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The start of my new layout


justgettingstarted

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Good evening people and this is the first post of what will hopefully be an ongoing thread (for a while anyway) of the progress of my layout.

 

I have posted in the newcomers section brief details of who I am and location but in case you haven't been in there then my name is Graham, I'm 63 3/4 years young, I live in Cambridgeshire in a small village just outside of Huntingdon. Well that's the boring bit over with so lets start talking railway layouts !!!

 

After long discussions with my wife about where I could put the new layout from a new garden shed, the conservatory, a small spare bedroom in the house, I eventually got my own way and got permission to use the room over the garage which is currently a large annex with washing area, toilet and bedroom plus a sitting area with TV, WiFi and music centre (you can see why I preferred that option can't you?  ;-)  ). The only proviso from the one who must be obeyed at all times was that I must keep the room as it is and all it's functionality. Not a problem.

 

I'm a graphic designer (Oh no, not another designer I hear you cry) so I sat and designed a way of making this all work together on my trusty Apple iMac and came up with a design that has a layout area of 12' x 6', hinged on one of the 12' edges on the longest wall, this will be raised at the same angle of the roof (about 45 degrees) when not in use, when in use it will come down over the double bed but not touch it. When the layout is down, it will be supported on retractable legs. There will be a substantial 'shelf' attached to the wall 8" wide running the complete length and this will be where the main baseboard will be hinged from. This shelf will also be used as my fiddle yard and will be covered in with a removable top section to allow access if needed but the track for the fiddle yard (three lanes running the whole length) will enter and exit through a fake tunnel onto the main track at both ends.

 

You will see from the photos that I have made the complete frame out of 12mm MDF which is screwed and glued and will have a 9mm MDF top base board. All the internals of the framework  have been drilled and cut to make slots for the main buzz bar and wiring plus it makes it a whole lot lighter for lifting. Strengthening has been incorporated at each corner which diagonal cross braces. I have built the complete frame in three sections for ease of assembly on to the 'hinge'. The three units will be glued and bolted together with hidden nuts and the outer 12' edges will be bonded together with 9mm x 90mm MDF. There will also be a central control area cut out approximately in the middle of the layout with a sliding tray for the ECoS command station to sit when not in use, an iPad is also used for remote operation. Once the 9mm top is glued and screwed then there will be a layer of 1/16th" cork glued to the top surface plus a 1" layer of fire resistant polystyrene glued to the underneath of the base board.

 

The layout will be DCC, I already have about 20 locos all DCC enabled and an ESU ECoS control system. Track will be PECO Code 100 which I already have ample (about 200') to start off with. The one thing I haven't quite decided on yet are the points but I am now erring on the side of electro frog points although that is not certain yet.

 

I think thats about it for now but I'm sure to have forgotten something in which case I'll just pop up another post if I have.

 

Please feel free to advise me on anything which looks obviously wrong as I'm doing this for the first time and I have no doubt at all that I will make some huge mistakes along the way, I have looked at loads of Yuotube videos, Googled until I couldn't Google anymore, read magazines from front to back and I still feel that I've scratched only the surface of this great hobby, there's no doubt about it but knowledge of this hobby has got to come from experience and that my friends I have little of - enthusiasm yes but knowledge - not a great deal, yet!

 

I completed the frame work last weekend and made the brackets today so a few pictures so far.

 

This shows the main frame (3 to be joined together) showing the slots for wiring and also lightness 

layout1_zpsa4b8705b.jpg

 

 

One of the brackets which is glued and screwed to the wall stud work

layout2_zpsf524c80a.jpg

 

 

This baby is not going to fall off the wall !!

layout5_zps5a3d8eeb.jpg

 

 

Four of the eight brackets up

layout3_zpsa875c360.jpg

 

 

Front edge of hinge plinth glued and screwed into position, this will carry on past the access hatch in the wall to the end of the layout (note the fiddle yard  :-)  )

layout4_zps1e43c04e.jpg

 

 

That's about it for now, I don't know if I'll get time to do any more this week but if I do then I'll pop some more pics up. I know it doesn't look much at the moment but I think it's going to be one of those jobs which doesn't look like much for a long time then all of a sudden it comes to life.

