New Layout: The CSX Dixie Line

CSXDixieLine Jul 28, 2008

  1. TrCO

    TrCO TrainBoard Member

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    Big 'like' to the photobucket album :) Bigger like to what you've done, it's inspirational stuff :D Now I just have to go back through the thread and re-read how you did everything... like your trees... and your crossing gates... and your rock cut. Time to take notes ^_^
     
  2. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    The rare Splineosaurus Rex, thought to be extinct for over two years, was recently sighted at the Etowah River scene on the layout:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I have yet to confirm rumors that the even more rare Helix Monster has been sighted.

    Jamie
     
  3. Robben

    Robben New Member

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    If you see it be sure to take a picture!
     
  4. vashnar

    vashnar TrainBoard Member

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    Go! Go! Go! I love progress shots from you, Jamie!

    Please ignore your family this week and spend all your time in the train room. You know, in the name of science and all... You can't ignore the possibility of a Helix Monster sighting!

    Just kidding :) Thanks for the update and have a great holiday.

    Brian
     
  5. Virginian Railway

    Virginian Railway TrainBoard Member

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    It's just a matter of time 'till we see your layout in MR!
     
  6. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    In the classifieds? ;)
     
  7. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    More progress to share this week.

    First, I have started installing spline roadbed along the back aisle of the lower level. This section of the layout will be Tilton, GA and was previosly unidentified on the track plan:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You can see the scenery at South Emerson on the other side of the backdrop. Both tracks will lead to the helix, which is out of the photos in the foreground. I have to get the roadbed and track installed at Tilton before I can begin work on the much anticipated helix.

    Next, I added a layer of 2" extruded foam along the back wall of the lower level:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This scene will be Calhoun, GA and was also previously unknown on the track plan. There will be large feed mill here that will receive unit trains of grain from the heartland.

    As nice as this big blank space seems (16" x 18 feet!), it has really been a major pain for me to plan. I just can't seem to visualize how things should look in this area. I put down the foam so I could experiment with different track arrangements. Alas, that did not help and I have removed the foam in favor of laying out the track using risers and splines like I did on the rest of the layout. The foam will go back in after the mainline is completed using spline roadbed.

    Jamie
     
  8. Jim Reising

    Jim Reising TrainBoard Member

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    Jamie. it can sometimes be very difficult to envision how to fill a space. When that happens, I do as you are doing - get with it! The ideas will come, trust your instincts...
     
  9. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    Yep I'm just going to put down a spline for the mainline and keep moving it around until it looks about right and then I am going from there. I figure if I have the mainline in place I can start to visualize the industries, spurs, structures, etc. that will go there. But no more sitting idle worrying about it! Jamie
     
  10. Groove Rider

    Groove Rider TrainBoard Member

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    Nice work on the crossing gates and video. I really like the highway over pass too! Look forward to seeing more!
     
  11. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    No official sighting of the helix monster yet, although I did spot its tails:

    [​IMG]

    In the above photo, I have completed the spline roadbed for the second track leading to the double-track helix. This was of course a prerequisite to starting helix construction. You can also see new completed spline roadbed in the distance that is part of the Emerson River scene. The section of spline roadbed with the aluminum channel clamped to it marks the location of the future deck girder bridge over the river.

    Looking in the other direction (away from the helix), you can see completed spline roadbed at Tilton, GA:

    [​IMG]

    In the distance, you can see where the spline roadbed ends where the tracks (main and siding) curve around into the long scene at Calhoun, GA that is still in the planning phase.

    Sorry for the slow reply Brian, but I can report good news related to spending a lot of time in the train room (without ignoring the family). I have been "forced" to take a week of PTO this upcoming week since I have a lot of days built up that I will lose on January 1. Needless to say, I am planning on spending a lot of time working on the layout.

    Look for numerous progress reports. :thumbs_up:

    Jamie
     
  12. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    As I reported last week, I was having a hard time planning the long (18' x 16") scene at Calhoun, GA. I spent a lot of time surfing Google Maps and researching other layouts looking for inspiration. I now have a pretty good idea for what I want in this scene:
    • A few small industries served by a local
    • Large feed mill that gets unit grain trains
    • Setout track or small yard that will be worked by the local
    • Depot for the local crew
    With these goals in mind, I have started laying out the mainline through the scene:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The above photos show how I perform track planning on the layout. I have spliced together a few 8-foot splines so that I have one super long spline temporarily connected to the finished roadbed at both ends of the scene. I then place a few risers here and there and clamp them in place using large spring clamps. The risers have finishing nails in the tops that allow me to clamp the spline to the risers. This allows me to see what the mainline will look like as it passes through the scene. I can easily change the alignment by moving the risers side to side (the spring clamps make this a snap). In the above photos, I have already made several adjustments and have the spline pretty much where I think it will be in the completed scene.

