Iowa, in N scale

Reddog170 Dec 28, 2012

  1. Reddog170

    Reddog170 TrainBoard Member

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    My plan is simple. I want to recreate my favorite parts of iowa in my layout. Now I live in Iowa so it will be covered bridges, farm towns, and simple living.
    So it will be on a 4X8 sheet. Let the ideas begin, LOL. shaun
     
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    This sounds interesting. What railroads might be featured?
     
  3. Midniteflyer1

    Midniteflyer1 TrainBoard Member

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    If you are modeling late 90's to present............. has to be Iowa Interstate! 4x8 alot of possibilities...........The new shops at South Amana?
     
  4. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    Wait, are you sure a 4x8 is gonna be flat enough? ;-) j/k...I grew up on the plains in Texas so not that much different than Iowa.

    Yes, I think we need to know more...sounds like you are interested in more of a sleepy branchline versus UP doubletrack main. Not knowing anything else, and if it was me, here's what I would do:
    -I would probably do a doubletrack main around the edges (let's call it UP) to give us the ability to just run trains.
    -Then I would have a shortline/regional going from an interchange with UP to a small yard and then onto a smallish town with a couple of nice grain elevators.
    -I would run a divider (backdrop) down the middle about 2/3 length so that one end is "open".
    -On one side I would have the interchange and the small town (maybe separated by a small river). The small town would have two smallish grain elevators and perhaps 1 or 2 other small industries plus a team track where you could spot a variety of cars, like a flat with John Deere tractors and other farm/agriculture related loads.
    -On the other side would be the small yard, set on the edge of a medium size town but the town just as a backdrop so as not to model a large amount of structures, only a few industries, etc. (maybe a big elevator here)
     
  5. Midniteflyer1

    Midniteflyer1 TrainBoard Member

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    Misconception........ Iowa is not as flat as people think. North part of state is pretty flat, you get about 1/3 of the distance south and it gets very hilly. I do the annual bike ride across the state of Iowa, two years ago the ride had more vertical climbing than the week long bike ride in Colordo. Here is a pic of one of the hills, the road did this 66 times, it will change your thinking that Iowa is flat.............
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yes, trust me I know there are plenty of not-flat spots in Iowa. Seems I've been all over Iowa at various times. That picture looks like my last trip through there around Thanksgiving, out west of Davenport, I think.
     
  7. Tred

    Tred TrainBoard Member

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    I agree, there are lots of "hills" in Iowa! Some have the same misconception about Kansas, too. I know here is the Kansas City area, bike riding takes some leg power.
     
  8. maxairedale

    maxairedale TrainBoard Member

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    Good to know there are other cyclist here.

    Maybe we need to start a new group "Cycling Model Railroaders" or Model Railroad Cyclist. [​IMG]

    Gary
     
  9. Reddog170

    Reddog170 TrainBoard Member

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    I like the ideas so far. I have to have a grain elevator, just not Iowa without one. The main railroad here is BNSF. Now there were some others that I am looking into but I have to wait for the museum to open monday. I would like to try to recreate the Midwest Old Threshers on one end. For those that have not been here for it, it is a large week long deal that celabrates the steam era. It is complete with several restored and operational steam engines and for a couple bucks you can take a ride around the grounds on one of the restored passanger trains. That is where I want to use the steam power. As for the mainline I plan on using more modern engines.
    As soon as I can figure out how to upload my drawings I will do so. Shaun
     
  10. Reddog170

    Reddog170 TrainBoard Member

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    First I have no idea why my reference to old threshers came out as a link, so please disregard. My draft has two continuous main lines going around the edge (as suggested before) I will run a spur into a small industrial park and grain bin area. It will have a rail yard with five more spurs. Which will include loading and unloading areas. I will have an Amtrak station as well. Some hills will border the back and one side allowing for one line to tunnel the length of the back. I also want to create the football stadium for the Hawkeys and the Cyclones to play an endless game. Two other landmarks I want to include are 1, The painting American Gothic and 2, the infamous axe murder house in Villisca Ia.
    So as you can see this will be a very involved layout. But I do have some questions. This may sound dumb and if you want to laugh feel free. What is the difference between 80, 55, and 40? Can they be interchanged? And I ran across a downloadable program to help with designing your layout but cannot seem to find it agin, does anyone know where I can find it or have one that I can get? The one I ran across was Atlas.
    Thank You again, Shaun
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2012
  11. JoeTodd

