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Author Topic: the ultimate 4x8?  (Read 19510 times)
jward


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« on: June 26, 2014, 08:19:24 AM »

i came across this the other day.....

a while back there was a thread on 4x8 layouts. some complained about the limits of what can be done and i remarked that sometimes you have to think vertically, the layout below illustrates what is possible in HO in a 4x8 space when you think outside the box, or in this case, inside the box.












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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
CNE Runner


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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2014, 09:27:42 AM »

Gosh 'J' I haven't been on this forum is quite a while; but had to reply to your post. I have this aversion to 4' x 8' 'standard sheet' (uncut) layout. [My feeling is that little can be done to make them interesting...aside from adding more track...close to impossible in this example.] I've seen some really interesting uses for the good ol' 4x8...by cutting the sheet into various shapes and reassembling it into a varied assembly. Another 'aid' is to run a scenic divider down the layout to limit the sight lines. This layout is a 'standard' 4x8...but taken to the 'n-th' degree. What a clever fellow to have thought up/and built this concept.

I couldn't help noticing some 'rods' that appear to run to the ceiling and are bolted (?) onto the layout itself. Did this layout have the capacity to be raised and lowered? If so, that is a nice piece of engineering. I am assuming that space was a concern...why else have a multi-layered spaghetti bowl?

Thanks for showing us this (nice drill press in the background as well). I don't know when I will 'peruse' the Bachmann forum again; but wanted to 'touch base' on this project...very interesting.

Regards,
Ray
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"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
K487

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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2014, 10:00:07 AM »

Very clever and very well done, including the varying side windows.

K487
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rogertra


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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2014, 12:28:47 PM »

Very creative.

Much more imaginative than your typical and boring tail chasing 4 x 8.

One you can actually operate like a rail railroad, rather than a train set.

Cheers

Roger T.

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jbrock27

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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2014, 02:25:24 PM »

I agree this is super cool, interesting and a creative concept.

What happens when something needs to be repaired or maintenance needs to be performed that can't be reached from above or through openings?  Can the levels be unstacked from each other, or do things just have to be taken apart, such as the panels?
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Jerrys HO
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2014, 05:09:10 PM »

Nice find Mr. Ward, never in my imagination would I have even considered something like that.

Ray,
Yes it raises and lowers... click on the pic and it goes to more pics in his photobucket account.

\

Jerry
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jward


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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2014, 05:38:19 PM »

I agree this is super cool, interesting and a creative concept.

What happens when something needs to be repaired or maintenance needs to be performed that can't be reached from above or through openings?  Can the levels be unstacked from each other, or do things just have to be taken apart, such as the panels?


in the photo jerry posted, you can see the access hole underneath where the owner can pop up for maintainence. note that in the track plan, there are no hidden switches. also, if i understand his construction technique correctly, the framework is an open grid, with plywood only where the tracks go. this provides plenty of room inside the mountains to work. other than the occasional derailment, he should have no serious headaches with this construction.

also note that he's managed to do all of this using standard track components, mostly atlas. this design could balso be adapted to ez track if need be, though probably not in the same footprint. the only major modification that would need to be made is at the entry to the yard, where a long discontinued 22r/18r curved switch is used.

scenery appears to be made from foam insulation board, cut ti fit around the track boards. most interesting is that he's managed to light the lower levels using some kind of low profile lamp which is not visible in the photos.

and yes, roger, this one has some serious operating potential, possibly as a shortline running down the mountain to a mainline railroad on the lowest level.  the compact yard and terminal area in some ways reminds me of the pittsburgh & shawmut at brookville, pa.

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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
jbrock27

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« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2014, 07:16:39 PM »

Very very cool AND well thought out!
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Catt

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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2014, 06:48:44 AM »

I've got to problems with most but not all builders of 4' x 8' layouts.The biggest one is they seem to think more track is better Tongue and the second is the track just has to run parallel to the edges of the layout.This layout does neither of these and indeed is quite creative.
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jward


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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2014, 09:01:13 AM »

track running parallel to the edge of the layout also infects larger layouts, as does a tendency to use all that additional space for long straighaways which only serve to decrease the apparent size of the layout. an extreme example was a plan for the rio grande southern which was mostly straight track around the walls. how do you model the mountains of colorado, and specifically the ophir loop, using straight track? that railroad was all curves and grades in real life.....

the layout i have shown appeals to me because like many i do not have alot of space. the deg=signer has come up with  an interesting layout in minimal space, with a workable system for stowing it when not in use. not only can it be raised into the ceiling when not in use, the cables can be detatched, and the owner has a bench with casters that it sits on when in use, that can be wheeled into an area with more space. the best part is that the trains and buildings stay in place the whole time, so it's always ready to run.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Jhanecker2

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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2014, 08:51:07 PM »

really well thought out design and construction .  Nice looking shop as well . The cable system is a very clever and interesting concept for storage , though I did not see his control panel .  John2.
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rogertra


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« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2014, 12:17:55 AM »

really well thought out design and construction .  Nice looking shop as well . The cable system is a very clever and interesting concept for storage , though I did not see his control panel .  John2.

Control panels went out with the Dodo.  Don't need one for DCC.

Cheers

Roger T.

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CNE Runner


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« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2014, 09:46:37 AM »

'Just had to stop by this forum to see what other posts there were on a very unique layout design. Apparently this has caught the interest of several folks...for good reason. You guys have sharp eyes as I didn't notice the nonparallel tracks. I also failed to fully appreciate the operational aspects of this design...well done!

However, it was JWards fuller illustration of the hoisting aspect that really blew me away. Guys, there is a lot of engineering in this project...probably far beyond the average 'Joe'. Think of the pulley/winch assembly that has to work exactly the same - every time for the layout to be raised and lowered evenly. Amazing. When you couple that with the 'manhole' in the layout's center for maintenance, this is over the top!

BTW: Check out the tools on the workbench behind the layout. This guy is no 'shade tree mechanic'. Kudos to the builder...you da' Man!!!

Regards,
Ray
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"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
jbrock27

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« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2014, 09:48:04 PM »

Agree the tools on the wall and machinery in the back and foreground were/are likely livelihood items as opposed to 'weekend warrior' stuff.
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Doneldon

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« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2014, 11:22:47 PM »

Control panels went out with the Dodo.  Don't need one for DCC.
Cheers
Roger T.

Roger-

Not necessarily true.

People with DC pikes still need control panels and even some folks running DCC do. For example, My grandson has a control panel on the DCC layout I built for him. It controls turnouts and has switches for the various lighting areas of the layout. I had planned to use an EZCommand DCC system for him but feared that its limited power and few function controls would be problematic, so I used separate power for the turnouts but then got an NCE DCC system instead of the EZC. Still, the separate turnout power saved quite a bit of money over DCC turnouts. The track and a majority of the things that move are Bachmann products. I think Bachmann has the best for the money trains for an entry-level model rail. If he sticks with it, his Bachmann trains can move along with him. If he doesn't, it's not a fortune lost.
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