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Building a layout on a rotisserie

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 9:59 AM

hon30critter
Hi Kevin, I hope I haven't said anything to offend you.

Absolutely not.

I am just overly sensitive right now about being misinterpretted when I type, and for some reason feel the need to make mt point, then explain my point of view, then explain my intent when I posted.

A few weeks ago I really aggravated someone in here that I consider a good friend with something I typed. Fortunately he contacted me via PM, and it is worked out.

Now, with everything else going on, I am overly concerned about doing it again.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by rrebell on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 10:54 AM

SeeYou190

 

 
hon30critter
Hi Kevin, I hope I haven't said anything to offend you.

 

Absolutely not.

I am just overly sensitive right now about being misinterpretted when I type, and for some reason feel the need to make mt point, then explain my point of view, then explain my intent when I posted.

A few weeks ago I really aggravated someone in here that I consider a good friend with something I typed. Fortunately he contacted me via PM, and it is worked out.

Now, with everything else going on, I am overly concerned about doing it again.

-Kevin

 

I wouldn't worry about that. As far as the too busy, too busy just means more toy like for the plan, if you are ok with that fine. You get more action per foot on a too busy layout.

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Posted by snjroy on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 11:13 AM

The main drawback of the many small sidings (which is associated with the fact that you have many turnouts) is that you can only store a very small number of cars in each siding. If you like switching challenges, then that's fine. I don't enjoy switching myself, so my preference would be to have longer sidings and less turnouts. It's also a lot less work to install the tracks!

I looked at the uncouplers. There are many!  In my case, I made a conscious decision of having a "standard" direction for my trains when I planned my layout. I basically opted for the direction that allowed me to see the cylinders of my shays... But it also made it a lot easier when planning my turnouts and choosing the uncoupler locations. In your case, you have 8 uncouplers on the mainline... On the other hand, you have many sidings with no uncouplers. If I were you, I would install magnetic uncouplers on each siding (or storage track), and reduce the number of uncouplers on the mainline (and install reliable electromagnetic ones). Having a standard "train direction" will help you reduce the number. 

Anyway, that's my My 2 Cents worth!

Simon

 

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Posted by Water Level Route on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 12:26 PM

hon30critter
I know that some people will think that the track plan is too busy

And are they people you are trying to impress?  If not, forget about them.  I know some of the people here would have an issue with my track plan as it is based on an old plan and the mainline passes through one stretch along the wall *gasp* three times.  Of course it isn't prototypical.  It's a model.  Big deal.  The possibilities it provides for MY increased enjoyment is enough for me.  I say if you want it and can make it fit, go for it!

Mike

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 12:36 AM

snjroy
In your case, you have 8 uncouplers on the mainline... On the other hand, you have many sidings with no uncouplers.

Hi Simon,

My thinking was that I could uncouple on the main line and then push the cars to whatever siding I wanted. I put couplers on both mainlines on either side of the crossovers so I could disconnect cars on either loop going in either direction. I'm not sure if that is practical or not so I'm still studying the issue.

One of my concerns with putting uncouplers on each of the spurs is that, unless the uncouplers are well down the spur, I will be trying to uncouple with one car still on the curve of the turnout. I don't know if that will be an issue with the Rapido uncouplers or not, but I think it is probably safer to install the uncouplers where the cars will be in a straight line. That's where the short spurs become a problem, but I only have so much space to work with. When I get a bit of track down I will be able to see how well the uncouplers work on a curve.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 12:43 AM

Water Level Route
And are they people you are trying to impress?  If not, forget about them.

Hi Mike,

Good advice!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 3:57 AM

hon30critter
I found some HO scale trolley track at Proto:87. Their tightest radius is 8" so I'm going to see if I can make that fit.

Okay, I was able to make the Proto:87 trolley track pieces fit no problem. Unfortunately their website seems to have some issues. Some of the items are shown with a reasonable price. Other items are shown with totally ridiculous prices! I don't think that $99.00 USD for an 8 inch piece of straight track is good value for the money!!

