Chicago Union Station (North) + Ogilvie Transportation Center Layout

nlaempire Jun 16, 2012

  1. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

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    Loving your collection of Amtrak locos and rolling stock...
    I'd agree with mcjaco....don't let the lighter shade on the earlier Genesis locos get to you...
    everytime I run into New Orleans, I stop by the engine service yard across the expressway from the terminal....I always see a mix of shades on the Genesis units there...
    I'm a big believer in the 'reality' aspect of medelling..whether it's N scale locos, rolling stock, scenery...or aircraft, armor, etc...
    RARELY do you observe multiple units in the EXACT shade of paint, weathering, wear...etc..even units delivered from the paint shop in the same batch, at the exact same time, generally, within a day or two, start to show some kind of variation, whether it's exposure, grime, whatever...not to mention the changes in color from batch to batch (prototype!)...to think that every color used throughout a railroad-engine-scheme's life was matched to the degree that some believe is not only impractical, it's untrue.
    (I could never understand the griping about Kato's shade of BNSF orange compared to Fox Valley's version...nor the slight difference in Kato's UP Armor Yellow on the recently released COLA sets, compared and contrasted to the earlier Kato releases sporting UP Armor Yellow...)
    I was, actually, glad to see a slight difference in shades in both of the above circumstances...IMO, much more prototypical right out of the box!
    However, different strokes for different folks...
    some folks want their models to appear brand spanking new, with a high gloss...in perfectly matched paint...others, like me, like the real world variances....
    I, personally, like the differences in shades in the Kato Genesis units!
    Respectfully,
    Bruce
     
  2. nlaempire

    nlaempire TrainBoard Supporter

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    I see your point. I never really thought of it that way. I haven't approached the weathering aspect yet (still need to select airbrush equipment) so that will be something to keep in mind. Thanks for the input, guys!
     
  3. nlaempire

    nlaempire TrainBoard Supporter

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    Sub-Modules 3 and 4

    Finally - the last 2 sub-modules left to build the benchwork for. These 2 modules will have a cut that will allow me to access the rear portion of the layout better. The cutout is directly under a park/skyscraper complex so if I do the cuts just right, nobody will know. The whole complex will just lift out (with help from someone of course). There will be 3 skyscrapers around 30 inches tall each.
    smod34.jpg alta04.jpg
    The blue track is below grade, the red dead-ends at an elevation of +2 inches. The 3 tracks from Chicago North slip under an elevated parking lot/shopping center (even in real-world) but I have them take a sharp turn to perform pass-through or loop-back maneuvers.

    Once these last 2 sub-modules are framed up, I will then put the whole layout on legs and begin track subgrade work.
     
  4. nlaempire

    nlaempire TrainBoard Supporter

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    Just putting some finishing touches on the benchwork before I put it all on legs. I've made a few minor design changes to the layout, but nothing significant:
    - I added an extra siding under the table to hold a train so that traffic can pass during busier times.
    - The 3 tracks heading west from Chicago North will now have the option of continuing west.
    - I added an additional spur that will move another 2" lower in preparation for the James River connection

    Trainset Considerations, aka "I want I want":
    - Amtrak Heritage trainset: [P42 red face][coach][observation][coach/bag][observation][coach][P42 black face]
    - The "Silver Streak" from the actual movie: [AMRoad FP7][AMRoad FP7][8 cars?] - very similar to CP livery

    Here's a quick video of my progress since individual photos are too much hassle:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06HCbz9vhh4

    I am now also in the market for:
    - DCC (very interested in Digitrax Super Chief 5amp but what about a REAL 5 amp power supply instead of the 4 amp that Digitrax recommends?)
    - A quality single-action airbrush system
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2012
  5. ChicagoNW

    ChicagoNW E-Mail Bounces

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  6. Jugtown Modeler

    Jugtown Modeler TrainBoard Member

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    Enjoying following this thread nlaempire. Inspiring to see it go from design to benchwork. Can't wait to it move along and looking foward to when you start structures! Architecture and structure building are some of my modelling interests in N scale. Nice job documenting and appreciate sharing with us(me).

