Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Ogden & Cache Valley RR - Layout Construction

73024 views
451 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 30,002 posts
Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 4:29 PM

 Since the Switch-8 and Switch-It don;t do routes, you'd have to get a Loconet input device, such as LocoIO for DIY or something like the Team Digital CSC - which would actually repalce those NCE devices, since it has DCC accessory control of up to 16 Tortoises PLUS 16 inputs for pushbuttons, or the RR-CirKits TowerMan. The buttons would bet attached to these devices and then depending on the device, when you push the button for track 3 Exit, it would set the corresponding outputs to operate each Tortoise needed to line Track 3 with the main, or it would send Loconet commands which would then go out as DCC commands to the addresses defined in the Switch-8 and Switch-It. That's the 'Elegant' way to do it if you still need DCC control of those Tortoise motors - but insteadof all those wires connecting the panel to the Switch-8 Button Board, you'd just have a Loconet cable, and only the DCC bus would be connected to the NCE units (plus the wires out to the Tortoises of course).

 If you don't need DCC control of the staging turnouts, you cna use a rotary switch to select the track (2 total, one for entrance, one for exit) and cascade the Tortoises throught he contacts or take a look at the article on "Dendratic COntrol" in MR a couple of years ago, or you can use a diode matrix with a rotary switch.

                           --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 23,181 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 5:47 PM

rrinker

 Since the Switch-8 and Switch-It don;t do routes, 

What about an NCE Mini Panel?

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 30,002 posts
Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 7:19 PM

He's using Digitrax. Mini panel connects to NCE cab bus. With NCE the mini panel would be a good option.

                   --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 23,181 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, February 3, 2016 7:18 AM

rrinker

He's using Digitrax. Mini panel connects to NCE cab bus. With NCE the mini panel would be a good option.

                   --Randy

 

Oops, I have a Mini Panel.  I should have recalled that.   Embarrassed

One more reason to go NCE.  Laugh

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    April 2005
  • From: West Australia
  • 2,217 posts
Posted by John Busby on Wednesday, February 3, 2016 9:04 AM

Hi Onewolf

Oh no it doesn't you require two red signals between trainsBig Smile

Please hand in your track acsess permit at the door.

OOP's we are talking model trains not real ones.

Mind you your layout does look big enough for the two red signals between trains.

regards John

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Wednesday, February 3, 2016 9:45 AM
Thanks for all the replies about enabling 'turnout paths' for the lower return loop staging tracks. For the time being I am going to stick with the manual process as it seems quite simple: All green = mainline around outside loop, red light = use this 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 -

  • Member since
    February 2015
  • 223 posts
Posted by Choops on Wednesday, February 3, 2016 3:33 PM
Modeling Union Pacific between Cheyenne and Laramie in 1957 (roughly)
  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Saturday, March 19, 2016 10:23 AM

All 10 turnouts in the hidden lower return loop/staging track have been hooked up to NCE Switch-It mk II (one Switch-8 and 2 Switch-its) to allow local control panel, DCC throttle, and computer control.





This mock-up photo shows how the hidden lower level return loop control/status panel will sit between the 1x4 benchwork and the city base (5/8" plywood and 3/4" foam). It will be recessed so hopefully the turnout toggle switches won't be inadvertently hit very often.



There will be about 6" of clearance beneath the city base (5/8" plywood, 3/4" foam) to the hidden lower level return loop and staging tracks underneath.



I'm figuring out how the RR-CirKits BOD-8 and FOB-A occupancy detection/display boards work by testing them 'off layout' on my workbench before I install them on the layout. I need to solder eight 82 ohm 1/8 watt resistors on each FOB-A board for the display panel occupancy status LEDs. I learned that if the occupancy zone is LARGE (like all 60+ feet of flex track in 4 staging tracks plus three turnouts in model workshop staging yard) then the occupancy detector will 'detect' empty track unless the sensitivity POT is turned almost all the way down. Once I reconfigured the detector coil to detect a single track the BOD-8 started working as expected.



