Red Rock Northern HO scale layout

jasonboche Mar 3, 2016

  1. jasonboche

    jasonboche TrainBoard Member

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    I went all in on 3/4" 7-ply for sub roadbed.
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    2nd coat of paint is on the benchwork and legs are assembled. 1/4" T nuts glued into the bottom of each leg drilled out with 2 1/2" hex bolts for leveling. I'll get the cross braces on the legs probably tomorrow after I get home from the club operating session and get the modules moved down to the train room. Legs and braces will get painted as well at some point.
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    dalebaker likes this.
  2. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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    Wow! Box frame on legs. Very reliable, but really feels old school which is pretty cool. :)
     
  3. Twist

    Twist TrainBoard Member

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    Looking cool. Clean Benchwork.

    Chris
     
  4. JimJ

    JimJ Staff Member

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    Looks good. I'm old school too.
     
  5. jasonboche

    jasonboche TrainBoard Member

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    All of the cross bracing for the legs attached and the modules have been moved back down to the train room where I had the children follow the project book to see if they could assemble them correctly.

    Hmm... something isn't right...
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    The two corner modules, which look alike, are in the wrong spots. Let's swap them.
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    Legs and cross bracing will get painted this week. Hopefully no paint will end up on the carpet or the wall.
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    I just finished this basement a little over a year ago and now holes are going into the walls - things are getting serious I guess. 1 x 4 x 48 boards starting to go up around the perimeter to add support for the lower deck and provide complete support for the backdrop and upper deck brackets. 32" off the floor. 3" drywall screws into studs. This was originally going to be a shelf layout hanging off the wall but I was struggling with benchwork design and the end result was the lower deck got legs. It will chew up some storage space under the layout but it solves multiple headaches for me in the long run so legs it is (access to closet, access hidden staging, easy leveling adjustments at all 4 corners, better support for 5 foot window span where there are elevation changes/grades in 2 directions).
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016
    JoeTodd likes this.
  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Neat video. It would been some good fun, to be right there watching those kids figuring it out. :)
     
  7. jhn_plsn

    jhn_plsn TrainBoard Supporter

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    How spoiled. You have roadies for train shows.

    I am looking forward to more progress.
     
    mikegillow likes this.
  8. jasonboche

    jasonboche TrainBoard Member

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    Not a great deal to report tonight. A lot going on at work and around the house that's going to derail layout progress for the next week and a half. I was able to get fender washers up around the room and the first and second sheets of 23/32" 7-ply plywood (rare measuring mistake, now I've got my scrap for risers and cleats) cut, installed, and leveled to correct height to support what is supposed to be Abingdon on the lower deck. I say "supposed to be" because I haven't decided how closely I'm going to model the N&W Abingdon Branch as it was intended. Amy came down to visit the train room for the first time and volunteered to finish painting the benchwork legs. That is awesome.

    The majority of this track plan is a branch line switching layout. I've been thinking the majority of track would be laid directly on plywood subroadbed and the visible portion of the mainline would be laid on cork for a higher profile. I know that some branch lines have better trackage with ballast and higher profiles for drainage, but that sort of gets into "what branch line am I modeling?" which has yet to be decided. I've had a cab ride or two on local switching railroads and much (but not all) of the track was crummy and slow speeds. Another option is mainline on cork, branch line on cork, all sidings on plywood. Perhaps the best answer is that the branch line is a mix of poor slow sections, and modernized sections with fresh ballast and drainage. That's what I've seen first hand.

    Probably a well known tip: A 3/8" drill bet run in reverse makes a great counter sink hole for drywall screws. However, I only have two drills so I think I'm just going to see if I can find a 7/64" counter sink bit to make the drilling part go a little faster.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
  9. jhn_plsn

    jhn_plsn TrainBoard Supporter

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    Sorry to hear progress will be delayed, but be glad you have something to look forward to with a dedicated space. Maybe a little time away will allow some fresh approaches if needed like how to lay track on the branchline.
     
  10. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Anticipation of the next work opportunity should cause good progress.
     
  11. jasonboche

    jasonboche TrainBoard Member

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    The author of this track plan was nice enough to identify some turnout sizes but not others (I think there's an unidentified wye in there as well somewhere). Should I assume unidentified turnouts are #4s (not optimal but diverge quicker in a small space), #5s, #6s (look and operate better but take up more layout space)? I haven't measured the length of any sidings yet but where a few inches won't make the difference of an extra car length before fouling it probably makes sense to go with #6 or #5.
     
  12. Jeepy84

    Jeepy84 TrainBoard Member

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    I would have to look at the article itself, I'll be home Sunday, try to take a look then.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
     
  13. jasonboche

    jasonboche TrainBoard Member

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    Hello everyone. Big updates.

    [​IMG] Last week while on vacation I finally got around to reading "The Chase" by Clive Cussler - a book I purchased and had on my bookshelf since 2008. It was a good read. It's an action/adventure/murder mystery based entirely on trains and railroading in the west. I will be incorporating Cromwell's Southern Pacific wood boxcar on my layout complete with a car card and waybills. I've already sourced and received the decals for it. I figure it will make a good talking point with visitors when the boxcar is set out on a siding near a bank on the layout - it's a story unfolding.