    -Steve
     
  7. supaned

    supaned New Member

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    Just a bump for you - Kato have announced Metra F40PH units in N scale for 2013 delivery.... :)
     
  8. glakedylan

    glakedylan TrainBoard Member

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    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, Georgia, Verdana]nlaempire[/FONT]



    would it be possible to upload your trackplan in an image that is larger in dimensions
    and also colored in a way that it is more visibly followed?
    it looks like such a wonderfully planned and awesome design and i'd really like to have
    a good look at it but the size of image and colors keep me from following it.
    TIA
    respectfully,
    Gary L Lake Dillensnyder

    [Really, really, interested in trackplans that include a larger passenger station/service.]
     
  9. spiralcity

    spiralcity E-Mail Bounces

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    A very ambitious project. I hope is all falls into place for you.
     
  10. nlaempire

    nlaempire TrainBoard Supporter

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    I've been busy doing Army things but was EXTREMELY pleased to see the F40's released in Metra livery, so I ordered 6 today. I also picked up 2 P42 Amtrak Heritage units (red face and black face) and more Superliner cars to model the train that ran out of Union North earlier in 2012. Everything else has kinda been on standby with the holiday season and training cycle. I need to get a LOT more Metra passenger cars now, and would like to get 3 more F40s and one more MP36 which will bring the total to:
    4x MP36 trains
    9x F40 trains
    1x Amtrak Empirebuilder set
    1x Amtrak Hiawatha set (I still am holding out for an Amtrak Ph 4 F40)
    1x Amtrak Heritage set

    Gary, I'll see what I can put together that makes more sense than just a single pic.

    Project Status:
    Base benchwork almost complete (table portion). Finding reasonably straight 2x2 lumber has been a challenge.
    Once that portion is complete, I will start laying the supports for the subterranean track. It's going to be somewhat time consuming to make sure I have "hand" access to all important areas, and clearance for overhead rails and switching motors. I will also devise some kind of cheap "car catcher" for the exposed track under the layout.
     
  11. mcjaco

    mcjaco TrainBoard Member

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    Isn't amazing the amount of rolling stock you need to capture just this little portion of Metra and Amtrak's operation?!

    I know it's not perfect for this time period, since we need Horizon cars (and I have faith Kato will do them with all the other local Amtrak and Metra stuff they're pumping out), but I decided to finally back date my Hiawatha and go with all Amfleets. It's a five car train, circa 1998ish, with four coaches and the cafe car sandwiched in the middle. Right now I've got a B-40BWH at one end and a P42 at the other. My cabbage is about 1/2 way complete to properly fill this out. Although I'm now thinking about grabbing a GP40 to model it right after they bought those units from GO.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. glakedylan

    glakedylan TrainBoard Member

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    was wondering if you saw my request for trackplan in larger image and more traceable colors?
    if you would rather not share, i understand.
    just wondering if it was a request that went unnoticed.
    thanks
    respectfully
    Gary L Lake Dillensnyder
     
  13. nlaempire

    nlaempire TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hey, Gary. Yeah I saw your request and mentioned you in my most recent post ;)
    It'll take a little bit to recolor all of the rails to break it down better. I should have something better to show in a few hours.
     
  14. nlaempire

    nlaempire TrainBoard Supporter

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    layout5-Model.jpg
    On this image, there are 4 track colors:
    PURPLE = ground elevation (Chicago Union Station North)
    GREEN = +2 inches elevation (Ogilvie Transportation Center)
    LIGHT BLUE = -2 inches elevation and is all of the subterranean bypasses and turnarounds
    WHITE = transition zones between different elevations

    Now it should be noted that the huge interlocking for Ogilvie is not complete and tracks generally don't line up in other places as well. The drawing is mostly for me to get rough radii and to calculate clearance (train length, width and height),calculate grade requirements and estimate how much track needs to be purchased. Originally I was going to do the whole thing in UniTrack, but decided that I'd rather have more flowing curves and closer to true life spacing. With that in mind, I am totally expecting to custom cut switches, track, perform my own superelevation, etc. I have also concluded that I should make all of the interlocking areas (double-slips turning into double crossovers) by hand. Using "pre-fab" turnouts is just limiting me to the radii and offsets I need to get the feel I want. But for the turnouts at -2 inches elevation, I'll use pre-fab track since it doesn't matter what it looks like because nobody will see.

