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ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
2/1/20 12:35 p.m.

Ok, thanks to the scale train sets and grassroots railroadsports threads, I've gone down a rabbit hole.

I tried to build a model railroad when I was a kid but it's an expensive hobby and hard to do on a paper route budget. Thanks to Appleseed, Kazoospec, NickD and all you other enablers, I'm trying again.

I don't have the time, budget or inclination to build something that takes up an entire basement but I do have a closet full of junk that I could give up. so, I started cleaning.

Empty closet:

The closet is 2' deep by 4' wide. Should be enough room to build something that won't get out of control.

Added a light I wasn't using and some shelves made out of some leftover 3/4" plywood I had kicking around. The layout shelf is at 46" high and the lower shelf is 30" high so it makes for a little work bench too.

Primed and painted a backdrop. Just something neutral, blue sky with clouds. I got to channel my inner Bob Ross.

I'm building some narrow shelves in the shop that will trim out the upper edge of the backdrop and give me a place to display some old Lionel HO gauge stuff I've had since I was a kid.

More later.

 

 

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
2/1/20 12:42 p.m.

Following with interest! Love the idea.

 

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
2/1/20 12:52 p.m.

I will be following along. I too have gotten the bug because of those same two threads. I have only gotten as far as digging out my old train stuff from when I was a kid and thinking about what I may want to build.

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
2/1/20 2:07 p.m.

That is a pretty great idea!

NickD
NickD PowerDork
2/1/20 4:01 p.m.

Uhhhh, whoops.

Just curious, have you considered N-scale? It's pretty small, so you can do a lot with N-scale in a very small space.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
2/1/20 4:18 p.m.

In reply to ShawnG :

This is a very cool idea.

I also have some old Lionel HO gauge stuff. Whenever I tell someone about it, they insist that Lionel never sold HO gauge trains.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
2/1/20 4:22 p.m.

Is 4’ enough run that you could build a 2 level layout?

You could do a mountain scene on 1 level, and a cityscape on the other level (or other ideas), with drawers underneath to store all the trains and parts.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
2/1/20 4:28 p.m.
NickD said:

Uhhhh, whoops.

Just curious, have you considered N-scale? It's pretty small, so you can do a lot with N-scale in a very small space.

I think that's the scale he's got/getting. You can do a ton in 8 square feet.  

Woody
Woody MegaDork
2/1/20 5:13 p.m.

In reply to ShawnG :

Just to clarify...Are you building an N-gauge layout up top and then displaying the Lionel HO stuff on the shelf below it?

kazoospec
kazoospec UberDork
2/1/20 7:36 p.m.

In a strange way, I worked a bit on my layout today, too.  My son and I went over to the neighboring city to take some pics and video of a section of track he wants to model on our layout (after explaining to the man at the transportation center desk, who looked remarkably like John Candy BTW, that we weren't Al Qaeda, just working on a model railroad).   I also got some more cleanup done in the storage room to get it ready for benchwork.  I suspect we'll end up lagging behind you, but this looks like a great start!

Robbie
Robbie MegaDork
2/1/20 7:45 p.m.
SVreX said:

Is 4’ enough run that you could build a 2 level layout?

You could do a mountain scene on 1 level, and a cityscape on the other level (or other ideas), with drawers underneath to store all the trains and parts.

Totally. Do the same scene, but daytime up top and nighttime below. 

#mindsblown

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
2/1/20 7:53 p.m.

Ok, I typed the opening post when I was in a bit of a hurry so:

Yes, I'm doing an N-scale layout.

Yes, Lionel made HO scale stuff in the early 1980s, it was rebranded Tyco stuff an not much more than "toy train" quality. I've kept mine for sentimental value.

No, the display stuff will not be on the bottom. You can see where the blue sky backdrop ends at the top, there will be narrow, white display shelves there for my HO rolling stock. The shelf below is storage and workspace.

This will be a 2-level layout but not the way you're thinking. going to keep it a secret for now.

Never thought people would want to watch a grown man play with trains. Thanks guys!

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
2/1/20 8:03 p.m.

On the subject of grown men playing with trains, this might be a good time to mention this book that I'm sure all of you have read, but just in case....

And oh, yeah.  The author knew his way around a racetrack.

https://www.amazon.com/Playing-Trains-Passion-Beyond-Scale/dp/0812971264

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
2/1/20 8:09 p.m.

Started laying down some roadbed today. I'm using Atlas Code 80 track, larger sections are flextrack.

The roadbed is peel and stick cork strip from McMaster-Carr, it's half the price of the real thing and pretty much the same dimensions. I split the cork down the middle and lay it down the old fashioned way. Draw out the track centerline and follow the center with both pieces, inside first.

I made a simple compass with a strip of aluminum drilled at 9.75" and 11" which are the radius of the curves.

The inner loop is a basic oval modified a bit.

Layout drawn in SCARM software. The turnouts and crossing let me run it as a "twice around" setup with a small yard and industrial siding to play with.

