Jim's Layout Progress

James Fitch Feb 21, 2023

  1. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

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    Staging yard completed in 2021

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    Added main yard above staging yard:

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    Laid cord subroadbed:

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    Then backdrop supports and backdrop:

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    Got mainline laid and drops to main buss added:

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    Most recently adding fascia:

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    Last edited: Feb 21, 2023
  2. Dogwood

    Dogwood TrainBoard Member

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    Wow.. what that???!!! Great job
     
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  3. JimJ

    JimJ Staff Member

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    Excellent bench work! Wish I had your skills and/or patience.
     
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  4. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Very nice! Is the lower level only for staging without any scenery or will the lower level single track eventually have scenery?

    When I built my current double deck layout in 2003, I initially planned to only use the lower level for staging, but I quickly abandoned that plan when 15 to 20% of the time for each run was spent getting from staging on the lower level up the helix to the main level, and then 15 to 20% again to get back down at the end of the run. When I spread out the plain (unsceniced) staging into multiple small rail yards modeled with structures and scenery and put in more industries/destinations with scenery on the lower level, I was able to more than double my mainline length and more than doubled how long it took to run each job. As a result, the total time in the hidden or "uninteresting/boring" helix (3 to 4.5 minutes, depending on the speed of the train) became less than 10% of the total time needed to complete the job.
     
  5. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Wow, I bet the local lumber yard(s) absolutely love you; it may burn down (God forbid), but it sure ain't gonna fall down!
     
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  6. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

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    I reused a lot of the lumber from the prevous layout. The lumber I added on was mostly purchased before the prices went way up during covid.
     
  7. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

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    Finally started working on the main yard above staging. First laid out turnouts to see how things would fit.

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  8. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

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    Cut in the support base for the helix, which will be 34" radius:

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    Yard tracks are getting attached to the other end of the yard with the curved turnouts. These were pretty time consuming to get cut in and installed.

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    A third track is planned to go on the outside of the 2 shown. Some tweaking needed as well.
     
  9. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

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    Here is and update finally getting to the helix.

    Laid 2 2/3 circles of Atlas code 100 flex track on Trackside Scenery helix and used tiny screws from the UK to secure it. Soldered all the joints and added feeders every other joint.

    Helix radius is 34 inches; the biggest Trackside Scenery makes is 36" radius and the smallest 22" R if I remember correctly.

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  10. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

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    Helix is up on risers and I've leveled it. The sheet shown is how I calculated the thickness of the level supports as they go around at the same grade as the helix 1.73%

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    Bottom track is now connected to the end of the staging yard.

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    Also cut in more turnouts at this end of the yard.

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  11. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

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    So after installing the helix and it being the 2nd to the largest offered, I felt it needed more vertical risers for better support so I ordered more so there are twice as many and it feels pretty solid. It's all leveled and connected to the top level now. Just need to connect the track from the yard to the helix but going on a week vacation before I am back to do more.

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    I'll need to get some more time to continue forward.
     
  12. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Is that Homasote I see on parts of the layout?

    Doug
     
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  13. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

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    Yes. I like Homasote for yard areas.
     
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  14. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    The layout I built in 1975 was constructed with Homasote. I liked it, too. The upper level was a folded dog bone with a yard in the middle and the lower level consisted of two reverse loops. The Homasote worked very well. Laying track was easy on it because the nails could just be pushed in but the Homasote held them well.

    Doug
     
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  15. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, I have painted the sheets of Homasote but I like to lay the track with nails or track PINs which makes it easy to re-lay if necessary
     
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  16. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

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    Past couple of weeks I added in a yard lead which wraps around around the helix:

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    Also cut in more track in the yard - here for caboose and auxiliary tracks. Also track leading into industry spurs.

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    And at the other end of the yard, engine tracks with engine house.

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  17. Dogwood

    Dogwood TrainBoard Member

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    Chapeau:cool:
     
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  18. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    That's coming together nice Jim. (y)(y)(y)
     
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  19. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks all. Next major step is soldering feeds to the rails in the main yard all over the place and connecting them to the bus. I took a small break yesterday and hot glued some card board strips to start filling in between the track and the fascia. That way when I start running test trains, there is something to keep errant rolling stock on the layout.
     
  20. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

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    It's been nearly two months and I've added drops to the mainline rails and switched to subscenery. I"m using cardboard strips and hot glue again to form the basic scenery base.

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