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Ogden & Cache Valley RR - Layout Construction

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Posted by John Busby on Sunday, January 17, 2016 8:26 AM

Hi all

Well boys and girls I think we have all been well and truly shown up.

That is fantastic work well thought out and well executed work.

Bet your glad you can now see the beginings of a railway as well even if there is still a long way to go.

It won't seem so far now.

regards John

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Posted by Onewolf on Sunday, January 24, 2016 12:48 PM

All the track for the lower return loop and staging tracks has been installed. Now I need to install track feeders and connect them to the track power bus.

Each of the 6 loops of track is an occupancy zone and each of the 2 turnout ladders is an occupancy zone so there are 8 track sub-bus wire pairs. I ran out of combinations with a white wire so I ended up using a blue/silver wire as #8.

The lower level reverse loop and staging track have been wired for DCC track power (22ga track feeders and 12ga sub-bus) and tested with 3 locomotives. I have also begun to work on the DCC infrastructure in order to test the track installation.

The next step is to install the Tortoise motors to drive the turnouts and the NCE Switch-8 + button board to control the Tortoises. I will also be installing the RR-Cirkits BOD-8 and FOB-A boards to handle the occupancy zone detection and LED status display.

This is the 'remote' booster #2 which provides track power for the lower return loop and staging tracks. The lower return loop is driven by a DCC Specialties PSX-AR to handle the reversing nature of the return loop. Booster #2 will also drive a DCC Specialties PSX-4 which will eventually handle 4 other track power districts.

This is the main layout power/control station. The Digitrax DCS-100 which is main 'brain' of the DCC system is located here along with two Digitrax DB-150 boosters. The DCS-100 will not be used to power any track. One DB-150 will provide power/control for all the turnouts on the layout and the other DB-150 will drive a DCC Specialties PSX-4 and power/control 4 power districts. There are also four 20AMP 12v power supplies which power the lower/middle level layout LED lightstrips.

I'm using a Digitrax PS2012 to provide power for the DCS-100, and two DB-150 boosters. Booster #1 will be connected to the PSX-4 in the top left corner to provide DCC track power for 4 power districts. The turnout control booster will be connected to a power bus that will power/control all the turnouts (~100) on the layout.

 

 

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 24, 2016 9:44 PM

Onewolf:

I love the nice neat wiring arrangements! I'm sure things will get more complex as you install the turnout busses etc. but you are certainly off to a good start on the electrics.

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 riogrande5761 on Monday, January 25, 2016 8:36 AM

Given the space, I would have designed return loop staging just like you did.  Great work.  Are you going to add "guard rails" to keep expensive trains from going over the edge to the floor?

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by Onewolf on Monday, January 25, 2016 8:36 AM

hon30critter

Onewolf:

I love the nice neat wiring arrangements! I'm sure things will get more complex as you install the turnout busses etc. but you are certainly off to a good start on the electrics.

Dave

I'm doing my best to avoid the quick/dirty wiring route which will cause lots of problems later on.  Keep repeating:  "Patience is a virtue".  :)

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 -

  • Member since
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Posted by Onewolf on Monday, January 25, 2016 8:39 AM

riogrande5761

Given the space, I would have designed return loop staging just like you did.  Great work.  Are you going to add "guard rails" to keep expensive trains from going over the edge to the floor?

 

I plan to add some sort of low 'guardrails' in areas where trains could take the death plunge.  I haven't figured out yet what I will use for the train catcher.  1/8" masonite? Cardboard?  Clear thin plexi?  I'm open to suggestions.

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 Monday, January 25, 2016 8:48 AM

I've been just adding cardboard guardrails with hot glue which should be sufficient to block any derailed trains from taking the plunge, but my layout is being built on the cheap and since I am not planning on being here more than 2-3 more years, I'm not going with something more posh, like masonite or hardboard (which I am going to use for fascia.

Is that homasote under the tracks where you have the staging tracks in the photo's above?

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by Onewolf on Monday, January 25, 2016 9:35 AM

riogrande5761

Is that homasote under the tracks where you have the staging tracks in the photo's above?

 

 
Yes, it's painted homasote.

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 gmpullman on Monday, January 25, 2016 9:44 AM

Onewolf
Clear thin plexi?  I'm open to suggestions.

I use Lexan or polycarbonate. It can be sheared and bent without breaking.

Steer clear of acrylic (Plexiglass) since it is brittle and can easily snap if you bend it too much or over-tighten a screw holding it in place.

