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Layout Design Challenge

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Posted by bogp40 on Thursday, May 30, 2013 6:15 PM

I just wanted a dip in the water tower w/ the girls...

Modeling B&O- Chessie  Bob K.  www.ssmrc.org

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Thursday, May 30, 2013 7:12 PM

Doughless

Don't know why people were quick to poke fun of Hooterville.  Compared to most places, its percentage of  "talent" was always very high.  Wink

They didn't call it Hooterville for nothing, you know.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by Soo Line fan on Thursday, May 30, 2013 8:38 PM

Jim

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Posted by J.Rob on Thursday, May 30, 2013 10:59 PM

I have a challenge for the original poster. Dig out the money to hire a designer to do the work for you. There are several of them here on a regular basis and their postings regarding a problem area of someone's layout are always very good. Your initial statements regarding what you want vs what you have do not sound very compatible. Your initial premise for your railroad and it's theoretical reason for existence is also suspect. Some points to consider, you wish a harbor and industries, a logging and mining operation but have no plan for interchange or a market for the products. In your scenario most of the commerce would be via the port and most of your industry would likely locate there with access to the water, your time period suggests that other forms of transport would be available and possibly much more economical and versatile. To me a model of two streaks of rust that would be abandoned faster than penn central has no appeal, I would suggest you rethink your initial reasons for your railroads existence so as to not be disappointed with what is built.

Free-lancing a railroad and building a model of it takes a great deal of work to come up with a plausible scheme so that at the end of the day your railroad looks like it could have been instead of a glorified train set. If on the other hand you just want to sit in the pit and watch your models run by put in some loops and a siding or two and enjoy a glorified Christmas tree layout that you can build some scenery on. The idea is to have fun. You may find that with the small space and the large narrow gauge trains that is what suits you best and what you enjoy the most.

One easy way for you to see what you could do would be to build your bench work around the room and then begin "laying your track" in a temporary manner to see what fits and gives you the best looking layout. In this way you could try some things and if they are unappealing to you change them quite easily and still reuse your components with out destroying anything. You might also find that by doing so your givens and druthers will evolve.

In my case I have developed a history, locomotive and equipment roster, reason for the railroad, selected a time frame, and a specific section of that fictional railroad to model. I have also spent time on developing a logo, road name and slogan so I can get decals made to model my railroad. In a nut shell it is called the Virginian and Lake Erie and the principal lines that merged are the Wheeling and Lake Erie and the Virginian, plus some other acquisitions. The principal route runs from Toledo Ohio to Sewels point in Virginia and also includes other places like Pittsburgh Pa and Columbus Ohio. The two lines use a fictional route along the Ohio river to connect and have branched into the coal fields of Kentucky from Kenova WV. The part I plan to model will be based around the Wheeling WV area in 1959. The formal merger of all these railroads into the new railroad will have taken place in 1957.

So with out going into more detail I free-lanced a model railroad but based it on real prototypes and made sure it has a traffic base, places to interchange, a reason for being and a specific geographic location that would allow for terrain to be chosen, industries to model, and all the other things to make it look believable.

In the scenario listed by the original poster there are so many unanswered questions that any thing designed will likely be very different from the vision he has of what he wants to model. There is no such thing as a free lunch, unless you are on welfare. I would respectfully suggest that you put forth some effort into what you really want and begin to answer some of the questions about what your railroad does and why before you begin with scenery and track and then find you are very dissatisfied with the result.

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Posted by mobilman44 on Friday, May 31, 2013 6:12 AM

JROB,

You are preaching to the choir - which of course doesn't include the OP.

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, formerly modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, May 31, 2013 6:24 AM

mobilman44

JROB,

You are preaching to the choir - which of course doesn't include the OP.

Speaking of the OP, where is he?

Alton Junction

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Posted by Adelie on Friday, May 31, 2013 7:32 AM

richhotrain

Speaking of the OP, where is he?

