Second Annual International Winter Layout Party

ppuinn Dec 13, 2009

  1. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

    Back by popular demand!
    The Moderators of the Layout Design Forum are proud to host:
    The Second Annual International Winter Layout Party

    Since the first one in Spring 2002, the Layout Parties have traditionally been hosted in the Layout Design Forum.
    Why International? Trainboard has members from over 75 countries around the world, so the Layout Party draws its participants from throughout the international community.
    Why Winter? Threads for the 6 Layout Parties held in the Spring had 180 to 240 posts. The 2009 Winter thread had more than twice as many posts…so we decided to arrange another Winter Layout Party. (If the Layout Design Forum moderators receive enough requests between mid-February and mid-March 2010, we will host a 2010 Spring Layout Party starting in Late-March 2010.)

    We know you're out there!
    Yeah, you… and you… and you with the potato chip hanging off your lip and the half drunk beverage sitting beside you. We know you're not working on your layout as much as you hoped to.
    You may have ideas for a new project that you always wanted to try but never got around to. Or there is a stack of kits on your workbench you’ve been meaning to start. Or you have a partially completed project that has been neglected for far too long. Or you have an almost-finished project that just needs some final fine-tuning and attention to complete.

    The purpose of the Layout Party is to provide recognition, encouragement, and support to all participants who are working on a layout project and inspiration to those following others’ progress in the thread. We hope to have a group of people who will post about the work completed on their layout at least once a week for 8 weeks. We will, of course, congratulate those who have worked on their layout, and encourage those who haven't.

    The kick-off date is Friday December 18th 2009, and the Layout Party will end on February 21, 2010, the 3rd Sunday in February.

    This Thread will be temporarily locked until
    the official start of the Layout Party on
    Friday, December 18th 2009

    Rules for The Second Annual International Winter Layout Party thread:

    1. In your first post, please include descriptions of:
    • your layout (brief),
    • the area of your layout that you intend to work on (“before” pictures, please…if available), and
    • a description of what you want to accomplish in the 8 weeks of the Layout Party (don't make it grandiose).
    2. At least once each week, post a brief description and/or pictures of your progress--or lack of progress, so far, and what you hope to accomplish in the next week.
    3. At the end of the Layout Party, post a description and/or picture(s) of your accomplishments.

    FWIW: Some observations and suggestions:
    • Life Happens. By joining this group, you are already acknowledging that you haven't worked on the layout as much as you know you should have or could have. The idea here is for us to have some fun and act as an electronic support group so we can each get more done on our layouts.
    • Make a firm commitment to post at least once each week about progress on your layout project.
    • If you fall off the Layout Project Work Wagon, acknowledge it by reporting it honestly.
    • Then climb back on the Layout Project Work Wagon. Declaring exactly what you plan to work on during the next week will help you get back on the Layout Party Work Wagon.
    • When we have others coming over to see our layouts, we tend to get more done because we plan and prepare better, and then actually follow through so we have something to show our visitors and can garner some strokes for all our efforts. Posting in the Annual Layout Party works in much the same way…we plan, prepare, and follow through a little better when we know someone will be seeing our progress.
    • If you encounter difficulties on the layout project, remember that the other participants and all the Trainboard members following the Layout Party thread can be a resource for encouragement and problem-solving.
    • If you have any problems posting pics, let us know so we can do appropriate problem-solving.
    Many participants have enjoyed this format and have commented that they accomplished more work on their layout in the short time we ran a Layout Party thread than they had in long time. Many members posted pictures, asked questions, moaned about problems, and encouraged others who were working through their frustrations. Check out these links to our past layout parties.

    2009 - First Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2008 - Spring Layout Party
    Sixth Annual International Spring Layout Party -

    2007 - Spring Layout Party
    Fifth Annual International Spring Layout Party -

    2005 – Spring Layout Party

    2004 – Spring Layout Party

    2003 – Spring Layout Party

    2002 – Spring Layout party
  2. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

    The Second Annual Internation Winter Layout Party is officially underway!
  3. pastoolio

    pastoolio TrainBoard Member

    WooHoo! Got all tomorrow to myself, so I'll be contributing soon!

  4. pachyderm217

    pachyderm217 TrainBoard Member

    Well, here's my plan.

    Here's my current track plan:


    I like my sector table, but it's in a marginal location. It restricts access to the water softener which needs regular feeding. So it's going to move from the right side of the layout to the left side.

