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Discussion Starter #1
posted this on other railroading forum as well so for those who read both no need to discuss it on both :)

ok, so i started with 4x7 which while limited still has some possibilities. well 2 loops is still a possibility, no? :)
i looked a lot at modular layouts and had couple ideas how i could expand my.
initially i thought about T configuration but now i'm playing with the idea to expand sort of around the wall. here is a skeleton drawing:



the bulge in the wall (a coat closed on the other side) is slightly deeper then 2 feet. all curves as drawn are R18 (which while tight i don't think i can avoid using), the straight sections of oval are 3ft long (4 of 9' sections), and there is enough room to put outer oval with R22. the 2x5 addon should hold very small yard/ storage area. it will probably be attached at different elevation. the grade comes up very steep, perhaps the 2 loops running below (or above?) the bridge can be lowered an inch or so by digging into the foam.

i think it can be enlarge to 5.5-6 lenght wise and couple inches in width if nesesery but anything more as i see will start causing problems with reach.

playing little more with the idea this came out:



dotted line is the R22 oval which i omitted on first drawing.
while everything here is R18 30 degree sections it is even less realistic - there are even more problems with elevation and second line leading into the yard is ridden with S curves. no mentioning switch that bridges the gap..

your thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
well, upside down "u" is an "n". :)



thats an interesting suggestion. i think it might accommodate 2 yards actually or a yard (with somewhat a runaround) and industrial area. the 2x5 is shortened to 2x4 and even to 2x3 for a better reach as not much is happening on it anymore (can have industry spur).
the only thing is , in such setup yard cannot be as permanent as it would have been in the corner. the reason the 2x3 in original pic is dotted is because it rests on my desk/workbench (height adjustable), eats into working area and as such will not be installed on ocasion.

but it is definitely a possibility.
 

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In the drawing with the R22 track the track appears to be very close to the edge of the table. Just remember that if the track is to close to the edge and there is a derailment you go from a minor frustration to potentially broken parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
ok, had good hands on planning and tinkering session tonight. i think i'm getting closer to my final layout configuration :D
started wtih reducing the inner loop into a bypass.
the grade is very steep. i cut the remaining foam in a wedge so 48 inches climbs 3.5" the pieces are spaced appart so it should be more 55". but as it is i was able to run gp35, gp38 and the heavy spectrum dash 8-40 up those grades with 6 cars (and the one with pipe-load is quite heavy). some wheel slip occurred when getting closer to the crest but i think when the grade will be laid smoother it shoud get better. the Union pacific train got p there all by itself and on lowest speed i can give it for now (3.3V)
in addition i plan to dig into foam and lower the lower loop about an inch or so. the outside climb is R22 (with a straight section in-between 2 quarters). the inside is R18 but it is eased in with a 22 section (switch is there only as straight piece) . the inside bypass line laid with r18 section track but i think i might be able to do a R19 with flexi.
while i might have carried away with switches i'm pretty happy with what i see - 2 lines into upper yard (gettng in on the outside climb, out on the inside climb) full loop with a bypass, some spurs into industries and couple stubs for waiting switcher engines. lots of track but still some ok possibilities for scenery(or for more spurs). the only thing is i didn't get to use my double-slip yet






ok, i'm done patting myself on the back. putting on thick skin and getting ready for some CnC.

your thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
well, on the good side i identified more space for expansion. see attached.
2x3 is as permanent as table itself , the 4x2.5 (which i guess can be 4x full 3feet) is going to be laying on top of my workbench when deployed and hanging from the wall above rolling stock shelf when stowed (hence 4 feet width).

on the down side my slopes are just not working. they are way to steep. :( i just can't lower the underpassing track enough.
i guess i'd have to rethink everything and as much as i hate to that, make those flat
 

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Discussion Starter #9
yeah, i do plan to cut down, but

i understand NMRA says 4" of vertical clearance, while some here 3.5 is enough. however i just measured the height of double Decker bombardier coach and actually every single car that seemed higher and it looks that it will clear even 2.5" not counting the surface track rests on. this brings me to the thought that 3" that i can actually achieve will do the job (overpass track laying on 1mm steel strip).
what really needs the 3.5 of clearance? double stacked containers? i guess i'll have to stay away from tose then.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
allrighty, i started my foam excavation project yesterday. dug for hour or so with chisel and then with planner blade, got frustrated and tried the retractable knife, one with break away blade. never imagined it will work this well! basically pressed the knife against the foam and it bent to provide for flat undercut of all the ridges that i did. finished everything in .5 hour and the trench looked much better. i never imagined i would be able to lay track directly into my excavation without putting something on top to cover for unevenness. laid track in it, spent some more time smoothing out the transition. was able to run a 7 car train on all speeds, both ways, pulling or pushing (put 2 light chemical cars in between the engine and heavy loaded flat car to test for stringling).
nothing derailed, nothing uncoupled and i'm happy to report it got lowered full inch :D. engine wasn't slipping but definitely worked harder while getting out. gave it a bit more throttle and it was happier. i think that will make running loops bit more interesting.

