Oct 7, 2019
Nicely done in such a short time. Keep us posted. Jim
very nice indeed thank you for posting and the tutorials as well very nice.
Wow, I don't think I've ever seen the ballast go down first on any layout!
Thanks for the great positive comments!
A little more info on the idea and workings of the layout. The layout is based on the theme of a small Train Museum Village somewhere in scenic Germany sometime in the mid 1970's. This concept allows me to run my 1970's period trains along with older steam locomotive compositions of the 1930's and 40's as "museum trains". Over the years I had purchased rolling stock and locos based on what I though looked cool but I never considered that they came from many different time periods. Now that I'm actually building a layout, the "Train Museum Village" solved the problem of running different eras on the same layout.
The layout has two station areas. A double line "City Station" at the top and a triple line "Village Station" in the middle. It has a side spur on the lower left for parking of the "maintenance train". It also has three spurs to display the "museum trains" next to the Train Museum Building in the middle of the layout. It has a wonderful switching yard to move trains around. It also has a double Mainline that can run 2 trains at a time or a single train in a "folded figure 8".
In designing the layout there were a few major features that I was looking for:
1. Small, portable, and light weight so it could be brought along in an RV. It only measures 50 inches by 32 inches.
2. Scenery "painted" on and all structures and trees removeable for easy storage.
3. No need for electricity. I use two Ztrack Snail Speed Controllers that run on 9 volt batteries and do switching manually. (Diagram C)
4. A somewhat elaborate switching yard. I love the look of a switching yard. I really enjoy switching trains to different destinations.
5. Switching yard easily accessible. Since I'm switching manually the layout has all the switches right in front of me.
6. Ability to show a lot of engines and compositions from different eras. The layout allows 10 trains to be parked and isolated. (Diagram D)
7. Ability to run more than one train at a time. I can run 3 trains simultaneously. 2 on the mainline and 1 in the inner station circle. (Diagram B)
8. A relatively long Mainline. The design allows me to run 2 trains on the mainline (Diagram B) or one train in a "folded figure 8". (Diagram A)
What I've put together has fulfilled everything I was looking for in a portable layout. I'm still looking at scratch building the "City Station" and there is still a lot of detail scenery painting work that I can work on in the future. It's great that a lot of the work can be done "on the road" if I so desire. It's been a real fun project and I look forward to playing with it for some time in the future.
Thanks again for your support and keep the questions and comments coming!
This is all looking very good! I would suggest strengthening the edges of your board (wood, foam board or even plastic card) just to give it a bit more protection - portable boards have a tendency to bump into things (I speak from experience). Secondly, have you considered building some small scenic modules that can be removed for storage (say embankments or small hills with the trees/undergrowth attached to them)? That way you might be able to introduce some relief to your flat board.
Yes, I was originally planning to build a wooden frame with a plywood bottom to set the foam board into. I may still do that but I really like how light weight it is right now without a frame. I also considered using some angle or C channel aluminum trim but I can't find anything that will work the way I want it to here at Lowes, Home Depot, or Ace Hardware. What I have done is wrap a length of duct tape around the edge to at least give a bit of protection to the sides and edges. You can barely see the beige colored duct tape in the last overhead photo.
Yes, I have thought of building a small hill that I can put in the upper right hand corner so that my Castle will get a bit more elevation. One of the inspirations for this layout came from a photo of the Burg Ardeck on the Aartal Railway in Germany. Here is the photo that created the inspiration:
I'm also considering digging some relief areas into the foam board to make things a bit less flat. Great thing is that these are all easy and fun things to do as the project progresses. For now I'm glad to have the basic work done and trains up and running. More detail work will come in the future.
Thanks again for all of your comments and suggestions!!
Parking area looks awesome and so clean. Are those switches on the lower right corner your block controls? DC right? Or DCC?