Feedback On Proposed Z Scale Layout

strut Sep 7, 2021

  1. strut

    strut TrainBoard Member

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    The trouble with layout design software is that you never really "finish" a layout... you just give up on it. That's the case on the layout below which started as something much smaller and simpler several months ago. I've done some N gauge modeling in the distant past, but have always wanted to do a Z scale project with longer runs and more scenic possibilities... in this case including a town, rolling hills and three industries. At this point in my life however, dexterity is an issue so I decided that working with Rokuhan track and turnouts made the most sense. Before I start buying track and laying it however, I'd like to get some input from the group on the overall design and (although its premature at this point) the blocking and wiring as well. If all goes well, I'll be starting the bench work this week so don't be shy!
    Layout8.jpg
     
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  2. tjdreams

    tjdreams TrainBoard Member

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    WOW That looks like its going to be a big layout Judging by the lines that's going to be 5 foot x 12 foot with a 2 track main and includes reversing loops? The Track plan does look interesting and will allow for some nice operating. You may want to sketch out your Block and wiring plan before you start, as reversing loops can be tricky to wire up. What are you using for bench work? You mentioned having Dexterity issues, not knowing to what degree i have to point out that A layout this size takes a lot of work. So ask your self if you are biting off more than you can chew? Only you can answer that question

    David
     
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  3. Zscaleplanet

    Zscaleplanet TrainBoard Supporter

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    Indeed, nice to see a large layout of this nature in the planning stages and under consideration. It adds some much-needed viability to our beloved Z-scale.

    Although as David pointed out, the complexity of the wiring will certainly increase. I am personally planning a large around the room layout myself which I have yet to divulge. And the wiring issues you will be dealing with are the same issue I know I’ll be facing. So I’m trying to educate myself as fast as I can.

    In regards to dexterity, I am fighting the clock as well but I am committed to get my layout done. If worse comes to worse, you could always consider hiring someone from your local model railroad club to do the wiring for you. Assuming their quality and reliability are equitable to yours.
     
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  4. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Operationally, it looks like a gem. I'm having trouble figuring out how much will be underground. You know, two and a half feet is not an easy reach. I'd be tempted to squeeze it a bit in the middle.

    I like the passing/runarounds at each siding. I hate reverse curves. You have a few. Where the sidings in the upper right hand corner split off, a train going clockwise that tries to enter the passing and siding track will go through one. It isn't necessary. The train goes through a straight and a right hand curve, then immediately through a left hand switch. Why not a right hand switch? The train going clockwise goes through the straight leg to park a train and run around it to work the siding. Whichever way it goes through that switch, no ess curve.

    Likewise the siding in the upper left. A train going clockwise, approaching the bridge, curves left, then slams through the curved leg of a right hand switch switch. Looks like a hundred derailments to me. If it didn't curve left until it went through the straight leg of a left hand switch, not only would operation be more reliable, that passing track would be longer, reaching clear to the orange band. The same trick could be used just above the center, where there's a curve colored red. Make that red curve a left hand switch, and another ess curve bites the dust (and another passing track grows longer).

    Other than where it triggers my esscurveaphobia, I like it!
     
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  5. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    That'll keep you busy running trains!

    Looks good to me!(y)
     
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  6. strut

    strut TrainBoard Member

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    Great suggestions! Changes made!
     
  7. strut

    strut TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, 5' x 12'. Tried to fit into 4' x 8' but it kept growing. I've been "sketching out" my wiring plan in my head, but just as with the layout its getting more and more complex as time goes on. At this point I plan on a pretty simple DC set-up with two (or maybe three?) cabs that will allow me to have one train running on the inside and/or outside loop while operating another in the yard or on one of the sidings, but no trains passing or running against others on the same line. I may eventually transition to DCC, but plan to stick to basics until I get bored and want to do more operationally. My real interest lies in getting the scenery right at this point. BTW... finished the benchwork ahead of schedule. 1" x 6" on the long dimension, Dado joints all around and casters and levelers on the legs!

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/gtvbg6xlmkbvi8a/IMG_8228.jpg?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/jpe77rv529si97a/IMG_8229.jpg?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ac6wfjvte1bu5gs/IMG_8230.jpg?dl=0
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2021
  8. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Holly Molly that is gonna be one huge layout in Z Scale? This one being built I have to see. Seen ones like my N Scale on a 2' x 4', but this big on here, don't think I have seen a Z Scale this large, or maybe I just missed it? Is this really happening for sure?
     
