Help in help with single track on lower level Drago & East Ridge HO Layout

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Bill Lewis

New Member
Newer HO modler here. I've built on simple layout of freelance design. I'm interested in building a new layout on an old plan I've found. The Drago & East Ridge. MR Jan 1961. also in 101 more Track Plans. No construction details are given except how to cut a 4 X 8 sheet of plywood. It has a mainline that loops under the rest of the layout which is all on a flat surface. Any help in how to build this? I can't see raising the whole rest of the layout to accomodate the one single track underneath. Any help greatly appreciated.
 

Rico

BN Modeller
Hey Bill!
First thing that comes to mind is notching out the frame for the track and partially raising the rest of the layout?
Interesting trackplan, would be great for On30 but that would mean more clearance.
I believe the original plan was for N scale.
72DC0CCE-1212-48A0-ADC1-850F3AA08802-346-00000023D3FCC22A.jpeg
 

Bill Lewis

New Member
May have to pass on this plan. Trying to raise most off the board to accomodate the one underneath line seems like a lot of work and for someone more skilled that me. Add to the fact your already dealing with the main surface being in three pieces so trying to create smooth gaps would be a nightmare. I even thought of raising the one section of mainline above the rest of the layout but while there's enough room to get it up not enought to get it down again. Wait ! just looked at it again I thought for the last time and if I cut out the switch to the pulp wood yard it might work.
 

hminky

Member
Attempted the trackplan in my youth. Used the old cookie cutter method with a manual keyhole saw.

The only flat area is the yard area. The hidden track requires extra material.

The hidden track is on zero everything else has to be on risers.

The grades are really steep. Wouldn't work as On30, barely worked for HO.

Abandoned the layout when my Porter Mogul wouldn't make it up the hill.

Harold
 
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Bill Lewis

New Member
It's not so much raise most of the board as it is lower the single track that goes underneath.
Thanks for the reply but I'm Not understanding that idea. Running the track underneath would have to go thru all the horizontal supports for the plywood. ? All I can think of is use multiple supports to raise the playwood all around
 

Bill Lewis

New Member
Attempted the trackplan in my youth. Used the old cookie cutter method with a manual keyhole saw.

The only flat area is the yard area. The hidden track requires extra material.

The hidden track is on zero everything else has to be on risers.

The grades are really steep. Wouldn't work as On30, barely worked for HO.

Abandoned the layout when my Porter Mogul wouldn't make it up the hill.

Harold
Thanks Harold. Thats what I'm thinking. YOu really are not going to have much area of solid plywood but strips cut and supported for the track. Have to think about this so more.
 
M

MHinLA

Guest
Yes, Harold has it right..Build an 'open-grid' bench the very same dimensions as the ply, using "1 x 4"s and 2"x 3" legs ..Then add risers to the cross members of the grid, tall enough above cross members using 1"x 3" lumber to hold entire ply high enough to have track and trains to go under the ply. Begin with the main line descending beginning at about where the word 'joint' is written on the right, by making a 'cookie cutter' cut in the ply. The trestle will then become lower than depot, on a grade. Continue track to under ply...Begin ascent up, under Drago, to tunnel portal, again using risers screwed to cross members...
Bear this in mind..If the layout is free standing you're OK. But, if it is against the wall/s you can have lots of problems reaching across to rescue a stalled/derailed train or work on scenery at East Ridge or Drago.. Your leaning over to do this will be tough. Your sleeves and arms can break things under them... Ex: Reaching in to East Ridge could spell disaster to the trestle under you..And reaching across the yard to Drago will easily cause havoc to cars in the yard.
Finally, I'd move the engine house to that spur above it and have prior EH track depict a thru-main-line that connects your RR to the outside world. Center track of the 3 then becomes an interchange track..(cars to in/out of 'your' road).
OR !... Scrap the entire design and play it safe with a shelf and/or around the room design... Allot can be modeled on a 1 foot deep shelve and makes everything very very easy to work with in any scale, gauge, or type of RR..Use a wye, turntable or balloon track at one or both ends to turn equipment around..
Hope this helps, M, Los Angeles
 
M

MHinLA

Guest
If a riser is in the way, unscrew it and move it over. That's precisely what open grid is for ! I guess my prior post was void of any pertinent information.
 
