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Discussion Starter #1
I thought I'd post this and ask for critique from you guys. I've had to reduce my world-spanning plan---not enough basement! *L* So, here's what my objectives/factors are (and I hope the attachment worked).

1. I have very wide, sweeping curves that take a lot of room: comes with the scale.
2. A detailed, point-to-point operation isn't feasible with this scale: Essentially, I'm running around one table repeatedly, or leaving it to run passenger/freight to the other table.
3. I like tunnels, bridges, and long, straight stretches.

So...the table on the left will have one section (at the top in pic) where one track tunnels thru a series of hills; the other stretch of track runs above it, using bridges to cross from hill to hill. I plan a large lake in the center, and a spur that will visit the lake. Two tracks leave/return across a (I hope!) bridge wide enough for both. The bridge will be hinged.

Now, it gets tricky. Table 2 will have the girlfriend's Motorific and Christmas Village. Actually, Motorific all over, Christmas Village facing one way....and her Halloween Village facing the other way. It will be on wheels and reversible. I hope. So, it has to have matching entry/exit tracks on opposite corners so the train can circle the villages and make stops for passengers and freight. I never said I was sensible.

So, any input would be appreciated!

Thanks,
 

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Discussion Starter #2
seems the image only picked up the first table....I'll make a second stab at the other table and attach it.
 

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In the second attachment on the right side it looks like the track is not going to be joined? See where the blue meets the gold? Is the going to be together so you have a complete loop?

Also in the middle of the plan why is there no track on the bottom but just space. is that where the tunnels are going up top? And you will be able to walk in that space on the bottom.

edit.....,


I took a sick day today as I had to go and have some blood sucked out of my arm for a blood test.:D The guy was a pro I didn't even feel the needle!:thumbsup:
 

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Table 2 will have the girlfriend's Motorific and Christmas Village ... It will be on wheels ...
Reckers,

Buddy ... buddy ... how do I say this tackfully? Get yourself a little "pre-nup" on that piece of not-so-terra-firma, or at least build it big enough that it won't fit out the basement door! :laugh:

Seriously ...

Very ambitious / exciting layout. I love the central lake idea, though I can't quite visualize the 3D topology. Is there some way that you can sketch in the principal contour of hills, inclines, tunnels, crossover order?

The spinny "two season" table is a clever idea. Hopefully some sort of threaded adjustable-height wheels so that you can level things out OK in either position. (I assume somewhat bumpy cement floor?) Table-to-table height lineup will be important, obviously.

What's the thinking behind a hinged bridge?

Per Ed, is there "table" between the halves, or just walk-in space?

I can't wait to see your bridge/tunnel/hill/lake creation down the road. I'll bet we'll all be drooling ...

Hey Big Ed ... hope all is OK via bloodwork.

Cheers,
TJ
 

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Very ambitious / exciting layout. I love the central lake idea, though I can't quite visualize the 3D topology. Is there some way that you can sketch in the principal contour of hills, inclines, tunnels, crossover order?
the software with full 3d modeling capabilities called Wintrack. not free and has quite serious learning curve.
 

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I can see the red curve as a siding of some sort. To a freight station or something.

Just make it blue in your diagram.:D

Good to have blood work done every now and then to see what octane your pumping.:laugh:
 

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Tankist offers a good point ... if you want to rotate the right 180 deg, you'll likely have to reconfigure the "entry" turns to still have a full loop. (I printed out the layout on paper, then cut and spun that section with scissors!)

Re: 3D software ... Reck, can you sketch in rough stab at hill/contours simply by hand?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks to everyone for all the input! First, the gap between range and blue in the right upper section is because standard track will not fit: I'll have to cut a piece to size to close the gap.

Second, the open expanse just off-center to the right will not exist: the only way I could get Anyrail to let me put the whole thing in as one pic was to grid it all as if on one table. In actuality, the place where blue and orange run side-by-side at top center will be the bridge location. I have a Lionel O gauge bridge that I hope will be wide enough for two trains to pass, side-by-side. If not, I'll have to rework it. Assuming it does have the width, though, the bridge will be hinged on the left side and swing up. That will be the point of connection to table #2 (the right table). It's this table that will rotate. Mac, I'm sure you're right on the "it don't line up" observation; that side is more tenuous. I can vary that end fairly easily, though, since there's not much detail in the layout for that side. Essentially, it'll be a big loop with two train stations on opposite sides---one for Halloween and one for Christmas. I can cut and refit track to get the ends to meet where needed. Tankist, you are correct---no flex track. Just me and my Dremel cut-off wheel! Losing the spur-curve is a good idea---it's only there to give me some extra length on the spur to clear the main, if I need it. Ed, the siding will run to either a county resort hotel kind of place or a place out in the country where they raise horses by the lake. Or both. The lake will be to the right of the red siding.

If I can teach myself to color on the pc, I'll try to draw a little topo. It's not fixed in my head, yet. On the left table, the upper orange stretch is atop the hills; beneath it would be the tunnels for the purple stretch. No real logic to it---just wanted some extra rails to run and some hills to climb. Besides, it will let me work in all those bridges I bought! TJ, she wants a place to do her villages----that will save the relationship.

