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New layout,with no name (here we go again)

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Well as i hoped Stafford exhibition got my juices flowing again :locomotive: ,so time to build a new layout,a more modern urban setting(more research needed,been looking around Chicago,for starters :scratchhead: ).


A simple track plan using the last of my code 100 points,3 right hand curved ones,may have to buy a couple of lengths of track,buildings will probably be bulit out of card (enjoyed them on 59th) need to look at photos for ideas.


Trains(loco +3 cars) will head out of sector plate (loco leading) switch industries, then push back,there's no specific railroad (use what i have).


There's 2 versions,using same track plan,i'm leaning towards version 2(can hide road end better,but don't know how it would work in real life


post-13979-0-00619300-1391521906_thumb.jpg :declare:


But before i start the build i've still a bit of research to do, on sector plates, pavement/road widths(with grass verge),types of trees,road markings around track and traffic signals,are just a few.


I'm not sure whether to do a blow by blow of the build or just update now and then,i'm sure you've all had enough of my last two layouts,will wait and see!!. :nono:  :scratchhead:



P.S Hope to have it bulit Nick for TVNAM 2015!!!!!!!


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Looks interesting Ray.  Here's a small brewery that is still receiving rail service in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  Matter of fact, the track arrangement into the brewery has changed.  If you look at the aerial images in an east or west orientation, you see the old arrangement.  Within the past few months, Bing appears to have uploaded new imagery for the north and south views as it shows a new track arrangment. 




Lion Brewery's web site:





In Utica, New York, there is the old Utica Club brewery, now known as Saranac.  This one contains street trackage with a switch in the street that enters the building. 






Both of these are (relatively) small breweries still housed inside old brick buildings.  They have more character in my opinion than the massive Anheuser Busch or Coors breweries.



Moving to Wisconsin, there is the 'World's Largest Six-Pack' at what used to be Heilman's Brewing.  This brewery is bigger than the other two and the trackside arrangement might be better suited to a linear layout like you are planning.  They really did pack in quite a bit of trackage at this one.










Looking forward to seeing how your layout turns out.



Jason Cook

New Haven, IN

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Forgot to include some links to pictures of trains.  Here's the Susquehanna serving Utica Club/FX Matt's/Saranac brewery.





Video too!





And the Luzerne & Susquehanna service the Lion Brewery.  Look how tight the curves are!













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As discussed elsewhere, I'd probably do without the magnets and use a twiddly stick, but that aside, the plans look great. Difficult to choose between them, although I'm a sucker for street running, so the second probably swings it.


Is the 14 inch depth dictated by the space at home? If not, I'd be tempted to make it 18 deep and centralise the tracks at either end, so it would do double duty as a uk freemo module. But it looks like a great project which I shall follow in awe as usual.


And Jason, thanks for the inspirational links.


(Edited due to stupid autocorrect)

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Dear Ray,



But before i start the build i've still a bit of research to do, on sector plates, pavement/road widths(with grass verge),types of trees,road markings around track and traffic signals,are just a few.



Right then, set each of those issues out, and let the Brains Trust have a swing at them.








Most anything by Shortliner Jack... ;-)


Road Widths/Track and traffic signal markings


Tough one, as no two US cities are absolutely identical in their spec,
let alone consistent between any 2 given locations within a given city's city-limits.
(The Interstate Highways are Federal, and thus do have commonality.
However, on the surface streets within a given city's "city limits",
the actual on-the-ground details can vary significantly...)


You can start by either:


- Googling the city-in-question's City Engineering Specs,
(what the paperwork says it should be)


- Google mapping the "area of inspiration" in question, and rouchly scaling direct from Sat imagery
(what it actually is)


- or start with the street dimensions set out by whatever form of model street construction you intend to use
(Walthers, Accu-Track/Proto87Stores, and Scale Scenes come to mind), and go from there.
(IE forgo absolutely proto fidelity, and make it "look right in the space available")



Happy Modelling,
Aim to Improve,
Prof Klyzlr


PS Switching Chicago? Suggest 









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Thanks for the imput guys



love the videos those old brick building are just what i'm looking for, should be able to build something using both breweries.



you maybe right about the magnet at 3c maybe have to put a 308 under the track on the head shunt(testing needed),i like using magnets to spot the cars,the layout will be front operated and the last thing the public wants is to see is my back while i'm trying to uncouple cars,as i only use non delay magnets this looks better when spotting cars around the layout and no kadee shuffle(unless the 308 goes in,level with the corner of the building).



