OK, I did it as well.

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by jhoban, Jun 19, 2005.

  1. jhoban

    jhoban Member

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    I went out and got a few things to get me started. I got enough code 80 track to make a decent size oval. I also picked up an Atlas engine and 2 cars, although one is going back. It was a life-like, and built cheap, to my standards anyway. I used an old power pack from my HO set for now, but will be watching ebay. The engine I got was an Atlas SD-35 for $45. Is that decent?

    As for layout, I would love to set up 2 seperate tracks which cross at some point. I would like them to cross so that my son and I can get a train going each, but still need to stop and go to let each others train pass. My question is, are the 90 degree crosses wired for only one track, or can one track cross the vertical, and the other track cross the horizontal? If they cant, any info on how to get them to cross would be much appreciated.

    Now I am off to Home Depot to build my table.
  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Sounds like you're good to go, Atlas makes a great product. Your crossings should be just fine, and your idea is a good foundation for operating rules i.e. superior/inferior trains, right-of-way, express vs. local, etc. :thumb:
  3. jhoban

    jhoban Member

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    No, No, No. I will be doing this with my son....Dad has the right of way.

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.
  4. jhoban

    jhoban Member

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    So the guy at the store told me the crossing would not work for 2 seperate track. Is it safe to say he does know what he was talking about? (His answer didnt sound confident)
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    I think that most crossings are wired with the tracks separated because they don't know which way you'll be putting them in the layout.
    If the frogs (places where the rails cross) are plastic it is almost certainly separated. If they are all metal rails, you may need to do extra wiring, but the tracks should be separate.
    See if there is any information on the package.
    (The Lionel 3 rail crossings were all wired together.)
  6. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    Not having a crossing on my layout, I'm not speaking from experience, but it would seem to me that if you used insulated joiners and treated it as a separate block you could than use it as you pleased.
  7. jhoban

    jhoban Member

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    OK, the tracks are wired seperately. I ran into the same guy at the store today. I asked a few technical questions that I already knew the answer to, and he got them all wrong. Oh well, what can you do?

    I am well under way now, so he are a few pics to show off the progress. Already misjudged the speed of the atlas and had a nasty collision. OOPS!

    Attached Files:

  8. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    That's why we're here ;) As long as you keep the two lines separate, you'll not have to worry about special wiring problems. Is that platform....drywall?
  9. Hoghead

    Hoghead Member

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    Looks like you can model two seperate railroads also, Diamonds are more common in the midwest. You could model the UP/BNSF in Nebraska, or the CNW/Milwaukee in Wisconsin with cornfield meets or model urban areas such as the Southside of Chicago which would allow you mix up your trains with both eastern and western railroads. Urban areas can be a huge undertaking though with lots of industrial buildings, yards, sidings, and details.

    CNW/Milwaukee look like a nice fit, some old plastic grass mats resembling cornfields, a dairy farm, grain elevator or two with their own sidings, trains running in dark territory need to stop at each diamond and line the smash gate toward the opposing line or you can throw in an Interlocking Tower at each crossing.

    Just a thought
    Kind of makes me want to start over again!

    Perhaps model Madison WI where two opposing tracks meet on a causeway in Lake Monona
  10. jhoban

    jhoban Member

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    Well, as of now, I am just setting up things as I see fit, not going for an actual model. Don't give me ideas though, because that sounds real interesting. Just kidding, ideas are always welcome. I don't think the wife will let me model a real line though, she see's a pretty house, then it has to go in. A McDonald's...oh yeah, that has to go in too.

    Yes it is drywall. I had 2 pieces left after a project down in the basement. I am assuming you asked because it is not common. Please dont tell me that it is a bad thing.
  11. Hoghead

    Hoghead Member

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  12. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    You are right, it isn't common. Is it a bad thing? That depends on what your ultimate plans for your layout are. If you don't have any support under the wallboard, that's a bad thing since it won't take too much pressure to crack it. Even if your layout is entirely flat, and you decide to put in some water and a bridge, it's easy with the foam, and more difficult and messy with wallboard. You always find a place where you would want to put a valley or hill, not easy with a wallboard base. When you go to balast your tracks or put down ground cover, the wallboard will soak up the moisture in the glue.