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Bill Lewis

New Member
Thanks for the reeplies and espert advice. Its becoming clearer to me now. Still might be too much of a challenge but I'm still considering it, just
because its a bit different. Thanks again.
 
M

MHinLA

Guest
* If this makes it clearer, build the lower track right of way ply-subroadbed and the tracks on it, leaving enough approachability to connect lower ramps to upper ramps using cookie-cuttered lower ply and upper cookie-cuttered ply to meet midway up/down using risers.There's no secret sauce to this. It's all logic as to what comes first in MRR construction..and is exactly the same for the 1:1 scalers...Pure simple logic for each encounter...

*note: I rewrote this otherwise clumsy paragraph on 7/25.
 
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Bill Lewis

New Member
Thanks Thinging the same way. Build the lower first. The area near the Pulp Wood Yard is still bothering me. How to get up to the second level so the switches and siding are level. Possible eliminate that LH switch over. Don't know how that would effect operation. Lots,of armchair planning vut I still like the plan . As said before its just different.
 

trailrider

Well-Known Member
P^5. Prior Planning Prevents Pretty Poor Performance! In other words, look at the plan first before building. OTOH, once you get ot actually building, things may become apparent that will have to be changed. One way to do it, is to make a cardboard layout in miniature.
 

hminky

Member
Thanks Thinging the same way. Build the lower first. The area near the Pulp Wood Yard is still bothering me. How to get up to the second level so the switches and siding are level. Possible eliminate that LH switch over. Don't know how that would effect operation. Lots,of armchair planning vut I still like the plan . As said before its just different.
The only level trackage is the yard and lower level.

The siding by the green building and the Pulp Wood Yard have to also be level. The green building siding is a storage track for cars to be switched on the switch back sidings. The Calhoun passing track is on a 4% grade.

Having built the plan up to the Calhoun siding. Realized the plan is truly a horrible idea and abandoned the effort. Most trackplans developed by Model Railroader and are just conjecture aren't very good.

Harold
 
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M

MHinLA

Guest
Do think it through. Then when you're done thinking it through, think it through again.

* please see my prior post above..
 

cajon

Active Member
Never have been a fan of switchbacks, so made a few changes. Added a runaround to the right side of yard. Also added a few more industry spurs to give folks some ideas where they might go. It was done in Picasa & couldn't do curves. Since the 2 depots are so close together, think about running trains Drago - Calhoun - Drago. If you're running steam, run them to Drago to reverse them. For those who have way too many cars, make one of the yard tracks a staging tray. Have as many trays to hold all your cars & store them under the layout or where ever.
Fullscreen capture 7272019 105148 AM.bmp.jpg
 
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otiscnj

Well-Known Member
Not a bad plan to start with, so why not make whatever changes you want? Many people have done something similar with any number of plans. Keep us posted going forward.

Everybody likes to look at pictures.
 

dave1905

Well-Known Member
While it looks cool flattened out on a plan its going to be a challenge to actually operate. The entire visible main line outside of Drago is on a steep grade, including the trackage at Calhoun. According to the plan the track is at 0" at the tunnel portal at the bottom end of Calhoun, then climbs to 3 1/2" elevation by the time it gets to the top end of Drago, that's about 3 1/2" in 8 ft or a 3 to 3.5% grade. Pretty steep. If you uncouple cars from the engine to switch Calhoun, they will roll away. Similarly, from Drago to the top tunnel portal, you drop 3 1/2" in maybe 6 ft (maybe less if you include the suggested crossover), that something in the order of a 4-5% grade, VERY steep.

The problem with a lot of the older track plans is they were designed to look cool but will be a real bear to build and actually operate.

Personally, I would steer clear of this one. I would suggest "48 Top Notch Track Plans" and/or "Track Planning Ideas" (58 plans) both from Model Railroader/Kalmbach as good starting points. Ian Rice also has some interesting ideas for small layouts, "Midsized and Manageable Track Plan", "Shelf Layouts for Model Railroads" (also both published by Kalmbach.
 




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