Building my first layout

ModelRailroadForums.com is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


Robots_walk_the_earth

Active Member
So here we are. Some of you have read my introduction where I shared plans to build an around the room basement HO layout. Well I’ve come to the realization that with my wife and I working opposite schedules and having 2 girls both under the age of 3 that it was much to large of a project for me. Especially seeing how its my first go at a legitimate layout. So after much thought I’ve decided to start out in N scale. I have a work bench in my basement that currently has all my train stuff on it plus a couple other things as you can see here. The bench is 8’x3’ and 39” in height.
67FD8160-E73A-4492-83E8-101F1E5A6879.jpeg

At the end of the bench is an old dresser that the previous owner I’m sure used for tool storage. I believe this was his work shop. So if I remove that old dresser I could gain an extra 3‘ of length making it 11’x3’
82A6CA3D-08F4-4465-88A4-BFF86C8D6B04.jpeg


Now that you see what I’m working with, here is a track plan I’ve been working on if I stick with the 8x3. I basically stole the main idea of this plan and made a few changes so its not outright fraud... I want to model New England. No specific railroad per say but I’d like to run B&M engines at the least. I was thinking the large industry in the middle left would potentially be ossipee aggregates, which is a very large gravel pit that feeds Boston sand and gravel with up to 40 car drags a few times a week.
B8FDB1BF-0370-4100-B800-6DC4A6778F93.jpeg


So there it is. Defiantly a work in progress but I’d like to at least start construction this month and be able to run trains this year.

Any thoughts, ideas, criticisms are welcome. I may lean on you guys here pretty heavily in the coming months. Floating around the forums for a couple months now, I see there is quite a bit of knowledge and talent here that I would love to tap into.

Thanks for reading and an advance thanks for your help in my adventure into building an empire,
Bill
 

Robots_walk_the_earth

Active Member
So I made my first visit to my local hobby shop. It’s a dedicated train shop, and I think the only one south of Boston. The owner was very helpful and helped me to see ive got some issues with my track plan that I posted above. So I walked out of there with a book and a new caboose(my first purchase in what I’m sure will be a long line of purchases).
F98E0DDF-DCA9-4B33-BFE5-DC8C068FA995.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Robots_walk_the_earth

Active Member
I have a question for the masses here. I plan on putting a piece of 2” thick pink foam board down as a base. My thinking is this; terrain is never flat, so if I need to have anything below track grade I can just carve into the foam. Think culverts or small retention ponds, streams. Things like that. If my math is correct that 2” foam in N scale feet is about 26+

would that cause any issues with track laying? I also plan on rising about 2” up for my bridges. I’m thinking that could go one of 2 ways. Either I build the track riser on the foam board. OR. I build the track riser first, THEN put in the foam board.

Thanks in advance for the input.
Bill
 

ianacole

Well-Known Member
No issues that I can think of with track work. I did this with my last layout. If you plan on using tortoise machines (or similar) you might find challenges with mounting the units to control the turnouts. It can be done, and there are some creative ways to accomplish it, but it's not as easy as if you were laying track directly on plywood. If all of your turnout controls are going to be surface mount (manual or remote controlled), then it won't be an issue.
 

Gregjl

Member
I have a question for the masses here. I plan on putting a piece of 2” thick pink foam board down as a base. My thinking is this; terrain is never flat, so if I need to have anything below track grade I can just carve into the foam. Think culverts or small retention ponds, streams. Things like that. If my math is correct that 2” foam in N scale feet is about 26+

would that cause any issues with track laying? I also plan on rising about 2” up for my bridges. I’m thinking that could go one of 2 ways. Either I build the track riser on the foam board. OR. I build the track riser first, THEN put in the foam board.

Thanks in advance for the input.
Bill
That foam is a lot of fun to work with, rocks, creeks, tunnel entrance.
 

Robots_walk_the_earth

Active Member
No issues that I can think of with track work. I did this with my last layout. If you plan on using tortoise machines (or similar) you might find challenges with mounting the units to control the turnouts. It can be done, and there are some creative ways to accomplish it, but it's not as easy as if you were laying track directly on plywood. If all of your turnout controls are going to be surface mount (manual or remote controlled), then it won't be an issue.
I haven’t looked into turnout controls yet. I may just stick with manual throws for now. Thanks for the input. Looks like my next mission will be to the Home Despot for some foam.
 

Robots_walk_the_earth

Active Member
Bill - I would move the dresser to gain the extra 3', then use it for MR storage. Looks like you have a very good selection of power & rolling stock. Good start for the layout. Carry on . . . :)
Funny thing about all that power and rolling stock.... it’s all from the 70s I believe. Was my Dads and has been sitting in a box for 40 or more years. I’m assuming the locos will need a fair amount of TLC and the rolling stock at the least new wheel sets.
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
The pink foam on my HO is 1.5" deep. and I did that also to allow for some depth (which I just killed (maybe not)) on my layout. Also don't get model glue anywhere near it....(don't ask me how I know).
 

Robots_walk_the_earth

Active Member
I’m headed to my LHS tomorrow and I’ll be looking at code 55 flex track. I'm thinking of going with Atlas Flex track with peco turnouts. And maybe, just maybe trying to lay my own turnouts at some point. What type of track and turnouts do you N Scalers use?
Bill
 

Robots_walk_the_earth

Active Member
Ok. Here is a pic of my current N Scale Locomotives. As I said before they have been in storage for I can only guess at least 45 years. Maybe more.
69BBF5F9-9961-4DCF-A397-311D54D81F5D.jpeg
From top to bottom as best as I can make out the manufacturers are: Model power, Atlas, Rapido, and Rapido. At this time I have no idea if they run or not. I will use them as practice for working on my stock. Stripping, servicing, and weathering. I would like to bring them back to life so I can put off spending 200+ for a B&M geep with dcc and sound.
 




Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)


ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Top