2012-2013 Fourth Annual International Winter Layout Party

ppuinn Dec 12, 2012

  1. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

    Back by popular demand!
    The Moderators of the Layout Design Forum
    are proud to host:

    The 2012-2013 Fourth Annual International Winter Layout Party

    Since the first one in Spring 2002, the Layout Parties have traditionally been hosted in the Layout Design Forum.
    Why International? Trainboard has members from over 75 countries around the world, so the Layout Party draws its participants from throughout the international community.
    Why Winter? Threads for the 6 Layout Parties held in the Spring had 180 to 240 posts. The 2009 Winter thread had more than twice as many posts…so we decided to arrange future Winter Layout Parties. (If the Layout Design Forum moderators receive enough requests between mid-February and mid-March 2013, we will host a 2013 Spring Layout Party starting in Late-March 2013.)

    We know you're out there!
    Yeah, you… and you… and you with the potato chip hanging off your lip and the half drunk beverage sitting beside you. We know you're not working on your layout as much as you hoped to.
    You may have ideas for a new project that you always wanted to try but never got around to. Or there is a stack of kits on your workbench you’ve been meaning to start. Or you have a partially completed project that has been neglected for far too long. Or you have an almost-finished project that just needs some final fine-tuning and attention to complete.

    The purpose of the Layout Party is to provide recognition, encouragement, and support to all participants who are working on a layout project and inspiration to those following others’ progress in the thread. We hope to have a group of people who will post about the work completed on their layout at least once a week for 8 weeks. We will, of course, congratulate those who have worked on their layout, and encourage those who haven't.

    The kick-off date is Saturday December 15, 2012,
    and the Layout Party will end on February 10, 2013, the 2nd Sunday in February.

    Rules for The 2012-2013 Fourth Annual International Winter Layout Party thread:

    1. In your first post, please include descriptions of:

    • your layout (brief),
    • the area of your layout that you intend to work on (“before” pictures, please…if available), and
    • a description of what you want to accomplish in the 8 weeks of the Layout Party (don't make it grandiose).
    2. At least once each week, post a brief description and/or pictures of your progress--or lack of progress, so far, and what you hope to accomplish in the next week.
    3. At the end of the Layout Party, post a description and/or picture(s) of your accomplishments.

    FWIW: Some observations and suggestions:

    • Life Happens. By joining this group, you are already acknowledging that you haven't worked on the layout as much as you know you should have or could have. The idea here is for us to have some fun and act as an electronic support group so we can each get more done on our layouts.
    • Make a firm commitment to post at least once each week about progress on your layout project.
    • If you fall off the Layout Project Work Wagon, acknowledge it by reporting it honestly.
    • Then climb back on the Layout Project Work Wagon. Declaring exactly what you plan to work on during the next week will help you get back on the Layout Party Work Wagon.
    • When we have others coming over to see our layouts, we tend to get more done because we plan and prepare better, and then actually follow through so we have something to show our visitors and can garner some strokes for all our efforts. Posting in the Annual Layout Party works in much the same way…we plan, prepare, and follow through a little better when we know someone will be seeing our progress.
    • If you encounter difficulties on the layout project, remember that the other participants and all the Trainboard members following the Layout Party thread can be a resource for encouragement and problem-solving.
    • If you have any problems posting pics, let us know so we can do appropriate problem-solving.

    Many participants have enjoyed this format and have commented that they accomplished more work on their layout in the short time we ran a Layout Party thread than they had in long time. Many members posted pictures, asked questions, moaned about problems, and encouraged others who were working through their frustrations. Check out these links to our past layout parties.

    2011-2012 Third Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2010-11 Second Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2009 - First Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2008 - Spring Layout Party
    Sixth Annual International Spring Layout Party - TrainBoard.com

    2007 - Spring Layout Party
    Fifth Annual International Spring Layout Party - TrainBoard.com

    2005 – Spring Layout Party

    2004 – Spring Layout Party

    2003 – Spring Layout Party

    2002 – Spring Layout party

  2. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

    Just a few more days til the Winter Layout Party!