    Regardless of how many times I create a track plan on paper or using layout planning software, I have found this process to be what works best for me when it comes to determining final track arrangements. For example, in the first photo above, it looks like I will be able to fit a small industry on the aisle side of the track at the end of the aisle. This is not something I realized until I saw the actual track alignment on the layout. I also now realize that I may need to downsize the feed mill if it is to coexist with other industries in the scene. On the plus side, this track arrangement has revealed that I will be able to fit in a farm scene by the river that I thought was going to get bumped out due to lack of space.

    One thing for sure, none of this planning would have happened without doing something Jim Riesling pointed out above: stop messing around and get to it!

    Jamie
     
  13. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    Updated track plan for the lower level of the layout:

    [​IMG]

    Jamie
     
  14. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    A funny thing happened while I was installing roadbed today: I ran out of splines. Since I last cut splines in 2009, I had come to expect that my supply would last forever. A quick trip to The Home Depot, $13 in the self checkout for a 4x8 sheet of 3/16" hardboard, and a few moments of up-close-and-personal-time with the table saw yielded the following:

    [​IMG]

    That is 41 splines, each 3/4" wide and 8' long. This will be more than enough to finish the roadbed on the lower level of the layout, since the previous batch lasted over two years and supplied well over half of the lower level roadbed. Doing the math, that's about $26 for all of the lower level roadbed, with zero waste. Yet again, happy I took the advice of others on this board in choosing the spline roadbed method. Thanks to all of you who suggested it when I was looking for advice way back then.

    Jamie
     
  15. vashnar

    vashnar TrainBoard Member

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    Enjoy the time off, Jamie. And good luck with the planning of the Calhoun area, sounds like you have the right attitude - get to it!

    Brian
     
  16. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    41 splines would be about 38 cuts. Each cut would be 1/8 inch (width of the saw blade). That equals 4.75 inches of waste...LOL.

    Just razzin ya Jamie !!!
    :tb-tongue:

    I really like your spline roadbed. I dont think I would have the patience to do it. Besides...I am using unitrack on my new layout.

    Always look forward to your updates.

    :thumbs_up::tb-cool:
     
  17. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    And what about final trim? And the dust from sanding and planing! And the drops of glue!??

    Looking real nice Jamie!
     
  18. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    I actually save all of the dust hoping that one day MacGyver can fashion a crude but working N-scale locomotive out of it. :)

    Nice milestone on the layout today as I now have a continuous mainline roadbed running across the entire lower level. The final section was completed in the Calhoun, GA scene, where I previously mentioned there would be several rail-served industries. The following two photos show how the mainline gently curves through the entire scene (I must not like straight track) and where the space is for the industries.

    Looking south:
    [​IMG]

    Looking north:
    [​IMG]

    In the second photo, you can see where the siding ends abruptly in the distance. The next project is to extend the siding and have it rejoin the main. I first need to plan out where all of the industry tracks are going to be and insure the siding is long enough to hold a complete train. At least I have an ample supply of splines once I decide what goes where!

    Jamie
     
  19. theteejmiester

    theteejmiester New Member

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    Well, I must say I have taken the last two days to sit down and read carefully trough this thread and have come up with a couple conclusions; The first is that after years of armchair modeling I need to get off my rear end and build something. Second that spline roadbed looks simply amazing,the way it flows is fantastic. I will be using that on my layout. Third is that I am not regretting my recent switch to N scale after modeling Maine Narrow gauge in O scale for so long. You're layout is stunning in its simple prototypical neatness and design. I love it, gives me so much inspiration For my BNSF layout I have planned. And the last thing is that i am sad that this thread is only 60 pages long, I could read about this layout for another 100 pages easy. I am looking forward to more progress in the future. Thank you for the inspiration!!
     
  20. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    Thanks for the comments and welcome to TrainBoard! If you want 60 more pages, give me a couple of days--I have a lot of progress planned. :) Jamie
     

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