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Ogden & Cache Valley RR - Layout Construction

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Posted by Old Fat Robert on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 5:00 PM

Onewolf: Your work is amazing! One of the those layouts that makes me want to do more on mine and then I look at mine and compare the two.......... I have a lot of catching up to do!

Old Fat Robert

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Posted by Onewolf on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 3:19 PM

I finished weathering/spraying/cleaning all 1200 ft of visible track and then I installed the Walthers 130 ft (scale) turntable in the locomotive service terminal.  
After I got the turntable installed/working I started working on the 12 stall roundhouse (base 3 stall kit + 3 three stall addition kits). 

Now I'm working on installing the 17 service tracks around the turntable (4 garden tracks, 12 roundhouse stalls, machine shop track).  Each service track will have a manual power switch to be able to disable (sound) locomotives.





The cardboard cutouts are being used to locate additional buildings in the loco service terminal





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, February 20, 2018 2:31 PM

rrebell

I started out doing more than neccisary too by painting the ties and coming in and accually brushing the rust on the rails. What I found is that after all was said and done with ballast and scenery, you could not find the more detailed work unless you knew where to look. What I did find inhanced is areas that I took a short cut by not protecting the track from stuff like plaster drips (these were really plaster colored water or were removed right away). So to do this more refinded, adding different colors here and there dose add realism. I suspect that if you paint a few ties white here and there and maybe an off white and then spray your brown, that might work for you, would try it myself and report back but between layouts right now and no place to do hobby work.

 

Thanks for the reply.  I have concluded that initially weathering the track/ties with 'just' the Dark Earth brown will be sufficient and more easily reproduceable.  For some of the secondary/spur tracks I will probably add some rail 'rust' later on using a brush/pen.  I will also add some schmoodging variation to the mainline/branchlines using wet/dry brush.

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 rrebell on Monday, February 19, 2018 10:06 AM

I started out doing more than neccisary too by painting the ties and coming in and accually brushing the rust on the rails. What I found is that after all was said and done with ballast and scenery, you could not find the more detailed work unless you knew where to look. What I did find inhanced is areas that I took a short cut by not protecting the track from stuff like plaster drips (these were really plaster colored water or were removed right away). So to do this more refinded, adding different colors here and there dose add realism. I suspect that if you paint a few ties white here and there and maybe an off white and then spray your brown, that might work for you, would try it myself and report back but between layouts right now and no place to do hobby work.

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Posted by Onewolf on Monday, February 19, 2018 9:53 AM

Status update....

I am redoing/replacing the double track mainline that circles behind the (future) turntable/roundhouse area. There were issues with the levelness of the Homasote subroadbed and the double gapped curved track was casuing problems so I decided for a complete redo of that area. The new trackwork is much better/smoother/reliable.  Redoing existing trackwork is somewhat annoying but the end results are worth it.  I learned quite a bit as I went along and my trackwork improved considerably relative to the first parts of track I installed.





Still trying to figure out a formula/process for weathering the track.  I have about 1200 ft of visible track to weather so I want to figure out a reasonably efficient/repeatable process that doesn't involve me dying in a cloud of spray paint fumes.



The current test process I'm trying is to spray with the original (too reddish) brown from a low angle on the side (rust on sides of track)....



And then come back with Rustoleum Camo Ultra Flat 'Earth Brown' from directly above to color the ties dark brown.

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 Monday, February 12, 2018 7:53 AM

What a fantastic update. 

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Posted by Santa Fe all the way! on Monday, February 12, 2018 1:09 AM

Thanks so very much for the update! Ive been following from the beginning and have thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Come on CMW, make a '41-'46 Chevy school bus!
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Posted by Onewolf on Sunday, February 11, 2018 4:12 PM

ROBERT PETRICK

Hey One Wolf,

Thanks for the update. Glad to see you're back. I can understand why it's been a while. It must have taken that long to compose and post that post. All those photos and a cohesive narrative to boot! How did you get all that stuff into the small little tiny editing window provided by this forum? Most impressive. Bow

I compose my status update posts using Notepad and copy/paste into the forum 'reply' window.  :)

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 Sunday, February 11, 2018 4:10 PM

The Peco code 83 (and 100) turnouts are MUCH more robust than the Micro Engineering code 70 turnouts.  The Micro Engineering turnouts look better. While both the Peco have a positive throw spring machanism, the Peco is much more secure.  Every one of the Pecos function flawlessly when installed. Every one of my Micro Engineering code 70 #6 turnouts required 'tuning' to get them to function properly.

