slit to fit the metal brackets attached to the wall studs,...like this..


 

And placed at such a height to just barely clear those plastic stowage containers stacked 3 high....

 

Could possible extend out to accommodate 10 tracks of staging??
 

It's the other side of the layout that would need your modification in order to accept that 'descending grade access track' needed to reach the subterranean staging. 

Interestingly these two sides might be interchangeable.

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Posted by railandsail on Saturday, February 17, 2018 10:49 AM

Yesterday I was sketching up a revised dwg to just clarify those bracket locations below the bottom deck(s) that might be used to support the staging track decks,....this one....

  

While doing this I decided to re-look at the possibility of utilizing the helix structure to gain access to the the staging tracks. What if I decided to try to add two loops to the bottom of my planned outdoor helix to take the trains down to the staging level? Would it really be so difficult to access if I were to have to get inside the 'helix cylinder',...and yes I know I will have to at times.
 

I had a 48" circular metal ring that I placed up on the top of three stacked milk cartons. After all, if you look back in this discussion you will find that I had planned on providing enough clearance under my 'staging deck' for a stack of 3 of these plastic cartons to be utilized as slide-in-slide-out storage bins. So my 'staging helix' would be at this level.

 

 

 

Even with this 48" circle I had PLENTY of room to get up inside the helix. Now imagine if my circle is closer to 60" (30R helix) one I plan on. I am now convinced that I will NOT have to play limbo to get at the interior of this lower helix level.

And now I could have staging tracks on both sides of the layout while sticking with my relatively simplified metal brackets to hold up my lower decks/shelves all around. I could even have staging down the center of the peninsula.       HAPPY :)

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Posted by railandsail on Saturday, February 17, 2018 10:54 AM

 

Helix, Staging Track Access....error

 

Last night went to bed believing I had solved my problem with access to the staging tracks,.... via the use of another lower level addition to the helix structure.

 

This morning I woke up realizing I had forgotten to consider an important aspect. I can't have both the track feeding this downward spiral to the staging area, AND the bottom balloon loop track, entering the helix at the same height.

 

Back to the drawing board ! 
But, I am still a renewed fan of utilizing the helix to get to the staging tracks.

Just have to figure out the best way to enter this sub-helix?

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Posted by railandsail on Sunday, February 18, 2018 11:06 AM

 

Steel Mill Site Location & Elevated Stone Arch Bridge

I have pretty much decided that the steel mill scene will be located in this right hand corner of the bottom deck, and the Balt city scene will be located in the left had corner.

I have modified the elevated double track plan in front of the steel scene to try and give the space behind this double track more room to accommodate the scene. This also makes the track curves in this are more broad in curvature.

This double mainline track, and the single 'connector track' branching off of it (denoted by arrows) will be elevated by a stone arch 'bridge' similar to one that exist in the Balt area,....

 

This arch 'bridge' will allow for tracks underneath itself in several locations including the lower loop track to the peninsula area, and hopefully several tracks to the steel scene in the background,  and may be a brick factory in front of the arch bridge.

I am having problems fitting the steel scene in. The footprint of the blast furnace itself is just too large, ....a rectangle shape almost 27" long. I could put it in 'parallel' with the stone arch bridge, but then there is almost no way to include any service tracks to it.

I thought about sectioning it up so I might just include a portion of its face, BUT I would NOT cut up my completely assembled and weathered blast furnace!! Maybe I could find a really damaged blast furnace to kit bash??...Not likely.

So what if I were to make a background painting that looked like this...

 

then make some tracks out in front between the backdrop and the arch bridge. I should be able to make that backdrop image fit in the square corner just like this real life model structure does??

I might even be able to make a small 'switching'  area here for steel related cars and locos I have.

