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Ogden & Cache Valley RR - Layout Construction

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Posted by Onewolf on Thursday, January 5, 2017 8:18 AM

Rich,  I've been using cork roadbed in areas where I need to transition from the 3/16" foam down to bare plywood/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.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, January 5, 2017 10:20 AM

richhotrain
 
Onewolf

I am starting to install the Woodland Scenics 3/16" foam roadbed for the upper level mainline and passing track.

The WS foam roadbed in 24ft rolls is very easy to install quickly, but it's much softer than cork or homasote roadbed so it tends to deflect a lot when pushed (which allows the track to move more than I would prefer). Another issue is that you cannot sand it down to fair it when transitioning from mainline roadbed to no roadbed.

 

 

Yep, you just recited all of the problems with using Woodland Scenics Foam Track Bed.  I use it on my layout, but if I had it to do over, I would use cork.  The track bed is easy to shape and easy to lay onto the plywood, but it gives too easily, especially if you nail down track as I do.  And, as you mention, you cannot sand it, so it is impossible to make transitions for yards and spurs and sidings.

 

I have often been tempted to forego road bed altogether and just lay the track on the layout surface, mainlines, yards, spurs, and sidings. It isn't all that obvious or apparent anyhow in HO scale.

Rich

I still really like the workability of old fashioned cork.  I don't have a tenth of the space as onewolf but still prefer the old ways of subroadbed and track laying, with spikes and/or track nails (which can be pulled after ballasting for best appearance).  I find if I use spikes are track nails, I can adjust the track, tweak it a bit, or even pull it up and relay it (which I've done umpteen times) so foam and adhesives continue to be off my list.

Methods aside, onewolf has a great layout with tons of operation and running abilitly there in that space - being fully maximized.

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Posted by rrebell on Thursday, January 5, 2017 10:36 AM

The reason to go with cork roadbed is that you can sand it true and it dose not absorb water (this is because the cork we use is of poor quality and has lots of impervius fillers so water dosn't affect it with amounts we use).

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, January 5, 2017 1:25 PM

I sand my cork roadbed as well and thats a good reason to use it vs. foam which I can imagine doesn't sand too well.  There are other qualities I like about cork, ease of working with it, I can lay it on a center line I draw etc.

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, January 9, 2017 7:31 PM

Onewolf,

Just out of curiosity are you going to be on the NMRA convention layout tours in August?

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Posted by Onewolf on Monday, January 9, 2017 7:57 PM

BMMECNYC

Onewolf,

Just out of curiosity are you going to be on the NMRA convention layout tours in August?

I considered that possibility, but I don't think the layout will be far enough along at that point to be worth it for others to be on 'the tour'. 

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 Monday, January 9, 2017 8:02 PM

I've been working on the upper level return loop/staging track subroadbed for the last several days.

The mainline track will transition from the WS 3/16" foam roadbed to bare plywood in the hidden upper return loop.

The upper return loop is at elevation 82" above the room floor and 52" above the center platform floor.

There will be large agricultural facilities and small town (Franklin, Idaho) 6.5" above the upper return loop.  The outside track (mainline) of the return loop will have a 41" radius and there will be 5 staging tracks inside with the smallest radius being 29 3/4".

I just painted the plywood and the paint is still wet.

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 Tuesday, January 10, 2017 6:44 AM

Working on laying out both turnout ladders for the upper level return loop and 5 staging tracks. Have to get the geometry nice and smooth and try to avoid obstructions beneath where the turnout motors will be mounted.

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 Tuesday, January 10, 2017 8:39 AM

Onewolf
try to avoid obstructions beneath where the turnout motors will be mounted.

Is this hidden or unsceniced track?  Put the switch motors on the top.  That's how Tony Koester did it on his upper staging yard.

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 riogrande5761 on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 10:26 AM

Looking good.  How can you get access to that top return loop if trains come off the track or need to be reached?  A tall step ladder?

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Posted by Onewolf on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 12:04 PM

riogrande5761

Looking good.  How can you get access to that top return loop if trains come off the track or need to be reached?  A tall step ladder?

Yes, on the outside 'half' I use a step ladder to reach up there.  But I don't allow derailments.  :)

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 Renegade1c on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 12:20 PM

Onewolf

Rich,  I've been using cork roadbed in areas where I need to transition from the 3/16" foam down to bare plywood/homasote.

