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Ogden & Cache Valley RR - Layout Construction

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Posted by luvadj on Thursday, September 3, 2015 8:43 AM

All I can say is WOW...what a fantastic and brilliantly executed job; right from the beginning.

When the family and I finally settle down (job requires moving from time to time), that is how I'd like to set up a shop / train room...but for now, I'll keep the layouts on wheels.....

Bob Berger, C.O.O. N-ovation & Northwestern R.R.        My patio layout....SEE IT HERE

There's no place like ~/ ;)

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Posted by Onewolf on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 7:30 AM

Lately I have been working on the wall panels that drop from the ceiling and support the outside edge of the upper level benchwork.  I plan to paint the outside of these wall panels to match the room wall color and the upper level backdrops will be installed on the inside of these panels.  I will also be installing wall panels on the upper level 'wings' that extend into two corners of the room.  This will basically enclose the upper level except where the stairs come up into the center platform.

Before the train room was drywalled I had installed 2x6 blocking in the ceiling which I attached these wall panels to.

I'm also working on fabricating the shelf bracket components I need to mount the middle level benchwork. I hope to get the shelf brackets brackets (90 something of them) done this weekend.

I also completed the lower level benchwork adjacent to the helix structure.

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

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Posted by Onewolf on Sunday, October 18, 2015 5:30 PM

It's been a while since I have updated my build thread but I have been making slow/steady progress. I had a business trip to St Paul, Mn back in mid September and I got a nasty bug/cold while I was there.  After getting over the cold I ended up with Bronchitis which is just starting to go away.

I've been busy building the shelf brackets I need for the middle level.  The middle level around the center platform will be 24" deep and I fabricated a bunch of 1.5"x1.5"x1/8" right angle steel brackets which I planned to mount directly to the exposed stud walls of the center platform.  Since the brackets are 24" long They project out 20.5" from the studs. To build these brackets I started with 72" raw steel right angle bars, used a chop saw to cut them into 24" pieces and then used the chop saw to cut off the front bottom corner (to avoid people lobotimizing themselves if they stick their heads under the middle level shelf). I drilled three holes to mount to the stud and one hole to screw down the plywood shelf. I used a bench grinder to smooth all the cuts/holes.  Next I cleaned them with acetone, coated them with Ospho (they are raw steel and they rust), and then I spray painted them plat black.  This is what they looked like after painting:

 

I'm going to use Closet Maid shelf track and 16" shelf brackets to support the middle level around the outside of the room (into the drywall/stud walls). I used the chop saw to cut off small metal tabs on the top of each bracket and then I spray painted the brackets (74 of them).

I'm going to use Closet Maid double shelf track cut into 5" sections to mount the shelf brackets. I started with five 84" sections of shelf track and used the chop saw to cut them into 5" sections. Next I drilled additional holes as needed to give me two holes to screw them into the stud walls.

And then I spray painted them flat black:

Here I have mounted the brackets to the exposed stud wall around the center platform. Notice the wide gaps in the corners.  Hmmmmm.

I made a bunch of 1.5"x5" pieces of 1/4" plywood which I mounted between the shelf track and the drywall to spread the load of the shelf track. I used Spax 3.5" 10X screws to mount the shelf track into the studs in the wall.

I have begun installing the 19/32" plywood that will form the base shelf for the flat terrain areas of the middle level. I will install sheets of 3/4" Foamular 150 rigid insulation on top of the plywood. I had planned to use 1" Foamular 150 sheets however only 3/4" is available in Florida (unless you want to special order a case of 48 sheets).

One of the engineering challenges I had not solved was how to support the corners of the middle level shelf around the center platform. With just the right angle brackets mounted to the exposed studs there was considerable deflection when you pull down on the 19/32" plywood. I have decided to use one of these 13"x20" heavy duty brackets for each corner. I created a 13" 2x2 out of a 2x4 and mounted it on the INSIDE of the plywood wall of the center platform and then I used three 2" 10x Spax screws to screw through the plywood into the 2x2. Then I used 3/4" screws to mount the bracket to the 19/32" middle level shelf. It is very sturdy and the shelf does not deflect at all. I started thinking about how I was going to mount the coved (convex) backdrop with the bracket in the way and I realized that when I'm ready to mount the backdrop I should remove the shelf bracket, mount the coved backdrop so it's touching the plywood wall corner, and then mount the shelf bracket to the backdrop (and screw through the backdrop and plywood wall into the 2x2 on the other side of the plywood wall). I can paint the shelf brackets the same sky blue as the backdrop.