Regards, Ed

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, January 25, 2016 9:46 AM

Onewolf
 
riogrande5761

Is that homasote under the tracks where you have the staging tracks in the photo's above? 

Yes, it's painted homasote.

 
It looks dead-on to what I've done - latex painted (looks better and hopefully resists moister).  I've laid my train with old fashioned Atlas track nails and code 100 Atlas track - I'm not concerned about appearance in staging.  So your switching to foam in the open areas?  What is the elevation above the floor of the bottom staging tracks?

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by Onewolf on Monday, January 25, 2016 10:18 AM

riogrande5761

 It looks dead-on to what I've done - latex painted (looks better and hopefully resists moister).  I've laid my train with old fashioned Atlas track nails and code 100 Atlas track - I'm not concerned about appearance in staging.  So your switching to foam in the open areas?  What is the elevation above the floor of the bottom staging tracks?

The track is Atlas code 100 and the turnouts are Peco code 100 large.  The return loop/staging track is 38" above the floor (well the top of the homasote is 38" above the floor).

I'm going to try the WS foam roadbed for the mainline.  If I like it great, if not I may switch to cork.  I have some Homabed I had ordered but not used for the previous layout that I plan to use for the major branchlines.

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 Monday, January 25, 2016 10:32 AM

Atlas flex is so easy to lay, but some say they don't like the springiness - but to me, it's lays very evenly, curves nice and evenly but I can understand if people want to use adhesives, it's going to need pinning in place to stay put while curing cause it's trying to spring back to straight.  I have been using Atlas track nails and or MicroEngineering spikes into Homasote or cord and OSB "plywood".  When nailing, the springiness is actually your friend.

Thirty-eight sounds like a good height off the floor - I went with 40 for my staging yard but there was a sump pump box I had to clear.

I got a hold of some homabed some years back and really liked it, but cork works well for me too so either is good.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by mobilman44 on Monday, January 25, 2016 2:18 PM

Hi! 

This project is certainly impressive and of top quality work, and the progress over the last year is definitely over the top.  Having built a number of layouts over the years, with the last two filling an 11x15 room, I can certainly appreciate the project and the effort put into it.  

I do have some questions, that may have been asked, but I missed them.....

- Obviously the slab and structure, framing, drywall, electrical and HVAC were contracted out.  But how many folks are building the layout? 

- How many hours are put in on the layout each week?

- Have you had previous layouts?

Lots of other questions this retired financial analyst would like to ask, but then I would be labeled as nosey - and rightly so.

Anyway, it really is a beautiful piece of work, and I look forward to seeing it through to finalization! 

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

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

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Posted by Onewolf on Monday, January 25, 2016 2:33 PM

mobilman44

Hi! 

This project is certainly impressive and of top quality work, and the progress over the last year is definitely over the top.  Having built a number of layouts over the years, with the last two filling an 11x15 room, I can certainly appreciate the project and the effort put into it.  

I do have some questions, that may have been asked, but I missed them.....

- Obviously the slab and structure, framing, drywall, electrical and HVAC were contracted out.  But how many folks are building the layout? 

3 people are working on the layout.  Me, myself, and I.  Stick out tongue  My father helps out for a couple hours occasionally (my parents are PA snowbirds from mid December to late March) but other than that it's just me.  My father is big into G gauge and has a 30x30 layout in the basement of their house in PA.

 

- How many hours are put in on the layout each week?

 

Between 10 and 40 hours per week currently. I usually get about 2-3 hours of work done in the train room between 4-7 AM before I head to my 'real' job M-F. And then 0-3 hours in the evening.  And another 4-12 hours total on the weekends.

 

- Have you had previous layouts?

 

I had a 10x11 ft bedroom sized 2 level layout previously.  Within about 6 months of starting that layout I realized I needed a FAR larger space to achieve my autistic vision.  I spent 10 years drawing layout designs and train rooms and detached garage/workshops until I came up with what I thought was a design that met all my criteria.

Lots of other questions this retired financial analyst would like to ask, but then I would be labeled as nosey - and rightly so.

 

Fire away!

 

Anyway, it really is a beautiful piece of work, and I look forward to seeing it through to finalization! 

 

 
Thanks.  It's been a lot of fun so far.  I'm a "builder" more so than an operator so I have really enjoyed the challenges so far.

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 Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Monday, January 25, 2016 3:02 PM

Your layout looks really great so far. I’m sure it is going to be amazing when it is finished. It is a good idea to keep all of your wiring as neat as possible, for trouble shooting later and just for looks right now. You built a whole new building, keep it nice and neat.