 

I a product called Flexxbed which is a vinyl product. It's kind of like a cross between cork roadbed and W/S foam roadbed. It's made of vinyl and doesn't absorb liquid. It can be cut with a pair of scissors. it comes is 3 foot lengths similar to cork but its doesn't need to be split in order to make curvers. It has a natural flex to it similar to the W/S road bed. It does not, however, sink nearly as much when spiking through it. It seems almost like a foam but its much more sturdy than the W/S stuff. 

As for Transistioning down from the roadbed to plywood, I use the wooden shims used to square up doors and windows. I trim them to match the height of the roadbed I use and it mades a nice gentle transistion down to the ply, no sanding required. 


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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 4:48 PM

Onewolf
 
riogrande5761

Looking good.  How can you get access to that top return loop if trains come off the track or need to be reached?  A tall step ladder?

 

Yes, on the outside 'half' I use a step ladder to reach up there.  But I don't allow derailments.  :)

Hah hah, so I take it Murphy and his laws have also been excluded?  Good luck with that!  Pirate

Looking at your photo, I'm trying to imagine where would you stand to view/watch trains at that top return loop.  Maybe a drone would come in handy there!  Stick out tongue

You are definitely using vertical space in the room to maximize train running to the fullest extent possible!

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Posted by Onewolf on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 5:25 PM

riogrande5761

 

 
Onewolf
 
riogrande5761

Looking good.  How can you get access to that top return loop if trains come off the track or need to be reached?  A tall step ladder?

 

Yes, on the outside 'half' I use a step ladder to reach up there.  But I don't allow derailments.  :)

 

Hah hah, so I take it Murphy and his laws have also been excluded?  Good luck with that!  Pirate

Looking at your photo, I'm trying to imagine where would you stand to view/watch trains at that top return loop.  Maybe a drone would come in handy there!  Stick out tongue

You are definitely using vertical space in the room to maximize train running to the fullest extent possible!

The upper return loop is 'only' 52" above the floor of the center platform (but it is intended to be relatively hidden from center platform). Initially it will be visible under the terrain platform (3/4" plywood, 3/4" foam) above it, however at some point I may add a short cloth shroud to be able to 'hide' the return loop staging track from the the center platform side.  The 'outside' half of the upper return loop will be exposed/visible from the main aisle if you're over 7 ft tall.  Otherwise a step ladder will be needed to see/access the outside half of the upper return loop.

View from center platform area:

View from lower main aisle if you are 8 ft tall:

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 Wednesday, January 11, 2017 6:46 AM

I built both turnout ladders for the upper return loop staging tracks and I drilled the holes for the tortoise turnout motors. I only have one obstructed location where I will mount the tortoise offset to the side.



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 Wednesday, January 11, 2017 8:28 AM

In the photo's, it looks like the upper return loop is very high off the floor; 52-inches really doesn't even require a step ladder in many cases.  I guess it was just the angle of those photo's - man it looked a lot higher.

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Posted by Onewolf on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 8:51 AM

riogrande5761

In the photo's, it looks like the upper return loop is very high off the floor; 52-inches really doesn't even require a step ladder in many cases.  I guess it was just the angle of those photo's - man it looked a lot higher.

It's 52" high off the floor on one side (the center platform side) and 82" high on the other side (the lower main aisle).  It is intended to be _viewed_ from the center platform side ("inside the mushroom").

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 9:36 AM

What is the deck separation and vertical clearance above the ladder tracks at that loop? Views from the raised mushroom platform seem reasonable, just asking about clearance to get the 0-5-0 in there.

Robert 

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Posted by Onewolf on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 9:57 AM

ROBERT PETRICK

What is the deck separation and vertical clearance above the ladder tracks at that loop? Views from the raised mushroom platform seem reasonable, just asking about clearance to get the 0-5-0 in there.

Robert

Only 5", but you can access from either side.

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 Wednesday, January 11, 2017 11:11 AM

Onewolf
BMMECNYC

Onewolf,

Just out of curiosity are you going to be on the NMRA convention layout tours in August?

 

I considered that possibility, but I don't think the layout will be far enough along at that point to be worth it for others to be on 'the tour'. 

I think your layout just the way it is now would be a fascinating stop on a tour.  I'd spend more time there than at a finished layout, I suspect.

