Switching to HO

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by CSX, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. jetrock

    jetrock Member

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    csx: Have you considered a point-to-point layout? They can have a lot more switching action, and you don't have to eat up a ton of space with loops.
  2. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

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    uh oh, you need 2 6 inch straights, but they come in packs of four, so its ok....
  3. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

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    here is a picuter of the wireing you will need to do.
    all Black squares are Insulated Rail Joiners. Small black circles are feeders, and the large one is the common rail feeder. only insulate the red ( or inside) tracks where the squares are. The green rail is the Common rail. only attach one feeder to that rail and do nothing else. that feeder needs to also connect to both power packs as shown. blue lines show where the wires go from the Atlas controllers to the rest of the feeders. just follow the color codeing. you will have 2 spare toggles on the last Controller. you can divide a track on your yard for a locomotive to be stored on, and anywhere else you might need a new block if you run into one. this wireing arrangemnet will work the best.


    as for track placement, it is pretty much self expanitory.

    all industrial tracks are snap switches, as well as the switch that goes into the yard. however, on the commuter sideing, and the other yard switches are #4 switches, and a one wye in the yard. the yard has 2 3 inch tracks on the center yard track to make the tracks even. there are also two 6 inch sections on the pier and united trucking terminal to lengthen them. the oval is made of 22"r curves, and the industrial track has the 4 18"r curves. everything else is self explanitory.

    [​IMG]
  4. CSX

    CSX Member

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    Thanks alot Cab for doing all of this work for me, it is a huge help.
  5. CSX

    CSX Member

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    Jetrock - I want a layout with an area that has a continuous running circle.
  6. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

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    No problem! i love helping people out. if there is anything else you'd like to know, just ask, either here or Email me.
  7. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

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    If you don't mind - I'd love to throw my 2 cents in. I like the overall concept and the plan as a whole. However, switching operations may get a little tiresome for 3 reasons:

    All the spurs except the one in the bottom right are trailing point for a train going counterclockwise. This means that they are fairly easily switched for a train going that direction. A train going clockwise would have a ghastly time trying to pick up and/or set out cars. Which leads to the second issue for switching operations.

    There is no runaround track other than using the entire oval. A runaround track is needed to get the car to be set out into a facing point spur in front of the locmotive. Whether having to use the entire oval for this purpose is acceptable depends upon how CSX feels about only having one train on the layout at a time.

    The yard has no drill track other than the main line (the oval). A drill track is a place for the locomotive pulling a cut of cars from a yard track to pull forward to without going onto the main line. Again, not a problem if there are no trains running on the oval while switching the yard.

    CSX has expressed his desire to see his trains run. So the plan gives proper priority to the 22 in radius and the main line. But what happens when CSX wants to try some switching?

    Some modifications that might help (you can use any or none - they're worth every penny you paid for them) :)

    Do away with the uppermost spur at the left. That will give room for a drill track for the yard. The yard will have to be adjusted somewhat - will lose some capacity - to put a turnout between the yard ladder and the main leading to the drill track.

    Lengthen the bottom right spur to the left, add a turnout and create a passing track along the bottom of the layout. The disadvantage to this is that if your table is just 48 inches wide with 22 inch radius curves the track on both sides ends up being right on the table edge. You really need a 50 inch width (minimum) to put in the passing track and keep the 22 inch radius curves - gives you 2 inches from center of track to edge of layout.

    Add a switch back spur by adding a right hand turnout in lieu of the curve in the very center of the layout. Extend this new spur diagonally, somewhat parallel to the harbor entrance track. The new spur can serve the large structure you have on the bottom right inside the oval. Serving a switchback spur is guaranteed to add interest to switching operations.:thumb:

    IMO, each of these changes will add to the operational and long-term interest of the plan. But most importantly, have fun.

    yours in MR planning
  8. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

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    I took your advice. in this case though, i left part of the old spur behind so that the locomotive would have a lead to go into instead of intrudeing on the grain elevator's tracks. i moved the entrance to the yard closer to the edge of the layout at the upper left. i put a run around acroos the bridge, the only problem is trains will will have to back into the sideing if going clockwise. i gave the "drill" to the yard an extra 9 inches. i don't know if that will help, but it occured to me you could replace those #4 switches in the yard with snap switches because they seem to take up less space. you could be able to tilt the yard and slide it a little to the right, and use more flex track, but i didn't do that.

    the one thing i get nervouse about is useing Flex track, which had to be used in a few places. if CSX feels safe buying a length and cutting it right, why not? you'd need to put the flextrack on the new turnout across the bay from the industrial park. the inner curve is still 22, but the outer one needs to be done with flextrack. flextrack is also needed between the upper switch of the industrial park, and the ADM Grain elevator.
    [​IMG]
  9. CSX

    CSX Member

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    The one thing I know I do not want, at all, it flex-track. Also, I only plan to have one running train at a time.
  10. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

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    I like it! [​IMG] Very nice work with the software. If I had that much space, I'd think seriously of building it myself.

    Of course, you and CSX deserve the credit. Looking forward to pictures!
  11. CSX

    CSX Member

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    The first one of the two is the plan I will almost definatly use. I love it.
  12. CSX

    CSX Member

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    CAB, where do I get cork roadbed?
  13. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

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    you can order it off the internet. My cork is made by Midwest Products. if there isn't any at your local hobby shop, go buy some from walthers ( if its not on the favorites list on your web broswer put it there now so you can get to it quickly) or some other internet site. be prepared to get alot though. i literaly sold out my local hobby shop on cork. my layout took 5 or 6 boxes. maybe my track planner says how many feet you'll need, i'll have to check. each box has 15 feet work of cork in it. i'd buy 4 boxes. my layout has less track, but not that much less. if you want to be safe, buy 5. extra cork has all kinds of uses. its especaily usefull in bringing buildings up to track level if things like boxcar doors are to high above loading platforms. they have detailed instructions on the back of the box, so it should be easy to put it together. just make sure you make good measurements of where EXACTLY your track will be. i tried traceing my track, and that DID NOT WORK. now my track and roadbed are misaligned. it won''t be so bad later, but it would look nicer if i had it right the first time.
  14. CSX

    CSX Member

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    What about Instant Roadbed, any reviews on that?
  15. CSX

    CSX Member

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    If it helps, it is made by AMI.
  16. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

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    i haven't used it before, but i suppose i like cork more because it already looks like roadbed, its not that black foam color. however if you want to tray it, why not? its your layout.
  17. CSX

    CSX Member

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    They sell it in grey so that you don't have to put down gravel either. Comes in 30' rolls for $20.
  18. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

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    Well thst sounds good to me i guess. only thing is i would still ballast the track ( thats what the gravel is) it will make it look that much more realistic. go get a container of Woodland Scenics Fine grey ballast, or maybe a second one. leaveing the foam esposed doesn't look good. it might make a great under layer ( so that its not obvious that is just foam under there) but you should still ballast it. its not hard to do either. while on the subject of detailing track, i reccoment getting Polly Scale Rust and RailRoad Tie Brown paint. that would be good. i'm gonna go paint my track later today.
  19. CSX

    CSX Member

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    Hey CAB, is there a reason why I need 2 power packs for the layout?
  20. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

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    The rule of thumb is one power pack for each train you will be running simultaneously. So you only need one power pack to begin with. A second can be easily added later if you insulated your track into blocks and wired the Atlas Selectors as shown on the diagram.

    Insulating the track into blocks later on is more difficult, so it's easier to do it from the beginning. Then when you buy your second locomotive, you can at least put it on the track and turn that block off. When you're ready to run the second locomotive simultaneously with a friend, add a second power pack.

    yours in training