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Old 11-19-2012, 10:24 AM   #1
JerryH
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Granite Gorge & Northern

This will be my first model railroad. I did put an HO oval on a piece of 4x8 once when my children were young that the Christmas tree centered in, but I considered that a toy train. My, how things have changed in the last 30 + years.

When I was a child, my father started but never completed the Central Midland. I wanted the GG&N. He won the discussion. I made up my mind 47 years ago that I would build one someday. That day has come. It is probably too much for a first timer, but this what I want. We will see.

I spent the first 2 months reading all I could while redesigning the original Atlas plan. This includes 22 minimum radius, less than 3% grades, semi-portable, reduced busy look, DCC, and completely automated computer contol.

I am not into operations, so the design is to display and let 'em run. Ultimately, I hope to have 2 trains, running in opposite directions, on each mainline and a local freight interspersing between both mainlines. With the mountain area covering half the mainlines, it should be quite fascinating to watch. With three passing tracks and computer control I think it can be possible.

I started construction 2 months ago. Please look at the pictures and give your experienced opinions. I may have gone too far already to correct any serious problems. The track is not tested and no scenery is done yet. This is my last chance to fix a poor plan.










Last edited by JerryH; 11-21-2012 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:33 AM   #2
txdyna65
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Im by far any kind of expert Jerry, just getting back into this like you. Just wanted to say welcome to the forum, where in TX are you? Have you decided on a DCC system yet? Interesting layout, I'll let the more experienced comment on it, but it looks like you did some nice benchwork already.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:39 AM   #3
JerryH
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This is my first attempt. I was never into model railroading before, but my dad did let me run a train once in awhile when I was little. Thank you, San Antonio, Digitrax SuperChief
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:05 AM   #4
Ranger
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Welcome to the forum. You look to be off to a great start cause the framework looks great.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:26 AM   #5
JerryH
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Here are some additional pictures.










Last edited by JerryH; 11-21-2012 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:36 PM   #6
sstlaure
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Looks like you've got it well under control. Great work.
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Check out my HO build threads: [url]14X16 Switching style http://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?t=8241
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:54 PM   #7
JerryH
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Some more pictures. It looks a lot better spread out a little than what I found on the internet. Original design was 5x9 and I went to 6x11. It takes up a lot of room though.










Last edited by JerryH; 11-21-2012 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:36 PM   #8
tjcruiser
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Jerry,

Welcome to the forum!

Wow ... that's an ambitious undertaking, and one unlike most of what we've seen here ... in a fun/challenging way ...

1. A folding layout, and a big one at that. Couple of quesitons here (mostly out of curiosity) ...

I assume you have to remove (unbolt) all of the legs for the stowed fold?

You'll have to run power feeders to both sides of the track ... that's the easy part. But, have you thought through rail alignment when the table is unfolded and setup? There's typically not too much play/slop in a piano hinge, however, with changes in humidity and thermal expansion, you might run into some issues with improper rail alignment at the juncture ... it doesn't take much to throw a train car off the track.

2. I like the "cut and stretch" plywood tabletop method you're using. We've only had a few of those here on our forum, however, I think the method offers lots of merits, with a lot less frustration and mess than traditional buildup (foam, plaster, etc.)

3. I strongly suggest you put some sort of threaded adjustable foot at the bottom of each leg. Floors are never really level/planar. If each leg has an adjustable range of say +/- 1/2", I think you'll save yourself aggravation in the long run. Several guys here have used T-threaded nuts fit into a hole drilled into a solid block ... you could easily add something like this to yours ...

http://www.modeltrainforum.com/showt...92&postcount=8

Good luck, and do keep us posted!

TJ
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:16 PM   #9
JerryH
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1 Yes, the legs are removed. There have not yet appeared any alignment issues. My wife will only let me use the living room for a day or 2 at a time, so this has been set up and taken down many times already. I used hard track at the fold line, cutting parallel to the tie and the bridge assemblies are one piece bolted to an aluminum plate that anchors into aluminum beds. I have a lathe and mill in the garage.to make these sort of things. These joints and removable spans also serve as blocks. 32 blocks in all. I don't have a train yet, but I have tested the track with an Athern caboose which I throw as fast as I can to test. It is my only car and it will derail easily if things aren't right.
2 Cookie cutter bench work is heavy but grade changes are easier with less vertical kink problems.
3 For some reason our living room floor is about the only thing straight and level in the whole house.

I have since added 2 fold and tuck electronics panels within the bench work near the terminal strips. I am shutting down construction for the holidays. However, I will set up the O gauge around the tree so I can have my train fix.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:45 PM   #10
tjcruiser
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Thanks, Jerry ... sounds like you have things in capable hands!

TJ
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