I designed the nominal track height of the middle level (62") so that it's just an inch or two below my eye level so it will put me "in" the layout when operating the middle level of the layout.

 

The middle and right side of the lower level here will be a locomotive (steam and diesel) service facility. If you look close you can see I drew in the approximate location of the 130' turnatable and 12 stall roundhouse. Because this area is much too deep to reach the back sections the two wall panels behind this area are removable (each panel is held in place with 6 wing nuts). This provides access with a maximum 27" reach to any spot in this area.

Next I will finish mounting the middle level shelf plywood base, install the 3/4" foam, and then start working on the 17" deep 1x3 open grid sections of the middle level (it's the Nolix that climbs from 62" to 81" to reach the upper level).

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Tuesday, October 20, 2015 11:30 AM

Smile

We need a "Jealous" smiley.  You are doing a great job on a project most of us could only dream of.

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

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, October 20, 2015 12:06 PM

Thats definitely not what you call a "starter" layout or something folks would recommend for a beginner, or even someone who has been planning to build a layout for years, but never actually did!

Is that a mushroom type layout?  Definitely Kahn from the 2nd Star Treck movie would have trouble with it cause Kirk was able to beat him in battle due to his 2-dimensional thinking.  hah hah.

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Posted by Onewolf on Tuesday, October 20, 2015 12:56 PM

Yes, it's a mushroom design. The upper level is viewed from inside the center platform. It has been quite challenging building something in the "real world" that was relatively easy (albeit tedious and time consuming) to design using 3rdPlanIt CAD software. I have already built and then rebuilt numerous areas.

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by Drummer4Food on Monday, October 26, 2015 7:27 AM

Are you going to invite George Sellios and Rod Stewart for the grand opening. I see this making a story in Model Railroader Magazine. Cool

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 7:11 AM

I might have missed it but what is the grade on your no-lix to gain elevation?

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by Onewolf on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 8:15 AM

riogrande5761

I might have missed it but what is the grade on your no-lix to gain elevation?

The nolix grade is 1.85% (20" rise over 90 ft). This is the steepest grade on the layout.  The helix is 1.6% (outside track) and 1.7% (inside track).

 

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by Onewolf on Thursday, December 31, 2015 2:43 PM

It's been too long since I updated this build thread so here's my end of the year update....

I installed an 8ft length of the LED strip lights I have planned to use for the lower and middle level layout lighting. It's two parallel strips of 2835 LEDs (60/meter). They didn't put out quite as much light as I was hoping. This was a test of both the LED strip lights (mounted at 30 deg from horizontal) and a test of the backdrop paint colors. However later I noticed the 20AMP 12V power supply I was using was only putting out 11.4 volts and it had a switch to change between 220v and 110v AC input and it was set to default 220v input. After switching it to 110v input the power supply put out 12.4v and the LED lights became much brighter.

I also worked on closing in the upper level wings by building the 'walls' that drop from the ceiling and mounting the 1/8" masonite backdrop on the inside.

My original goal was to have all the basic benchwork completed and the lower/upper return loops and helix track installed and functioning by the end of 2015, but that didn't happen. I have completed 98%+ the benchwork and I also installed most of the lower/middle level lighting.  I have started construction of the large steel bracket that will support the middle level 1x3 benchwork above the city where the middle level nolix track crosses the aisle and heads up into the upper level. The piece of wood crossing the aisle shows the planned relative height of the track crossing the aisle. I have ordered a 96" long 3" wide by 1.5" tall steel A-36 U channel which will be used to simulate a (long) plate girder bridge to span across the aisle.

The middle level will have a 'nolix' along the outside wall to climb (2.0% grade) from 62" to the upper level 82" elevation. The track will be climbing along this stretch of middle level benchwork until it's about 14-15" above the benchwork.

 

 

I have also completed the 1x4 benchwork in the upper level 'wings'.

You can see the LED light strips I am using the light the lower/middle levels. I am using 2835 LED strips and I mount 2 rows of LEDs to 30 and 40 degree wood mounts that I rip from 2x4 studs. I then apply a coat of laminate contact cement to the surface where the LED strips will be applied after the contact cement dries. Each 2x4 creates 4 mount pieces. The yellow/orange 12GA wire is the LED lighting power bus. I am using four 20AMP 12V power supplies to power the lower/middle level LED lighting buses.

