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Design a dbl-deck layout for installation in its own Hand-House shed

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Posted by GraniteRailroader on Friday, September 29, 2017 5:30 PM

Spent fifteen minutes in XtrakCad to do this real quick...

No matter how you slice it, adding in the ladder where you have pictured in the curves is going to be a problematic section of track. To get what you've pictured, you're going to be using #4 switches at best, or if you go larger, having longer stretches of tangent track where cars won't clear.... and then you have to start making the curve to the narrowed benchwork. As pictured, you have 9 tracks that will run parralel at some some point, unless they are incredibly short and join back together within two feet, maybe three if you're lucky. At that point, you're wasting real estate.

You're at the 8 foot mark, in terms of how long the loop becomes before you even start adding a ladder to bring the tracks back together.

Having the turntable service more then 5 of 6 tracks just isn't going to be practical. You're going to find that you won't have the room to store any of your larger power on the shortened tracks.

Potential solutions that will help:

- Don't double track the return loop.

- Plan for a handful of tracks off the turntable, plus the mocked up roundhouse.

- Three our four yard tracks at most, plus the single main in each direction, for a total of six tracks.

-Relocate the yard and turntable entirely, narrowing the peninsula to 24-30 inches at most. Turntable at the end, with yard tracks occupying 18" or so, with another 6-12" wide section for locomotive servicing. Your yard could have a "wye" to connect to the double track mainline.

 

 

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, September 29, 2017 10:13 AM

Latest Thoughts on Track Plan & Step Ladder Access

I finally arrived back home & getting ready to re-evaluate some of my thoughts on my layout design. I have accepted the criticism I have received on my 'too-narrow aisles', thus revising my center peninsula size. I've reduced its size and projection quite a bit, ie the most recent edition...

 

I have yet to decide on the exact track plans (both mains and spurs). I'm still looking for suggestions to complete the mainlines that I have partially sketched in.

My new cardboard mock-ups give me a nice big 'open space' in the center of the room that will allow for a small working bench installation inside the shed.

 

(still hard to get a photo shot that depicts the openness that is now created by this smaller peninsula)

 

Interestingly I already had in my possession a special step ladder that will allow me to climb a couple of steps and reach over to the back sides of the upper deck tracks. Turns out it just does just fit under the bottom deck at 40 inches off the floor. And it has a built in 'handle' that can be used to grip or lean against when accessing that upper deck. 
I just have to make sure I build the lower deck shelf high enough to accept this ladder.

 

 

 

I'm currently evaluating whether to build the lower deck shelf of plywood, foam, or a sandwich structure of those 2 materials.

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, September 15, 2017 2:23 PM

Lots of Good Reference Material

Just visited your web site Alan.
http://www.lkorailroad.com/

Some VERY good sources of info on building a layout. For instance this bit on different density foams...

http://www.lkorailroad.com/foam-education/

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Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 1:45 PM

Turntable Loop & City Backgrd

Just did this quick little sketch, Haven't worked out details of the freight yard yet.

 I suspect I will have only the front face of a roundhouse with perhaps a dwg of the remainder of it on the backdrop. Just don't have room for whole structure.. Perhaps some photos or cut off ends of tenders in the doorways of that roundhouse.

What I really want in that scene is some display tracks for some of my steam collection, some caboose(s), and steam services like this.....

 

 

And a thin city scene backdrop something like a cross between these two photos....

 

 

 

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Posted by railandsail on Monday, September 11, 2017 8:54 AM

DCC Electrical Wiring tip

I just ran across this portion of a posting by Randy that I need to remember when I go to wiring my new layout.

rrinker
....excerpt

It did all work the first show after this - other than no provision being made for the common wire between the command station, boosters, and circuit breakers. No one believed me that this was required, but all issues disappeared when they finally decided to "humor" me and ran a wire temporarily. After that show and before next one, an additional line got added to each section's wiring harness to carry the common wire. Again done without ever stting the whole thing up - there's just no way to do it in the available space.