    On Sunday I joined that exclusive club of folks where the drywall bit jumps the screw and drills through my fingernail. That stung and the puncture wound bleeding under the fingernail took a long time to stop bleeding.

    The floor in the train room is not level and the thick carpet combined with irregular module shapes and bowing 2x2 legs was causing leveling chaos where multi-deck and hidden staging clearances are tight. This wasn't a problem with my previous layout which was on short office carpet and the layout was entirely flat with no elevation changes or clearance issues. I wish I had known about laser levels a long time ago. I won't build anything else without it. It will easily be my wisest purchase of the year. And on that note, the plan to go with benchwork on legs with 1/4" leveling bolts on the bottom is history. I'm using two styles of L-brackets now for around the wall benchwork (that was the original plan but I talked myself out of it for a few reasons which are no longer relevant). The white 14x12" brackets are for benchwork up to 15" in depth. The gray 19" brackets are for benchwork up to 24" in depth.

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    Last but not least, the N&W Abingdon Branch layout is history - I've waived the white flag and admit defeat. I still think it's a great track plan but there are a few reasons behind this decision. 1) I became bothered that there was no yard on the layout other than hidden staging which can't be used as a classification yard for operations. 2) After observing my son at three different layouts we visited in Tucson, AZ last week, I realized he's not going to be happy with the extremely limited mainline running which consisted of about 25% or 10 visible feet of straight track before the train ducks down under the layout for the remaining 75% of the mainline lap. For that matter, I was no longer happy with it either. 3) Mounting anxiety over the complexity of the upper deck and and helix clearances.

    I'm still confined to an 11x10 room and prefer the walk-in/around the walls style layout so I'm now working on building the Red Rock Northern. This plan has been around for quite a while so maybe some of you are familiar with it. It has an operational yard, 68' of twice around visible mainline, some elevation changes, many industries for operations, and potential for a future peninsula or maybe even a tight helix for a second deck. The plan does have two challenges, one I'd consider minor, the other major. The minor challenge is track everywhere which stems from a single deck in a 100 square foot space. I can deal with that and it's a trade off having more room (no helix) and no 2nd deck. The major challenge is hidden staging with two turnouts which is completely inaccessible should a derailment occur or track maintenance or cleaning be required.
     
  14. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Darn. I don't see a track plan at that link. Guess it's subscribers only.
     
  15. jasonboche

    jasonboche TrainBoard Member

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  16. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Got it. That is an interesting plan. A lot of potential action, packed into a small area.
     
  17. Colonel

    Colonel Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    looking good keep posting progress
     
  18. jasonboche

    jasonboche TrainBoard Member

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    Update. My schedule has been real busy but I've managed to chip away at the new shelf benchwork just about every night.

    Tonight was a mini milestone as I completed the last benchwork frame seen below on the left spanning the window with the green level on it. All of the frames are still floating at this point and none are secured to the surrounding walls or brackets yet. Studs around the room are standard 16" on center but you might note in the picture below I removed two of the vertical 1 x 4s and instead anchored two the 19" brackets directly to the sheetrock and the studs behind them. The reason for this is that I found out the wall actually bows out pushing the benchwork outward. In a small 11 x 10 space, measurements and the track plan is real tight with no room for error so I can't have that. The easy fix was to remove the 1 x 4s which compensated for removing the effective outward bow. Now that section of benchwork is straight for its 10 feet run along the wall corner to corner. This shouldn't be too much of a problem in the future for installing the backdrop and valance above. Who knows, maybe even an upper deck some day. Another note on benchwork, I've switched the type of wood I'm using and the store I'm purchasing it from. My last layout was built with inexpensive 1 x 4 "strips" from one of the big home stores. I used the same type of wood from the same store for the N&W Abbingdon Branch benchwork last month. In hindsight, I feel the quality of that wood isn't good enough for a smaller train room where tolerances feel much tighter. Warpage, bowing, twisting, bad cuts of wood seems to be much more pronounced in tighter spaces. So I've switched to a competing home store in the area which offers three different quality bands of dimensional pine lumber: standard, quality, and select which equates respectively to good, better, best. I'm going middle of the road with quality. The wood seems generally better but I still have to be picky and sort through boards I know will just lead to trouble if I try to use them.
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    Panning counter clockwise, those three white cabinets on wheels are full of trains. Yes, after 8 Minnesota winters in the garage, the trains have found their proper new home once again in a train room. I'm pretty happy about that. There's still quite a few more locomotives and rolling stock back up in the garage in boxes awaiting assembly but I think it's time to start thinning out what I have given the smaller layout.
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    Panning further left. The entrance to the train room, lift out or drop down section, and the closet. Laser level lower left. I can't say enough good things about that item. It beats the pants off trying to take measurements up from a thick carpet and uneven floor. Every piece of benchwork that was installed was level right out of the gate.
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    To close, how about a throwback photo from my 1st/previous layout in my old home, the Bloomington Southern. Flat as can be.
    [​IMG]
     
    dalebaker likes this.
  19. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Any more pictures of your previous layout?
     
  20. jasonboche

    jasonboche TrainBoard Member

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    Yes quite a few in my signature.
     

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