Grandpa Coyote's Last Trackplan Post - All comments welcomed (warning long post)

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GrandpaCoyote

Wiley Old Dog
Hello again gang and long time no see. How are you all? I hope you are all well.

Well here we go yet again. This is probably the fouth, and yes I promise, last time, you all will have to sit through the track plan post from the Ol' Coyote. As some know by now, I've been fooling around with a layout plan for close to a year now and I'm at what I think is a near finished place.

Before I go on I'd like to thank all those who have contributed so much in previous posts; I could never have made it this far without you all, you are a great bunch of guys and gals. However I owe a special thanks to Texas Zephyr and SpaceMouse without the gentle and patient guidance of you two gentlemen this would have all been for naught.

So here it is; I am looking for any and all feedback from as many folks as I can find. I find that the feedback of others helps me more than anything else and I sincerely welcome any all comments, criticisms or suggestions. I do my best to respond to anyone that takes the time and has the fortitude to look over this madness.

Here is the Layouts basic information (hope I didn’t miss anything) –

The Route-

Mileposts
  • The route lies between mileposts 214.8 and 230.0, roughly between Coronado Junction and Adamana



Elevation
  • As the following image shows the grade westward between Pinta and Adamana is steadily down leveling off eventually at the Winslow Yard.



Gila
  • Due to current space limitations I am using a fictional town - Gila Arizona (not to be confused with Gila Bend, Gila Crossing or Gila County Arizona,) as a showcase for the various elements that I desire on the layout such as a typical 1950’s Drive In Theater, Cattle pens serviced by the line, etc.
  • Gila lies along the route mentioned above somewhere between Pinta and Adamana inside Apache county.





Our Space-

Spare Bedroom
  • I am currently using a spare bedroom in our house for the layout room. The total space of the room is 11'7 1/4" x 16'4 3/4", however an area of 8'10 1.2" x 2'5 1/4" is taken up by an internal closet.


This plan can also be viewed at: http://mysite.verizon.net/coyote97/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/bedroom2.jpg

Details-

Givens

  • Closet can not be removed or its doorways altered. Doors can be removed from the closet and small hole can be made in closet wall closest to bedroom wall for track to pass through.
  • Lift out/Pullout areas are ok but there can be no duck unders.
  • Outer walls of bedroom can not be breached. Room is bordered by bathrooms on two sides, living room and outside on other two walls.
  • Ability to have Continuous running.
  • No under layout staging.
  • AT&SF Mainline.
  • HO Scale.
  • Minimum mainline radius: 26".
  • Maximum mainline grade 3%.
  • The layout will be built and maintained primarily by myself and my wife.
  • Layout will be operated by me and my wife.
  • Benchwork must be freestanding and in moveable sections.

Druthers
  • Layout height should be around 50". Some areas can go somewhat higher, gorges or river areas can go lower.
  • Double deck could be acceptable if it could be done without the use of a helix.
  • Fairly large scenic areas to showcase the region.
  • Drive In theater model on layout.
  • Layout Sound
  • Fully working/automated signals, lights and lighted buildings.
  • An Immediate "feel" of the 1950's.
  • Enjoyable operations for myself and my wife.