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Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 8:48 AM

BTW that one site I referenced above has some really nice photos by 'doctorwayne'
http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/264878.aspx?page=1

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Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 8:37 AM

GraniteRailroader

Seeing your latest druthers makes me wonder - do you have a written down list that you've compiled of what you truely would like to see? You're ideas and locales are all over the US, and if you make those druthers into the givens (IE: What you will NOT change, what you CAN'T change, and what isn't possible to change) you're going to end up with multiple large scenes and structures literally on top of each other, with no room for transitions.

Lets see if I can answer your concerns/suggestions in as brief a manner as I can. Perhaps it is best that you understand that some of these 'ideas' for scenes/structures I am coming up with, are a result of what I might call 'brain-storming'. I am thinking 'out loud' on this forum about POSSIBILTIES.

I have over the years collected up so many different structures, both built and still as kits, that I am trying to figure out just what I am going to be able to include, and what not. There is another recent discussion on this forum,...
http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/264878.aspx?page=1

that concerns itself with this  same dilemma about number of structures verses spacing between them.

I am one of those folks who likes to have lots of structures/scenes that the trains can run thru. I believe you might discern this if you look thru my planning on my original layout, the Central Midland by John Armstrong. I bought this layout with a track plan already determined, so it was just my job to see where I might add on 'what structures', 'what scenes'. I added a LOT of items as I collected them, Some would say too much, but I was rather happy with what I was coming up with. Of couse it was a bit easier as I was working with the track plan already in place, so it was just a matter as to how I might add to it. this new planning is a bit more difficult as I don't have things sitting there right in front of me, and I am trying to creat a track plan along with a structure/scene plan.
If you want to see that Atlas plan #29 I was building, and a good number of photos I am recreating it over on this forum discussion as it got 'photo edited' by some software change made on that forum.

the Central Midland by John Armstrong for Atlas track plans



GraniteRailroader
It's your model railroad, so if you want to see a container port/facility next to a stucco three story station in the Alleghany mountains of Pennsylvania while the City of Baltimore shines it's lights on you through the smog of a blast furnace, than have at it. If it were me - I'd narrow my focus down to specific things that interest me more than the others. Passengers, Coal, Blast Furnace, Baltimore, sounds like you could proto-lance Baltimore to Western Pennsylvania, maybe a fictional branch of the PRR? Adding in the South West, and being able to fit vastly different locales and geography is going to end up as a hodge podge of scenes that don't flow together.

I'm going to see if I can blend it together, but yes I may have some industries etc together in close proximity. I am trying to keep the west coast specific scenes on the upper deck, and the east coast on the lower deck. The middle of the country can have any number of different industries.

GraniteRailroader
I'd reconsider the idea of a No-Lix, around-the-wall type layout. With a bench depth of 28"-30", excluding the "blobs" in the corners by the door, you could easily transition from scenes that were vertically seperated 6-8"  at various points around the layout. If you narrowed the depth of the scene, concealing at least one of the "layers" behind a backdrop or beneith the other, a peninsula --MIGHT-- be doable... 11 foot wide space, with a portion that is on 12" deep shelves leaves you 9 feet open in the middle. Subtract two 30" aisles, and you're left with four feet. Kind of tight if you wanted to have it make a 180* curve in the middle, but perhaps it's a solution to add in your blast furnace scene, with a vertical backdrop that conceals a container port on the other side.

Since I can fit my helix on the outside of the shed, I am definitely NOT inclined to consider a 'no-lix'

 

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Posted by GraniteRailroader on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 9:04 PM

I haven't had time to sit down and draft out any ideas - work and family have taken priority, especially with having already put in twenty two hours since Monday at 0500.

Seeing your latest druthers makes me wonder - do you have a written down list that you've compiled of what you truely would like to see? You're ideas and locales are all over the US, and if you make those druthers into the givens (IE: What you will NOT change, what you CAN'T change, and what isn't possible to change) you're going to end up with multiple large scenes and structures literally on top of each other, with no room for transitions.

It's your model railroad, so if you want to see a container port/facility next to a stucco three story station in the Alleghany mountains of Pennsylvania while the City of Baltimore shines it's lights on you through the smog of a blast furnace, than have at it. If it were me - I'd narrow my focus down to specific things that interest me more than the others. Passengers, Coal, Blast Furnace, Baltimore, sounds like you could proto-lance Baltimore to Western Pennsylvania, maybe a fictional branch of the PRR? Adding in the South West, and being able to fit vastly different locales and geography is going to end up as a hodge podge of scenes that don't flow together.