Thanks again to everyone----I really appreciate the critique!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Oh, and Mac? There will be tw separate tables----not a rotating table-top. So (on the rotating table), as long as I can get the track spacing to match up, the table edges do not have to line up. Essentially, if the bridge drops into place at either end and the track rails line up, the tables do not have to. I love pain!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
TJ, it's a carpeted floor, smooth as a baby's butt. Ed, that area in the center will be open space---I had to leave all that grid in the pic or it would cut off the right half of the layout.
 

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Ohh ... I'm getting it ...

1. Bridge section is BETWEEN left and right tables. Neat!

2. The straight run at the top of your left table is actually TWO runs, one on top of the other, right? Not just one run with switches going in/out.

3. So, blue run coming out (left) of the bridge goes over the purple (another bridge), then downhill to the purple main loop ... right?

Are you in the same typical "1% to 3% grade" range with S stuff as HO ? (Torque, pulling power, and all that.)

Nice!

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #14
TJ,

I'm at work and hampered by the lack of technology---no way to doodle and get it back onto the pc. I've typed in some details, though, to try to flesh it out. I'll try your scissors trick at home and see what I can make of it. Since the #2 table will come last and has no requirements except to be able to ride into town and back out from either direction, I think I can resolve it easily. The idea is that a workable loop (both ways) goes down on the table, Motorific goes in around it, and then we look at topography. That part will be highly influenced by the lady. My idea is a low hill running from left to right with cuts to keep both tracks level. Halloween on one side, Christmas on the other. Houses and buildings stuffed in wherever she wants to put them with terrain to make it interesting. No tunnels envisioned.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
TJ,

Exactly. The big bridge is because I'm too lazy to walk all the way around both tables. Correct on the stacked run---one is above the other.

What I'm trying for is a 2% grade---since I'm still tweaking, I have to see what it comes out when I have some actual measurements to work with. Blue would actually run under the purple if I can swing it, just for fun. That way, orange has a downhill slope to "level" ground, blue goes to the swinging bridge with a modest rise. Since I don't have Paintbook or anything similar here, I thought I'd type in some comments.
 

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Reckers,

Thanks. Text helps.

So purple is ABOVE the orange on the back run, not below ... right? (I thought you suggested the opposite ealier.) I.e. purple = top of hill, orange = tunnel ?

Which makes the lift-up-bridge runs (orange and blue) at a height at or slightly below the same as the main deck level / front-center of left board. Right?

I don't know anything about S, but a 2% grade sound quite reasonable for a "normal" amount of cars in tow. (Assuming S engines pull kinda like HO.)

Sanity check ...

In looking at your purple main loop, you have something like 130" of incline run on each of the left and right sides, going from the front (just outboard of the switches) to the back ridge (sort of in line with the front switches).


What height of rise do you need (for train below) ... around 5" maybe?

5"/130" = 3.8% grade ... kinda steep.

But maybe you're thinking that yellow (and blue) drop below the "main deck" level, such that yellow in the tunnel (rear) is lower than purple in the front. Split the difference, so to speak, in terms of the required incline grade. Maybe that would get you to 2% on purple. Then, both yellow and blue are a bit below "main deck level" going over the bridge.

Don't know if the above helps or hurts your thinking ... maybe my visualization is off.

Anyway ... fun stuff ... keep us posted!

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #17
TJ,

I typed my notes too fast and you caught my mistake right away! Orange on top, purple below. Sorry to be so confusing---it's frustrating to not be able to draw something in like a normal person would and type the details from memory. *L* Let's hope I can build better than I can describe!
 

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Len, I'm glad to see that you are in the planning stage of your layout right after moving into your new home. I don't know anything about S scale so will keep my 2 cents to myself on layout design. I haven't had a chance to read everything that's been said, but It looks like you have a pretty clear idea on what you want to do. I look forward to seeing more on this layout.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Mike, your input is always welcome---don't be shy. Lessons learned on any scale are applicable to every scale. It will still be a while before I start buying lumber: I have piles of boxes to go through and move out of the way, first!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Okay----here's another one of those hair-brained ideas of mine for you guys to have fun with. *L* Almost everyone seems to buy some variation on cork or rubber track bed. The logic behind it is to raise the bed and to deaden vibration, lessen the noise, etc. Any other purposes?

The reason I ask is this: I had this idea. Rather than buy all that cork, cut and shape it, which is pretty labor-intensive or expensive...why not go underneath the foam sheets and just deaden the whole layout? Does cork really do that good a job?

So....ready for it? Here's what I want to hear opinions on. What if I built the table---let's say, 12' x 5', and then stretched bubble-wrap across the top and secured it. You can buy the stuff in long rolls, about 15" wide, about 30' for $7. Staple that to the plywood and lay the pink foam sheets on top of it, then build on top of the foam sheets. It would seem to me, in My Most Humble Opinion (tip of the hat to Anton!), that this would do a better job of deadening sound and vibration than a thin cork layer.

So...what do you guys think?
 
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