    Think about what you'd like to work on this year, so you're ready to post your first entry during our official kickoff this weekend.
  3. Philip H

    Philip H TrainBoard Member

    Um, ok, is there going to be a separate thread for this since it's now the 17th?????
  4. poppy2201

    poppy2201 TrainBoard Member

    Philip, it is usually in this same thread. So I'm going to jump in feet first.

    This probably is a good time to join the party and keep me motivated. My layout is a new project, The Bay Line. The Bay Line is a 103 mile short-line railroad in Panama City, FL (I live across the bridge in Panama City Beach). I will be modeling 2 key players, the port and some of its industries and the paper mill. You can visit my web site at http://www.baylinerailroad.weebly.com.

    The layout is about 9 ½’ x 10’ L-shaped layout located in a spare bedroom. I will be using Atlas Code 55 and #7 turnouts (unless marked on the plan). Minimum curve radius is 13 47/64” and will be DCC controlled.

    Since I’m retired and on a fixed monthly income, I have to do things in stages. My goal is to get all of the bench work by the end of the layout party and maybe some track laid and wired.

    Before pictures:

    Getting the room cleared and ready.


    CSI came in today and was going to do a chalk outline but thought it might make a mess of the carpet, so masking tape was used. Wanted to visualize how things were going to fit.

  5. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

    My layout is the Saginaw Transfer Railroad. It is pretty simplistic and set in the late 90's/early 00's era, very loosely based on BNSF and UP in Saginaw, TX. (having the overall feel based mostly on rolling stock and a grain elavator flat) It's a two-piece setup, and built on foam and designed to be portable and/or stowed if needed. It's a somewhat unconventional construction consisting of a 1" layer of foam laminated to a 2" layer of foam sitting on bookshelf benchwork....that's it! One side is a yard scene and the other side is a simple out and back double-track loop. Lightweight, and Unitrack to make construction fast and simple, minimize tracklaying and switch machine headaches, and to survive the bumps of being portable/stowable. Overall, a "stepping stone" layout...very spartan and minimalist, although I still plan to use it as a testbed for DCC, detection, and signalling so there will be some complexity behind the curtain. And there will be some scenery and structures to add interest.


    The shot above is somewhat dated, but mostly represents how the layout exists right now. Since this photo, I have moved to a different apartment, completed all the pre-wiring tasks from last year's challenge, laminated the foam layers together and painted everything underneath. In addition, I added a sky blue backdrop around the layout in the form of sky blue foamcore sheets attached to the wall with foam tape, and also created/printed a grain elevator flat that goes on the far left of the layout. To further that scene I then replaced the mock-up elevator in the photo with a Walthers Red Wing Milling (thanks Allen!) to represent the Light Crust Flour mill in Saginaw. Here's a mockup I did of that area.


    I also pulled up all of the track and did about 1/3 of the weathering steps for the track and started wiring feeders. The area of the layout to be modified will be the left side where the yard is located. The next tasks to be done on the layout include continuing the wiring, installing switch machine decoders, and finishing the weathering of the track. My goal is to focus on the first part for the challenge. So, here's the list:
    1. Solder feeders to each piece of Unitrack and drop the feeders to the open areas underneath the layout.
    2. Route/splice the feeders into larger gauge wire for the respective blocks and connect them to terminal strips adjacent to the (eventual) detection circuitry. I meter out the connections as I go to make sure every feeder is good. I plan to just jumper the terminal strip together for the time being but that will make it easier to install the BDL168 later on.
    3. Test everything out to the point I feel comfortable with (semi) permanently attaching the track and glue it down.
    4. My end goal is to complete the entire doubletrack mainline on the yard side of the layout. Not very far, but tedious work with all the feeders. Plus I have very little free time during this time of the year, as always. If I can get that piece done, it will make it pretty easy to put the rest of the track back in place for some running until I get to the next segment of wiring.

    Finally, the trackplan if anyone is interested:
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2012
  6. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Glad your doing this again Dave. Continuation of my B&M N scale layout based on operations on the Northern Line, specifically Potter Place NH, between the dates of 1975 - 1980. I have a build thread going that goes into extreme detail that can be found here: http://www.trainboard.com/grapevine...oston-amp-Maine-In-New-Hampshire-6-X-3-Layout

    Goals for the layout this winter will be posted briefly here and in more detail at the above link.