I'd reconsider the idea of a No-Lix, around-the-wall type layout. With a bench depth of 28"-30", excluding the "blobs" in the corners by the door, you could easily transition from scenes that were vertically seperated 6-8"  at various points around the layout. If you narrowed the depth of the scene, concealing at least one of the "layers" behind a backdrop or beneith the other, a peninsula --MIGHT-- be doable... 11 foot wide space, with a portion that is on 12" deep shelves leaves you 9 feet open in the middle. Subtract two 30" aisles, and you're left with four feet. Kind of tight if you wanted to have it make a 180* curve in the middle, but perhaps it's a solution to add in your blast furnace scene, with a vertical backdrop that conceals a container port on the other side.

There are plenty of options out there, but you need to really re-evaluate what your priorites and what your major wishes for this to be are.

For what it's worth, I'd go back through Cuyama's posts and really attempt to understand his feedback to the folks who are posting plans and asking for advice. His design feedback is spot on, and if money were no object I'd be asking for him to help me implement a new design.

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Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 6:12 PM

Look what I found today as I was looking for steel mill related images. I just had to make a note of it here so I would remember to look at it again

http://baltimoreandohiomodelrailroad.com/steel_mill.html

I know this sounds and looks awfully ambitious to include a steel scene on my relatively small layout, but I'm thinking the only actual structure I would include would be the blast furnace itself. The rest would exist on the painted backdrop, somewhat like this photo from that site...

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Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 9:38 AM

City Backdrop & Steel Scene

I was just going back thru some photos and postings I had made about my old Atlas #29  Central Midland layout and ran across this .....
 

City Scene Backdrop
This could be the most exciting scene of all. My plan was to make this a city scene of Baltimore, an industrial city, home of the nations first railroad, and home of the famous B&O. There would be two distinctive images I thought I would include; 1) the infamous ‘Bromo Selzer’ tower*, and 2) the Mt Royal train station**. The train station in particular, as I had no room on the layout for a model station. I imagine it could be painted onto the backdrop, and include a dbl track portion that would appear to join the actual mainlines over in the back corner of the layout.

There are lighting techniques, layering techniques with poster board materials, and thin single-sided plastic structures that could make this city scene come alive, even in its very ‘flat presentation’. I have some sample illustrations.

Coal was, and is very much a part of Baltimore’s history along with steel and railroads. I had thought it could be possible to paint a coal fired power plant or steel mill onto a portion of this city scene down on the lower left hand side near the roundhouse area. Maybe add a large pile of coal alone with a string of coal cars waiting to be unloaded. If the layout were spaced out a bit from this wall/backdrop, it might be possible to insert one or two ‘fake’ sidings with coal cars and/or B&O passenger cars in waiting.

Yes, still applicable for my new layout,...Balt cityscape in that right hand blob, and steel blast furnance in that left hand blob.

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Posted by railandsail on Monday, September 4, 2017 5:46 PM

East to West theme, and Diesel-Steam transistion era

 

 

I have a strong preference for steam engines, but have collected lots of diesels as well. So lets say I will model that transition era were both were utilized. I am also not a strict time frame person that feels a need to model any particular era. I just like the looks of model trains, particularly the highly detailed ones that have come out over the past 15 years.

 

I found myself liking those big C&O, B&O, NW steam locos, but also some of the Santa Fe ones. I just couldn't resist a number of those Santa Fe diesels with their marvelous paint schemes that harkened back to when I was a kid. So on my first major layout (the Atlas plan "Central Midland") I ran all of these different lines. I would explain that my railroad went from the east coast to the west coast,...Baltimore to California.

 

I'm imagining doing something similar with this new layout,....the lower deck level will be the 'Baltimore' theme, progressing up thru the mountains of Appalachian mountains (coal county) to the upper layer western mountains supporting logging trains, and finally to a Santa Fe train station on the upper level. Since I have recently decreased the size of that peninsula, I'm not so sure I'll be able to do those Appalachian mountains ( maybe I should put those in that new oval peninsula loop ??).

