Starting from scratch; new layout

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Ballhog24

Woody
Ok, after discussing the conversion process and figuring out time tables; we have decided to run our 2005 Christmas display with track power instead of converting to battery. We'll re-visit the conversion venture early in 2006.

With that said, we have laid out what is going to start as a very basic track plan, and I'm going to post some pictures and hope I can get some advice from others in the manner of ideas, suggestions, etc. on getting this thing off the ground. After I make this post I'm going to tear the front deck apart and rebuild it, so hopefully later this evening or tomorrow I'll have updated pics from the ones I'll have on here now.

This is the area of our 2005 Christmas train layout. This space is going to be 30 feet long, left to right, and 15 feet wide, front to back. I know it's just a basic loop for now, but time is not on our side.

If you notice the green water hose, and the white rope, that is where I'm planning on running the track at this point. The sitting deck you see will be torn apart and rebuilt closer to the house, a bit larger, and I have a couple ideas for the track either running in front of the new decking, or "through" it. If I can make the "through" interesting enough, I'll stick with it.
 

Ballhog24

Woody
Miscellaneous pics

Here are some miscellaneous pictures from the area that we've decided to put our 2005 Christmas train display. If anyone sees any problems just throwing up red flags, please point them out to me. There is a very small grade running right to left, but I feel that is is minimal enough that the engines will not have a problem pulling up the grade.

The rock garden wall you see will be worked with to allow the train passage, a garden wall will be installed to help with drainage and appeal, and I'll also be installing two ADS pipes on the back left of the layout to help with drainage away from where the track will be situated.
 

sushob

Entrepreneurial Teen
Should be a fun project!

One suggestion right out of the box--be cautious as to how close you get to the driveway. If if your driveway is anything like ours, it seems to mysteriously disappear when guests are backing out, so they often use the yard instead :rolleyes: . Being as you're so close to the house it may not really matter, but you might also want to consider people getting in/out of their cars there...I would imagine foot traffic isn't very healthy for rail.

Take my suggestions lightly...I don't have any garden railroad experience. I'm sure I will enjoy watching this progress though, as I have often dreamt of a backyard empire :D .

Keep us posted!
 

Ballhog24

Woody
Here are a few more pictures, mostly of the right side of the proposed layout.
So with that said, I have some demolition and remodeling of the front sitting deck for this afternoon. Hopefully some of you will have the time to peek at these, and offer some thoughts before I start moving plants for the roadbed.

If by chance someone that reads this has a G scale track program?? Perhaps you could punch in the dimensions for me and give me an idea as to how much track I'll need. I'm figuring on ordering approximately 100ft of LGB brass track, but what I'm most concerned about is ordering the correct amount of curves and the right size curves.

Anyway, Thanks in advance, and I'll post some more when I get the demo and rebuild complete, hopefully this afternoon or tomorrow evening.
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
OK, but curious, so a question. What I'm seeing looks like your track is going to cross a walkway in two locations. Now in the smaller scales we worry about the careless and flying elbows, in your case it's going to be careless and crunching feet to worry about, or have you already taken this factor into consideration?

Willis
 

Ballhog24

Woody
CBCNSfan said:
OK, but curious, so a question. What I'm seeing looks like your track is going to cross a walkway in two locations. Now in the smaller scales we worry about the careless and flying elbows, in your case it's going to be careless and crunching feet to worry about, or have you already taken this factor into consideration?

Willis
I have taken both into consideration. As far as the sitting deck is concerned, I will be remodeling that deck to acclimate the layout, so there will be little fear of anyone being able to trounce on the track there.

As far as the walkway (red bricks)...that is very seldom used, but I also have a plan to break up the brick to allow the roadbed to flow through that area where the track will be just a hair underneath the level of the bricking...thereby not having (hopefully) too much troubles on that end either.
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
OK below the brick is good, a baseball bat to enforce the rules, well maybe as a reminder :D, best of luck with it. Keep the pictures coming during the construction,

Willis
 

Ballhog24

Woody
I've moved the sitting deck to its new location, actually just moved it about two and a half feet towards the house, but that will alleviate any foot traffic around the track.

I had to take the second section out of the decking, but have a few ideas to still use the area...just have to figure out if I'm confident enough to build a bridge that people will walk over...lol.

:eek:
 

Lady_Railfan

House Mother, Cheerleader
Here's a source for track layout templates that you might find useful.

The used layout I bought came with about 70 feet of track of various shapes and sizes. We just spread them down on the ground, straight pieces first to see how far we could go. Then we inserted the curves and turnouts. It was sheer dumb luck that we were able to use everything in our available space, and had to add only a few more pieces of track to finish the original layout.

We're presently limited to narrow gauge equipment because of tight curve radii, but I hope Phase 2 will allow us to use contemporary equipment.
 

Ballhog24

Woody
Another update

Well as the sun fades here for the evening, seems I was able to make some headway this afternoon. I was able to move the sitting porch back and now the train will rumble through in front of it.

In one of the pictures you'll notice that a couple of families have taken the lead since hearing of the distinct possibility that the railroad is coming through their area. These buildings were put up in no time flat...lol.

I'll have to figure out a fancy name for the area, but it will have to have Shadow Creek in the name...a band that I once formed and fronted for about six years in another life.

Possibly the "Shadow Creek and Southern Railroad"........whatcha think???
 

Ballhog24

Woody
Now comes the hard part....the work week...when I can't do a WHOLE lot on the display, only have about an hour and 1/2 to do any actual work between getting home, changed, eat dinner, and getting ready for the next day......

bummer...... :(
 

Ballhog24

Woody
and the fact that I have to sit through work and keep coming up with ideas for the layout, jot them down, then have to worry about taking all the sheets I jot on home with me when I leave this afternoon. :D
 
D

dthurman

Guest
Been there, done that :)

You could always get one of those floodlights like the fire department uses ;)
 

RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
Boy, one of those floodlights would have been nice last month.

I built a swingset for my daughters after work a few weekends ago. The daylight didn't last very long, so there was quite a bit of it built by lantern light and a six pack of Big Red soda. The lantern wasn't that effective and not having any moonlight didn't help either, so instead I mostly relied on "using the force" to get it done. Fortunately, my wife took them out for lunch the next day (a couple hours before the party), which allowed me to finish up. Much to my surprise, I didn't have to redo anything from the night before and the swingset was assembled before the party began.

So, yes, a floodlight, or something besides a lantern would be very helpful. Just don't rely on "the force" because luck may not necessarily be on your side!
 
D

dthurman

Guest
Sorry, coffee hadn't kicked in, or I would or should have elaborated more :)
 

Ballhog24

Woody
well I'm not feeling as rushed right now, but the possibility for some late night work is very real if I'm going to get this thing running by November 26th.
 

Ballhog24

Woody
Your thoughts??

Ok, something to consider and get ideas from some of you folks.

This Christmas display...we're considering making the front yard layout "semi-permanent"...as in we'll keep the track down, and run the trains out front part time during the year, with a connecting line that will go around the house to the layout that we're starting to plan in the backyard for 2006.

With that said, I want to get some opinions of roadbed and ballast. Just over 1/2 of the layout will be in the grass, (unless I decide to move the garden border to incorporate the train layout), but even so...I would still be able to mow and/or weed eat around whatever roadbed I put in.

So, what are some of your tips as far as setting up a road bed?
 




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