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Posted by E-L man tom on Monday, February 19, 2018 1:11 PM

Brian, I have that layout plan book too, and will soon be moving to a layout space that will be approximately 12' X 15'. You have given me some food for thought on my new layout. I want to avoid duck unders, but a swing "door" is a possibility for this. I want continuous running and the minimum turn radius to be 24". Maybe a modified version? I would definitely eliminate the helix/loop, as I would not have room for it. Also, as I do not run steam, I would probably not have a turn table, but maybe a wye for turning locomotives occasionally. In the era that I model, the 1970's, most of the turn tables were torn down as there was no need for them. This layout may lend itself to interchange trafic between two railroads, which is another possibility. 

With some tweeking, this plan could fit many different needs and wants. 

Tom Modeling the free-lanced Toledo Erie Central switching layout.
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Posted by bearman on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 1:25 PM

With respect, there appears to be a lot of track in the Tupper Lake layout.

Bear "It's all about having fun."

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Posted by RWSlater on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 1:53 PM
I wish I could help Brian but as I am a new be just starting my first railroad I don’t know enough. But your planning is coming along nicely.  I do think the helix could work but currently I don’t enough to be much help.

 

Sorry Robert
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Posted by cuyama on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 3:24 PM

bearman
With respect, there appears to be a lot of track in the Tupper Lake layout.

And, as noted early in the thread, the grades and elevations as published are unworkable.

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 6:20 PM

Having looked at the original plan again on page 1, it appears to be designed around the concept of having a helix outside of the layout combined with a reversing loop on one level.  An ingenious illustration of how to save space, as well as the shared turntable.

The rest of the layout appears to be intended to support the illustration of the impact those two design pieces can have on a layout.  As if the designer was determined to use these two design pieces, and planned a layout around them. Not exactly a normal way to approach designing a layout for enjoyment.

On the main topic, I haven't followed Brian's plan enough to comment on his progress to date, but good luck.

- Douglas

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Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 6:37 PM

cuyama
With respect, there appears to be a lot of track in the Tupper Lake layout.

Is that the original plan you are speaking about,...or my modified version?
 
In general I am holding to approx 2.3% with a very max of 3% to my staging.
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Posted by cuyama on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 7:02 PM

railandsail
Is that the original plan you are speaking about,...or my modified version?

I've never seen your full plan. I was referring to the original published plan*, as I noted. That said, I pointed out as well grade and clearance concerns in the segments of your plan that you have shown, as noted in earlier posts. Some areas of what you've shown so far significantly exceed 2.3%, once allowing for transitions from level-to-grade and for not changing elevations within or too near a turnout.

But I feel like much of what I’ve posted is not being read, so I’ll bow out of this thread.

Good luck with whatever plan you finally choose.

Edit: *Tupper Lake & Faust Junction as published in Model Railroader

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Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 7:17 PM

I thought I had posted a few photos of the original plan in this discussion, but I must have forgotten to do so,....so here are some

At the bottom of this photo you can see my staging area, access to it is from the left (out of image) by adding an extra turnout from the "helix". I refer to the "helix" as a spiral vortex, but I'll go along with helix for now.

 

This is the view from the left of the helix, I removed the bridge from the track plan, thus straightening out the track and added the extra turnout to the staging area.

Looking down the track from the other side of previous photo

 

These two trains are going intrail of each other, that is they are traveling the same direction about 10-15 feet apart.  To this day I can not tell at a glance if a train is northbound or southbound.  The picture also shows the vertical scenery which someone else pointed out earlier.

Here is a picture showing current staging area, just to the right of the helix.....

 


NOTE: This layout design has been an inspiration to me to do something similar. But I have (or presently am) making quite a few modifications to it. Just briefly....
1) I'm doing a double deck design

2) My helix is quite a bit different (more traditional), but it is external to my shed to save on interior room.

3) I will have totally different theme,....a  'continental theme'          

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Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 7:27 PM

cuyama

 

 
railandsail
Is that the original plan you are speaking about,...or my modified version?

