LAYOUT PARTY 2022-2023 Fifteenth Annual International Winter Layout Party

ppuinn Dec 17, 2022

  1. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    "We know you're out there!
    Yeah, you… and you… and you with the potato chip hanging off your lip and the half-drunk beverage sitting beside you. We know you're not working on your layout as much as you hoped to. "

    Rick Nicholson (Screen name: rsn48) issuing the first Layout Party invitation in Spring 2002.

    Welcome to the 2022-2023 Fifteenth Annual International Winter Layout Party!

    You may have ideas for a new project that you always wanted to try but never got around to.
    Or there is a stack of kits on your workbench you’ve been meaning to start.
    Or you have a partially completed project that has been neglected for far too long.
    Or you have an almost-finished project that just needs some final fine-tuning and attention to complete.
    Or you are already in the midst of a project and you want to participate in the Party to share your progress with everyone else.


    The purpose of the Layout Party is to offer recognition, encouragement, and support to all participants who are working on a layout project, and to provide inspiration to those following others’ progress in the thread. We hope to have a group of people who will post about the work completed on their layout at least once a week for the next 10 weeks. We will, of course, congratulate those who have worked on their layout, and encourage those who haven't.

    This year's Layout Party officially begins this weekend (Friday, December 16, 2022), and will run for 10 weeks until Sunday, February 26, 2023.

    Guidelines for The 2022-2023 Fifteenth Annual International Winter Layout Party Thread:

    1. In your first post, please include descriptions of:
    --your layout (brief),
    --the area of your layout that you intend to work on (“before” pictures, please…if available), and
    --a description of what you hope to accomplish in the 10 weeks of the Layout Party.


    2. At least once each week, post a brief description and/or pictures of your progress--or lack of progress--so far, and what you hope to accomplish in the next week. The object of the Layout Party is to have fun, so plan accordingly: set a reasonable goal...and feel free to revise your goal upward or downward as you go along, so you are having fun instead of feeling stressed.

    3. At the end of the Layout Party, post a description and/or picture(s) of your accomplishments.


    FWIW: Some observations and suggestions:

    • Life Happens. The idea here is for us to have some fun and act as an electronic support group so we can each get more done on our layouts.
    • Make a firm commitment to post at least once each week about progress on your layout project.
    • If you fall off the Layout Party Work Wagon, acknowledge it by reporting it honestly.
    • Then climb back on the Layout Party Work Wagon. Declaring exactly what you plan to work on during the next week will help you get back on the Layout Party Work Wagon.
    • When we have others coming over to see our layouts, we tend to get more done because we plan and prepare better, and then actually follow through so we have something to show our visitors and can garner some strokes for all our efforts. Posting in the Annual Layout Party works in much the same way: we plan, prepare, and follow through a little better when we know someone will be seeing our progress.
    • If you encounter difficulties on the layout project, remember that the other participants and all the TrainBoard members following the Layout Party thread can be a resource for encouragement and problem-solving.
    • If you have any problems posting pics, let us know so we can do appropriate problem-solving.

    Many participants have enjoyed this format and have commented that they accomplished more work on their layout in the short time we ran a Layout Party thread than they had in long time. In the 20+ years since Rick Nicholson set up the first Layout Party, hundreds of TrainBoard members have posted pictures, asked questions, moaned about problems, and encouraged others who were working through their own frustrations. Check out these links to our past layout parties.

    2021-2022 Fourteenth Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2020-2021 Thirteenth Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2019-2020 Twelfth Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2018-2019 Eleventh Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2017-2018 Tenth Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2016-2017 Ninth Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2015-2016 Eighth Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2014-2015 Seventh Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2013-2014 Sixth Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2012-2013 Fourth Annual International Winter Layout Party (Really, it was the Fifth Annual)

    2011-2012 Third Annual International Winter Layout Party (Really, it was the Fourth Annual)

    2010-2011 Third Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2009-2010 Second Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2008-2009
    2009 - First Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2008 - Spring Layout Party
    Sixth Annual International Spring Layout Party - TrainBoard.com

    2007 - Spring Layout Party
    Fifth Annual International Spring Layout Party - TrainBoard.com