 

At the moment I don't anticipate that the upper deck will have any individual loops of track on it, but rather will have a perimeter track only. There will be a turnout at the upper level of the helix that will permit the train to go either way around that perimeter of the shed, and will allow the train to go back down the helix in a forward manner.

 

There are at least two scenes/structures I have planned for that upper level.
1) Santa Fe train station. I'm imaging this station (or condensed version) .... ....sitting on the upper deck over one of those two big blobs at the entrance to the shed. I want to surround it with a number of the Santa Fe engines I have (F7 sets, DL109 set, E6, and a steamer), and some SF passenger cars from Walthers.

 

I would like this scene over on the left side blob, so it is not directly over the Balt city scene.

 

I would also like to have a condensed container port on this upper level. I have a lot of containers and container cars that need to be 'justified' on my layout. I'm thinking the newer big style container cranes and their ship can be painted onto the background. Then the straddle type loader and the smaller container movers can be in the foreground working amongst the stacked containers, and loading railcars bound for the east coast

 

I figure there will need to be a fair depth to this scene to have the container cars being loaded, and of course some sort of thru line for the passenger train. My thoughts are this scene needs to be located over the deep decked turntable loop, and/or over that wide freight yard scene down below.

Those are the only ideas I have at the moment. I really need to be able to look thru that huge collection of materials I extracted from the magazines for years ( I literally cut up hundreds of mags, and filed them away). But all of that material is in my cargo trailer.

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Posted by GraniteRailroader on Sunday, September 3, 2017 10:37 PM

I'll spend some time drawing tomorrow and give you an idea on paper.

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Posted by railandsail on Sunday, September 3, 2017 4:35 PM

GraniteRailroader

 If your space is 12' wide, a peninsula with a loop is going to make things incredibly cramped as well as a construction nightmare due to having no space to work.

An around the walls design point to loop on each level, with a discrete concealed track leading to an upper level would give you much of what your asking for. 

If you would please help me with a little clarity of what you just posted?

I can see clearly now that my original idea with the bigger, longer peninsula was really encroaching on free space inside the surrounding tracks. But do you feel that same problem exist with my newer, smaller peninsula blob and the much larger space possiblities in the center?

Are you suggesting that I have a point to loop track on both levels and a helix to do greater service in order continous run a train from loop to loop??

 

PS: That clear space in the middle of my latest version is a little over 6 feet long at an average of 6 foot wide on the lower level. And would be even wider & bigger at the upper deck level.

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Posted by GraniteRailroader on Sunday, September 3, 2017 4:08 PM

It's been a long while since I've emerged from the shadows, but after reading this thread a few times I thought I'd chime in...

You're givens and druthers are not aligning. If your space is 12' wide, a peninsula with a loop is going to make things incredibly cramped as well as a construction nightmare due to having no space to work.

An around the walls design point to loop on each level, with a discrete concealed track leading to an upper level would give you much of what your asking for. 

Simple can be better, especially when you're going to be doing this alone as you say.

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Posted by railandsail on Sunday, September 3, 2017 12:39 PM

rrinker

You are already in restricted space - something has to give. A double track main should be one of those. You'll have issues with a 2" center space on curves that tight unless you are running N scale or only really short cars (nothing really over 40 foot types). If you are modeling Civil War or just after, carry on.

I was not planning on a dbl track mainline ALL the way around, ...just that portion that would be under the lift-out city backdrop scene.

Yes I understand that 2 inch spacing on the dbl-loop of track might be a little small, so perhaps with some crunching I could get the outer loop up to 26" and/or that inner loop down to 22", or at least provide for 2.5 inches between those tracks.  I would NOT be counting on running long articulates or long cars on the inner loop in that roundhouse area.

rrinker
Instead of having two loops on the wings, how about moving the yard down to one of them? It can be narrower then, making the entry aisle wider. With the looop going around it, you have room for a turntable but not much of a roundhouse. If the yard extends down one side, you can put the turntable offset towards the outside wall (so you just have stub tracks on the opposite side of the bridge) and room for a 3 or 4 stall engine house angles down towards the door.


