Rebooting the past

SDVike Mar 6, 2021

  1. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    So I’m running into an issue that I am sure most of you are experiencing. I can’t find all the track and roadbed I need to order in one place. I would love to go down to the LHS, but the hobby is now dead in the Denver area. Or at least it has gone all online. It looks like I’ll have to order stuff from all over the web. It makes me disappointed. I’m not a fan of Amazon and I try to buy local when I can. My local Ace Hardware had a better selection when I was a kid than the Hobby Towns that are left around here.

    What’s everyone’s favorite online retailer? I can’t decide and I find most of their websites hard to use.


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  2. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member

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    Not going into that "minefield retailer policy". There are many very good reasons for this policy.
     
  3. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Member

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    Just my two cents;

    Unfortunately Mom and Pop hobby shops are very rare these days. I miss going into hobby shops and looking around before making a purchase.

    TB has policies about discussing retailers. I don't remember them but they are posted on the site if you look for them. If I remember correctly it is partially due to the fact certain retailers support TrainBoard financialy so from that aspect it makes sense.

    No matter the type of goods, I'm a true believer in shopping local but when I can't, I don't necessarily pick the lowest price. If the merchant has useful information to help me more easily complete my task and/or save money, whether it be through web pages, videos or in person that also weighs into where I spend my money.

    That reminds me. It's time for me to pony up a few bucks and support TrainBoard.
     
  4. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    Sorry. I didn’t realize there was a policy against discussing online retailers. Maybe I should change the topic to politics.


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  5. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

    We have some very good retailers who are Trainboard advertisers, all you need to do is watch the banner ads at the top and bottom of our pages. Fifer Hobby and Streamlined Backshop are excellent e-tailers with great selections with whom I've done a lot of business (which is not to say our other advertisers aren't excellent).
     
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  6. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Nice progress on the layout. Keep the updates coming!
     
  7. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    I've been tweeking the track plan while I wait to get my the cork roadbed. I decided that the branch needed some reason on this island. It gives me options for an industry or two. I could also add a backdrop down the middle, although I am not sure if I want to.

    I add another foot to the end of the layout to allow enough room for the siding. The 3 feet at the right side of the layout will feature some water and bridge work. It should make an interesting scene combined with the town.

    I decided to tweek the mainline track by the yard. It allows a train coming off of the branch to enter the main without messing with the yard lead.

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    I have enough turnouts to do about half of the yard above. Every turnout coming off of the main and the run around the station are #6s. The yard ladder is made of Atlas #4s. It gives longer yard tracks by about 6" (58" vs 52"). I'm just afraid that the #4s could cause issues with larger engines.

    Below is the optional yard with #6s. I will have to buy all the switches in this yard but I shouldn't have to worry about issues with an engine. I also squeezed an engine house in there.

    I would like to hear your experience.
    Which yard do you like better?
    What changes would you make if you were to design it?

    upload_2021-3-24_20-58-40.png
     

    Attached Files:

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  8. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    Oh, and one more pic. Here is the start of a future expansion. It will be years before I get there but I like the options if I decide to keep the layout.

    upload_2021-3-24_21-22-34.png
     
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  9. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Atlas "#4" switches have a 19" radius curve through them and have no trouble with larger locomotives.

    EDIT: Oops, never mind. I forgot you're using code 55.

    Doug
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2021
  10. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    I'm had a busy morning so I didn't have much motivation to work on the layout. I did however find enough motivation to tweak the track plan one more time. In the yard all the switches entering the run around and the engine shed are #6. The yard ladders are #4 which allow me to use the 5 #4 switches that I have.

    I also added some buildings, streets, and water. I am really liking the way this plan is coming together. It should give all the challenges I want on this first reboot of my hobby.

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    Attached Files:

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  11. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    Added the last of the bench work to the layout. It still needs a leg. I haven’t decided if it will get its own leg, or brace back to the legs on the other table. I’m leaving that for another day.