I've been working on installing backdrops and coving corners on the lower level for the last couple of weeks. I was unable to get the 1/8" masonite to consistently bend sharp enough for the inside coved corners around the center platform so I ended up using cheap formica to cove these corners. Lots of spackling, fairing, sanding. I'm not very good at making perfect drywall joints so this task is tedious.



Coving the corner with 1/8" masonite.



I hit the masonite with 80 grit sandpaper using a palm sander before installing it on the layout to knock down the glossy finish and help the paint adhere.



I painted the panels on the right before installing them to see what the 'sky' blue was going to look like with the layout LED lighting. I think it looks good and will look better when I drybrush on some clouds/haze.



After priming the coved corners. This is the corner where the double track mainline (foreground) is descending into the hidden lower return loop/staging track and a branchline (behind) is climbing to service the city above the hidden return loop.



The primed coved corner where the double track mainline enters the division point classification yard area.



Primed lower level backdrop with coved corners around the center platform.







Two issues here:
#1) The plywood that covers the window opening is recessed back from the drywall about 1/8"-3/16". Do I just paint the plywood the backdrop sky color or do I install removable 1/8" masonite panels and then paint them?
#2) There's about a 1/16"-1/8" 'dip' in the homasote between 22" and 9" that needs to be filled/leveled before continuing to install the mainline foam roadbed.

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
    August 2003
  • From: Canada
  • 1,238 posts
Posted by wickman on Saturday, March 19, 2016 1:38 PM

For as far as you have gone in such as short period of time this is looking fantastic. 

Are you retired?

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Saturday, March 19, 2016 3:45 PM

wickman

For as far as you have gone in such as short period of time this is looking fantastic. 

Are you retired?

 

 

Thanks, and I work full time as a technical director/architect for a very large commercial software company.

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
    January 2010
  • From: Fruita, CO
  • 527 posts
Posted by slammin on Sunday, March 20, 2016 6:49 AM

I have really enjoyed the progress on your layout. If you have any more tight coved backdrop corners, you should consider .060 sheet styrene. If there is a plastics supply house near you they usually stock 4 x 8 sheets of .060 white styrene. I bought a sheet several years ago and think I paid less than $20.00

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Sunday, March 20, 2016 4:48 PM

I have started painting the base 'sky' blue on the lower level backdrops/background. I have also installed coved corners in the the outside corners of the middle level. I'm starting to spackle/fair/sand the coved corners before they are ready to prime/paint.

The middle level along this section is part of the 'nolix' that climbs from the middle level default 62" elevation up to the upper level at 80" elevation. The middle level on the right will be a canyon wall with bridges and tunnel and will have terrain the reaches with a foot or two of the 10ft ceiling.



The coved inside corners around the lower level center platform turned out great. You can't see any seam at all.



You can see I have installed the coved corner for the middle level on the far (right) end of this aisle.



It's remarkable to difference some sky blue paint makes.



I'm finishing up the fairing/sanding of the last coved corner on the lower level and starting the process on the middle level above it. The unpainted area on the lower level is ready to prime/paint.



I also painted the two removable backdrop panels behind the turntable/roundhouse area. I still need to finish the 2x4 supports and PVC conduit on the middle level.



This is my first design proposal for the display/control panel for the helix. The mainline enters the helix on the bottom right and then splits into two tracks. The outer helix track (upward traffic) has a 40" radius and the inner helix track (downward traffic) has a 37.5" radius. There are 4 1/2 laps to the helix plus lower and upper entrance/exit tracks. Each 'lap' of each track will be split into two occupancy zones so there are 18 zones in the helix plus 3 zones for each of the entrance/exit tracks for a total of 22 occupancy zones.

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
    February 2007
  • From: Shenandoah Valley The Home Of Patsy Cline
  • 1,842 posts
Posted by superbe on Sunday, March 20, 2016 7:03 PM

Great work obviously, but imo the blue is too light and it might even get lighter with age. Mine did.

Enjoying seeing your layout coming togther.

