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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm trying to model the Greenville Shops... The area of the shop is 13.79ft X 29ft (HO Scale). This being a large area with a lot of service shops and switches that have to function together. I would appreciate any suggests that would help me make this a functional layout. Attached is a picture of SHOPS.
 

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The biggest problem you're going to have is that you can't convert that entire area into a layout and expect to be able to operate it. Figure your longest possible reach is going to be about 30".

You may want to consider "unfolding" the layout and making it a large C shape, with the yard and former roundhouse area on one side of the C and the tracks at the top of the photo on the other.

You might also want to rewind your time period to when that turntable and roundhouse was actually present and in use. That would add a lot of interest.

How do you envision running trains on this layout? Will you just endlessly cycle cars around the yard and locos to and from the various service facilities. You might want to consider some kind of staging area, where trains assembled in the yard can travel to. This would represent the "rest of the world". Similarly, trains could originate there and arrive at the yard for classification prior to heading off to their final destination.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm planning on doing the whole "Route", time frame 1953-about 1960, from Conneaut, OH down to N. Bessemer, PA... one big loop. The SHOPS will be the main focal point, but will have Passenger service on the main and some industry & coal mines on some branches. There will be a Yards just South & North of the Shops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have some drawings I made with AnyRail... broke the "shops" into 2 areas. 3-levels with a helix at each end...
Paper product Paper Artwork Office supplies Document
Diagram Paper Drawing Kitchen utensil Illustration
Kitchen utensil Paper Parallel Rectangle Diagram
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The floor space is 27ft X37ft, minus stairway opening (4x8) & the elevator (4x5)... Workbench is optional. The main focal point will be the "OSGOOD VIADUCT", actual length is 1724ft, which make the scale length about 20ft long & straight. Viaduct will be crossing over 3 railroads & a winding river. It will be approx. 11" tall + 3-1/2" train height.
I'm trying to get the layout down to just 2 levels...might shrink Viaduct length to 13ft, but really want full scale length.
 

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The floor space is 27ft X37ft, minus stairway opening (4x8) & the elevator (4x5)... Workbench is optional. The main focal point will be the "OSGOOD VIADUCT", actual length is 1724ft, which make the scale length about 20ft long & straight. Viaduct will be crossing over 3 railroads & a winding river. It will be approx. 11" tall + 3-1/2" train height.
I'm trying to get the layout down to just 2 levels...might shrink Viaduct length to 13ft, but really want full scale length.
HD FLATCAR;

Wow! That will be a magnificent model railroad, if you can build it. Something that big and complex is going to take a lot of money, and many years of time to build. I gather this "ain't your first rodeo." meaning you have built several model railroads before. Do you plan to use sectional benchwork? I highly recommend it for three reasons.

1) You won't have to abandon such a great layout if you move. That does happen a lot. Per Google, the average American moves 11 times in their life.

2) You will be able to work sitting down by taking one section at a time to a workbench and turning it upside down, or onto its side to do wiring and mount switch machines. I think you said you're 65 years old now. (I'm 72) Working under the table and overhead is very tiring on the arms of even a young person, and more so on we not-so-young people.

3) Sectional construction means you can build one section at a time to completion. This helps sustain interest since you wont be doing the same thing for weeks, or months, at a time. Wiring, and ballasting track, get old fast, and doing either on a layout that big, may drive you nuts.

One more suggestion. Build the layout low enough that you can operate it from a rolling office chair. I wish I had done that.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
HD FLATCAR;

Wow! That will be a magnificent model railroad, if you can build it. Something that big and complex is going to take a lot of money, and many years of time to build. I gather this "ain't your first rodeo." meaning you have built several model railroads before. Do you plan to use sectional benchwork? I highly recommend it for three reasons.

1) You won't have to abandon such a great layout if you move. That does happen a lot. Per Google, the average American moves 11 times in their life.

