Work Begins on the HO Railroad That Grows

NorthernJerseyRR Mar 27, 2021

  1. NorthernJerseyRR

    NorthernJerseyRR TrainBoard Member

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    I finally got my train set, track, cork bed, and ballast so I began the "bench work" for the HO Railroad That Grows layout I’ll be replicating in N scale.

    Since I’m completely new to this, I was surprised at how long just building the table took (then again, any project I undertake seems to take about twice as long as I think it will). Of course, since I’m also filming the building of the layout that does take time, but just building the table and putting the foam in place was much more time intensive than I expected.

    Here are a couple of pictures of build in progress. Not very exciting or impressive, but you gotta start somewhere. The last photo shows the simple plan I'll be following for the first stage of the build to hone my skills. You can also see on the foam I laid out the 1 ft x 1 ft squares, but I scaled them down to N size, so they're all 6.5" x 6.5". That way I'll be able to follow the book's plan faithfully, laying out the track, roads, and scenery in the same way.

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  2. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Very nice, saw your comment on my channel about you building yours. I wish I would have had those things to square up the second one I made. It was a pain. And as far as time building them, or yours, I am with you on taking more time than I thought it would. I worked all afternoon on the second base :)

    Good luck! If you uploaded a video, did you make it Public? Cause I don't see it.
     
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  3. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Excellent! These are the kind of threads to which nobody objects, at least the vast, vast majority.

    I look forward to seeing your mini "HO Railroad That Grows" progress.

    Doug
     
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  4. NorthernJerseyRR

    NorthernJerseyRR TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks, and no, not yet on uploading the video. Me and video editing have a hate-hate relationship so I typically procrastinate a bit before editing a video.

    Cheers,
    Rich
     
  5. NorthernJerseyRR

    NorthernJerseyRR TrainBoard Member

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    Finally got around to posting my first video. Hopefully they come out more regularly going forward as the build progresses.

     
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  6. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks. Pretty Fancy Schmanzy layout framework - oak!

    :D

    Doug
     
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  7. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    Nice video. Thanks for posting.
    Those are nice looking corner clamps. Where did you get them?
     
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  8. NorthernJerseyRR

    NorthernJerseyRR TrainBoard Member

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    Bah! Nothing but the best for this layout! lol

    Cheers,
    Rich
     
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  9. NorthernJerseyRR

    NorthernJerseyRR TrainBoard Member

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  10. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for the hint. I keep forgetting about that place and getting there would be fun.
    That is a nice looking way to put it together. Even if it were pine. (y)
     
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  11. NorthernJerseyRR

    NorthernJerseyRR TrainBoard Member

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    I was recently introduced to the wonderful world of XTrackCAD. Oh my! What an awesome program for laying out track.

    I had wondered how I was going to layout my rail and figured a close approximation based on the scale drawing in the book would suffice, bu XTrackCAD made it very easy to transpose that plan to the computer and print out the footprint to lay on my table. The learn curve wasn't nearly as steep as I had expected and now I'm ready to mark out the plan on the table.

    Cheers,
    Rich

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  12. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Wish I still had my copy of this book. It was inspiring years ago, and still of much interest for me today. Glad to see someone using it!
     
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  13. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Member

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    Great video Rich. I like your use of repurposed materials.
    I look forward to watching your layout progress.

    Thanks for taking the time to make the video.
    John
     
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  14. sd90ns

    sd90ns TrainBoard Member

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    I remember way, way back when a friend and his father built this layout exactly as it appears in the book including that solder together mine kit which when painted looked a lot better than one would have expected.

    Good luck with your build and take lots of pictures.
     
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  15. NorthernJerseyRR

    NorthernJerseyRR TrainBoard Member

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    While at times I felt like I was a plate-spinner trying to keep all my plates spinning before any fell -- and 1,000 push pins later -- I got my roadbed and track laid. After going back and looking at other YouTube videos, I see where I could have definitely done some things differently, if not better. But I think it's all laid correctly (for the most part). I pushed a railcar around the track and it didn't derail, so that's hopeful, but now to wire it for power.

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  16. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    :LOL: It took a little while for this old brain to realize what you were talking about. But, it did it. ;)
    Thanks for posting the progress. What brand of track are you using?
     
  17. NorthernJerseyRR

    NorthernJerseyRR TrainBoard Member

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    I'm a master of confusion. I'm using Atlas Code 80 flextrack, though there's one short section of 5" Atlas snap track in there too. That's only because math is not my strong suit.

    I had assumed the track was the same length as the roadbed, so it took me 3+ pieces of roadbed to do the layout so I prepped 3 sections of track to lay on top of it, and rather than cut a full length of a 4th section, I figured I'd use the small snap track I had on had to fill in the gap. It was only as I was actually installing the track did I suddenly realize that I really needed a fourth section of track, and a relatively large piece at that (note to self: prep all your track ahead of time so if you do need more it's readily available and you're not scrambling around at the last minute to prep another piece).

    So had I realized that at the start, I would've just used all flextrack, but as it is, it seems to all fit and work fine. At least till my next worry point of wiring it up for power. :)
     
  18. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Flex track is in my choices for N scale with DC. The HO scale layout will come later but will have to be simpler and it will be DCC. I have two small steamers and a controller. Along with cars. But only one DC N scale engine similar to the ones I see on the real tracks around here. I believe a SW1200. And now limited space.
    See ya later.
    Rich
     
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  19. NorthernJerseyRR

    NorthernJerseyRR TrainBoard Member

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    I finally got my loco running today. My first attempt at laying track that I pictured previously was actually quite poor and I wasn't happy with it at all so I ripped it all up and started from scratch. I resoldered every joint and this time, instead of gluing the track down with caulk, I nailed it.

    Of course, because I had used T-pins to hold the track in place and used the nail holes to do it, the T-pins are slightly larger than the nails so it made the holes larger. I ended up going back and using one of those precision hand drills I redrilled almost every hole on the track. But the track is now down and secure and the train runs around it pulling its passenger cars without a hitch.

    I also went around and super glued sleepers under the rails where I joined the track together and had cut away the ties to let the rail joiners fit. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out (finally!) and am looking forward to ballasting the track and getting to the scenery.

    The picture is not much, but it's a screen cap of the train pulling its cars around the track. I let it run for 10 minutes to see if any problems developed and none did. So I'm feeling excited!

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  20. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Good deal!

    Doug
     
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