    I also glued two layers of foam while cutting out a small stream. After cutting it out I realized that could have gotten away with one layer of foam. The stream looks more like a narrow canyon. I haven’t decided which way it will flow yet.

    Next, I need more foam to build up the town area. I also need to figure out what switch machines I’m going to use. Finally, I can’t wait for my track and roadbed to arrive.

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  12. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    Well, spring is in full swing and railroad time is short supply. My weekends are full of youth sports and landscaping projects.

    I’m also waiting on back ordered turnouts. I decided to try the new Atlas Mark V switches on all the mainline but they are back ordered till the end of April. That leaves roadbed and riser install until the track arrives.

    I managed to install a small amount cork tonight. As you can see I didn’t follow the center lines I drew on the foam. I wasn’t happy with how much space I hade for the river. Now I can carve out a wider channel.

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  13. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Now I feel even dumber because, in spite of your photos at the beginning of this thread and in spite of me having worked in both N and HO scales and in spite of the obvious size relationship between your models and the table, I was oblivious to the fact your layout IS HO.

    Duh!

    Doug
     
  14. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    Understand. I think it’s deceptive. Not too many people build a 5’x11’ island as a first layout. Every time I see Hollow core door N scale layout, I think that I have something very similar.

    I went this route because I didn’t want to wait on all the prep work I need for the around the wall layout. I’m sure I’ll regret going this route some day, but for now, I am really enjoying playing with trains for the first time in 25 years.


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  15. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    My current layout (N scale :D) is a 4' X 8' island in the middle of the room and, although I would like an around the room layout, too, I have been avoiding it for the same reasons you are. And, at my age and physical limitations that have cropped up, it is even more daunting.

    Doug
     
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  16. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    I will be going with an island because I'm have to live in an apartment and one wall is between mine and my neighbors bedrooms.
     
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  17. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    I was able to spend several hrs this afternoon working on the branch line. I did decide to use the woodland scenic incline set. I needed 2.5% and they only come in 2 or 3%. I used the 2% and squeezed them in tighter. It came out really close.

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    I then cut out the plywood for the passing siding on the branch. It needed to sit at least 6” from the surface of layout to clear the branch line. Even at 6” it’s still a little tight. There is only 3” of clearance between the top of the track and the plywood. I may have to create a bridge over it instead of a tunnel.

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    I’m excited by what the river will add. There will be some really interesting bridge scenes. I have several custom bridges to build. Exciting! My next step will be to carve out the river properly and build up the hill side to support the track. Every thing is just propped in place with scraps.

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    I really like how this bridge frames the ladder to the yard. I foresee some train watching shots from this location.

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    Finally I need to figure out how I plan on raising up the middle for the town scene. It’s supposed to be at the same level as the plywood. I could add three more layers of 2” foam but that would make wiring the buildings impractical. I could install plywood at that height, but that stuff is expensive. I’m thinking about cutting out the existing foam/plywood and raising it up. I’m not sure exactly how to cut it right next to the risers. Sawzall maybe?

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    Well, it’s supposed to rain all week so I may get more done than I was expecting. I wish my turnouts would show up so I could start laying track. Oh well, it will allow me to get the river scene locked in.


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  18. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Looking great, keep the updates coming!
     
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  19. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    Nice work so far!

    I'm building my layout out of foam and 4 inches of foam (four layers) is not a problem for wiring. My own layout's top level is six inches of foam deep. I drill the holes using a 12" drill bit (I have only a few sizes, 1/8, 3/32, etc). I then push a plastic straw into the hole, or other plastic tube for a smooth lining. Fishing wires down to below the table is real easy. Also for turnout wires, twist them real tight before fishing them through, they go through easier.
     
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  20. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    I did a little bit of work on the river canyon. I cut out a couple of inches to get it closer to the track and started building up the ground for the upper loop.

    I can only cut a few pieces at a time because the hot knife puts out some nasty fumes. Interestingly, it also leaves some neat texture on the foam. The layers give it a Southwest feel. Kind of the opposite of Northern Minnesota but interesting nonetheless.

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