Newbie Question

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GeorgeJr7

Guest
Hello all I just registered because I want to build my first layout and I have many questions.

What is the difference between an Atlas #4 Right Hand Turnout and a Life Like Power Loc Right Hand Remote Turnout? I'm want to build this layout http://www.thortrains.net/4holay4.html and it has 2 right hand turnouts and 1 lefthand turnout. Can I just use extra Power Loc remote turnouts? Thanks for any help you can give me.
 

JeffShultz

Stay off the tracks!
Aren't the PowerLoc turnouts part of Life-Like's proprietary snap-together track+ballast stuff? Like Atlas Tru-Track and Bachmann's whatever...? Yep... it is.

PowerLoc turnouts only work with other PowerLoc track products.

Atlas has Code 83 and Code 100 track products as well as Tru-Track. The layout looks like it was designed for Atlas Snap-Track (which is a Code 100 product).
 

abcraghead

Mmmm, turbos
I think that what's being asked is, are they the same geometry, allowing him to substitute the Life-Like track for Atlas track for the whole thing.

The answer is, no. Atlas' #4 is a proper, prototype based turnout, albeit very sharp. The Life-Like turnouts use different geometry. However, you might still be able to make the plan work with some minor modification to, say, a single curved section of track.
 
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GeorgeJr7

Guest
Thanks, that is what I was wondering. I have all the required the tracks but the #4 or #6 turnout was my only problem
 

abcraghead

Mmmm, turbos
The Life-Like turnouts are similar to Atlas' "snap switch" -- it's sharper than a #4 in order to have a constant radius of 18", so you can swap out the curved sections for 18" radius curves.

You can still do some interesting arrangements with that track, but if you want to use many of the published plans, you'll need track like Atlas track that has #4 and #6 turnouts.

BTW, those plans are nice, but a little complicated. What sort of operations are you looking for? Continuous loop with a little play value? Or are you planning on running multiple trains at one? Or...?
 

B_Kosanda

Member
Well, it looks like you can start out with the simplest version and upgrade to the more complicated version as time goes on. I would suggest that you have at least one siding of some sort, else all you'll be doing is running trains in a circle and you'll be out of the hobby in no time. We want you around for a while!

Bill
 

modelbob

Administrator
My suggestion, if you're brand new to this, would be to use the track the plan is designed for the first time around. That may save you some trouble. Once you're more familiar with building track and cutting and fitting and putting curves together etc then you can substitute track pieces.

Of course if you're already familiar enough to say "Hey, I can handle this, what's he talking about?" then by all means go for it.
 

abcraghead

Mmmm, turbos
B_Kosanda said:
I would suggest that you have at least one siding of some sort, else all you'll be doing is running trains in a circle and you'll be out of the hobby in no time. We want you around for a while!
Amen!

The surest road to boredom is a loop with no runaround! You get bored with how unrealistic it is really fast -- having to send your engine around a fantasy loop to get to the other end of your cars gets old. In fact, you don't really need a continuous connection at all, but if you are jsut starting out, I suggest you do have the option of continous running. Sometimes after you finish a car or a building or some scenery, you just want to turn it on and watch it for a while, and soak in your accomplishments! :D
 
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GeorgeJr7

Guest
I have three complete trains sets that I've had for about 4 years now still in the box. What I want is a layout where I can run two trains at the same time on a 4x8 layout. If anyone has any ideas for Life Like Power Loc steel track please give them to me. Where is the best place on the web to buy train accessories? Ive been checking out hobbylinc.com for extra track is there anywhere cheaper?
 
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GeorgeJr7

Guest
What type of board is best for a 4x8 layout? I went to a local hardware store and there were about 50 different types of 4x8 plywood. Do I go with the lightest, cheapest???
 

modelbob

Administrator
GeorgeJr7 said:
What type of board is best for a 4x8 layout? I went to a local hardware store and there were about 50 different types of 4x8 plywood. Do I go with the lightest, cheapest???

I certainly wouldn't go with the lightest. The plywood is literally the foundatio of your railroad. You want it to be sturdy. I'd suggest using at least 1/2 inch thick. You might even want thicker, depending on how you plan on supporting it.

My test for good benchwork? Can you stand on it without it sagging? Yes, I'm serious... You're going to put a lot of time and effort into your layout. Having the subgrade warp or bend and ruin all the work you put into laying good track is really discouraging.

As for cheapest, you can use some of the lesser grades, especially if you plan on putting something like Homasote on top. I can't recall exactly what it's called, but only one side needs to be "finished". (The other side may have unfilled knot holes)
 

B_Kosanda

Member
I'd agree. Use 1/2 inch plywood. Build a frame out of 1x4's under the plywood. 16 inches on center minimum.

Bill
 

B_Kosanda

Member
Before you do that, you might want to consider gluing a piece of foam insulation board on top of the plywood. This would allow you to do some carving on the landscape fairly easily. That way it won't look so much like a flat piece of wood. You could use the 1 1/2 inch thich stuff. If you do this though you will be forced to glue the track down to the foam with latex liquid nails or other foam friendly adhesive.


Bill
 
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GeorgeJr7

Guest
Thanks all. My original plan was to but the 1/2 inch thick board its about 31 lbs and $25.00 each piece, and then have the hardware company saw it in half width wise. I would then have door like hinges to put the two pieces back together. My goal is to have a 4x8 layout that will fold completely in half something like a ping-pong table. Being in the military I never know how long I'm going to be in one place and having a table that will fold down will make packing for the movers a lot easier. Has anyone tried this, or do you think it would work?
 

JeffShultz

Stay off the tracks!
Whatever board you get, it's recommended that it be at least 5-ply plywood. The more plys, the stiffer it is.
 

B_Kosanda

Member
I doubt that folding a layout in half would work. The track junctions at the fold will be problematic. Also, if there is any scenery attached to the layout, it will have to be removed. How about making the layout as (2) 4x4 sections that are joined, but can be seperated?

Bill
 




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