My Layout ...

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Sirfoldalot

Product Tester ACME INC.
Staff member
If nothing else - use it in the background as an abandoned bridge .... I believe that NYC George did this recently?
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
Good Idea. I had thought about reducing the height to use in other places, but then think about the time the previous owner put into it. But that too wouldn't probably be a bad thing to do with it.
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
The outer loop is ready for track, which will commence this evening. I still have to get the wiring chase completed on the underside for power and try to figure out if I want to wire the switches or leave them manual. I have both in my track setups.
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
Got the first 1/2 of the outer loop completed last night. I forgot how big a pain flex track can be around curves. I may get the other side done tonight.
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
Rethinking the trackage and how I have the quad switches under the cabinets. While the cork underlayment is set for the track, I can still adjust the actual track. I'm thinking that if I put it just after the first curve but before the rise, (on the left as you see it in the above photo), it will solve an access issue and allow me to be able to park the Empire Builder with out the 22" curves of the inner loop being involved. My train yard is going to be in that area anyway, town on the inner loop to the right.
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
Got several hours of train time yesterday afternoon. I revamped the lift bridge and approaches for a smoother transition, the E's not longer hit the railing!!! Then I dropped the good E unit and broke the front coupler off....<grrrr> I did get the lead unit repaired and running so until I can get a new coupler (need the coupler box for a Proto 2000), I have a new lead. I swapped the switches from under the cabinets to near where I wanted the train yard to be, and ran several engines around the trackage. Still don't have something right as the small engines run through the switches, but the E's and the tender on the 0-6-0 tend to guide off the switches. I need to look more into why. One truck stays straight while a following truck wants to turn.

I also placed some guards to help catch wayward engines as I haven't run any cars yet.
 

logandsawman

Well-Known Member
Then I dropped the good E unit and broke the front coupler off....<grrrr> I did get the lead unit repaired and running so until I can get a new coupler (need the coupler box for a Proto 2000), I have a new lead. I swapped the switches from under the cabinets to near where I wanted the train yard to be, and ran several engines around the trackage. Still don't have something right as the small engines run through the switches, but the E's and the tender on the 0-6-0 tend to guide off the switches. I need to look more into why. One truck stays straight while a following truck wants to turn.

I also placed some guards to help catch wayward engines as I haven't run any cars yet.
I dropped one of my more expensive loco's and had a heck of a time getting things back together, kinda like humpty dumpty, there were soo many small details and a couple got banged, also replacement parts were not available. If damage had been a little worse I would have had to throw it away or keep it for parts.

Luckily if yours was just a coupler you did well!
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
I did some more work on the layout as I indicated in the Coffee Shop. I ended up changing out 3 of the 4 switches as I found that coming off the curves was what was causing my issue. I have 1 switch in the main outer loop to direct traffic to the inner loop. I also added a straight piece to both sides of the switch so the trucks hit it straight instead of still curving. I think a crossover switch like what has been discussed in a couple of other threads would be ideal, but I need to look into pricing for one.

I also found out that my t-pins holding the track is causing most of my derails. seems that as the trains pass they move the pins around and then that causes them to derail the next time through the loop. Easy enough fix once I tack the track down more permanently.

I noticed the engines slow down a little on the uphill side of the layout (both directions) and resume speed once they hit the flat on the bridge. I don't know how bad that becomes once their actually pulling cars. I have approximately a 3" lift over about 5 feet of run.

Before I glue the track down I need to make sure I'm OK with the single feed between the loops. On on hand it solves an issue about the crossover , but I'd need to back trains up on the main depending on direction. That's OK but not ideal. I do remember reading about how some trains going into New York city had to be backed out of the stations.
 

santafewillie

Well-Known Member
I noticed the engines slow down a little on the uphill side of the layout (both directions) and resume speed once they hit the flat on the bridge. I don't know how bad that becomes once their actually pulling cars. I have approximately a 3" lift over about 5 feet of run.
Uh oh! That's a 5% grade; you may be lucky if they don't stall completely with a load behind them. Adding helpers will get them to the top, but the speed reduction will still be present. Most modeler's aim for 2%, but 3% is usually possible depending on equipment. 2% is about 48" in length for every 1" in rise, hence you would need a 12' approach. I know that some logging railroads are even more steep, but they usually have more than two or three cars to tow. Also, some engines are not affected as much.
See if you can lengthen that approach now before you get too far into construction. Another possibility if you're passing over another track, is to lower that track a bit to reduce the grade on the higher track.
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
Ok, I did a little work yesterday, about 30 minutes and got a bit done. As I was posting in my Mantua Loco thread, I think I figured out the way to get my 4 switch crossover to work after I relocated it. Why you get something stuck in your head and can't think to turn it around....

