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I would make it an L shaped. The duck under center is taking up as much room for display as the rest of the layout is.

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #22
spikedrivingblues;

I strongly recommend you look at cutting an access aisle to reach the center hole of your layout. You can bridge the aisle with a hinged section or lift out. I don't see the door you mentioned, so I don't know where on the layout perimeter that door is located. In terms of minimal track across the access aisle bridging section, the lower right corner looks good. Your back, head, and other body parts, will thank you. Skip to the last part of the attached file. (following sketch #4) It explains the advantages, and disadvantages, of duck unders, lift outs, and three different configurations of hinged sections.

good luck, have fun;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

View attachment 516996
Thanks for the link! The layout I did not get to complete was a duck under and never bothered me but I must admit, it's a better idea to have a way of getting to the center without bending over or crawling.

I thought a lift up, drop down or swing section would be impractical due to my track plan and where such a section would have to be. However, if I think about different ways to do my benchwork (other than the plan that has been cemented in my head) and even changing the track plan a bit, another way into the center may not be so daunting.

This is the great thing about planning a layout well before construction starts. Thanks again to everyone for your input!
 

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Discussion Starter #23
By the way, I'm surprised no one asked about the bridge across the middle. I do plan to make that a swing section :)

Also I'll go back to the drawing board and see if I can make a plan which shows the entire room and where the door is.
 

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Wiring a wye

By the way, I'm surprised no one asked about the bridge across the middle. I do plan to make that a swing section :)

Also I'll go back to the drawing board and see if I can make a plan which shows the entire room and where the door is.
spikedrivingblues;

I have two wyes on my layout. The wiring is actually pretty simple. When I was using DC control, I used an old system called "Tower control" which used one power pack for each insulated track block. I cut insulated gaps in both rails at the center of each of the three wye tracks. These insulated gaps are located in the center of the bridges. The lowest track in the photo is not part of the wye. I wired a separate "power pack" (Actually a homemade transistor throttle.) to each of the three tracks. The three tracks were each connected to long sections of mainline, so there was no problem running long trains. All that was necessary was to have the direction switches for the two throttles whose blocks the train was to cross, set in the same direction of travel. If they were, then a long train could travel through any leg of the wye without problem. For turning a train around, it was the same procedure but repeated from block 1 to block 2, then throw the turnouts and back the train from block 2 onto block 3. Throw the turnouts again and run the train forward from block 3 into block 1, but now headed in the other direction.

Now I use DCC, which essentially does some of the (virtual) "direction switch" flipping for me. I use frog juicer circuit boards on either side of the insulated joints between blocks. When a train crosses any one of the three gaps between blocks, (which are still in both rails, in the center of each wye track) it trips a frog juicer to make the polarity of the track you are entering, match the polarity of the track you are coming from.

By the way the three turnouts in the wye are wired for "route control." Setting a single electrical rotary switch so the knob points to one of the wye tracks on a diagramed control board, sets both turnouts for that route. So to operate the wye, I only need to rotate the knob to point at the route I want the train to take. Everything else is automatic
. The photo shows my wye at "Black River Junction" a real place on the Milwaukee Road/Union Pacific/Great Northern/Northern Pacific. The track to the left is the eastbound main. The two tracks at the lower right go to Seattle Union Station.(UP & Milw.) The track on the upper right goes to King St. Station (GN & NP) The operator at the Black River tower was probably kept very busy! Especially since my model version of Black River is a gross simplification of the prototype which had two wyes, two small yards, and served two additional local railroads, along with the four big transcontinentals.


Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

Wye at Black River Junction.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Thanks for the info. I will use dcc and have questions about the best a.r. unit to get but that dilemma is a long way off.

Speaking of wyes, the wye turnout in my diagram is a Peco #4 wye. The other turnouts are #5. Is this going to be a problem running 60' cars and SD40-2s? I have some of this equipment and they ran fine on the #5 turnouts but I've never run them on #4 turnouts.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #26
On my first layout which I could not finish, I put 1/2" plywood on open grid bench work made of 1x4s. Then I glued 2" foam to the plywood. The mainline was on cork roadbed and the yard was directly on the foam. The sound deadening quality of cork was very noticeable.

I'm now considering the 2" foam glued and screwed to the grid bench work without the plywood, yes to save money but to try to keep the modular sections light as well.

As I've looked in to this method I've learned that the foam board alone amplifies the track noise (counter intuitive because insulation is also sound proofing but as it's been explained makes sense). From what I've read using cork significantly reduces this noise and for areas one doesn't want high profile roadbed 3/32" cork sheet can be used. I would use these thin sheets where trains will be traveling quite slowly (industries, yards) thus noise won't be as much of an issue.

