Silicon Valley Free-Mo-N Passenger Station Module

RBrodzinsky Jul 20, 2013

  1. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    [PLEASE NOTE - Due to the change in Trainboard software, most of the image links in this thread were broken. Please visit the RailImages media for me, to see the photos -- Rick]

    Mark Watson and MC Fujiwara did a very bad thing for me! They got me hooked on the idea of building a module (or modules) to be part of the Silicon Valley Free-Mo-N group. I have helped at a couple shows the past year or so, and always get to run some of my trains, but, really wanted to contribute to layout.

    The great thing about the Free-MoN standards are that they allow everyone to focus on what they do best, and we can create some really cool and large layouts. A number of us love our long named passenger consists, as well as modern commuters, but while some modules have small depots, there wasn't anywhere for a long (7 to 8 foot; or close to 1000 scale foot) consist to pull in, let alone two. And, while we are running these, there are also very long (30, 40, 60, ...) car freight running on these layouts (and they all look GREAT). So, not to start off meekly, I decided to create a passenger station module that could really contain these old consists.

    MC and I discussed this off and on over the past year, and I came up with the following design (please note, my AnyRail jpeg here is only "concept", all the track actually does reach the end plates, at the middle, and is perpendicular, per standard)

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    This is made of 3 4-foot sections, each with a 15 degree angle, resulting in an approx 12 foot module with a 45 degree turn in all. If one were to make a smooth curve from one end to the other, this is a 183" radius curve. The two ends are 18 inches for connecting up with other modules, but expand to 24 inches in the central portion of the module.

    One trick the group has learned is to pair sections for transport. By attaching traveling panels to the end plates, you can conveniently store and carry two at a time (you connect them with scenery sides facing each other). You can see I have 3 sections above, so there is a fourth, stand alone, module which matches the center section dimensionally. It is a desert scene (when completed).
     
    Mark Watson likes this.
  2. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    One of the keys to building a successful station module was to have a station that was appropriate and realistic enough, while also fitting into the space. I was really please to see Kato / Faller come out with a modern commuter station just recently, as it meets the requirements perfectly. It is represented in my layout as the darker blue rectangles, and the light blue are platform extensions I will build. Here are some photos of the station as constructed (with lighting)

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  3. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Starting the modules

    OK - first, while all these posts are going up at once, the progress I now show has taken me about 2 months in elapsed time! Unlike MC, I can't do everything in 48 hours straight! ;) Besides, there was a college graduation and travel, work, etc.

    For those of you who follow my JACALAR build thread, way back at the beginning I mention that I had a family friend help me with the benchwork, since I am(was) not very handy with power tools and wood work. Well, I decided I could do it, so undertook building these modules myself!

    First off were the legs. Sounds weird, but you need the removable legs, they were easy, and I needed something to start the process where I wouldn't frustrate myself. So, out came the tools

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    and I got the lumber for the legs all cut

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  4. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Next up, was cutting the 3/4" birch-ply end plates for each section. I also got a 1x4 with the appropriate 7.5 deg angle on each end, so I could start getting an idea on actual size and angles needed for the sides.

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  5. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Here's all the end plates completed

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  6. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Next up was to construct the "open box" frames for each end of the sections. Rather than building full frames (which add weight), an open frame is used, with the foam and MDF fascia "finishing" the sections. This creates a strong but reasonably weighted module (as the group says, if you build something, but can't get it to a show, it doesn't exist).

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    The end plates are 6 inches high, but the 1/2" birch-ply used on the other three sides is only 4 inches. This leaves room for 2 inch foam.

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    You can see the holes cut in the interior sides, which allow the wiring to have pass-through. Also creates hand holds.
     
  7. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Here are the "completed" boxes for all four sections (the three section station module, and the one section desert module) laid out to plan

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  8. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Next up was cutting the foam to size, and attaching to the boxes. Here we see all four sections of foam, with the first set of boxes attached for the desert module. This really looks like some form of weird aircraft wing to me!

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    It was at this point that I realized it would behoove me to add some smaller slots into the end plates, both for hand holds and also for wires as necessary. Some of the group's has them, others pass the wires between modules under the plates.
     
  9. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    But, first, I completed that first section (which is the desert module). Ta Da!

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    Rail height is 50 inches, so those legs are tall, with levelers at the feet. The sides are MDF, with a couple pieces laminated together across the central portion of each side, to add stiffness (but not significant weight).
     
  10. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Took about another week to get each section glued together (only have enough clamps to do one at a time), but finished them all last weekend. Here's a photo I call "Section Peaks"

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    At this point, I was ready to start putting the wiring on the sections (no track, but hey, these are easily moved, can be turned upside down, no under bench back killing work!) Here, along with Pink Panther images, is the wiring on all four (completed yesterday)

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    Anderson PowerPole connectors on each end, red/black wires are DCC bus, white/green are the accessory bus, plus 6-wire flat for LocoNet/NCE control wiring (UTP panels are not installed yet, but holes in sides cut).
     
  11. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    With all four sections now ready, it was time to attach the legs. Here they are on the grass (hence nothing aligning)

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    You can see the UTP panel hole in this shot.
     
  12. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    and then.... clamped together, leveled, on the deck (which isn't the greatest flat surface, in itself)

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    the desert module in front and down on grass

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    I thought that would be "it" for the day, it was late, hot and getting near dinner, but...
     
  13. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    The lighting on that station building looks nice. Was it added? Or from the factory?
     
  14. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    ...I had to put some cork and track out, along with the station and some other buildings, just to "see" (during all this work, I haven't been able to run the JACALAR, as the limited floor space has been taken up by lumber / foam / tools / etc)

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    This brings us "up to date", and I will post progress photos as it occurs. Now, to start the track laying, and get to the scenery!
     
  15. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    The station comes with cutouts for SMD LEDs, but they are not included. There are 28 of them! I used micro-incandescent LEDs from Ngineering for the main building, and used the super-white, which look like fluorescents, in the small building on for "across" the tracks.
     
  16. elbaldwino

    elbaldwino TrainBoard Member

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    That looks awesome! I'm excited to see the final product!
     
  17. Primavw

    Primavw TrainBoard Member

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    Nice work! Once again, I am jealous that there are no local Free-moN clubs around here.
     
  18. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    tell me about it....I don't think that there are enough N Scalers in AZ to build a decent layout
     
  19. jhn_plsn

    jhn_plsn TrainBoard Supporter

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    Looking good Rick. Keep us posted.

    Are you clamping it all together or bolting the center section in as it will always be joined with the outer sections?
     
  20. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    Not quite true.......
     

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