    JoeTodd TrainBoard Member

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    I look faward to seeing your baby grow. Thanks JT
     
  12. John Raid

    John Raid TrainBoard Member

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    I'm good with that. My son and I have ridden the last 6 RAGBRAIs (he's 10 years old now). I think he likes to ride just to see trains. He still talks about the night on RAGBRAI we spent in Chariton and saw 13 trains. We refer to the years we have gone by what railroad we follow most. That year was the BN year.

    Reddog, let us know how it grows. I have my own portion of Southeast Iowa in n-scale.

    John
     
  13. Midniteflyer1

    Midniteflyer1 TrainBoard Member

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    I do RAGBRai every year and look forward to the railfanning also. Grewup in the Missouri Valley/ Council Bluffs area. Friend lives about 2 miles from the IAIS yard in CB. My layout is not Iowa specific but i run IAIS loco and BNSF on it. I remember overnighting in Mt. Pleasant where the OLD Threshers gathering takes place. Here is a video of some IAIS trains on the layout.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUADyMU4FVY&list=ULAWoc8v_DZt8
     
  14. alexkmmll

    alexkmmll TrainBoard Member

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    Have you considered cutting that plywood sheet in half and doing a layout around the walls? Sometimes, it can be pretty hard to model specific places when you have to stick to some strict curves created by a large sheet like that, and a 4x8 layout requires a lot of space if you're viewing from all sides (and if you're not, good luck getting to the back!). Plus, the straighter track will follow more prototypical trackwork, especially in Iowa!

    Alex
     
  15. Reddog170

    Reddog170 TrainBoard Member

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    I did consider that. I do agree that it would make for an easier way to do what I want. The only problem is where my wife said that we could put it is restrictive so the only way to get a larger layout is with a 4X8 sheet. I have a couple ideas of how to make getting to the rear of the layout easier.
    On a side note I may have some rolling stock to part with. Is there a free to good home area here somewhere? Shaun
     
  16. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    I accept freebees :)

     
  17. Reddog170

    Reddog170 TrainBoard Member

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    Well I need to get some pictures of them. They need a real good cleaning, and probably some new parts. They just do not fit in with my theme and I do not believe that if they go back to storage they will survive. Some are decent, some are not so decent. Once I get pics up take a look and see what you think. Shaun
     
  18. Reddog170

    Reddog170 TrainBoard Member

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    Well I will be starting the benchwork this weeken. The plan is to shape the top like the state of Iowa, that should be fairly easy (I hope). Now Iowa is bordered by the Missippi river on the east side so I would like to put it on my layout, but have never done water effects before. To be honest I have never done much for benchwork before. My last layout was built on an old table I got at a yard sale for next to nothing. But if I can build a grandfather clock then this should be easy.
    I also would like to share one of my favorite pictures.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jterry618/4990771550/in/set-72157624923311964
    This is one of the steamers that run every year in Mt Pleasant. Shaun
     
  19. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    With two borders which seem to be straight lines, this should make things a little easier?

    Try taking some scraps of lumber, etc, and build a small mock-up. Practice on this before making that leap to full benchwork scenery. It's then simpler to just toss out that small test, than to rip out any unsatistfactory part of a layout.

    Yes. You certainly can.
     
  20. John Raid

    John Raid TrainBoard Member

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    Shaun, You know number 9 has moved to Georgetown Loop in Colorado. Midwest Central traded them for their prairie number 12 for 10 years after which they are supposed to swap back. I'll be surprised if number 9 ever runs in Iowa again.

    Georgetown Loop 12.jpg

    John
     

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