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Discussion Starter #1
I decided that since im in the beginning phases of my layout that I should start a thread on this. my layout is set in Illinois a few hours southwest of Chicago and all industry is loosely based off different industries that are around my area some served by rail some not. at this point im still debating on if this is the track plan I will stay with but that's why im posting this. please excuse my crude Microsoft paint version of this. all mainline curves are roughly 30" radius turns smallest turnout is #6 for different spurs otherwise #8. in the future I will add another small yard and an engine service facility but this is currently what I have going. no scenery done still blue foam. benchwork is 2x4s with 1/4" plywood and 1" extruded polystyrene insulation board. the river is not cut out yet and wont be till I start up more of the scenery work and certain on my track plan.
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Mistake Mod please delete this one.

See next post.
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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Where the blue with the writing is, will this be cut out?
I guess so rereading the inside.

Why not make the other side 3 or 4 foot too instead of the 21 inch?
You can get more train things on the table.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
it is cut out and the reason its only 21 in is that's the way that the room was built. the doorway is 21 inches off the wall and for simplicity sake I just stuck with that measurement and for accessability
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I found some old track plans for the yard in my town from the transition era when the santa fe roundhouse was still up. both pictures are of the same plan but one shows more of the west side and one shows more of east side ive been looking for this for a long time and found it yesterday when a local n scale club came to town and displayed their layout:thumbsup:
 

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Duck under? Oh no!

I forgot to add those. here is an updated picture
Jscullans;

You might consider cutting an access aisle through one of the short sides of your layout. It could be bridged by a hinged section. This will be infinitely better for your back and other body parts than ducking under the benchwork every time you need to get into/back-out-of, the center hole. Sooner or later, or most likely, both, you will hit some part of your body on the benchwork as you duck under, and then straighten back up. Ouch! :eek: Near the end of the attached file, after sketch#4, you will find a discussion of the merits/problems with various access gap-bridging techniques.

good luck, have fun;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

View attachment 3 & 4 How to build a better first layout.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have it set up to where I can do that at some point. its 4 feet off the floor anyway so for now it will work out ok. im also the only one that goes in there other than my 11 year old. but where it crosses the doorway I have it so I can make it a bridge with relative ease. just have to trim the foam and I can pop that section out
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Since my last update I ended up doing a couple more things with the layout. I decided on where I’m going to have my service facility and also added on a programming track to the layout. It’s a stand alone track on its own section of wood off the layout but it’s nice to have it right next to my command station. I have the digitrax pr4 set up for stand alone on that track. I don’t intend on using jmri for such a small layout and I feel it would be a waste of time but decoder pro on the other hand has been an absolute sanity saver not having to remember what cv does what and easily able to access and change settings on a decoder. The engine service facility and yard are going to be on the lower area of my layout going by the picture I posted previously and I’m also going to have a mine my layout services and a couple other industries I feel would be able to fit well in other locations. I decided to go without any rivers or bridges due to the fact that it would cut a lot of my room no matter where I put it. The roundhouse is going in the lower left corner on the inside of the walkway it’s just going to be a 3 stall due to the limited space I’ll have but my town only had a 5 stall roundhouse so it will be a good representation of it. In my service facility I’ll have the roundhouse a rip track a diesel shed a coaling tower a sanding tower and an oil tank (diesels/oil burning steam) I began the benchwork that will be under the roundhouse this evening so hopefully I’ll have it installed and some track layed by the weekend!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
as of now I have the roadbed and track layed on the inner loop and got all of my track tuned and level to be able to run my engines without any issues. the other night I had a 4-8-4 and a 2-10-4 double headed and pulling a 55 car freight train to attempt to get any issues to arise and didn't have a single failure or derailment other than on a somewhat questionable atlas switch that will be replaced once I get the chance to go to the local hobby shop and get a couple more peco switches that I can replace the atlas ones with. and the areas I have nearly complete other than replacing switches I have the foam painted and ready to start scenery. ill end up waiting on that till I have all the trackwork completed though.
 

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Sounds good

as of now I have the roadbed and track layed on the inner loop and got all of my track tuned and level to be able to run my engines without any issues. the other night I had a 4-8-4 and a 2-10-4 double headed and pulling a 55 car freight train to attempt to get any issues to arise and didn't have a single failure or derailment other than on a somewhat questionable atlas switch that will be replaced once I get the chance to go to the local hobby shop and get a couple more peco switches that I can replace the atlas ones with. and the areas I have nearly complete other than replacing switches I have the foam painted and ready to start scenery. ill end up waiting on that till I have all the trackwork completed though.


