Modified Central Midland - Test Run

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waredbear

Member
Looking gooooood!! I can't wait to see more of your progress. Seeing photos of works in progress like yours keep me motivated and helps me in my planning process.

I was looking in the background of some of your photos and I noticed your train display case. What are the trains in the bottom left hand corner? They look like Great Northern colors. That will be my line once I get going. I have a few engines and cars but I always look for more.

You have two steep climbs or falls in photo 1 of 32. One is along the back wall and the other is just after your second bridge. It seems (from what I have read) that the sudden change in elevation will cause cars to uncouple. Have you tested those sections?

Reid in NC
 

Ericsauto

Active Member
Reid the cars in the display case at the left bottom are Walthers ore car set Burlington Northern. Just bought them because I liked them . You might have seen in my other posts I like everything so my railroad is not based off a certain railroad. Just based off my likes and imagination. ( Keeps me sane that way)

Yes you have to test and make sure the "drops" don't uncouple cars.You have to work those drops out slowly by testing. Remember that proper couplers and coupler heights are the main factor. You can not have the track drop fast.

The track going along the back wall believe it or not is only a 1.75% grade. The big grade is going up from the twin bridges to the double bridge. That grade is at its worst 4.25 % grade. :eek:

But there are ways you have to plan for that grade. Engines/locos that have a tough time going up that kind of grade you simply run them in the opposite direction. My heavy pullers, dual engines are the only thing I send up that grade. It works quite well.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
..... Also I have found small "dips" at joints in the track. If you are using track nails , pull them up a little to see if they will level the track. You may have to use a thin shim under it. I notice you are using foam track bed. I had that on my old layout and it is a little more "touchy" to get track level. That is why I went back with cork. Just remember: test- test-test . I hate that part of it but it will be worth it.
I would strongly suggest that you utilize 3 foot sections of flex track rather than the shorter segments of fixed radius track. It is much easier to get a smooth curve than the many 'minor kinks' I see in your track. These kinks will manifest themselves in many derailments both in curvature and elevation discrepencies.

Take a good 'wood paint sturr stick' (the thick ones preferrable) and lay it on edge across the tops of your rails to see the height variations. For really finding subtle derailment spots run a 6-axle diesel engine with very small flange wheels across suspect portions of rail (like an Spectrum Dash 8-40, or Genesis SD70), and 3-axle truck will tend to rest on just two of the axles allowing the 3rd overhanging one to derail while the small flanges don't resist it. If you can run this engine around the layout without derailments then you have some pretty good track work.
WARNING: You may have to do a lot of 'shiming' with thin plastic scrapes to get everything working properly.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
Are you planning to have at least one crossover or runaround track for that yard? That's a long stretch of track and needs an escape route somewhere, or your switcher will be stuck.
Here is my yard on the Central Midland layout. I did provide for some runarounds, and I also was able to sqeeze in another one or two rails to make a larger yard. I wanted to be able to leave at least one (or preferable both) of the lines feeding into the yard open so I could back very long trains in and reverse their direction around the mainlines.

That spot where the Santa Fe locos are sitting was to be a two rail engine shop for the diesels (diesel service facility) and possible might have included a transfer table I was contemplating.

You might notice the freight yard extended into a container yard and then did a 90 degree turn into a six track staging area (not shown). I mounted some mirror type tiles behind the container area to make it look as though both this facility and the yard itself was even bigger.

More photos here:
http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?p=93268#post93268
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
....I love the plan but unfortunately I am dealing with more that I like grades. Now I really think after I do the scenery the grades will add a lot of " flare" to the layout. Downside, less cars you can pull and a little slower speeds because of the grades. Traction tires are a must , at least on mine. I have also been experimenting with the product " Bullfrog Snot" ( what a name) for traction. if you have the room to make this layout a lot bigger then I would make the grades less at the same time as making it bigger.
Grades were big on mine, but I ended up running pairs of engines...doubled- headed 4-8-2 Mountains make a great puller (no traction tires required), and double headed diesel. I could pull over 25 cars, and I had not yet converted many of them to steel wheels. All the cars needed to be weighted properly and have good couplers, particularly when you tried to back a long train into the reversing Y of the yard.

I have been test running all my engines on it for the last month that is why I have not posted new pictures. I have 99 % of the kinks worked out of the track. I ended up with minimum 22 radius and max 24 radius. I did remove all 18 radius. Make it a double mainline. It is a lot easier to run trains when you just want to run them. You can use under table switches on most of the layout. You will have to use above layout machines around the yard area.
Good advice on that radius situation. I still had a few spots of 18 inch and invariable that created problems.

The clearance for that track that runs under the yard doesn't allow for anything else under there (swiitch machines, wiring etc). I used the Atlas switch machines in the yard, but I thought seriously about making those yard switches manual control...maybe even a small wire run under the roadbed but on the table surface, and out to the edge of the yard.
 

35tac

Wayne B
The turnouts in our yard uses all Tortoise but i used the remote units because of clearance. They are difficult to install but work well. The machine can be as far away as 18 inches and no issues with moving the turnout.
Wayne
 

Ericsauto

Active Member
Here I go again. After testing running some engines tonite and everything is running pretty darn good I have decided to make a major change. I will be reconstructing parts of this layout again.The problem is that I am not satisfied with the " Y" and making it a reversing section. Also as UPCSX Jim said;
Are you planning to have at least one crossover or runaround track for that yard? That's a long stretch of track and needs an escape route somewhere, or your switcher will be stuck.

