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Building A Layout With My Boy

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Posted by kasskaboose on Thursday, November 25, 2021 2:02 PM

Happy T-day all!

Yes, avoid gluing track until you know all works and no derailment.  I waited months after laying and running to even do ballasting.  Of course I'll glue that down in a bit.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, November 22, 2021 10:01 AM

Is your kid still interested in trains?

Laugh

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by 1971_Z28 on Saturday, November 20, 2021 9:44 AM

I think the bookcases are called a kallax or some name like that and they just look likke wood and have four openings in them for storage plus since they are thirty inches tall the height seemed right for my needs.

They look flimzy but in fact they have been very sturdy.

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Posted by jjdamnit on Thursday, October 28, 2021 12:55 PM

Hello All,

Thanks for the update.

Your situation sounds very familiar and many can relate to your seeming one-step-forward and two-steps-back "progress". 

As you are discovering, your first iteration of the actual track might need a bit of "tweaking"

On my pike I've done several re-routes to make the track as reliable as possible. This is especially true when building with smaller pikes.

If you need to temporarily adhere the track to the base I recommend Clear Silicone Caulk- -I use GE Clear Silicone Caulk either I or II. You will need a caulk gun for application.

The advantage of silicone caulk is the track can be easily removed without damaging the base. Just slide a putty knife under the track and gently wiggle it back and forth.

Look on the bright side, you are getting lots of practice with scenery!Wink

I am really interested in the Ikea piece you used. Do you have any more information; part number, name? I realize posting photos can be an ordeal.

Again, thanks for the update and keep up the fun!

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by 1971_Z28 on Thursday, October 28, 2021 12:08 PM

So we should not glue the track down so fast because we keep making little changes to make the train set up more fun to run.

We added a run by track in the middle where we can park a train and let another train run by and that little feature has done quite a bit for us and we also needed to add more end of run tracks because I bought more trains.

We are only adding scenery at about the same rate that we tear it out to make changes so that is like treading water and it is not getting done.

The ikea bookcases are still working out just fine.

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Posted by 1971_Z28 on Friday, October 15, 2021 1:40 PM

I used the ikea bookcases because they were inexpensive and the rioght hieght and they would do the job without me buying any more tools that I would only use one time.

They are about 11 inches deep and about 37 inches tall and look kind of like bare wood crates.

I piut them about 8 inches from the wall and the foam overhangs about 8 inches off the front and I spaced them 18 to 24 inches apart and nothing is glued to them.

So far so good.

We are taking out the Backman track and replacing it with Kato track which looks a whole lot better but some scenerey will need to be moved but nothing too serious.

The boy is learning a lot about basic electricity as we add features and things to the setup which is a surprising bonus so I hope he will be able to apply what he has learned if he ever needs to troubleshoot the electrical systems in his car.

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Posted by jjdamnit on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 10:49 AM

Hello All,

kasskaboose
Interesting about using the Ikea bookcases.

I was thinking the same thing.

1971_Z28 could you give a part number or link to what you used?

My pike sits on the bed in the computer/train/spare bedroom. Bookcases might be just the ticket for my situation too.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by kasskaboose on Monday, October 11, 2021 8:05 AM

Interesting about using the Ikea bookcases.  Did the cost of lumber move you in that direction?  It's probably faster than constructing the layout, but I think tables are sturdier than shelves.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, October 9, 2021 10:13 PM

What kind of repairs are your equipment needing? Are things broken, or are there parts missing?

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by 1971_Z28 on Friday, October 1, 2021 4:35 PM

The set up is coming along nicely now that we know better what we are doing.

The train run has had a couple of extra tracks added on to each end so that we can run more trains before we need to swap the cabooses and engines around for the trip back to where they started.

Everything is running really good and a few of the train cars have been fixed but there are still a lot of pieces that need to have some work done but we have more than enough to have a good time.

Buildings and bridges are being added and more and more grass is glued down and overall I am very surprised how fast it is all moving along.

The ikea bookcases havbe turned out to be a really good way to hold it together without needing to do any carpentry and they also seem to be more than sturdy enough to last a few years.

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Posted by kasskaboose on Sunday, September 26, 2021 9:26 PM

Any updates?

One of my kids loves working on the wiring.  Can't tell if I have an EE in the making?  His brother just enjoys running trains.  What fun to have them together.

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Posted by jjdamnit on Friday, September 24, 2021 7:09 PM

Hello All,

How's the pike progressing?

Any new structures from your son?

Hopefully, both of you are able to run trains together.

An old term for having to manipulate locomotives, and cars- -with your hand(s) is the "0-5-0 Switcher."

We have all used this method at some point. Don't ask me how I know...

