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New Layout - 'Hufeisental'


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New layout underway - Nearly finished! (lol). Watch this space ..

 

... my dedicated space for a planned continental HO layout to be based on the Tyrol region somewhere on the corner of Switzerland, Austria and Germany.

 

A way to go yet though

 

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Edited by Alan Kettlewell
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Hi John,

 

It's a great space isn't it?  Not bad on your dimensions, it's 30ft x 14ft (external) so about 7 inches less than that internal.  The shed is fully lined and insulated, double floor laid and roof double felted.  It's taken me about two months so far - lot of work.  I want to get to the position where I'm working IN the shed instead of working ON it.  I just have to complete filling the gaps between the plasterboard then paint out, oh and then find an alpine backscene about 74ft long!.  My layout plan will run on three levels, height being gained by spiral tunnels in the mountains, just like the real thing.  Scenery will go from about 1ft from the floor at the lowest to around 5ft high.  I estimate that the total length of run from a point and back to the same place is about 6 scale miles.  Looking forward to it ...

 

Regards

Alan

Edited by Alan Kettlewell
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There are some great continental models available.  I've been selling all my O gauge stock to fund this project so I've had a smashing 'shop-fest' buying up a load of Fleischmann, Roco, Trix, Piko locos and trains, and a few Lima coaches representing these countries.  Also I believe the Orient Express passes through this region on the way to Vienna.  I maybe also be adding trains from Italy, Spain and other neighbouring countries in due course.   I'm doing modern era so there are loads of fabulous trains available.   I'm trying to get a handle on how much all the catenary is going to cost me (and all the trees I'll need to make!)  I'll not be modelling catenary in the tunnels or hidden areas though, it'll be non-working, just for show, Daunting but exciting...

 

Regards

Alan

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Hi Alan,

Another wow from me! I'm another one who has been selling 0 gauge to fund the H0! Tbh, I never thought I'd hear of anyone else doing this.

While I'm nearly all German I do have some Austrian stock and a smattering of Swiss plus I'm getting ever more interested in Swiss steam!

What is scary is when all singing, all dancing H0 locos cost very nearly as much as 0 gauge locos! I'm thinking of my Brawa G4/5 with sound compared to a Lenz V100.

Anyway, good luck, sounds a fantastic project.

Cheers,

John.

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The Venice-Simplon-Orient Express regularly passes this way, despite the name suggesting it might go via a different way through the Alps.

 

One of its' usual routes takes it from Buchs SG - Arlberg - Innsbruck (reverse) - Brenner and on to Venice. Some 17 coaches in immaculate condition.... Oh dear, Alan, I have just cost you another fortune.

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The Venice-Simplon-Orient Express regularly passes this way, despite the name suggesting it might go via a different way through the Alps.

 

One of its' usual routes takes it from Buchs SG - Arlberg - Innsbruck (reverse) - Brenner and on to Venice. Some 17 coaches in immaculate condition.... Oh dear, Alan, I have just cost you another fortune.

Er ... Thanks very much!

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  • 3 weeks later...

After a shed load more work, interior insulation done, walls painted blue and a token attempt at some clouds to make a back drop of sorts. Tomorrow some vinyl flooring arrives and then at last, I can get on and order the timber for the framework and make a start on the layout!

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Thanks Dutch_Master, I didn't realise that about Spanish railways.  As it happens I've changed my plan and will be making my layout based around the southern parts of Germany, same region generally but on the north side of the Tyrol.  This slight deviation from the plan is due to the fact that I bagged a massive amount of used Somerfeldt catenary (from Rails of Sheffield) which is German style.  I estimated the cost of new catenary to be around £1000 for my planned layout so I was pleased to see this job lot of used catenary come up for sale which I got for £325 - quite a saving!  So DB it is then but of course I'll be running trains from Switzerland, Austria and other neighbouring countries.  The main thing for me is modelling the fantastic scenery from the region, hills, mountains, high bridges going over deep ravines etc, 

 

I've designed my layout plan using software called Abracadata which is quite dated now but still works well and allows 3D viewing and terrain to be modelled.  Yesterday I began converting my layout plan into RR&CO's 'Train Controller' software  so I can simulate trains running on routes etc and see how it all works.  So far so good although it's quite interesting designing multiple level spirals/helixes!  Also I've modified the plan a bit for right hand running  as per DB, instead of left as per SBB.  Not too much trouble as most of the plan is plain double mainline track so it was only the station area that needed modifying.

 

Onwards ...

 

Regards

Alan        

Edited by Alan Kettlewell
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Not sure if this will be viewable well, but if anyone is interested it's a screenshot of my layout plan shown diagrammatically in Train Controller.  This is the switchboard for levels 1 and 2, there's a third level on another switchboard.  The shed doorway is to the right so you can walk straight into the centre of the layout.  To the top is an access area which will be behind the scenery and where storage loops and electronic control equipment will be easily accessible.  The scenery will be up to around 5ft high and in some places down to about a foot off the floor...     

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Construction begins at last. Got a fair bit of the framework together over the last week or so and started marking out boards for one of the helixes. I quite enjoy the mix of maths and handiwork during this phase.

I much prefer the open framework method for this type of scenic layout where emphasis will be on multiple track levels, deep ravines and lots of high bridges. The framework is deliberately set at varying heights to allow scenery to go above and below track level. The high area on the right further along is to be the station area which is the only part where large boards lay flat on top of the framework. All other track will be laid on tailor made boards and raised on 'stilts' of timber above the framework, as can be seen supporting the raised curve provisionally positioned at the near right.

