Using Freemo N modules as layout elements

txronharris Dec 6, 2020

  1. txronharris

    txronharris TrainBoard Member

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    Been working on figuring some things out, but it occurred to me that instead of just doing an “L” shaped switching layout in my 9’x9’ space, I could use four 4ft Freemo modules to make up the layout. Actually, I could make a “U” and use six 4’ modules.

    We don’t have a Freemo N club here and if I was able to build a couple of return loops, I could transport my layout to a show, set up, and possibly generate some interest for a new club.

    So my question is does anyone use their Freemo N modules as part of your home layout and also to take to shows? How many modules do you have if you do?

    It seems like I’d be doing something versatile that I could operate at home, then travel with as well. And I’m tired of waiting for others to come around and start up a Freemo N club here in DFW. Thoughts?


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  2. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    Sounds like a good plan. Just make sure you have a vehicle that all the modules fit into and that you will be able to setup and tear down the layout at a show by yourself.

    I did have a past layout that used a pair of Ntrak modules as the core and that was also designed to take to a show as a stand along layout. I set it up that way one time in the garage for a weekend to test the idea and it did work just fine. It never got to set up at a show that way as the Ntrak modules were always in the Ntrak layout. Also those were heavy modules and I got tired for taking them in and out of the layout.
     
  3. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I know a few of us have talked about doing this, but the closest anyone that I know who has come close is Mark Watson (FreeMo-Nebraska). But even he doesn’t keep his modules up in any specific configuration.
     
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  4. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

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    Go for it, a well thought out plan will make it easy.

    My first medium sized N scale layout could be easily come apart and transport to train shows. There were two1/4 inch bolts holding modules together, had 1x2 frame under 3/4 inch Birch plywood with 1/8 inch Masonite fascia and end panels.

    It is kidney bean shaped 9 modules, 12 inches wide, 12 feet long, 8 feet one one end 5 on other. The double mainline had two yards, one on the inside loop was four track staging yard under a mountain. Outside loop had a four track yard about six feet long. Both yards where about six to eight inches from main.
    The mountain is open on the inside of layout but could have the top easily removed to get to staging yard for maintenance.

    Used 3/4 inch PVC pipe for leg system, it only took one hour from unload to running first train. I used 4 conductor phone wires and 9 pin computer connectors where each module meets and made the wire harness join together at the ends. This makes a complete loop effectively doubling the size of your wires, the harness had drop off wires to connect to modules.

    I'm going to make a similar harness for my N scale Boston Mountains Sub Division layout which is going to be 12 modules. There are 8 modules with various amounts of scenery.

    Joe
     
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  5. txronharris

    txronharris TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I know this might sound like an odd project, but I don’t foresee anyone starting up a Freemo N club anytime soon close to me and I think it’ll be a good way to do something cool.

    And it if doesn’t work out, I’ll still be able to travel to some shows and meet other like minded individuals.

    Thanks for the input!


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  6. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

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    I have done that with two layouts. My first one (The Skally Line) was 65’ of main line in 12 modules. Making it in the FreemoN style made it fun to take to shows and when I moved across the country, everything I built came with me. I sold that to my good friend Lee who is using it as a layout while we wait for the show season to kick up. I’m doing it again (smaller this time) with my White Pine layout. It is the same 18” width as the Skally, but only 18-1/2 feet long with 3 modules. I also have a 6’-3” Afton Canyon module (because I could).
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  7. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

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    It doesn’t sound like an odd project at all. When it comes to FreemoN, build it and they will come (or you can go to them!).
     
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  8. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    I would say go for it!! My current layout is a couple T-Trak modules that make a loop in my living room when I have them set up. It works as a stand alone layout or I can always add them to a group layout.
     
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