    These are the existing conditions at Burt where the new sector table approach will appear.


    Some readers may recall how I built these scenes at Burt during last year's winter layout party. No worries - I plan to salvage and reuse them both.

    Here's the plan for routing a new sector table approach at Burt.


    The new siding shown here will connect to the sector table off the left edge of the photo. I need to do some bridge design here to route the new track under the existing main.

    More after the jump...
  5. pachyderm217

    pachyderm217 TrainBoard Member

    My plans, continued

    Here's an oblique view of Burt.


    The white stringline represents the outer edge of the new sector table location. Here's a rendering showing the proposed sector table and the new approach.


    I'm still debating whether to leave the coal tipple in its current location or to move it. Got some ideas but those can wait till later for a decision.

    The existing sector table site looks like this.


    Once cleared, this site can be redeveloped as shown here.


    This will give the desired access to the water softener barely visible at lower right. Further, it gives me another location for a railroad customer. The coal tipple at Burt may end up here, or perhaps the propane dealer.

    I've got some other projects I might have time for, but right now it's probably best not to over-commit.
  6. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

    My goals for WLP 2009 involve extensive work on the Emerson, GA scene of my N-scale CSX Dixie Line layout:
    • Replace temporary turnout controls with permanent ones mounted in the fascia.
    • Frame out the supports needed for the I-75 underpass.
    • Install hardshell terrain (cardboard web + plaster cloth + paint + texture) on the ENTIRE scene.
    • Prime & paint fascia.
    • EXTRA CREDIT: Paint tree line and distant hills on the backdrop.
    An aggressive eight week agenda for sure, but sometimes you gotta go for it! :) When completed, these tasks will result in an extreme transformation in the Emerson, GA scene. Here is a "BEFORE" picture of this section of the layout as it exists today:


  7. Gats

    Gats TrainBoard Member

    About time Dave!

    Ok, I won't be contributing for a couple of weeks but looking forward to the progress being made by others. What are you up to Mike?

    Todd, I really like your layout and the modifications look interesting. Looking forward to seeing how you interface it all.

    Jamie, I'm really interested in the underpass.
  8. Wolfgang Dudler

    Wolfgang Dudler Passed away August 25, 2012 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

    I have a few projects. The first is my small fiddle yard Fiddletown.


    It's finished when there's some basic scenery like painted tracks and ballast. Now I'm building turnouts. How to build your own turnout -
    Like you see I've made paper templates with AutoCAD. This makes turnout building faster.

  9. madleech

    madleech TrainBoard Member

    My plan

    I'm looking forward to joining too. I'm starting my second layout as #1 just isn't big enough any more. My goals for the 8 weeks are:

    • Complete the track plan
    • Start building benchwork
    • Lay first bits of track (depending on how I go)

    Before shots: an empty room :)
    The blue lines show approximately where the new layout will go.

    I've been playing around with track plans for a few weeks now and have come up with this:

    It still needs some work, I'll make a new thread for this. It is freelanced, based on places I've been to in the US. I plan to have a snowy section, some canyons, a river, conifer forest, some desert scenery, a small section of Flagstaff, AZ, and a small bit of Helper, UT.

    I'll be away early Jan on holiday, but the rest of the time I hope to make good progress. Looking forward to the party :)
  10. Bruce-in-MA

    Bruce-in-MA TrainBoard Member

    The Belmar Valley Makeover Continues

    In the fall of 2008, I decided to rip up the scenery and specific areas of track (yard & reversing loop) and do them over utilizing new ideas, methods, etc., that I have picked up since I first built the layout in 2003. Progress can be seen at this topic:

    The Belmar Valley Makeover -

    Since the makeover started, a lot of work has occurred. But alas, a slowdown hit last spring and everything was at a standstill by summer. Maybe it was due to burnout, or maybe I simply became overcome by the call of the warm outdoors.

    Now it’s time to get restarted. Here’s a ‘before’ picture and a description of the work I’d like to accomplish in this scene:


    1. Install and scenic a tunnel portal.
    2. Finish scenery details in the area behind where the bridge will be placed.
    3. Install the bridge. (Finish weathering, fabricate two center piers and two abutments, install ME code 70 bridge track, install guardrails in the bridge track.)

    After this, I should be able to hook up the power pack and run trains!

