Trackplan Opinions Please

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Tileguy, May 17, 2003.

  1. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

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    Whiole I know a few of you in here,I am looking to get as many opinions as possible on This Particular Plan.
    Operations opinions and general track plan opinions are most important .
    A Little Background:This will be a Freelanced regional Ore and General freight hauler In the Northern Minnesota area.
    While there was an actual D&NE (Duluth and Northeastern) It was a logging shortline in the area.This fictitious road will become the Leading Hauler in the region taking over not only the original Logging Duties of the D&NE ,but also the ore hauling of the DM&IR and GN and the general freight duties of the GN.Interchange with the major roads in Duluth would include the GN,NP and SOO.Some Shared trackage may take place with both GN and SOO.
    The First Section is the Far west and Includes the Main Yard Area of Duluth

    Attached Files:

  2. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

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    And Here is the Far Eastern Area with the Ore Mine and classification yard.
    The Middle section is being worked on even now and i will post it as soon as it is available.

    Attached Files:

  3. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

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    Shameless Bump........
    55 views,someone must have an opinion???
    I would certainly like to hear your thoughts.
  4. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

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    Well it is hard to comment on a track plan when (according to you) 1 third of it is missing. That said it looks like it would do a good job of reproducing heavy mainline operations. You will have a lot of maintinence so I hope you can access the layout from all sides or those yards will be a real pain in the a** to keep switch points clean on. You might also consider moving this to the trackplanning forum where people who are into that sort of thing and are not n-scalers are more likely to see it. Best of luck, keep us posted with the progress! :)
  5. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

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    Thanks Tyson,Your right of course, with 1/3 missing i guess getting a feel for the thing is a bit difficult.especially when you consider its the entire middle :)
    Turnouts-I dont have access to all 3 sides.This is an around the walls layout.The main Yard area.(1st picture) is only 19" deep so very easy to get to everything.The second picture again is about25" deep due to the indent in the benchwork .The problem area's will be the corners of the middle section.This is the deepest section.I am going to try to keep thw few turnouts necessary close enough to the edge to be able to maintain.
    The ore peninnsula actuall comes out beond the wall so i do have access on 3 sides to a pretty good portion of it.Even the corner is only about 16" reach.I will keep that advice of turnout maintenance in mind as the Middle section is being developed.I have Plans for the USS duluth steel mill complex ( actually just a portion) along with the Atlas cement plant which was on site.

    I actually Posted this and then realized there would have been a better forum for it. I PM'd Mikey about it but he said i would have to talk to Catt to move it.Being a Moderator on a large tile Forum ,i am used to being able to do a few things that i just cant do here :D
  6. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

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    Well after a bit of thought ive been sketching a few idea's.I havent completed the Right track work yet,but heres the general idea.
    If you look at Picture #1 you get a sense of all the benchwork.The center section is what i have been working on.I am considering pulling the backdrop forward at an angle.starting at the upper left back corner and bringing it out perhaps 14-16 inches by the time it reaches the upper right corner.This does a couple things.
    #1 i can reach all the trackwork etc comfortably in front of the backdrop.
    #2 I can have a hidden staging yard(perhaps 3 tracks) behind this section with an access hole cut behind the backdrop.The hidden staging could be a through yard staging area.The problem i see with this is visibility in a hidden area.Any thoughts on surrmounting this would be appreciated.I would even consider a small camera,tv screen etc.
    I am also going to run an industrial lead with runaround into the center section with several sidings.this should give me 3 or4 good sprawling industries.
    Lastly i am thinking a reversing section for the main would be a good option for increased routing options.Thoughts?
    I am not sure if you can visualize what i have in mind,but i have been having a hard time figuring out RTS:mad:
    Thanks for looking :)
  7. garyn

    garyn Member

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    Tileguy

    My concern is access to the deeper areas. Murphey will strike and you will have derailments or switch problems, and if you can't easily access them you will be in trouble. Once you scenic the layout, you can't lean on it w/o possibly damaging something.

    The yard tracks will have to be cleaned periodically and I'm concerned that your RH plan has the yard as a far reach. Although I suppose you can use an Aztec track cleaning car.