Started soldering the large flextrack sections together.

Adding power feeds to the turnouts.

Another large sheet of cork in the same thickness as the roadbed to fill in the yard and siding. Most track around here in industrial areas seems to be laid right at ground level with the mainlines built up on ballast. I'm trying to achieve a similar look without changing the track level which might cause problems.

Setting out the turnouts for the yard and siding. I'm just using manual turnouts because I kept them all at the front. I had thought about putting a couple at the back to switch from the inside loop to the outside but I would rather not have to reach over scenery to fix derailments.

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
2/1/20 8:16 p.m.

I'm not trying to model any area 100% correct but there is an area where I used to live that I have always found interesting.

I've lived in the two oldest cities in my province. The one I live in currently started as a fur trading post. The one I used to live in was our first provincial capitol.

The Canadian Pacific Railway had a station and small yard in New Westminster and next to the CP train station was the station for the B.C. Electric Railway which ran an electric street car service from New Westminster to Vancouver and it's suburbs and out to the Fraser Valley and the city I live in now. This is the spot I have in mind which I'm trying to recreate. Not an exact replica but sort of "in the spirit of".

I'm aiming for some time in the late 1940s. This will let me play with steam and early diesels, have fantastic cars and buildings without getting into the tacky, gaudy 1950s stuff that seems to be found on a lot of early diesel layouts.

CP and CN livery from the period is very attractive.

I've bought a Pennsylvania Railroad GG1 electric locomotive as well. It's not correct for the region but I love the look of it and I can do what I want, so there.

More later.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
2/1/20 8:29 p.m.
ShawnG said:
Lionel made HO scale stuff in the early 1980s, it was rebranded Tyco stuff an not much more than "toy train" quality. I've kept mine for sentimental value.

I got my Lionel HO stuff around 1974, and it was already old then! I think they made some in the late 50s and early 60s, and then sold some rebranded stuff in the mid 70s.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
2/1/20 8:29 p.m.

I inherited my Italian grandmother's sausage fingers.  My wife and kids hassle me all the time.  Maybe I should build a railroad. 
 

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
2/1/20 11:35 p.m.

In reply to Datsun310Guy :

Did you inherit her recipe book as well?

If so, what time are you serving dinner?

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
2/2/20 1:21 a.m.

I just read the thread tags. LOLzers.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
2/2/20 7:02 a.m.
ShawnG said:

In reply to Datsun310Guy :

Did you inherit her recipe book as well?

If so, what time are you serving dinner?

Tradition is home made cheese ravioli on New Year's Day.

I have her really old sausage maker along with her rusty pasta machine that I grabbed out of my dad's basement 5 years ago. When I get more free time........  

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
2/2/20 10:01 p.m.

Futzed around some more today. Soldered and layed some of the flex track, I have the last two turnouts and a crossing coming on Tuesday. Those will let me finish the track and test everything out.

My GG1 and my power pack are also showing up on Tuesday so I might have things running this week.

I'm wiring this up for DC twin cab control but I'm switching both rails instead of using common rail wiring, this will let me run DCC later very easily if I decide to go that way. It's a tiny layout with only three blocks so I don't see any reason to buy into a DCC system.

Plus, I'm trying to buy used items so save some money so whatever I buy probably won't have a DCC encoder in it anyway.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
2/3/20 10:02 a.m.

In reply to ShawnG :

That looks like a really flexible layout for such a small space!  Nice work.

 

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
2/5/20 12:38 a.m.

Amazon and eBay brought some goodies today.

Picked up my power pack. The were the business when I was a kid. 

 

Picked up my Kato GG1, the detail on this is fantastic. It is a little long for 9-3/4" radius curves, looks a bit silly with the ends hanging out on the curves. The livery is from the 1950s so it's a bit new looking for what I'm doing but I love the look of it.

 

Also got a 1930s CN rail 40' boxcar from Intermountain. Super happy with the quality on this too, N-scale stuff has come a long way in the last 20 years.

 

Got the crossing and the last two turnouts as well. Put down roadbed for the outer loop and started laying track.

 

Found this little guy on Amazon. It's a spring loaded nailset and it works great on track nails. Put the tip on the nail head, pull back on the spring and release. Drives the nail home in about three pulls.

Amazon also delivered the switches and buss bars for the control panel so wiring can begin once the track is down.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
2/5/20 1:51 a.m.

That GG1 is the cat's ass.  Any chance we'll see an SW switcher or RS Alco?

I wish someone made a decent 0-4-0 yard engine. The older switchers like that always had issues with turnouts and seemed to be geared only for warp speed. But they are almost nessesary if I'm ever to do a conversion for a HOn30 micro layout. 

NickD
NickD PowerDork
2/5/20 7:49 a.m.
Appleseed said:

That GG1 is the cat's ass.  Any chance we'll see an SW switcher or RS Alco?

An Alco RS3 would fit well, and PRR had them if you wanted to keep it all the same flavor. Although New York Central and Lehigh Valley had the best looking.

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