If you have a point-to-point (back-and-fourth) pike consider running trains with single motive power at each end, so you don't have to turn the locos.

Think "Push-Me-Pull-You" arrangement.

Switching duties in each yard could be done by smaller units, adding to the interest.

A parallel track could be built as a "super siding" long enough to hold the longest drag between yards.

So glad to hear you and your son are having a great shared experience.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by 1971_Z28 on Friday, September 24, 2021 5:03 PM

Mike please do not respond to my threads because it did not take me long to see that you like arguments and cause threads to turn to garbage or stop and I do not want that happening to my questions.

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Friday, September 17, 2021 8:17 AM

Congratulations on getting up and running with your new point to point layout.

If you have room it is a fairly easy step to add a return loop of track to each end to create a continuous running option. If you do add return loops at each end I recommend you run double track between the loops to begin with so as to avoid having to wire reversing sections right away. You can always add reversing sections later. Layouts without reversing sections are just easier to wire and to run. 

Besides, running the connecting routes beside each other creates a nice twin track appearance. It's fun to watch model trains hurtle past each other just like real ones do.  Real railroads use their twin tracks in opposite directions, not using reversing loops.....

Alyth Yard

Canada

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, September 16, 2021 11:15 PM

jjdamnit
I learned years ago, there is no such thing as fool-"proof" it's just fool-"resistant"!

If you think something is "fool-proof", just hand it over to me. I will show you any which way this fool can mess it up!

For a while at work it was common to hear people say something like "this is so basic and simple even Kevin could not mess it up". Usually they were wrong.

Laugh

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by kasskaboose on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 7:30 PM

Might I suggest that you get some books to broaden and deepen your knowledge of this hobby? 

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Posted by jjdamnit on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 6:50 PM

Hello All,

1971_Z28
Trains are running back and forth because when they get to the end of the layout one of use has to reverse to engine and caboose for the trip back to the beginning of the route.

Thank you for the update!

1971_Z28
My boy has built a half dozen or so building kits for the scenery...

FANTASTIC!!!

Sorry for the arrogance.

Keep the questions coming.

Hope this helps.

Post Script:

1971_Z28
Whoever said the Backman track was foolproof must have never used the stuff...

I learned years ago, there is no such thing as fool-"proof" it's just fool-"resistant"! (Not in any way calling you a fool.)
J.J.D.I.- -H.T.H.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by 1971_Z28 on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 12:35 PM

JJdamnit thank you for being so kind with your offer I was beginning to notice there is not to much kindness in this group because some of you guys sure do like to argue about things to be smart.

I don't need another power pack because all electrical problems have been solved and I do know how to use a meter with the best of them.

There have been some changes in plans and a lot of progress to talk about since last update that I made because I went to Ikea at Millennia and bought a bunch of bookcases to build the train set on top of.

Whoever said the Backman track was foolproof must have never used the stuff and should not have made the comment because the stuff is easy to put together wrong where the plastic clips go in but the metal clips to not and this is what was causing my problem because the stuff is not that easy to put together and you need to pay close attention or maybe he was calling me a fool.

I am buidling the layout in an L shape along two walls about 25 feet total length on foam about two inches thick glued together so I did not need to buy any new power tools for this.

We have got a lot done because the Ikea bookcases went together fast and the foam is easy to work with and plenty strong but not strong enough to walk on.

All my engines are running good and except for some knuckle repairs the train cars are all good too.

My boy has built a half dozen or so building kits for the scenery and everything has been painted green with some gray roads and a few trees have been added as well to the scenery.

Trains are running back and forth because when they get to the end of the layout one of use has to reverse to engine and caboose for the trip back to the beginning of the route.

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Posted by NittanyLion on Monday, September 13, 2021 7:07 PM

riogrande5761
Apparently lumber prices have dropped a good deal.  Take a look for yourself.

When I did the budget for my basement reno in March, studs were $7.77.  I can only fit about 16 2x4s in the car per trip, so I've been buying batches and slowly building out the walls.  They peaked at $8.97 in July (I have the receipts to reference).

They were $2.97 on Sunday when I made another stud-run.

Plywood is still pretty pricey, but dimensional lumber has plunged.

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Posted by ricktrains4824 on Monday, September 13, 2021 5:20 PM

If you are not using any tortoise switch machines under the layout, a sheet of 2" foam "insulation" board, pink or blue, with a support structure underneath.

I did a 4x4 test section, shelf brackets along the wall edge, on 16" centers, with a small bookcase supporting the other side, using 1x4 to span underneath, no issues the 5 years it was up alongside the standard 4x8 plywood style layout with foam board for scenery base.

If you plan on under-layout style turnout motors, operational grade crossing signals, or operating trackside signals, then I have not found a better alternative than plywood with said support structure. 

