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Author Topic: Starting to build 1st RR  (Read 8209 times)
Morgun 30

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« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2013, 09:32:23 PM »

Not to hi-jack my own thread, but Joe makes a great point. It seems like newbies, like me, often feel that because plywood is 4' x 8', we feel that we have to build a track that fits the table when 4' 6" X 8' 4" might give us a better lay-out. In my case, I'm still negotiating with the "property owner" for right of way Cheesy
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Doneldon

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« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2013, 10:48:06 PM »

Morg-

Negotiations with the general manager are the unseen and ugly underbelly of model railroading. All of us have, and will continue to have, discussions related to securing, maintaining and expanding our rights-of-way. We don't necessarily have a great deal of power in these negotiations so it's imperative to get the children involved in the hobby. This can go a very long way in the space allocation discussions.

That said, you have noticed a significant fact: Many new model rails do, in fact, start with a 4x8 because it seems like a natural thing to do and because there are so many published layouts that size. Of course, the main reason there are so many 4x8 layouts already is at least partly an artifact of that inclination to start with a layout that size.

This isn't all bad. The truth is, a 4x8 is easy to frame up, build trackage on and scenic in a way which is pleasant to look at and fun to operate. It's also true that starting with a small layout like a 4x8 helps to keep newbies from bailing out because the layout is small enough that the project isn't too intimidating. And, a 4x8 can have trains running soon enough to hold a modeler's interest which might well flag were s/he to be building a large layout which wouldn't be ready to run for many months or even longer.

Your post also seems to perceive some other things about 4x8s and that's very astute of you. A 4x8 is actually a rather poor use of space because it requires so much space all around for access to the layout. One can pack in a good deal more railroading by running the tracks around the room with access from the inside rather than the outside. A 4x8 requires a space of at least 8x12, allowing a minimum two feet all around the outside. An 8x12 room with a 30" linear layout running around the outside offers about 80 square feet of layout space whereas the 4x8 sitting in the middle of the same room has just 32 square feet. All of those measurements ignore questions about access to the room, windows, doors and so on, but you get the idea.

Welcome to a great hobby with something new to do or learn all of the time. That's what has kept me in the hobby for nearly 60  years. Please keep us up to date on your progress.
                                                                                                                                                                                 -- D
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Morgun 30

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« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2014, 07:53:09 PM »

Maybe I finally got it to work, we'll see.


Ok, I did get it to work, so give me your constructive criticism please.

Did I create a loop and a short?
« Last Edit: January 18, 2014, 12:57:53 AM by Morgun 30 » Logged
Doneldon

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« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2014, 10:35:58 AM »

Morg-

I like it. It's good that you have two long sidings so you'll be able to run more than one train on your main. And one of the sidings can function as a great drill track for the right-end yard. That's a feature too often overlooked on model pikes. I don't see any turn-back curves. Your S-curves appear to have adequate tangent track between them. I might add a spur on a corner or two and a second turntable feed so I'd have a ready track but you appear to have a layout which will be fun to operate and pleasant to watch.

The only change I would consider is not having all of your tracks parallel to the edges of the layout. That's a bit of an appearance problem that actually seems to make a layout appear smaller, and it's at its worst on the long straightaway at the front of the longer leg. If you don't plan to put spurs or scenery in that space, run the main at an angle to the front edge. That will improve appearance generally, while making your main look more functionally separated from the siding and terminal tracks above.

All-in-all, it looks great. When do you begin track laying?
                                                                                        -- D
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Joe Satnik


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« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2014, 02:16:35 PM »

Dear Morgun,

The design looks very nice, perhaps even 'elegant', if that is possible.    

What is your minimum radius, and your minimum turnout number?

The only "gitcha" that I can see is arm length reach / access.  

The rule of thumb is no track further than 24" to 30" away from an edge where someone could stand.    

If your layout was mounted permanently to the walls,

you would need to crawl under the layout and pop-up through an access hole (with lid)

cut in the bench top near the hard to reach portions of your layout.  

You might have to move track to avoid having it run over a lid.  

As you age, the bench top seems to get lower and harder to get under, even though you are not necessarily getting taller.

If the layout is small enough (compared to the room), you could put it on large caster wheels and roll it away from the wall(s) to get far side access.

Hope this helps.  

Sincerely,

Joe Satnik

Edit: grammar   

 
« Last Edit: January 18, 2014, 07:53:00 PM by Joe Satnik » Logged

If your loco is too heavy to lift, you'd better be able to ride in, on or behind it.
Morgun 30

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« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2014, 05:41:54 PM »

Don and Joe, Thanks for the advise. I'd rather have the problems spotted and fixed (as much as possible) before instead of after it is set up.

I do appreciate all suggestions, and may send each of you a pm for more info on your ideas.

The min. radius is 18" and the turn outs are #'s 4,5, and 6.

As it stands right now, 3 sides butt up against a wall. Yes, I am very aware of the problem with reach and could end up making big changes to the design.

We are remodeling the basement, and while my design is based on the space the wife has allocated me, I may gain or lose space once we finish the remodel. On the plus side, she has a lot of junk, er, ah, I mean valuable items, that she will story under the table, and she is not an unreasonable person. If fact, she was going to surprise me with a DCC system, but didn't know what to get. So, depending on how much money we had left in the budget, I might just get DCC and a loco or two.

Morgun
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Doneldon

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« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2014, 06:26:08 PM »

We are remodeling the basement, and while my design is based on the space the wife has allocated me On the plus side, she has a lot of junk, er, ah, I mean valuable items, that she will story under the table.

Morg-

How well I understand. I, too, had to get an easement for my right-of-way, and I have junk while she has stuff.

                                                                                                                                                 -- D
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Morgun 30

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« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2014, 04:03:41 PM »

Here's a couple donut designs I'm working on to fix the reach problem. As always, comments welcomed.

« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 08:26:24 PM by Morgun 30 » Logged
Joe Satnik


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« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2014, 10:07:27 PM »

Dear Morgun,

Looks great. 

Add some facing point and trailing point spurs for operations,

and you'll be ready to go. 

Joe
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If your loco is too heavy to lift, you'd better be able to ride in, on or behind it.
Doneldon

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« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2014, 01:15:06 AM »

Morg-

That looks pretty good to me. I like twice-around plans.

Most layouts have problems with corners. There's only so much you can do with them. But you always have to either scenic them or build a curving backdrop. If you can work out the access, corners can be good spots for industries, interchange tracks or other justifications for the railroad's existence. They can also be a great place to tuck in a roundhouse. Doing so with your plan would save a lot of prime space along the aisle.
                                                                                                                                                                                 -- D
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jward


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« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2014, 08:35:29 AM »

just one small suggestion.     I would try to break up the long straight sections with a curve. try angling them in from the ends with a slight bend in the middle. this would be a great use for the larger radius ez track sections.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Joe Satnik


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« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2014, 09:27:57 AM »

Dear Morgun,

Just thought of a few more things.

I see that you are using crossovers. 

That pretty much restricts you to DCC unless you modify the crossovers

(cut rails and foils) to isolate their 2 main lines for DC-Block operation.


It helps that the curves (including the diverging routes of turnouts) on any loop or

closed section of track add up to as close to 360 degrees as possible.

Clockwise around a loop, right turns would add degrees, left turns would subtract.

The middle loop of the upper layout has me wondering....

A simple way to check is to temporarily delete a straight or small straight fitter

anywhere on the loop, then click on each disconnected end

to measure its angle. 

Ideally the two angles should be exactly 180 degrees apart. 

Hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Joe Satnik

 

 
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If your loco is too heavy to lift, you'd better be able to ride in, on or behind it.
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