    2005 – Spring Layout Party
    Door Knocker's Delight

    2004 – Spring Layout Party

    2003 – Spring Layout Party
    From Armchair to Benchwork

    2002 – Spring Layout party
    Lonely Heart's Club Band


    Dave H.
    Modeling the 1970s era Peoria and Pekin Union Railway in N-Scale
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2022
  2. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Everyone is welcome!! First-timers or Frequent Flyers, Beginning modelers or Master Model Railroaders. Maybe you are just figuring out how to support a short and narrow shelf layout at the right height in the corner of a bedroom, or you may be adding the finishing touches to the 85th industry of your basement-filling empire. No Matter...ANY TrainBoard member may participate by posting their goals and progress in this thread or by reading, oohing and ah-ing, and supportively commenting on others' progress.
     
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  3. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    For the past several years this annual thread has been an event that I look forward to and I’m in again this year.

    As has happened in previous years, travel will somewhat interrupt my participation. From mid February I will be in Japan so will have to wrap up my progress a couple of weeks early. I will have some internet access and my ipad so still be able to follow the thread while away.

    During last years party I was working on a new 8 foot long section of my layout known as Carlin. At that time it was sitting on saw horses while I was working on it. Since then it has been installed into the layout and a helix was recently completed to carry the east end of this section up to a return loop and some limited staging. More scenery has also been finished in Carlin and some operations schemes have been developed.

    So here are some goals for this year’s party:

    · To install a control panel for the east end return loop and staging area.
    · To finish a scrap yard industry on the west end of Carlin.
    · To finish the scenery around the west end of Carlin.
    · To try out some serial staging on the east end return loop.

    Should be interesting, we’ll see how for I get.
     
    Philip H, BoxcabE50, Sumner and 2 others like this.
  4. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Welcome Brad. Nice to have you back.

    Nice helix pic on your Media Page. Please jog my memory...What are the inside track and outside track radii and grades,and the height between railhead on one level and the underside of the next highest loop?

    Let me know if you need pics of various grades of ferrous scrap. I've collected dozens of proto and modeling pics for a clinic about modeling scrap yard piles and gondola loads of the different classes and grades of scrap iron.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2022
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  5. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    Once again, I have goals I want to achieve on my layout this winter. I am building a 36’ x 18’ double deck layout in HO Scale around the southern end of my Kanawha, Youngstown & Northern railroad set in the early 1970’s.

    The visible track work is about 75% complete, but I need a helix to run trains between the two levels! So building a helix is Goal #1.

    I also need to gain a little bit of elevation from the highest point of the layout (68”), which is where the main track exits the visible portion of the layout to the upper staging yard. So building a suspended loop overhead of the helix is Goal #2 (probably before the helix).

    Finally, I have almost no backdrop installed for the upper level, so backdrop installation is Goal #3.

    The helix and suspended staging access loop will be in a separate room that is currently filled with the empty Christmas decoration boxes, so nothing to see there yet. However, I can share a picture of the upper level sans backdrops (and upper level lighting)

    [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks Dave, The radius of the outside track is 19.5" and the inside track is 18". The space between the levels is 2.25" not counting the thickness of the cork and track. Photo below shows a spacer I used to keep the grade consistent. This second helix is almost identical to the first one I built several years ago and is stacked above the first one and mounted on the same all thread rods.

    Helix18.jpg
     
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  7. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    I got nothing this year but looking forward to following along. Always some great stuff here and usually some inspiration as well. :)
     
  8. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Pat--
    Shaking my head... I was looking through old Tapatalk notifications this morning and thought I had never replied to 2 questions about helices from you dated Dec 16, 2020...so I just finished sloooowly pecking out a very long text reply on my phone. If I had checked this Layout Party thread on my computer before checking my phone, I could have quickly typed out my reply and posted these pics too.
    Bartonville Helix 2007
    [​IMG]

    Kellar Helix Under construction 2007
    [​IMG]

    Peoria Helix 2005
    [​IMG]

    AHA!!! Looking for more helix pics, I just now found this picture of the outside of the Bartonville Helix which was posted on the same day as your Tapatalk questions: Dec 16, 2020!!! So I went back to the Dec 2020 Layout Party and found that I had, indeed, responded to your questions by posting this pic in the Layout Party thread.
    [​IMG] Oh well, at least this morning's Tapatalk reply listed some of the problems I had with cylindrical helices and avoided with my bowl-shaped helices.
     