I see what you are saying, but perhaps I have not conveyed what I have in mind for the roundhouse scene. First off I suspect I will have only the front face of a roundhouse with perhaps a dwg of the remainder of it on the backdrop. Just don't have room for whole structure.. Perhaps some photos or cut off ends of tenders in the doorways of that roundhouse.

What I really want in that scene is some display tracks for some of my steam collection, some caboose(s), and steam services like this...


rrinker
A lift bridge across the entry would allow an all the way around the walls continuous run, otherwise, putting a second loop in the upper right means the run is a lot shorter. But again - space is limited, something has to give. A 5 mile mainline just isn't going to fit in this space. I'd probably kill both loops and go with the lift bridge across the door.

Perhaps you missed it, but I plan on having 2 (two) lift out bridges across the entry way. The one on the lower level will be at 40" off the floor, about my waist height, and will be 27-28 inches wide. The upper level bridge at 60" off the floor will be at shoulder height, and can be quite a bit wider (no loops up there). Interior doors in an a house are usually 29-30 inches wide. So I think I can fit in between those loops on either side of the layout,...and thus be able to run trains in a continous manner around portions of the layout WITHOUT having either of the bridges across the entry way set in place.....loop to loop wouldn't they call it?

rrinker
For the penninsula - there's a VERY good idea in the July 2017 MRH (free). It's relatively narrow, yet supports two large industries with multiple spots on each one. The one takes something like 6 different car types. It's the later stages of the TOMA contest second place winner's article.


I will have to look that one up. Thanks, Brian

                      

 

 

 

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, September 3, 2017 11:46 AM

 You are already in restricted space - something has to give. A double track main should be one of those. You'll have issues with a 2" center space on curves that tight unless you are running N scale or only really short cars (nothing really over 40 foot types). If you are modeling Civil War or just after, carry on.

 Instead of having two loops on the wings, how about moving the yard down to one of them? It can be narrower then, making the entry aisle wider. With the looop going around it, you have room for a turntable but not much of a roundhouse. If the yard extends down one side, you can put the turntable offset towards the outside wall (so you just have stub tracks on the opposite side of the bridge) and room for a 3 or 4 stall engine house angles down towards the door.

A lift bridge across the entry would allow an all the way around the walls continuous run, otherwise, putting a second loop in the upper right means the run is a lot shorter. But again - space is limited, something has to give. A 5 mile mainline just isn't going to fit in this space. I'd probably kill both loops and go with the lift bridge across the door.

 For the penninsula - there's a VERY good idea in the July 2017 MRH (free). It's relatively narrow, yet supports two large industries with multiple spots on each one. The one takes something like 6 different car types. It's the later stages of the TOMA contest second place winner's article.

                            --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 railandsail on Sunday, September 3, 2017 10:11 AM

Modify Turntable Loop?

The thought occurred to me that I might make a modification to turntable loop that would allow 2 trains to run on the lower deck concurrently,.... if I were to further limit the amount of track that was 'shared' between the inner loops of track and the perimeter loop. I can't limit it all, but I can limit better than half of it.

What if I were to make the turntable loop a double-track loop. I propose to take the two long parallel tracks on the right side of the layout and pinch them up as close to their wall as feasible,...after all they are going to be covered over with a 'street and thin city building scene' that will constructed of lt-weigth foam board and plastic so as to be removable to access any derailments.

Those two parallel tracks will feed into the turnable loop of 2 concentric radius tracks, the outer one 25" and the inner one 23". The inner one will be for shorter engines, not long articulates (although I think some can transverse it).
 

 

What do I gain?
1) First off  it might be interesting to have 2  mainlines coming around that outer edge of the turnable scene and feeding the yard, the turntable, a train station.

2) Secondly it frees up any 'sharing of track' on that side of the layout. So the inner loop train can bounce back and forth across the layout while only fearing one section of 'shared track' with the perimeter train,....that common track around the 'steel loop',

3) It might allow that 'perimeter running passenger train' to come into a train station (on a roadway over the yard tracks) for a visit, even while the freight train continues thru the freight yard and back onto the the other side of the layout.

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Posted by railandsail on Saturday, September 2, 2017 7:32 AM

One Option for Oval Peninsula Loop

 

Here is one option I came up with today for that oval shaped peninsula loop. It would be somewhat akin to the first loop of a helix.