 

My Youtube channel with a couple of videos is http://www.youtube.com/user/GrahamFoulston?feature=mhee if you fancy having a look, not great videos to be honest but will give you an idea of some of my rolling stock,

 

Graham

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Another Graham!!  I've got a rough idea but I keep changing it at the moment, I won't commit to anything just yet until I'm reasonably happy with it, I think it will help when I've got the baseboard in front of me. It's all very well drawing it up but there's nothing like having the real thing in front of you - it will always look so different.

 

Graham

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Well I said that I would pop some pictures up if I got any further with this and I was fortunate enough to be able to spend most (but not all) of the day carrying on from where I left off. 

 

So I will let the pictures do the talking rather than me blithering on.

 

layout7_zpsa66e5b56.jpg

The finished hinge rail which has been screwed and glued to the wall stud work  plus all joints are glued and screwed too.

 

 

layout8_zps4eb52924.jpg

I then screwed and glued the three sections together.

 

 

layout9_zps1cfe650c.jpg

Then glued and screwed a batten to tie all three sections together and also to mount the 6 hinges to.

 

 

layout10_zps6c65ed65.jpg

The framework finally up and mounted onto hinges along the rear edge, the photo makes it look droopy on the front edge but it's just the camera playing tricks with the perspective. Temporary legs made to support the front edge, I will be making fold-away legs for when it folds back to the ceiling.

 

 

layout11_zps02c82045.jpg

Top baseboard placed but not fixed yet as there are other things I need to do before I fix it permanently .

 

 

layout12_zps838a54e5.jpg

A pic to show the overall look and size so far.

 

 

layout13_zpsd15965b2.jpg

I haven't given the Brighton Belle a run for a while so I got her out to do the first maiden run on the new layout and she looked lovely running around the track.

 

 

I've done a quick video of it which lasts for only a minute but gives you a feel for the layout, link here:  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3J34OMnM_GQ&feature=youtu.be

 

Hope you like the layout baseboard, I'm really pleased with it and can it's potential.

Graham

 

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6' is very deep if you can't get to the other side, have you thought about how to manage derailments etc on that side of the board, let alone building it? Or do you have a cunning plan like moving it away from the wall to work on.

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My cunning plan is that I have a central operating area in the middle, actually it's not quite in the middle length ways, it will be slightly off-set. When the base board was off and jut the frame showing, I stood in the area allocated and I was able to reach both sides across the width but not obviously the 12' ends, but I can reach from the ends so all the areas will be accessible.

 

Graham

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For me to continue any further then I've now got to cut the position of the central control area out as that determines where the track can be put so I'm going to try and find the time today to do that. Once that is done then the 9mm MDF baseboard can be glued and screwed down. Hopefully having done that then that will give me the full working area so I can then design the track layout on the Mac.

 

I have also decided that I'm going to have a 'train set' and not a 'model railway', if I have a train set then I can do what I want, if I call it a model railway then it appears that from todays terminology of it then I shall get crucified if I have any form of rolling stock or buildings which would never been seen together and I don't want that. All I'm after is an end result that to the average person looks a good, a well presented layout with decent scenery and fun to use. 

 

Graham

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  • 3 months later...

I made a bit of a boob and added the next stage of the layout to a previous thread I made when I first joined and really I should have put it in here - sorry about that.

 

Anyway, things have progressed albeit more slowly than I had wanted but at least it has gone forward and not backwards. The base board is now up and the first little part of the track is down which I've included a few pictures below.

 

layout1_zpsd6995421.jpg

 

layout3_zpsf7bfe16e.jpg

 

 

layout2_zps2c5fa9e5.jpg

 

layout4_zpse1a00e33.jpg

 

 

There is also a small YouTube video here:

 

http://youtu.be/owGQ3kOwRdM

 

Last night I managed to complete the outer track and ran a DCC Class 08 around it and all worked fine even across the points so I'm happy with that, I have some tweaking to do to the track to get the joints perfect which I'll do once the inner track is down and I can do it all together then. I will also be laying the ring of cable  under the baseboard soon so that I can start wiring it up permanently, I just fitted one cable from the controller to the track last night just to test the track.

