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Old 07-09-2019, 02:37 PM   #1
SantaFeJim
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Join Date: Sep 2015
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USA Yes, I am a Looper

No apologizes. I really enjoy watching trains run. It all started many years ago when on Christmas morning I woke up to find a Marx train running on a loop of track under our Christmas tree. Like many other guys guys on this forum I was hooked on trains at an early age.

I am now in my early 70’s and still get a great deal of pleasure just watching ‘em run.

I am having a layout built by PMD (Progressive Model Design) of Romeoville, Illinois which is about 25 miles from my house. I had been in contact with PMD for 7 month before the actual build started. They were in the final stages of a HO layout for a client on the west coast and I needed that project to wrap up before they could start mine. That was fine, as I got to view that layout with 95% of the scenery in place. Seeing this helped me make up my mind that PMD was right for me.

My build started on December 28, 2018 and I expect delivery the end of September / early October. I have taken several pictures of the process and will start posting them soon. For now I will list some facts about the build and post a reasonable facsimile of the track plan.

Yes, my layout is a loop. Actually two loops. This allows me to sit back, relax and let them run in opposite directions if I choose or in the same direction depending on my mood.

Layout Facts:

1. The layout is HO.
2. Outside dimensions 22’ x 11’
3. ALL track is Peco code 83
4. ALL turnouts are Peco #8’s - none are manual.
5. Each main line is divided 10 blocks.
6. Each yard track is divided into 2 blocks.
7. My plan is to use TrainController to automate the entire layout, with the option of each main line manually when my train buddies are over.
8. Every mainline curve has easements into and out of the curve and is super elevated.
9. Every elevation change also uses an easement at the base and summit.
10. Signaling, while not prototypical will be installed along each main to provide “eye candy”.
11.A lift gate on the left side (with a gas piston installed) will allow easy access into the layout for operators.

Track Plan: The scenery has changed quite a bit but the track plan is pretty true.

Attached Images
File Type: jpeg January18.layout (1).jpeg (74.7 KB, 163 views)
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Last edited by SantaFeJim; 07-09-2019 at 03:32 PM.. Reason: Clear up a point
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Old 07-09-2019, 05:35 PM   #2
MichaelE
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Great layout. Mine is the same. Twin main lines that are long enough to run two trains on each line in opposite directions.

I fire them up, turn on the German radio music, grab a Bitburger and watch them run. I love it.

I'm a looper too!
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Old 07-09-2019, 05:43 PM   #3
wvgca
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mine isn't much different, a 15' by 16' double folded dogbone, all atlas though, code 100 track and custom line no6 switches, caboose hobbies manual ground throws, nothing except the track is electrified ..
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:16 PM   #4
sid
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:18 PM   #5
Chaostrain
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I too am a looper. Our track plan is two simple loops with an interior logging spur. It's HO and going to be on a 12'X5' layout.
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Old 07-10-2019, 12:05 AM   #6
mesenteria
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I am well into my fourth loop, three being of the type the OP depicts with a central operating pit and a bridge to allow an overpass. Mine is in a partitioned double-wide garage, the partition comprising 9' X 24'. The actual layout is only 9' X 19 feet of that. Access is via a stoop down or, when the mood strikes, a swing-up gate.


There is a switchback at one end with a sawmill at the tail and a coal mine at the upper reach. There is a small interchange at the junction with the main. Also under development is a yard. Between those two, and the twinned mains, I get lots of entertainment and variety.
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Old 07-10-2019, 08:52 AM   #7
SantaFeJim
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Early last summer when I started looking for a professional layout builder is when I visited PMD for the first time. Here are some pictures I took of the layout they were building at that time.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0285.JPG (1.29 MB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0282.JPG (1.59 MB, 9 views)
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Old 07-10-2019, 12:44 PM   #8
Country Joe
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Jim, I like the trackplan. The only thing I would add would be about a half dozen industrial spurs, partly because I occasionally enjoy switching cars but mostly for visual interest because, like you, I really enjoy watching the trains run.

The photos of the finished layout they built look very good. I think you will be a very happy railroader when the layout is delivered.
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:45 PM   #9
SantaFeJim
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Just wanted to post another picture from my early visits to PMD.

I will be having a good size passenger station as one on the main scenes on my layout. It will serve the complete 12-car EL Capitan set that Walther's released about five years ago. I also have a complete Super Chief set which will stop on the other side of the platform.

Seeing the great detail in and around this fine passenger station made my decision to go with PMD a lot easier. For that reason I call this one the money shot.

IMG_0290.JPG
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:51 AM   #10
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I wish I could be a looper, when I got back to HO I only had room for a shelf switching layout.
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