I tried to contact them but the email address shown on the Contact page doesn't work. I will try to copy the address and paste it into a regular email tomorrow, but for now I have had enough.

Does anyone know if their status has changed? Are they still in business?

Thanks,

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 4:57 AM

I think he's talking about Andy Reichert's Proto:87 store, at 

http://www.proto87.com/

Down at the bottom of that page is a sort of explanation how they do things which might explain why some of their 'products' are expensive -- immediately afterwards is what appears to be a very long list of proprietary little tradenames for various components or systems.  Usually in my experience where I see lots of special terms or patent listings or even copyrights I also find an intention to get full compensation for hard work and time spent developing the opportunity...

It might be cheaper 'in the longer run' to buy the magnetic tracklaying 'system' components and some of the specialized parts like girder rail or tieplates from him, do the work you need, and then sell the tools on to someone else who wants to do the same.  (Or think about becoming a source for high-accuracy handlaid pieces yourself -- I could even see a "consignment" marketplace developing in the Proto:87 'connunity' here.

 

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, December 24, 2020 1:47 AM

Hi Overmod,

Overmod
http://www.proto87.com/

That is exactly who I am speaking of. I don't need a whole lot of track pieces. There will only be about 13' of trolley track in total. It will be DC with an automatic reverser to control the car.

The Proto:87 Store has prices for everything I need except for three 45 degree 8" radius curved track sections. I sent them a note asking about availability and pricing.

I plan on using the plain concrete road sections that they offer as opposed to laying the track freehand. I like the idea of having cobblestone or brick paving next to the trolley tracks, but I have decided to forego the work necessary to achieve that look. Concrete will do just fine.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 4:23 AM

Sorry I haven't posted for a while (although somehow I doubt that you are suffering from withdrawal symptoms.Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh).

I'm still studying the newer layout plan. I haven't made any changes to the main track plan since I posted the last diagram, but I have been playing with the large yard even though it will likely not be built for a couple of years. The tracks going into the yard will form a wye along with one stretch of the mainline. I'm still trying to figure out how the reversing section will work. Also, I'm still working on the locations for the Rapido uncouplers. I might ask for some help on those issues, but I want to try to figure things out myself instead of asking others to do the work for me.

Thanks for your interest.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 7:16 AM

Hi Folks!

The large yard, which will be an addition to the layout, is taking shape! As I have said, this will be a couple of years in the making, but I want to have a solid plan when I am laying the track on the main layout.

I have accomplished several things:

- First, I have been able to shorten the yard by more than 2 ft without losing any length on the yard tracks. How was that possible? I totally changed the entrance to the yard from the main line. I had started with a long lead into the yard. The idea was to try to keep the yard totally separate from the main layout because I was concerned about reach in distances. It turns out that I needn't have worried. The long leads into the yard are gone and the reach in distances are still just fine. Also, the shortened design leaves me lots of space to get around the layout.

- Second, I have been able to create a wye reversing track with a long enough tail to accomodate my passenger trains (at least I think it will work - there may have to be a bit of shuffling to get the entire consist reversed but so what!).

- Third, I have decided that if I'm going to go through all the work of building a yard, I may as well scenic it and add some structures. To that end, I have added a caboose track, an RIP track, a yard switcher track, a passenger car service area and a yard tower.

Like I say, the yard won't happen until the main layout is up and running, but it will add enormously to the operational pleasure of the layout.

Dave

 

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 11:41 AM

Looking forward to the pictures Dave Smile

Simon

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 10:50 PM

Hi Simon,

Here is the latest track plan with the shortened yard extension. The orange track is the reversing section for the wye. The orange and green circles are Rapido uncouplers.

I'm still not quite finished with the track plan. I don't think that I am procrastinating. Each time I look at it I see opportunities to make it better.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 11:45 PM

I notice things have prgressed beyound the original concept.

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, January 7, 2021 12:24 AM

rrebell
I notice things have prgressed beyound the original concept.