    B&M Northern Goals for Layout Winter Party 2012/13

    • Finish a siding that stretches from Potter Place to "Concord"
    • Finish the Potter Place Siding
    • Scratch build a non functioning turnout at the Potter Place siding
    • Start basic scenery on south end of Potter Place (Basic land forms)
    • Cast cut granite next to ROW
    • Paint, detail and weather track on Potter Place side
    • Build the Route 3 bridge/overpass over Northern line

    Not much but time is limited this time of year. I will plan to post a picture or two each week on the progress of the layout. With any luck, the layout will go to its first show in June.
  7. maxairedale

    maxairedale TrainBoard Member

    I wish to RSVP, party of 1.

    I enjoyed taking part in the 2010-2011 party, but I had to miss last years.

    Here is my starting point for this year.

    2012-2013 Fourth Annual International Winter Layout Party staring photo.jpg 2012-2013 Fourth Annual International Winter Layout Party starting photo 2.jpg 2012-2013 Fourth Annual International Winter Layout Party starting photo 3.jpg
    Farmers Grain Coop
    Farmers Grain Coop is customer #1 in my track plan

    The want to do list (in no order)

    • Add more storage towers between the elevator and the back drop. I think I can get another 4 in there
    • Ballast the tracks within the customer
    • Ballast the mainlines (part of the second main can be seen in the first photo at the bottom and in the second photo on the left side)
    • Install the switch stands within the customer
    • Add some grain storage bins to the left of the three tracks
    • Add some scenery
    • Paint the rails
    • Have some fun doing it. [​IMG]
  8. crclass

    crclass TrainBoard Member

    I'm always up for a good party so here goes nothing. My layout is really just getting started. It is totally non prototypical except for the paint schemes of my locos. I like the BNSF as that is what I see mostly but really like the massive UP DD40s. This is N scale using 4 12X80 HCDs from bi-fold doors. Three doors wide and the 4th is attached to the end to give me a 36X92 layout with a 56X12 staging area. This will be a double mainline eventually with 2 reversing loops. I am running a Digitrax Zephyr system. This is my first layout and I am learning a lot already. By the time the party is over my wish list is:
    Finish laying main line outer loop.
    Get at least one train running reliably.
    Get some scenery in place.
    Possibly get inner mainline running.

    Attached Files:

  9. Todd

    Todd TrainBoard Member

    Finally going ahead with getting my room ready to go. I'm clearing it out now to finish painting. I really wish I had before pictures of the nasty color, the shoe marks (!) on the walls, and the tar/nicotine stains on the ceiling. Painted the ceiling, and 3/4 of the room. Too much hassle to keep shuffling things around to finish painting, plus I want to steam clean the existing carpet in hopes that I can keep it. The person who lived down there before we bought the house was an absolute slob.

    Will take some photos later today.

    My goal for the layout party is to get at least the benchwork completed, and plan on getting 1x4s tomorrow to get it started.
  10. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

    I know I haven't had a good record on the Winter Layout Parties, with life events and honey-do lists usually crowding out train stuff somewhere in the middle, but I am already on a bit of a deadline anyway and I think I am biting off a bit that is reasonable this time.

    This is the only photo I have of my two On30 sawmill modules as seen at the GTE show in Portland a week and a half ago:

    This is what I intend to focus upon. One module is 2' x 4' and the other is sort of a weird irregular pentagonal shape approximately 4' long by around 2.5' wide. You can see immediately that the modules are more or less operational already, and that they exist. I am already ahead of where I have been in the past.

    I am planning on attending the big train show in Monroe, WA, in early February, and I don't want to drag the same you know what to that show.

    My plans:
    1) Fix outstanding track-work issues, including the connector piece between the two turnouts in this photo, and smooth out the operation of the switchstand handling the turnout leading to spur track #2.
    2) Improve the scenery. I have already started the scenery, as you can see, but it needs more. I need a retaining wall on the log dump module, and the whole thing could use ballast and more layers of scenery.
    3) Get at least ONE piece of rolling stock ready to go out of the various half-built kits I have, and get at least ONE OTHER piece of motive power ready to go out of the half-completed projects I have going.