The only problem I have had with some of the Pecos (both code 100 and 83) is that some out of spec locos/rolling stock will cause them to short across the frog.

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 Saturday, February 10, 2018 10:44 AM

I haven't used the Peco or ME code 83 so far, only Atlas code 83, along with Walthers/Shinohara for specialy like curved, 3-way and double slip.  How do they compare in your experience?  The ME are a bit more economical so significant cost savings over a large order.

I'm thinking of using Peco code 100 large in staging.

I haven't decided insulfrog vs. electofrog, although he who should not be named over at MRH recomments electrofrog for less chance of electrical pickup issues and they wear longer.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by RWSlater on Saturday, February 10, 2018 9:42 AM

This is one impressive layout you are building onewolf. I have been following along for a while now. 

Robert

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Saturday, February 10, 2018 9:22 AM

Hey One Wolf,

Thanks for the update. Glad to see you're back. I can understand why it's been a while. It must have taken that long to compose and post that post. All those photos and a cohesive narrative to boot! How did you get all that stuff into the small little tiny editing window provided by this forum? Most impressive. Bow

Anyhow, great work on the layout. Great update. I'm gonna take a little while to read it over and study the photos. Saturday morning, coffee on the veranda, but no newspaper today, tablet instead.

Robert

LINK to SNSR Blog


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Posted by Onewolf on Saturday, February 10, 2018 8:28 AM

riogrande5761

You seem to have all the various aspects down cold and it's coming together nicely.  Very impressive.

Are you using code 83 Peco turnouts?  Flex is which brand?

 

The vast majority of turnouts are Peco Insulfrog: Code 100 Large in hidden areas and code 83 (#6 and #8) in visible areas.

The only non Peco turnouts are two Walthers code 83 #8 curved turnouts, one Walthers #8 double slip switch, and five Micro Engineering code 70 #6 turnouts.

The visible flex track is almost entirely Atlas code 83 and there is about 75 feet of Micro-engineering code 70.

The hidden flex track is a mix of Atlas code 100 and Peco code 100 (leftover from previous 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 riogrande5761 on Saturday, February 10, 2018 8:19 AM

You seem to have all the various aspects down cold and it's coming together nicely.  Very impressive.

I see you have Peco code 83 turnouts.  They do seem to be pretty nice - I'm looking at MicroEngineerin #6 for my next layout.  What brankd of flex track are you using?

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by Onewolf on Saturday, February 10, 2018 8:13 AM


It's been a long time since I updated the layout build thread so here goes....

Starting in late August I took about 3 months off from active construction on the layout because of a number of distractions:  Hurricane Irma was a minor distraction, I spent about a month working on a new 90 gallon freshwater aquarium setup (and aux 40 gal Discus 'grow' tank), and then I had a significant distraction at work.  The company I worked for for the last 26.5 years implemented a new 'site strategy' as of Nov 1 that resulted in our 140 person local development/engineering team being shut down.  I had an opportunity to relocate to the new San Fransisco office (no way!) but I decided to take my 'package' instead. I was provided a generous severance package which included about 15 months salary in a lump sum and 15 months of benefits (health insurance, etc) paid for. Since my wife is working and her salary covers our 'nut' I plan to take 3-4 months off and work on a long 'to-do' list around the house and to make as much progress on the  layout as possible.

I got back to working on the layout in early December.

I installed the occupancy detection boards and status display circuits for the helix.



The back side of the helix status/control panel:



Here's a (high speed) video of the helix occupancy display as a train traverses the helix:

 

I fixed an issue with the double gapped track where the track passes through the backdrop on it's way into the 4 track staging yard in the model workshop room.





