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Thread: "NIWT" Northern Illinois & Wisconsin Trunk Railway

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    Default "NIWT" Northern Illinois & Wisconsin Trunk Railway

    I have officially renaming the forner G&CU which I restarted here in post#114 www.nscale.net/forums/showthread.php?29421-The-G-amp-CU-quot-The-Pioneer-quot-a-new-beginning&p=388335#post388335 to the NIWT "Northern Illinois & Wisconsin Trunk Railway" or "Nitwit" if you prefer

    I'm having a problem though, , as you can see I've been trying to re-arrange things after expanding the layout but to be quite honest it just does not feel right to me and if I continue the way I'm going I will not be happy and we all know what happens if we aren't happy with it. I want to keep doing it this time so I have to find a way to make it work so the only way is to pull the track or most of it and come up with another plan.

    The lower level which will be a storage/yard is still part of the pian but not until I get upper level well underway.

    So I need help with this.

    My plan is to have a small city, a small rural town and the outskirts of Chicago as the the 3 main parts. Within those parts I will have yard with a maintenance area, a farm, a rec area w/ a campground and a ballast producing facility with a Quarry which hss been planned for the back of the layout along the wall.

    The area I have to work with is a 12' x 6' space which right now has benchwork of 4x6 on the left and right and a 4x2 between them like an upside down "U". I could join it at the bottom with a lift out bridge if needed.

    The reason I think I'm having problems I believe is that I just can't seem to grasp track planning software and when I resort to the way I've been doing this by trying to lay track down to work out a plan it won't fit or doesn't look right.

    If someone could help me design a plan that can get me started I would appreciate it.
    I have plenty of Kato Unitrack with quite a few switches and 2 double crossovers that I want/can to use for the mainline and some spurs and also a good supply of Peco code55 flex and switches that I was using for the yard and also planned to use on some spurs as well.

    I'm pretty bummed on how this has been progressing and that I have to ask for this help,, if I could only figure out to use track planning software.

    In the meantime I'm starting a "production line" to build a bunch of my structures to keep my head in the game until a track plan gets strarted.


    Sorry for all the rambling, , I guess "nitwit" as part of the name fits huh?

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    I am looking forward to following this.

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    1. Go to Union Station
    2. Find the track going to Milwaukee
    3. Follow the track to Milwaukee
    4. Take a digital image every 500 feet
    5. When you get to Milwaukee, have a spicy bratwurst
    6. Return home
    7. Examine the photographs
    8. Start noticing how the city turns to country and back again
    9. Mark similar transition areas on the layout plan
    10. Start designing the track plan using what you have learned on your journey.


    Basically the reason you concepts don't look right is that the elements are in a random order. The basic plan will work better if you flow this plan:
    1. City
    2. Yard
    3. Suburb
    4. Exurb
    5. Country
    6. Tiny town
    7. Hole in ground

    8 The back the same sort of way in the opposite direction.

    Note how Chicagoland follows the concept…



    At the bottom edge of the photo is the country area…



    At the corner is a limestone quarry…



    That takes us past the engine yard that feeds under the city…



    The only track that does follow that route is the outside loop but there are smaller loops running through the whole thing.


    But it works as the type of scenery flows from one type to another and ones that are different are separated by raise track scenic dividers.
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    Thanks,, The only thing I know I'm not doing is the city skyscraper buildings. They will be in a backdrop off in the distance. The outskirts will just contain some places from my history and memories like Jimmi's Police Station and Fire Station as an example.

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    I am officially subscribed to this thread so there better be something to watch! (jk)
    Yours,

    Gene

    Turtle Creek Industrial RR

    Link to my Flickr account: https://www.flickr.com/photos/epumph/

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    I kinda agree with what ChicagoNW said. Start with the city, which is your backdrop, and work your track out from that. Maybe it's the industrial edge of Chi-Town and you work your way out to the suburbs to the country. Another thought might be to break it into 'scenes' with breaks between each scene so that you don't feel like you are taking on something massive. Just a thought.

    Ben

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    Finally an accomplishment of sorts, I started watching some tutorial videos about "SCARM" and was at least able to get a rough start to the mainline.

    I transferred it to paint to add some stuff, probably could have done it in SCARM but I haven't got that far in the tutorial yet.

    I flip-flopped my original idea of having the Chicago outskirts on the left and decided to put it on the right in the same area as the yard and maintenance area as suggested.
    The rural town and the small city could be flopped as well if the flow doesn't look right. I plan to use scenery to hide some of the movements of the trains as well.

    I still have to redesign the yard and any spurs in the three sections but at least it's a start. Any suggestions on that part are welcome.

    I will add that lift out bridge I put at the bottom to join the left & right sections there as well as the top but that will be later,,maybe sooner,, who knows?

    NIWT.jpg

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    I think you're on the right track. In my mind, I see the greatest urban density being the top right corner, and as you move diagonally towards the lower left, the density drops (i.e. ChicagoNW's 7-point scale). That way, as you are in the "pit", when you look to the right you see downtown (major yard in front, city behind it); when you look "up" you see industrial zones and suburbs, and looking left you see rural. One exception to this rule is how you've labeled a second town on the left edge... which I think can be a great idea! Provided that you give it some scenic separation, and I would suggest you do so by adding a double-sided backdrop along the spine of the left lobe, approximately where you have that big yellow-green mass drawn. A backdrop panel will work far better here than any sort of topographic feature, because you want to sell the idea of this being northern Illinois, which means any form of mountains will feel wrong.