The basic layout of the tracks along the main division yard on the 1/2" homasote. I will be sealing/painting the homasote soon.  I cut the homasote using a track saw with a shop vac attached and it produced extremely clean cuts and almost no dust.

There was a single 4ft dual T32 fluorescent fixture on the ceiling here which was not providing enough light so I replaced it with an 8ft quad T32 fixture which provides much better room lighting (although it really overpowers the LED layout lighting).

In areas where the middle level is built with 5/8" plywood and 3/4" foam and supported by Closetmaid 16" shelf brackets I have to run the power buses wires over the shelf brackets. Ugh. In areas where the benchwork is 1x3 or 1x4 open grid I can run the bus wires through the benchwork boards (much better).

The entrances to/exits from the helix will go through the 1/8" backdrop on the left in both the lower and middle levels.

This is what the LED lighting mounts looks like before installation. I wire the two LED strips together so it needs only one power connection.

The LED light strip power connection. I use Scotchlok 'suitcase' connectors to connect to the 12V LED layout lighting bus wires.

When the room lighting is turned off it looks like this. For the time being I am going to depend upon the room lighting to light the upper level and the middle level areas with no upper level above them.  I also need to work on the uneven light levels produced by the room lights versus the layout LED lights.

 

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Friday, January 1, 2016 11:19 AM

NICE. For a good craftsman. Not at all something that a LION would build. LIONS have not the patience or other resources. LION has different standards.

ROAR

 

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Posted by Onewolf on Sunday, January 3, 2016 6:10 PM

I finished building the steel bracket that supports the middle level benchwork where the mainline nolix crosses over the aisle as it heads up to the upper level. I have also started cutting and dry placing the 3/4" plywood subroadbed for the lower return loop and staging tracks that will be hidden under the city (Ogden). Once I am happy with the layout of subroadbed before screwing it down I will use it as templates to cut 1/2 homasote roadbed. This task has also forced me to figure out exactly how I am going to support the plywood base of the city above the hidden return loop (as well as how the detachable backdrop behind the 42" deep high rise city scene will be built/installed).

This benchwork projects 48" from the wall and the top of the 1x3 benchwork is 77.5" elevation.

A better view of the lower return loop subroadbed. You can also see the PVC conduit I grudgingly installed. I also installed a conduit over the door to allow me a shorter run for electrical cables/busses as an alternative to going all the way around the outside of the room. I considered trying to run the conduit inside the wall but this wall is a load bearing wall (with lots of extra blocking), it has all the plumbing for the bathroom, and it has a bunch of electrical. So I took the ugly path of less resistance.

I finished installing the layout lighting LED strips that light the lower level. Note the "start climb" notation on the left. This is the point where the middle level nolix starts the 2.0% climb up to the upper level. The Nolix follows three of the room walls as it climbs from 62" to 82".

A couple shots showing the newly installed lower level LED layout lighting sections with the room lights turned off.

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, January 3, 2016 6:25 PM

Onewolf:

Can I ask you specifically which LED lighting strips you used? I'm in the planning/acquisition stages for my layout right now.


Edit: Found my answer in your earlier post.

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 Onewolf on Monday, January 4, 2016 3:34 AM

hon30critter

Onewolf:

Can I ask you specifically which LED lighting strips you used? I'm in the planning/acquisition stages for my layout right now.


Edit: Found my answer in your earlier post.

Dave

Dave, I purchased the LED strips from seller 'movsun' on E-bay.  I have purchased numerous items from them with no issues ever.  The LED strip lights I use are 2835 SMD, cool white, non waterproof. I also bought six 20AMP 12V power supplies from them as well.  http://www.ebay.com/itm/5M-3528-5050-2835-3014-5630-300-600-1200LEDs-Flexible-Strip-Light-Non-Waterproof-/221497114292

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by Onewolf on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 9:08 AM

I made a very quick SWAG at how I could configure track lighting to light the upper level and lower/middle level areas that are not lit using the LED strip lights. I assumed 3 foot tracks with (generally) three 7watt LED fixtures per track. Several tracks have four light fixtures. Each 7w cool white LED fixture puts around 600 lumen (claimed). This results in 29 tracks and about 90 7w LED light fixtures. For the purposes of model photography I need a lot of light.