Track Plan Info
  • Scale: HO
  • Name: Route 66 Railway.
  • Locale: Northern Arizona, AT&SF Mainline alongside Route 66 between Pinta and Holbrook AZ. (Set in the fictional town of Gila, AZ)
  • Period: 1954, late spring to early summer.
  • Prototype: Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad Company
  • Layout Height: Starting at 50".
  • Track: Code 83.
  • Total # of Turnouts: 32
  • Turnouts:
    • 2 - #2 ½ Wye on Cattle Wye and Industry spur
    • 4 - #5 on Industry Spurs, #6 on Mainline
    • 18 - #6 on mainline, leads off to industry tracks, passing sidings, etc.
    • 5 - #6 ½ curved leading to Staging, left arm of Staging pinwheel ladder, at either end passing siding below Cattle Wye, on lead into L
    • 1 - #7 curved on right arm of Staging pinwheel ladder
    • 2 - #7 ½ curved on Corner Crossovers
  • Curve Radii: 28" outside mainline, 26" inside mainline, some curves much broader in other areas- broadest curve in plan 6’ 2”.
  • Outer Loop: Eastbound Traffic, Right handed (clockwise) running.
  • Inner Loop: Westbound Traffic, Left handed (counter-clockwise) running.
  • Industries:
    • A – Scrap Yard
    • B – Fuel Oil Supplier
    • C – Shipping Warehouse
    • D – Bolt and Screw Factory
    • E – Station
    • F – Cut Stone Seller
    • G – Concrete Plant
    • H – Oil Field/Oil Tanks
    • I – Freight House & Team Track
    • J – Stock Pens
    • K – Agricultural Co Op
    • L – Gravel Company
  • Points of Interest:
    • 7-K: Town of Gila
    • 11-C: Blue Moon Drive In
    • 1-G to 3-H: Dead Wash and Dead Wash Bridges
    • 1-F & 1-I: Ranches

N.B.: Lift out/Pullout area to inner area is highlighted in Yellow on the plan below.

Current Layout Plan-


A larger version of this file can also be viewed at: http://mysite.verizon.net/coyote97/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/BedPlan15.jpg


Experience and Influences-

Previous Experience
  • This is my first experience at track planning, layout design or in building a model railroad. I have previously built a few military models and some dioramas and have recently built and detailed a few model structures and done some small detailing engine and kit rolling stock work.

Influences
  • My primary influence remains that of Frank Ellison, but I have also found great inspiration and guidance from the works of John Armstrong, Iain Rice, George Selios and the great pals I have made on the various model railroading forums.

End & Contact Information-

I have attempted to put in any and all information that might be needed for critiques, however I have no doubt left out something of importance. If you require any further information please feel free to ask and I will get it up ASAP. I apologize for the size of the various pictures and the length of the post, thanks to anyone who waded this far through.

I can also be contacted off site via email.

Peace
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Hi,

Looking good.

Question: You showed us a relief route of the different elevations. How do you reflect those changes in elevation on your layout?

A couple of suggestions. You have a room for a couple more staging tracks just by expanding forward. It's a really cheap way to expand your operational ability if only to run your passenger trains from. That will free your longer tracks for freights.

On the left side or your layout you have the desert scene that gives the flavor of the layout, but it relatively flat. Build your benchwork 12-18" lower and build up your scenery. Put in canyons and bridges, maybe not Diablo, but one or two smaller Diabloesque bridges. The road could follow suit at a lower elevation. Might take a little re-thinking.

You have a quite luxurious aisle space in the middle. If you wanted, you could expand your peninsula to model more town/desert life. What you have now is pretty dense, as compared to the open expanses of the prototype. Many industries butt right up to the desert.

All-in-all, a really good looking design. Invite me over.
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
I would consider expanding the peninsula, but not as a part of the initial plan. Rather, I'd llook at it from the standpoint that once the original configuration is up, it might not necessarily be the 'best' configuration. At that point, any potential improvements would have room to intrude into the aisle space without cutting into an already cramped space.

Kennedy
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
I'm quite impressed! You obviously know what you want and have found a way to make it work "on paper" - now comes the interesting part!

I don't feel qualified to be giving advice because I've just finished reading John Armstrong's Track Planning For Realistic Operation book and discovered a gazzilion flaws in my track plan. In fact I've already ripped out half of my classification yard to correct one of them. Sure wish I'd planned my layout as carefully as you're doing yours...
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Ken, I need to buy that book myself, before I get to deep into this current plan.

As for the track plan, now that I'm awake, I have to say, I love it, much more awsome then I had thought.
 

