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Discussion Starter #1
All,
This is me. After sitting in the attic for 30 years, I have resurrected my old O(O-27) Lionel trains. I have built my 5 x 8 train table (picture attached) and drafted a layout.

My vision is to have these two loops with the back one (closer to the wall) slightly raised above to have two different levels (represented by the 2x4). In the far right corner there will be a mountain/tunnel and then both tracks will be at ground level at the front.

Here are my initial questions.
1. The layout seems to work mostly. I will need to buy some smaller pieces of track (either at a train show or on ebay) so I don't have to pigeonhole/cram pieces in. When I designed this on AllTracks I couldn't make it all connect. When I measured on the software it appeared that I was off by about 1 inch. Can't I assume that I can angle these tracks and make this work with such a small gap or distance? How forgiving is the track?

2. Once I have the layout blessed and feasible (that's your job). I need to build the grade, ballast and mountains/tunnel. Does anyone have suggestions as to what order i do that? I assume it is:
a. build the grades (either with partial sets of Woodland Scenic to get to 2-3 inches above the other track)
b. Build the tunnels and mountains.
c. Ballast the entire track.

That's enough for now. Thoughts?
Thanks!
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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23,868 Posts
All,
This is me. After sitting in the attic for 30 years, I have resurrected my old O(O-27) Lionel trains. I have built my 5 x 8 train table (picture attached) and drafted a layout.

My vision is to have these two loops with the back one (closer to the wall) slightly raised above to have two different levels (represented by the 2x4). In the far right corner there will be a mountain/tunnel and then both tracks will be at ground level at the front.

Here are my initial questions.
1. The layout seems to work mostly. I will need to buy some smaller pieces of track (either at a train show or on ebay) so I don't have to pigeonhole/cram pieces in. When I designed this on AllTracks I couldn't make it all connect. When I measured on the software it appeared that I was off by about 1 inch. Can't I assume that I can angle these tracks and make this work with such a small gap or distance? How forgiving is the track?

2. Once I have the layout blessed and feasible (that's your job). I need to build the grade, ballast and mountains/tunnel. Does anyone have suggestions as to what order i do that? I assume it is:
a. build the grades (either with partial sets of Woodland Scenic to get to 2-3 inches above the other track)
b. Build the tunnels and mountains.
c. Ballast the entire track.

That's enough for now. Thoughts?
Thanks!
Welcome, Did you actually connect all the track yet?
You can cut some to length. The right rear corner looks a bit close to the inside loop. If your only elevating a little and running 2 trains you might have a wreck back there.

Get your track and elevation correct first. Make sure it works good.
Build the tunnels and your mountain next, all depends on how long your tunnel is I would plan making it so you can lift it off in case you have to get to the track inside. It can be done.

Ballast last after your sure all your track is good and it is the layout you want.

That is my impute, others may disagree. :smokin:
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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Looking at your picture again
I notice that your blocking the sink, do you use it?
Can you walk around the back side?
Where are you building? In the basement?
 

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Looks like you could get some access to the sink by rotating the whole thing 90 degrees...

I agree with Ed: get your track installed and tested first. Then worry about the other stuff. Resist the urge to fudge the track so that it fits. That's a quick way to derailment purgatory. Get some shorter pieces or cut some to fit.

Get your elevations dialed in as well. Instead of "partial" incline sets, look at the Woodland Scenics Incline Starters. These are meant to be used with flat pieces of foam so that the incline pieces are always going from "0" to a fixed height (1/2 to 2", depending on the slope). They're much more efficient than the inclines.

You don't intend for your tracks to cross over each other, do you? For that, you need more like 6" height difference in O scale. I doubt you have room for that kind of elevation change without an unacceptably steep grade.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone. The track is definitely not connected yet. This was basically the concept attempt. Once I decide and figure out the layout and the layout I will then take up the track and work on the mountain and tunnel (with ways to get derailments through a back door or being able to lift it off.

That is a sink - but I will be pushing the table back and to the right so there should be good clearance on all sides.

Thanks for all of the advice - i will look for the incline starters.
 

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Hobo for Life
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The trains also come down faster then expected, best to have the grade end on a long run. So it dosent fly off the table. Been there done that. Not so much fun to be gomez adams.
 
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