Yes, absolutely! As much as I like just watching trains run, I thought that would get boring especially with the passenger trains. The original layout plan had no means of reversing the direction of a passenger train other than by picking up each car and plopping it back on the track pointing the opposite direction. That doesn't appeal to me.

The addition of the yard doesn't negate my original reasons for having the layout rotate. The main layout hasn't changed. The yard will be designed so that it can be flipped onto its side to do the under layout work. It will not be permanently attached to the main layout so that I can move it out of the way as needed. I have yet to figure out how to attach the yard to the main layout when operating but I don't think that will be difficult to do. There are lots of options for joining modules together.

My main priority is to get the main layout running. The yard will happen whenever down the road, but as I have said, when I do get around to building the yard I don't want to have to make a bunch of changes to the main layout to get them to fit together.

Besides, I still have a bum shoulder and a bum leg so getting out to the garage is very difficult. That means that I have lots of time to play with the plan.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by snjroy on Thursday, January 7, 2021 9:07 AM

I like the plan Dave, thanks for sharing. Lots of action in a relatively tight space. That is not a given. And all very accessible. I see that you progressed on the uncoupler locations - I understand it's still a work in progress.

Simon

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 7, 2021 2:14 PM

 Your yard is now nearly as big as the rest of the layout Laugh

Not that there is anything wrong with that. Is that yard going to flip up or anything to work on the underside, ie, solve the same issues you made the main layout flip up for?

                                               --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 Thursday, January 7, 2021 8:53 PM

rrinker
Is that yard going to flip up or anything to work on the underside, ie, solve the same issues you made the main layout flip up for?

Hi Randy,

I have the space for the yard, that is assuming that I can get rid of a lot of the stuff in the garage.

Yes, I intend to have the yard flip up so I can access it the same as the main layout.

I still have a couple of things to figure out. One is how to deal with the triangular piece of benchwork where the lower leg of the wye is situated. The issue is getting it level with the main layout and the yard because it has to span the end support for the layout. I may have to cut the top of the support down a bit.

Another minor issue is how to uncouple cars on the lower leg of the wye. Using an electric uncoupler may not be feasible because it would stick out below the subroadbed where is would run into the main layout support. The worst case scenario is that any uncoupling done on that track will have to be manual. No big deal.

I also have to decide how to do the benchwork for the yard. Foolishly I gave away a 4x8 sheet of 3/4" plywood last fall because I couldn't handle it. I'm sure I will figure things out.

One change that I think I will make to the large yard is to eliminate one track. The current design is 28" wide. Construction of the benchwork would be much simpler if it was only 24" wide because I can buy sheet materials that are already 24" in width. The yard will still have plenty of capacity.

Dave

 

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, January 7, 2021 9:42 PM

I made the changes to the yard plan to reduce it to 7 tracks and 24" wide. 3rd PlanIt made the changes so easy! Not a single eraser was involved. Okay, I'll admit that I did have to use the delete key a few times.Smile, Wink & GrinLaugh

I have made another decision but it really is only in terms of semantics. I have been describing the layout as having a double mainline, but in reality the outer of the two ovals will have far too much local activity on it to be called a mainline. For example the yard switching lead will be on the outer oval as will be one leg of the wye.

Other than two turnouts that lead to the smaller yard in the main layout, the inner loop only has crossovers to the outer loop. I can feed the smaller yard from the outer loop without having to park cars on the inner loop. There are two passenger stations on the mainline (inner loop), but stopping on the mainline at a station is prototypical so that is not a concern.

The radius on the inner loop is slightly over 27". Previous discussions have suggested that 27" is barely adequate for 85' passenger cars but I am determined to make it work. Several people have done it before. No, it won't look the best, but IMHO it will be better than not having any trains passenger trains at all. Besides, if I just want to watch the 'Canadian' run I can put it on the outer loop which has 29 1/2" radii.

I think I have studied the main layout enough so tonight I will print the layout out on eight sheets and plot the track locations, hopefully for the last time!

