Sometimes track plans don't work out

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NYC_George

Well-Known Member
I had some trouble with passenger cars derailing on a curve just after they came off the helix. No trouble with freight just the passenger.
I decided to take out the curve and at the same time expanding the trestle bench work. It worked The new realigned trestle is in the image below. It's the top bridge. While I was doing this I also painted some background scenery. I'm no artist but it's fairly easy to do. Just trying to create some shadows with some brown, green, light green and grey colors.

George

janesville_bridge_complex_1.jpg
 

KB02

Well-Known Member
Sometimes track plans certainly do not work out. That is true. Great work. Your scenery looks fantastic!
 

Rico

BN Modeller
Funny you’d post this now George, I’m finding problems with exactly the same thing!
I'm rethinking the whole track plan today, need to simplify the dang thing.
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately, a failed track system, or a portion of it, lies chiefly in not thinking things through from the beginning. In fact, not crafting a scale diagramme is often where things go wrong, or wanting to cram too much trackage into a defined space.

Call it good luck on my part, but right from the beginning I knew I needed to see where my tracks would run and if the curves would all come to a loop, the way I like to see my trains run. I would take 1" wide masking tape and lay it all out on the floor using a trammel or some kind of measuring device to ensure my radii were correct, but also to ensure my frog angles and turnout lengths were accurate.

Another trick I learned: take a thin piece of plywood left over from something else and draw a 'minimum radius' curve on it. Cut out that curve, and then make a straight back to it or cut another nested curve 16 mm from the first curve so that the piece of ply will nest between the two rails on a curve. If it fits, you know you have that minimum curve, and that minimum curve should represent the minimums for your longest coupled items. In my case, it would be the coupled Walthers heavyweight passenger cars with their stiff diaphragms. But I also have a brass steamer, a CPR 2-10-4 Selkirk that needs 30 inch curves as a minimum. In order to greatly reduce any errors in my track laying from going below that 30" minimum, I made a curved plywood template of 33", that is, adding 10% fudge factor to account for errors. So far, it has worked very well.
 

GeeTee

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately, a failed track system, or a portion of it, lies chiefly in not thinking things through from the beginning. In fact, not crafting a scale diagramme is often where things go wrong, or wanting to cram too much trackage into a defined space.

Call it good luck on my part, but right from the beginning I knew I needed to see where my tracks would run and if the curves would all come to a loop, the way I like to see my trains run. I would take 1" wide masking tape and lay it all out on the floor using a trammel or some kind of measuring device to ensure my radii were correct, but also to ensure my frog angles and turnout lengths were accurate.

Another trick I learned: take a thin piece of plywood left over from something else and draw a 'minimum radius' curve on it. Cut out that curve, and then make a straight back to it or cut another nested curve 16 mm from the first curve so that the piece of ply will nest between the two rails on a curve. If it fits, you know you have that minimum curve, and that minimum curve should represent the minimums for your longest coupled items. In my case, it would be the coupled Walthers heavyweight passenger cars with their stiff diaphragms. But I also have a brass steamer, a CPR 2-10-4 Selkirk that needs 30 inch curves as a minimum. In order to greatly reduce any errors in my track laying from going below that 30" minimum, I made a curved plywood template of 33", that is, adding 10% fudge factor to account for errors. So far, it has worked very well.
Agree 100%. The one thing I would add is using a diagram or CAD will not only let you find potential problems , but also make maximum use of the space. More than once when working on a layout , the situtation has arisen where someone has said "if we had only moved that over 2 inches we could have added this whole other thing " .

You can waste alot of time ripping up a 6 or 7 track yard and moving it over 2 inches so you can add another track , lead , runaround , or engine service.

Having built several layouts over the years , I 've built them with scale diagram , and I have "winged it" several times. Your miles ahead of the game if you have a diagram.

Before you build , you do need to know your parameters ,grade , train size , max car length , number of drivers , blind or flanged...ect and you need an accurate scale drawing of the room your going to put it in. and then pad the numbers to allow for error such as settling or walls not being perfectly vertical.

You sleep better knowing that its going to fit.
 

NYC_George

Well-Known Member
Here's how the new route to the helix looks after remodeling the track plan. Much better. I also took out the brace I adding to the bench work. It was a bad idea and looked terrible.
George

bridge_helix_2.jpg
 

Frank

Active Member
Unfortunately, a failed track system, or a portion of it, lies chiefly in not thinking things through from the beginning. In fact, not crafting a scale diagramme is often where things go wrong, or wanting to cram too much trackage into a defined space.

Call it good luck on my part, but right from the beginning I knew I needed to see where my tracks would run and if the curves would all come to a loop, the way I like to see my trains run. I would take 1" wide masking tape and lay it all out on the floor using a trammel or some kind of measuring device to ensure my radii were correct, but also to ensure my frog angles and turnout lengths were accurate.

Another trick I learned: take a thin piece of plywood left over from something else and draw a 'minimum radius' curve on it. Cut out that curve, and then make a straight back to it or cut another nested curve 16 mm from the first curve so that the piece of ply will nest between the two rails on a curve. If it fits, you know you have that minimum curve, and that minimum curve should represent the minimums for your longest coupled items. In my case, it would be the coupled Walthers heavyweight passenger cars with their stiff diaphragms. But I also have a brass steamer, a CPR 2-10-4 Selkirk that needs 30 inch curves as a minimum. In order to greatly reduce any errors in my track laying from going below that 30" minimum, I made a curved plywood template of 33", that is, adding 10% fudge factor to account for errors. So far, it has worked very well.
This is definitely true, my layout is pretty much a nightmare in terms of the various curves going on because of how much I needed to do on the module. I just plan on never running any trains very fast through any of it.

It's also easy to forget that the curve itself is just effectively just the trucks, additional clearance is required for the rest of the cars when going around curves.
 

NYC_George

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately, a failed track system, or a portion of it, lies chiefly in not thinking things through from the beginning.
My problem all started about 7 years ago when the hurricane hit New York. A tree came through the roof in 3 places and the basement flooded. The slump pump was under the helix at the time and wasn't working. Crawling under the helix in 2 foot of water trying to get it going was something I never wanted to do again. So I moved the helix to were it is now. It was never meant be where it is. Some compromises had to be made but it's good now.
George
 




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