    All grade changes (WHITE track) are concealed from view by buildings and other features. The southern most grade changes occur beneath buildings and allow the illusion of more rail traffic coming out of the stations since trains can arrive at one and depart from the other. The only way to get a continuous run with a train never stopping will ONLY be by using Union Station North. Ogilvie traffic is currently a point-to-point operation but I have designed to allow for future expansion if I want.

    So, Gary, if you want to trace it for ideas, that's great, but the layout is designed for flex-track and a lot of custom-cut turnouts. If you look close, you'll see where things are off by a millimeter here and there, with pieces of track completely missing in complex areas. With flex track, I don't even worry about it. After all of the "field-adjusting" I have done on the benchwork, I've accepted that a drawing only can do so much.

    Oh and Matt, I thought that picture was a photograph of a real train until just a minute ago. Some day, I'll be there.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2013
  15. glakedylan

    glakedylan TrainBoard Member

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    nlaempire

    thanks for the more detailed graphic and description in text.
    i also found the video very helpful in seeing how you are framing up the layout and providing for the -2 [de-]elevated track.
    you have so much wonderful stuff packed into a doable space.
    i am very impressed and will probably borrow some ideas for the passenger portion of my trackplan.
    keep up the great work! very much appreciated!
    respectfully
    Gary L Lake Dillensnyder

    Fictitious Union Station
    Serving--Pennsyvania RR, Reading RR, Erie Lackawanna RR, Lehigh Valley, New Jersey Central RR, New York Central RR, Erie RR, Baltimore & Ohio RR, Delaware & Hudson Rwy, DRG&W RR, Southern Pacific RR, AT&SF RR, Nickel Plate Road RR, and Union Pacific RR (thanks to Kato, ConCor and some good paint and decals!)
     
  16. orionfield

    orionfield TrainBoard Member

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    wow, I am definitely going to follow the progress of this thread! Can't wait to see how it turns out!
     
  17. orionfield

    orionfield TrainBoard Member

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  18. nlaempire

    nlaempire TrainBoard Supporter

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    The Amtrak Cabbage is exactly what I'm looking for in Phase V, but I can't seem to get anywhere close to being able to order one. Any links take me directly to a website hosting service.
     
  19. orionfield

    orionfield TrainBoard Member

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    um...hate to get your hopes up, but I can't find it either, they may be out of business :(
     
  20. nlaempire

    nlaempire TrainBoard Supporter

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    I'm soooo excited! My orders just came in for the Metra F40s, the Amtrak Heritage set, and a few extra Metra railcars. Also, with the purchase of the Superliner car sets to build the Heritage train, I got the two extra cars needed to finish off my Amtrak Empire Builder set.

    The Amtrack Heritage train as seen coming out of Chicago Union Station in 2011:

    heritage-side.jpg heritage-black.jpg heritage-top.jpg heritage-red.jpg
    It's not quite perfect though. I need to get the Superliner set that has the Coach/Baggage car in it to replace the middle car on this train set. Otherwise, I am extremely pleased. The engine numbers are also the exact ones seen in Chicago.

    Ever since I started this project, I had been wishing for the F40s in Metra livery. Kato came through:
    f40all-03.jpg f40all-02.jpg f40all-01.jpg f40x6-03.jpg f40x6-02.jpg
    Yes, there are some duplicate road numbers, but I'm so excited about just having the right model in the right livery that I'll sweat the little stuff later on down the line.

    And a little something to bring up the rear:
    cabcars.jpg
     

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