Anyway I was wondering what you are going to do for backdrops and at what stage are you going to do it. Is it going to be painted sky or the picture poster banner type?

Modeling a fictional version of California set in the 1990s Lone Wolf and Santa Fe Railroad
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Posted by rrinker on Monday, January 25, 2016 3:06 PM

 I would really put 5 amp breakers or PTC fuses on each of those lines to the 3 boosters, oherwise a fault could result in al 20 amps from the PS2012 hitting one of the boosters, which is a LOT of heat and will certainly turn what might be a minor fault into a comletely blown up booster. That Y cable that came with the PS2012 has 2 of them, you can either order another Y cable from Digitrax and get another or buy some others from elsewhere.

                       --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 mobilman44 on Monday, January 25, 2016 3:13 PM

Thank you for being so candid.  I hope you realize that what you are doing is what many of us have only dreamt about - so a lot of your fellow forum members are watching with rapt interest.

Of course, I have more questions...........

The obvious one is "what is your day job?"   My guess is general contractor, but what do I know?

Are you modeling a particular time, place, road?

You aren't alone in being more at home with the building of a layout as opposed to operations.  Where did you learn your skillsets (i.e. woodworking, electrical, layout design, track laying, etc.)?

Is the layout being designed for a group of operators or one person?  Or both?

Of course there are the basics..... what is the mainline run, max grade, minimum radius, and so on?

Again, your work - and of course your posting the pics - is greatly appreciated.

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

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

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Posted by Onewolf on Monday, January 25, 2016 4:06 PM

mobilman44

The obvious one is "what is your day job?"   My guess is general contractor, but what do I know?

I'm a Technical Director/Architect for a very large commercial software company. I've worked here for about 25 years.

Are you modeling a particular time, place, road?

Freelance version of Union Pacific OSL north/west from Ogden, Utah around 1956. In my freelance world Utah Railway shares trackage rights with UP in this area as well (versus the reality during the 1950s where Utah Railway trackage sharing with UP ended near Provo).  In my freelance world Ogden was founded by pirates from the Great Salt Lake.  :)

You aren't alone in being more at home with the building of a layout as opposed to operations.  Where did you learn your skillsets (i.e. woodworking, electrical, layout design, track laying, etc.)?

The school of hard knocks and OJT (On the Job Training).

Is the layout being designed for a group of operators or one person?  Or both?

The layout is designed to support 10-12 operators comfortably but I'm not sure when that will become a reality.

Of course there are the basics..... what is the mainline run, max grade, minimum radius, and so on?

The mainline run is about 450 feet between the lower and upper return loops.  There are 50+ ft long branchlines at the lower and upper ends as well.  The max grade is 1.95% along the 80ft long 'nolix' helper district between the middle and upper levels.  There is a double track helix with 40" and 37.5" radius curves having 1.65% and 1.75% grades between the lower and middle levels. The lower level is mostly at 42" elevation (Ogden is 45" and the lower return loop/staging track underneath Ogden is at 38"). The middle level is at 62" until it reaches the nolix where it starts climbing.  The upper level is mostly at 82" but with the 30" high floor it's a 'relative' 52" elevation.   The minimum visible mainline radius is 40". 

Again, your work - and of course your posting the pics - is greatly appreciated.

 
Thanks, your interest/questions are much appreciated.

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 Monday, January 25, 2016 4:17 PM

I would really put 5 amp breakers or PTC fuses on each of those lines to the 3 boosters, oherwise a fault could result in al 20 amps from the PS2012 hitting one of the boosters, which is a LOT of heat and will certainly turn what might be a minor fault into a comletely blown up booster. That Y cable that came with the PS2012 has 2 of them, you can either order another Y cable from Digitrax and get another or buy some others from elsewhere.

                       --Randy

I tried using the Y cable that comes with the PS2012 but it was way too inflexible to work for me so I ordered another ATO/ATC fuse block that should arrive tomorrow (love Amazon Prime and they love me).

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 -

  • Member since
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  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Monday, January 25, 2016 4:24 PM

Lone Wolf and Santa Fe

Your layout looks really great so far. I’m sure it is going to be amazing when it is finished. It is a good idea to keep all of your wiring as neat as possible, for trouble shooting later and just for looks right now. You built a whole new building, keep it nice and neat.

Anyway I was wondering what you are going to do for backdrops and at what stage are you going to do it. Is it going to be painted sky or the picture poster banner type?