  9. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    BNSF Fan--
    We're glad to have you back again this year. Did you do any more on the Grain Elevator rooftop structure or the Port-a-Potty company concrete pad after we wrapped up the 13th and 14th Annual Layout Parties?
     
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  10. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Pat--
    Great pic of graceful curves and the hand-laid turnout!
     
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  11. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks Dave, I know you have done quite a bit of modeling of scrap industries and I'm sure my effort would benefit from that input.

    There actually is no scrap yard in the actual Carlin, Nevada that I know of. Over the past year I have also been working on operations and came to realize that most of my industries are using tank cars and covered hoppers so I thought having an industry that used gondolas would be a good addition and those could be anywhere. I had various castings left over from a previous layout so that is where I am starting from.
     
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  12. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    Summarizing what I wrote back in our PMs, I’ll be building the helix in a 9’ x 7’ room that is cinder block on 3 sides, so I need to keep my radius at 36” or less.

    After further thought, I’m probably stuck with a conventional stacked helix design so I can maintain maintenance space around the outside of the helix as well as fitting a dispatcher desk, a small shelf for a chemical plant and another shelf for future expansion for a branch line where my son’s Lionel set up is now.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  13. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    Thank You! 36 and 42 inch radius curves. The Fast Tracks sweep sticks have been a godsend with the Micro Engineering flex track.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  14. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Pat, It might help folks dropping in to the Party to better understand how/where the helix will connect to the main layout, if you could draw up a floor plan that shows where a 66" diameter helix could be positioned with respect to the block walls of the 9'x7' room, where and how wide you want the aisles in that room, and any permanent shelves/cabinets/furniture/closets/heating-water-electrical fixtures in the 9x7 room that might influence the footprint of the layout deck(s); also, how/where the track(s) would go from the 9x7 room into the main layout room (?through a hole in the wall, an archway, or through a ##-inch wide doorway?), and show about where the tracks from the 9x7 room tie into any main layout room decks near the hole/archway/doorway between the two rooms.
    What heights are the lower and upper decks in the main layout room? And will the upper and lower decks in the 9x7 room be the same? Or will the track from the lower level in the main layout room rise a few inches before entering the bottom of the helix in 9x7 room or rise or fall a few inches going from the top of the helix in the 9x7 room to the upper level of the main layout?
     
  15. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    I'm in. As per usual I'll probably be working on a number of projects during the Layout Party's time period but...

    [​IMG]

    I'd like to get the track down in the hidden staging and to/from the coal mine complex. The area shown above.

    Since that picture was taken I've completed the upper level to the point it is ready for track and scenery....

    [​IMG]

    The area I'll be working on is the area under that backdrop shown above. The upper level on this side and backdrop will remain but I ....

    [​IMG]

    .... took the upper level off the other side this morning (area where all the text is above) to make it easier to work on the hidden staging area. I want to be able to run trains in the two areas first as it will be easier to deal with things without the upper level in place and before I start adding scenery that will cover a lot of it up.

    Sumner
     
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  16. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    I am going to attempt to post two pictures here: first is a crop view from my track plan of the helix at the lower level. Now this plan is about 18 months old and changes have been made, but it shows the room and the helix area.

    [​IMG]

    All tracks travel through a 4-1/2” round holes cut in the block wall as needed (already cut for lower level). I’m still planning on the chemical plant to the left inside the “bunker”. However the grocery warehouse on the right and it’s extra track around the back of the helix was eliminated, so this is all open space to the wall on the right….. the dispatcher’s desk can go here.

    The lower level is 39”, upper level is 58”. The suspended loop I mentioned earlier could be eliminated, as I realized a solution for that last night when I was finishing the ceiling in the bunker.

    Here is a full track plan for the lower level, this level is well over 90% done.
    [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Welcome back for another Party, Sumner. The way you've used text in your pictures for your Layout Party posts and for documenting the process in your build thread is very impressive.
     