It's only 14" (wife's never complained,it's how you use it) because thats what goes through the loft hatch (16" wide),and fits into the back of the car with everything else,legs,stock boxes etc




Thanks for the links,the roads going to be made out of good old 2mm card,with plasticard between the tracks,there no set location freelance,so road sizes will as you say fit the space i have,already looked at the Chicago switching.com,some interesting stuff.


plenty of reading to do,though i can build the baseboards,maybe this weekend!!!


keep the info comimg,the more the merrier.



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I've been researching Chicago a lot over the past few months, so know what your going through. The Chicago Switching website is back up and full of good photos once more. 


There are several Chicago groups on flickr too






Here's a fav of mine: http://www.flickr.com/photos/5632/9102387914/


I reckon there's a good spot on your plan Ray for a lumber yard:http://goo.gl/maps/13WjE


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  • 2 weeks later...

After a really bad dose of man flu(a bit of cold) i finally got started this weekend on the build,got baseboards built(including sector plate) all the track down,wired and tested.






Added the magnet to the short brewery track to test with longest stock/loco,uncoupled/coupled every time!!(lucky bar###d)


Next jobs,sort legs(hoping to use 59th and rust legs)paint track,add road surfaces and point operation,going to try R/C flexi-snakes,this way i can have all point knobs at the right end(as you look at the layout) this will mean i won't have to walk in front of the paying public as much at exhibitions.


Still looking for buildings ideas,i've a basic idea of what i want just finding a photo!!



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Started on the road areas on board 1,with card either side of track and filler in between(filler,pva, emulision mix) you may also notice there are check rails (think thats what they call it) where the rails goes in the road,all the magnets are in as you can see, once the roads painted you won't see them.







Going to finish the point area with plasticard,when the point mechanisms are done,hoping to get the flexi-snakes this weekend on my way to Preston with Helm.



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Love the sweeping curves Ray.


I'm ready to be shot down with a bunch of East Coast Proto Photo examples, but in the meantime I'm struggling with this and the three "likes".  To my eyes, all that sweeping curvature makes the layout look so clearly so "British".


Trying to find a curved turnout in my West Coast Area of the US is tough. I can't ever remember seeing a RR or privately funded one in an industrial setting. And I'm not sure there ever has been a RR curved turnout laid in a street.  Going non-standard trackwork really ups the cost here, and getting a business's bean counters  to pay the RR extra for custom work would being like pulling teeth.



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If you follow the track back to the UP yard, after the river bridge there's what looks like a curved point

,i maybe wrong.(google 1828-1832 N ELSTON AVE)


As i said, i'm using what points i had left and wanted to do some thing slightly different to the linear style switching layouts,i think once the American style  buildings and other items are on the layout,don't think people will notice the curved turnouts.


If us brits tried to follow all American style point work we would end up with some nice large turnout with short sidings,i for one don't have the space for #10-12 frogs,we have to compromise and utilize the limited space we have.


I've always wonder if when American modelers,model British railways, do they follow British style track work or stick to what they know best???



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Nice gallery page and especially that specific picture. Thanks. I knew we'd find some if I stuck my neck out!


BTW, this example is (was) a buried regular (normal) RR turnout. Note, despite the curvature, the frog is still straight, because it's the usual bought in component, rather than had made in place, like the modellers way of doing it. IMHO, the easiest way to model those is to fix in some extra bull head rail for continuous guard (check) rails, and fill the remaining space in with plaster.


The other type of street turnout is the girder rail version, which uses specifically street safe girder type points and frog, and of course then doesn't need separate guard rails. I found the one leading into the Utica NY Brewery mentioned earlier on Google maps at Schuyler St. Around #90 Schulyer, the track curves into the street by a cute little tower and if you follow the street trackage (street view) , you come to the brewery switch and can look at it close up. I made up sets of etched parts to make my model versions of those types. They work fine with 4 axle diesels, but I haven't tried them out with any 6 axles or steamers yet.


I've never been able to figure out the criteria for using either type of turnout in the street. Many years after installation, both types seem to there at random. That's probably due to the "least cost" and "use whatever we have to hand for maintenance" philosophy.  I do suspect that the girder rail type is the type originally needed legally, if it's a public street with lots of civilian foot traffic.



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