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, January 8, 2021 5:41 AM

Dave, your latest post is an excellent description of how you plan to operate your layout. Well done.  Yes

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by snjroy on Friday, January 8, 2021 4:22 PM

I think the curves will be fine for the Canadian. Our club has tighter curves in some places and it runs fine there.

But like I said, a lot of action in a small space!

Simon

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, January 9, 2021 5:56 AM

I finally got the track location diagrams printed out and the plotting coordinates marked on them. While doing so I discovered a couple of errors in the 3rd PlanIt execution of the drawings. In particular, I found two locations where 3rd PlanIt had allowed turnouts to overlap. Fortunately the turnout problems were easy to correct.

I also discovered another discrepancy which is confusing me a bit. The problem relates to track center spacing between the inner and outer loops. 3rd PlanIt shows the main curves on the outer and inner loops as being 29 1/2" and 27 1/16" respectively excluding the easements. If I understand my math, that should mean the the track centers will be 2 7/16" apart on the curves. According to the NMRA Recommended Practices (RPs) the tracks will be too close together to allow modern era cars, i.e. 85' passenger cars, to pass each other on the curves. The recommended track center spacing is 2 21/32" minimum. However, when I measure the distance between the inner and outer tracks on the 3rd PlanIt generated diagrams, I am getting a spacing of 2 7/8". I think part of the confusion has to do with how the easements work. In any case, all I need to do is lay the outer track first and then keep the inner track far enough away from the outer track to avoid collisions. That's easy enough to do, but I'm still a bit confused about how 3rd PlanIt is calculating the radii.

Can anyone shed any light on this?

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, January 9, 2021 2:53 PM

 I can tell you from experience that even that 2 21/32" spacing might not be enough for a pair of 85 foot cars to pass once another. Or barely. I was working with over 30" radius curves and had issues so I had to extend the space between the two curves. I'm not sure what the end result was, I never went back and updated the track plan, I adjusted as I built by trial and error before fastening the track. 

 I think the differences in your measurements are mostly due tot he easements and exactly where you started each curve - the transistion point from the prallel tangent track to the easement can make a huge difference on what the spacing of the tracks int he middle of the curve ends up being. I oftne finesse this by selecting the whole curve with easements, grouping it, and then cutting back the tangent track and sliding the curve group in one direction (left right or up down depending on the orientation of the particular piece of track) to get the middle of curve spacing correct, then reconnect the tangent track ends to the start of the easement.

                                                            --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, January 10, 2021 12:28 AM

rrinker
 I can tell you from experience that even that 2 21/32" spacing might not be enough for a pair of 85 foot cars to pass once another.

Hi Randy,

I suspected the same, so I'm going to space the tracks at 2 7/8". That will give me an extra 7/32" clearance on the curves. I think I might have to adjust the spacing between the easements because it is currently only 2 9/16". In any case, adjustments are easy thanks to 3rd PlanIt.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, January 10, 2021 12:41 AM

FWIW, I just used 3rd PlanIt's ability to generate images of rolling stock to see what the clearances on the curves looked like. There seemed to be plenty of space between the 85' cars. Of course, that's only what the drawing is showing so I will have to do a bit of real testing before I install the track permanently. I should be able to do that in the next few weeks, as soon as I can get the track plan drawn on the foam.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by NorthBrit on Sunday, January 10, 2021 6:23 AM

hon30critter

FWIW, I just used 3rd PlanIt's ability to generate images of rolling stock to see what the clearances on the curves looked like. There seemed to be plenty of space between the 85' cars. Of course, that's only what the drawing is showing so I will have to do a bit of real testing before I install the track permanently. I should be able to do that in the next few weeks, as soon as I can get the track plan drawn on the foam.

Dave

 

 

Been there, Dave.   Everything looking great on paper.   My biggest engine (at the time) was a Class 58.   When the track etc was laid 'it did not want to know'.

 

I am sure you will have better luck.

Reading the thread with interest.