2) You will be able to work sitting down by taking one section at a time to a workbench and turning it upside down, or onto its side to do wiring and mount switch machines. I think you said you're 65 years old now. (I'm 72) Working under the table and overhead is very tiring on the arms of even a young person, and more so on we not-so-young people.

3) Sectional construction means you can build one section at a time to completion. This helps sustain interest since you wont be doing the same thing for weeks, or months, at a time. Wiring, and ballasting track, get old fast, and doing either on a layout that big, may drive you nuts.

One more suggestion. Build the layout low enough that you can operate it from a rolling office chair. I wish I had done that.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan
I've had a few layouts in the past but this will be the "THE ONE"! I have been "collecting" track, switches, buildings for this project since 2002.
Sectional benchwork is a big, YES.
I've knocked the layout back to 2 levels...gave up about 8-10ft on the large Viaduct part. I REALLY wanted to do the whole think, but 19.7ft is really big...
Level 1 will be 30" high (office chair) and level 2 am planning to be 50"(high chair on roller skates).
The biggest expense coming up will be lumber. Either 1x4 clear pine or 3/4 plywood stripped down($15-$22/sheet), I've got a woodshop on the 1st floor.
Hopefully I can get back to UBER-ing the spring and make some real money again...

Where do you live? I'm in Lacey, WA just north of Olympia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've had a few layouts in the past but this will be the "THE ONE"! I have been "collecting" track, switches, buildings for this project since 2002.
Sectional benchwork is a big, YES.
I've knocked the layout back to 2 levels...gave up about 8-10ft on the large Viaduct part. I REALLY wanted to do the whole think, but 19.7ft is really big...
Level 1 will be 30" high (office chair) and level 2 am planning to be 50"(high chair on roller skates).
The biggest expense coming up will be lumber. Either 1x4 clear pine or 3/4 plywood stripped down($15-$22/sheet), I've got a woodshop on the 1st floor.
Hopefully I can get back to UBER-ing the spring and make some real money again...

Where do you live? I'm in Lacey, WA just north of Olympia.
Here are the updated plans
Line Parallel Diagram Rectangle Drawing
Line Diagram Parallel Technical drawing Schematic
 

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I've had a few layouts in the past but this will be the "THE ONE"! I have been "collecting" track, switches, buildings for this project since 2002.
Sectional benchwork is a big, YES.
I've knocked the layout back to 2 levels...gave up about 8-10ft on the large Viaduct part. I REALLY wanted to do the whole think, but 19.7ft is really big...
Level 1 will be 30" high (office chair) and level 2 am planning to be 50"(high chair on roller skates).
The biggest expense coming up will be lumber. Either 1x4 clear pine or 3/4 plywood stripped down($15-$22/sheet), I've got a woodshop on the 1st floor.
Hopefully I can get back to UBER-ing the spring and make some real money again...

Where do you live? I'm in Lacey, WA just north of Olympia.
HD FLATCAR;

I'm several hundred mile south of you, San Diego CA. My N-scale shelf layout is set in Seattle, Washington though. My specific interests are in electric locomotives, and the passenger service out of Seattle Union Station. So the Milwaukee Road, that shared the station with the Union Pacific, is a natural for me. My largely scratch-built model of the station is shown in the photos below. I don't have anything like the amount of space you must have for your very ambitious layout. My shelf layout is attached to two walls of my garage.