 

I've never seen your full plan. I was referring to the original published plan, as I noted. That said, I pointed out as well grade and clearance concerns in the segments of your plan that you have shown, as noted in earlier posts. Some areas of what you've shown so far significantly exceed 2.3%, once allowing for transitions from level-to-grade and for not changing elevations within or too near a turnout.

But I feel like much of what I’ve posted is not being read, so I’ll bow out of this thread.

Good luck with whatever plan you finally choose.

 

Perhaps I need to go back and look at the original published design, as I do not reacall it having excessive grades?

On the other hand I have introduced several possible designs I was considering, that defenity had excess grades due to miscalculations by myself.

I surely hope you DO NOT drop out of the thread, as I value your opinion very highly. You contribute many good observations on a variety of subjects.

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 8:14 PM

railandsail

 

 

These two trains are going intrail of each other, that is they are traveling the same direction about 10-15 feet apart.  To this day I can not tell at a glance if a train is northbound or southbound.  The picture also shows the vertical scenery which someone else pointed out earlier.

 


NOTE: This layout design has been an inspiration to me to do something similar. But I have (or presently am) making quite a few modifications to it

Brian.  Thanks for the pictures of the orginal built plan.  I have not seen them before.  

Its a nice looking layout, and the builder looks like he did a nice job (although the control panel might be a belly pincher), but my original observation speaks clearly to me now that I see it in pictures.

The middle level mainline seems to clutter the scenery, and adds no real benefit except to allow trains to pass through the same scenes a third time.  The helix is a very useful design element, it can be used to get that top level even higher, providing even more vertical separation from the terminals.  But the middle loop just seems to get in the way (are the trains northbound or southbound?).  How beneficial is it to go that third loop around the layout space considering what can be gained scenically?

Just food for thought since you're open to modifying the originl plan, if things start getting too complicated or frustrating trying to fit everything in.

- Douglas

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Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 10:32 PM

Doughless

Brian.  Thanks for the pictures of the orginal built plan.  I have not seen them before.  

Its a nice looking layout, and the builder looks like he did a nice job (although the control panel might be a belly pincher), but my original observation speaks clearly to me now that I see it in pictures.

The middle level mainline seems to clutter the scenery, and adds no real benefit except to allow trains to pass through the same scenes a third time.  The helix is a very useful design element, it can be used to get that top level even higher, providing even more vertical separation from the terminals.  But the middle loop just seems to get in the way (are the trains northbound or southbound?).  How beneficial is it to go that third loop around the layout space considering what can be gained scenically?

Just food for thought since you're open to modifying the originl plan, if things start getting too complicated or frustrating trying to fit everything in.

@Doughless

As I've said the original plan has now become just an inspiration to go forward with something that just looks somwhat similar.

On another forum I had written,...

Brian

I am of a similar inkling as the CSX guy I just referenced. I like to run trains, and I like to see them passing one another in close quarters, either going in the same direction, or opposite directions. For that we need 'double tracks', or long sidings, or BOTH.

I'd like to see if I can get both, long sidings & dbl track,...which this layout does. I can well imagine one train leading the other at such a distance that it has gone around a loop of the helix area and is returning on one mainline while the following train is still on its way to the loop,....they pass in opposite directions on the 2 mainlines.

Want to complicate it a bit more, ....a third train could be waiting on one of those long sidings.

I can appreciate the criticism about the total number of tracks on a very narrow portion of the shelf, and the terracing of those tracks, and the lack of space for scenic elements. I offer in response,...
1) I believe I know how to eliminate one of those tracks on the narrow side of the layout.

2) I believe I know how to lessen the terracing effect there, and in fact hope to do so as I look forward to the 'passing effect' I spoke of before.

3) My shed will allow for a 11 foot wide layout verses the 10 foot wide original's plan, so I might add extra width to either shelf on each side.

4) There are many modular layouts, that we all see at train shows, that accomplish a lot of scenery in a relatively narrow space, (and most with double track mainlines). So I figure with at least an 18” shelf on that side, there are a number of 'structures/scenes' that might be added to original plan/idea.