    For your hidden staging yard, consider a mirror from above. That is a lot simpler than a video camera.

    It looks like you are planning about 18 inch radius curves. If you plan on LONG coal drags (which do look neat), you might want to make the curves on the mainline a bit broader. Also standard passenger cars and the longer modern cars look better on large radius curves.

    I like the option of a reversing loop. There are some times when I just want to RUN my trains, rather than operate them.

    Good luck
    Gary
  8. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

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    Thanks for your comments Gary,As far as any long drags,they would most likely be 21'ore cars for taconite.No passenger trains on this particular layout.perhaps a doodlebug as they did run a GN doodlebug into the late 50's and early 60's up to the range area.The mirror may or may not work,as i have a skewed roofline at this point.it may though and would certainly be more cost effective than a video camera and monitor.I can reach everything pretty well except the 2 back corners of the center section.The corner of the ore penninsula that looks deep can actually be accessed from the end also.The backdrop being moved forward at an angle would eliminate 1 corner allowing me to reach everything and the other is just flextrack so i should be able to use a track cleaning car.I was thinking of running that corner underneath a removable built up city section too.This would then give me a spot to lean or perhaps an undercut.we shall see.
    I do appreciate all the comments and advice that i have recieved from all the forums.1 head is good,many is much much better :D
    I still consider this my home based forum,I like the chat feature and the fact that the only other model railroader i know in my area frequents here.You out there Dan??Cmon Dan,i bought an extra soldering iron just for you ;)
  9. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

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    Update, I recieved my backdrops from www.realisticbackgrounds.com
    They are just fantastic.13x38" for each panel and 9.98 each I ordered 9 of them.2 city 4 industrial 2 forested hills and 1 village on a forested hill.the height of these will force me to bring my back section ahead even more than i had figured so i will now have about 24" rather than 36" to deal with.It also gives me a larger hidden staging area and larger access areain the back.
    All in all,the backdrops are a great value for those of us who are artictically challenged;)
    I did order the sign pack also from them.I was a bit dissapointed there because its for HO not N scale.So, if anyone in HO needs road signs,building signs,billboard etc,let me know.its one sheet and i paid 3.00 + tax.for 4.50 i can mail it to you.
    rr crossings,stop signs road signs merge signs etc etc.among larger business signs.Its a nice sheet, just the wrong size :(
  10. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

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    Just an Update for those who are following.The RTS drawing is in the works(thank you to Corey Lynch).I have put all my subassemblies together for the hidden staging and have dry fit everything connected to it.I Then marked out all my track lanes etc and began installing my backdrop supports etc.I am making the backdrop piece in front of the hidden staging removable.It will be installed using velcro strips.I have also cut access holes in the rear.one of them is large enough to poke my head up through and the other (longer one) i can get my arm up through.I can maintain most of the problem area;s i may encounter this way although it wont be real comfortable.It is doable though.The seams of the backdrop will be hidden with flats glued to the removable side only.(far too clever :eek:) )
    OK enough patting myself on the back, i still dont have the wiring done <groan>.I have decided firmly on DCC but am still open as to manufacturer and size.Lenz seems to give the most bang for the buck,I like the panel mounts of CVP products and Zima is just way out there..........cya!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyways, I have never used a DCC unit and do not have access to any in my area so am going to rely on suggestions.I am hoping to be able to use Sound decoders one day and also be able to control my turnouts.Signalling would be nice but is a long ways away for me at this point.
    I looked into some of these units and while the Digitrax Zephyr is a good buy, its only 2.5 amp and many of the comments i hear about digitrax refers to being a rocket scientist.Lenz gets better comments on ease of use.I have trouble with VCR's still so would like something user friendly.I still like the idea of building CVP products panels into my own control panel,but it is not critical.
    Are there any n scale sound decoder options out there now???
    Looking forward to your thoughts. Tileguy
  11. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    The dcc committee at our local modular club looked into dcc from various manufacturers. Of course we had some constraints that non modular/protable clubs would not encounter. We frequently set up at a GAT Show where other clubs are set up, and we need a dcc system that will only recognise our signals, not those from a neighboring club, or vendor. Our committee narrowed the choices down to E-Z DCC and North Coast Engineering. We ended up sellecting E-Z DCC because it was a little less expensive than NCE. By the way, NCE was not prohibitively expensive, it was just about $200.00 more for a club sized system, and the majority didn't see a justification for the extra expense. For someone who is looking for a simple to use system, it would seem that those two are the best. I'm not sure how easy the Atlas system is. It was rejected early on because it is too limited in the number of train addresses it will handle to be useful in a club situation.
  12. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

