N Scale Build of the Delaware, Susquehanna & Northern Railroad

Hardcoaler Dec 20, 2021

  1. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    CNJ had 6 axle trainmaster H24-66? Is that what you are referring to? Are yours Atlas branded?

    Only the SD35, maybe 1/4x , opens point in reverse when turnout is thrown. Usually, using a finger nail pushing the point closer to the rail corrects things.
     
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  2. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I forget the FM model number, but yes, mine are Atlas TrainMasters, 6 Axle. In DL&W. :)
     
  3. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    Had a DC CNJ H24-66, Atlas 49532, in my hand this morning but wanted to explore DCC options prior to purchase. Are your Trainmasters DC or DCC?
     
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  4. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Yep, your Atlas 49532 is the same body style as my DL&Ws. Mine are DC and are "DCC Ready" if I want to expand my DCC fleet at some point. The DC one you held is DCC ready if Spookshow is correct. Per Spookshow, Atlas' second release in 2003 introduced their Scale Speed Motor. Keep this in mind, as if you buy two, you'll want to be sure they're of the same generation. The 2000 release motor runs faster than the 2003 release motor, not crazy faster, but it's noticeable.
     
  5. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Starting to work in my section of elevated track, starting with making graduated piers. The grades begin adjacent to another track, separated by Kato's customary 33mm track centerline. Wide piers would interfere with cars on the adjacent track, so I hatched a plan to make the piers on these sections 5/8" wide so as to securely nestle inside of the Kato track. So far, I'm well pleased and cars pass with plenty of room.

    For the record, I will not operate 86' auto parts cars on my layout, but I use them to test all things involving clearances, knowing that if they clear, all will be well for whatever smaller equipment I'll run, such as passenger cars. The passenger car is on a 12.4" radius curve and the high cube is on an 11.1" curve. The curves are tight and there's plenty of overhang, but it's okay. My normal equipment is 40 and 50 FT cars, trains will rarely exceed a dozen cars and this section of the layout will be in a tunnel, so as to hide it all. I've been in N for 50+ years, so kinda know what to expect in these areas of compromise. :oops:

    When the elevated tracks exit their tunnels and are in the open, the lower tracks on the surface of the layout will be further away and I'll use wider piers to replicate a right-of-way of normal width, about 1-5/8" I figure. More on that later.

    2022-04-17 Curve Clearance.jpg 2022-04-17 Curve Clearance 2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2022
  6. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    One thing that challenged me in building previous railroads was consistency in grades, i.e., keeping a grade the same throughout its run from bottom to top so as to not make the grade vary. A consistent grade provides less throttle adjustment, less run-in and run-out and a more pleasant operating experience I think.

    I carefully measured the length of each grade, calculated the overall gradient, marked off reference points along the route and calculated exactly what the track elevation should be at these important points. I then chose piers to lift the track to these levels and filled in with suitable piers between them. It's worked out well so far. Once I'm happy with it all, I'll put a dab of glue on the bottom and top of each pier to hold everything in place.

    By the way, here's what my simple close-clearance piers look like, 5/8" Wide, 3/8" Thick with Heights graduated every 1/16".

    2022-04-17 Curve Clearance 3.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2022
  7. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    I use the Woodland Scenics incline set for less work. They are not cheap though.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, that is a really cool and clever product. I'm not positive, but I think the width is 2-1/2" which equates to some 33' in N Scale. That would be perfect for double track, but not my single track because I don't have the space for that width. I thought about cutting the product in half lengthwise for my single track, but then figured that'd ruin the magic that makes it work so well. :unsure:
     
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  9. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Rather than cut it in half, use a sharp knife and carve it down a bit to give an embankment, and add some plaster cloth to rough in that part of the scenery.:cool:
     
  10. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    ^ What he said. But, glue down the incline first so when carving for the embankment, you don't ruin the magic that makes it work in the first place. (Then drape with plaster cloth.)

    When I did mine I used the full with for a single track. I plan to add bushes, rocks, riff raffs and what not on the edges so if a train derails or the layout is bumped (mine is portable) nothing falls off down the cliffs. :)
     
  11. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Most I have seen in real life have wide base for the tracks. Room for maintenance.
     
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  12. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    That's a really neat idea to use the extra width to carve the sides down to form an embankment. I might be too far down the road with my current plan, but this is worth thinking through.
     
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  13. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    I like the idea that you could use the W/S inclines and then cut them to shape an embankment. However, that really wouldn't work where the track is close and you will have the more vertical rockface between the two tracks. With that said, those wood piers look like an excellent solution to producing a nice smooth and even grade that fits well into the existing space. It's probably a good bit less expensive too. Overall, it looks like it is going to be a very interesting scene. (y)(y)(y)
     
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  14. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    I don't think you need to worry about using the WS incline set if its hidden. You wont be 'scenicing' inside that tunnel area anyways. Your wooden block idea looks like it will work just fine in there...JMO
     
  15. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    For those situations I would extend the horizontal surface of the lower track incline into the cliff wall of the upper track incline. It'll be like a one piece step-wise cliff. That's what I did on my layout.

    If both tracks are at the same level, I would lay some plaster cloth over the two to eliminate the gap.
     
  16. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    I previously considered carving a long curved incline into layers of 2" foam insulation board for my layout, but creating a smooth, controlled, inclined base for Unitrack would be painstaking. The WS inclines are reasonably priced for the effort saved.

    However, I'm considering using WS inclined risers UNDER a layer of 1" extruded foam insulation board, for a sweeping, curved, double-track incline. The outline of the inclined path will be cookie-cutter'd from the 1" thick foam sheet (like the tried-and-true plywood-on-risers techniques.) There will be a 2" foam layer above and below this 1" layer used for the incline. Additional 2" foam sections will be stacked to create higher elevations above the track's highest elevations.

    This technique will also give me some variability in the width of the inclined path as the incline bridges ravines, etc.

    This would also help me create a smooth vertical easement at the bottom of the incline, and I can trim the top of the inclined risers for a similar vertical easement at the top of the incline.
     
  17. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    My economical gradework has been progressing slowly, but well. This is the eastern slope with a total cost of $1.25 in foam board, as seen through my bug eyed cell phone lens. Track on the grade isn't yet glued down. The grade is a consistent 2.6% from bottom to top. Again, those old Atlas 86' cars are only for testing to the extreme; I'll not be running them. The western slope on the other end will be 2.1% with a broader curve. My longest trains will be a dozen cars or so with 40' and 50' equipment, so it should all work out pretty well. My old Atlas RSD-12 will pull a dozen cars up the grade. I normally run two locomotives on my trains.

    2022-05-02 DS&N East Slope.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2022
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  18. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    It looks great. I wish I hadn't become so lazy as to not want to build grades, anymore.

    Doug
     
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  19. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you. I must admit that there were times when I wondered if I should have reverted to a more simplified track plan. :unsure:

    I need to look through my collection of old Atlas trucks. One of my Atlas 86' cars is missing a truck and these have special trucks with extra long extensions for the coupler pockets. A regular truck fits for my tests though. These 1970 cars remain neat to my eyes. Even though I don't run them any more, they bring back some happy memories from an earlier era of N Scale.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2022
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  20. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Hardcoaler, are your grade support blocks made of wood or foam board?

    I believe grades add tremendous visual and operational interest to layouts. Ever since I purchased a Kato Figure 8 Unitrack Viaduct set to expand my first Unitrack oval, I've been hooked on grades: planning, building and running on them.
     
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