 

Two gentlemen there answered this way:

Dave

Long Trains

If my goal was to be able to run several long trains, to watch them pass each other and not to emphasize switching or industry work, here's what I would do.  

The layout would be two laps of double track around the room , one on each level.  At the bump out one end on each level would go into a balloon loop, and the other end would go into a double track helix.  On the top level on two sides I would put a double ended yard with 2-6 train length tracks.  Since its high on the upper level, I could hide it behind a very low backdrop (4-6 in high) , row of buildings or row of trees.

Optionally could put a connection track on the one or both mains at the bump out to create a continuous run on each level.  Optionally I could put the peninsula in and use it for a little switching or an engine terminal to display or swap out engines.

I would shoot for 4 tracks in the staging yard.  I would put a passenger train, a bulk train and a couple freights in the staging yards, all facing the same way, then I could let some or all of the trains out of the staging yard to run.  Since its a glorified dogbone, once the trains are speed matched, they can run forever around the loop.  Since its a dogbone, every train will appear to operate in both directions, so I could constantly have the trains passing each other.

If I put in the optional connection by the bump out, I could run trains on the upper level on that loop, and leave the lift out open on the lower level for visitors to enter leave without stopping all the trains.

With the optional engine facility, I could stop one train and swap out engines and with a couple crossovers, route other trains around it.

With only a double track main around the room, the benchwork can be as wide or as narrow as I liked.  It will leave a lot of room for scenery or buildings.  It I wanted to add a few industries along the main, I could have some switching  and still run a train around the larger loop, once again using a few crossovers.

 The balloon loops would go above (top) and below (bottom) the helix.  Nothing would stop you from going down another 2 or 3 turns and putting a larger storage staging level below the bottom deck. 

 

Another option would be to put a generic stub out onto the peninsula.  You could then build very detailed "dioramas" that would have a standard footprint and could sit on the peninsula and be "plugged" into the stub track, then stored on shelves below the peninsula or layout.  Want a big lumber mill?  Do it.  Want a town scene?  Do it, then swap out the lumber mill.  Want a coal mine?  Build it it then swap out for the city.  Feeling like the lumber mill today? Put the lumber mill back.
Dave

 

 


Rob
With the design Dave suggested the only limit to train length would be your motive power and the ability of your cars to track reliably. You might have trains longer than any yard tracks you can fit into the layout. In fact if your equipment is reliable enough in both power and tracking you could have a train so long the caboose could be just in front of the engines and still hooked to the rear of the train. Figure your layout would have about 40 feet of visible track around the room on any level times 2 gives you 80 feet or a about a mile and a third in HO scale. Consider the same for the top and there is almost 3 miles of mainline in a continuous configuration not counting your helix. If you make your perimiter laps narrow say 6 to 12 inches you could also stack a couple of branches for switching down the center and still have aisles that were 3 feet wide at minimum. If you were to drop your minimum radius on the branches you could even have a turnback curve that would allow you to run the length of the peninsula twice at each level.

Might be just the thing to give you scenery with realism, some operation, lots of running, and be simple (relatively) to build and maintain. Looks like it might work better for your space than anything you have considered so far, and offer the things you like best. With the more detailed scenes in the center of the room you would be able to access them from both sides and have interesting scenes and get to them.

 

   

 

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, March 23, 2018 10:02 AM

New Staging Idea

I have changed my idea that I presented in this discussion of having my staging on just one side of my layout plan,...and my access to that staging.
http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/31479?page=10#comment-324162

I now want to make use of that 'sub-helix' to bring my trains down to the staging areas (now 3 areas) below (8" inches below) my main deck level.

I now envision the staging access track (the sub-helix track portion) entering the center of the back wall of the shed, and splitting off 3 ways, to the right, to the left, and down the center penisula. The tracks going to the right and left sides of the room would likely be some sort of ladder arrangment to build to 6-8 staging tracks each. 

