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Author Topic: EZ Track layout and expansion, opinions wanted  (Read 19092 times)
janedoedad


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« on: February 03, 2014, 12:35:56 AM »

Hello All,

A couple months back, JWARD was kind enough to make for me an ANYRAIL file for "The Railroad That Grows" using EZ Track.  I put the layout together and came to the conclusion that I wanted something different.

Expanded the table to a 5 X 9 and came up with the layouts below. Layouts were created using SCARM



This is the "Oscar Line" and exist in my mind only.  I expect to have steam and diesel on the route.  Geographically, it would be somewhere in the California Central Valley and Sierra Foothills.  There will be passenger service to at least two stations and freight service to a few businesses as well as a small yard.

The top layout is what is currently in place.  The lower layout with return loop and additional spurs is being considered.  Outer loop on both uses 22" curves.  

The outer loop spurs  the lower layout are just a thought - not sure about mixing Atlas and EZ track   Either layout gives me plenty of room for scenery and such.  Would like to know what you think is wrong, could be improved or what may be right about either of these.

Not quite ready to invest in DCC yet, so the Oscar line will be DC and blocks.

Thanks in Advance!

JDD

« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 12:38:49 AM by janedoedad » Logged

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Joe Satnik


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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2014, 02:25:56 AM »

Dear JDD,

Using a 5x9 opens up a lot more possibilities.

I like your use of symmetry in the middle of the upper layout.

Your lower layout has a turn around path that is shared by 2 turn around loops.

With DC-Block wiring, you will need to isolate both rails and have a polarity changing

switch for the turn around loops. 

There is a concern about train direction, though.   

If you are going Clock-Wise (CW), you can pull forward through either turn around loop,

which will then face your train CCW. 

Note that to turn around again, you will need to back your train through the turn around loop,

as there is no forward path to get you going in the original (CW) direction again.   

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.
Doneldon

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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2014, 02:33:05 PM »

JDD-

Wow! So many options and opportunities. You can really build yourself a first-class operation off of either of these starter set-ups.

The spurs on the outside of the lower layout are an excellent use of space. It's possible to run the track through a scene block there and suddenly find the train at a remote cattle pen, a mine or a suburban factory.

The spur between the loops of the lower layout is also a good idea. If you bend it back into the outer loop, it could serve as a passenger station track so you can keep the mainline free while passengers board and alight. You could build the station above the tracks, suggesting a larger, more important station and city. You can do the same thing if you extend the spur to the inner track. That way, the station could represent two stations, depending on which mainline feeds the train into the station.

Such a configuration can also be used for an empties in / loads out feature. That usually requires two tracks so the "loads" and "empties" can "pass" one another while concealed, but it also works if the "empties" are delivered to a sawmill, for example, and then pulled "after emptying" from, say, a furniture factory while the "loads" are in transit from the mill to the factory, and the "loads" are delivered to the factory and pulled from the sawmill while the "empties" are in transit from the factory to the sawmill. This can be a lot of fun for children, whose imagination's can easily make the jump, and for visitors who will be charmed by the operation even though they'll quickly realize that the two industries are connected inside the scenery. The only  real downside to a set-up like this is that it so often tempts visitors to comment on how "cute" your trains are. Many of us hate the term when it is applied to our models.

If you have turnouts in both loops leading to wye turnouts at the ends of the track between the loops, you can have a dandy through-running passenger station with three tracks, functional crossovers both ways, the option of removing the motive power from a train for replacement or service in the engine house before proceeding, and very handy run-around tracks.

I also like the possibility of having some elevation to the train's terrain (sorry 'bout that -- I just like the sound of it) either inside the loops, where it can be an effective view block, or outside where it can conceal the turn-back curves to some degree. You can use one of your empty corners for a nice, classic scene of track on a curved trestle with a mountain stream below. I'd probably put something like that on the upper-right-hand corner of either layout.

As Joe said, the one-way reverse loop has an issue by being one way only. Backing trains through curves and turnouts requires bullet-proof track work, broad curves, well-adjusted couplers mounted to the cars' bodies, quality trucks in spec, and a deft hand on the throttle. For me, it's not worth the hassle because I'd rather use the real estate for something else like a more extensive yard, an industry or two, or perhaps an engine shed (one or two stalls).

You could have a nice yard on the lower plan if you remove the reverse loop, place the turnout which leads to the yard as far to the right as possible, begin the yard ladder right away without curving it first, and cutting unneeded length off of the turnouts so the yard tracks are closer together. You would be able to add at least one more yard track, maybe two. You could put a switchback in the farthest track (or between any pair of tracks) for a lead to an engine house, industry, freight warehouse or team track. Moving the yard-entry turnout to the right would allow you to extend the length of the crossover between the loops, making it more useful as a runaround track.

If you put some elevation at the right of the lower layout, you can have partially concealed turn back curves, tunnels, the trestle and river scene and either direct or switchback service up to a mine or logging camp. You can put steep grades and a couple of hellish curves on such a section and have its use limited to a geared steamer and very short cars.

Well, I've probably confused you with my random and vague observations so I'd better quit before I get any farther behind. I will say, though, the I urge you to reconsider your decision to avoid DCC for the time being. A layout like this one could be a bit of work to wire for DC cab control. You can easily have four locomotives running at a time, even five, and that would be the devil's own work with DC and blocks.

Please let us know what you finally come up with.
                                                                               -- D
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janedoedad


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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2014, 12:40:34 AM »

Joe and Doneldon,

Thanks much for your replies. I appreciate and value your input. 

The reverse loop will go away, the thought was a train on each line running in opposite directions from any starting point. Isolation and wiring will achieve the same end. 

