My Miami Layout

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by cnw1961, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

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    A few months ago when my switching layout was almost finished, I thought to have a second layout would be a good idea. After seeing Lance Mindheim’s Miami East Rail layout ( http://www.lancemindheim.com ), I knew what I wanted to do. The bird’s eye view of Live Search Maps and the street view of Google Maps gave me all the information I needed to plan the new layout.

    My new switching layout is a combination of scenes I found along the NW 58th and 59th Street in the Miami East Rail District and a scene from the Dontown spur. The trackplan is mostly based upon the tracks along the NW 59th Street. I scaled down an aerial picture to copy the position and length of the tracks for my trackplan. Somehow I like the idea to have an almost prototypical trackplan. The layout is 16' x 14", i.e. the permanent part is 11' x 14" and the removable extension on the left is 5' x 9".When I started to plan the layout, the extension was just a cassette to enhance operation, but somehow it grew – now it will be fully sceniced.

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    The track is Micro Enineering code 70 and as I like switching with sound equipped engines, I will run the layout with DCC.

    As you can see in the trackplan, there is no runaround. To have a runaround that was long enough to be useful would have spoiled my prototypical plan. In the real Miami East Rail district there is no runaround either, the cars are sorted out on the main and then pushed into the spurs. The track at the front of the cassette/extension will be used as a fiddle yard and represent that sorting on the main.

    These two pictures give a glimpse of what I accomplished during the summer. I completed laying track and wiring and I started to build some of the structures. I will show some more pics of what I did later, this post is only meant to get this thread going.

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    In the last few months I made only slow progress, but now as summer is gone and days are getting colder, it is good to go to Florida.
  2. jesso

    jesso Member

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    Excited to watch your progress! Can't wait to see more. What engines are you going to run on this layout?
  3. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

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    Scott, I have two engines for this layout. The first is a (Stewart) Seaboard VO1000 and the second is an engine of Seabord’s successor CSX, a (P2K) GP38-2, besides the road number exactly the engine CSX is running as a switcher in Miami nowadays. Both engines are equipped with LokSound decoders.

    To make operating the layout more interesting and to give me more different scenes to take pictures of, I want to switch between the 1950s and the late 1990s.

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  4. jesso

    jesso Member

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    Cool! I was thinking that with those containers in the picture that you might be going modern era! That will be neat to watch you switch the scene between the 50's and 90's.
  5. Packers#1

    Packers#1 Ultimate Packers Fan

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    Looks really cool. I enjoyed Lance's east rail layout in GMR 2008, and am looking forward to see how yours turns out.
  6. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

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    Yes!!!

    KURT!:wav: REAL GLAD to see the progress so far:thumb: , i am ANXIOUSLY WAITING on the edge of my seat to see the progress on THIS switching layout:winki::mrgreen: .

    SLAP FANTASTIC IDEA!:thumb::thumb::thumb:
    NICE to see the WSOR box on the layout too:bravo:

    EDIT: seems something is terribly WRONG with your layout:eeki: , i don't see ANY UP boxcars on it:eeki: , easy fix though:winki::twisted: .
  7. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

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    Kurt...
    Just like our great friend Deano, I too am waiting on the edge of my seat to see your progress!:winker:
    The 5' extension was a great idea:thumb::thumb::thumb: and should really up the FUN! Switching between eras is another great way to get twice as much fun and keep it interesting.:thumb::thumb::thumb:.....maybe I should try it:winker::twisted:.

    The only reason I can tolerate the cold weather is because I know you will get "HOT" on your modeling! :mrgreen::thumb::winker:

    Great job, my friend!
  8. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

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    Oh boy! This is gonna be good!
  9. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

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    SWEET Kurt, im really exited to watch the progress on this one!!! I LOVE the trackplan, and the layout as it is right now is looking great!!! The weathered track is looking good too, as well as the start of the buildings :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :mrgreen:


    Cant wait to see some more pics Kurt :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
  10. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

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    Than you all for your nice comments :wave:.

    Packers, Lance’s east rail layout is really cool and the idea to go without a runaround and have a cassette instead I actually "stole" from him. But besides that, I don’t want to copy his layout.

    Deano, you are right, I’ll have to fix that – thanks for pointing at that problem :twisted::mrgreen:. The three boxcars you can see in the pics is all the modern rolling stock I have. To operate the layout I will need some more and I definitely have to put an UP boxcar on my shopping list. Filling up my roster has already begun, I will get two tank cars in a few days :twisted:.

