The D&J Railroad -- From Scratch

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D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
Been running kinda slow on the construction this past week but I have four days to catch things up over the Presidents Day weekend. Will be doing a lot of cutting plywood for the risers and installing them. Getting closer to laying the first bit of roadbed.
I have decided to move the sorting yard from the center peninsula to the right most peninsula because of how the track will flow off the lower wall. The upper wall just didn't give me the room I wanted for the yard lead.
 

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
Got some roadbed laid down. This peninsula, the center one, extends about 35 feet from the back wall. The loop in the foreground is about 120" diameter to the inside edge of the plywood.

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Got some more roadbed laid today. The second picture below is looking across the window that you can see in the background of the first picture below. The curves going into and out of the straight section across the window is about 80" radius.
The large open area in the first picture below is where the right most peninsula will be built.

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Sweet-Chuck

Member
Holey Crap. I can only say that I would drive myself crazy with this amount of space for a layout. As it is now, I am constantly redoing track work in my mind, placing this switch here, curve over there, double track here, then move it back again. That's not even talking about the industries! should it be on the hill? what about at the end of a short spur? no-how about this long spur on the hill? AAAAGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!
HAving said all that...you are obviously a man of conviction (and great strength having lost your wife:() and determination to not only start the benchwork from scratch, but finish the entire freaking basement FIRST!!!!!!
Very excited to watch this progress.
When you finish, you can help me with mine!!!:eek:
 

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
Building the roadbed around to the first peninsula (left side of the diagram in post 1) from the top wall. The track will continue around from where it is hanging free in the picture below and go around the peninsula in a counterclockwise direction, climbing at about a 1.5% grade then coming back toward the bottom wall and passing over the roadbed that you see in the picture here. This loop will be the tightest of the whole layout at 48" radius on the inner track. I'm considering moving the right side of the benchwork loop to increase the radii. The isle on the left is 36" wide.

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Pulled up the benchwork foundation and resized the loop to provide more than 50" radius.

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This angle in the picture below gives a better view of the size of this loop. The blue foam board laying on top is 8' in diameter.

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The roadbed has a better flow to it now with the wider loop.

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As the roadbed makes its way around the loop it has about a 1% grade. The plywood supports, in the photo below have to be re-positioned on the upright 2X4s to provide the support for the roadbed.
The point where I stopped the roadbed is where I will have to remove the 2X4s and replace them with taller ones. I'll start that process tomorrow. The inside edge of the roadbed on this loop is 60" radius.

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D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
Finally got the cross over set up like I wanted it. There is enough room under the upper roadbed for the tallest of frieght cars on top of the cork and track. The ruling grade up and back down is under 1%. Both tracks, top and bottom in this picture will be in tunnels as a mountain ridge-line will dissect this part of the layout.

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The roadbed continues on around to the front wall of the basement where it will be a straight shot for about 45 feet to the last peninsula (far right in the basement diagram).
The grade that is barely visible in this picture below is about .25%.

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otiscnj

Well-Known Member
Looking good! Experience has taught me to some degree that having more space creates a simpler track plan. Looking forward to more photos!
 

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
I have been kicking around the idea of going to code 83 track since I started the benchwork on this layout. I have 600 feet of code 100 still in the boxes from MB Klien along with the 7 scale miles of it from the previous layout. Today I placed an order for 100 pieces of code 83 flex track along with some #10 turnouts, track joiners and some other stuff. I was considering going with the concrete ties but those where out of stock. I put that on my wish list and will do a section of the layout with those. I have about another scale mile or so of roadbed to build along with the remaining peninsula before I can start laying track. I think I can us the code 100 in the main yard and siding then bury the ties with ballast for a lower track profile. The remainder of the code 100 will go on ebay in various bundles.

Today I built roadbed out to the center peninsula. The track will swing into the small inlet of the bottom wall of the diagram on post #10 then will swing back out and continue out along the right most peninsula. The left side of the right peninsula will be the main division yard. I think I might be able to get at least 8 tracks into it along with the double track mainline. The yard lead will begin along the wall that ya see in the picture below where the roadbed widens out. This will give me about 20 feet before the yard for incoming and outgoing trains before they get to the mainline. A #10 cross over will go further up the wall for traffic to cross over from the outside track to the inside so it can come down the yard lead. The curved roadbed in the foreground is 60" radius. The roadbed in the bottom left is the center peninsula.

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Starting the build on the last peninsula as seen in the picture below. The sorting yard will be on the left side of the peninsula with the yard lead coming from the left side of the picture. The yard will extend about 30 feet to where it will wrap around this loop (behind where the picture is taken from) and then join back into the mainline as it travels toward the wall in this picture then off to the right.

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D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
Progress has slowed a bit as I found some sever problems with the grade on peninsula 1. I spent a couple days thinking about how to solve it then a few more days actually making the corrections. The grade problem continued on down the wall shown in picture #1 of post 30. All of it is fixed now and the third peninsula is completed now. Moving on to install the roadbed on the third peninsula then start laying cork and track.
 

