Friday, November 27, 2015

Staging tracks going down

Most of the benchwork is in, including the new peninsula. I used 2x4's for most of the peninsula, they were half the cost of 1x4s. They sit on top of L girders made from 2x4's. They will also support the lower level. I can now park my truck on this thing. Thanksgiving morning was spent putting down the new plywood. The helix also has been installed, this was from the old layout.
With the plywood down I started laying out the new staging yard which will be under the lower level.  On this layout there will be more clearance between the staging level and the lower level, something I couldn't stand on the last layout.  Also, this staging yard will have 7 tracks, 5 of which are attached to a reversing loop so trains can be recycled at any time.
After a year and a half it's great to see track going down!

Sunday, November 8, 2015


This may look like an ordinary screw in a piece of 1x4 pine to the un-trained eye, but this marks a momentous occasion. The benchwork for the new layout has begun. This section of benchwork from the old layout is the first new section to go on the wall. I have decided that the lower level rail height will be 45" while the upper level rail height will be 64". That may seem high, but for me I can just see the roofs of the cars. I like seeing the trains at eye level, just like the real thing. Plus, any switching areas will have platforms to stand on. Now it's off to Home Depot for more 1x4's.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Structure for the layout

This was an enjoyable structure kit to build. Not as much satisfaction as scratch building but this was way faster. I added a few details to the front and a different stack to the roof.  I also used the Wild West galvanized roofing instead of the shake shingles that come with the kit.  They're paper and go on really fast.  They have just a hint of rust to them.  As I've been told, many times the galvanized roofing would be painted to make it last and since I didn't want this to look too run down, I didn't want it too weathered.  This will be some sort of mining supply, general store type building for the town up on the branch.  I guess I need to name it something.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Back in the Saddle...

It is good to be modeling again. After a year in the new house, and with most of the home improvement projects coming to an end I can finally get back to the workbench.  I had a Wild West kit sitting on the shelf that just needed to be redeemed. These are fun kits. They go together well, they're easy to build and they don't take up much time. While I haven't decided what sort of business this might become, it will still fit in nicely on the layout somewhere, probably in my town on the upper level that represents Silverton. I am however really looking forward to starting benchwork in a few weeks.


Friday, July 17, 2015

New Layout Plan

After a year in the new house I've finally found some time to come up with a first draft for the new layout. We've had many remodeling projects take priority, and while I can't start the new pike just yet, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. My wonderful wife has granted me trackage rights in the rec room in our basement. The space is 30' by 27' and only has a pair of posts in the middle of the room.  It's finished and I get the whole room! My wife even thinks the new plan is really neat. What an angel I married!

I've spent quite a bit of time in the basement with the tape measure, trying the visualize where to put the yard, staging yards, peninsulas, branch line, etc. Here is one rendition I've actually put down on paper. This plan is a two level layout with staging underneath. I can have continuous running by connecting the staging yards. While all of the individual tracks aren't set in stone, the plan shows the general scheme.

Like all plans, there are pros and cons, the biggest con is I've included a helix. I do have room behind one of the walls to get rid of it, however I'd lose about 35 feet of running on the lower level.  There are a few spots where the isle narrows to 30" but most are 42" to 48". Minimum radius was set at 30". This plan has approximately 140' of running on the lower level and approximately 152' on the upper level branch line. I figure this layout should keep 4-5 operators entertained for a few hours.

I'm open to comments so please feel free.