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I'm really enjoying your build. I've learned a lot watching how you have made changes while laying the track. I'm way too anal, and had to have it all on paper before laying any track. In hind sight, there is nothing like laying out the track to actually visualize the result. I thought I'd be smart and print a 1:1 version of my layout and set it out so I could see it. That was great, and helped me make changes before laying the first piece. But now that I have had time to run the trains, there are a few areas I would have done a little differently. Subtle things I didn't think of like having access roads to loading docks... You know... Things that make a layout realistic, LOL!
You’ve got a great layout, despite the rectangular mainlines, don’t sell yourself short. And, I have a hunch that layout won’t be the last one you ever build.
 

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As to @afboundguy I’ve been surprised on a couple fronts. I didn’t think that <18” radius was going to work, but it did. And I didn’t think you’d fit a decent yard inside that loop, but you did.
One of the things I really like is how your horseshoe curve is “reversed.” By the I mean most often it’s modeled from the park side, with aisle inside the curve. I’ve seen postcards etc from the vantage point yours is oriented, but I can’t say I’ve seen it modeled that way. It’s certain to be a distinctive feature of your layout that folks will not confuse with other layouts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #603 ·
As to @afboundguy I’ve been surprised on a couple fronts. I didn’t think that <18” radius was going to work, but it did. And I didn’t think you’d fit a decent yard inside that loop, but you did.
One of the things I really like is how your horseshoe curve is “reversed.” By the I mean most often it’s modeled from the park side, with aisle inside the curve. I’ve seen postcards etc from the vantage point yours is oriented, but I can’t say I’ve seen it modeled that way. It’s certain to be a distinctive feature of your layout that folks will not confuse with other layouts.
I've had similar thoughts about the Horseshoe Curve being viewed from the "back" and how I can still make it look right and how unique it's going to end up... Still long ways away from scenery but almost done with track laying just need to figure out where to put the insulated joiners for the complex reverse loop I've created...
 

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Discussion Starter · #604 ·
Day 2 of Rona watch and I feel fine... Just a little tired but I also haven't slept over 6 hours in 4 nights due to hectic work schedule BUT I'm in the basement in a wife certified mask free zone (don't ask) and I took off the things weighing down the tracks I glued down the other day and man does it look sexy!!! I had to heat up on eof the rail joiners as it wasn't 100% in line and was knocking a gondola that I have that I use for test car because a stiff breeze two towns away im the wrong direction derails it so if it stays on I know the track is set up well 🤣
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I've had similar thoughts about the Horseshoe Curve being viewed from the "back" and how I can still make it look right and how unique it's going to end up... Still long ways away from scenery but almost done with track laying just need to figure out where to put the insulated joiners for the complex reverse loop I've created...
I had thought up a hands on method to help you determine, but it’s a bit complex.
How about starting on the outside loops, where the layout narrows near the wall… and mark the roadbed RH side with a marker or tab of masking tape. Go all the way around that side of the layout, keeping the marks in RH side only.
Then on a boxcar roof, add a tape tab on the RH side.
Push it along by hand. When the roadbed tape marks jump to the opposite side as the car roof tab, that’s where you insulate.

It’s involved, but less confusing than chicken scratching it on paper.

EDIT: I say start on the outside loops because those should not need to be insulated, giving you a verified “control” reference for the tracks that do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #607 ·
I had thought up a hands on method to help you determine, but it’s a bit complex.
How about starting on the outside loops, where the layout narrows near the wall… and mark the roadbed RH side with a marker or tab of masking tape. Go all the way around that side of the layout, keeping the marks in RH side only.
Then on a boxcar roof, add a tape tab on the RH side.
Push it along by hand. When the roadbed tape marks jump to the opposite side as the car roof tab, that’s where you insulate.

It’s involved, but less confusing than chicken scratching it on paper.

EDIT: I say start on the outside loops because those should not need to be insulated, giving you a verified “control” reference for the tracks that do.
I like that it's simple enough my small brain should be able to figure that out thanks!!!

This part of the Horseshoe seems very dangerous, Isn't it ?

View attachment 583233
I will be modeling the mountains from the edge of the facia board to the track so there shouldn't be any issues but it does look a little nuts like that!
 

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Discussion Starter · #608 ·
Could have kept going but now that I'm in my 40s I'm smarter and wiser so I stopped while I still had gas in my tank. Honostly I feel totaly fine and haven't even needed to take and OTC pain/cold meds since this morning... Monday and Tuesday when the wifes at work I'm going to kill it on the layout if I don't run our of the Peco flextrack which I'm thinking I'll need a few more pieces but we'll see...

Put in some more feeder wires and what I had thought were spots for the AR1 but I now need to do the trick @OilValleyRy suggested to get better idea...
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Discussion Starter · #610 ·
On a build related note what's the best way to go back in and place ties where I joined the flex track? Just snip off the parts that hook to the bottom of the rail and slide them under? I'm guessing with ballast glued down you won't be able to tell but this is technically the first time I've ever used flex track like this as last layout I was maybe 12 years old :cool:
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Discussion Starter · #615 ·
Day 2 of minorcoldwatch 2022 feeling even better than yesterday... Spent about 3 hours in the basement this morning and laid the outside line almost to the bottom of the stairs! Stopped for lunch to enjoy the 75 degree sunny weather with my co-engineers before it hits almost 90 in a few hours!
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Discussion Starter · #616 ·
Started where I left off last night. I threw in 2 curved turnouts as the on towards the bottom of the picture will be where it splits off to go to the High Line I still plan on modeling. The other one top right and barely visible on 2nd picture will just be a small industry spur with as of now an unknown industry!
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Discussion Starter · #617 ·
Up to where I stopped before lunch... After lunch in a few hours I'll tackle the back portion as I'll need to lay on the layout to properly install the track. Totally wish I had a step creeper would make life much easier but I'll be getting one probably in the fall once wife starts back up teaching (she opts to not spread pay out over summer)

I did ask if she was fine with me getting three AR1's and I got the "let's slow down on this buying stuff for the hobby since it's only a hobby" speech that tied into the wait until she is back in the fall to buy much more but she did say yes to the AR1s... Unfortunately it's looking like the case of Peco code 100 flex track might come up a bit short so I'll have to figure something out maybe work a few overtime shifts over the next few weeks...
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Discussion Starter · #619 ·
Didn't really do too much after lunch... Hung out with the dogs as wife is making them be in Rona isolation as well :rolleyes: and we watched some tv and then I headed back down to the basement around 3ish and spent a little bit of time doing more planning than anything...

Was looking to find best spot to allow the outside two tracks to switch back and forth so I can have a "passing" track even though I have the 2 lines going the same way around the whole layout but needed to be able to go back and forth so I could still get the trains in the inner 2 tracks of Horseshoe Curve into the yard...

I also thought this setup would add flexibility so I can have three ways in and out of the yard. It's probably big time overkill and it'll require me to get a few more AR1's (which the wife will love to hear) but I'd rather have the flexibility... I spent a good 45 minutes thinking of every possible route to and from route to the 2 inside tracks of Horseshoe Curve and think I've got it all figured out and don't need any more turnouts on the mainlines but I'm sure something else will pop into my brain tonight or tomorrow!
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Discussion Starter · #620 ·
Forgot to mention the turnout bottom right will be for the High Line that will loop over the yard and connect to the curved turnout on the left side...

Also took a quick video testing out the track. The first box truck was having trouble derailing a lot but then I realized it hadn't been properly weighted and it was super light so I put it in the rear and it ran well forwards and backward... Hope to complete the loop tomorrow!!!
 
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