    The most common material for a base is extruded foam, either the pink or blue stuff, and not the white beaded stuff. It is 1" thick and most people use one or two layers over 1/2" plywood to give it rigidity. The foam cuts nicely and is easy to shape and glue stuff to. Now you know why he asked...:wave:
  13. fifer

    fifer Active Member

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    JHOBAN , I would say you are well on your way to a great start in N Scale and would appear you have done your homework well.
    Hope you and your son continue to have fun!!!
    :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

    Mike
  14. jhoban

    jhoban Member

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    Again, thanks for the info guys. Yes the drywall is supported well. It is basically a wall frame under the board. Also, the drywall was simply acting as my plywood, since I already had it. The foam is being picked up saturday. I was wondering how well the glue would stick to it, so I am glad to hear it works well on foam.
  15. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Unique...yes, bad...no ;) I do suspect those little teenie trains make quite a racket when going around the loop :D Once you put a foam sub-base on, all should be well as it will deaden the sound . Just be careful with any water based scenery as too much in one spot for too long could be a problem with sag and mildew or mold.
  16. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

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    Youve got a really nice start there.Wow you built that Heavy duty.Are those 4x4 legs?? 1x3's would have been plenty good LOL. Now all you need are a few pasing sidings, some industry spurs, and perhaps a small stub ended Yard.
    Oh an how about a nice Kato RS2 (used)in GN livery (orange/green)thats a sweet runner and a good price.Or, an Atlas U boat (U25B) In the newer color scheme GN sky blue thats DCC ready and twice the price!!Its another sweet runner thats been test run only.Both are in thier original cases.
    Ive Got GN, NP, CNW F units and GP-18's, SD-7's.
    A Custom DM&IR 2-8-0 connie thats runs as goos as it looks and is going to be spendy.
    A DM&IR SD-9 thats DCC Converted with a full function Decoder.(another expensive unit)
    An Undecorated 2-8-2 Mikado (atlas)good runner and under 100.00
    a couple hundred freight cars.Most are 40' with a few 50' Boxcars.
    Many Ore cars!!!
    I'm not a hobby shop, but ive got more N stuff than alot of them LOL
    Todd
  17. jhoban

    jhoban Member

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    Just thought I would post my progress just to make sure you stop me before I do something irreversable. I have started my tunnels. Obviously they need building up and shaping, but I am making sure everything is done inside before I cover it up.

    I built my first model house. Ahhhh, how it brought back memories. The next steps should be glueing the track down, ballasting, and laying the main roads.

    Let me know if there is anything I should be doing before that.

    Attached Files:

  18. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    On that right side piece of foam, cut you about a 10-12" piece out of the middle and shorten that tunnel wall in the middle by half. That way you'll be able to reach in thru the back of your mountain to rerail any cars or lokeys that might (will :p ) jump the track. Other than that, welcome to the big leagues...good job :thumb:
  19. jhoban

    jhoban Member

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    Well, I was planning on making it so th top of the hill came off for that purpose. I like your idea MUCH better. I thought long and hard about how to make the top come off and still look seemless. Glad you made the suggestion. Thanks!
  20. jhoban

    jhoban Member

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    Just updated what has been done recently. I have a few questions before continueing though.


    How do I go about laying grass and ground cover. I should say, how do I attach it. I was thinking simply spray glue an area, and sprinkle on what I want. However, that doesnt seem like the best approach. Any ideas would be welcome.

    For the lake I was planning on doing some touch up painting and filling it with whatever product makes realistic looking water. Havent researched that a WHOLE lot yet. I did however see some topics about making ponds with mirrors or other reflective surfaces. Do I want to go that route for a lake with is about 10" wide. Again, any ideas would be welcome.

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