 

So I'm getting there and thoroughly enjoying the journey too and I'm looking forward to the next stage - I'll keep you posted.

 

Graham

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Thanks Jon and I did have fun tonight, I laid down a few more lengths of track and then got out my Hornby DCC Sparrowhawk out and connected it up to a rake of very old Hornby Pullmans just to test the new track out and it looked and sounded just fine. Another quick video here:

 

http://youtu.be/7B4ofc-zvnY

 

 

Plus an even shorter video of my Sparrowhawk.

 

http://youtu.be/kWTJVJdZKro

 

Graham

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I've had another bash today (Saturday) and have managed to complete the inner track and temporary wire it up and it all works fine. I found out by accident that the reason that I was getting a few lumps and bumps with the track especially with joining points was that I was using pins which were too large. I ordered some more pins as I was running out and when they were delivered I noticed that they were much thinner but longer, I must admit that I was going to send them back but I thought I may as well try them and wow, what a difference. The track went down so much more level and I think that was because I was putting them in too hard and too far and slightly bending the sleeper down as a result. The thiner but longer pins are so much better because as they are longer then I don't have to put them in so hard. I have decided that I shall go over what I have done so far and re-pin the track with the thinner pins as it makes such a difference, the inner track looks a lot neater (but still not as perfect as I want it yet) that I think it will be worthwhile at this early stage.

 

I had a go at making up part of the platform as well today using the Metcalfe kit and that also went reasonably well too, I did this more of a trial really just to see how it went together but now I can carry on and finish the one I've started (which is a single platform) and then carry on making the opposite platform which will be a wider version with a step out to accommodate the booking office/waiting room.

 

So to that end I did another quick video to show what I have described above (you must be getting fed up with my amateurish videos but hopefully I will get better at it as time goes on - it's very strange to be videoing and what seems to be talking to myself at the same time.  :biggrin_mini2:

 

Anyway, here's the video:

 

http://youtu.be/kdplme9FP4k

 

 

Graham

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Well it seems as though I'm talking to myself in this thread recently but no matter because it serves as a diary for me to see the progression. So today I took the plunge and cut a big hole in the back of the layout for the lagoon which the Hornby Grand Bridge will span. I was going to have two bridges but in the end I decided to have the inner track skirting the water edge which I think will look nicer and also I think two that bridges would have been too much on this size layout. It probably doesn't show up too well but you can just make out the rough curve of the bottom of the lagoon near the end piers and this will be replicated - but larger, as it go towards the middle. I will create the shape of the lagoon (which is basically half a sphere) using polystyrene foam and then covering it in a plaster wrap, obviously after that it will be detailed with water, shrubs etc. The embankment at the rear will continue up from the water at the rear of the bridge to make the embankment for the branch line.

 

A couple of photos showing the rough idea.

 

viaduct2_zps8255b610.jpg

 

 

viaduct1_zps1dc61b5b.jpg

 

Graham

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Hi Graham and thanks for 'like'. I realised just now that it was marked as private (I must have forgotten to take off the default of 'private') so it should be viewable now - sorry about that.

 

Yes, it is starting to come along nicely and better than what I had imagined to be honest, it's strange but I can see exactly how things are going to take shape and it really helps me to make progression, no doubt something will bite me up the bum when I least expect it and I would have made a huge error but that's how you learn things I guess.

 

I'm still erring on the side of it being more of a train set rather than a detailed model railway layout as I just don't have the background knowledge to do it right so when it's much further advanced then there will be massive No no's that the purist will suck in through their teeth at but that's just going to have to happen, it will have decent detailing and scenery and will be reasonably stocked with trains of all sorts that I like but that's what I like about it - it's going to be uncomplicated and fun and a pleasure to build and add to - I'm really enjoying myself doing this and that's what counts I think.  

 

Graham

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+1. always nice to catch a layout being built from the ground up, especially one with lots of pics. good luck with it. :)

Thank you, that's much appreciated. I think it always helps with photographs to explain the situation and to be honest - it's a good reference for me as well as I'm progressing. I'm just a little wary of people becoming bored with it though but then again, if they get bored then they don't have to read it I suppose.

 

Graham

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