I started thinking, if I could make the trains enter the yard from one side of the layout and exit out the other it would eliminate " backing out of the yard and the reversing module would not have to be used. Now Jim this is all your fault for making me do this.:D ( Just kidding)

This is going to take some serious time but I think I can cure the yard problems and at the same time lower my toughest grade on the layout because I will have to extend the layout again another 2 feet. Man the wife is really worried the laundry room is next.

The project starts this Saturday morning and I promise there will be pictures and some cussing.;) Oh well it is dreary in Ohio what else to have to do??
 

Motley

Active Member
(snip)
Man the wife is really worried the laundry room is next.


Oh well it is dreary in Ohio what else to have to do??

I'm still laughing, that is so funny. Tell your wife she can go down the street to the laundromat! :rolleyes:

Have fun with the re-design, looks like it's keeping you busy, sounds like a better plan.
 

Ericsauto

Active Member
Had to make an emergency run to Florida last week. Was able to do some work on the layout but I am going to try to do a lot today since it is frickin freezing in Ohio. I will post some pictures tonight of what I have done.
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Thanks for the updates on the Central Midland layouts. The current trend is obviously toward "around the walls" shelf type construction, but the CM has always facinated me with an old school charm. It is great to see folks that still appreciate this cool track plan. :cool:
 

Ericsauto

Active Member
Ok Here are some updated pictures. You can view them in Photobucket or my link at the bottom of this post. It has been a long day and it has been a challenge but it is working out sweet.:D I have eliminated the hard grades. I have the whole layout down to the largest grade is now 3% . BIG improvement. This original plan was to modify the Central Midland From a 12 x 10 to a 17 x10 with an extra 5 ' leg . Now the layout is 20 1/2' by 10' with an extra 5' leg ( A large "U" ) It will now have a total of 10 bridges when done. 2 full main lines with a minimum of 22 degrees radius. All code 83 Atlas track , sectional and flex. I have squeezed every part of my 24 X 15 space that I have. You can still walk around 3 sides of the layout making viewing for visitors fun. I will post more PIX as I complete sections.I have been very patient and have tested a lot. I will continue testing what I have done for the the next month and make adjustments. Then hopefully I can start finishing all my wiring and then start all my foam work. By this time next year you will see major improvements. This project has been rough but I can tell you that it has been fun to figure out. I have learned a ton. So here are a few pix and more are posted as I said, enjoy and I welcome any comments.

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Ericsauto

Active Member
Forgot to post a before & after of the bridges:

Before:
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After:
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Big difference.
 
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Ericsauto

Active Member
* Things have been crazy and hopefully I will be able to get back to doing some serious work on the layout. Hard to stay indoors when it is starting to get so nice outside. Too many hobbies so little time. ;)

Finally have the track work on the main about perfect. Can run some long trains and long time with few derailments. It sure pays off being patient to make sure track work is good
 

Motley

Active Member
Was wondering what happened, we need to see progress and pics!! Don't go outside, it's dangerous out there...:rolleyes:
 

35tac

Wayne B
Eric, you are right, never enough time. I have isolated three places for track issues. Those are next on my list. Its the SD-40-2's that have the most issues. Six wheel trucks.
Wayne
 

Ericsauto

Active Member
Wayne, The 3/8 plywood by the entrance to the yard is where I am experiencing some slight warp issues. ( not much) but you can tell it is a bit. I am going to support it with maybe a piece of pine ( 1 x2 ? ) I am watching this area as the weather is changing and the humidity in my basement changes. I have a brand new MTH veranda with a SD70ace pushing it and when I get to this point the Veranda will derail 2 out of 10 times. I will post my cure. The rest seems good and I am glad I used 5/8 roadbed in the other areas.
 

Ericsauto

Active Member
Wayne sorry for the I-phone picture and I hope it works. Here is what I am talking about. Notice I am holding up a piece of pine where I am going to reinforce the weak point.

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Here are a couple of Pix of my MTH stuff. My new Veranda is pretty cool but it does need a helper when trying to pull 20 to 25 cars around the layout. I have a sd70ace leading a helping hand

I know everyone , this is not Prototypical and it is MTH products but it is what I like. :p
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Ericsauto

Active Member
Some updated Pictures

Okay I thought I would finally update everyone on some progress. After going crazy jumping all over the layout and not really getting a lot done I have decided since most of my track work is done I would start at one end and work my way to the other end. My plan is to at least get a road that goes around the whole layout and get the terrain done. I figure I could then start adding trees, structures , etc. The part of the layout I am starting on is what was left of the old layout. I have modified the yard of Central Midland so that you can enter and exit at either end of the layout. I have removed the "Y" going into the yard thus having no need for a reversing loop. The only problem I have with the yard modification is that on the end that has the tunnel and Drive-In ,the grade and radius is a tad bit more than I wanted. But it does work quite well.

Had to get the Drive-in up and running. It is not the finished product but looks pretty good right now. A lot more detail later. I have also installed and painted the sides of this part of the layout. I used 1/4" masonite and flat black paint, damn it looks good if I have to say so myself. It came out better than I thought. So here are some pictures and as always you can go to my private page or photbucket and view all if you wish.

More to come.
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Ericsauto

Active Member
Another note to add........

After looking at the pictures I think I am going to move the playground to the front of the drive in like the good old days. ;)
 




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