 

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I had to conduct an exercise using scale drawings (using PowerPoint drawing tools) to see how best to get the most semi circles out of a piece of 8 x 4 board. I bring the boards home in my car so I have to specify the optimum cut size so they'll fit in the estate car and minimise waste. Seen here are two halves of a helix drawn out ready for cutting. The helixes will be fitted using eight long threaded studding rods using nuts to set the height of each level. I've just bought in 300 nuts!

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

You'd get a lot more out of the wood if it was cut in quarter-circles...

 

Tried that.  It would be true from a full board .. but the board shown in the picture is the optimum size to fit in my car.  I can only get two semi circles or 4 quarter circles out of it.

Regards

Alan

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  • 1 month later...

Making good progress in the new layout. I've laid the track work on one side of the layout so I'm having a break from that and switched to getting some of the electronic gubbins sorted out. This is one of two panel boards that house the Lenz LS150 point decoders, 4 decoders with 6 outlets each so 24 per board.

On previous layouts I've used Peco motors, however they proved to have too many failures - not good when operating a layout under automatic control as it leads to crashes! So on this layout I'm using Tortoise motors. These run on DC and the LS150s put out AC current, so two opposing diodes are needed to drive the Tortoise motors. You can see the diodes in the photo. I had to change the switch duration to allow time to move the Tortoise drive, I found 3 seconds works fine. This is new territory for me but I've since connected the motors and all works superbly.

Next up will be making up another board to house the feedback encoders for train detection. For this I'll use reed switches and I've bought some of the Feedback units from Dijikeiss, these can take 16 feedback detectors each making it much more economical than the usual 6 or 8 outputs per unit.

Onwards and upwards ...

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Edited by Alan Kettlewell
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  • 3 weeks later...

Some progress to show along one side of the layout. Some of the lower spirals at the 'east end' are underway, you can see where the track exits to level two. There'll be another spiral over this one, of a smaller diameter, leading up to the level 3, the top level. You might spot the station area track work laid out along the front of this section.

 

To the rear on the lower level storage loops are laid which will hold 11 trains - two are extra length to hold two EMUs or DMUs, or shorter trains. On level 2 I plan to lay 4 more storage loops and a further 5 loops on level 3. I still have to build across the end of the shed and then down the other wall yet - long way to go but not unhappy with progress to date.

 

Anyway here are a few photos, excuse the mess - must tidy up one day soon!

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  • 2 weeks later...

2 shots taken at Innsbruck in 1987 with a 1020 coming in off the Brenner, and a 1044 taking over for the run over the Arlberg attachicon.gifA285.jpgattachicon.gifA292.jpg

Inpired by your photo above, I've been putting the funds from selling my O gauge stock to good use and bought some CIWL coaches and this lovely Roco OBB class 1020 to recreate the train in your photo (but a lot shorter!)

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Also, things are taking on an international flavour with the addition of this smart CD Blue Railjet train - Roco loco with sound and coaches from Jagendorfer. I've spotted a small access panel underneath the driving trailer with a socket no doubt for a function chip so lights can be made to show correct forward and backwards aspects.

 

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So far I have Austrian, Swiss, German and Czec trains, and an old timer Bavarian Steamer. Anyway, enough playing, I should be getting on with building the layout ..

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Hi Alan

 

I've been following (lurking) your progress avidly and I must congratulate you on your efforts.  

 

Like you my interest is also in the mountainous region of southern Europe but my own layout is specifically Swiss and metre gauge.  Without any criticism intended I have a couple of observations.

 

1          I think I am correct in saying on dual tracks the Swiss use "left hand side" and the Austrians, Germans and Italians "right hand side" ...... no doubt someone more knowledgeable will correct if I'm wrong. And, relevant to that ..........

 

2          Having watched many "Cab rides" on You-tube I am always amazed at the number of cross overs, almost always in pairs (trailing and facing), often medium to high speed geometry as well, and perhaps more surprisingly how frequently they seem to be used. I couldn't see any on your track plan, even at stations.

 

Keep up the good work and do please keep posting ........ it's addictive, and I love it!

 

john c

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Hi Alan

 

I've been following (lurking) your progress avidly and I must congratulate you on your efforts.  

 

Like you my interest is also in the mountainous region of southern Europe but my own layout is specifically Swiss and metre gauge.  Without any criticism intended I have a couple of observations.

 

1          I think I am correct in saying on dual tracks the Swiss use "left hand side" and the Austrians, Germans and Italians "right hand side" ...... no doubt someone more knowledgeable will correct if I'm wrong. And, relevant to that ..........

 

 

john c

 

Yes, indeed, john c, in Switzerland as in France, the left-hand rule is prevalent, except of course in the region of Alsace-Lorraine, formerly part of - shall we call it - the former German empire !!

 

When the Channel Tunnel was finally started, people used to ask if the trains would have to cross over, mid-tunnel.

Edited by RhBBob
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Yes it does rather spoil the party. However I'm not going to sell it all now so I'll just have to pretend otherwise I guess and stick to my overall emphasis for this layout which is going to be about running trains through some mountainous scenery - hopefully representing the region generally.

I have used a distributed method of placing the point decoders on previous layouts so I know what you mean. In this case though almost all the turnouts are on this one board and within fairly easy reach of where I've placed the decoders. So basically I've thought about it quite a bit and placed them so because it works out well this way. There will be a few more points and a couple more decoders placed over on the opposite side where I have yet still to build.

It doesn't spoil the it one bit for me, I'm enjoying progress so far Alan ( it's yours to do with for your own enjoyment in my opinion ) and very much looking forward to the next posting.

Happy modelling and enjoy !

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