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Author Topic: maximizing staging in a small space  (Read 13134 times)
uncbob

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« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2010, 08:32:05 AM »

I used to have two side tracks with engines and 6 or 7 cars and would swap them out with the 2 running on the mains
Threw the switches by hand and had power switches set up to each track etc etc

After a couple of times the novelty ran out and I just went back to just running  the 2 on the main round and round
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buzz

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« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2010, 07:55:18 AM »

Hi uncbob
Me I like to have the options of roundy roundy type running and the possibility of some sort of playing trains OOP'S I mean operating
trains  Grin
Somebody asked analogue or DCC layout well all of my loco's are various
states of old technology so its straight DC with the odd set up of a 1960's
transformer controller and modern electronic controller set up for easy change over.
Have the interesting situation where some trains will only run reliably on the 1960's controller don't know why
regards John
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uncbob

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« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2010, 08:21:47 AM »

I run DC with 2 MRC Sound and Power supplies
The engines that I have that are DC/DCC have the plugs in them that set them up straight DC
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OldTimer


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« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2010, 01:11:34 PM »

uncbob,

In the course of a day's events at some location along a railroad, a station for example, trains come and go in the normal execution of their duties.  Railroads do not just run trains becuase they can.  Each train serves some sort of function in the grand scheme of things.  Staging allows those who care to try to model the activities of a railroad, not just train movement,  to have several trains arrive from someplace "off the layout," do their work, and then depart to someplace "off the layout."  Staging areas can be hidden or visable.  Each option has its pros and cons.

Don't dismiss "operating" your railroad until you've tried.  I can think of nothing that can reinvigorate our interest in the hobby more.  But, as always, to each his own.
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buzz

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« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2010, 07:49:49 AM »

Hi guys
Just an update of whats happened with this one.
Well using a Hornby planning aid 1/4 scale molded track bits that go together like a jigsaw puzzle.
Note these pieces match the geometry I will be using.
The main oval is squarish with a passing track and a dead end for a terminating rail car or push pull service on the left Side of the board.
On the far right is a small loco facility a one track loco shed and coal siding for loco coal hope the fireman has his PhD in shovel tech he's going to need it Shocked.
At the back I have two dead end staging tracks plus the main line
center front heading in wards is one siding hope to fit in two
but the puzzle bits have a representation of a point motor on the side
which prevents it being put in the right place.
I will be using under table machines so hope the two will fit.
Not bad for HO scale on a 4"6" square board.
Yes trains will be very short but you cant have everything in that small space.
The moment of truth will be in two weeks when work allows me to finish the table and start laying track the plan is good till at least then.
Any bright ideas for mini scenes and other things would be appreciated
regards John
« Last Edit: June 26, 2010, 07:53:12 AM by buzz » Logged

A model railway can be completed but its never finished
CNE Runner


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« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2010, 11:07:22 AM »

John - Building mini layouts I run into space issues all the time. Those of us that model, in the genre, have many tricks 'up our sleeves' ranging from sector plates to transversers (transfer tables). Which one would work well is a function of the purpose and your skill level. Some definitions:

Sector table = a piece of [usually] straight track, mounted on a board, that is hinged (pinned) towards the middle. Can be any length. The sector table (and the sector plate that follows) can be aligned with just about any number of sidings - based upon available space. A sector table can be long enough to hold an engine and several cars. These are usually hidden behind a structure, or scenery element, and are hand operated.

Sector plate - similar to the sector table except it is 'hinged' (pinned) towards one end and is usually (although not always) shorter than the sector table. Again, the number of sidings serviced is limited by the arc, and space, available. As with the sector table, these devices are usually hidden behind/within a structure or scenery element. Sector plates are also hand operated.

Transversers/transfer tables in the U.S. = These are carefully constructed 'tables' having one or more tracks that slide back and forth - connecting with sidings (the number of sidings serviced is limited by the travel the table is allowed to have). These are difficult to make and require very careful measuring and assembly. If you possess a low frustration threshold, yet have lots of money, Walthers sells a rather nice (albeit short) transfer table unit that is ready-to-run.

I urge you to research the topic on Carl Arendt's website (www.carendt.com for better descriptions, construction techniques, and images.