"Listening to punk rock music and bad-mouthing (his) country, I'll bet!" says Sgt. Foley.

- Mark

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Posted by JoeinPA on Friday, May 31, 2013 7:54 AM

Adelie

richhotrain

Speaking of the OP, where is he?

"Listening to punk rock music and bad-mouthing (his) country, I'll bet!" says Sgt. Foley.

Hasn't bee seen on the other forum for a couple of days.

Joe

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Posted by Schuylkill and Susquehanna on Friday, May 31, 2013 10:10 AM

Who cares?  This is a good layout challenge.  Let's toss the budget requirements and make this what would you do with the space and the given druthers.  Cool  Let's do it just for fun.  When (and IF) the OP checks this forum, he will find some really good track plans.Big Smile

Seriously, he may be on vacation or off hiking, etc. where he doesn't have access to a computer.Hmm

I'm mostly done with a continuous climb double-deck design that fits pretty much all of the druthers, with a roundhouse, 50 foot turntable, and yard to boot!Smile, Wink & Grin  Train length looks to be about 5 feet (or and engine and 5 cars in Sn3.5.)  The "logs floated from California" idea seemed implausible to me, so I decided to make the sawmill served by and off-layout narrow-gauge logging railroad.Whistling  Can't ever have too many trains!Cool

The out-swinging closet doors were a bit of an issue, but I managed to work around them.  Some of you talked about replacing the closet doors with sliding doors and making the entrance door out-swinging.  Go ahead and do it on your plan!Mischief

Let's show the OP what can be done with the space he has available.Thumbs UpThumbs Up

S&S

 

Modeling the Pennsy and loving it!

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Posted by Soo Line fan on Friday, May 31, 2013 10:15 AM

Due to the under whelming  response to his design challenge, he is probably trying to sell off his train stuff on ebay, for a 50% profit of course.Laugh Laugh Laugh

Jim

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Posted by zstripe on Friday, May 31, 2013 2:08 PM

I saw his avatar,pop up on the,who's on line,about 8:30 this morning...

Cheers,

Frank

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Posted by JoeinPA on Friday, May 31, 2013 5:32 PM

Let's let this die.

Joe

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Posted by bogp40 on Friday, May 31, 2013 5:46 PM

JoeinPA

Let's let this die.

Joe

Amen to that, If we're "bored" let's do a ficticious layout "challenge"

Modeling B&O- Chessie  Bob K.  www.ssmrc.org

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Posted by CTValleyRR on Saturday, June 1, 2013 1:43 PM
S&S -- Go ahead and post your plan. I started putting one together, too, just so I could show the OP how limited he really is within the confines of his challenge.... primarily the budget. I'll bet my next paycheck that the OP won't ever return to the thread, and maybe not even to the forums, but some other folks may have similar issues and be more open minded about it.

Connecticut Valley Railroad A Branch of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford

"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." -- Henry Ford

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Posted by J.Rob on Friday, June 7, 2013 10:58 PM

Sir Madog

Folks who know me also know, that I like to design layouts, if I can be of help. I have done that a number of times - for good friends in here and other forums. Quite a few of those designs were (or are being) built, which I deem as an honor.

Sir Madog wrote the following post at Wed, May 29 2013 4:30 AM:

There are others in here - Paul, Byron, the late Stein, just to name a few, who have spend hours of their time to help forum members to come up with a layout design (more than just a track plan) which will give their builders hours of joy and entertainment.

But simply stating "this is the room I have, this is the track I have - now do the work I should do, or ..." is not really inviting the help and support the OP may be looking for.

Good luck to the OP in his endeavor to find someone foolish enough to hitch a ride on his train.

I do not think one will hitch a ride on his train, one might push the thing for him but surely no riders.

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Posted by Schuylkill and Susquehanna on Monday, June 10, 2013 4:14 PM

Just uploaded my layout plan to Model Railroader.  Now I have to wait for it to show up.