    I think I have kept this sufficiently within reason. I have a few things going for me this year and that is that I am not attempting to take a winter class in anything, and I don't have a close friend or relative suffering from end stage cancer this time. I also have a deadline (the Monroe show first weekend in February) and I have my pride (don't want to show up with the same progress on the module.

  11. pdx1955

    pdx1955 TrainBoard Member

    I haven't done a layout party in a few years and it probably would be good to help with my motivation. Over the past couple years I had to move the layout away from the garage door for maintenance reasons which required me to remove a 2' section that I built when I moved into my house. This allowed me to totally rebuild the SP's Brooklyn Yard staging into a real classification yard since my operational scheme demanded a endpoint for all of the switching and transfer jobs that originate there. I rebuilt the benchwork, the roadbed, track and wiring and it is back in operation. I also managed to sneak in a 3-track removeable staging yard in front of the water heater for outgoing/incoming through freights.

    For this layout party, I would like to:

    1. Complete adding the power-routing slide switches for frog power at the yard throat, shops and ladder tracks. The top of each slide switch is carved into a simulated switchstand base and a target is added on top - kinda of a pain which is probably why I have been dragging my feet finishing them.
    2. Add and wire in the servo for control of the mainline staging yard throat.
    3. Paint the rails in the rebuilt areas
    4. Carve and add the foam roadway bridge embankments for Holgate Ave at the entrance to the staging yard and the Grand Ave (OR99E) viaduct which bracket this scene.
    5. Start on the styrene roadways around the viaduct area
    6. Get some base paint down and some basic scenery (tired of looking at bare plywood!).

    The picture shows the yard area as it exists right now.


  12. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I'll bite, but I'll warn you ahead of time, my time is limited with school, work, business trips and family time. :-/ I expect to get a little modeling in during Christmastime, so that will explain the very modest goals.

    I hope to get Tunnel 19 further toward 75% completion scenery-wise. It needs basic ground cover, weathering the tunnel portal, trees, and details.

    I finished ballasting the entire mainline last month (the other side of Crescent Siding is also ballasted now):


    Weathered with "sand" on the upgrade route, "rust & brake dust" on the downgrade route:


    Tunnel 19 currently, with the addition of completed ballast:

  13. Todd

    Todd TrainBoard Member

    Finished painting the room the other day, but got sidetracked doing other chores on my month off from work, and hopefully can get back on track today. Not a huge fan of the blue, but thankfully it'll be broken up with benchwork and scenery.

    A couple of pictures of the mostly empty room:



    Going to close up the wall (right now the opening is cat-proofed with 4 doors that need to be installed upstairs), clean up the mess, take the legs off the half-built scenic ridge, move the light switch to a more sane location, replace hanging ceiling fixture, and still have to steam clean the carpet.

    May go get lumber today if/when it stops raining/snowing.
  14. poppy2201

    poppy2201 TrainBoard Member

    My Week 1 Update

    After much consideration and arrangement of the room, the Bay Line project is going to be scrapped. Several factors are involved:

    1. The footprint of the plan will interfere with other uses of the room.
    2. There are some uncomfortable reach issues.
    3. Trying to model 2 large industrial areas for the space are of concern and not being able to have a close resemblance to the prototype. Yes, I probably could work some more on this but it just doesn’t feel right to me. I’m not going to start something that will eventually end up in disappointment for me.
    4. The grandkids liked the Black Diamond and Augusta better and since the granddaughter is going to help, their decision plays a big factor.

    So the plan will be the Black Diamond and Augusta. It is an adaptation of the Havaphew Central that was published in Model Railroader in March of 2005. It provides for a double-track main for continuous running (a key factor for us) and will provide some switching at the mill, yard and grain elevator (a key factor for me). The plan is 3’ x 7’ with a 1’ x 6’ extension for staging. Even though it will be against the wall, the capability to move it out and have access to three sides exists and still not interfere with other uses of the room.

    The goals remain the same, build and assemble the benchwork and maybe get some track laid by the end of the layout party. As originally stated benchwork still won't start until after the first.