Pics of what the final will look like:

20190425_174543.jpg20190425_174619.jpg20190425_174625.jpg

I figured that if I made the outer loop have the short side and the inner loop with the long side it would work better. Not my original thinking but handles much better. The first photo shows the switches in place while the last 2 show a mocked up inner loop connection. After several runs in both directions, no derails and the little switch engine runs both directions just fine. I will try to start glue down over the weekend.

I do wish to correct my previous post, I have the 3" lift over 6.5 feet. I didn't think I had that much length. That will reduce the grade a little bit. I have noticed that the only engine that slows down a little is the steam switch, but then it really won't live on the main. I do expect the E's to slow if I attempt a full run of the Empire Builder.

I did also locate my 3 IHC models. I have the firehouse, 3 houses under construction and the church. I just don't know how many I'll actually use anymore. I know I have a ton of stuff I picked up without thinking about where I might use it. But isn't that part of the hobby as well?
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
Got almost all of the outer loop rail glued and tacked down. The exception is that I only tacked down the switches as I was unsure about where I could or could not safely glue them down. Next project is to test and change out the change engines on the switches. I have a bunch of the electric solenoids and would prefer those to the manual, then on to the inner loop and sidings yard, before I lay out the rest of the stuff. It's going slower than I'd like, but any faster and I'd probably waste more material than than I need to.

I still have to angle the track ends and figure out the wiring for the lift bridge. As I stated in the coffee shop, it's currently acting as a duck under with rail joiners keeping everything aligned and powered. At 58 and having had 2 knee replacements (same knee) it isn't something I can do for much longer.
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
Hopefully I'll get more time this weekend, but I was able to get all the pins out of the track and have a test run. I have a couple of small areas that need attention and rails that need cleaning. I probably have a little glue on them, and a pinch point that caused Thomas to derail at one point, but that should be fixable. The track inspection car I have runs through everything just fine. I've found if Thomas works, then generally everything else will too.
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
Snuck a little train time last night and fixed one of the lift bridge approaches I wasn't happy with. Waiting for the glue to dry. When it's done, I plan to cut the rail ends at about a 45 and the same to the track on the bridge so they line up and overlap, looking like one piece when looking from above. I just need to set an alignment pin so the rails line up once the bridge is back in place.
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
A little picture of the E-7 running the rails.
20190616_105551.jpg


And the E-7 is going past the wreck of the Thomas....lol I had the engine running when I took the picture. It is the one I broke the front coupler off of a while back.

And poor Thomas was set down gently, I don't like setting them on their wheels on the foam. We actually have 2 Thomas engines as I bought 2 different sets from Hobby Lobby on closeout for about $25 each. Thomas lists for $50 as a standalone engine, so I don't think I did too bad, and yes almost all of my train stuff is either 2nd had or deep discount. The only things I paid close to list for was the E-7 pair. Now wishing they were an F-7 pair.
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
I was able to do some more engineering last evening and worked out a rerail diamond using code 100 flex track the I had laying about.
20190710_193813.jpg


It is soldered at the tips and super-glued down. It was nice to see the wheels go back where the belonged when they hit it. I also soldered a rail connection as I tried something with a piece of flex on a curve that solved a running problem, but I couldn't use a rail joiner on. I had about 4" of dead track on one rail. Now that I know what I need to do with the rerailer, I can make a bunch more. I have some older brass track that I avoided using as I have a bunch of flex track I'll probably never use and more track coming from the auction. I probably ought to make a jig, but I think I can freehand it well enough. The parallel portions of the diamond are about 3/32" off the main rails or 1/2" between the rails of the diamond.

Sadly due to this new feature, Thomas can no longer run the main line as there is a spot where some of the gearing for him runs below the track line and hits the diamond.
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
Been a while since posting here:

Track is completely laid and working. No derails!!!

20191213_192543.jpg
20191213_192554.jpg
20191213_192601.jpg
20191213_192607.jpg

Anyone notice what's missing?

I got almost all the ties between the flex joints added back in. The only exceptions are where the lift bridges are. I place them in and then connect them with rail joiners. It solved a bunch of issues with wiring. In the first and third pictures you can see the little track inspection car running. I forgot it was when I was running when I took the picture, which is why it is fuzzy.

On that third picture you see the 15" gap between the train table and the wall. I'm going to add a 14" filler extension and use that extra space for landscape and possible expansion but not yet have any specific plans for expansion.
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
OK, after more thought than I should need, I'm going to flatten the outer loop and lift bridge with it. That will allow me to expand the 14" I need on the one side and also allow me to not need to try to landscape a "Hill" I really don't have room for. In the 3rd picture in the above post, you can see the space (with the outlet) where I can put an additional 14" and still be about 1.5" away from the wall. By taking down the risers, I can then access the space on the backside of it with additional rails and scenery.

Any thoughts?
 




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