Sorry it took so long, for a while I was "stumped" on the logging area.Smile, Wink & Grin

S&S

 

Modeling the Pennsy and loving it!

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Posted by CTValleyRR on Monday, June 10, 2013 6:53 PM
S&S- refresh my memeory. You were going to ditch the completely unrealistic budget and really try to do something with the space, right?

Connecticut Valley Railroad A Branch of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford

"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." -- Henry Ford

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Posted by zstripe on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 5:05 AM

Schuylkill and Susquehanna

Who cares?  This is a good layout challenge.  Let's toss the budget requirements and make this what would you do with the space and the given druthers.  Cool  Let's do it just for fun.  When (and IF) the OP checks this forum, he will find some really good track plans.Big Smile

Seriously, he may be on vacation or off hiking, etc. where he doesn't have access to a computer.Hmm

I'm mostly done with a continuous climb double-deck design that fits pretty much all of the druthers, with a roundhouse, 50 foot turntable, and yard to boot!Smile, Wink & Grin  Train length looks to be about 5 feet (or and engine and 5 cars in Sn3.5.)  The "logs floated from California" idea seemed implausible to me, so I decided to make the sawmill served by and off-layout narrow-gauge logging railroad.Whistling  Can't ever have too many trains!Cool

The out-swinging closet doors were a bit of an issue, but I managed to work around them.  Some of you talked about replacing the closet doors with sliding doors and making the entrance door out-swinging.  Go ahead and do it on your plan!Mischief

Let's show the OP what can be done with the space he has available.Thumbs UpThumbs Up

S&S

CTValleyRR,

It appears so,,,,,Probably,fall on deaf,ears though!!!

Cheers,

Frank

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 5:36 AM

deleted

Alton Junction

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Posted by Schuylkill and Susquehanna on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 8:50 AM

zstripe

Probably,fall on deaf,ears though!!!

I'm just doing this for fun.  With the exception of the budget, it was a good challenge, and a great mental exercise.

S&S

 

Modeling the Pennsy and loving it!

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Posted by zstripe on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 9:00 AM

S&S,

I understand what you are doing,,,,the deaf ear comment,was about the OP...

Have Fun,,I'd like to see it,,,

Cheers,

Frank

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Posted by Schuylkill and Susquehanna on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 10:46 AM

Here's my track plan.  Would have had it in sooner, but my browser crashed while I was typing this in.  Now I've got to start over.  Oh well.

12" grid, 200 dpi.

 

My track plan actually models two fictional railroads, the Ferrocarril de Cabeza Dura (FCD) and the Ferocarril de Empresa Madera de Pino Alto (EMPA).  In English, that's "Hard Head Railroad" and "Tall Pine Sawmill Co. Railroad."

I used a 22" minimum radius when designing the layout, and the minimum isle width is 22".  The isle width is tighter than I would have liked, but it was necessary because of the minimum radius.  My minimum radius is considerably larger than that specified by the OP, but the larger radius will allow operation of locomotives up to 2-8-0 and 4-6-0 size.  I used #6 turnouts or #3 wyes where the main line takes the diverging route, and I tried to leave plenty of room for vertical curves.  The duckunder at the right side of the layout was inconvenient, but necessary to keep the layout within the space constraints without modifying the doors.  Over the course of the layout, the track climbs 18" upwards, without s helix.  The mainline run is 58 feet.

Both turntables on the layout would be built over Atlas turntable mechanisms with 15 degree alignments.  The turntable bridge has been extended to 12" to allow for larger locomotives.  I personally would build a complete turntable on the layout and then connect it to an Atlas turntable concealed in the benchwork.

