Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

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

Building a layout on a rotisserie

70707 views
1051 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,508 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, December 6, 2020 6:06 AM

richhotrain
It will be a little more dicey with the 26.5" radius curves but, what the heck, give it a try.

Hi Rich,

Yes, I understand your point, but since I have pushed the track to the outside of the layout, logically that means that everything that I wanted on the layout has to fit inside the loops, including the passenger stations. That means that the stations have to be inside of the inner loop. That in turn means that the passenger trains will have to run on 26.5" radii.

I will continue to study the new plan to see if I can make any changes that will allow the passenger trains to stick to the outer loop, but if they have to end up running on the inner loop at 26"+ radii, then so be it! Logically they will only come off of the outer loop to enter the stations, in which case they would be running at low speeds so hopefully they will be relatively stable on the tracks.

In any case, thanks to everyone's suggestions, I feel that I have made some significant improvements to the track plan.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    November 2013
  • 2,365 posts
Posted by snjroy on Sunday, December 6, 2020 7:35 AM

Dave, you can always extend a platform that allows your passengers to board on the outer circle. 

Simon

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,508 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, December 6, 2020 8:04 PM

snjroy
Dave, you can always extend a platform that allows your passengers to board on the outer circle.

Hi Simon,

Yes, you are correct! That hadn't occurred to me.

Thanks,

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,508 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, December 6, 2020 8:09 PM

The next step will be to paint over the original track location marks so I have a fresh surface to work with. I'm going to think about the new track plan for a while before I draw it on the foam. I invariably end up tweaking things so I only want to plot the points one more time. This will be the third time I have done it.Bang Head

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 16,561 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, December 6, 2020 8:41 PM

hon30critter
going to think about the new track plan for a while before I draw it on the foam. I invariably end up tweaking things so I only want to plot the points one more time.

I always make changes on the fly when I build something. It seems a better solution or new idea is always being found.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,508 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, December 6, 2020 9:01 PM

SeeYou190
I always make changes on the fly when I build something. It seems a better solution or new idea is always being found.

Hi Kevin,

3rd PlanIt draws things out very precisely, and I find that in order to get things to fit, it helps to stick to the plan when laying track. For example, I am going to use several curved turnouts. Getting them to line up with the curves is very fussy if you want to avoid kinks in the track or throwing the radii off.

At my old club we found that following the track plan exactly allowed everything to fit properly the first time round. We did go back and make several changes that improved the layout, but we always started with the original plan. That way we knew that at least one configuration worked properly.

I'm afraid I'm not one to 'wing it' when it comes to track laying. I'd rather do the plan over and over on the computer screen until it fits properly than be having to rip up cork and track because the ends didn't meet.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    November 2013
  • 2,365 posts
Posted by snjroy on Monday, December 7, 2020 12:00 PM

I agree Dave, especially for the main lines. I cheated a bit for some of the sidings: In one case, I decided to NOT put a siding when I saw that I had very little room left for a cliff that will be next to it. It's a challenge to imagine 3D scenery on a 2D drawing... In another case, I added a short HOn30 quarry line because I realized there was room for it after all... And I really wanted room for HOn30 locos.

Simon 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,508 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, December 7, 2020 8:51 PM

snjroy
And I really wanted room for HOn30 locos.

Hi Simon,

That thought has been haunting me too. There are almost no places on the track plan where I could install HOn30 track to run my critters, and in those places the track would be very short. Like I said, I'm going to keep playing with the plan to see what improvements I can make before starting to lay track.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 16,561 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, December 8, 2020 8:22 AM

hon30critter
HOn30 track to run my critters

I forgot about you having those.

Could they run on a small detatchable shelf layout with only a small HOn30 track permanently installed on the layout?

How often would you want to run the critters?

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,508 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, December 8, 2020 11:10 AM

[quote user="SeeYou190"]Could they run on a small detatchable shelf layout with only a small HOn30 track permanently installed on the layout?