Foam board will help with lightweight scenery either way you go. 

Ricky W.

HO scale Proto-freelancer.

My Railroad rules:

1: It's my railroad, my rules.

2: It's for having fun and enjoyment.

3: Any objections, consult above rules.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, September 13, 2021 6:08 AM

NorthBrit
'Passengers on the train'.

What's this, a shot from "Mission Impossible: Cursed Child" just after they put the Minimis curse on Tom Cruise as they were pulling out of 7¾?

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Posted by jjdamnit on Saturday, September 11, 2021 1:40 PM

Hello All,

From your previous thread that was closed "So good news my toy trains aren't junk."

Did you determine if your power pack (cab) was indeed faulty?

If the cab is faulty I can donate one to your cause.

The PM function is not working but if you message me your email address I will respond.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Monday, August 23, 2021 9:45 AM

Modelling a passenger train on the Indian subcontinent?

Alyth Yard

Canada

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Posted by NorthBrit on Monday, August 23, 2021 5:46 AM

The Milwaukee Road Warrior
 

Wow, great pics.  You can see the wonder in their eyes.  Love it.

 

 
 
Thanks, Andy.  I just take a 'back seat' and let them run trains as they like.
 
 
The reason my elder granddaughter was laughing.
 
 
'Passengers on the train'.
 
 
 
They made a couple of circuits before I found out.   I hope none fell off.
 
 
David

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

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Posted by The Milwaukee Road Warrior on Saturday, August 21, 2021 8:08 AM

NorthBrit

Hi 1971_Z28   Welcome

It is great fun building a railroad wth children in mind.

Just my  My 2 Cents

Have fun building it.

Be able  to operate the railroad by one person  (as well as total number of operators).   Most times only one operator will be available.  

If anything  (scenery) gets broken  (because it will) do not worry.

Let your lad have a free reign when he operates the railroad.  He will appreciate it more.

 

I let my grandchildren 'loose'.   They come back.  Laugh

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the journey

 

David

 

Wow, great pics.  You can see the wonder in their eyes.  Love it.

Andy

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Milwaukee native modeling the Milwaukee Road in 1950's Milwaukee.

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Posted by Harrison on Saturday, August 21, 2021 7:04 AM

Sounds like a fun project. I'm only about 2 years older than your son, and I'd like to say, if he hasn't been interested in trains since a young child, perhaps it will become more than just a temporary thing. It's not often that a teenage boy (in my experience) will openly be interested or pursue "playing with trains". I still get weird looks from my "normal" friends, but they're generally pretty cool about it. 

If the layout will be temporary then a 4x8, probably with a foam top is the way to go. You can carve landforms and build scenery right on the foam, and it's might lighter and easier to work with than plywood. I started with plywood (at around 9 years old), and that was a driving factor to rebuild the whole thing this past year.

Best wishes on your project, and who knows? Maybe your son will turn out like me- I love my trains more than any girl... LaughSmile, Wink & Grin

Harrison

Homeschooler living In upstate NY a.k.a Northern NY.

Modeling the D&H in 1978.

Route of the famous "Montreal Limited"

My YouTube

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Posted by NorthBrit on Saturday, August 21, 2021 6:18 AM

Hi 1971_Z28   Welcome

It is great fun building a railroad wth children in mind.

Just my  My 2 Cents

Have fun building it.

Be able  to operate the railroad by one person  (as well as total number of operators).   Most times only one operator will be available.  

If anything  (scenery) gets broken  (because it will) do not worry.

Let your lad have a free reign when he operates the railroad.  He will appreciate it more.

 

I let my grandchildren 'loose'.   They come back.  Laugh

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the journey

 

David

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

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Posted by 1971_Z28 on Thursday, August 19, 2021 12:56 PM

The kid is 14 and has just started his high school.

I just want the old trains to be a temporary thing because he will not hold interest long.

I bought him as hamster motored corvette for his 12 birthday snd thought we would spend a few years fixing it up but we got it done fast and cheeper than planned.

I want to have the trains be a craft project we can work on before he moves on.

It sounds like lumber is the way to go.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, August 19, 2021 12:05 PM

jjdamnit
Unfortunately/fortunately wood is the simplest material to work with when constructing a pike (layout). At the current prices, it might be cost-prohibitive at this time.

I was reading that lumber prices have dropped in the past month and thought I'd check as an example, a 4x8 sheet of 7/16 OSB.  It was priced around $45 last time I checked some weeks back.  Today I checked and it was $14 and change.  Apparently lumber prices have dropped a good deal.  Take a look for yourself.

I prefer wood myself and I've been holding off on buying some additional needed OSB but it looks like prices has dropped a lot and are much closer to pre pandemic prices.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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