I layed carpet tiles under the helix



I installed plywood subroadbed for the classification yard two lead/drill tracks.



I installed (removable) 1/8" masonite panels over the two wndow openings and painted the blue backdrop along this wall (finally!)





I installed a status panel for three PSX circuit breakers for booster #1.



I installed Tortoise motors and NCE Switch-It mk II boards with toggle switches to control the three turnouts for the four staging tracks in the model workshop.



I moved the Digitrax UR-92 radio receiver up next to the upper level return loop control/status panel (in the center of the room).



I decided I wanted a ice house/platform facility on a yard siding to provide ice for the reefer fleet. I wanted enough ice platform length to service 6 reefers and enough spur track length to handle 12 at a time. This required adding additional plywood roadbed adjacent to the two yard lead tracks.





Yard leads (with loco run-around) and reefer ice service track are done.



I finally got my order of 46 Peco turnouts required for the yard and loco service terminal (Along with 125 sections of Atlas code 83 flex track).



You can see the printed copy of the yard throat area I needed for reference purposes.



Starting to work on the yard throat. It's fairly complicated because of the two arrival/departure tracks and two yard leads having the ability to simultaneously work two different sets of classification tracks without interfering with the other yard lead.



There are two caboose tracks, the track that allows yard lead track #2 to access the second set of classification tracks, and the main classification yard ladder track that connect the yard lead tracks to the thoroughfare track.



Gluing down arrival/departure track #1 and dry placed arrival/departure track #2.



My technique for connecting track feeders. I bend the tip (~1/16") of the 22 ga solid wire and flatten it.



I place the flattened tip on the base of the rail.



After soldering. After the track is painted and ballasted the track feeder will be virtually invisible.  There are over 100 pairs of track feeders for the main yard/loco service terminal.



I have added a DCC Specialties "PowerPax" for the DCC programming track and a RRampMeter to show real-time DCC voltage and current to booster station #1.



Booster station #2 also has a RRampMeter and a 5V power supply for the two RR-Cirkits BOD-8 occupancy detection boards used in the lower return loop and staging tracks.



Booster station #3 has a 5V power supply for the five RR-Cirkits BOD-8 occupancy detection boards used by the helix and upper return loop/staging tracks. It needs a RRampMeter.



Booster station #4 provides power for the main classification yard and locomotive service terminal. It needs a RRampMeter.



Over the last month I have systematically gone through all of my "era appropriate" locomotives to verify functionality, install DCC decoders as needed, configure long DCC addresses, lubricated as needed, test run, and added to JMRI DecoderPro 'Roster'. I have about 42 'era' plausible locomotives (as well as about 25 non era appropriate diesel locomotives (post 1959). In my freelance world the Utah Railway will be running a couple 2-6-6-4 NW Class As and 4-6-4 Hudsons in addition to their 2-8-8-2 steamers.



I have started researching methods for weathering the track. The layout has about 1200 ft of visible track and 86 visible turnouts. Most of the 'how to' videos show people using masking tape to cover the points and pivot points on turnouts to prevent them from getting sprayed in order to avoid electrical conductivity issues. After the spray paint dries they come back and manually touchup the masked areas with a paint brush. With 86 turnouts that would be tedious and I concluded that if I had a very precise mask object I could avoid the manual brush phase. So I created a couple mask objects using TinkerCad.com and my 3D printer.



I created a mask for the pivot points as well.

I modified the points mask to taper the areas that sit between the stock bars and the inside of the rails.



They seem to work great. The points mask works for both the Peco #6 and #8 turnouts, but the pivot mask geometry is different between the #6 and #8 turnouts.



After removing the masks.



I noticed all three of my Athearn RTR Gas Turbine Veranda locomotives bounced severely when crossing the #8 double slip switch and they caused frequent shorts on the frogs of the Peco insulfrog turnouts. I measured the width of the wheelsets and found all 14 axles on the locomotives/tenders were out of spec/narrow on all three locomotives/tenders. Internet research showed I wasn't the only person who noticed that problem. So I purchased an NSWL 'the puller' and adjusted the wheelsets/axles so they are within NMRA specification and now the locomotives/tenders run MUCH better.