    Steve, let’s wait and see how "hot" I will get on my modeling :mrgreen::mrgreen:. I have to admit that often when I want to work on the layout, I end up just sitting and staring at the layout and thinking about it, maybe even running an engine back and forth a few times :oops:. So you’ll have to wait patiently for some progress :wave:, but maybe thinking of Florida will help us through the winter.
  11. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

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    After I had finished drawing the trackplan, I was not sure if I would really like to build the layout, because most of the structures along the tracks in Miami look more or less like shoeboxes with some holes in them. Could be a bit boring to scratch build these structures. So before I even got the plywood for the layout, I built the first two warehouses. To try something new, I used hydrocal instead of styrene. After I found out that I really enjoyed building these two structures, I started to build the layout. Both structures are still not finished yet, but here are some pics anyway.

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    A warehouse along the track of the NW 59th Street inspired me to build this model. It is 24" long and I made three hydrocal castings for it. I build the core of .120" cardboard and then glued the casting to it. To build it from hydrocal took much longer than to build it from styrene, but I think it was time well spent.

    The other hydrocal structure is even bigger. It is 42" long and consists of nine castings. Like the first one, it is still not completely finished.

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    To make it cheap and easy, I used styrene to make the molds. Before I poured hydrocal into the molds, I applied vaseline to the molds with a stiff paintbrush. It was no problem then to remove the castings from the mold.

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    The next picture shows three of the castings I made the big structure of.

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  12. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

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    Thats a very cool way to make the buildings Kurt, i like them and they look good and look more like a concrete warehouse like the prototypes!! I also like the pallets you placed inside one of the cargo doors in one of the pics, nice touch :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  13. Packers#1

    Packers#1 Ultimate Packers Fan

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    The buildings look great, and that's a neat way of making them. Great job!
  14. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Nice looking "shoeboxes", Kurt. ;):-D Very impressive how you can model something ordinary and make it extraordinary. I'm looking forward to watching this layout develop.

    Wayne
  15. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

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    Josh, Packers, I am glad you too think that my hydrocal buildings look like concrete. So it was worth spending a lot of time building them.

    Wayne, I simply chose the best looking shoeboxes I could find to model :mrgreen::p.
  16. jesso

    jesso Member

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    That is amazing that you are making your buildings out of hydrocal. They look so great when you look at them up close. I always enjoy seeing and reading about your modeling.
  17. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

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    As I mentioned before, both engines that I will run on the layout are equipped with LokSound decoders. Installing a (sound) decoder in the Stewart VO1000 is really a plug and play installation in the meaning of the word. You just have to plug the decoder in, that’s it. In this thread is a short tutorial on how to install the decoder and the speaker: http://www.zealot.com/forum/showthread.php?t=116552 .

    To put a sound decoder in the P2K Geep was a totally different story. Although it is equipped with a DCC plug, it is far from being DCC ready. Before you can plug any decoder in, you have to remove the light bulbs first (I replaced them with golden white LEDs). To get the best sound possible, I wanted to use the 1" speaker that comes with the LokSound decoder. The only place to put a speaker that size is the cab and even there it is a very tight fit. I cut the baffle of the speaker down to 7,5 mm (ca. .285"). Then I used a Dremel with a fibre cutting disc to mill the frame at the back of the cab (Deano, you’d better close your eyes now :mrgreen::p).

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    Now only some cutting of the shell was needed to make it fit.

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  18. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

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    Scott, thank you for your kind words. I really liked making those hydrocal buildings as it is totally different to working with styrene. Unfortunately there is only one more building on my layout that I will make out of hydrocal. The structure in the upper right corner is too thin to be made of hydrocal and the two buildings on the extension have to be as light as possible, because I have to remove the extension when I am not running the layout, so it has to be easy to handle. BTW, I found a good way to plug the extension in, it only takes a few seconds (I know it does not look very nice, but it works perfectly :mrgreen:)

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  19. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

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    Kurt, would you mind explaining how that plug-in for the extension works? Im going to need to do something similar if i do my M&ET layout with the lift-out and the removable module....

    BTW, i checked the link in your first post of this thread to your inspiration for the shelf layout your doing, WOW not that is SWEET!!!! He does some amazing work!!! Wonder how he gets the buildings to looks so realistic like that??? I member seeing an article of his layout in an issue of MR a little while ago as well, he does some amazing work
  20. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

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    Kurt. Thanks for showing how you got that LokSound decoder in the Pk2 geep. It helps me see what's involved for my own Pk2 geeps. I do have the high nose shells and I noticed on a couple of my locos, the casting for the high nose is screwed on, which might actually save me some grief?