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  9. strut

    strut TrainBoard Member

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    I know its pretty ambitious (especially for someone like me that's been away from the hobby for 40+ years), but I need something to keep me busy and figure this should do the trick for a while. I'm ordering the track this week and hope to start laying it next. I'll post progress here as I go. Wish me luck!
     
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  10. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Looks like a fun layout, any update on progress?
     
  11. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    That is how you do woodwork! The entire top frame floats on the main frame cross boards, leaving a gap under to mount controls, electronics and run wires. Plus, cut depressions for water, valley or construction builds.
     
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  12. sumgai

    sumgai TrainBoard Member

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    50 x 75. Your woodwork is craftsman quality. But on that day when you no longer play trains, and you, or your widder lady, have to get this pink elephant out of the way of the new owners of your home; can the layout be disassembled into 50" by 75" chunks (advertised as easily transported) to lay flat between the wheel wells of a 6.5' bed of a pickup?

    The difference in planning for that day of disposal - NOW is the difference between realizing a return on your expenditures by selling the portability/reassembly of it in completed form to a buyer on Ebay; or just calling in some guy with a saw and paying to have it carried out in disposable chunks.

    Lastly, while no mention is made of the topography, I see a flat as the back of your hand, two loops and we are done layout, soooo prevalent in Z. Good for knockdown modules, but your woodwork suggests permanence.

    So, if you take a walk on the wild side and secretly watch the "I love toy trains" tv show on the RFD channel; one thing you will note is the O gaugers "sky is no limit" to building UP on the their permanent layouts, with multiple height levels of track and with numerous trains running simultaneously. Mesmerizing. There is no law in the book of Marklin Z which requires all Z train tracks to be running on the same level on every layout. Unless of course, you are envisioning easy disassembly and portability of the layout when the need to dispose of it presents itself.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2021
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  13. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    And make sure it is physically screwed/bolted to the wall, in case of Fire. If it is floating, 'it won't be part of the house'.
    Just one is all you need.
     
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  14. strut

    strut TrainBoard Member

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    Obviously I'm leaning toward going the permanent route, but I have taken into account the day - for one reason or another - it has to be moved. When cutting the sub-roadbed my plan is to divide the left and right halves of the layout along the river bank so the track will only need to be separated in four spots and the repairs can be done somewhat invisibly. As was pointed out in another post, the entire deck assembly "floats" on the frame via the slotted dado joints making it relatively easy to separate from the base with the wiring in tact. However, the two sections will likely be larger than what you suggest, so I guess when the time comes I'll just have to find a bigger truck! (n)-
     
  15. strut

    strut TrainBoard Member

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    Its been going slow due to some traveling my wife and I have been doing, but as you can see in the photo I have started laying out track and plan to order more this week. My intent is to get the inner and outer loops up and running and the grades tested before cutting out the sub-roadbed. I'll post again when I get to that stage!

    image0 (1).jpeg
     

    Attached Files:

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  16. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Hey that’s some nice long runs you’re going to have! Nice! What’s gonna be your centerpiece industry?
     
  17. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Nice Progress, keep us updated! [​IMG]
     
  18. strut

    strut TrainBoard Member

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    I'm modeling it loosely on the area around Cuba, Missouri in the '50s. At that time the Frisco line ran through the town and there was a 40+ mile branch line that ran to the AMAX lead mine south of there up until 2002 after BNSF took over and a major contamination lawsuit caused them to abandon the line. I'm hoping to model the mine as the main industry, but question if I'll find enough suitable in-scale buildings and equipment to make it believable. It may end up being a gravel operation. The town is also very close to Fort Leonard Wood which operates its own branch line (and locos) and I may try to do something along those lines as a second industry. In town there was a Georgia Pacific door manufacturing facility open until recent times which will probably be the first one I attempt.
     
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  19. strut

    strut TrainBoard Member

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    Well, I've pretty much finalized my layout and its close to what I had drawn up. I've replaced one of the sidings with a wye junction to pay homage to Bundy Junction where the spur to Fort Leonard Wood branches off from the mainline. Today I started disassembly of the roughed-in track after tracing and cataloging the sections. In the weeks to come I'll be firing up the sabre saw and cutting out the sub-roadbed. Since its no longer just a "proposed layout" I'll be starting a new thread to document progress from that point on. In the meantime, here's a video of the test I ran yesterday on the mainlines:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/m9w51xnawf0it7f/Video Oct 13, 4 03 05 PM.mov?dl=0

    I can't wait to get the track back down and start on the scenery!
     
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  20. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Supporter

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    Very nice! Well done!

    John
     
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