 

David

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, January 11, 2021 2:53 AM

NorthBrit
Been there, Dave.   Everything looking great on paper.   My biggest engine (at the time) was a Class 58.   When the track etc was laid 'it did not want to know'.   I am sure you will have better luck.

Hi David,

I think all I might have to do is play with the easements a bit so there shouldn't be any huge issues.

Thanks for your interest!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 11:17 AM

Well, my problem was lack of foresight. I was not expecting to use my 80' passenger cars at home (the plan was to use at the club only), and later I realized that I can use them on my 22'' radius curves at home. Our club is basically in shutdown mode now, so I just had to try it.The problem is that in one curve, the cars can rub against other cars on the other mainline next to it. So when I run these longer cars, I have to watch out for the traffic on the other mainline!

Simon

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, January 17, 2021 1:56 AM

Hi gang!

I have decided to change my approach to laying out the track plan on the foam subroadbed.

Previously I had printed off the track plan at a ratio of about 1:4.5 and used 3rd PlanIt to mark the coordinates for all of the track pieces and turnouts on the printouts. However, when I tried to plot the coordinates on the actual subroadbed the first time I wasn't comfortable that the locations were truly accurate.

This time I have decided to print the layout diagram 1:1 so I can lay it on the subroadbed and use a pounce wheel to mark the track centerlines. I am also considering gluing the 1:1 track plan permanently on the subroadbed and gluing the cork right overtop of it.

Opinions?

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, January 17, 2021 12:52 PM

 I did that once - for my 8x12 donut 2 layouts ago. And I even selected the option to not print pages that had nothing on them - like the entire 4x8 center hole of the donut. It took a long time because tahter than suck up countless ink cartridges in the fast inkjet printer, I used the old compact laser printer I got for free from work (plenty of toner in one cartridge, plus I had spares I got with the printer - but it was like a 4 page per minute printer!)

 After I assembled it all by carefully taping the sheets together, lining of the registration marks, I rolled it up, took it down to the basement, and unrolled it on the benchwork. After much wrestling, it was finally in place, lined up, and then I went to work with the pounce wheel. Turns out that int he pink foam, the pounce wheel holes weren;t all that visible, so before removing allt he paper (now somewhat shredded by the pounce wheel), I went over all the lines with a sharpie marker. The pounce wheel holes allowed the ink through to mark the foam. Now I had lines everywhere the roadbed had to go, and a huge mess of paper that was falling apart.

 Never again.

 Last layout, I printed a critical area (right end of the yard) to an easy to use scale, and then transferred measurements - not the curve centers and aligbnment marks, I simply measured on the printed version, found that the frog of the turnout should be say 6 3/4" in from the edge and 17 1/2" over fromt he right edge of the benchwork, and laid the track that way. I didn;t do this for any other areas, once I had the yard in place, I just built around the room. I could have done the same for say the right side, and then filled in the curve, but instread I just started at the yard, laid the curve to the radius I wanted (just trial and error marked it with a stick drilled out to fit on the post of my tripod and hold a marker at the desired radius - wasn't too difficult to shift the tripod so the tangent intersection of the curve with the straight track was where I wanted it). Maybe I should have taken some civil engineering classes, it's like I'm doing a model version to transfer a plan to the physical world. 

 I have no plans to draw out full size my new layout, either. My plan in 3rd Plan It says I can fit the tracks I want in the space I havem without compromising on track centers or running too close to either the wall or the front edge of the benchwork, so I will start, most likely with the main line closest to the wall behind the yard, and work front from there.

 I suppsoed it would be much better to just leave the paper printout at 1:1 in place and put the roadbed and track over it. It won't hurt anything, and you can run a knife along the edge of the roadbed after it's down to remove the excess paper that's not under track - however, how are you planning to attach the roadbed? If you glue the paper down, and then glue the roadbed to the paper, the roadbed will only be held in place by the paper. That would be my concern. You could always do it like a negative - attach the full size printout, then cut out the parts where the roadbed and track go. Then glue the roadbed down, and when done, remove the paper.

                                    --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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