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    Now Russ,Correct me if i am wrong.Easy DCC is CVP products correct? If so, did you like the panel mount system etc?Have you found that you have no problems with upgrades or decoder's?How about the walk around or tethered control?
    I looked at a nice kato HVY mike with a DZ 143 installed + a Soundtraxx decoder in the tender.i was drooling on my keyboard so bad i had to leave the site :D
    Thanks for our input Russ:)
  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I think EZ DCC is CVP product, but I'm not certain. Our club is ordering the radio control cordless walk around version. One of our club members has used EZ DCC for about a year in his home layout. We are actually ordering everything next month. From my understanding, the wireless walk around is easier to wire than the tethered throttles. I'm not on the committee, so I wasn't involved in the firsthand research.
  14. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

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    Well after much research and hounding of members of several boards,Digitrax is the way i am going.In fact i ordered the zephyr.i opted for the zephyr as a way to get my feet wet in DCC and figured it would hold its value the best in the event i wanted to upgrade to the chief down the road.It seems there is more help available out there for the digitrax products and i will need much of this i am sure.A special thanks to our very own Robber Baroness Spitfire for poking and prodding me into the zephyr.(your gonna pay for that;) )I'm going to prod you till you go with DCC uncoupling now girl :D
    Thank you to everyone who participated here and one day i will get that digital camera and post a few pics.
    Hmmm DCC system or Digital camera.that was a no brainer:D
  15. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

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    I still havent heard from corey so its time to move on.I have finished the hidden staging,added the new backdrops and have been working on structures.1 in particular.The depot from hell.Its an old Quality Craft craftsman kit called the haydenton covered depot.(see feb 1975 MRC Dave Frary article)If i make it through this thing, a laser cut kit is going to be a breeze :D
    I will be looking at operations seriously when designing the center section.Any thoughts or suggestions would be welcome.
    Here is a sketch of what is installed so far.

    Attached Files:

  16. Arlaghan

    Arlaghan Member

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    It's a little hard to make out that drawing - it's kind of small, but regarding the empty "center" area...

    Have you considered making a city? You'd be surprised how much room it takes up, and having that area open is ideal for it... plus you could maybe build a road to the industrial stuff on the left.

    Or, you could put a mountain there... it would hide that loop of track going around the back edge, and gives some visual appeal... maybe a stream and cascades or some caves or even a mountain side town!

    At any rate, "empty" is not really the case. It's empty in terms of track, but it will not be empty when all is completed. Maybe think along those lines??? :D
  17. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

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    Thanks Arl,you just pretty much confirmed the line of thought i was running with all day.i thought about building up the corner and coming into that center section somewhat.Duluth is built on a hill(they call it lil san francisco)it sort of stair steps its way up that hill.I thought about stair stepping 2 to 3 blocks and perhaps running one lead with a double ended spur into a warehouse district of the town.Perhaps even running the track in the street itself.I am doing some sketching now.I'll let you know how it comes out.
    Sorry i misse ya'll Sunday night, my new meds the doctor gave me had me sleeping by 7:00.it wasnt planned,just sorta happened :sleeping:
  18. Arlaghan

    Arlaghan Member

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    When you least expect it, inspiration strikes... You mentioned San Fran... what about putting a TROLLEY in that town??? :D
  19. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

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    Funny you should mention that, It actually had a trolly system in town.It had a station called the incline station which ran up the hill.the incline station is still there but it is now a bar and grill :(
    They stopped running the trollies in the early 50's and went to a citywide bus system.as i am modeling the late 50's era,i'll have to go to buses.i do believe a trolly car lunch counter near one of the large factories may be called for though ;)