My first layout ...

PRR1957 Oct 25, 2004

  1. EricB

    EricB TrainBoard Member

    Pastor Dave,

    I have been working with Right Track recently and got pretty accostomed to using it. I did a real quick layout similar to Thor's. Here it is:

    It has 15"and 18" radius curves but your locos should be OK on it. It sized out to about 3'6" by 6'. I have the .rts file. Let me know if you want me to send it to you.

    Last night, I tried a Proto 2000 SW9/1200 on a piece of flex that I had curved to about a 12" radius and it made it n o problem.

  2. disisme

    disisme TrainBoard Supporter

    Pastor David, using sectional track is gonna cost you a whole lot more than good old Flex track, so sweating over finding the exact right pieces really serves no purpose. I'm of the opinion that flex track doesnt have that name becaue it bends....its because its useful EVERYWHERE..... Anything that isnt a turnout or crossover could / should be flextrack! You'll have far fewer track connections, and 3' of flex is going to cost you a LOT less than 3' of 8' sectionals.

    Just take care laying it.... Make yourself a template for your corner radii (sith easements) so you dont get wobbly curves, cut the track carefully, and you'll be surprised just how quick you can have a train running!
  3. Fluid Dynamics

    Fluid Dynamics TrainBoard Supporter

    I agree. I've built layouts both ways, with sectional track and then flex track. Flex track takes some cutting and a little more work when setting the curves, but the end result is a lot better for a lot less track joints and less $.
  4. PRR1957

    PRR1957 TrainBoard Member

    I rather like that layout, Colorado50.

    I actually bought some goodies friday night ... some track, ect. Just so I could make an oval, anything just to get something going. lol Problem is, I blew all my money on that and have nothing left for the board, ect. Silly me.

    I set up a few feet of 9" straight on a bench in the living room just to run my S3 back & forth. Goofy, eh? hehe

    Saving up again for some plywood, ect, to get this thing going. Gonna be tough with Christmas so close. I did buy a Pennsylvania Flyer in O guage ... for our granddaughter :)))) I know she's gonna squeel with delight when she opens that :)

    Thank you, one & all :)

    Pastor David
  5. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

    Yeah thats pretty goofy allright. I bet no one here has ever done the old sectional track "test track". ;)

    As to the sectional vs. Flex debate. I had some experience with not making my curves just right and allowing a little kinking to happen on a small radius curve like this layout would have. It played hell on my engines and I had some units that could not clear those sections of track.

    Stick to sectional for this layout. There is no shame in having good reliable trackwork to run on.
  6. rsn48

    rsn48 TrainBoard Member

    Hi Pastor Dave, I'm back after a hiatus off. I'm wondering if you don't have more space than you think. And I'm wondering if you are prepared to "think outside the box" a bit, you might have a bit more interesting layout.

    Do you have an area where you could have an L shaped layout? Maybe something like 8 or 10 feet by 8 or 10 feet by maybe 2 feet wide (remember one or both sections could drop down to give you access room for other uses). A layout like this could really provide you with an incredible amount of enjoyment, much more so than what you are looking at.

    I'm assuming you might be in a mance.
  7. PRR1957

    PRR1957 TrainBoard Member

    No, I'm stuck with that size. I'd have to move furniture all over the place if I made it any larger. Ppl wouldn't even be able to go from the living room to the kitchen if I made it any larger.

    I'm still brainstorming to figure a way to get 2 more feet in for a 4 x 8.
  8. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

    4x6 is a great to way to get going. the trackplan COLORADO 50 drew up for you is just right for two small trains. It wasn't uncommon for a switcher to pull a short passenger local either.

    if you build a small layout it will be right up to the edges of your board so make sure to put up some kind of barrier to keep trains from falling off the edges if they derail.
  9. Ranchero

    Ranchero TrainBoard Member

    i dont know if you have taken a look at the atlas list of track plan but if memory serves me right the track plan number 1 ( or 2 ) was set for a 4 by 6 area like you intend on building. If you go and get john armstrong book on realistic operation, at the end of the first chapter he adapts the very same plan and makes it more operable. It seems like it would be perfect for your space
  10. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

    Hmmm I wonder where the pastor has gone to. I'm curious to hear about his railroading.
  11. PRR1957

    PRR1957 TrainBoard Member

    I'm still here. I just can't do anything atm. I have some track, ect. I just need the layout to be built. I have no tools for this job so I went to the local lumber company and made an inquiry. The gentleman said to do a 4 X 6 he would do it for just shy of $100, parts & labor. I simply just don't have that available to me.