 

The track coming into it from the left side of the layout could elect to take a turnout to the right and proceed in a clockwise direction around the oval loop rise at about a 2% grade, go over a drawbridge, then split ( via turnout) to either go on up the external helix.  Or it might take a right hand turnout and  proceed to go down grade to the right hand side of the layout.

 

There will two ways a train can enter the peninsula loop, from the 'bottom' as I just described, or from the top via that track from the turntable loop or the mainline around the perimeter of the layout.

 

There will no longer be 2 individual loops on either side, but rather these two 'inner loops' will readily communicate with one another. And the trains on these 'inner loops' will be able to reverse their directions on the loops from a clockwise transition to counterclockwise one.

 

The oval peninsula loop is offset from the centerline of the shed by about 4" to the left. This could be increased so as to make the aisles on either side more equal in spacing. The sizable space allowed for the right hand side freight yard could also be cut down a few inches if needed for more aisleway, as there is already much more space for this yard due to the wider deck on that side.

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, September 1, 2017 6:23 AM

railandsail

Eliminate and/or Reconfigure the Peninsula

One idea that entered my mind was what if I 'cut off' the root of that peninsula I had been considering, then move that circular blob down to the rear wall of the layout ?  I'm going to play with idea. It might allow me to maintain the some semblance of two individual loops I had been considering, while opening up the center space.

I'm playing with some ideas along that line of thinking at the moment.

Again, please excuse my poor quality presentation,...I'm making some sketches on graph paper, but only have a camera to take some photos out in the sun and post them.

I just wanted to get an idea of the space in the center I would open up, and the changes in the aisle sizes I'd get by modifying the peninsula. in this case I have moved the peninsula's 24" loop to the back wall of the shed. I also sketched in a few optional elongations to the loop into possible oval configurations. Maybe such an oval might contain a bigger port scene (moved from lower loop which is now a blast furnance/steel mill scene possibility.)

At any rate this oval peninsula loop is likely the largest one I would consider. Even so it greatly opens up space in the center of the room, while still allowing for significantly larger deck/shelf spaces on both sides of the room (just sketched in what might be possible).

Have not worked out how the various tracks might enter and leave that peninsula loop.

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, September 1, 2017 5:56 AM

SouthPenn

In this picture of a wye, the tail goes across the bridge. On your layout it would extend out on a narrowed center peninsula. The part of the wye at the top left of the picture would go to one side of your shed, the bottom left part to the other side of the shed. There is a connecting track that connects the top of the wye together.

Here a wye extends into an industrial area on the peninsula It was suggested on another forum. Something like this might be a consideration if I sought out a 'smaller/thinner peninsula'.

I have often wondered about a 'wye' as a train turning configuration. I can see how they would turn around a single loco, or maybe one with one or two cars attached. But most do not have a tail long enough to turn a whole train.

On my old Atlas plan 'Central Midland' I had an arrangement where I could back a whole long train into my freight yard (and on into a track in my staging area, if it was really long), and subsequent turn an entire train around. It was quite a challenge to carefully back that whole train into one 'leg' of that wye configuration. (that trackplan was a John Armstong design that I did a few mods on).

Added a few pics of my 'flipped over version of the Central Midland with its long spine down thru the freight yard and the dbl-track 'Y' configuration...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by SouthPenn on Thursday, August 31, 2017 11:25 PM

In this picture of a wye, the tail goes across the bridge. On your layout it would extend out on a narrowed center peninsula. The part of the wye at the top left of the picture would go to one side of your shed, the bottom left part to the other side of the shed. There is a connecting track that connects the top of the wye together.

The tail of the wye could have a small station on it, or a bridge like in the picture.

Just some ideas.

South Penn
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Posted by Colorado Ray on Thursday, August 31, 2017 5:52 PM

SouthPenn

You could turn your peninsula into the tail of a long 'wye' that is connected to both of the tracks on either side of the shed. This would allow turning complete trains around and connect one side to the other.