GrandpaCoyote

Wiley Old Dog
SpaceMouse said:
Hi,

Looking good.

Question: You showed us a relief route of the different elevations. How do you reflect those changes in elevation on your layout?
Aha the 24,000,000 dollar question and one that I am still working out in my head, right now the entire subject of track elevation leaves me boggled. My hope was to get a hold of some WS risers and lay them out on the benchwork and try to simulate a gently down grade starting in Gila and circling back around towards it, and to slightly "tilt" the landscape accordingly to enhance the illusion. As a Logging Man I'm sure you have elevations down, any wise words you can send me on it will be greatly appreciated.

SpaceMouse said:
A couple of suggestions. You have a room for a couple more staging tracks just by expanding forward. It's a really cheap way to expand your operational ability if only to run your passenger trains from. That will free your longer tracks for freights.
I'm not sure I’m following you sir. Could you tell me this again? I'm very interested, more staging is always welcome.

SpaceMouse said:
On the left side or your layout you have the desert scene that gives the flavor of the layout, but it relatively flat. Build your benchwork 12-18" lower and build up your scenery. Put in canyons and bridges, maybe not Diablo, but one or two smaller Diabloesque bridges. The road could follow suit at a lower elevation. Might take a little re-thinking.
That is a good suggestion Chip, and I do hope to have some variation in scenery height in that area. I have an area already set out for the Dead River Wash which is in white in the plan below:


It is meant to follow after the Old Route 66 Bridge that crosses the Dead River Wash as you can see below; this picture is looking roughly east btw.


However I have been thinking of lowering it a bit to enhance the illusion of the wash, so that I can build up the sides of the wash a bit more with debris and filter sand.


SpaceMouse said:
You have a quite luxurious aisle space in the middle. If you wanted, you could expand your peninsula to model more town/desert life. What you have now is pretty dense, as compared to the open expanses of the prototype. Many industries butt right up to the desert.
Good point and well made. I think for now I am going to leave the aisles to see how they go, they are made so wide to help accommodate the OL's ability to get around in there with her RA, but once the bench work is up (sometimes next week or week after) I'll be able to better gauge how she's going to do moving around in the space.


SpaceMouse said:
All-in-all, a really good looking design. Invite me over.
Chip when this is up, you sir are more than invited down. I'd love to have you come run trains with me. :)

Peace.
 

GrandpaCoyote

Wiley Old Dog
HaggisKennedy said:
I would consider expanding the peninsula, but not as a part of the initial plan. Rather, I'd llook at it from the standpoint that once the original configuration is up, it might not necessarily be the 'best' configuration. At that point, any potential improvements would have room to intrude into the aisle space without cutting into an already cramped space.

Kennedy
Kennedy,

Yes Sir, my thoughts exactly. And as I explained to Chip above it also gives me a chance to see the OL in the space and see just how well she's going to do in it with her RA; then if I can get away with a bit more and it seems a good improvement I can. *nods*

Peace.
 

GrandpaCoyote

Wiley Old Dog
CSX_road_slug said:
I'm quite impressed! You obviously know what you want and have found a way to make it work "on paper" - now comes the interesting part!

I don't feel qualified to be giving advice because I've just finished reading John Armstrong's Track Planning For Realistic Operation book and discovered a gazzilion flaws in my track plan. In fact I've already ripped out half of my classification yard to correct one of them. Sure wish I'd planned my layout as carefully as you're doing yours...

Ken,

It's taken almost a year and a lot of stumbles to get to this, now let’s just hope my hands can accomplish the ambitions of my eyes and brain. ;)

I'm on my third reading of Mr. Armstrong's Track Planning For Realistic Operation and I still haven't even begun to understand it all, so I sympathize with you brother.

I hope the classification yard redesign goes swimmingly and you're up and running again soon.

Peace.
 

GrandpaCoyote

Wiley Old Dog
jbaakko said:
Ken, I need to buy that book myself, before I get to deep into this current plan.

