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Mumbling in the corner
DSD's Layout Progress Thread

I suppose I should have posted this to my earlier thread on the topic, but I just feel like doing it as a new thread.

A few weeks ago I ran into a professional in the model railroading field. We met a few years ago I mentioned I was itching to finally get going on a layout. So when we met recently, he asked whether anything had come of that and invited me to contact him if I needed any advice. And because he emphasized that, I don't the he was just being polite.

So I sent him the plan I posted earlier and he got back to me with a really detailed assessment. He thought it was pretty good, but suggested some changes: Improving the reach at Aaronsburg, reconfiguring the siding and yard at Eagle Junction so that the yard and engine terminal are closer at hand to the central operating area; making the staging track double ended; and bringing the three tracks on the lift-out close enough together that the lift-out itself can be narrower than 18 inches originally contemplated.

Following his advice I've made some revisions. I think this pretty well nails it.

Full plan
WR+N-Revised-0821-2013-ALL.jpg Staging WR+N-Revised-0821-2013-Staging.jpg

WR+N-Revised-0821-2013-visible only.jpg
Visible trackage only
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Mumbling in the corner
[UPDATED] I've made a big mess of that spreadsheet, so I'm removing it from view for now.

Although I've set grades on the SCARM trackplan, those are able to be adjusted. To make that easier I've put together a spreadsheet to help me with figuring out various heights along the route.

The spreadsheet assumes that all switches are on a level grade (this is what SCARM assumes, too), so all distances on which calculations are based exclude switches at either end of the segment measured. (The distances are derived from SCARM's calculations).

The heights that are indicated in blue italic bold are automatically entered from other fields (so that I only have to enter a particular height point once).

I think the location references should be fairly clear from the spreadsheet, but to help, from Eagle Junction to Aaronsburg is "west," and from Eagle Junction to St. Matthew is "east". The portal east of St. Matthew is at zero. The portal west of Aaronsburg is elevated (currently about 0.8 inches), and the zero elevation point at that end is the next switch to the west (right) of the switch located just inside the portal.


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It looks good to me, well designed. Just be aware that the liftout will have to be very precisely made . Liftouts on a curve are the worst for derailments. The flanges of leading wheels will be rubbing along the outside rail, any cars in the middle of the train will have their flanges dragged along the inside rail. If there are any imperfections in alignment, or if the gap is too large, they will find it and derail.


Mumbling in the corner
Thanks. Definitely hear you on the lift-out issue. I'm even thinking of using bridge track for the lift-out -- even if none of the tracks is on a bridge -- to help prevent derailments. And I'm leaving the space under it clear so that it can alternate as a duck-under.


Active Member
When you build this drop in bridge. First lay the tracks normally. And run drop wires also.

Then ballast the tracks. The ballast holds down the tracks from moving.

Then final step cut the rails using a dremmel with the very thin cut wheel. The diamond cutter is what I used, it cuts very thin through butter on the rails. Also cut at an angle, to help keep alignment better. Like this: \\---------//
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Mumbling in the corner
Thanks, Motley - - sounds very helpful.

I have a question about 'how things are done here'. I hope to start posting some pix in a couple weeks as I make progress on construction. Is the usual practice to just set up a single thread that I add to over the years, even? Or can one start new threads with new developments?

As to where, it looks like workshop is the standard place. Is that correct?

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