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Author Topic: Excellent Small Layout Websites  (Read 6860 times)
CNE Runner


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« on: May 17, 2009, 11:31:22 AM »

I am always on the lookout for good reference sources on small, shelf type layouts and their operation. Thanks to CUrob on another thread, I was exposed to this site
and was completely "taken in" by the creativity and information that is available. If you are at all interested in smaller layouts, you have to visit this website. For those of you who are consummate armchair modelers (because of expense or space) there are no longer any excuses to avoid planning and laying track.

Shunting (or switching in the U.S.) puzzles absolutely fascinate me and have been instrumental in keeping my interest high. Previously I had only known of this excellent English website:
...and have used it as inspiration for my current Newburgh, Dutchess & Connecticut RR layout.

The amount of assistance and information this forum provides never ceases to amaze me.

Thanks all,
Ray
« Last Edit: July 12, 2009, 05:56:41 PM by CNE Runner » Logged

"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
jettrainfan

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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2009, 07:43:32 PM »

That was a great place! Smiley I love switching and planning on building a switching layout in the attic(time and money). This was interesting all the way! Grin Happy you shared this! Grin Grin Grin
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZL7jR1cRb4             

This is how i got my name and i hope that you guys like it.

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pdlethbridge
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2009, 12:44:03 PM »

T gauge  1/450 Boy that is tiny.
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2009, 01:24:56 PM »

Hello again all you switching enthusiasts. I found another website that has all you need to know about another switching puzzle. I am contemplating building this one for the motor home (it would probably be in sections). Warning: most of the rest of this website is in German...the page section below is not however.


I still spend a considerable amount of time looking at the original website featured in my first post. If you know of any other small layout websites, please add them to this thread.

Enjoy,
Ray
« Last Edit: July 06, 2009, 05:11:36 PM by CNE Runner » Logged

"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
CNE Runner


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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2009, 05:48:59 PM »

I found another nice layout utilizing the Inglenook design. Check it out at:


This one just might solve my quest for a simple switching puzzle (an oxymoron if there ever was one) that would be set up and used in our motor home. I think the use of EZ track and turnouts would make this extremely easy to set up and maintain.

Enjoy,
Ray

PS: Try to figure out the included switching problem (on the website above) without looking at the solution...remember time and number of moves count.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2009, 05:58:45 PM by CNE Runner » Logged

"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
CNE Runner


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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2009, 10:34:32 AM »

After looking over this old thread, I thought it appropriate to update you on the Inglenook Switching puzzle mentioned in the post above. I did build the puzzle (with Bachmann EZ-track), and operated it with an assortment of 40' cars (all different colors) using my Mantua 0-6-0T tank engine as motive power. After displaying the 'layout' at a workshop on puzzles - held at our local Senior Center; I donated it to our local youth group home. The kids really love it!

My next endeavor will be to build a 're-engineered' copy of Monk's Island Brewery (which we will rename The Flatulent Frog Brewery). The track plan is here:


When I say 're-engineered' I mean modified to fit Peco track components. Should you be interested in any of the layouts Carl Arendt includes on his website, be advised these are usually not drawn to scale. I use AnyRail to modify the plan - such that it uses Peco (or any of the other track manufacturers in the Track Library). I was able to keep the layout dimensions the same AND preserve the complex track geometry. In lieu of a Trackmobile (I have one; but it is DCC), I will seek out someone to re-motor/regear my 0-6-0T and use it for motive power.

At approximately 4' long and 10" wide [1400 x 265mm], the layout will slide under the couch of our motor home - to be pulled out (and used on the floor, dash top, or picnic table) for operation. The cost is nominal and I figure $220. for Peco Code 75 turnouts/crossing...I already have the required 7.4m of Peco flextrack on hand.

'Thought you'd be interested,
Ray
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pdlethbridge
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2009, 02:42:12 PM »

I hope they don't get wind of the name change! Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked
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renniks


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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2009, 11:07:20 AM »

Rather than updating your Mantua, look out for the old version of the Bachmann HO Spectrum 0-6-0T (not the standard with tender). Has extra gearing and is a great switcher (and for On30 bash). The new version is due later with DCC.

Eric Uk
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2009, 02:55:48 PM »

Hi Eric...it is nice to hear from you again. I think that Mantua 0-6-0T is going to take more to fix than it is worth. In the meantime, I purchased a new Mantua 0-6-0T on eBay that is DCC ready (if this one 'growls' it will be sent back for a refund). I will definitely be on the lookout for the Bachmann Spectrum 0-6-0T...hmmm, 'might even be interested in a DCC-equipped version...now if I could only install sound...

I have just about completed a 1:1 copy of the Monk's Island Brewery (which as you know I have renamed) - using Peco Code 75 track components. Carl Arendt emailed to inform me that the original layout was constructed entirely of handlaid track and wished me luck with that one double-slip turnout (not a problem as I will be using a Peco unit). When I actually get some real progress, I will take pictures.