I'll keep that in mind for the future.

I do have a track plan for the HOn30 critters. It is a mining themed loop with sidings for car storage, an engine house and a coal dump. I have scratchbuilt the engine house and the mine buildings, and I have proper Peco HOn30 track and turnouts with the irregular, wide spaced ties. I also have a few ore cars made from N scale British wagons. The problem is that the plan is about 5' x 6' so a lot of stuff would have to go from the garage before there would be enough space for that.

SeeYou190
How often would you want to run the critters?

I'd love to have them running continuously on a loop, but only occasionally. I don't want to run them to death.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    November 2013
  • 2,365 posts
Posted by snjroy on Tuesday, December 8, 2020 11:36 AM

I only have two short strips of HOn30 track, one that "disapears" in the background to a non-visible quarry, and one that transfers logs from a standard gauge siding to a sawmill. Both are about 24" in length. A loop was out of the question, but the strips are long enough to see them move a bit. It's all I need really. Some day, I will do a small scene to put under the christmas tree, something like a 0-4-0 pulling a short passenger train. I have the locos, I just need the cars. And the time to build the scene of course.

I agree Dave, your plan is very tight. But you found space for a trolley!

Simon

  • Member since
    November 2013
  • 2,365 posts
Posted by snjroy on Tuesday, December 8, 2020 4:15 PM

Dave, I don't know if you've been following the other threads on the topic, but there is dual HO/HOn30 track available out there. I could see a strip of dual track serving the industrial buildings on your plan, moving stuff between buildings. More of an excuse to see your tiny trains run until you get your real HOn30 layout done... Anyway, just a thought.

Simon 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,508 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, December 8, 2020 8:44 PM

snjroy
there is dual HO/HOn30 track available out there. I could see a strip of dual track serving the industrial buildings on your plan, moving stuff between buildings.

Hi Simon,

I have thought about doing that. Using dual gauge track would be ideal, except all my HO stuff is DCC and the HOn30 critters are DC. However, there are a couple of ways to deal with that issue.

One option would be to install decoders in the critters. In order to that I would have to do away with the exposed fake engine to make room for a decoder and then close in the sides. That's easier said than done. IIRC, the fake engine is a structural component. The frame that holds the gears and the axles is glued to the bottom of the fake engine. That would mean that I would have to rebuild the frame. I am reluctant to rip into them to that extent because they are brass. Trying to unsolder some joints and not others could be a recipe for disaster.

Another option would be to set the dual gauge track up so that I can switch power systems. I would use DC when the critters are running and then switch to DCC when there is an HO locomotive on the track. Theoretically the DC critter wouldn't be bothered by the DCC power if it was left on the tracks because the separate narrow gauge rail would be dead. 

A third option would be to just leave the HO rails dead and use pusher cars to move freight cars on that track. The locomotive would not be allowed on the dual gauge section. That could add a bit of complexity to operations, which is a good thing.

Here is a close up shot of one of the critters:

Lots of options going through my head!

Thanks,

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    November 2013
  • 2,365 posts
Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 10:22 AM

Oh darn, I forgot about the DCC issue!  You are correct, it can be a challenge. On my layout, both rails are physically separated, and all my HOn30 stuff is on a DC power source.

Simon

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,508 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, December 13, 2020 1:28 AM

Just a couple of minor developments:

First, I am seriously considering doing some dual gauge track. Tillig makes (or more accurately, has made) all the parts that I need in terms of track and turnouts. Availability is an issue but I did find a supplier in Australia who lists all the components. I'm waiting to hear from them about whether or not they have the actual stock. I'm not holding my breath because I couldn't find anyone else who even listed the dual gauge flex track. The stuff is horribly expensive!!!!! I'm looking at close to $500 to do 9 ft. of track and three turnouts. Oh well, I can't take it with me....