I welcome any thoughts or advise on this subject. Thanks

Also, here is what is likely to be at least pretty close to my final track plan I think

. Screenshot (39).png
 

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The "sounding board" effect. "Rig for silent running."

On my first layout which I could not finish, I put 1/2" plywood on open grid bench work made of 1x4s. Then I glued 2" foam to the plywood. The mainline was on cork roadbed and the yard was directly on the foam. The sound deadening quality of cork was very noticeable.

I'm now considering the 2" foam glued and screwed to the grid bench work without the plywood, yes to save money but to try to keep the modular sections light as well.

As I've looked in to this method I've learned that the foam board alone amplifies the track noise (counter intuitive because insulation is also sound proofing but as it's been explained makes sense). From what I've read using cork significantly reduces this noise and for areas one doesn't want high profile roadbed 3/32" cork sheet can be used. I would use these thin sheets where trains will be traveling quite slowly (industries, yards) thus noise won't be as much of an issue.

I welcome any thoughts or advise on this subject. Thanks

Also, here is what is likely to be at least pretty close to my final track plan I think

. View attachment 519442
spikedrivingblues;

Yes, it does seem rather odd that something made to be used as thermal insulation would not also serve as acoustic insulation. I think the fairly hard, and very rigid, big sheet of extruded foam is acting as a giant "sounding board" to amplify the sounds made by moving trains. Traditional plywood train tables have been doing this same thing for decades.

You probably have heard this "sounding board effect" if you have ever heard music played on an acoustic guitar. The big wooden body of the guitar is a, literal, sounding board.
Another example you may have heard, happens when you put a Dremel, or power drill, down on a workbench while the tool is still spinning. What was a minor sound while held in your hand, suddenly becomes much louder when it sits on a big hard flat surface. That happens because the physical vibration of the tool, (which is what causes us to hear the sound of it running) gets transferred into, and then vibrates, the much larger workbench. The large surface area of the bench moves more air for our eardrums to pick up, hence the louder sound.

There are two ways to minimize this sounding board effect. One, as you have already found out, is to put some "sound absorbing" (actually vibration blocking) material like cork between the trains, and the sheet of foam, "sounding board." The second way is to minimise the vibration at its source.

Perhaps the ultimate example of doing both can be found in submarines, where silence equals survival. Everything on a modern sub is designed to create as little vibration as possible or to keep whatever vibration remains from reaching the hull and then, the surrounding sea. Making sound means being detected, and for a sub crew that can be deadly. Some old WWII subs were lined with cork as both thermal, and acoustic, insulation.

The second way to keep things quiet is to prevent the big sounding board from vibrating. This is done in two ways. The potential sounding board should be kept rigidly in place, meaning not just the inherent rigidity of the foam, but sufficient bracing to prevent the foam from vibrating as much as it would otherwise do.
To keep the benchwork light, the cross bracing could be made of foam "beams", or lightweight thin wood glued around soft Styrofoam. The key element in success here is making the overall structure as absolutely rigid as possible, in all directions. The more absolutely rigid, overall, something is, the less easily it will vibrate, and therefore the less "sounding board effect" it can produce. When's the last time you vibrated a bolder or concrete wall?

The old fashioned 'L'-Girder, long-used in model railroad benchwork, is an extremely rigid structure. Traditional 'L'-girder made of 1x3" & 1x2" pine planks (see photos 1 & 2) would probably be too heavy for your desired "lightweight sections." I have used small 1" x 1/4" pine strips to form "mini-'L' girders to brace my subroadbed.
You can also make a small, lightweight ,variant from 1/4" thick luan plywood thoroughly glued around a core of Styrofoam to form a box girder (see photo 3) This is equally rigid. Both the 'L' and box, girders are impossible to bend. Either can support hundreds of pounds. Yet the box girder in photo 3 is so light it can be balanced on the tip of one finger! Using this kind of bracing at 12"-16" spacing, you won't need 2" foam. the 1-1/2" or even 1" thick foam will work unless you plan to walk around, and jump up and down, on top of your layout! This will save you a little money. You can use the same methods to make bracing of any size, or shape. You can even buy a commercial pre-made version of the box girder. It's called a hollow-core door. They are not really hollow, but have cardboard or Styrofoam material glued between two sheets of luan or MDF/Masonite. I would use the Luan version. Masonite and MDF would be pretty good sounding boards in their own right. Luan is plywood, and thus internally cross braced by the alternating grains of the plys, and it is also lighter than either of the other two.