I have ordered a single 3ft track and a couple of the 7w LED light fixtures to see how much light they really put out to determine if this lighting plan is complete BS or not.

The discretionary layout budget does not currently have funding for this large $ outlay so room lighting will continue to be used for the time being.

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by carl425 on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 9:58 AM

Onewolf
Each 7w cool white LED fixture puts around 600 lumen (claimed).

I had halogen track lights in my office that were great - except for the heat.  I ordered a bunch of the LED replacements that fell far short of the specified light output.  Hopefully they have improved in the last year or two.

Onewolf
For the purposes of model photography I need a lot of light.

Based on my extensive experience as a wannabe photographer Smile, you will want far more light for good protographs than the normal display lighting will provide.  I'd plan on using supplemental lighting for photos and not take that into consideration on your standard lighting.

So why not build a valance and use the same LED strips?

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

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Posted by Onewolf on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 10:21 AM

carl425

So why not build a valance and use the same LED strips?

Thanks for the quick reply.

It _may_ be feasible to build a valance and use LED strip lights for the upper level however an issue I am concerned about is that I would would not want the valance to drop more than about 6" from the ceiling and I'm not sure the LED strip lights would provide enough light output when they are 30"-36" above the layout (IMO, currently the two strips of 2835 LEDs are marginal where they are only 17"-18" above the lower benchwork.)

This issue is even more magnified trying to light the middle and lower levels where there is no shelf/benchwork above because I don't want a valence blocking the long stretch (70 ft) of middle level where the mountain/canyon/backdrop goes from the 62" elevation all the way to the ceiling at 120" elevation.  Track lighting would really shine (haha) for that application.

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 11:29 AM

If money is a problem, you can do the upper level in track lighting which can be very cheap if you know the secrets. One being that all the heads made 30 years ago still work with the stuff sold today if you buy the right track like the one HD sells. The trick comes from the fact that the names of the players have changed over the years but the base is the same. I had to settle for brass housings for mine as they were $1.67 each over white at around $7 at the time I needed them. Of course to make this all work you need to screw in CFL's or LED's and the end needs to be a plug in so that it not considered as house wiring (because some less than intelignt persone might try to use standard light bulbs).

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 9:44 PM

Onewolf:

Thanks for the info on the 2835 LED strips.

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 Onewolf on Friday, January 15, 2016 8:02 AM

I'm starting to lay the track for the lower return loop and 5 staging tracks.  Most of this track will eventually be hidden under a city (or behind the city's backdrop). The track is Atlas code 100 super flex track and it's very easy to work with.  The turnouts are Peco code 100 insulfrog 'large' and they will be driven with Tortoise motors and NCE Switch-it MK2 decoders (with facia toggle switches).  At this point I'm waiting for an order of additional Atlas rerailer track sections from MB-Klein before I can finish the track. 

The inside loop is 26.75" radius (with easements) and the outside loop is 38" radius.  I have been testing the track with some Walthers HW Pullmann passenger cars because they are the only rolling stock I own that would not work on the old layout (which had 24" radius curves).

The double track mainline that enters the lower return loop:

It's great to finally be laying track after all this time....

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, January 15, 2016 9:24 AM

Awesome.  Building what most of us would call a dream layout!

Looks like your mininum radius is just shy of 27 inches?  I'd guess that should handle most long equipment ok.  For the size was 30" minimum not doable?

Nice to be getting some track down eh?  Expect next you'll not be able to resist putting some trains on the rail and running them around - you know, shake down is needed in the early stages.  I just finally go a bunch of drops from my tiny little yard down to the electrical bus and was running some trains around - did a little switching.  Woo.

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Posted by Onewolf on Friday, January 15, 2016 9:49 AM

Minimum radius on visible track is 36" however 95% of curves are 40+" radius.  The two 'inside' loops on the lower return loop are 26.75" and 29" and the inside loop on the upper return loop is 29.75".    All other hidden track has a minimum 30+" radius.

 

The radius of the lower return loops was limited by the width/depth of the 'blob'.  I _could_ have reduced the number of staging track loops but I decided I would rather have the two 'extra' staging tracks even though they have radius less than 30".

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

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Posted by carl425 on Friday, January 15, 2016 9:51 AM

Onewolf
I have been testing the track with some Walthers HW Pullmann passenger cars because they are the only rolling stock I own that would not work on the old layout (which had 24" radius curves).

