Building my own briefcase layout

zscaler Sep 1, 2017

  1. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    I see that Rokuhan is coming out with a nice small brief case layout, but $999 MSRP? So I did some shopping and decided to build my own BETTER and BIGGER (well, not much) briefcase layout and am sharing with you nice people.
    Since retiring at the end of June 2017, I have a lot more time to build stuff. I have already built the two cigar box layouts, but only very short engines and cars will run on them. So instead of the 13" wide case, I am going for the 18" x 13" case. $56 on Amazon. The track is about $85, but has two switches. Went with Rokuhan track and used Anyrail for the track plan. The plan should fit, but if it is too wide, I have gotten pretty good at cutting out short sections of straight track to get it to fit if needed.
    So first the track plan:
     

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  2. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    It will be capable of running DC or DCC. The layout will be wired up with three blocks for DC so a train could be parked on the main or siding. When DCC will be used, all tracks will be powered (of course).
    The brief case:
     

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  3. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    Stripped out most of the insides:
     

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  4. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    The actual track sitting on the 1:1 scale Anyrail printout:
     

    Attached Files:

    woodworker19 and Hardcoaler like this.
  5. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    That is as far as I have gotten so far. I will attach the layout to the case with Velcro so I can remove it to work on it. Working on installing thin wood sides inside the case edges. The bottom won't matter and I will get a picture to put in the lid. The outside track radius is 127mm R019, inside is 120mm R011. The switches may be powered, but I am trying to make it portable (self powered).
     
  6. Ed Slanina

    Ed Slanina TrainBoard Member

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    Very cool, look forward to more.
     
  7. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    If you look closely at the last picture, you can see the foundations of four buildings that will go on the layout.
    I have so far:
    log cabin
    gas station
    small train depot
    gun store (he he)
     
    Kurt Moose likes this.
  8. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    Thinking of hinging the layout to the back. So to get to supplies stored underneath or to work on wiring, just swing up the front. Need to check clearances on the lid.
     
  9. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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    It looks like you're using the 55mm turnouts. Have you run your intended rolling stock through them? I found only a small number of my rolling stock passed through them reliably.
     
  10. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    Working on it. The track came in yesterday and as long as a F-7 will run, short cars are okay.
     
  11. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    Cut a piece of plywood for the layout and had to notch it for the hinges. But it should work flush with the top of the case bottom and still leave me some scenery space and lots of storage under the track. Put some short cars on the track and they will pass each other from the siding and the main.
     

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  12. Ed Slanina

    Ed Slanina TrainBoard Member

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    Very cool, I like your choice of buildings :)
     
  13. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    Tried the MTL F-7 and it works through the switches. Just makes it through the smaller radius curve - yay!
     
  14. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    The gun store was a must.
     
    Ed Slanina likes this.
  15. Thieu

    Thieu TrainBoard Member

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    Have always been thinking about a layout in a briefcase, but didn't know how to attache the layout. And what about the wires? I look forward to see your solutions and progress.
     
  16. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    I am planning on hinging the layout at the back so it can swing up to work underneath. Since the whole bottom of the case will pretty well be empty, I can store trains underneath. The wiring will be run underneath over to the hinge area and will probably have a large plug so the layout could be unplugged from the bottom. I may make it so that the layout could be removed from the case for working on scenery.
     
  17. tjdreams

    tjdreams TrainBoard Member

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    If you Turn the Briefcase upside down and build the layout in the lid it will give you more height for scenery
     
  18. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    And fall over. Thanks for the thought, about 3" of clearance should be plenty. Need to measure that lid...
     
  19. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    Measured the lid and just under 2". Measured the height of the Gun Store and it is 1" tall. It should work out, just no cell tower. :sneaky:
     
  20. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Nice work so far. I built a pistol case z layout years ago... 20 bucks for the case (Walmart) and Peco flex for track.

    It was still in progress in 2011 for this shot...
    [​IMG]
     
    Kurt Moose likes this.

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