Either 1 x 4 pine or 3/4" plywood is going to result in a heavy layout made up of heavy sections. Thinner plywood, and 1 x 3 seems to be very popular now, along with extruded foam insulation board. Some modelers don't use a plywood top at all, but glue the foam board to a simple grid of 1 x 3s.
I use a lot of 1/4" Luan plywood with either a foam center, or 3/4" x 1/4" pine splines glued under the edges as my sub-roadbed. This is very lightweight, but super-rigid and virtually warp proof. Warping might be a concern for you up there. Washington gets plenty of rain and moisture.
My "benchwork" is very unconventional anyway. My layout is a "Bookshelf Model Railroad" design, that I copied from an old article in Model Railroader magazine. The key element is the arches that support the top shelf, as well as the railroad. Using these arches, bolted to the wall, I have an unobstructed view all the way along the railroad, since front supports are not necessary. The arches are strong enough to support my considerable collection of train books & magazines, a TV set, VCR, DVD player and plenty of other stuff.
The original layout in the article was built with 3/4" plywood for the arches and commercial (pressed wood) shelves. It must have weighed a ton!
I went to the other extreme, making my arches of two pieces of 1/4" Luan glued around a foam core. The 2 x 2 in the photo is constructed the same way. My finished 4' long, 16" deep, and 16" high section was light enough for me to lift it with one finger, yet strong enough for me to sit on.

Please post photos of your progress. I'm sure a lot of members will be interested.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
HD FLATCAR;

I'm several hundred mile south of you, San Diego CA. My N-scale shelf layout is set in Seattle, Washington though. My specific interests are in electric locomotives, and the passenger service out of Seattle Union Station. So the Milwaukee Road, that shared the station with the Union Pacific, is a natural for me. My largely scratch-built model of the station is shown in the photos below. I don't have anything like the amount of space you must have for your very ambitious layout. My shelf layout is attached to two walls of my garage.

Either 1 x 4 pine or 3/4" plywood is going to result in a heavy layout made up of heavy sections. Thinner plywood, and 1 x 3 seems to be very popular now, along with extruded foam insulation board. Some modelers don't use a plywood top at all, but glue the foam board to a simple grid of 1 x 3s.
I use a lot of 1/4" Luan plywood with either a foam center, or 3/4" x 1/4" pine splines glued under the edges as my sub-roadbed. This is very lightweight, but super-rigid and virtually warp proof. Warping might be a concern for you up there. Washington gets plenty of rain and moisture.
My "benchwork" is very unconventional anyway. My layout is a "Bookshelf Model Railroad" design, that I copied from an old article in Model Railroader magazine. The key element is the arches that support the top shelf, as well as the railroad. Using these arches, bolted to the wall, I have an unobstructed view all the way along the railroad, since front supports are not necessary. The arches are strong enough to support my considerable collection of train books & magazines, a TV set, VCR, DVD player and plenty of other stuff.
The original layout in the article was built with 3/4" plywood for the arches and commercial (pressed wood) shelves. It must have weighed a ton!
I went to the other extreme, making my arches of two pieces of 1/4" Luan glued around a foam core. The 2 x 2 in the photo is constructed the same way. My finished 4' long, 16" deep, and 16" high section was light enough for me to lift it with one finger, yet strong enough for me to sit on.

Please post photos of your progress. I'm sure a lot of members will be interested.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan 🙂
I was in 'Diego back in '74, USN NTC, RADIOMAN 'A' SCHOOL, really loved it, great weather!!

Roger the humidity... I have a 30-pint de-humidifier I empty every morning, keeps it about 55% during the winter (rainy season).

See how most of my layout will have no elevation (flat yards), I am just going to use the extruded foam as table-top, hopefully a layer of cork will quiet the sound. The widest parts are about 5ft, so I figured 6ft long sections, grid construction type (framework 30LBS), have to be able to fit on the elevator (4x6ft). Going to make 3/4x1/4" pine spline strips with1/4" spacers glued on edge for the elevated tracks to the Viaduct/steel trestle.

I like your setup, the model of Union Station is really nice. Washington state uses the old station in Tacoma as a museum. There is a big HO Scale layout there.
 

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I was in 'Diego back in '74, USN NTC, RADIOMAN 'A' SCHOOL, really loved it, great weather!!

Roger the humidity... I have a 30-pint de-humidifier I empty every morning, keeps it about 55% during the winter (rainy season).