Should they be an ordinary ladder or a modified one? Could they constructed using be Peco small radius (code 100) turnouts which I believe are #5's? Rather than a 'simple ladder' configuration, should they best be a compound one like Armstrong and yourself have utilized??

So I got out some Peco turnouts and laid them out on my living room rug (my shed is currently being painted, etc)

 

Here the 3-way turnout is coming from the TV/stereo cabinette into the 'shed's interior' (represented by the carpet) That 3-way is located in the external helix structure, and sends the trains into the staging level in 3 directions, 1) down the center, and 2) to either side of the shed. The 6" wide laminate floor strip panel represents the thickness of the shed's back wall.

There are 2 different size Peco (Code100) turnouts represented here,..... small size (bottom row), and medium size (top row) ones.

 

I believe in this area the small radius Peco's are just fine??

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, March 23, 2018 10:07 AM

More Closely Spaced Staging Tracks

I would like to figure out how to make all those curves to the staging tracks at least 24" curves and get them grouped a little closer together as they straigthen out down the wall of the shed (edge of the carpet here).?

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, March 23, 2018 10:16 AM

So I decided I did not want to spend $9 each for those Fast Track curves, nor wait for their delivery,...so I made some paper templates of 24" radius trackage,

Here is how things line up utilizing the 'small radius, code100' Peco turnouts. At first I had just 5 tracks for that side,...

 

 

Then I got 6 tracks for that staging area. All of the curves are a full 24" radius, EXCEPT for the inner most one at 22"  radius. Likely this one could be made 24" as well if the straight section preceding it was changed, but have one track at 22" shouldn't be a problem for short car trains and engines.

 

 

 

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, March 23, 2018 10:19 AM

Lets see 6 staging tracks at either side of the train shed, then 2-4 under the center peninsula,...thats a decent amount of staging !

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Posted by bearman on Saturday, March 24, 2018 10:10 PM

Brian, this may be a little late in the day, but if you put up a shed for your layout and you are bringing utilities to it, e.g. electric power, you may want to check with the building codes in your area.  You may even need a building permit and have the construction inspected.

Bear "It's all about having fun."

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Posted by railandsail on Sunday, March 25, 2018 7:29 AM

Got that all covered Bearman,....

Over the years I have seen many really nice train layouts that had to be cut-up (and destroyed) in order to remove them from their home place, due to either the owner's having passed away, or his moving to another residence. Very often they are rather a custom fit in their home built environment, and thus aren’t likely candidates for a new special location. I'm even currently in possession of a very nicely detailed waterfront scene that had to be cut out of an estate sale layout, and I am hoping to incorporate it into my new layout, but I see problems on the horizon.

With these experiences in mind I decided that I would purchase a stand alone Handi-House shed, and build my new layout in there. Then if I should change residence again, I can simply load that shed onto a trailer and move the whole layout to a new location. Or if I should pass away my wife could sell the layout and shed as an entity, and the buyer could move it to his new location.

I retired to a trailer home here in St Augustine, and it had an almost full length carport attached to it. I thought why not pull that new shed into the back portion of the carport and take advantage of the extra shade provided by the carport cover over the shed. It was a tight fit, and in fact to get a 12 foot wide shed into my carport I had to move all 5 of its support columns out a distance of 1 foot (had to pour concrete footer for those new column locations). I also had to remove 3 big beams attached to the underside of the shed in order to get enough clearance to fit under the carport's roof (I had initially given considerations to chopping the peak off of the shed), but became convinced I'd rather trim the height by modifying the bottom. I needed only a few inches, but it became a major undertaking. And I did this all by myself at the age of 74 using skid pads I made and a come-along attached to a tree in the back yard.

I have now just finished insulating the entire shed and installing a ceiling fan and a small air conditioner. My interior dimensions with the insulation all in is now 11 inches short of the overall dimensions of the 12x16 shed, ie; 11' 1” by 15' 1”

 

 

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