It's also possible to limit vibration and thus "deaden sound" from below. A sheet of Homasote glued either on top of, or below, the extruded foam makes a good vibration stopper.
Some fans of "roadbed track" like Bachmann EZ-Track or Kato Unitrack have found out that the plastic roadbed piece fastened to the bottom of such track is a very efficient sounding board. Sticking some foam-rubber weatherstrip tape under the roadbed and filling the hollow space underneath. quiets the train sound considerably.

The simplest solution might be to glue sheet cork, or Homasote, over the extruded foam. Cork and Homasote are both effective sound deadening materials, but sometimes gluing the ballast around them, and down to the table, can form a path for sound vibrations to get around the sound deadening material, and right back into the big plywood, or foam, sounding board.
I don't recommend using screws to fasten the foam to the benchwork. Glue, or better yet. latex caulk, will fasten it well, and screws can form a sound path from the foam, down into the wood benchwork (you guessed it!) sounding board.
Weights like bricks or paver stones from Home Depot will hold it until the caulk/glue dries overnight. I would also recommend you use some form of 'L' girder, or box girder, for all the benchwork. It is strong, lightweight, and both vibration, and warp, resistant.

Good luck, Have fun!

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

L-girder 3.jpg

L-girder 1.jpg

Lightwood box girder parts with compleated girder.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #28
traction fan, thanks for taking the time to post all that information. Very helpful and very appreciated.

I don't plan to start the build until the spring so that leaves plenty of time to make a couple of small mock ups (I'll need the lumber and foam anyway). I'm thinking I'll start with foam directly on the bench work and run a train just to hear for myself what i'm dealing with. Then I can add some sound deadening ideas and see what works best for me.

Thanks again. Enjoy the Holiday!
 

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#4 wye turnouts

Thanks for the info. I will use dcc and have questions about the best a.r. unit to get but that dilemma is a long way off.

Speaking of wyes, the wye turnout in my diagram is a Peco #4 wye. The other turnouts are #5. Is this going to be a problem running 60' cars and SD40-2s? I have some of this equipment and they ran fine on the #5 turnouts but I've never run them on #4 turnouts.

Thanks
spikedrivingblues;

I don't think you will have problems getting 60'. cars though a Peco #4 wye. The SD40-2, with its six-wheel trucks, might be a problem, but again I'd guess not. Model locomotives, and cars, are built a lot more flexible than their prototypes, since the models routinely have to deal with curves much sharper than any curves the prototype locomotive would ever have to run on.
Also I think wye turnouts sort of split the frog# angle between the two routes, so that neither route would be quite as sharp as the diverging route of a conventional #4 turnout would be. I'm not sure about that though, so perhaps someone with better information on wye turnouts can furnish a more accurate answer.
However, there is no substitute for actual testing. Buy the Peco #4 wye and hook it up to three sections of flex track. Then run your loco and 60' cars through all three routes repeatedly, until you are satisfied that it will work well.

good luck;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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You're welcome, andMery Christmas!

traction fan, thanks for taking the time to post all that information. Very helpful and very appreciated.

I don't plan to start the build until the spring so that leaves plenty of time to make a couple of small mock ups (I'll need the lumber and foam anyway). I'm thinking I'll start with foam directly on the bench work and run a train just to hear for myself what i'm dealing with. Then I can add some sound deadening ideas and see what works best for me.

Thanks again. Enjoy the Holiday!
spikedrivingblues;

You're welcome, and Merry Christmas! :)

Mock ups are a good idea. It's much easier to see what will and won't work when you build a 3D model rather than just drawing a 2D plan on paper. My present bookshelf layout was all built in 1/8th scale model form, before I started on the full-size version. It was originally designed to fit under, and partially in front of a stairway in our former condo. When we moved to San Diego, we moved into a single -family house with an attached garage. The garage was my railroad's new home. (I'm married! ;) ) Because I had carefully planed, and made a scale model the railroad for a very challenging location, when we moved, I was able to re-use the original sections in a different arrangement and build two others to fill the larger space. On my model of my model railroad, I used scale size model aircraft plywood and scale-size Styrofoam filler salvaged from egg cartons. I doubt you'll be as obsessed as I was! :goofball:

Good luck, have fun, happy Holidays!

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Discussion Starter #32
spikedrivingblues;

You're welcome, and Merry Christmas! :)

Mock ups are a good idea. It's much easier to see what will and won't work when you build a 3D model rather than just drawing a 2D plan on paper. My present bookshelf layout was all built in 1/8th scale model form, before I started on the full-size version. It was originally designed to fit under, and partially in front of a stairway in our former condo. When we moved to San Diego, we moved into a single -family house with an attached garage. The garage was my railroad's new home. (I'm married;)) Because I had planed and scale modeled the railroad for a very challenging location, when we moved, I was able to re-use the original sections in a different arrangement and build two others to fill the larger space. On my model of my model railroad, I used scale size model aircraft plywood and scale-size Styrofoam filler salvaged from egg cartons. I doubt you'll be as obsessed as I was! :goofball:

Good luck, have fun, happy Holidays!

