Red Rock Northern HO scale layout

jasonboche Mar 3, 2016

  1. Steve S

    Steve S TrainBoard Member

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    One of the big challenges is that the track along the left and top walls has to be elevated to cross over the lower tracks. But the way it's drawn, those lower tracks and buildings are butted right up against that elevated track, which means you're going to need a sheer vertical cliff or retaining wall along those two walls (see pic below.) That could look a bit awkward. You could redraw the yard to take advantage of that open space along the front edge, and maybe ditch the roundhouse/turntable for a small engine house.

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    Steve S
     
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  2. jasonboche

    jasonboche TrainBoard Member

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    You read my mind. I already have plans to eliminate the roundhouse (not my era) and I wanted to try to use that open space to shift the yard. I share the concerns about the hidden staging legs. I do like how the author incorporated them into daily operations for interchange, but they are a challenge. One of the constraints built into the drawing is that the top staging leg at one point has a railhead to railhead rise of 3 inches (lower is at 1/2", upper is at 3 1/2"). I'm using 3/4" subroadbed. That leaves me with an clearance of less than 2 1/4". Probably not good for modern trains. I've often thought about just eliminating the staging tracks completely but that cuts a few responsibilities from each op session making them a little less exciting.

    Every track plan I've looked at for an 11 x 10 space has challenges. It's the nature of having a smaller train room.
     
  3. jasonboche

    jasonboche TrainBoard Member

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    Benchwork 2.0 coming along. Painted/sealed by me - no help from the monkeys this time. 90% level and secured to the supporting brackets and screwed into the wall studs. The remaining 10% which is not level is due to minor imperfections with the benchwork lumber which I'll be able to compensate with small risers. My kids sure love going to the lumber store with me. Tonight we picked up the Masonite for the backdrop and had it ripped into 16" x 8' pieces.
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    All that remains of benchwork 1.0 for the N&W Abbingdon branch. Possibly one of the shortest tenured HO scale layouts in the history of model railroading. :)
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    My son is in for a surprise the next time he comes to the club with me. I replaced the decoder in his Conrail GP35 with a sound decoder last weekend. He doesn't know yet. It's the first sound locomotive in our household and it's not even mine. Spent over 3 hours on it due to running into problems fitting the shell on, ripping the tiny wires off the capacitor, soldering, etc. He's worth it. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
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  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    At least you can salvage some of the lumber.

    Hope to see a video of the GP35 surprise. That could be interesting.
     
  5. jasonboche

    jasonboche TrainBoard Member

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    Brief update.

    I've been working on the layout in small increments just about every night. Working on this layout is a lot slower and more putzy than I remember on my last layout. Part of that is due to the fact that I didn't have two kids with homework and sports every night of the week; I used to have several hours per day and most of the weekend to work at it. My last layout was all flat and this one has varying heights with cookie cutter pieces that must meet perfectly so one of my challenges aside from lateral planning is vertical planning. As you can see below cookie cutting has begun. I mocked up subroadbed heights here and so you can see Granite Creek 1/2" higher than Red Rock. You can also see the box car on a section that will be up 4" and the DM&E hopper sits directly underneath in Granite Creek hidden staging.
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    A case of Atlas flex track, 34 Peco turnouts, and 100 pieces of cork roadbed arrived. I've started transferring the track plan to the subroadbed (this is a long and calculated process) and I began laying cork roadbed using gray DAP Dynaflex 230. I'm told the color doesn't matter. On my last layout I used yellow Elmers wood glue to attach cork subroadbed to 2" extruded foam. The DAP is pretty easy to work with and cleans up with water. There may be some preliminary rails on the layout within a week.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Slow but steady progress beats none at all. I should take a lesson here myself, and get busy with some modules.... :(
     
  7. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Member

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    Nice benchwork Jason. I really enjoy the fact you have your children involved. Great stuff! Good luck with the new layout, it will be fun to follow your progress. Michael

    Edit: One thought on your corners, if you can cove them (where it works), your lighting will enhance the layout rather than cast shadows from the hard corners. M
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016
  8. jasonboche

    jasonboche TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you for the comments. The currently lighting is terrible for a model railroad. My plan is to build a valence over the top of the layout with LED tape lighting underneath. This should provide better, brighter, and consistent lighting. I had a valance with fluorescent lighting hanging over my last layout from the ceiling and it really makes the layout pop. One day there may be an upper deck to this layout.
     
  9. jasonboche

    jasonboche TrainBoard Member

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    Father son meet at the club last Sunday. New sound decoder installed in his Conrail locomotive. He was distracted by a layout visitor dancing around and waving his arms. I'm running the CP train but it's not mine. Someone gave it to me to run.