    R.I.P. (no, not repair in place) the Bay Line, maybe someday when there is more room.:sad: The BDA is presented here:

  15. PaulBeinert

    PaulBeinert TrainBoard Supporter

    Hi All,
    I am joing the party a wee bit late but what the heck ...

    I have been thinking about a train station in this area of my layout.
    The two center tracks are the east and west bound mains, so it is the inner and outer tracks where most of the passenger traffic will pull in but the platforms will be between the two outer tracks and the two inner tracks.
    I have been browsing pictures of stations and have not seen any that tickle my fancy as of yet. So the other day I decided to do a simple mockup for sizing purposes (see photos) and from there decided to draw in some windows and archs.
    On the lower level will be a light rail stop and stairs up to the 2nd level. The 2nd level will be ticketing counters, seating, rest rooms, concessions etc. There will be no 3rd level above this but there will be stairs to the 3rd level for access to the platforms via covered stairs.
    My current plans are as follows:
    . Continue to refine the overall design.
    . Investigate materials for build - will need to be brick for the bulk of it and then something for trimming the windows and archs.
    . Design the roof - thinking glass so that the people can be seen.
    . Figure out what tools I will need

    Except for assembling the Atlas Roundhouse for my grandson's layout, I have not built a model in close to 50 years. I decided to go completely scratch on this build as I expect to be a lot more satisfying and challenging than a kit.

    Attached Files:

  16. Todd

    Todd TrainBoard Member

    I need to rethink how I'm going to build benchwork. I was just down there working finding studs to begin benchwork -- and the @#$$^# people that owned this place before us studded the walls every 4 feet. Why I'm surprised, I don't know, considering some of the other wonderful things I've found, like junction points made with electrical tape in the attic buried under insulation.

    I planned on having a cantilever type of deal going on so I didn't have to have legs, but now its either 1) renovate, or 2) make something with legs.

    So mad right now I didn't even clean anything up, just shut the light off and closed the door.

    I had hoped to have the basic benchwork completed before I go back to work (January 7), but looks like that's not going to happen now. I'm losing 4-5 days between then and now going home to visit my folks for a late Christmas and then New Years.
  17. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

    Todd, do you have another layout plan you are starting, or just cantilevering the existing Scenic Ridge layout to the wall?

    I suppose your major frustration is with the wall itself. If load-bearing, then you may have bigger issues. If not, you still might have options layout-wise. If you are doing around-the-walls, an n-scale shelf should not be that heavy and you can probably figure something out, maybe with the help of the forum-ites here. Anyway, hang in there and try to have a good Christmas visit....and in the mean time you still have a layout that is more finished than 90% of us. ;-)
  18. Todd

    Todd TrainBoard Member

    The scenic ridge is being put down and starting something new.

    I was going over some work photos looking for ideas when I have to hang heavy network equipment to drywall when there are no studs to mount backer boards.

    Figuring an N scale layout with scenery and everything isn't going to be nearly as heavy as an equipment cabinet, I can get away with mounting some plywood to the drywall using toggles, and use the plywood itself in place of the studs.

    So tomorrow I'll test my theory with some 3/4" ply ripped down to 2x8', mount it up and see what happens.
  19. poppy2201

    poppy2201 TrainBoard Member

    The Bay Line Back On Track

    The Bay Line layout is back on track with the invaluable assistance of David K. Smith. I will probably be picking up some of the supplies this weekend to start construction.

  20. maxairedale

    maxairedale TrainBoard Member



    I've been working on the railroad from my want to do list, I have completed the following

    • Add more storage towers between the elevator and the back drop. I was able to get another 4 in there
    • Ballast the tracks within the customer
    • Ballast the mainlines
    • Install the switch stands within the customer
    • Paint the rails

    2012-2013 Fourth Annual International Winter Layout Party progress photo 2.jpg

    The unballasted track in above photo has been ballasted since taking the photo.

    2012-2013 Fourth Annual International Winter Layout Party progress photo 1.jpg

    I was able to get 4 more towers between the elevator and the backdrop. Need to add some detail parts to them. That was not on my want to do list, but you never know.

    Track has been cleaned since painting and ballasting was done. Need to test drive it with a loco to make sure that I have not messed up the electrical connections since I do not solder the switches to the rest of the track.

    Thanks for looking,

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