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
I agree with you on the value of mocking something up and I commend you for the way you built yours...but you're right to doubt I'll go quite that far :laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter #33
As far as my noise concerns go, i think I'll use at least 1/4" plywood and glue the foam to it. If I'm correct, that should help quite things down.

I'm just waiting for the weather here to get better. Although above adverage temps., still too cold (and a lot of rain lately) to build module sections outside.

Anyway, I posted yet another pic of my track plan. Only a couple of minor changes. I also used the limited choice of structures available on Anyrail to represent, as closely as I could, the size of some of the industries I'd like to use.

Come on, Spring!

Phase 2 .png
 

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Plywood & foam

As far as my noise concerns go, i think I'll use at least 1/4" plywood and glue the foam to it. If I'm correct, that should help quite things down.

I'm just waiting for the weather here to get better. Although above average temps., still too cold (and a lot of rain lately) to build module sections outside.

Anyway, I posted yet another pic of my track plan. Only a couple of minor changes. I also used the limited choice of structures available on Anyrail to represent, as closely as I could, the size of some of the industries I'd like to use.

Come on, Spring!

View attachment 525812


spikedrivingblues;

Gluing 1/4" Luan (or conventional) plywood under your extruded foam will provide a handy surface for attaching switch machines and wiring. It won't do much of anything to reduce noise however.
It is a perfectly good way to build a layout base, but to deaden sound, you may need to glue homasote, or cork, on top of the foam. Both materials are available in either large sheets, or as commercial roadbed. The Homasote commercial roadbed version is sold under the trade name "Homabed."

Your latest track plan looks like a very ambitious, and very expensive, project. It will need lots of track, lots of expensive turnouts,(25-30?) and the same number of expensive switch machines. Also lots of time to build it. None of those things is a deal breaker, provided you have the necessary time and money. Decent turnouts cost about $20-$30 each, and Tortoise motors are $15-$18 each. Total cost for 30 turnouts and 30 switch machines using the lower prices, works out to just over a thousand dollars! That does not include the cost of track, or anything else. (The files below offer some alternatives to save some money)

I personally don't care for the bridge across the aisle, even as a swing section, nor do I see the need for it, but it's your railroad.
Another thing I still don't see on this new plan, is how you're going to get into, and out of, the center operating pit, without ducking under the benchwork. If that's still your intention, well, it's your railroad, your head, your back,etc. :eek:
I also don't see the promised door into the room, unless that's the green thing in the upper right?

regards;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

View attachment MODEL RAILROADING ON A BUDGET.pdf

View attachment Introductory letter for $5 switch machine.pdf

View attachment Assembly instructions for $5 switch machine..pdf

View attachment All AboutTurnouts rev 5.pdf

View attachment How I scratch build turnouts new(8).pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #37
While reading another thread I got to thinking about the this again; using 2" extruded foam alone for a base (no plywood).

If I do this will there be enough surface area on the 1"x4"s (3/4") on the perimeter and perpendicular pieces every 16" max.? I was thinking of using glue and screws (then using foam putty over screw heads).

I'm not worried about a place to attach switch machines, decoders, etc... because I will use Peco Pl-10s attached to the turnouts and will attach everything else to the 1"x 4"s.

This idea is attractive because it's lightweight, eliminates a step and saves me a few bucks. Will my ideas of how to do it work well?

Thanks
Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Layout Base?

While reading another thread I got to thinking about the this again; using 2" extruded foam alone for a base (no plywood).

If I do this will there be enough surface area on the 1"x4"s (3/4") on the perimeter and perpendicular pieces every 16" max.? I was thinking of using glue and screws (then using foam putty over screw heads).

I'm not worried about a place to attach switch machines, decoders, etc... because I will use Peco Pl-10s attached to the turnouts and will attach everything else to the 1"x 4"s.

This idea is attractive because it's lightweight, eliminates a step and saves me a few bucks. Will my ideas of how to do it work well?

Thanks
Paul
 

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It certainly can work. If the bench work is true, then I would just put a bead of liquid nails (for projects) on the top edge of the 1x4, lay the foam on it and weight it until it cured.

Down the road, if you need to screw something to the bottom of the layout you can always liquid nail a small piece of plywood or block of wood where you need it.

It will be very lightweight, which means it will be more subject to unpleasant consequences in the event of unintended bumps, kicks and jostles.
 
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