As for the track plan, now that I'm awake, I have to say, I love it, much more awsome then I had thought.
Josh,

Thank you sir, high praise indeed.

Peace.
 

GrandpaCoyote

Wiley Old Dog
Quick Update

Based on some suggestions I got from across the road I have turned the crossover on the lift/pull out section and moved the passing siding turnout up onto the same section so that I now only have three pieces of straight track at either edge of the lift/pull out section.

Changes are shown below:

(lift out/drop down/pull out section is highlighted in yellow)



Peace.
 
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grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Coyote, I LIKE the drop down entry! :)

One question. Will you be able to see the trains in the staging yard without continuously going in and out of the operating area? It appears as though that won't be an issue, but I thought I'd ask to be sure.

Let me say again, I LOVE YOUR THEME! This holds the potential to be a really fantastic layout. You're modeling an awesome place and an awesome prototype. That's a winning combo in my book.

As for elevation changes, you could combine WS risers with a 2" foam base. Removing foam below the track level might help you pull off the illusion you're after.

In looking at your route, I was pleasantly reminded of the old Eagles lyrics:

I was standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona, such a fine sight to see. It's a girl my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowing down to take a look at me... :cool:
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
GrandpaCoyote said:
This is probably the fouth, and yes I promise, last time, you all will have to sit through the track plan post from the Ol' Coyote.
Man, you keep posting. I'm enjoying thinking about your forthcoming railroad. That's the cool thing about the web. We can be involved with each others layouts despite the distance between us!

I can't wait to see Warbonnets and Bluebonnets gliding along desert rails...:cool:
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
CG,

The simplist way to wire your wye in DCC is a toggle switch. You isolate one of the legs of your wye--not the main-- by insulating the track at the turnouts. Use a toggle switch that powers the track with one polarity in one direction when flipped one way, and has the polarity the other direction when flipped the other way. If you align the switch with the direction of travel of your train it will simplify matters. When your train completely enters the wye, flip the switch and you are done. The DCC engine doesn't really care which direction the current is going, but if one set of wheels picks up current in one direction and the other set picks up current in the other, your block shuts down. The toggle switch alligns power of the leg track with the rest of the layout.

All the DCC companies have a automated system to do the same thing. Digitrax, for example, uses the PM42.

As for the drop-down bridge, insulate the track about a foot on either side of the bridge. Run a separate power leg to the bridge that then connects with a plug to the sides. That way when the bridge is down and the plug is pulled, the engine will stall before it gets within a foot of the bridge.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

emt49

internets worst speller
Frist off i need to say i like you track plane verry much .

Here is something to think about about grades. i think they are a pain and a space hog . at a 2% grade to get 4" high its 16 feet long thats one way if you still need to go back down thats 32' of ws risers. you can only get one track on one set of risers so if your running a dubble main now your dubbling your with to.

but if you use risers you could get 1" foam board and mach them up to your grad so you climb up 1" then its flat to buld your town.and then use the next set of grade risers to 2" and then flatten it out agen put the next town and industres and keep going so on till you get to 4" kinda like steps.but i am not shure how that would work or look .
 

GAPPLEG

SP modeler
Looks good to me, I follow that route everytime I drive out west, Got a pic of me standing on a corner in Winslow AZ.(the Eagles) At Holbrook of course is the Apache Railway(I stole their colors for my shortline railroad.) Will be out along that path again this NOV. Love the route, pretty desolate between towns, but thats what I like about the desert. I kinda had the same problems you are going to have , do we model the desolation or the towns, and how do we squeeze them in with out looking too cramped.
 

GrandpaCoyote

Wiley Old Dog
grande man said:
Coyote, I LIKE the drop down entry! :)

One question. Will you be able to see the trains in the staging yard without continuously going in and out of the operating area? It appears as though that won't be an issue, but I thought I'd ask to be sure.