Ray
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BestSnowman


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« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2009, 09:12:53 PM »

I've recently been looking through some of your links and am thinking I might start planning a switching puzzle in N scale. I'm likely to get a promotion next spring (when I finally graduate from college, no I won't be a doctor but will probably have spent more time in school than one) that will prompt a move. Since we will likely end up in a transition rental unit to save up for a house purchase I probably won't have my room for my HO layout.

Fortunately for me Ray posted some great links on small layouts. Fortunately I was able to convince my wife that a small would be a great way to stay interested while my HO layout was in storage.

I'm thinking of doing an Inglenook/Timesaver (Inglesaver if you will) combination like the one here: http://www.wymann.info/ShuntingPuzzles/Timesaver/timesaver-layouts.html and creating an ethanol or agricultural layout.
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-Matthew Newman
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2009, 08:11:11 PM »

Bestsnowman - First of all good luck during your last year of studies...graduation, and the big world, are just around the corner.

I am glad to see that yet another micro/small layout affectionado has emerged. Like you, I had very little space to construct a larger train layout - and had almost given up on ever having anything on which to run trains. Along came Carl Arendt and his wonderful website...the rest is history!

The Inglenook Puzzle can be constructed as a standalone project - or as part of a much larger layout. The basic design parameters remain the same: head track capacity of 1 motive unit + 3 freight (or passenger) cars, 3 sidings having capacities of: 3, 3, and 5 cars respectively (no motive power). How the sidings are arranged is entirely up to you. The puzzle I donated to our local youth group had the head track running directly into a siding (3 cars). I then had one 3-car siding on the left and a 5-car siding on the right. Again, the actual layout of track is up to you...just keep the capacities correct. I found a really neat 'car scrambler' at: http://www.geocities.com/mark_the_train_brain/other.htm which will take the 8 required cars and produce differing switch lists. It is free and takes some of the tedious work out of the puzzle.

My efforts, on the Monk's Island Brewery (my wife made me change my proposed name), has gone through the computer planning stage, the 1:1 cardboard/track template mock up stage, and the benchwork construction stage. Now I have to order the required Peco fittings and see if the mock up works with the real thing (I'm sure there will be some 'tweaking' required).

Keep in mind that micro/small railroading can be as fun and whimsical as you wish (I mean, come on, a layout in a pizza box?). Perhaps I can get a couple of pictures of the Monk's Island Brewery progress on a different thread...'will do so when I have some time to spare.

Anyway, good luck. Micro layouts are definitely the answer to the guy who says; "I don't have the space for model trains." The Monk's Island measures 5' 2" x 11" and will fit under a bed or couch (or the couch in a motor home...hee, hee). Let us know how you make out.

Ray
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BestSnowman


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« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2009, 07:39:09 PM »

Bestsnowman - First of all good luck during your last year of studies...graduation, and the big world, are just around the corner.

As luck would have it I had a talk with my boss last week and they are starting to get concerned that the hiring freeze might last into next summer or later (I'm an intern so they would be hiring me as a new graduate). Hopefully that turns around so I can get to work on this layout.

I'm still figuring out the track layout but am having to keep myself from going too big. I also am bidding on an N-Scale switcher so I guess if I win that I'm definitely dedicated to seeing it through.
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-Matthew Newman
My Layout Blog
CNE Runner


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« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2009, 11:11:13 AM »

Ah...the eyes of youth. You get a bigger 'bang for the space' with N-scale - IF you can see it! I once had an N-gauge set that was little more than toy quality...the scale has gone light years ahead since then and features virtually all the variety of HO. My problem is that I just don't have the visual acuity to work in that scale. Many of the micro layout designers are starting to produce layouts in N. Frankly, if I didn't have so much invested in my HO collection; I probably would be attracted to N-scale.

I hope things work out for you 'jobwise' and you are able to put some discretionary funds toward your hobby (all work and no play...).

Ray
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BestSnowman


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« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2009, 07:01:33 PM »

IF you can see it[!quote]

I have a plan for that already, my three year old is already pretty good with HO re-railer. I figure if I have any troubles he should be able to get the hang of N-scale with some practice

You get a bigger 'bang for the space' with N-scale
Quote

This was the real reason I went with N-scale so it could be small enough for my wife to consider it small. I would't be able to get much of a switching layout with much of my HO stock.
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-Matthew Newman
My Layout Blog
CNE Runner


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« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2009, 02:12:53 PM »

I was perusing some of the older scrapbook articles on Carl Arendt's website and came across this interesting plan (the one I am referring to is the last article):


I liked the fact that the trackwork didn't clog up the scenery (like my own Monk's Island Brewery), and that this could easily become part of a larger layout in the future. Honestly, I haven't viewed all of the scrapbook articles on Carl's site - so there may be even better choices for your needs.

Carl's book "Carl Arendt's Small Layout Scrapbook" is a compilation of several articles from the website and is a must have resource - should you decided to pursue the micro/small layout route.

Ray
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