 

I think an example of what SouthPenn is proposing is the New Orleans Union Terminal on the Mississippi, Alabama and Gulf line that was featured in Model Railroad Planning a few years ago.  Don't have access at work to check which issue though.  The terminal was on the "tail" of the wye on a narrower peninsula than would be required for a return loop blob at the end.  Although as i recall, the lower level (under NOUPT) did have a turnback loop that encroached into the aisles.

Others have done similar peninsulas with industrial themes on teh wye tail.

Ray

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Posted by railandsail on Thursday, August 31, 2017 10:29 AM

SouthPenn
You could turn your peninsula into the tail of a long 'wye' that is connected to both of the tracks on either side of the shed. This would allow turning complete trains around and connect one side to the other.

I'm having trouble picturing this. Could you provide just a rough little sketch,...or photo example??

I saw your pvc roadbed experiment and made note of it on my helix construction subject thread. At this moment I may have some other alternatives to the pvc roadbed in that project of mine. I believe yours had some sagging problems, but as I noted on your subject thread I think that was due to your asking the pvc to bridge too great of distances between your framing supports.

Brian

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Posted by SouthPenn on Thursday, August 31, 2017 9:52 AM

You could turn your peninsula into the tail of a long 'wye' that is connected to both of the tracks on either side of the shed. This would allow turning complete trains around and connect one side to the other.

I have 24" wide aisles on my layout. I have regreted that since day one but was too stubborn and/or stupid to make them wider. Big mistake.

I have also made a reversing loop with 1/2" PVC water pipe. I used the PVC to get a long smooth curve. The curve came out great, but it is a real pain to lay track or make changes. Never again.

South Penn
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Posted by railandsail on Thursday, August 31, 2017 7:59 AM

Eliminate and/or Reconfigure the Peninsula

 

I've been thinking about a few of their suggestions about eliminating the peninsula altogether, and building a triple decker. Haven't arrived at any ideas that light my fire.

 

From a previous posting I made...

If I were to take that big peninsula out of the center of the room, it would certainly make for a more open space. And when I think about it there is not that much scenery/etc that I can fit on it compared to its size and disposition. Perhaps if I eliminated it I could make the surrounding shelves a bit bigger and fit more industry/scenery on them than I would lose by eliminating the peninsula.

One idea that entered my mind was what if I 'cut off' the root of that peninsula I had been considering, then move that circular blob down to the rear wall of the layout ?  I'm going to play with idea. It might allow me to maintain the some semblance of two individual loops I had been considering, while opening up the center space.

 

I'm playing with some ideas along that line of thinking at the moment.

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Posted by railandsail on Thursday, August 31, 2017 7:19 AM

SMART software view

On another forum a gentleman Phil was so gracious to give me this view he created with what I think was SMART.

I had another play around with it. There is nothing wrong with the software I'm using to plan it. Problem is the track plan is tight,real tight. Would work semi ok with smaller engines. I used Peco #6 turnouts or curved Peco #7. Expect for the port area. nothing would work expect Atlas #4. Distances  i.e CTC are Centre track to Centre track distance. You would need to allow for edges of benchwork and overhang on loco's.

I would change the placement of the yard, as suggested. But end of the day its your track plan. You will be the one building it and living with it. There are  issues with some grade separations. As highlighted by red circles.Also, there isnt much spare space for buildings scenery as well. Phil

I say it proves I can fit that plan into my shed, albeit with some narrower aisles than many would utilize.

Brian

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Posted by railandsail on Saturday, August 26, 2017 10:02 AM

New Renditions of Layout Loops

As I've indicated I am not much of a 'apps' person, but this morning decided to just try a paint program to display the individual loops of the track plan,...crude attempt, but it gets the message across.

You will find I have 3 loops of track on the lower level:
1) the one associated with the turntable area (in blue)
2) the one associated with the port area (in red)
3) the one that circles the entire perimeter of the layout when the removable bridge at the entrance is in place.

I have also high-lited (in yellow) several small sections of track that allows for the trains to reverse their directions on their individual loops. This is particularly important on the blue loop to be able to climb onto the helix. I also thought it was important in general.

 

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 5:45 PM

 He says laminates so I am assuming he means it's really two 1/8" thicknesses. 1/8" by itself is pretty flimsy, and even with lots of support for each piece, the joints would be VERY weak. 2 layers laminated would be stiffer than a single 1/4" layer which is ok but not spectactular and would still have an issue at the joints. By using two thicknesses you can overlap the joints so at each joint, one layter or the other is continuous.

