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 Time to Build It - small, pre-auto, shelf layout
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RyanAK
Engine Wiper

USA
302 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2020 :  10:29:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We discussed all sorts of options over here:

http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=52326

What a fun conversation! I'm sure the design will evolve until the last spike is placed, but it's time to start putting things together. So... here we go.

I need to decide on some initial things like... benchwork style, wall mounted or free standing, construction methods, kits or scratch building the small amount of structures I'll need, track standards, etc. So any thoughts or opinions are welcome. But first things first...

Where, When, Why
I'll need to decide where this little piece of railroad will exist, set the time period, and develop a reason for it's being... like a backstory.

* I'd like to narrow down 1890-1910 to a specific year an month. Thoughts?

* Where are we? Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Maine, New Hampshire, British Columbia? The layout will be generic enough to be lots of places, but I always try to get at least to a region for a location.

This will be fun.
R

Michael Hohn
Fireman

USA
6120 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2020 :  10:46:18 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Ryan,

I am, of course, looking forward to this.

As far as recommendations I will tell you what I use and why without expectation that your needs are the same.

I tend to lay track with a general idea of what I want, not a fully drawn track plan. I use code 70 track from Micro Engineering. Iíve also started using their turnouts. I like the track because it holds its shape when curved and I can lay a whole area without nails and it stays put. I make frequent adjustments and move track and stand-in buildings around until I like what I see.

Rural areas tend to look generic but I think itís nice to have a specific area in mind.

Mike
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desertdrover
Engineer

USA
15680 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2020 :  11:22:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well stay with 1890 thru 1910, and not a specific year and day. By having a specific year and day you are restricted to only the time frame. Can't change what's happening throughout the layout over a time span.
Also, go with where you'd like to be, without having to do a lot of research for the area. In my case when I was in the Air Force stationed most of my time in Washington State, I enjoyed the Pacific North West logging idea. Now that I'm back home in Rhode Island building the Pacific North West, I'm constant researching. Something that shouldn't be added to trying to model a railroad.
Just my 2 cents worth of input!


Louis
Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast
Post count: 5000 posts added to below count.
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RyanAK
Engine Wiper

USA
302 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2020 :  12:11:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks, fellas.

Mike, your approach is much like mine. Flex track and stand-in structures and fiddle around with sight-lines, proportion, etc. until it's pleasing to the eye.

I plan on using ME HOn3 code 55 flex track with most of the ties removed and replaced by wooden ties. Read about that trick before and it sounds like a neat way to blend flex track with handlaid. Though maybe that's a step too far for this layout and straight ME flex is good enough... especially if the 'ballast' is essentially dirt like a lot of these small, narrow gauge pikes. I had planned to either build turnouts with FastTracks jigs or spring for a couple Railway Engineering switches since I only need a few, but I'll take a look at the Micro Engineering switches if I can in person, (some things I like to hold in my hands before buying...) but I think they may only be available in code 70.

DCC, by the way.

I'm thinking of 2x 2" foam stacked for a base with double 1/8" door skin ply for roadbed, but I sure could use advice on benchwork, road bed, etc. Been a while since I build a layout and that was back in the "more heavier plywood is better" era. I'd like something quick and light to build.

I'd also like to place structures on their own bases and set them 'into' recesses on the foam layout so they can be removed for additional work or... completely swapped out for different industries. If each is built on some common standard like a 6"x8" piece of foamcore, industries could sorta be plug-and-play. Sorta.

Louis, thanks for the sound advice. Maybe not a specific year or day... but certainly a season for scenic purposes. I'm leaning towards a slushy, soggy, grey (but by no means dystopian...) February or March, simply because I like the tans and golds of winter grass, brown/grey mud, green/black evergreens and grey skies as a color palate background for boxcar red. Ha. I hesitate because I'm not sure if that limits livestock or pulpwood traffic...

General location I'm considering is that this end-of-line is serving a high, rural valley that geography won't allow the railroad to push farther into without extreme cost. So it's the railhead for an agricultural (milk, livestock, possibly grain or potatoes) and third-tier natural resource (pulpwood and cordwood) community that had been scratching out an existence but with the coming of the railroad, things are looking a little brighter. Pennsylvania certainly fits the bill. And I know it well. Maybe we'll squeeze in a fictional valley between Sugar Valley on the south and White Deer Hole Valley on the north...

Yup. Fun.
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RyanAK
Engine Wiper

USA
302 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2020 :  1:24:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A nice little scene... (lunchtime doodles...)




And the track arrangement options...



See the design thread for Rob Chant's excellent track plan, 3D rendering and discussions on several ways to operate the station. Also featured on Rob's blog.

Edited by - RyanAK on 02/04/2020 1:26:53 PM
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railman28
Fireman

USA
5551 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2020 :  2:19:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well I use Code 70 flex but do a lot of hand laying. Stub turnout, spurs I hand lay to get lightness. turnout are powered by servos. I would not lay the track on plywood but cork or some other insulator. Being older I would glue the foam layer on top of the 1/4" plywood. If you rent or think you're going to move build it free standing on legs. Otherwise use shelf brackets and mount it to a wall.
on your track plans: with the center one your engine will spend more time "off stage" in the staging. If you decided on having the turntable on a spur, I would recommend that the turntable should be on the other side and with a shorter lead.

Bob

It's only make-believe
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RyanAK
Engine Wiper

USA
302 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2020 :  7:58:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the input, Bob. Very much appreciated.

