Help a new guy starting out

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NWR #200

Irish Expatriate
OOOHHH, just saw an RTR Athearn SD45T-2 today, and I must say those are sweet. They even include gyralights, though they don't oscilate.
 

Russian

Saskatoon railfan
jbaakko said:
Are we talking , Cheep old school Athearn, or modern, RTR?
Cheep old school Athearn with a nice paint job.:p

I'll take photos of my table once it gets build.
 

Red Oak & Western

Active Member
That's why I'm planning on isolating that piece with 4 insulators!
Sorry, Roman. That just won't work. Isolating that section of track will prevent a short on the whole layout, but you still couldn't operate trains using that track. First, by isolating that track, you have just divided your layout into blocks and you'll need to build a control panel to control them. Second, you'll need the ability to reverse the polarity of the remaining track, while the train is in the isolated section. If you need, I can draw the pictures to show why.

{First, to refer to your track plan, I'll start in the upper left hand corner, then count down, then count to the right. So 1D1R would be the upper left corner, the one with the black and yellow curved tracks.}

To avoid complex wiring on your first layout, I would recommend the following: eliminate the switch in square 2D4R (yellow) and the first switch in 3D4R (blue to yellow). Doing so will eliminate the reversing loop. While that will cut down on some of your operating possibilities, it will eliminate the need for a control panel and the reverse loop wiring. You can then wire the whole layout as though it were just one big piece of track.

Kevin
 

Russian

Saskatoon railfan
Red Oak & Western said:
Sorry, Roman. That just won't work. Isolating that section of track will prevent a short on the whole layout, but you still couldn't operate trains using that track.
I understand that. That's why I'm planning to operate my trains over that track in two ways.
- Locomotive back in, drops the consist and heads on the other side to pick it up, thus the cars are turned.
- Or the locomotive is slowly pushed by hand through that one part. I've highlighted it on this layout plan.

First, by isolating that track, you have just divided your layout into blocks
How is it two blocks? It's still one huge block with a dead track in the middle that won't get wired to anything anyway.

To avoid complex wiring on your first layout, I would recommend the following: eliminate the switch in square 2D4R (yellow) and the first switch in 3D4R (blue to yellow). Doing so will eliminate the reversing loop. While that will cut down on some of your operating possibilities, it will eliminate the need for a control panel and the reverse loop wiring. You can then wire the whole layout as though it were just one big piece of track.
While I'm still hoping isolation will work, if it does not, that's what I'll have to do. The station could use more turnouts.:p

Spent most of the day building the table today. It's one nice piece. Then the family decides that it's non-movable and that when me move in two years it will be left to the new owners, as we'll buy another table. So I guess whoever is moving into our house next will have a nice modeling setup - a 4x8x3 already waiting for them.

PS. I got an old Windows98 upgraded to XP recently and now the scanner can scan 600% the original image, meaning you can now see all the little details you couldn't see before. Should post "the best of my pre-digital" photos in the RRF gallery, or here if I think it's a good modeling project for someone?
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Roman, its getting more complex... lol I still think you should just go order a DCC for beginners book on the net, like one of the ones from Kalmbach publishing, and learn up, then by the time you finish the scenery you should be able to afford a DCC beginners set. I can forsee that dead track starting to annoy you very very fast... Not that DC is all that bad, its just, I know the frustrations of DC on a larger setup like that.
 

Russian

Saskatoon railfan
I assembled the loop and am proud to say that after 5 years and no maintenence, the track and the train worked just fine! I guess it didn't want to work as well when it was on the floor. Oh well.:D I love the train.

The only problem I have is "twisted rails". But I'm fixing that by placing weights on them. This is what I'm talking about:

http://media.putfile.com/BN_solo
http://media.putfile.com/BN_train


Please exuse the poor video quality, but this is the best my three year old digital camera can do. Good thing they included the video option on it.

I'll also be posting a roster of the BN C-Liner to the gallery if anyone is intersted.
 

Red Oak & Western

Active Member
that won't get wired to anything anyway
Now I understand. Having the black section isolated and not wired would solve the wiring problem, but, as Josh says, I think that dead track will start to annoy you very fast.

Anyway, congratulations on getting some track down and joining the brotherhood (and sisterhood :D) of tracklayers.