Video of the Athearn Gas Turbine loco/tender bouncing across the #8 double slip switch:


Video of the Athearn Gas Turbine loco/tender crossing the #8 double slip switch after fixing the wheelsets so they are in spec.



Working on gluing down the 8 classification tracks in the main yard. The eight tracks vary from 174" to 218" inches long and they can hold up to 250 40ft cars or 205 50ft cars.









The yards 'car shop' facility in the foreground.



All the 'missing' ties have been placed.





Doing some testing on weathering/painting track.



It's time to start making decisions on ballast color. Here's some of the samples I got from Arizona Rock & Mineral company. I have about 1200 feet of visible track that will need to be weathered and ballasted.  Oy.

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 superbe on Monday, December 18, 2017 3:52 PM

Santa Fe all the way!

Kinda getting worried, no update in quite a while. 

Watching the layout being built I couldn't help thinking about the painting and ballasting all of that track. The thought of it is overwhelming. The rubber has hit the road as they say, but I hope I'm wrong.

Bob

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Posted by Santa Fe all the way! on Saturday, December 16, 2017 10:50 AM

Kinda getting worried, no update in quite a while. Really enjoyed everything so far. 

Come on CMW, make a '41-'46 Chevy school bus!
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Posted by Onewolf on Friday, August 4, 2017 5:11 AM

I used a 12" piano hinge to mount the control/display panel for the helix area and I used a magnetic latch to hold it closed.



A wider view of the helix control/status panel.



The view of the helix with the panel door open.



I plan to locate the Laser 3 Modeling "John Murray & Sons Coal Distribution" craftsman kit in this location. I have installed the spur track that will service this facility.



I have shaped/glued/wired all the Micro Engineering code 70 service/spur track around the center platform on the lower and middle levels.



It took quite a while to figure out how to shape the Micro Engineering track so it has reasonably smooth/flowing curves. I have also caulked/painted the remaining two shelf support brackets that support the middle levels on the corners of the center platform.



There will be numerous businesses/industries supported by the track around the center platform on the lower/middle levels.



A wider view of the lower and middle levels.



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 Thursday, July 13, 2017 7:47 PM

There is nothing better than a double slip switch

ROAR

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

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

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Posted by JEREMY CENTANNI on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 10:30 PM

Impressed as always, nice to see the work still going forward!

I ever make it out your way I will bring anything from my collection that you want to see run! Fellow UP guy here :-)

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 3:56 PM

Onewolf

Those tracks represent the Union Pacific double track mainline that heads west to Nevada from Ogden. 

The track closer to the aisle will be wired as a DCC programming track (RH turnout, then 16" dead isolation track, and then DCC programming track).

 

Got it.  Well thought out track plan!  Yes

Rich

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Posted by Onewolf on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 3:47 PM

Those tracks represent the Union Pacific double track mainline that heads west to Nevada from Ogden. 

The track closer to the aisle will be wired as a DCC programming track (RH turnout, then 16" dead isolation track, and then DCC programming 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 richhotrain on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 3:12 PM

Onewolf
 
richhotrain

 

That's what I was referring to as operational complexity. You wouldn't think that such a dual point configuration would work, but it will.....as long as northbound and southbound trains run only in those predetermined directions.

Rich 

The only other direction possible would be to take the west-bound double track mainline off the edge of the benchwork onto the floor. Smile That's one reason why the double track mainline is electrically dead. 

Yeah, I see that. Why do you have those two dead end tracks? Is that for prototypical purposes?  

Rich

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Posted by Onewolf on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 3:04 PM

richhotrain

 

That's what I was referring to as operational complexity. You wouldn't think that such a dual point configuration would work, but it will.....as long as northbound and southbound trains run only in those predetermined directions.

Rich

 

The only other direction possible would be to take the west-bound double track mainline off the edge of the benchwork onto the floor. Smile That's one reason why the double track mainline is electrically dead.