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

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Posted by Onewolf on Friday, January 13, 2017 5:58 AM

Gluing down the outside return loop track (mainline). I use DAP Dynaflex 230 clear to glue the flex track. I tack down turnouts and Atlas rerailer assemblies.

Shows the relative height of the return loop from the center platform floor. The center platform floor is 30" above the room floor and the upper return loop is 52" above it (82" absolute elevation).

The view of the helix and upper return loop from the lower main aisle.

The Walthers #8 curved turnout and entrance tracks for the upper return loop staging track ladders. You can also see the mainline track on the middle level level below (20" rail-to-rail elevation difference - 62" vs 82").

Gluing down the first staging track loop. The second staging track has also been soldered and dry placed.

The second staging track dry placed (not glued yet).

Gluing down the second 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.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, January 13, 2017 8:06 AM

82" absolute elevation

Ah!  So it was up in the clouds - I thought in the photo's that top return loop looked very high up - as in step ladder territory, on the outside anyway.

Looks like you are doing pretty much what I would, Walthers #8 curved - widest possible in that line, and flex track etc.  I also inserted re-railer tracks at the beginning and end of each staging track.  But wait, your cars don't derail so why install them?  Big Smile

Only difference is I'm a stubborn old-school coot and don't use a "glue train" - I am not confident I would have the control I prefer by gluing.  I like the control of placing track with tiny nails directly into the centerline I draw and it's fixed right now, and I don't have to wait for the glue to dry and then look down the track and swear a blue streak when I see there is a wobble in the track or the curve is oblong or "off". 

Anyway, never mind my rambling - if you've got the "chops" to lay track nice and true with glue - you are awsome!

Freaking awsome what you have going there. 

What about guardrails to keep expensive derailed freight cars from making the dive?  I'm very risk averse so I like to have some sort of guard rails for helixes and such.

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Posted by superbe on Friday, January 13, 2017 7:38 PM

Onewolf

Another issue is that you cannot sand it down to fair it when transitioning from mainline roadbed to no roadbed.

[quote user="Onewolf"]

Another issue is that you cannot sand it down to fair it when transitioning from mainline roadbed to no roadbed.

quote]

This is the way I have done it going to my yard. The yard track was attached to the turnout entering the yard. Then it (flex track) was curved as needed while laying it on the layout top. As you can see in the picture there is a gap between the track and the top.

The track has enough vertical strength to support engines as well as cars. When ready I'll stuff ballast under the track and glue it down.

I know this simple method works. How do I know?  This short video will prove the point. I did use a little support on the outside rail of a sweeping curve to give it a little elevation.

 VIDEO

 http://vid172.photobucket.com/albums/w15/superbe/Transition/1-3-2012/20120103171222.mp4

With this said I can't lay claim to this method as I learned it on the forum.

Bob

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, January 13, 2017 10:52 PM

Onewolf:

You are making great progress! It is very interesting watching your layout come to fruition!

Regards,

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 Saturday, January 14, 2017 6:45 AM

riogrande5761

     82" absolute elevation

Only difference is I'm a stubborn old-school coot and don't use a "glue train" - I am not confident I would have the control I prefer by gluing.  I like the control of placing track with tiny nails directly into the centerline I draw and it's fixed right now, and I don't have to wait for the glue to dry and then look down the track and swear a blue streak when I see there is a wobble in the track or the curve is oblong or "off". 

Anyway, never mind my rambling - if you've got the "chops" to lay track nice and true with glue - you are awsome!

What about guardrails to keep expensive derailed freight cars from making the dive?  I'm very risk averse so I like to have some sort of guard rails for helixes and such.

 
For whatever reason I have major difficulty getting spikes to fully penetrate plywood without deforming/bending.  Probably 1/3 of the spikes I try to set into plywood end up bending.  I find this 'redo' ratio tolerable when installing turnouts, but not when I'm installing 150+ ft of flex track. 
 
I plan to install guardrails and I plan to use clear material (plexiglass?) around the outside and probably 1/8" masonite around the inside (I have a TON of leftover 1/8" masonite cutoffs from installing 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.

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, January 14, 2017 7:09 AM

Onewolf
  
For whatever reason I have major difficulty getting spikes to fully penetrate plywood without deforming/bending.  Probably 1/3 of the spikes I try to set into plywood end up bending.  I find this 'redo' ratio tolerable when installing turnouts, but not when I'm installing 150+ ft of flex track. 
 