    Today is take your child to work day. I brought my 10 year old daughter. There were a lot of fun activities in the morning but after lunch I put her to work cutting out turnout templates. It looks like she's taking a short break.
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. jasonboche

    jasonboche TrainBoard Member

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    Tonight I tore out and reworked the most important curve on the layout. I didn't do a good job laying it the first time around with flex track and it was bothering me. I decided to use some sectional track I had instead for this curve so I can't possibly screw up the radius or cause unintended kinks or easements which won't fit and ultimately cause a tighter radius close by. It serves the mainline and two hidden staging tracks. In addition it is hidden itself so I don't want any problems with it once it's hidden and harder to work on. I'll tell you what... whoever came up with the idea to use latex caulk to lay roadbed and track is a genius. On my last layout I used glue which wasn't bad but caulk is noticeably easier and I think faster. It sets fast and probably the best part is I can pry track up easily with a drywall knife to rework sections as needed. I picked up 14 and 20 gauge solid wire a few days ago for bus and feeder drops which can start going in any time now. Does anything else below look familiar? :)
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    The two hidden staging tracks went in last week. You sort of make them out running along the perimeter of each backdrop to the left and to the right. I need to get the feeders in for those because they're about to get covered up by the upper level. I also laid some more mainline cork roadbed stemming from the hidden curve I reworked which will allow me to lay some more track tomorrow night and this weekend.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
  11. jasonboche

    jasonboche TrainBoard Member

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    Good progress this weekend. Mainline and siding roadbed deployed in Granite Creek.
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    Trackwork for that section is also assembled, soldered, and ready to be dropped in.
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    Over in the Red Rock yard, roadbed and track is in supporting the mainline, hidden staging interchange, along with the start of a spur supporting a few industries in Red Rock.
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    Last but not least, I put a spring back in a Peco turnout. That takes some skill and patience.
     
  12. Twist

    Twist TrainBoard Member

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    Your progress is looking very nice. Great work on the benchwork.

    Regards,Chris
     
  13. dalebaker

    dalebaker TrainBoard Member

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    Is that the Yardboss there? He looks highly engaged!
     
  14. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member

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    He has a hammer, so yea, prolly the Yard Master.....
     
  15. jasonboche

    jasonboche TrainBoard Member

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    May is by far our family's busiest month and this year was no exception. Suffice to say I didn't get a lot of time to work in the train room. However, I was afforded some time here and there and I got some key track work done. All turnouts are laid in the yard, recycled ground throws from my previous layout are installed, and the yard tracks are roughed in. Perhaps most important, the yard lead with the curved turnout is in. That was somewhat hair raising and it took me two attempts to get it right the way I wanted it, which involved cutting the curved Walthers/Shinohara turnout legs to a shorter length. I was bothered at first because the curved turnouts are expensive but I was pretty careful and took my time and got it right without destroying the turnout or having to start over. I spent a lot of time up front redesigning the yard and the result is I've got a much larger yard than the original track plan. It's not visible in the pictures but I've also been getting some feeders installed. I've got bus wires and all the tortoise switch machines unboxed and they can be installed at any time now. I was able to salvage quite a few items from my previous layout that will be used in this new layout which makes me pretty happy. The old layout is gone but will not be forgotten as several of its elements will be seen throughout the new layout.
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    The Walthers/Shinohara curved turnout lower left.
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  16. Twist

    Twist TrainBoard Member

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    Hi,
    That trackwork is looing great. Nice work on the trunout.

    Regards,Chris
     
  17. Paul Liddiard

    Paul Liddiard Staff Member

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    Those TBX cars look pretty good!

    Sent from my IdeaTab S6000-F using Tapatalk
     
  18. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    It's been a while since the last update. Wondering about how it is progressing!
     
  19. jasonboche

    jasonboche TrainBoard Member

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    [​IMG]

    You may not believe me if I told you how long this section has taken me to construct. Between the track work and elevation changes, this has taken a lot of planning, measuring, and cutting. For a few months I got stuck in a rut of analysis paralysis and let myself get distracted by other things in life to escape the complexity. But I've taken some time off work for the holidays and I'm tackling this sucker head on the past 2 weeks. I'm just about past the toughest parts so it's all starting to come together now. With any luck, I could have the double loop mainline operational by New Years as well as 90% of the remaining track work.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  20. jasonboche

    jasonboche TrainBoard Member

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    [​IMG]

    The train room has become a safe harbor for Christmas secrets. I just moved this display cabinet from my neighbor's garage across the street. My wife will be puzzling for weeks how I planned and executed this right under her nose.


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