Kevin
 

AmtrakFan

RRRAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
Roman,
I am starting my 1st Model RR Layout and it is already a big mess with my Mom and I doing it. But were figuring it out.
 

Russian

Saskatoon railfan
AmtrakFan said:
Roman,
I am starting my 1st Model RR Layout and it is already a big mess with my Mom and I doing it. But were figuring it out.
Sounds great! I'm guesisng you're modelling AMTRAK? LOL.:p

As for me, the majority of tracks should arrive in a week and the rest, including a CP Geep, in two weeks. Don't think much will be happening 'till then.
 

Russian

Saskatoon railfan
Mini-update

I've been thinking a lot on how to incorporate my Lego oval into the layout and finally figured it out!

It'll be a subway/metro high above the tracks (3rd flour level). I have enough Lego pieces to build all the supports and am saving up water bottles for support bases as well. Needless to say, it'll connect to the train station.

With a subway and BN running, it looks like I'll be modeling more Chicago then Winnipeg. Oh well, I guess I'm paying tribute to all the fine action movies of the 80s and 90s, featuring the Chicago subway, I saw as a kid.
 

Russian

Saskatoon railfan
Progress Report

I started putting it all together and have some questions/observations...

The track software doesn't include the "switch" part of the switch, thus a lot of tight pieces don't fit now, makng me redesign the main yard and the nearby depo and passenger station. On the bright side, I didn't like the freight yard anyway, it's design was a bit too curved...

Even with weights on them, the twisted tracks are still pretty twisted. I'm trying to solve the problem by putting them in between "good new tracks", but don't know if that'll work. Does anyone have any suggestions or tips on strenghtening them out?

The 3 rail joiners sets I bought are useless, as Atlas track includes rail joiners... Thus I'll lickely end up selling them at a model trains show or back to the dealer. The insulators work great though, they keep that mid-section track nice and lonely... Even though it attaches the whole layout in the middle.

The Atlas track doesn't have the plastic pieces used to connect the rails from the inside. I'm thinking I should buy a couple packs of those. Do you guys use them? Or do the rails hold together just fine without them?

Finally and most importantly, two trains have ran on the layout before I dissambled it, so that's possible. But the real probem is the coupler on the Walthers GP9M. It' a very nice looking coupler, but its not the same height and has a real hard time coupling to the track mounted couplers on my IHC & Model Power rolling stock. Should i change couplers on it or readjust them somehow?

Thanks a lot to everyone who contributed to this thread and helped me in any way get this far. It amazes me, how even with this much calcualtions, things still don't go right and much re-adjtsments still needed...
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Russian said:
Finally and most importantly, two trains have ran on the layout before I dissambled it, so that's possible. But the real probem is the coupler on the Walthers GP9M. It' a very nice looking coupler, but its not the same height and has a real hard time coupling to the track mounted couplers on my IHC & Model Power rolling stock. Should i change couplers on it or readjust them somehow?
Knuckle coupler, does it look different then the normal winged couplers on your older trains? Or is it just at a different height? Either way, i suggest using all Kadee couplers... and buying some coupler height gauge so you can test everything you own, keeping within NMRA standards will ease operations.
 

AmtrakFan

RRRAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
Russian said:
Sounds great! I'm guesisng you're modelling AMTRAK? LOL.:p

As for me, the majority of tracks should arrive in a week and the rest, including a CP Geep, in two weeks. Don't think much will be happening 'till then.
Amtrak and BN.
 

Russian

Saskatoon railfan
jbaakko said:
Knuckle coupler, does it look different then the normal winged couplers on your older trains?
They're more dtailed and generally realistic. I think I'll be buying couplers at a modle show...

I've started a new thread on my layout now, as this one has been going for way too long.
 

Russian

Saskatoon railfan
A somewhat theoratical question...

When building a ramp, can regular 9" strait pieces be used? Woild the incline ruin them?
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Yeah, but make sure you support the track, don't just put a block at one end and expect it to survive.
 

AmtrakFan

RRRAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
Russian said:
Sounds great! I'm guesisng you're modelling AMTRAK? LOL.:p

As for me, the majority of tracks should arrive in a week and the rest, including a CP Geep, in two weeks. Don't think much will be happening 'till then.
Yes it will be mostly Amtrak and BN.
 




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