I should have mentioned that elevation to the train's terrain Cool are planned for the Oscar Line.   The outer loop (right side) will rise about 3" heading up into the foothills.  Some of the features Doneldon mentioned are in the works.   Grin  The inner loop will have smaller elevation changes to make a more visually interesting layout. 

Will likely keep the inner loop close to what in on the top layout.  Going to experiment with moving the runaround and yard spacing.    The idea of shortening the turnouts is a little scary, those things are not cheap.



DCC is definitely going to happen, just have to wait for the train fund to build back up. 

I

Thanks again for your time and assistance!  May have Oscar Line, Version 2.5 posted in a day or two.

JDD




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Doneldon

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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2014, 01:09:50 AM »

JDD-

Keep your grades to no more than two percent except on lines with geared locos. Also, remember that an abrupt change in curvature, including the vertical curve at the beginning of a grade is a potential trouble spot so ease the transition if possible. And I suggest that you not begin a grade at a turnout.
                                                                                                                                                                               -- D
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jward


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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2014, 11:11:19 AM »

the biggest problem I see is the s curves in the crossover tracks between the two mains.  my suggestion is to either mover those crossovers to the ends of the curves to eliminate the s curves, or use #4 or #5 switches for the crossovers.

an 18r s curve, such as you have in the existing plan, is a sure source of trouble.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
janedoedad


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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2014, 07:51:16 PM »

Here it is.  Oscar Line 2.5   Grin

I think this what I am going to build, Input and suggestions are welcome.


Main line will have elevation on the right and top sides.

Changed switches on run-around - no more S-curves (Thanks Jeff!)

Kept the offset inner loop, think it breaks up the visual a bit and allows for some fun scenery placement.

May add a turnout outside the main line on the left side.




Thanks again for your input, ideas and advice!

JDD
 
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ryeguyisme

Heavy Mountain Steam


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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2014, 09:03:43 PM »

my suggestion would be wider radius curves where and whenever you  can, those 22's in the corner could be 26 inch radius instead
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janedoedad


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« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2014, 12:41:25 AM »

my suggestion would be wider radius curves where and whenever you  can, those 22's in the corner could be 26 inch radius instead


5X9 Table and I already exceed the real estate allocated by SWMBO.   If I had that kind of room though. . .  Cheesy   
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janedoedad


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« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2014, 03:35:12 AM »

Hi!

Construction of the Oscar Line (2.5) is underway.  Here are a few pictures of what is going on so far.  Rebuilt the benchwork to a solid 5'x9' and topped with 2" foam board.  Using Woodland Scenic's risers and starters for elevation changes.


Left Side of the layout, 2% Elevation to 2" on outer loop.  2% Elevation to 1/2" on Inner Loop

photThe turnout and spur on the outer loop (top) are level, not sure what purpose that spur will serve yet.   Huh?




Right side of layout.  4% elevation on lower side of outer loop, transitions to 2%.  Need to pick up a few more switches at the Georgia Train Show in two weeks. (Shameless plug for NMRA Piedmont Division).  There are 3 Manual Turnouts, 3 DCC Turnouts and the rest are electric.  I should standardize this.  Shocked    


The Planning and Zoning Committee meets next week to discuss land use and road layout.  Have to figure out where to put a bridge or two and some tunnels.  The yard on the left will likely remain level as that is the industrial part of town.  Agriculture and residential to the right.  Passenger stations will be placed accordingly  Just for fun there will be a 'wrong side of the tracks' somewhere.   Cheesy  Will be gluing down the foam trackbed starting tomorrow and start to ballast in the next week.

Still trying to figure the transition from desert to foothills.  Have not ruled out the idea of a table divider. Not sure how well that would work out with the outer loop being elevated.

Suggestions are welcomed!
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 03:55:56 AM by janedoedad » Logged

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jbrock27

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« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2014, 09:13:42 AM »

Looks like terrific progress! Smiley
Everything run well?
Make sure to keep up with keeping the steel rails clean.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 09:17:14 AM by jbrock27 » Logged

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Morgun 30

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« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2014, 10:11:46 AM »

Always good to see a plan go from paper to table. I agree, it looks great. Keep up the good work and updates. Some video would be nice, too. Wink
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badkarma


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« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2014, 08:42:54 PM »

Talking about track expansions. I'm planning to expand to a 3 track layout. An inner, middle, and outer. All 3 tracks will be connected by using 4 bachmann crossover. My question is what raduis curved tracks should I use? Actually what raduis curved tracks would I use to create the middle curved tracks? The inside track is easy because I'm using 18 raduis curved 30 degrees. The outer is 22 raduis curved the middle should be 20, but ez tracks don't make 20 raduis curved tracks.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 09:11:42 PM by badkarma » Logged
Doneldon

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« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2014, 10:56:43 PM »

jdd-

Looking good! The only change I would make is I'd start the yard right at the turnout which leads off of the inner main and I would run it straight rather than turn it so it's parallel to the front of the table. You'll have a much larger and more useful yard that way, as well as one with diagonal lines which will look more natural.
                                                                                                                                                                               -- D
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electrical whiz kid

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« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2014, 09:11:01 PM »

As was mentioned earlier, the use of a view block-in my opinion-right through the middle of it, and extensive use of a grid system so that you can cut some neat looking topography into it would give you more opportunities that you already have.  There was a good write-up in "Model "Railroader" not too long back with this sort of venue in mind.  Not everyone wants to have an "octopus" for a layout, and y6ou seem to have a pretty good approach to this all.  Good Luck.
Rich C.
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