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
Getting the third peninsula built and roadbed laid out. This is the tightest curve of the three peninsulas at about 50" radius on the inside track. There will be three tracks here; the two mainline and the outer track will be the yard lead. The main yard will go on the far side of the distant peninsula where there will be more room for the yard master.

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Checking the transitions of the roadbed joints. This one seems to be perfect as they are sitting on a loose code 83 track.

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The picture below is the middle peninsula with a couple of auto carriers placed in there to show off the broad curve.

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choops

Member
That is a LOT of plywood.... The layout is looking awesome and well built. Keep up the great work.
Steve
 

otiscnj

Well-Known Member
I've got to say, your 'structure' for the layout is very unconventional, in my experience. Makes me want to stay tunned. Any idea if you're using any less lumber than if you had built something more 'conventional?'
 

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
I've got to say, your 'structure' for the layout is very unconventional, in my experience. Makes me want to stay tunned. Any idea if you're using any less lumber than if you had built something more 'conventional?'
Can't really say on that. I can only say that the benchwork is solid when the roadbed is attached. The bottom frame is secured to the floor with concrete screws so the bench doesn't slide. The plywood rectangles are cut from 1/4" plywood. The verticle 2x4s and the 2x4s the secure the roadbed to the plywood are what provide the strength to the structure.
Once the entire roadbed is installed and adjusted, the track buss wire will be layed out then the cork and track will be applied.

Today's progress was in building out the foundation for the yard. Those are three half sheets of plywood ripped to 24" wide and laid end to end. Sheets of homasote will be laid on top of the plywood for the actual track surface. I should be able to get at least 7 tracks in there and the double track mainline will run along the right or back edge of the yard and elevated about 1" or so above it. A drywall backdrop will run down the middle of the peninsula to separate the two sides and provide scenery background for each side.
The yard lead on the distant end will wrap around to the left and continue along the wall on the left, next to the main line for about 30' or so before joining to it with #10 turnouts. The yard will be built using #6 turnouts and will be manually controlled using either caboose throws or slide switches embedded in the ground. The yard will have drill tracks in addition to the leads as well as an arrival and departure track where the trains will be assembled. A separate section of the layout will support a diesel facility were train crews will pickup their motive power then dead head over to the yard for their trains.

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Finished laying the homasote for the entry to the yard. The most detailed part was the transition from cork to homasote. The two auto racks would show the slightest offset between the cork and the homasote if there was any, in the coupler alignment. I ran out of 3/4" plywood to finish the other end of the yard and the mainline. I'll pick up another sheet in a couple days and finish this out. Tomorrow, I'll be making the final roadbed height adjustments to the 35' of road bed leading up to the yard using the lasar.

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Ken,
 
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D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
Starting to lay cork and track.
This is the throat of the yard as we are figuring out how to get the A/D track along with the yard turnouts in there. The two A/D tracks go off to the right while the classification tracks will be closer to the front edge of the benchwork. The mainline will run by the yard on the right where the bare plywood is.

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The picture below is along the bottom wall in the basement diagram of post #10 going to the left wall.
The cork roadbed is glued to the plywood with adhesive caulk. The caulk looks like its pretty think here but actually its a thin enough film of caulk its almost transparent.

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This is the cork as it is laid out on caulk to the roadbed. I'll let it sit for a day or so then test it to see how well the caulk holds it.

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D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
Took a couple weeks off from working on the layout. As I was laying the cork roadbed around the right most loop up to the yard throat, I determined that the radii was a bit tighter than I really wanted it to be. It was down to about 38" radii when I wanted to keep it near 45 on the inner track. The longer freight cars, i.e. auto carriers and TOFCs look better on wider curves.

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I decided I could get about 5 or 6 more inches of radii if I moved the benchwork of the middle loop then expand the right most loop. In order to do this, I had to tear up about 20' of cork roadbed that I had already glued down.

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I tried to salvage the cork but the glue was just to strong. I had to lift some track too and that was pretty touchy to keep from separating the ties from the rail. The above picture is the right most loop, partially dismantled and the middle loop plywood has already been adjusted to keep the isle way at least 30" wide. The plywood panels on the right will be moved toward the isle about 10" and the roadbed plywood will be moved out closer to the edge of the plywood panels to open up the track loop.
I'm still wrestling with setting up the Digitrax block detection and signals.
 
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joed2323

Member
wow thats impressive. are you doing all the work yourself??? how much do you have invested into lumber for your bench work, if you dont mind me asking??

looks like you will have one awesome mainline run that will just keep going and going, almost looks bigger then alot of club layouts... cool. cant wait to see more pictures
 

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
wow thats impressive. are you doing all the work yourself??? how much do you have invested into lumber for your bench work, if you dont mind me asking??

looks like you will have one awesome mainline run that will just keep going and going, almost looks bigger then alot of club layouts... cool. cant wait to see more pictures

I really haven't been keeping a running total of the material cost, but just a guess which would include the material for the walls, i.e. studs, drywall, hardware, mud, primer, paint then the material for the actual layout itself, I'm probably around $3K.
 




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