Puerto Menor:

The FCD has it's main facilities on the layout in Puerto Menor (Small Port).  There is a 3 track yard, a 64 foot turntable, coal and water facilities, a two stall enginehouse, and outdoor storage for two more locomotives.  The main line passes behind the enginehouse and dead-ends into the backdrop (good place for a mirror.)  The main line presumably continues on to a junction or small coastal town.  Along the front edge of Puerto Menor are the docks.  The lumber and mercantile wharves are completely modeled, but there was only room for a fascia flat cannery.  The ore dock is located opposite the mercantile wharf, and gives the impression of a small coastal bay.  The FCD has a station opposite the docks, which would have a wooden platform spanning both tracks.  The actual town of Puerto Menor would have to be modeled using backdrop flats and photos.

Barranco de Diablo:

After leaving Puerto Menor, the FCD passes through Baranco de Diablo ("Gulch of the Devil" or "Devil's Gulch") for the first of its three times.  We can only assume that Barranco de Diablo is actually a valley that the FCD runs along.  Although it is located in the back, Barranco de Diablo is one of the scenic focal points of the layout.  Three trestles span the gulch, all crossing over a track that runs through the bottom.  The highest track is 12" above the lowest one, creating a majestic scene that will have operators biting their nails and praying that their train doesn't derail.  Tall, craggy hills on either side will help emphasize the scene.  The two wooden trestles would likely have to be scratchbuilt or modified from Cambell kits., and the tall steel trestle could be made from Micro Engineering parts.

The ore dock at Puerto Menor is connected to the track here.  I would have rather had it connect to the main line closer to Puerto Menor, but the ore dock's height, minimum radius, and isle widths prevented me.  The ore dock is positioned so it is opposite the mercantile wharf, giving the impression of a small coastal bay.

Cresta Espina:

The town of Cresta Espina is the midpoint town on the layout.  Cresta Espina ("Spine's Crest" or "Spine Ridge")*** is a mining town, with mines at either end of the town and another one further up the line.  Cresta Espina has no water tank in my plan, but it would be a good place for one.  Cresta Espina has a station and freight house, but there are no other major industries besides mining.  All supplies come through the railroad, and the freight house does a brisk business.  The freight house siding only holds one car, but another could be spotted nearby to be unloaded into horse drawn carts (ergo, "team track.")  The town itself would again be modeled using backdrop flats and pictures.  I made all the towns be backdrop towns to conserve on space and allow for wider isles and curves.

Barranco de Diablo (2):

As the FCD leaves Cresta Espina, it passes through a short tunnel (firebox doors closed and blower on full, please) and then passes by a small mine situated on the side of a mountain.  It then crosses over the high bridge before climbing up to Colina Verde.  The high bridge is designed to be an imposing model.  The bridge is 12" tall at its highest point, and stretches for over 4 feet.  This is made to seem all the larger because the viewer is only a foot away from the model, and the model is at eye level.  The bridge is made up of 5 towers and 6 spans, and is an all steel construction.

Colina Verde:

Colina Verde (Green Hills) is the highest point on the layout, and is the upper end terminal for the FCD.  It is here that the FCD interchanges with the EMPA.  Colina Verde is located directly over Puerto Menor, with 18" separation between them.  It's tight, but Puerto Menor will not have any really tall scenes, and if a stool is handy, Puerto Menor could be operated sitting down.  Colina Verde is dominated by the large Empresa Madera de Pino Alto (Tall Pine Sawmill Company) complex.  The complex stretches for nearly four feet along the backdrop, and would likely range from 4 inches to over a foot tall.  Another 2 1/2 feet is taken up by a log dump along the backdrop.  The log pond would be another photo.  At one end of Colina Verde there is a gravel pit / stone quarry.  The pit itself is not modeled, the spur leading to it disappears behind a hill.  Colina Verde has a small FCD station, and a joint FCD/EMPA engine terminal.  The EMPA has a single stall engine house here near a 64 foot turntable and a water tank.  The EMPA locomotive would most likely be wood fired, so there is no coaling station here.  Instead, a large amount of cordwood would be stacked beside the enginehouse.  At the left end of Colina Verde, the EMPA disappears behind a hill and some trees as it continues to the lumber camps.  The town of Colina Verde is also modeled on the backdrop.  There is room near the station for a couple small partial buildings, but most of the town would have to be photographs.