by that time it was 12. i couldn't help it and started arranging my overpass to test things. upper overpass will be a R29 curve (flexi of cource) but for now i tried it with my r22-straight-r22 section made fragment. now that the grade is lower gp38 climbs well with same 7 cars! hooray! in lowest point the clearance between surface lower track rests on to plywood piece upper track rests on is just a hair below 3". i think i can safley increase it just a ted.

haven't tried the lower overpass (return) section yet, that one will be bit trickier and will need to desent stepper.

here is the question though. untill today i was running things from slightly modified redundant PSU cluster (basically to hot swap PSUs in enclosure). as nay PC power supply it provides 3.3 5 and 12 volt. other voltages i achieved by using other value instead of ground (ie it is exactly 7 volts between +5 and +12 leads and 15.3 between -3.3 and +12) . yesterday i stopped by local hobby shop on the way to work and got second hand 10$ transformer - much more comfortable to work with and the reverser is right there.
so could it be that my non RR power supply was causing difficulties in climb? i wouldn't think so.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
what the? i liquid nailed (red) second layer of foam around noon yesterday, left it under press overnight. it says curing time is 24 hours, well 24 hours are done, but i just found that the bond is ****. with not much force i pulled the layer up. read the paperwork, it specifically promised foam to foam bond. what a BS.

hmmm, was i supposed to use blue liq nails instead??
going to try gorrila glue on small piece to see if that one melts the foam...
 

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Interesting. The fact with foam is that it doesn't breathe. I have used Elmers Carpenter's Glue for foam and have noticed that it does take longer.Other materials are natural and tend to absorb moisture and dry the glue out. Again foam is moisture resistant. When we discussed the Liquid nails I did get the red interior tube . It says it has a ten minute settting time. I'll have to try it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
i think i finally a have better idea on what is it that i want to do. while such small space calls for no elevation changes, i think those ad tremendously to the layout. i guess i will have to live with potentially less cars in a train.





and i guess the proj progress can go here as well.
didn't have much chance to work on everything latley which is a good thing, less of a temptation for me to touch stuff being glued (which i still managed to do)

built both the 30x37" and 48x28" surfaces. the 28" means i don't need to remove tools from the wall. also the surface built in such way that i can leave most of my junk laying on the table meaning less cleanup required to add the addon board.
adjusted my workbench to precise height, bubble level. glued the foam to small surface.
took some pictures last night but i'm not sure if you will be interested to see no track but only various heavy items i found in my garage resting on the pink foam as the glue cures.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
carved the first portion of mountainous climb path last night. that battery powered small vacum cleaner is awesome! worked on both climb and descent bridges and glued more ground features down. i guess mountain is to wildly spoken, it will be more like a hill, lol. couldn't help it and pre-tested the climb. i might need to fine tune the slope but for now tacked piece of flexi track down (as the climb is R30) and run gp35 uphill pulling bulk car loaded with another engine. works for now.

finished installing foam on upper level - glued down the last piece. the foam is exactly level where the boards meet. it is somewhat different on the inboard seams. will level out when it finally dries.
again, i'd guess that noone will be interested to see my collection of bottles, cans and pickle jars and how they look on pink foam.


and i'll use this thread to ask yet another question:
anyone has experience with how does plaster/drywall joint compound adheres to pink foam?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
it is light on posts here today so i'll post here as well :)
while things are drying i tryed to plan out my upper area yard.

i read up on yard designing guide found on other forum and tried to implement what i could within size limitations.
so far here is what i cam up with :



visio is not the most track planning software but workable.
arrows show travel direction of inbound/outbound trains.
left grey section is 30x37 inches and is semi permanent, blue is 48x28 and is removable. blue cross-track is actually a double slip. all sections (apart from short ones) are standart 9". while capacity is not great i do have a runaround. possibility for engine facility/industry on uper left part and couple stubs for a switcher to hide in (needed at all?)

opinions, comments, critique, suggestions welcome

thanks
 

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It sounds like you are having fun. I tried the Liquid Nails on some bed cork and worked great, It set very quickly around the curves.
About joint compound , it shrinks. If I remember, Denny Todd used a mixture of latex paint and joint compound for ground coverage. Check out his youtube stopbath777.
I am also a fan of small portable vacs!:D
 

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all sections (apart from short ones) are standart 9".

opinions, comments, critique, suggestions welcome

thanks
I am curious as to why you don't use standard 3' sections of flextrack in areas that have 4 or more 9" sections. Seems like it would be less chance of bad connections, meaning less headaches, if flextrack was used.

Just my opinion and a thought.

Looks like you are really going to get the most out of a small space with all your designing.

Dan Harriman
Orange, Texas
 

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Discussion Starter #19
i used 9" pieces for ease of designing , easier to cut the section and paste a switch in for when playing with runaround tracks. also gave better perseption of dimention, its quite easy to run away an insert bunch of track that would never fit into real space. i am going to use as much flexi as possible,
 

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Discussion Starter #20
i'm not even close to accomplish what i planned but i already pondering on new piece of expansion. that mountain will need to be dug through.
withdth 12 inches or less. purpose , probably another industry. it also will be connecting the upper and lower parts as far as scenery.

thoughts? i think i need to start looking for larger curved turnout with small radius of R22


 
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