The reason is that you are probably not drilling a pilot hole, or at least not drilling the pilot hole deep enough.
 
I nail my track into a plywood surface, using Woodland Scenics Foam Track Bed between the track and the plywood surface.  I use a pin vise with a 0.042" drill bit to make the pilot holes, and I drill the pilot holes as deep as the track nail will penetrate into the plywood.  We don't need no stinkin' bent nails !
 
Rich

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Posted by rrebell on Saturday, January 14, 2017 10:06 AM

riogrande5761

 

 
82" absolute elevation

 

Ah!  So it was up in the clouds - I thought in the photo's that top return loop looked very high up - as in step ladder territory, on the outside anyway.

Looks like you are doing pretty much what I would, Walthers #8 curved - widest possible in that line, and flex track etc.  I also inserted re-railer tracks at the beginning and end of each staging track.  But wait, your cars don't derail so why install them?  Big Smile

Only difference is I'm a stubborn old-school coot and don't use a "glue train" - I am not confident I would have the control I prefer by gluing.  I like the control of placing track with tiny nails directly into the centerline I draw and it's fixed right now, and I don't have to wait for the glue to dry and then look down the track and swear a blue streak when I see there is a wobble in the track or the curve is oblong or "off". 

Anyway, never mind my rambling - if you've got the "chops" to lay track nice and true with glue - you are awsome!

Freaking awsome what you have going there. 

What about guardrails to keep expensive derailed freight cars from making the dive?  I'm very risk averse so I like to have some sort of guard rails for helixes and such.

 

THe reason you are having trouble with the glue as you say (I asume caulk), is you need the track gages in place after you set the track and look at everything before it sets. If you use foam under the sub roadbed, it is even eisier because you can pin the outside ties to the foam, remove the gauges and run a train back and forth to make apsolutly sure of no problem (had to do this on one giant s curve I need to get clerance around an obsticle).

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Posted by Onewolf on Saturday, January 14, 2017 6:29 PM

The track for the upper return loop and staging tracks is complete. Now I'm going to start working on the mainline track leading from the bridge over the aisle to the return loop. Note the lower return loop on the left of the photo. It is functionally identical to the upper return loop.







Looking from the exit of the bridge over the aisle along the mainline track. the first turnout to the right is probably going to be to service a cattle/hog farm/ranch.



Working on laying the mainline track out around the left 'wing'. There is also a passing track in this area I will be installing next.



You can see the roadbed for the passing track on the left of the mainline.



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 SouthPenn on Saturday, January 14, 2017 10:44 PM

A little late, but: I use cedar shims from Lowes to transition from cork roadbed to the sub roadbed. I cut the shims at the correct thickness to match up with the cork and then it makes a nice smooth transition to the subroadbed. The shims also work going back up to the cork.

I use spikes from Proto87 to lay track directly on plywood. I use the 0.120" long spikes. They penetrate the ties and go partially into the plywood. No drilling.

I use Xuron Tweezernose serrated pliers ( #450S ) to install the spikes.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Sunday, January 15, 2017 12:02 PM

Onewolf

For whatever reason I have major difficulty getting spikes to fully penetrate plywood without deforming/bending.  Probably 1/3 of the spikes I try to set into plywood end up bending.  I find this 'redo' ratio tolerable when installing turnouts, but not when I'm installing 150+ ft of flex track.

I do bend a fair mount of track nails myself, but I love the ability to set the track in place instantly.  I guess it depends on whether you find the frustration of bending a few nails is greater than the frustration of the extra faffing around it takes to glue track down.  I mean, how do you even see the centerline and if the track is "true" with the glue in the way covering up the marks?  Plus the wait time and if anything dries crooked, you have to pull it up and re-do it.  It does look likke you can make it work so if you've got the "chops", kudo's.

 
I plan to install guardrails and I plan to use clear material (plexiglass?) around the outside and probably 1/8" masonite around the inside (I have a TON of leftover 1/8" masonite cutoffs from installing backdrops). 

Masonite would be a great guard rail and the clear plexiglass or Lexxan material would be even better because you could see the trains for monitoring purposes and they would be protected from the "big fall".

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