New Layout: The CSX Dixie Line

CSXDixieLine Jul 28, 2008

  1. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    If they're tall enough to see it, they're old enough to play with it safely! Plus the head wounds from the duck under will be limited to the wife and me. Jamie
     
  2. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    Benchwork Complete!

    This week I managed to finish all of the major benchwork on the CSX Dixie Line layout. This basically means all of the benchwork has been completed with the exception of two projects: the helix and the swing down gate into the layout room. It took exactly 4 weeks from starting construction to get to this point, which is pretty surprising considering I was planning on a couple of months for the wall brackets alone!

    Looking down the aisle along the left side of the peninsula. Note the 1x2" brace across the top of the aisle to stabilize the end of the peninsula until it can be permanently attached to the future helix:

    [​IMG]

    Looking down the aisle along the right side of the peninsula. A temporary 1x2" brace similar to the one in the previous photo also goes across this aisle. If you look closely, you can see where I extended the depth of the layout to a full 24" at the end of this aisle. This will allow for some foreground structures or scenery to be placed to break up the horseshoe curves the mainlines will need to make on both levels:

    [​IMG]

    Looking up from the end of the aisle along the right side of the peninsula. This view clearly shows how the lower level drops down to allow for the elevation change between the town of Cartersville, GA down to the Etowah River valley:

    [​IMG]

    The wall opposite of the end of the peninsula:

    [​IMG]

    Jamie
     
  3. pastoolio

    pastoolio TrainBoard Member

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    Talk about a "drop down"! =0
    Looks like it goes for about 8-10 feet.
    Looking good Jamie, and good luck on the helix!

    -Mike
     
  4. denny99

    denny99 TrainBoard Member

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    Excellent! Your benchwork shows high carpentry skills. Can't wait to see some tracks on it :)
     
  5. JKD

    JKD TrainBoard Member

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    Looking good. I can't wait to see some track getting laid. I think this layout has the potential to be fantastic!
     
  6. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Looking good! :thumbs_up:
     
  7. Jim Reising

    Jim Reising TrainBoard Member

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    :thumbs_up::thumbs_up::thumbs_up:
    Beautifully executed, Jamie.
     
  8. corporaldan

    corporaldan TrainBoard Member

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    :thumbs_up::thumbs_up:
     
  9. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    Thanks for the positive feedback everyone. I think next I am going to move on to installing the backdrops and the lighting before I get to the gate and the helix. Jamie
     
  10. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    Let There Be Light!

    I installed the first section of lighting for my layout this week using cheap sockets purchased from Ikea and 9-watt (40-watt equivalent) CFLs. I have included a few pictures of how it looks so far. I am not going to install any more lighting until I install and paint the backdrops in this area so I can get a better feel as to how even my lighting is. Then I can make any adjustments as needed and finish the rest of the layout. Jamie

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. JKD

    JKD TrainBoard Member

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    Looking good.
    I think my only concern (if it was me) would be heat from the bulbs on the underside of the deck. The bulbs look close to where the top of the benchwork they're attached to is. (I'm making sense, right?)

    As for trying out the lighting, you're going to put some decking on the level the lights are attached to so you can see how the light bounces off there on the backdrops, etc... before making adjustments?
     
  12. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    JKD, I also had the same concern about heat. However, I was really surprised at just how little heat these CFLs put out. As a test, I turned on the lights and let them stay on overnight. Even after this time, I was still able to place my hand on a lighted bulb and keep it on there without any problem. It is sorta hot, but not enough to burn your hand if you touch it or hold it, so it should be OK with regards to proximity to the scenery base that will be placed right above it.

    I will probably not put decking down on the middle level to gauge my lighting levels since I will probably not be painting the bottom of the scenery base either once it goes in. Jamie
     
  13. Tbone

    Tbone Permanently dispatched

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    Jamie,It has been awhile since I have been on here and man what progress you have done.The lighting looks awesome.I think you will be happy with the lighting.
     
  14. justTRAINcRaZy

    justTRAINcRaZy TrainBoard Member

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    I think you'll be very happy with the CFLs. I used the 13w version @ 18" spacing and have plenty of light. To test the heat, I placed a piece of blue foam directly on several bulbs for 6 hours and there was no distortion or melting of the blue foam.

    One thing you may consider, but may be a little bit more expensive, is to mount a 2 x 4 utility box with a duplex outlet. Lowes has a bulb adapter for the bulb and lets you have an additional 110 outlet every 18" (or whatever).

    KB

    [​IMG]
     
  15. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    Tbone, Thanks for the compliment. I am also surprised how fast this thing is coming along--I really do just work on this thing a couple of hours a day 3-4 days a week. Jamie

    Kevin, I actually did build a "power strip" after I saw how you did yours on your postings. Here is what mine looks like:

    [​IMG]

    My outlets actually run along the bottom of the benchwork all the way around. Since my sockets already have two-prong plugs wired in (each with a 15' cord!), I just run the cords down behind where the backdrops will be installed and plug them in at the bottom. As with your design, I am putting an outlet box on every wall bracket and peninsula support--can't have too many outlets!

    If anyone is interested, I have an entire post on my blog describing the details how I did the lighting:

    http://csxdixieline.blogspot.com/2008/08/layout-progress-as-of-8282008.html

    Jamie
     
  16. Dwyane

    Dwyane TrainBoard Member

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    Here what I did with the CFL's

    Before the fasica

    [​IMG]



    After the fasica


    [​IMG]
     
  17. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    Lower Level Backdrop Installed

    The family took a Labor Day vacation so I have been away from the layout for most of the last week, but I did manage to install all of the backdrops on the lower level. I used 1/8" Masonite which is quite flexible and allows the corners to be curved nicely. Here are a few pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next up I am going to continue working on the electrical outlets "power strip" along the bottom of the benchwork and the rest of the lower level lighting. After that, it is on to the dropdown gate across the doorway and--finally--the helix. Jamie
     
  18. jsoflo

    jsoflo TrainBoard Member

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    Looking great, just wanted to let you know I've been following your progress quietly as a "viewer" and want to let you know its really coming out great, keep em' coming, its always good to see a well made modern eastern layout!
    my best,
    Jan
     
  19. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    Thanks, Jan! Glad you are enjoying the progress. Watching other layouts come together is just as much fun to me as watching mine come together--and much less work :) I agree most of the modern layouts seem to be "out west" and of the ones that are in the east, very few are in the south. Lots of good railroading action to capture in the southeast--I hope I can pull off that effect once I get to putting in track & scenery. Jamie
     
  20. pastoolio

    pastoolio TrainBoard Member

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    Jamie, there's nothing like putting up backdrops to show you how uneven the benchwork and house are, no matter how well you line up your supports. :tb-smile: I can see the slight gap in one of the seams. I have a few gaps like that in my lower level, and with the upper level, I'd push the backdrop masonite to the ceiling, and WOW, was my ceiling all outta wack! I'd measure on both ends, cut the full 8' sheet, and go to put it in, and oops, there was usually a hump down in the ceiling, then I'd have to go sand it down, or there would be a hump up which would require filler and it just ended up to be alot of work. Next time I won't go all the way to the ceiling. Ok, I'm rambling...
    So, are you planning on adding a backdrop to your staging level? The layout is looking great, and I too am eager to see your acomplishments when you post.:tb-biggrin:
    -Mike
     

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