Jscullans;

Congratulations! It sounds like you have made an excellent start! After you replace your few remaining Atlas turnouts with Pecos, you might try one more trackwork test.
Try backing a train around all your track. If there are any bad spots out there, they will be revealed by this maneuver. It's a lot easier to keep a train on the rails while it's being pulled, than when it's being pushed.
Start with a single locomotive and 4-5 cars. Use the least expensive loco and cars, just in case. Start by backing this short train slowly along the track. If that works, add a little more speed and try again. Don't go crazy! No one should expect to duplicate, in model form, the performance of Amtrak's San Diegan passenger train. It regularly shuttles between San Diego and Los Angeles at 70mph going backwards half the time, in push/pull operation. They have much gentler curves and turnouts to run on, than we do!
Gradually you can increase the speed, and number of cars, being pushed, until you are satisfied that your trackwork is as close to perfect as you can possibly make it. Then cover that perfect track with masking tape, and start building scenery!

good luck & have fun!

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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I put the "programming track" as a part of the main, that way if your doing speed matching or trying out something you run the loco to the part of the main that is also the programing track, throw a switch that connects the track to the programmer, program the decoder then throw the switch to revert to the main and off you go.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That’s a good idea. I’ll try it in a little bit. The reason I chose to leave the programming track as a stand alone unit is because I don’t plan to speed match any of my locos. The monster freight train I had on will seldom be on my layout due to space limitations. It takes up 2/3 of my main on the inner loop. I think the max will be somewhere around 20 cars and caboose and 12 cars for passenger service if I’m running it otherwise the trains are just too long for the layout. So in other words I’ll hardly ever double head unless I’m running diesels but that will be a rather rare occurrence too due to the fact that I’m not much of a diesel guy.
 

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That’s a good idea. I’ll try it in a little bit. The reason I chose to leave the programming track as a stand alone unit is because I don’t plan to speed match any of my locos. The monster freight train I had on will seldom be on my layout due to space limitations. It takes up 2/3 of my main on the inner loop. I think the max will be somewhere around 20 cars and caboose and 12 cars for passenger service if I’m running it otherwise the trains are just too long for the layout. So in other words I’ll hardly ever double head unless I’m running diesels but that will be a rather rare occurrence too due to the fact that I’m not much of a diesel guy.
Me either.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I’m currently in my train room doing the reverse test. I have my p2k e8 shoving 40 cars around my inner loop of my main at somewhere around 40 scale mph with no issue! Found a couple track nails that were elevated and a couple of long “air lines” on my kadee couplers but nothing to report shy of that
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I took a video but can’t upload it to the forum. I may make a YouTube channel for people to see any videos I make
 

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I took a video but can’t upload it to the forum. I may make a YouTube channel for people to see any videos I make
I had that issue too. I asked John and he told me the forum doesn't accept videos directly. You need to upload to someplace else like FB and Youtube then post a link to the video.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have been playing around with some scenery on the layout and have some actual pictures worth showing at this point. My track plan has changed from its original thought several times now and I’m done with Microsoft paint. Anyway I’ve done some testing with my eye of scenery and making trees and what not I’ve built up some hills and am just now deciding on where all my industry is going to be. Moving forward it will all be coming together and then possibly super detail to scenes. Want it looking more presentable before I go doing that though. Hope you like some of the pics
 

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I have been playing around with some scenery on the layout and have some actual pictures worth showing at this point. My track plan has changed from its original thought several times now and I’m done with Microsoft paint. Anyway I’ve done some testing with my eye of scenery and making trees and what not I’ve built up some hills and am just now deciding on where all my industry is going to be. Moving forward it will all be coming together and then possibly super detail to scenes. Want it looking more presentable before I go doing that though. Hope you like some of the pics

Tree 3.jpg
If you make more trees like this one try coating the wire with
some thinned, but not too thin, joint compound,
brush it on till you have covered all the wire and have a good thickness.
Use some paint to make it brownish and than put your foliage on.

They come out real nice this way.
Trees Arm.jpg

Trees Arm1.jpg


Magic
 
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