While I don't think you will have a problem with the eased curves you are using, I have found that the best was to test is to make a train with your shortest car in between 2 of your longest cars.  Two long cars will have the same swing of the coupler away from the center line of the track.  Problems occur when cars with a different swing are coupled together.  Got a 34' hopper you can put between 2 of those HW's?

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, January 15, 2016 10:01 AM

Well, if you have a number of larger radius in that return loop, you can always route trains through it if they have rolling stock which are sensitive to lower radius curves - which can be the case especially for some brass items.  Sounds like over all you should have some visually decent curves then.

Remind me what time period you are modeling.  UP in Ogden should be very cool - myself being a fan of western modeling and D&RGW had friendly connections in Utah on the west end.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by Onewolf on Friday, January 15, 2016 11:30 AM

riogrande5761

Well, if you have a number of larger radius in that return loop, you can always route trains through it if they have rolling stock which are sensitive to lower radius curves - which can be the case especially for some brass items.  Sounds like over all you should have some visually decent curves then.

Remind me what time period you are modeling.  UP in Ogden should be very cool - myself being a fan of western modeling and D&RGW had friendly connections in Utah on the west end.

 

 
No brass rolling stock/locos.
I'm modeling 1956-1957 ish in a freelance sort of way so I'm not going to be 100% strict about that.  If it ran on UP in the 50s then it's fair game as far as I am concerned.  Wink
 
As you mentioned, my theory on having the 26.75" radius staging track is that it will be usable by at least 90% of my trains.

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, January 15, 2016 12:48 PM

Well, it's always good to be able to handle brass in case you end up with any!

Should be fascinating to see it with rolling stock in action for UP in the late 1950's but I can see how it would be extremely tempting to slip into the 1960's, especially if anyone makes a good quality DD35 A and B unit  I've got a book called Colorful Colorado Railroads in the 1960's and it's got some very cool shots of UP trains with interesting lashups of DD's with GP30's etc and of course F units mixed in!

Of course judging by everything you've show, it's evident you've put a lot of thought into every engineering aspect of it!

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Posted by wickman on Saturday, January 16, 2016 12:53 PM

This is really  well planned out,  nice start.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, January 16, 2016 8:56 PM

First, let me say to OneWolf, you are doing a fantastic job, well done.

I do have a couple comments and questions.

Are you planning to use any kind of roadbed effect on the visable trackage? I notice the the stagging trackage you have posted so far is directly on flat homasote.

Curve radius - sounds like you will have a very nice layout in this regard, but personally I would not go below the 32/34 inch radius range even for hidden trackage.

Thanks for sharing your layout progress - while I have not commented much, I have been following your thread - again very nice work.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Onewolf on Sunday, January 17, 2016 1:39 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

Are you planning to use any kind of roadbed effect on the visable trackage? I notice the the stagging trackage you have posted so far is directly on flat homasote.

Curve radius - sounds like you will have a very nice layout in this regard, but personally I would not go below the 32/34 inch radius range even for hidden trackage.

 

In the past I've used cork roadbed, but I'm going to try WS 3/16" foam on this layout.  If that doesn't go well I will revert to using cork roadbed for at least the mainline.

As far as curve radius, with the exception of the Walthers HW passengers cars all my rolling stock functioned fine with 24" radius curves on previous layout so I'm not worried about the 26.75" and 29" radius curves on the lower return staging tracks.

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, January 17, 2016 7:35 AM

Onewolf

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL

Are you planning to use any kind of roadbed effect on the visable trackage? I notice the the stagging trackage you have posted so far is directly on flat homasote.

Curve radius - sounds like you will have a very nice layout in this regard, but personally I would not go below the 32/34 inch radius range even for hidden trackage.

 

 

 

In the past I've used cork roadbed, but I'm going to try WS 3/16" foam on this layout.  If that doesn't go well I will revert to using cork roadbed for at least the mainline.

As far as curve radius, with the exception of the Walthers HW passengers cars all my rolling stock functioned fine with 24" radius curves on previous layout so I'm not worried about the 26.75" and 29" radius curves on the lower return staging tracks.

 

Have you considered Homabed:

http://www.calroadbed.com/site/890800/

I understand about the radius issue. I'm big on close coupling and working diaphrams that stay touching, so I like to stay a little larger qith the curves.

Sheldon

    

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