Just my     Worth

Bob

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Monday, March 21, 2016 5:14 AM

superbe

Great work obviously, but imo the blue is too light and it might even get lighter with age. Mine did.

Enjoying seeing your layout coming togther.

Just my     Worth

Bob

 

I think the blue is perfect for the hazy sky I'm going for.  In the upper level where it's a more rural setting and the backdrops are 30"-36" tall I plan to try a two color fade from hazy blue to darker blue.

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
    August 2003
  • From: Canada
  • 1,238 posts
Posted by wickman on Monday, March 21, 2016 1:33 PM

I've found that scrubbing in a white for a horizon line helps divide the solid  blue and will also make the blue a tad darker. Man that layout room  is clean.Big Smile

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Saturday, March 26, 2016 7:04 AM

I did more work this week on backdrops and the base blue sky color.

The canyon wall terrain of the middle level in this area will reach within a foot or two of the ceiling.



Coved corners look much better than square corners. 





This shows how the middle level needs some LED layout lighting so the backdrop sky color matches the lower level backdrop. And it show how much work I've got to do (later) on the upper level backdrops.



This is in front of the left window opening. The 1/8" masonite panel is removable and the seams on the left and right sides of the window don't stand out too bad....



Again this highlights that the middle level needs some LED light strips in this area to match the lower level lighting.





The sky backdrop on the left looks more purple than the other sky backdrops. It turns out the LED strips in that area are outputting 4400K color temp versus the rest of the LED strips outputting 3800K color temp. That LED strip will have to be replaced....



Now I need to finish the backdrops around the middle level of the center platform.

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
    April 2003
  • From: Clinton, MO, US
  • 4,253 posts
Posted by Medina1128 on Friday, April 1, 2016 6:34 AM

A while back, I saw a video on backdrop painting. I don't remember which order the modeler painted; white first, then blue or vice versa. But, he painted while the first color was still wet, and was able to blend where they met, creating a gradual transition.

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • 251 posts
Posted by tedtedderson on Saturday, April 16, 2016 12:13 AM

Is it time to run the big-boy yet? 

Dinner

T e d

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Sunday, April 17, 2016 9:49 AM

I spent five days at the Fine Scale Modeler's Expo in Danvers, MA late March/early April. It was great! And then I spent a week catching up at work. And then my gall bladder decided it "was time" so I spent a couple days in the hospital getting it removed followed by 4-5 days of recuperation. And then I got back to working on the layout.

Installing the 1/8" masonite backdrop and formica coved corners around the center platform for the middle level.





And then I spackled/faired/sanded all the joints/seams several times.

And then I primed with Zinser 1-2-3 primer







And then I painted the sky blue backdrop color







I painted sections of the 2x6 beams that support the upper level 'wings' the blue sky color where they project below the upper level benchwork. I will either leave them sky blue or possibly paint them (and the upper level benchwork) flat black at some point in the future.





At this point I'm going to install the roadbed and track for the mainline all the way around to where it enters the helix (where it climbs up to the middle 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.

- Photo album of layout construction -

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • 8,739 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Sunday, April 17, 2016 11:39 AM

Lookinb great.  How did you attach the masonite?  Drywall screws?

 

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Monday, April 18, 2016 7:04 AM

riogrande5761

Lookinb great.  How did you attach the masonite?  Drywall screws?

 

Yes, I used drywall screws and some Spax screws to affixx the Masonite.

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
    June 2014
  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Saturday, April 30, 2016 8:49 AM

I've been working on laying the double track mainline as it passes through the main classification yard and loco service terminal areas.

The flex track has been glued down with clear caulk and track power feeders have been fed through to the DCC track power 10GA bus wires under the bench-work. Now I need to connect the track feeders to the track. I solder track feeders every other flex track connection (Approx every 6 feet).

You can see how 'not straight' the wall is along here....



Gluing down the track as it turns left near the loco service terminal area.





Continuing on towards the big loop back around where the turntable/roundhouse will be located.