Ray

PS: I see this is the second time I have recommended Carl's website to you...lots of information there.
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Doneldon

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« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2010, 03:57:56 PM »

John -

Another device for staging is a "vertical switch."  This is a stack of staging tracks which move up and down like an elevator, allowing each track access to track which leads onto the layout.  They are especially useful and out of the way if they are constructed on a wall.  The basic idea is that the staging tracks, say six of them three feet long, are mounted on boards (no need for roadbed or scenery) and the whole thing is assembled into one unit.  Then the unit is made to slide up and down, allowing each staging track to put a train onto the layout or take one off.  Some people use drawer slides which you can find at a home center or hardware store to simplify and improve the construction and motion.

As for scenes, the possibilities are endless.  You could put a large mountain, city or industry in the middle with train operations surrounding it.  If you choose a mountain, it would be plenty big enough for mining or timber operations, perhaps with switchbacks rather than continuous runs.  Or some of each.  This sort of thing would be ideal for narrow gauge railroading, with the ore and timber delivered to a full gauge railroad which could then deliver these raw products to industries on the rest of the layout.  Or you could have a center industry which would be the focus of the layout with much internal switching and so forth.  Too, the mountain could be built mainly as backdrops so it can serve as scene dividers as needed, with tunnels allowing movement between scenes.  You could easily construct empties in / loads out industries with access to the center from various points on the perimeter. 

I would strongly suggest that you use 24" radius curves so your trains will look and run better.  These broad curves will leave large open corners which could be mountainous (not all four, probably), or industries, again with the possibility of empties in / loads out operation.  This won't give you any long straightaways but that's hard to do on a small square layout. 

However, there is a way to fudge this problem.  Instead of a rounded circle at the perimeter, build a rounded triangle.  This means you would connect two opposite corners with a track which cuts across the more-or-less middle of the layout.  You'd gain a straight section a few feet long and still have all of the possibilities outlined above.  The corner which is outside of the triangle would be especially well suited to a yard parallelling the long track across the middle.  You could use the entire outside part for a yard and engine terminal, plus a few industries, with a city or mountains as a backdrop.  It could be a smashing layout.

The last thing which comes to mind is an ogee track connecting two corners of the layout.  This would allow you to reverse train direction but it might make dealing with the rest of the large center space a bit complicated.
                                                                               -- D
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buzz

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« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2010, 12:54:06 AM »

Hi guys
what is an ogee track ??
The micro layout site mentioned a couple of times is what keeps me plugging away at this.
So far I have doubled the hidden storage/ staging I thought I would get,
and found a way to get another shunting operation IE loco coal.
I don't know how UK radius compare to the US but lets just say I have been around long enough to avoid first radius the min radius is second with third for the run around.
The steam power for the layout is an 0-6-0 tender loco for now freight
stock is from the Thunder Bolt Set a bobber caboose will eventually replace the one in the set.
passenger stock is a bit of a problem while I have a cab commuter car
It may be a bit long also I don't really know what loco should be with it.
No one seems to do short passenger cars any more other than old timers
which could be a bit of a problem.
regards John
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Doneldon

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« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2010, 01:10:42 AM »

John -

An ogee track is ess shaped, i.e., it first curves one way and then the other.  It would be needed if you want to be able to reverse travel on your layout.  Be sure to have a short straight section between the two curves (at least the length of the longest car you plan to put through the curves).

You should be able to find some short passenger equipment on ebay.  There's lots of heavyweight and streamlined cars, both plastic and brass.
                                                                                             -- D
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buzz

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« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2010, 07:06:48 AM »

Hi Doneldon
So if I understand this correctly your train would take a switch off the
continuous run.
Then run down an "S" shaped line cross another switch which
puts it back on the continuous run facing the reverse direction of travel.
And thats an "Ogee" track??
If thats the correct interpretation I know just where I can use one of those,
but the train room has to be finished first.
I assume it would be wired like a balloon loop??
Which has nothing to do with the layout being worked on now Sad Cry
regards John
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Doneldon

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« Reply #25 on: July 03, 2010, 03:20:48 AM »

buzz -

Yes, you have the idea clearly in mind and you are right that it would need to be wired like a balloon loop.  There are various ways to automate that process.  In DCC there are little black boxes (actually, they're neither black nor boxes but they are fairly small ) which can identify the short and change polarity so fast that everything continues to operate normally.  That's because train direction is controlled by the DCC board in the loco, not track polarity.  With non DCC layouts one can use track occupancy detectors to do the requisite switching of the next block after the loop so that operation is smooth, too, though the wiring is quite a bit more complicated.