Second, as I said, I'm taking some time to re-think the details of the layout plan, and so far the time spent has been worth it. The modifications thus far are all fairly minor, but I have been able to reduce the crowding of the service area buildings and the structures next to the yard. I also have managed to maintain easements in all of the mainline curves by doing away with three double curved turnouts and using Peco large turnouts outside of the easements. The double curved turnouts were positioned within the easements so they messed up the geometry a bit. That's all sorted out now.

The PL300 foam adhesive is slowly hardening up. I can still put a dint in it with my finger but I have to push much harder than I did a week ago. There is hope!Smile, Wink & GrinLaugh

TAFN Folks!

Cheers!!

Dave

 

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 30,002 posts
Posted by rrinker on Sunday, December 13, 2020 1:08 PM

 Note for next time, use something like the Great STuff expanding foam to fill gaps. A good idea of how it can work is shown on Ken Patterson's What's Neat video for this month - he installs a TCS speedometer and the way he builds his layout is each section is a piece of foam that can be removed to work on at the workbench (and with his fancy fascia and all, you'd never know it). So he carves troughs in the bottom of the foam for the wires to go in, and since the bottom of the foam sheet has to be flat to sit in his benchwork, he fills it all in after wiring and testing with the expanding foam. Then he just shaves it off level with the rest of the foam base. No reason that wouldn't work on the top as well, use a wide blade cutting implement so it touches the level parts of the foam to either side and shaves the filled in expanded foam even and level with the surrounding parts.

 I'm keeping this in mind though I am only using foam for scenery this time. Still, the expanding foam can fill in gaps and then be carved or otherwise worked just like the area around 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.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,508 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, December 13, 2020 3:08 PM

rrinker
 Note for next time, use something like the Great STuff expanding foam to fill gaps.

Hi Randy,

I thought about using foam, but I wanted a strong bond and I already had the PL300 on hand. The reason I wanted a strong bond was that there was a bit of deflection on some of the foam sheets at the joints. I attribute this to not having spread the initial application of PL300 out before placing the foam on it. I thought it would spread on its own, which apparently it did not.

In hindsight I guess the expanding foam would have given me a strong joint too.

rrinker
Note for next time,

I'm not sure there will be a next time. I haven't gotten very far the first time!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaughLaugh

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,508 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, December 19, 2020 3:09 AM

Clean slate! The paint is still wet. I wish I had a darker colour but the paint was left over from the exterior of the house. Beggars can't be choosers!

Now I can plot the revised track locations with the larger radii.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,508 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, December 21, 2020 2:50 AM

I have been playing with the plan and I have managed to create a very small yard with a long enough yard lead to make it work. The yard lead also feeds the team track but there won't be more than one or two cars being handled at any one time for either the yard or the team track so I'm hoping the plan will be workable. At the very least it will fill the need for a yard before I have the opportunity to build the larger yard, that is if I ever get there!

Here's the latest plan:

As always, any comments would be most appreciated.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 16,561 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, December 21, 2020 9:02 AM

Dave: I am not much of a track planner, but what you have there looks good to me.

Your painted "clean slate" sure does look clean.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

  • Member since
    November 2013
  • 2,365 posts
Posted by snjroy on Monday, December 21, 2020 11:07 AM

Nice plan! Looking forward to the track-laying phase... Have you located the spots for your uncouplers?

Simon

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,508 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, December 21, 2020 8:49 PM

Thanks Kevin and Simon,

I know that some people will think that the track plan is too busy, but it does offer quite a few switching opportunities which is what I want. I can also just let trains run if I so choose.

snjroy
Have you located the spots for your uncouplers?

I'm still working on the uncoupler locations. I have done one plan but I realized that several of the uncouplers were redundant so I'm trying to refine things a bit. I really have to fully understand how things will operate before I can properly locate the uncouplers.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,508 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, December 21, 2020 9:13 PM

I have also been playing with the idea of having the trolley track run right to the front of the main passenger station. That would require a very tight curve where the trolley track turns into the station parking lot. Can I run a short wheelbase 2 axle trolley on 6 1/2" radius?