 

 

***  The translation I have given for "Cresta Espina" is slightly ambiguous.  "Espina" means "spine" as in the spine of a fish, so "Cresta Espina" refers to a jagged mountain range that resembles a fish's spine.

 

 

There are a couple about this plan that I do not quite like.  First is the height.  I would suggest that the workbench be moved to another room or to the garage, and the layout heights dropped down at least 4 inches.  This would create a better viewing height, and there would be room for a small rolling office chair that could be used to operate Puerto Menor.  It would also allow better access to the left rear portions of Puerto Menor and Colina Verde, which in the current plan are behind the workbench.  It also would have been nice to be able to use the bottom wall  for another shelf, or put staging in the closet.  Currently staging is the three track yard in Puerto Menor, which may or may not be sufficient for operations.  Finally, it would have been nice to have another 6 to 12 inches in each direction to provide wider isles, longer runs, and allow the 3D modeling of parts of the towns.

All in all, I'm pretty satisfied with this plan given the space and room design constraints.  If you have any questions about the plan, feel free to ask.

S&S

 

Modeling the Pennsy and loving it!

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Posted by CTValleyRR on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 12:25 PM
S&S -- one question: can it be built in under a year fot less than $500? Big Smile

Connecticut Valley Railroad A Branch of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford

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Posted by zstripe on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 12:51 PM

I don't believe,it can be built for less than $500 dollars,,,,,But S&S,,I believe,It's a great plan...

Cheers,

Frank

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Posted by Schuylkill and Susquehanna on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 2:43 PM

Thanks, Frank.

 

 

This plan would take about 2 years to build, working whenever.  If you worked steadily - every weekend, and some afternoons and vacation time thrown in - you could probably build it in a year.

The cost would probably be something like this:

  • Lighting - $100-300, depending on type
  • Benchwork, shelf brackets, and subroadbed - $200-250
  • Track - $400, but could be considerably less if you use brass from junk train stores
  •  Roadbed is not an issue as most narrow gauge railroads did not have a raised right of way
  • Structures, turntables, bridges, tunnels - $300-500
  • Scenery materials, bristle-brush or filter trees, rock castings, plaster - $250-350
  • Misc. other and margin of error - $200

The total cost would be in the $1450-2000 range, most likely spread out over 2 or more years.  A reasonable expectation would be to spend $800 per year, or roughly $16 per week.  To put it in perspective, that's about what average allowance is for a teenager.

S&S

 

Modeling the Pennsy and loving it!

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Posted by mobilman44 on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 5:09 PM

Hi,

I see this thread carries on after the OP split.

Gotta add some "words of personal experience" here....................

Building a layout is (to me) a labor of love.  It is not something to be hurried thru, and is at least half the fun of the hobby (assuming building a layout and running trains is your goal). 

A well built layout will last for years - even decades.   So it stands to reason that "best efforts" should be used thru each stage of the building.

To me, the stages are:  room development, layout & benchwork design, benchwork building, track laying, wiring, testing, testing, testing, structure selection and placement, scenery.   Of course these stages are often mixed together but you get the idea.

Don't know why I'm writing all this, for you old timers will likely read it and say "so what else is new", and the newcomers will likely say, "I ain't got time for all that, I want to run trains"........................

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, formerly modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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Posted by zstripe on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 7:47 PM

Mobilman44,

So what else is new??NAW,,,just kidding,,,,what's that thread about the Hobby dying?? I lot of us here are still responding,to a dead Thread and I believe we're still having fun...LOL...

Cheers,

Frank

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Posted by CTValleyRR on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 7:45 PM
OP split because he didn't like the sound of reality, or, possibly, "I ain't got time for all that, I wanna run trains!

Connecticut Valley Railroad A Branch of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford

"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." -- Henry Ford

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