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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
No apologizes. I really enjoy watching trains run. It all started many years ago when on Christmas morning I woke up to find a Marx train running on a loop of track under our Christmas tree. Like many other guys guys on this forum I was hooked on trains at an early age.

I am now in my early 70’s and still get a great deal of pleasure just watching ‘em run.

I am having a layout built by PMD (Progressive Model Design) of Romeoville, Illinois which is about 25 miles from my house. I had been in contact with PMD for 7 month before the actual build started. They were in the final stages of a HO layout for a client on the west coast and I needed that project to wrap up before they could start mine. That was fine, as I got to view that layout with 95% of the scenery in place. Seeing this helped me make up my mind that PMD was right for me.

My build started on December 28, 2018 and I expect delivery the end of September / early October. I have taken several pictures of the process and will start posting them soon. For now I will list some facts about the build and post a reasonable facsimile of the track plan.

Yes, my layout is a loop. Actually two loops. This allows me to sit back, relax and let them run in opposite directions if I choose or in the same direction depending on my mood.

Layout Facts:

1. The layout is HO.
2. Outside dimensions 22’ x 11’
3. ALL track is Peco code 83
4. ALL turnouts are Peco #8’s - none are manual.
5. Each main line is divided 10 blocks.
6. Each yard track is divided into 2 blocks.
7. My plan is to use TrainController to automate the entire layout, with the option of each main line manually when my train buddies are over.
8. Every mainline curve has easements into and out of the curve and is super elevated.
9. Every elevation change also uses an easement at the base and summit.
10. Signaling, while not prototypical will be installed along each main to provide “eye candy”.
11.A lift gate on the left side (with a gas piston installed) will allow easy access into the layout for operators.

Track Plan: The scenery has changed quite a bit but the track plan is pretty true.

 

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Great layout. Mine is the same. Twin main lines that are long enough to run two trains on each line in opposite directions.

I fire them up, turn on the German radio music, grab a Bitburger and watch them run. I love it.

I'm a looper too!
 

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mine isn't much different, a 15' by 16' double folded dogbone, all atlas though, code 100 track and custom line no6 switches, caboose hobbies manual ground throws, nothing except the track is electrified ..
 

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I too am a looper. Our track plan is two simple loops with an interior logging spur. It's HO and going to be on a 12'X5' layout.
 

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I am well into my fourth loop, three being of the type the OP depicts with a central operating pit and a bridge to allow an overpass. Mine is in a partitioned double-wide garage, the partition comprising 9' X 24'. The actual layout is only 9' X 19 feet of that. Access is via a stoop down or, when the mood strikes, a swing-up gate.


There is a switchback at one end with a sawmill at the tail and a coal mine at the upper reach. There is a small interchange at the junction with the main. Also under development is a yard. Between those two, and the twinned mains, I get lots of entertainment and variety.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Early last summer when I started looking for a professional layout builder is when I visited PMD for the first time. Here are some pictures I took of the layout they were building at that time.
 

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Jim, I like the trackplan. The only thing I would add would be about a half dozen industrial spurs, partly because I occasionally enjoy switching cars but mostly for visual interest because, like you, I really enjoy watching the trains run.

The photos of the finished layout they built look very good. I think you will be a very happy railroader when the layout is delivered. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just wanted to post another picture from my early visits to PMD.

I will be having a good size passenger station as one on the main scenes on my layout. It will serve the complete 12-car EL Capitan set that Walther's released about five years ago. I also have a complete Super Chief set which will stop on the other side of the platform.

Seeing the great detail in and around this fine passenger station made my decision to go with PMD a lot easier. For that reason I call this one the money shot.

IMG_0290.JPG
 

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Hi, my name is Stan, and I am also a looper (crowd-"Hi, Stan"). I am currently in a rental until We buy our next home, and that just got put off another year because we didn't find the right one, and.... well, Grandson. This time next year we should be moving.

My dream layout will be two lines around the perimeter of a Mancave, with dioramas in two corners and one on a straightaway. And a few sidings along the way, and maybe a yard. Oh, and a bar. I have maybe 75% of the track I'll need, with plenty of stuff to run.

This thread reminds me of a loop I made years ago. It was literally an 18" radius circle hung from the ceiling of my shop, made just to run a Bachmann Gandy Dancer. I'd do that in this rental, except that my shop here has a garage style door in the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
After an initial review and agreement of my track plan I made a small deposit to show PDM that I am truly interested in their services. They use their design software to calculate material cost and plot the layout incorporating the easements how best to construct and size each section for transporting and assembling the finished product.

Part of next phase includes building a small scale mock-up to aid in visualizing the layout in 3 dimensions. (I get to keep this when the layout is delivered)

IMG_0024.jpg
 

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Jim, is this an HO or O layout?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Jim, is this an HO or O layout?
The new layout is HO. I posted the Santa Fe F-unit by accident. That was my El Capitan train that McComas used on the cover of the video he made of our club layout last October. The picture was next to the one of the mock-up and got transference to my post. I find it confusing posting pics on this forum. Sorry. :confused:
 

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OP, looping is the best. Switching layouts leave me cold. And the photos pf the PMD work are incredible. I'd say you have made a few correct choices! Good luck, my friend.
 

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OP, looping is the best. Switching layouts leave me cold.
On the new layout I'm building (I have one section of benchwork built! :) ), I can do both. I'll have two loops connected by a double crossover. If I set the crossover to cross between tracks, the train can circle between loops as long as I want it too. There will also be a yard and some switching.
 

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Would it be fair to say that switching layouts would be more popular in HO simply because if you have the room for O you are able to loop? I have a switching HO layout because of lack of space but I would rather have a loop included. Just asking.:dunno:
 
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