Here is an updated plan with the revised trolley track and the uncoupler locations:

Thanks,

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 16,561 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, December 21, 2020 10:09 PM

hon30critter
I know that some people will think that the track plan is too busy

I build my layouts with two goals in mind:

1) Play value

2) Photographic possibilites

My track plans would probably look very "busy" to many, but they provide me with lots of fun and many photo opportunities.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,508 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, December 21, 2020 11:04 PM

SeeYou190
I build my layouts with two goals in mind: 1) Play value 2) Photographic possibilites

I certainly want the layout to have 'play value'. However, I think that photographing the layout will present a couple of challenges. The main one is that, because the layout is free standing, there is no built in backdrop. There won't be a divider through the middle either. I really don't want to have my messy garage in the background of my pictures so I'm considering building a moveable background flat that I can just stand up behind the layout when I want to take pictures. I have an old projector screen that would be ideal if I could just paint a background onto it. It is about five feet wide and plenty tall enough to do the job. I'll have to study up on my scene painting skills!

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 16,561 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 12:25 AM

hon30critter
I certainly want the layout to have 'play value'. However, I think that photographing the layout will present a couple of challenges.

There is no reason that your goals would be the same as mine. I was just trying to say not to worry if your track plan seemed too busy. As long as the layout meets your personal primary needs, that is all that matters.

I will take a busy track plan to get more play value up to the point that it interferes with photographic possibilities. I am not one that considers a busy track plan to be a bad thing.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,508 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 1:18 AM

SeeYou190
There is no reason that your goals would be the same as mine. I was just trying to say not to worry if your track plan seemed too busy. As long as the layout meets your personal primary needs, that is all that matters.

Hi Kevin,

I hope I haven't said anything to offend you. I'm definitely not worried if others see my track plan as being 'too busy'. I think that in that regard we think alike!

Thanks for your support!

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    March 2017
  • 7,154 posts
Posted by Track fiddler on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 8:46 AM

First of all I just like to say, I'm glad you're on the upswing, hopefully feeling better Dave.  And that it wasn't the covid.

 

Too busy of a layout.  I would have to agree with Kevin.  I don't think there's any such thing.  Again I will have to say it's like saying "I'm getting too much air" or "I have too much money"Laugh  If you're layouts busy, you always have plenty to do to have fun and that's a good thing.

Don't fret about taking too much time on your track plans Dave.  That is a good thing as well, to make sure everything is right and to your liking before you proceed.  I took almost two years on my 1:1 layout plan a little bit every evening until I was happy with it.  I bet you get yours done a little quickerSmile, Wink & Grin

The DC, DCC situation with your mix of locomotives I can certainly understand.  I shouldn't even be putting my two cents in because I do not understand alot about DCC.  That's why I never join into those threads.

I would like to point out MRC has a new power pack that might work for your situation though.  The MRC Tech 6, I've really been looking into.  It will operate DC locomotives and sound if they have it or added.  It will also operate DCC with a flip of the switch.  You can get a corded add-on Transformer and be able to run two different locamotives at the same time as long as you have them on separate blocks.  The only danger of this Transformer is if you have a DCC on the DC track mode block, it can fry your engine if left unnoticed too long.  So you really have to be careful what you're doing.

 

I always enjoy your thread here.  Looking good with a nice clean slate to work on DaveYes  

 

 

 

TF

 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,508 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 9:54 AM

hon30critter
Can I run a short wheelbase 2 axle trolley on 6 1/2" radius?

I found some HO scale trolley track at Proto:87. Their tightest radius is 8" so I'm going to see if I can make that fit.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,508 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 9:56 AM

Track fiddler
I always enjoy your thread here.  Looking good with a nice clean slate to work on Dave

Thanks TF.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

Subscriber & Member Login

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

Users Online

There are no community member online

Search the Community

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