    NOTE: Not sure I'll get much progress over the next couple of weeks due to the holidays. I'll likely start things after January 1st.
  11. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman TrainBoard Member

    What to Do?

    I have to decide what to do. There is plenty to choose from, that's for sure!
  12. jhn_plsn

    jhn_plsn TrainBoard Supporter

    Thank you for starting this again as its always great content. I am off work for a week during this party so I hope to make great strides on my layout.

    For my layout;
    • Finalize and build the structures for the Victorville side of the layout.
    • Add scenery to the Victorville side of the layout.
    • Build and detail the service tracks in Colton.
    • Remove a siding and realign some others for less reaching over structures for turnout controls and uncoulping.
    • Fine tune all my turnouts for optimal running.
    • Build a 16" curved ballasted deck bridge for the Victorville area.
    • Replace some of my roof walk equiped cars with cars more apropriate for the 1970's.
    • Have RailOp fully functional and replace the car card holders on the facia with slots for the switch lists.
    • Super datail a car or two.
    • Obtain a two camera set up to monitor my hidden staging.
    For the Inland Pacific freemo club;
    • Build a module.
    • Learn, learn, learn.
    I know its not very specific and it is not prioritized on purpose, but we will see.
    I would post photos now but I have only old shots so will do before and after in the progress posts.

    The challenge is on.:tb-biggrin:
  13. pastoolio

    pastoolio TrainBoard Member

    After 2 and a half years of building my layout, I figure it's time for some scenery, and hopefully this party will help get me going and get some added to the Owens Valley Sub.
    The area I've started working in is the Walker River Canyon. Goals for the next 8 weeks are:

    • Paint next piece of facia and fill/sand/touch up paint the seams
    • finish installing cardboard strips
    • cover all cardboard strips with plaster gauze
    • install some rock molds
    • paint and ballast track
    • install tunnel liners and portals
    • add photo backdrop pictures (taken back in May of the area)
    • add first layers of scenery (sculptamold, paint and ground foam)
    • make and plant lots 'o trees
    My bonus will be trying to make the Walker River, which makes me a little nervous.

    Here is the area as it sits this morning:


    The planned working area is from the turnout north to staging (through the far tunnel)


    So far, I have put down some 2" wide masking tape over this area to see how it will look. There are a few areas I want to fix, but for the most part, it's ready to have the plaster gauze put down.


    Hopefully I can get most (or all!) of this stuff done! :)

  14. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    Grey and Grandure V

    Yes, the fifth version. With any luck the last. Laura and I have focused on us and kinda ignored the layout. About two weeks ago I took all, (except for the yard) of the track off of the layout and with her help neatly put it away. Since then I have doodled, re-doodled and just plain sketched ideas. Each one started as an oval and quickly expanded in far to many ways.

    I got off the phone with Laura about 2 hours ago. She made it clear: Just get the trains running, add scenery, and - then, maybe expand. Hmmm, sounds like a plan. A nice practical approach.
    Simplistic Diagram of the G&G V:
    Intent for the layout party:

    1. Get two 4x8 sheets of 1/2" blue foam (delivered)
    2. Resurface entire area with blue foam creating a smooth base
    3. Paint it tan
    4. Lay the track dropping wires for future 3 train operation
    5. Run trains
    6. When running smoothly do snoopy dance.
    City Building Phase:

    1. 1st Building: 4" cube using blue foam as starting point
    2. 2nd Building: Two of "1st building" - stacked and further detailed
    3. 3rd Building: As 2nd building but raised
    Pause and review
    Decide if I want to:

    • Continue with structures - probably
    • Add elevated passenger line through city - maybe or just a little
    • Extend the layout around the room- not likely
    Pics to follow arrival of blue foam which should be soon.
  15. pachyderm217

    pachyderm217 TrainBoard Member

    Progress underway

    Poked around in the man cave a little today. Got the base fabricated and installed for the sector table.


    A handsaw made the earthwork progress pretty quickly.


    Looks like the clearance will restrict my bridge options. Could do a plate through-girder, a through truss, or a wood trestle. Any suggestions?


    I'm debating about the road alignment. I could leave it alone and line both sides with dense trees. Or, I could run it parallel to the track in the new cut.


    I'm waiting on a few curved turnouts to arrive from Brooklyn Locomotive Works before I can go much further with this job.
  16. virgule

    virgule TrainBoard Member

    My humble entry

    This will be a two-fold party: finish prepping the ground for my engine servicing area and makeover the bridge pass for proper eye candy.