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
    July 2006
  • From: North Dakota
  • 9,384 posts
Posted by BroadwayLion on Saturday, April 30, 2016 9:42 AM

Onewolf
And then my gall bladder decided it "was time" so I spent a couple days in the hospital getting it removed followed by 4-5 days of recuperation.

 

LION had gall bladder removed. Day surgery, no bid deal, back to work the next day (as I recall).

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

  • Member since
    February 2007
  • From: Shenandoah Valley The Home Of Patsy Cline
  • 1,842 posts
Posted by superbe on Saturday, April 30, 2016 10:22 AM

quote user="Onewolf"]

One bit of advice.... FULL beer cans are excellent for weighting down the track but be sure not to get the lite variety for obvious reasons.

Other wise you are doing prety good  Big Smile

Bob

 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: 4610 Metre's North of the Fortyninth on the left coast of Canada
  • 8,734 posts
Posted by BATMAN on Saturday, April 30, 2016 6:46 PM

BroadwayLion
LION had gall bladder removed. Day surgery, no bid deal, back to work the next day (as I recall).

Sometimes day surgery can turn into much more for Gallbladder surgery. Arthroscopic surgery can turn into an open the person up surgery very quickly when liver has grown into gallbladdder or if the patient has other health issues a stay may be required.

Yes beer cans are best for track laying. Moosehead beer is a good choice as Moose are very heavy.

 

 

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

https://www.youtube.com/user/BATTRAIN1/videos 

You can never ever out-train poor nutrition.

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Grand Blanc, Mi
  • 151 posts
Posted by wrumbel on Saturday, April 30, 2016 7:51 PM

 

Yes beer cans are best for track laying. Moosehead beer is a good choice as Moose are very heavy.

 

 

 Brent is that a helper pushing your beer train?

Wayne

 

[

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Sunday, May 8, 2016 6:43 PM

Nice use of beer cans....

I completed installing the mainline track around the center platform to the hole through the backdrop where the mainline will enter the helix (I forgot to take pictures of the installed lower level mainline  :( ). I also connected 24 pairs of track feeders to the 10GA track power buses, connected the two track power buses to two different DCC Specialties PSX4 circuit breakers and connected the circuit breakers to two different Digitrax DB-150 Boosters. And then magically it all worked and I was able to run trains along 250 feet of the lower level mainline and lower level return loop with ZERO issues.

And then I started building the roadbed entrance to the helix and the helix itself.  This is where the mainline track comes through the backdrop to enter the helix. I am fairing down cork roadbed in order to drop from the mainline track 3/16" foam roadbed down to the bare plywood of the helix.



The helix roadbed will be made from overlapping 15/32" sanded plywood so the roadbed will be 15/16" thick. There railhead to railhead height is 4" so there will be only 3 1/16" clearance between the helix levels. The outside track (upward) has a 40" radius and a 1.595% grade and the inside track (downward) has a 37.5" radius and a 1.69% grade. There will be 4 1/2 revolutions to climb from 42" to 62". This is the pattern I used to cut 1/4 arcs from the 15/32" plywood. I get five 1/4 arcs per sheet of plywood and I need 36 arcs. I tried cutting 4 sheets of plywood at once and the radial saw had no trouble but the jigsaw could not cut that many sheets at once so I cut two sheets at once with the jigsaw (and that was really slow).



These are the 3/4" plywood risers I made to establish the grade for the first level of the helix. There are 16 of them and they have 1/4" rise between each step.  The remaining levels of the helix will use a constant height riser of 3 1/16" (3 1/16" + 15/16" = 4" rail to rail height).



Here I am gluing the helix entrance roadbed where it comes in from the lower level mainline. I have also (dry) placed all the risers overlapping 1/4 arcs that make most of the first level.





Gluing the first sections of the helix plywood roadbed. Once I finish gluing the first level roadbed I will install both the inner and outer helix tracks and then I will install track feeders (and double gaps). Then I will install the next level of helix roadbed.  Each 1/2 of each track of each helix level will be an occupancy zone (double gapped).  There will be 24 occupancy zones total (18 in the helix, 3 in the lower level entrance, and 3 in the middle level entrance). I will be using the RR-Cirkits BOD8 and FOB-A boards for occupancy detection and display.