Motive power is my ďachievabilityĒ challenge. Any suggestions?
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railman28
Fireman

USA
5551 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2020 :  9:11:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ryan, for motive power: Standard gauge; Bachmann's new tooling American.
n3; one of Blackstone's consolidations. Both are easily painted and re-detailed to the era and theme of your choice.

Bob

It's only make-believe
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RyanAK
Engine Wiper

USA
302 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2020 :  10:38:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hoping to find a good basis for an HOn3 Mogul, but this example Iíve come across gives me some hope the Blackstone consolidation can be made into something less Colorado.

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railman28
Fireman

USA
5551 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2020 :  12:05:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ryan, These had at least 3 sister on the west coast. Two were on the SPC (South Pacific Coast), they were oil burners. the SPC station of Arroyo Grande has about the same layout as above except the station was not between the tracks and it wasn't a terminus. They had quit the verity of freight. Lumber, AG products, livestock and crude oil and some of it's products. The SPC is my favorite NG.

Bob

It's only make-believe
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RyanAK
Engine Wiper

USA
302 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2020 :  09:46:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The very well-stocked LHS in Easton, PA didn't have any HOn3 track... so I guess that will be on online purchase. FastTrack templates are printed. Gathering dimensions for expected structures to slap together in card or foamcore as stand-ins. (I have a neat Micro-Scale depot kit, but the prototype Werley station with freight room created from two grounded narrow gauge boxcars would be a neat scratchbuilding project...) Painters tape on hand for outlining the benchwork on a table or floor. Moving along.

Hey, Bob. The SPC is on my radar, but I don't know hardly anything about it. I'll have to take a look. If it's YOUR favorite, must be pretty neat!

Backdating a Blackstone 2-8-0 is probably the path of least resistance for an HOn3 locomotive. Feels a bit large for this layout. I'd still like to find a good mechanism to eventually build a Mogul. Brian Budeit has been helping to educate me via email on vintage brass options, which I know very little about. There are lots of nifty conversions for HOn30 available using N-scale steam mechanisms... I wonder if any of those could we re-gauged to HOn3... That would give some good additional starting points for engines including DCC and sound.

Narrow gauge rolling stock I will try to base on the White Deer & Loganton since I'll be building that layout some day. With a few cars of a generic narrow gauge nature thrown in, it should be straight forward to put together the cars I'll need to support the traffic of the layout.

Next consideration... an appropriate turntable. Hmmm...

Taking shape!
R
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Railrunner130
Crew Chief

USA
514 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2020 :  10:06:50 AM  Show Profile  Visit Railrunner130's Homepage  Reply with Quote
If you're still looking for location input, I'd suggest looking into southeastern Alaska during the gold rush days. I've been watching Gold Rush Whitewater, mainly for the scenery. Last week they showed a cave that was hand cut and blasted out back in the gold rush days. I can't remember if it had been built for railroad use. The rock face was very colorful.
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railman28
Fireman

USA
5551 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2020 :  2:27:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RyanAK


I'd still like to find a good mechanism to eventually build a Mogul.... There are lots of nifty conversions for HOn30 available using N-scale steam mechanisms... I wonder ...



Wonder no more. For your theme Consider seriously HOn30. Go to Shapeways.com put in HOn30 in the search box to see all the wonderful stuff available. Not only stuff to convert N-scale mechanisms but boxcars, cattle cars, flatcar , coaches and cabooses. They are at reasonable prices too.

Bob

It's only make-believe
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RyanAK
Engine Wiper

USA
302 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2020 :  5:42:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've spent a lot of time in the AK. Bristol Bay mostly and a bit in the interior. Never in southeast. Closest I got there is Vancouver Island... and if I wasn't so entrenched in Pennsylvania, I'd seriously be considering a move to somewhere like Campbell River. Interesting suggestion!

Bob, I've considered HOn30, mostly because of what's available on Shapeways. I've trolled through there numerous times, hoping to find clues to an N-scale mech to re-gauge to 36". The stuff available is truly wonderful. There's a bit of HOn3 rolling stock available, but no clues to make up a locomotive. I don't know why I keep turning away from HOn30, but 3' narrow gauge really has a grip on me. HOn30 certainly is the path of least resistance. Something to think about, certainly.

HOn3 locos... until I go down the rabbit hole of trying to scratch-bash a 28-ton Climax, I'm looking at the neat Blackstone 2-8-0. I've also just run across (thanks to Brian pointing me that way) some neat bashes of a Ken Kidder C&S 2-6-0 and Porter Mogul. And there's one guy that took a GEM New Berlin & Winfield 2-6-0 with a tender drive and made an exceptional DCC model from it. Interesting, since I had heard pretty poor things about that particular model. Interesting too, since New Berlin is 4 miles from my home and I drive parts of the old right of way a few times each month.

If we stick with HOn3 I'll most likely spring for the Blackstone Consolidation to get up and running and watch for a brass 2-6-0 that I can build up.

Good day dreams.
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Michael Hohn
Fireman

USA
6120 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2020 :  7:24:28 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hereís an interesting option from an article in RMC July 2006:


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RyanAK
Engine Wiper

USA
302 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2020 :  8:14:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh, man! Iíll search that out. George Pierson and the TVRR to the rescue! Again!

Is this an HOn3 kit or an HO conversion? Off to eBay...
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