 ANd gain with the complex supports - threaded rod? It was all the rage at one time but "so you adjust the grade" is more like "so you WILL adjust the grade" as you try to get an even grade all the way around constantly adjusting the supporting nuts until you get it right and then hope the jam nut you run up against it keeps everything in place over time. With the "every support piece exactly the same" method you could theoretically use kerfed pieces of 1x lumber and run the support continuous - however access might be a bit of a problem. But with roadbed maybe 6 inches wide supported continuously at both edges - you could use fairly thin material without sagging. Just - how would you retrieve a train stuck halfway up? So it's not practical to do a contnuous support, but you certainly could place supports with maybe a car length spacing so you can reach your hand it.

                                --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 railandsail on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 2:39 PM

rrinker

With that many supporting verticals, you could use laminated layers of one of the engineered materials like masonite. Two layers of 1/4" (so the seams overlap) with that many supports wouldn't sag and not have temperature/humidity issues.

 

Hey Randy,
I just ran across this posting (on another forum) that speaks to the masonite roadbed use in a helix you mentioned. And it appears as though this fellow only utilized single thickness?? I'm going to see if I can find more about his particular application, but it does make me feel better about about a double layer of masonite and closer uprights.

Helix Types

 

 

I have 3 helixes on my HO/HOn3 layout.  One is a "standard" one of about 5 turns in HOn3 only.  The other two actually are "stacks" of helixes.  One stack consists of a 1/2 turn dual gauge helix approached by a long grade. The second multiple turn helix in this stack is HOn3 only, with separate entry and exit points not related to the dual gauge one below.  It also is of smaller radius than the one below.  The third stack consists of a dual gauge helix twisting downward to a staging yard underneath the main yard, where the main entry is.  This main entry also leads to a single twist dual gauge helix on top of the lower one with the exit leading off to a long down grade.  This main entry also leads to a  third HOn3 only helix of several twists on top of the other two which leads to an HOn3 "high line".  All of these helixes are of the same radii.

All the helixes are built of 1/8" tempered Masonite laminated together with carpenter's glue and precut to various diameters.  This thinness is needed to minimize the grades.  All are supported by threaded rod material using washers and nuts, which allows fine tuning of the grades as needed.  To hold the track in place (all track in the helixes is ME flex track), I first tried glue which didn't work because of the plastic ties.  I ended up using AMI "Instant Roadbed" which both held the track firmly in place and deadened the sound.  The Instant Roadbed is  very flexible  and the plastic-tied flex track can be pressed into it, usually easily, depending upon e temperature of the room.  I have used a low wattage hair blower to soften the Instant Roadbed without softening the ties.

 

I assembled the roadbed, complete with the track and Instant Roadbed, before putting them in place on the layout.  That way, I could drill through the layers of Masonite and thus save time and make sure the holes were all aligned properly for the vertical threaded rods.  This helix setup has worked fine for the past ten years or so.

 

I use Digitraxx DCC and I ran the wiring busses but inside the edges of the helixes, following the turns, so the busses then could enter and exit the helixes at the proper places.  I elected to use horizontal power districts on the whole layout, rather than vertical ones, in order to make trouble shooting a lot easier because of the layout's various levels (there are 3) and geography.

 

AMI went out of the roadbed business in 2007, unfortunately.  The material is uncured butyl rubber and I understand that similar material can be gotten at auto supply stores that specialize in air conditioning parts (it's used to wrap a/c piping).  I haven't tried since I still have some AMI material left.  Somebody also found similar material at:

 

  http://www.trains.com/trccs/forums/1056223/ShowPost.aspx

 

Someone else has suggested trying plumbing supply stores; the material, or similar stuff, used to wrap pipes.

 

Hart Corbett

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Posted by railandsail on Monday, August 21, 2017 10:58 AM

I have tried to maintain 2.75 inches of clearance between edges and track centers.

I have LOTS of clear 1/8" plastic sheets to fashion guards from.

(sorry don't know how to cancel this dbl posting)

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