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
    December 2001
  • From: Northern CA Bay Area
  • 4,387 posts
Posted by cuyama on Monday, May 9, 2016 10:01 AM

Onewolf
there will be only 3 1/16" clearance between the helix levels

Personally, I would rework the helix clearances.

Many folks use thinner helix decks than you have chosen to increase the clearance. 4” railhead-to-railhead with the deck thickness you are using appears to be too tight relative to the clearances called for above the railhead by NMRA Standard S-7 for models of “Classic” (appropriate for 1957) or “Modern” rolling stock (3 1/32” and 3 5/32” respectively). The 3 1/16” clearance you cite appears not to include the height of the track itself, so it’s actually less than 3” above the rail, unless I misunderstand your post.

At the dimensions you are using, the slightest imperfection or warp in the deck or a model near or slightly oversized relative to the standards (it happens) could be a big problem which would require a rebuild.

Not to mention maintenance and extracting derailed cars in an emergency. The successful helixes I've seen offer more clearance than you are planning.

Byron

  • Member since
    August 2013
  • From: Richmond, VA
  • 1,890 posts
Posted by carl425 on Monday, May 9, 2016 10:21 AM

BATMAN
Yes beer cans are best for track laying.

I filled old prescription bottles with lead shot.  When the track laying is finished, I'll use the shot to add weight to rolling stock.  In the case of beer cans, after the track laying the beer would add weight to the modeler - which would be a problem in my case. Smile

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.

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Monday, May 9, 2016 7:18 PM

cuyama

 

Onewolf
there will be only 3 1/16" clearance between the helix levels

 

Personally, I would rework the helix clearances.

Many folks use thinner helix decks than you have chosen to increase the clearance. 4” railhead-to-railhead with the deck thickness you are using appears to be too tight relative to the clearances called for above the railhead by NMRA Standard S-7 for models of “Classic” (appropriate for 1957) or “Modern” rolling stock (3 1/32” and 3 5/32” respectively). The 3 1/16” clearance you cite appears not to include the height of the track itself, so it’s actually less than 3” above the rail, unless I misunderstand your post.

At the dimensions you are using, the slightest imperfection or warp in the deck or a model near or slightly oversized relative to the standards (it happens) could be a big problem which would require a rebuild.

Not to mention maintenance and extracting derailed cars in an emergency. The successful helixes I've seen offer more clearance than you are planning.

Byron

 

Byron,

The current helix design has these stats:

4 turns, 43 1/4" - 61 3/8" = outer grade 1.59%, inner 1.70%, 4" rail to rail

I have done a couple alternate helix designs to increase the rail-to-rail distance and the two 'options' are:

4 turns
 
42" - 62" = outer grade 1.76%, inner grade 1.87%, 4 13/32" rail to rail
 
or 3 turns
 
43.5" - 61" = outer grade 1.97%, inner grade 2.10%, 4 31/32" rail to rail
 
The 3 turn option is not viable as far as I'm concerned because of the inner/outer grade % and the length of trains I plan to run.
 
The 4 turn option is feasible and it gets me 13/32" increase in rail-to-rail distance but it increases the grades by 10.6%.
 
I measured about 25 of my rolling stock (steam locos, modern diesels, 1st/2nd gen diesels, passenger cars, box cars, reefers, covered hoppers, stock cars, tankers, etc) using a digital caliper and not a single one was taller than 2.25" from the _bottom_ of the wheel to the highest point on the car.  The Peco Code 100 flex track measures 0.175" tall.  3 1/16" - 0.175" = 2.8875". I think for now I am going to build with the 4" track-to-track elevation and see how it looks/feels once I get to the point where the second level starts covering the first level.  The way the helix is constructed with riser blocks it will be relatively easy to change the rail-to-rail distance.
 
Thanks.
 
Doug
 

 

 

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 -

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!