    Part 1: Just north of the bridge pass.
    The bridge pass need some love. Just look at the pictures and you'll see what I mean. My plan is to trim WS rock moulds and insert them where it's ugly. It will look good and convincing once Im done! At least, that's the plan...

    Part 2: Finish the ground-level work preparations for the engine facilities area.
    The engine facility area as it stands actual. It's very pink. I want to finish covering the pink stuff with ground details like earth and soil WS stuffs so that the engine facilities will be ready to built and install. This include finish laying tracks including the programming one (this is what the #5 turnout will lead to) ballasting and weathering all rails therein, making/buying man "pits" (you know, like a trench people get down into to check under the engines. I miss the name for that) and, finally, start building the two-stall engine shed from scratch. This will be quite the endeavour since I have no clue where to start. Here is what it look like so far:
  17. jdetray

    jdetray TrainBoard Member

    A New Home for My Railroad

    My N-scale Cheshire Rail is based on the Cheshire Railroad, which once served parts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The original Cheshire Railroad was chartered in 1844. It merged into the Fitchburg Railroad in 1890, becoming the Cheshire Branch. In the real world, the New Hampshire and Vermont portions of the line were abandoned in 1970, while the Massachusetts section persisted until 1984.

    I’m modeling a small portion of the Cheshire Branch that served the Troy and Keene, New Hampshire, area. I lived in Troy for many years, hence my interest in the area. I’m departing from reality by assuming that the Cheshire Branch was still carrying freight into the 1970’s and calling itself Cheshire Rail. In my scenario, Cheshire Rail remains a part of the B&M/Guilford system – and interchanges with it – so one might expect to see B&M rolling stock and motive power on the C.R.

    The track plan is based on that of John Allen's G&D, but I've altered the proportions to broaden the curves, and I have also modified the branch line. The layout measures 32x48 inches.

    I started construction in my garage last spring and made decent progress. But with the arrival of cold weather here in Ohio, it's just too chilly to continue in the garage. So my goal for the WLP is to get the layout moved into my indoor hobby room/office. This requires clearing much accumulated junk from the office to make a suitable space available. This process has already begun.

    Here is where the layout will end up.

    I've already cleared out a lot of stuff and even managed to empty the 4-drawer file cabinet on the left, which will be moved out of the room.

    At present, the layout is in two pieces. The legs and support structure are sitting on end in our living room.

    The layout and benchwoork are in my wife's sewing room.

    My understanding and supportive spouse is re-doing her sewing room at the same time I am preparing my office for the layout, so our house is littered with temporarily located pieces of our respective hobbies. Getting the model railroad layout into my office will go a long way toward returning our house to normal.

    When the two portions of the layout are re-assembled in my office, the top will be joined to the supporting structure by hinges, as they were in the garage.

    Although I'd like to think I can get the layout into my office AND make some further progress on it during the Layout Party, just getting it into the office and running some trains will be enough of a goal. Anything else will be a bonus.

    - Jeff
  18. DiezMon

    DiezMon TrainBoard Supporter

    For my shelf layout:
    • Finish wiring, and install a programming track/switch
    • Finish scenery detail of the west end, switching areas.
    • finish, and install, town structures.
    • start east end scenery.

    I don't have much spare time these days, but I did manage to finish a lot on the last layout party... so let's go! :)
  19. train1

    train1 TrainBoard Supporter

    I will also be working on my shelf layout which I haven't been concentrating on lately.

    My goals will be simple, as not to bite off more than I can chew.
    I hope to :
    - Install a background
    - Do some Ballasting
    - Work on some detailing
    Here's a shot of where I was when last I posted


    Fortunately, I will enjoy a week off after New Years which may allow me to give an extra push. Any other posted accomplishments will be an added bonus.

    Good Luck to all participants in the party !
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2009
  20. DiezMon

    DiezMon TrainBoard Supporter

    I never really liked how this dirt crossing turned out. I've always meant to replace it..

    I made a template so I could get the size right. I cut the strips from a sheet of northeastern scale lumber sheet. I applied them to double sided tape. Then after scraping away the original ballast, I Test fit...

    Some dark wash applied.

    After some more ballast and grass applied, I dusted the crossing a bit with some colored grout.

    waddya think guys, does it look ok?

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