N Scale Build of the Delaware, Susquehanna & Northern Railroad

Hardcoaler Dec 20, 2021

  1. Pfunk

    Pfunk TrainBoard Member

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    I get double as a homeowner trying to work on his home, and as someone who works in a hardware store lol If it isn't me complaining about it, it's listening to every person that comes in complain about it to me HAHA

    Your pictures made me laugh, though - I brought home 6 of those sheets of 1-1/2" fps last summer in my soccermommobile when I started on my basement. That ratchet-strap across the back was for optics only, if a 2012 Escape could drift at 80mph thems still wouldn't have come loose, really had to jam them in there.

    20210908_170454_resized.jpg

    I borrowed a friend's truck for the rest lol
     
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  2. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    :LOL: I'll bet employees at home centers are faced with all kinds of impossible loading requests.

    upload_2022-8-3_8-33-20.png
     
  3. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    That's something my landlord does. :eek:
     
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Dunno about life where this picture originated, but that would be very illegal here. And get you a big ticket!

    Also, when driving around with your hatch open, remember those struts are supporting a bunch of weight. It doesn't take a lot of bumps in the road and suddenly you will need a $$$ trip to the auto parts store...
     
  5. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

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    $25.00 a sheet would be a bargain price in this neck of the woods. Last price I saw was $33, and that was lower than previously.

    One of these days I'll get to a Menards. We passed several during our long way around trip to Nashville for the National N Scale Convention, but at inopportune times.
     
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  6. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    When I designed my track plan long ago, I found space for a hidden spur to store an Amtrak passenger train under a mountain, but then thought about the liabilities of such tracks and tossed the idea aside.

    Now that I'm laying out my first foam mountain (Mt. Foam? :rolleyes:), I see for real what I rejected earlier on paper. There's indeed a lot of wasted space under the mountain. Looking at the photo, I can place a #6 Left Hand at the top where the yellow line diverges and have an easy, wide radius curve leading to a straight section, totaling about 24" of hidden spur. This would easily hold an F-40PH and two Amfleet cars, maybe three.

    The top of the mountain will be removable in case my wife and I move someday and this would also allow access to the hidden track in case of trouble.

    I'd need a detection circuit so that I'd know when the train was nearing the bumper. I'm thinking a simple optical detector that would illuminate an LED would be fine, something that would work independently of my DC/DCC operation and in darkness.

    Has anyone ever messed around with hidden tracks and detection? Thoughts welcome.

    2022-08-05 Hidden Spur - for upload.jpg
     
  7. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    If the train is going in loco first have a section about a loco length long or whatever works that you can turn the power off to. The engine hits the dead track and stops.When you want to pull the train out reverse its direction and turn the power on.

    Sumner
     
  8. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    That's too simple. :LOL: Why would I want to do that when I can kill hours making a failure-prone circuit? :ROFLMAO:

    Seriously, that's a great idea. I could also use a simple diode bridging a gap that would stop the locomotive, but allow it to back out. I remember seeing this in use in an Arnold Rapido wiring book from about 1970. However, I'm not sure if that trick would work with DCC though.
     
  9. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    The diode is a cool idea for DC but like you mentioned can't see it working for DCC as the current never reverses except inside the engine via the decoder.

    Sumner
     
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  10. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    ... and it only works for head-in parking. No back-in parking.

    A similarly switchable section just inside the tunnel entrance would suffice for back-in parking, if your parked train never exceeded the tunnel length.

    Now, just don't go parking any quad-engine lash-ups in there...

    Or just a small peep-hole through which you can see the end of the spur in the tunnel... Perhaps with some interior lighting. Just pull out a specific tree, and take a look.
     
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  11. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have done something similar on an older layout with a tunnel. I had a switchable section of track near the exit of a tunnel. Turn it off and when the train entered the tunnel it would stop just before it exited the other side. That way it gave the illusion the train went in the tunnel and disappeared somewhere and didn't come back on the layout until I switched the 'dead track' back to power.

    It sure confused the kids when they would watch the train go in and not come back out the other side for 5-10 minutes. (y):whistle:
    .
     
  12. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I guess that's right, that if I wanted to be able to run the train in and out of the spur with the locomotive on either end, I'd need to consider that.

    Your removable tree notion might have merit. :) If I somehow do include a detector, I was thinking I could mount its LED at the top of an industrial water tank.

    I ran by my local hobby shop this afternoon to pick up a #6 Kato LH. I plan to install it and drop the wire under the layout, but leave everything else for later. That'll give me time to put some thought into things while my laborers continue blasting and hacking away at mighty Mt. McFoamly.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2022 at 12:52 AM
  13. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Hmmm... I wonder if spray carb cleaner / degreaser will dissolve extruded foam board? Might make for an interesting foam-shaping tool... Or a really cool water-blasting gold mining scene!
     
  14. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    That track detector sounds like a good plan. There was a time where I would have said having a turnout/switch in a tunnel was a bad idea. Now that I have used Unitrack for a while, I would have no issue at all with that. You have addressed accessibility and detection so it looks like you are good to go. Putting the signal that the track is occupied at the top of a water tower sounds like a neat idea too. :)(y)
     
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  15. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Agreed! Long ago I had a turnout in a tunnel where two mainlines diverged and it was a huge mistake.

    I was able to install the new hidden track turnout last night pretty easily. A feeder also needed to be added, but that went quick too.

    I also thought of another detection alternative if I want to store a Amtrak train there in either direction -- a simple microswitch to trigger the LED. Place it at the end of track and when the train bumps it, viola. Appearance wouldn't matter and it'd be easy to adjust. The curve of the storage track is broad, so would be less apt to cause a derailment if I bumped it with too much force. I could even glue a small block of soft foam (like from a packing peanut) to the lever to cushion impact.

    upload_2022-8-7_17-13-51.png

    2022-08-07 DSN Hidden Track - for upload.jpg
     
  16. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Sounds like it is worth a try but some of the cars I have would probably derail trying to trip one of those. If it cuts power are you going to have another switch to turn on to bypass the limit switch?

    Sumner
     
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  17. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Those micro switches are handy but klick rather abruptly. So it could be a problem in direct contact.
     
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  18. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I'm thinking that I'd use the switch only to turn the LED on and off. When I saw the light, I'd set the Kato turnout to the mainline to kill the power on the hidden spur.

    I was wondering the same thing as you and @Shortround about how much impact the switch might need. I'll do a little research and see if that's a published specification on microswitches. Maybe adding a longer lever would help, using leverage to overcome.
     
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  19. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Question? If there is a way to stop the engine/cars at the end of the spur how are you going to know that it has cleared the turnout?

    If you know for sure the train will clear the turnout then you could either turn off power near the end of the spur or turn off power just past the turnout. One for going in engine first and the other cars first.

    Sumner
     
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  20. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Only my Amtrak train will ever be stored on it, so I'll always be certain of its length.
     
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