    I was hoping after Christmas I might be able to swing it, but nooooooooooooo, the county changed the date to pay property taxes by moving it up to January instead of March. It's all on hold for time being :(

    This is no hobby for the cash stapped!

    I do check the posts from time to time. I do love this forum [​IMG] People are friendly and helpful.


    Pastor Dave
  12. Martyn Read

    Martyn Read TrainBoard Supporter

    Have you thought about setting up something small on a shelf to start with? There are some pretty interesting small plans you can do in a very small space that way, the big space eaters on a 4x6 or 4x8 are those end curves.

    Don't give up on it just yet! [​IMG] Once you actually have trains running then budgeting gets easier, you need board, track, control and a train all at the same time to get moving, but once you've done that you can buy incrementally again, and make good use of home-built and cheap/pre-owned items to keep the costs down.
  13. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

    I just switched to using prefabbed track on my computer desktop for exactly the reasons you described. you should consider chacking out the atlas track that comes with prefabbed roadbed attached , or else the Kato track.

    For my N scale I went for Kato.

    I agree with Martyn about the initial cost being alot, but once you are in, it becomes an issue of smaller projects to get your layout looking good. Working slower for better results Etc.
  14. BillN

    BillN TrainBoard Member

    Hi Pastor Dave,
    Wish you and everyone here a Merry Christmas.
    There are ways you can overcome some of the obstacles you may have. You simply need to have faith in the little known art of "scrounging".
    This is the holiday season, so a lot of stores of all kinds are receiving shipments of goods. It just so happens that behind those stores are all the cast off pallets and packing crates that these goods came in on. A perfectly acceptable source of lumber for your layouts frame. AND, once the store throws it into the dumpster or trash heap, they have expressed, in a fashion, no further interest in said lumber.
    Building sites are also a good place to check, just be sure the lumber is actually slated to be thrown away.
    Don't think of this as dumpster diving, think of it as recycling! Just watch out for nails.
    This should take care of the frame and legs of your future layout, now for the rest.
    If we look at your plan, do you really need a full sheet of plywood? I would say no.
    Here is an example of what I am talking about, from a person on another forum:
    So, what you are looking for are some solid pieces (say 8-10in x 2ft) or larger. Again, shipping crates may come to the rescue as resource. As long as all the pieces are the same thickness, you should have no problems.
    As for putting it all together, check with your local high school or vocational-technical school and talk to the wood shop instructor. Explain what you want, that you are providing the materials and if he can have one of the students build it as an assignment.
    Another alternative would be to post some 3x5s at the local grocery:"Willing to help build your layout in return for operating crew spot. No experience, but have friends in high places."
    Just keep your eyes open and use a little common sense, and you know who will provide.


    [ 20. December 2004, 06:38: Message edited by: BillN ]
  15. PRR1957

    PRR1957 TrainBoard Member

    Thank you & Merry Christmas to all :)

    I came into some extra funding and had the local lumberyard do a table for me. It's a 4 x 6, 1 x 4 frame, legs with wingnuts, and a lauan 1/4 top. This is bulky but light to move. Just to get a train running, I laid an oval code 83 on it laying on the woodland foam black trackbeding. WOW is all I can say. I've been waiting for this a LONG time. This was neat for me. I spent 3 hours my first session that night running.

    My S3 is my fave and she runs like a peach. I also have a GP9. There was some whining in the GP9 at first but it's getting better. I assume a breaking-in is rquired.

    My roster includes:

    an S3 LL PRR
    a GP9 LL PRR
    a wood reefer Atlas 36'
    a caboose PRR Athern <<< a friend from the atlas forum actually sent this to me as a gift since I had no caboose and he knew I am a PRR fan :)

    My daughter ordered a PC caboose as a gift for me. My era will be early 60' to the early 70", so will include PRR & PC.

    I need to get a sound deadening top on the table, even with the track on the foam roadbed it's still a tad noisy. A 2" thick foam insulation for that would be near 27.00 and I'm not a man of money so that will either have to wait or I'll find something else. I'm not sure about gluing track, I have track nails, 1/2" ones. I know if I lay foam on top that I'll need to glue but I'm still so green to the hobby that I'm quite unsure of myself yet.

    Sorry for being so yacky. I'm still pretty hopped-up about having the train running :)


    Pastor Dave
  16. watash

    watash Passed away March 7, 2010 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

    PRR1957, email me, I'll help.

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