Let me say again, I LOVE YOUR THEME! This holds the potential to be a really fantastic layout. You're modeling an awesome place and an awesome prototype. That's a winning combo in my book.

As for elevation changes, you could combine WS risers with a 2" foam base. Removing foam below the track level might help you pull off the illusion you're after.

In looking at your route, I was pleasantly reminded of the old Eagles lyrics:

I was standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona, such a fine sight to see. It's a girl my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowing down to take a look at me... :cool:
Grande,

Thanks for the advice on the WS risers and foam base, I've added it to my "remember list"... Thank you also for the encouraging words, I'll keep the post and pics coming in as we go along. We should have the Bench work here from Mianne come middle of next week; I'll be sure to let the gang know how it goes.

and finally just for you, here is a pic from downtown Winslow. ;)



Peace.
 

GrandpaCoyote

Wiley Old Dog
SpaceMouse said:
CG,

The simplist way to wire your wye in DCC is a toggle switch. You isolate one of the legs of your wye--not the main-- by insulating the track at the turnouts. Use a toggle switch that powers the track with one polarity in one direction when flipped one way, and has the polarity the other direction when flipped the other way. If you align the switch with the direction of travel of your train it will simplify matters. When your train completely enters the wye, flip the switch and you are done. The DCC engine doesn't really care which direction the current is going, but if one set of wheels picks up current in one direction and the other set picks up current in the other, your block shuts down. The toggle switch alligns power of the leg track with the rest of the layout.

All the DCC companies have a automated system to do the same thing. Digitrax, for example, uses the PM42.

As for the drop-down bridge, insulate the track about a foot on either side of the bridge. Run a separate power leg to the bridge that then connects with a plug to the sides. That way when the bridge is down and the plug is pulled, the engine will stall before it gets within a foot of the bridge.
Chip,

Thank you my friend, this was just what I needed to know. I've printed it out and added it to my work folder.

Thanks again great help as always.

Peace.
 

GrandpaCoyote

Wiley Old Dog
emt49 said:
Frist off i need to say i like you track plane verry much .

Here is something to think about about grades. i think they are a pain and a space hog . at a 2% grade to get 4" high its 16 feet long thats one way if you still need to go back down thats 32' of ws risers. you can only get one track on one set of risers so if your running a dubble main now your dubbling your with to.

but if you use risers you could get 1" foam board and mach them up to your grad so you climb up 1" then its flat to buld your town.and then use the next set of grade risers to 2" and then flatten it out agen put the next town and industres and keep going so on till you get to 4" kinda like steps.but i am not shure how that would work or look .

Emt49,

Thank you sir, I'll keep your advice in mind. The elevations for track and scenery will be one of the biggest challenges in this whole thing I think; that and trying to get the colors of the land to look right. :)

Thanks again for the advice.

Peace.
 

GrandpaCoyote

Wiley Old Dog
GAPPLEG said:
Looks good to me, I follow that route everytime I drive out west, Got a pic of me standing on a corner in Winslow AZ.(the Eagles) At Holbrook of course is the Apache Railway(I stole their colors for my shortline railroad.) Will be out along that path again this NOV. Love the route, pretty desolate between towns, but thats what I like about the desert. I kinda had the same problems you are going to have , do we model the desolation or the towns, and how do we squeeze them in with out looking too cramped.

Gappleg:

Thanks Sir. It's a great route, the OL and I plan on heading out there for our summer vacation next year, hope to get some great pics. I love the Apache Railway and have plans to add Holbrook in to the plan when/if we move someday and I get a bigger Train Room space. ;)

I posted a pic of the corner in Winslow above for Grande Man; would love to see yours. :D

I hear you on the problem of compression, I'm hoping that the fairly empty stretches I have to either end of the town will help capture a bit of that feel, guess we'll have to wait and see.

Thanks again for taking time to post back to my ramblings. :)

Peace.
 




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