 

 
Finished?  Lol.   I think it could be functionally complete in about 2 years, and then another couple years for terrain/scenery, but my calculation says I need about 400-500 structures which implies..... it's going to be a LONG LONG time (decades) before it's "stick a fork in it" done. 
 
The backdrops will mostly be painted sky/haze/clouds.  I have decided on Ace "Radiant Skies" blue for the short (16"-18" high) backdrops with a fade to a darker "Dancing Blue" with the taller 32"-40" high backdrops.

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 tedtedderson on Monday, January 25, 2016 4:40 PM

One wolf-

I am inspired. I want a "train-set" like that therefore I've gone back to college. 

One thing I've noticed is how neat and cleaned up your workspace is kept. I'm sure that's contributed to your success. My "retentiveness" would be at ease at your place. Great work. 

T e d

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Posted by Onewolf on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 8:38 AM

I have finished installing/wiring the 10 Tortoises for the lower return loop staging track turnouts.  The turnouts are controlled using an NCE Switch-8 mk2 (8 turnouts) and an NCE Switch-it (2 turnouts).  There is a toggle button and a bicolor red/green LED on the (mockup) control panel for each turnout (green=closed, red=thrown).

 

 

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 Tuesday, February 2, 2016 8:51 AM

tedtedderson

One thing I've noticed is how neat and cleaned up your workspace is kept. I'm sure that's contributed to your success. My "retentiveness" would be at ease at your place. Great work. 

T e d

My wife would like to know why my standard for cleanliness/orderliness is so much higher in my workshop than in our house.  Devil

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 Joe Owens on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 9:17 AM

My wife will say the same soon. We are cleaning out a corner of the basement for my layout as i am just starting the hobby and I am already rejecting a cobbled up design of re-purposed cabinets to "hide" the extra tools and train stuff. 

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Posted by Choops on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 10:15 AM

You should set up the switches for automatic routing.  You select the track and all the switches align for that track.

Looks great so far.

Steve

Modeling Union Pacific between Cheyenne and Laramie in 1957 (roughly)
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Posted by Onewolf on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 12:08 PM

Choops

You should set up the switches for automatic routing.  You select the track and all the switches align for that track.

Looks great so far.

Steve

I had a message thread about whether the front panel buttons should control both ends of the staging tracks or a single end and the consensus was that controlling each end independently was a better solution.  Trains will normally 'arrive' into the return loop/staging on the inside (eastbound) mainline and depart on the outside (westbound) mainline so having independent turnout controls allows trains to arrive and depart staging at the same time.  Since the turnouts can be controlled via control panel buttons and/or DCC throttle and/or computer control I can always configure macros to throw both ends of a staging track if desired (or control a 'path' into a particular staging 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 wickman on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 12:23 PM

I must say you are very  meticulous. Your wife is probably  right. 

Will your layout be of  flat character or will we see some adventurous terrain go in to the mix?

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Posted by Onewolf on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 1:00 PM

wickman

I must say you are very  meticulous. Your wife is probably  right. 

Will your layout be of  flat character or will we see some adventurous terrain go in to the mix?

The 70 ft long nolix section where the middle level climbs from 62" to 80" (and then up to 82") will be along a canyon wall with the terrain starting at around 60" high and going up to about 100" (the room has a 10ft ceiling). In my mind it will be a spectacular LDE.  We shall see....

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 Choops on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 1:45 PM

Onewolf
 
Choops

You should set up the switches for automatic routing.  You select the track and all the switches align for that track.

Looks great so far.

Steve

 

 

I had a message thread about whether the front panel buttons should control both ends of the staging tracks or a single end and the consensus was that controlling each end independently was a better solution.  Trains will normally 'arrive' into the return loop/staging on the inside (eastbound) mainline and depart on the outside (westbound) mainline so having independent turnout controls allows trains to arrive and depart staging at the same time.  Since the turnouts can be controlled via control panel buttons and/or DCC throttle and/or computer control I can always configure macros to throw both ends of a staging track if desired (or control a 'path' into a particular staging track).

 

I would agree that each end is independant.  That is how mine is going to work. Each end has route control.  Will be difficult and tiresom to align the switches vs. just select a track.

Steve

Modeling Union Pacific between Cheyenne and Laramie in 1957 (roughly)
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Posted by Onewolf on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 3:53 PM

Choops

 I would agree that each end is independant.  That is how mine is going to work. Each end has route control.  Will be difficult and tiresom to align the switches vs. just select a track.

Steve

 

 
What mechanism are you using for single switch route control from a control panel?

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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