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  18. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Pat,
    Your track plan is very helpful...Thanks for posting it. It looks very professional. What software did you use to create it?
     
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  19. Pfunk

    Pfunk TrainBoard Member

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    Hey there Annual International Winter Layout Party peoples - long time listener, first year poster here :ROFLMAO: j/k, I wasn't active on TB last year but this kind of resonates with me since life happened to me a lot the second half of 2022 and I didn't get to work on much of anything.

    I have a long thread on the N Scale board already about my Japanese-inspired layout you can check out (it's very slow going - you've been warned lol), but I have two rather involved scratch buildings for my city that I started and have never finished. We'll make those my by-end-of-February goal, because finishing both will be a lot of s̶w̶e̶a̶r̶i̶n̶g̶ a̶n̶d̶ t̶h̶r̶o̶w̶i̶n̶g̶ s̶t̶u̶f̶f̶ work.

    A transit station based loosely on Nobeoka Station:

    [​IMG]

    And a rendition of the Wacoal Kojimachi office building in Tokyo:

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    My goals for this year's Layout Party fall into several categories, but are all related to preparing to start hosting operating sessions again after a 3-1/2 year hiatus: scenery upgrades; reconfiguring track to improve operations in several places on the layout; improving track side and building signage on the layout and Car Spotting Instructions on the fascia near every industry; making minor updates/revisions in most of my Operators Job Descriptions; and totally reorganizing/rewriting the Job Descriptions for the Yard Master and his assistant (Yard Switcher).

    Scenery Upgrades:
    A leak in the gas line to our gas-bur ning fireplace necessitated removing the scenery in Hilliards on the upper deck (elevation 64 inches from floor, 23 inches below the suspended ceiling, and 37 inches below the leaking pipe).
    The corner as it looked before the leak:
    Sconey Transfer (brick bldg), Kock Nitrogen (white tank on left), Tuloma Fertilizers (distant tan tanks), AMOCO Tank Farm (White tanks on right)

    Whitehouse Road Crossing (Whitehouse Rd runs between AMOCO and Interstate-474):

    Whitehouse Crossing from above the I-474 Lanes:

    Eastbound Lane I-474:

    To repair the gas line leak, all structures, vehicles, trees, pipes, I-474 paper bridge mock-ups, I-474 Lanes, and the 2 inches of foam supporting the I-474 Lanes were removed. Only track on its roadbed and the backdrop remained. A 2'x4' piece of plywood covered the entire corner to protect the track while the workman sat tailor-fashion on the upper deck to repair the leak, which was directly above where the Tuloma tanks were located.

    About two weeks ago, I started replanting trees in the corner and returning some of the details to their proper places.
    This is how the corner looks today:

    I expect to finish this area in the next few days, and will move on to 5 or 6 other (smaller) areas that need some trees replaced. After that, I'll move on to reconfiguring tracks (adding Interchange tracks) in railyards in Madison, Decatur, Indianapolis, and Terre Haute, and reconfiguring the crop scrap track and mill scale pit track beside the Blooming Mill in the Keystone Steel and Wire Mill.
    Proposed Madison 4-car Interchange Track:

    When the Interchanges and Steel Mill tracks are done, I'll work on signage throughout the layout: A number of tracks and locations referenced in operators' job descriptions and instructions (turnouts, Control points, crossovers, crossings, Junctions) still need to be labeled/identified by name and Mile Post:

    Every Blocks' name is in large vinyl letters (and these large labels are not part of this year's Party goals), but many of the smaller typed Block labels that provide Division, Subdivision, and adjacent blocks information need to be revised, so Party goals include reprinting the corrected labels.

    Several industries need small vinyl letter names like these:

    Some industries need Industry Spotting Cards on the fascia like these that provide operators information about what type of cars are spotted on which tracks:

    If there is still time left in the Layout Party when all the above goals are met, I'll work on rewriting the job descriptions for the Peoria and Pekin Union Railway East Peoria Yard Yard Master who switches the 20-Track B Yard and 6-Track Arrival Departure Yard:

    and his assistant who runs the 14-Track A Yard Switcher Job:
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2022

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