A note regarding grass between the rails: You can have grass which is taller than the top of the rails as long as it isn't in large enough clumps that it causes your locos and rolling stock to trip over it.  Some folks put a stiff bristle between the rails of sloping spur and siding tracks to keep cars from rolling downhill into the adjacent track.  The idea is to have something stiff enough to keep a car from passing over it by gravity alone but soft enough that a car can be pulled or pushed over it intentionally.  The same principle would appply to grass in the track except it wouldn't even need to be stiff enough to stop a rolling car.

                                                                         -- D
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #26 on: July 03, 2010, 10:02:27 AM »

I don't know why I didn't suggest the way that I use for 'staging tracks' on the Monks' Island Railway...cassettes. Cassettes could, in theory, be constructed to almost any reasonable length and can be stacked for additional rolling stock storage.

Over the years I have seen some rather complicated cassette designs...too complicated for this runner. Jack Trollope (of Scotland) came up with a method wherein one joins 2 (or more) Peco Loco Lifts. There are numerous pages on Carl Arendt's website; but I thought this one shows the concept as it could apply to your layout:

I took an image from that web page to illustrate the concept. On the Monks' Island line I have two cassettes: the 'car ferry' is constructed of 1.3 cassettes (joined together as one unit), and the 'Sweet Haven' cassette is composed of 2 full length Loco Lifts joined. These really work well are are relatively easy to construct. Here is a layout idea:
I hope this give you another possible solution to your staging yard dilemma.

Regards,
Ray
« Last Edit: July 03, 2010, 05:47:19 PM by CNE Runner » Logged

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CNE Runner


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« Reply #27 on: July 03, 2010, 10:36:57 AM »

As an addendum to my previous post, I thought I would show you what my cassettes looked like. This is an image of a double cassette made from 2, joined, Peco Loco Lifts. As you can see it just barely holds 4-40' box cars.
In this next image, I have removed the cars so that the underlying cassette structure can be viewed. In theory, one could construct a cassette using 1, 2, 3, or 4 Peco Loco Lifts (Warning: these products are rather pricey in the U.S.).
Construction of these cassettes is straightforward and takes little time. They can be 'stacked' for storage purposes.

Ray
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buzz

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« Reply #28 on: July 03, 2010, 11:30:53 AM »

Hi CNE Runner
Now that is interesting will have to see what sort of prices they are in AUS.
The article you lead to on the micro layout site said they where expensive
in the UK the home of Peco.
But if it works well its worth it
Will have to get one and have a look at it, if nothing else one holds 2/3 of the usable US freight stock I have, and can swap locos around without damaging them thats got to be a good starting point.
regards John
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A model railway can be completed but its never finished
CNE Runner


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« Reply #29 on: July 03, 2010, 04:20:25 PM »

Hi John - I did some checking and the latest Walther's flyer has the Peco Loco Lifter retailing for $27.99 USD (+ shipping). I just ordered one from Amazon.com for a little over $23.00 USD with free shipping. When I said they were pricey; I meant that if you decided to make a double cassette you were going to spend at least $46.00 USD.

I can tell you that they work well and are easy to join. I glued some stripwood in the aluminum channels and then soldered some bare wire 'staples' from one section to the other. Somewhere on Carl Arendt's website, Jack Trollope gives some directions on how to construct a double cassette. If I can find the web page I will modify this post to include its URL. I read somewhere that the Peco Loco Lift costs 7 quid in the UK - perhaps Jonathan knows better than I.

Ray

John, I found the webpage (wonders of wonder) and it is:
« Last Edit: July 04, 2010, 09:57:56 AM by CNE Runner » Logged

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