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 richhotrain on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 2:44 PM

Onewolf

A crossing won't work.  The #8 RH turnout on the inside track will always be thrown.  The 'yard' side of the double slip will always be thrown towards the afore-mentioned RH turnout.  The other side of the double slip will allow switching between routing to the outside mainline track for OSL Southbound trains or crossing over for northbound OSL trains from the inside mainline through the RH turnout.  Not sure if that makes sense but if you follow these two routes on the photo you can see that only one set of points needs to move. Ever.

That's what I was referring to as operational complexity. You wouldn't think that such a dual point configuration would work, but it will.....as long as northbound and southbound trains run only in those predetermined directions.

Rich

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Posted by Onewolf on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 12:15 PM

richhotrain
Onewolf

Because there will be no 'traffic' on the other side of the double track mainline only one side of the double slip ever needs to get thrown. The points on the other side will be fixed.  Which simplifies operation.

 

In that case, have you considered a crossing instead of the double slip?

Rich

 

A crossing won't work.  The #8 RH turnout on the inside track will always be thrown.  The 'yard' side of the double slip will always be thrown towards the afore-mentioned RH turnout.  The other side of the double slip will allow switching between routing to the outside mainline track for OSL Southbound trains or crossing over for northbound OSL trains from the inside mainline through the RH turnout.  Not sure if that makes sense but if you follow these two routes on the photo you can see that only one set of points needs to move. Ever.

Edited to add diagram.

OSL Southbound trains will always take path #1.

Trains going OSL Northbound will allways take path #2.

Only turnout points #3 need to move to route between #1 and #2.

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 richhotrain on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 10:53 AM

Onewolf

Because there will be no 'traffic' on the other side of the double track mainline only one side of the double slip ever needs to get thrown. The points on the other side will be fixed.  Which simplifies operation.

 

In that case, have you considered a crossing instead of the double slip?

Rich

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Posted by Onewolf on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 8:24 AM

Because there will be no 'traffic' on the other side of the double track mainline only one side of the double slip ever needs to get thrown. The points on the other side will be fixed.  Which simplifies operation.

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 richhotrain on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 5:06 AM

Onewolf

 

 
carl425

I am a strong believer in doing what you want on your own railroad, so feel free to ignore the following opinion, but in case you care about the nickpicking visitors you'll have to your layout in the future...

A double slip switch?  This is an extremely rare piece of trackwork usually found only in congested urban terminals.  I would think it highly unlikely that in wide open Utah where the RR has all the room they need and then some, that they would use a double slip.  Even ignoring the fact that there is plenty of space available for a more traditional arrangement, why would they use such a high maintenance piece of trackwork in a remote spot where crews would have to travel so far to keep it working?

I usually keep such observations to myself, but this just doesn't fit in with the level of quality you've put into the rest this impressive layout.

 

 

 
Dutifully ignored.  Big Smile
 
While the UP may have had vast quantities of space to implement 'the prototype' I have relatively very little and even less canvas since this is a redo of the original design.  It's not like UP used #8 and #6 turnouts either.  :)
 
The double slip provided an elegant (IMHO) solution to crossing over a double track mainline in minimal space.
 

I'm certain that you didn't post those photos of the double slip to invite criticism, but I agree with Carl that there appear to be better alternatives than the double slip.

I have a double slip turnout on my layout that is used like yours to cross over the inner mainline from the outer mainline to reach a small downtown passenger station tucked along side a much larger downtown passenger station. It is, to use your words, an elegant solution to crossing over a double track mainline in minimal space.

But, aside from the issue of prototypicality, there is the issue of operational complexity. The use of a double slip requires the throwing of two sets of points, and that is not as easy as it sounds. In my case, I use bi-polar LEDs on a control panel to indicate the route. The primary route is the crossover of the inner mainline from the outer mainline to reach the passenger station tracks. That part is simple enough. But it gets more complicated when choosing the other routes. In fact, it is even more confusing and difficult than the operation of a 3-way turnout.

I would encourage you to look for other solutions.

Rich

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Posted by Onewolf on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 5:02 AM

The curve on the double track mainline has radii 40" and 37 3/4" and easements entering the straight track.  That would require handlaid curved turnouts.  That's way beyond my pay grade.   Dead

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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