See how most of my layout will have no elevation (flat yards), I am just going to use the extruded foam as table-top, hopefully a layer of cork will quiet the sound. The widest parts are about 5ft, so I figured 6ft long sections, grid construction type (framework 30LBS), have to be able to fit on the elevator (4x6ft). Going to make 3/4x1/4" pine spline strips with1/4" spacers glued on edge for the elevated tracks to the Viaduct/steel trestle.

I like your setup, the model of Union Station is really nice. Washington state uses the old station in Tacoma as a museum. There is a big HO Scale layout there.
Another old navy guy here. I did Radar repair on the old F4 Phantom fighters back in the Vietnam era.
Seattle Union Station is still standing, and has been beautifully restored, and listed on the national registry of historic places. The same goes for King St. Station right across the street. That station once hosted Northern Pacific and Great Northern passenger trains. It's still in use today by Amtrak and the local "Sounder" commuter trains. I was able to visit, and photograph, Union Station several times, which was a great help in building the model. I'm glad these two fine old stations were preserved, instead of being demolished like so many others have been. Union Station is now used as a public hall and a location for weddings & other community events. The photos below are some I took at the real station.

You might consider making your sections 2' x 6'. Two bolted together would still give you the 4' width you want, but the narrower versions would be easier to handle, and fit on a workbench, so you can work in comfort, instead of crawling under a table, & working over your head. I'm 72, and partially disabled, so crawling is not in my repertoire. I'm very glad I built my layout in sections! I can turn one upside down on the bench & do the wiring easily instead of the hard way. I only wish I had mounted my layout lower. Oh well, you can't win them all.

Traction Fan
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Another old navy guy here. I did Radar repair on the old F4 Phantom fighters back in the Vietnam era.
Seattle Union Station is still standing, and has been beautifully restored, and listed on the national registry of historic places. The same goes for King St. Station right across the street. That station once hosted Northern Pacific and Great Northern passenger trains. It's still in use today by Amtrak and the local "Sounder" commuter trains. I was able to visit, and photograph, Union Station several times, which was a great help in building the model. I'm glad these two fine old stations were preserved, instead of being demolished like so many others have been. Union Station is now used as a public hall and a location for weddings & other community events. The photos below are some I took at the real station.

You might consider making your sections 2' x 6'. Two bolted together would still give you the 4' width you want, but the narrower versions would be easier to handle, and fit on a workbench, so you can work in comfort, instead of crawling under a table, & working over your head. I'm 72, and partially disabled, so crawling is not in my repertoire. I'm very glad I built my layout in sections! I can turn one upside down on the bench & do the wiring easily instead of the hard way. I only wish I had mounted my layout lower. Oh well, you can't win them all.

Traction Fan
So what "bird farm" were you on? I was a "land base" sailor & never left the states...
 

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So what "bird farm" were you on? I was a "land base" sailor & never left the states...
I spent most of my time on shore too, my squadron was based at Virginia Beach VA. On my first cruise, we were on the "Rusty Rosie" the very old (immediately post WWII) USS Franklin D Roosevelt, not to be confused with today's nuclear-powered, Nimitz-class Theodore Roosevelt. Later cruises were aboard the then brand new USS John F Kennedy, now slated for scrapping as obsolete.

Traction Fan
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I spent most of my time on shore too, my squadron was based at Virginia Beach VA. On my first cruise, we were on the "Rusty Rosie" the very old (immediately post WWII) USS Franklin D Roosevelt, not to be confused with today's nuclear-powered, Nimitz-class Theodore Roosevelt. Later cruises were aboard the then brand new USS John F Kennedy, now slated for scrapping as obsolete.

Traction Fan
I remember old #42 she was at Mayport, FL were I was stationed along with the Saratoga. The Brits came in while I was there.. doing touch & goes while the Rosie was tied to the pier with there noisy Harriers, I think their carrier was the Ark Royal...
 

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Hah! I was getting cut orders to the JFK as Damage Control Assistant, so I put in my papers and ended 10 years of commissioned service. It was time. Maybe my last billet as Chief Engineer of a steam frigate ('90-'92) helps fuel my stem loco passion!
 
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