    The gravel mine should be the major feature in that remote small town, and with a backdrop to back up against, you may be able to make it feel like a rather large mining operation. You'd also end up with a perfect opportunity for Loads-In/Empties-Out operations, by letting the spur tracks to the gravel mine pass hidden through the backdrop, to emerge on the other side at a paired industry that would be on the outskirts of the exurb/suburb/industrial zone.

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    "But how do you know that she is a witch?"

    "Well - She turned me into a NEWT!"

    -awkward pause-

    "... I got better..."

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    how's access to all sides?from the 'pit' the reach looks killer??
    Yours,

    Gene

    Turtle Creek Industrial RR

    Link to my Flickr account: https://www.flickr.com/photos/epumph/

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    Quote Originally Posted by WP&P View Post
    I think you're on the right track. In my mind, I see the greatest urban density being the top right corner, and as you move diagonally towards the lower left, the density drops (i.e. ChicagoNW's 7-point scale). That way, as you are in the "pit", when you look to the right you see downtown (major yard in front, city behind it); when you look "up" you see industrial zones and suburbs, and looking left you see rural. One exception to this rule is how you've labeled a second town on the left edge... which I think can be a great idea! Provided that you give it some scenic separation, and I would suggest you do so by adding a double-sided backdrop along the spine of the left lobe, approximately where you have that big yellow-green mass drawn. A backdrop panel will work far better here than any sort of topographic feature, because you want to sell the idea of this being northern Illinois, which means any form of mountains will feel wrong.

    The gravel mine should be the major feature in that remote small town, and with a backdrop to back up against, you may be able to make it feel like a rather large mining operation. You'd also end up with a perfect opportunity for Loads-In/Empties-Out operations, by letting the spur tracks to the gravel mine pass hidden through the backdrop, to emerge on the other side at a paired industry that would be on the outskirts of the exurb/suburb/industrial zone.
    The brown & green blob was supposed to represent a grove of trees,, you think that woild suffice?
    I was planning to run the incline to the quarry along the back wall with the descending track to the lower level behind it. By doing it there the incline/decline will not be too steep.
    At the bottom of the quarry incline way over on the right section just before the "outskirrs" I was planning to do a MOW operation where the track ballast would be delivered to from the quarry.

    Quote Originally Posted by epumph View Post
    how's access to all sides?from the 'pit' the reach looks killer??
    Oh, Oh,, it's the "Reach Police, Attachment 63490

    Honest officer,, I have access from all sides and it is a short reach to the back wall. Even the backdrops when installed will be removable.

    I also have this.

    mv8XTPNWxmM_HvJDem6uwew.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by WP&P View Post
    The gravel mine should be the major feature in that remote small town, and with a backdrop to back up against, you may be able to make it feel like a rather large mining operation. You'd also end up with a perfect opportunity for Loads-In/Empties-Out operations, by letting the spur tracks to the gravel mine pass hidden through the backdrop, to emerge on the other side at a paired industry that would be on the outskirts of the exurb/suburb/industrial zone.
    Just to give you an idea of what's being talked about, here's a little plan…


    Pusing either loaded or empty cars will appear in the other industry to be picked up and delivered again.

    While one doesn't associate mountains with the Midwest there are quite a few tall hills. Top it with trees and can get something about seven or eight inches tall, which is tall enough to block the view when sitting.
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    1. Go to Union Station
    2. Find the track going to Milwaukee
    3. Follow the track to Milwaukee
    4. Take a digital image every 500 feet
    5. When you get to Milwaukee, have a spicy bratwurst
    6. Return home
    7. Examine the photographs
    8. Start noticing how the city turns to country and back again
    9. Mark similar transition areas on the layout plan
    10. Start designing the track plan using what you have learned on your journey.



    Basically the reason you concepts don't look right is that the elements are in a random order. The basic plan will work better if you flow this plan:

    1. City
    2. Yard
    3. Suburb
    4. Exurb
    5. Country
    6. Tiny town
    7. Hole in ground
    Note, don't forget to have a beer with your spicy bratwurst.

    Second note, as a former Milwaukean, I hope point #7 above refers to Kenosha. We filled our hole in the ground years ago unwanted Cubs paraphernalia.
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    7. Hole in Ground is a reference to the Pink Lady Quarry.
    But the pictures I've seen, they are cutting up hills, for the stuff.

    But you should not knock Kenosha. They are the only place other than San Francisco that runs PCCs on a regular schedule as a real transportation system.
    Use what you know about the world to model…
    Learn from modeling what you don't know about the real world.



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    Quote Originally Posted by ThirdCoastRail View Post
    Note, don't forget to have a beer with your spicy bratwurst.
    Well DUH.........is there any other way???

    Quote Originally Posted by ThirdCoastRail View Post
    Second note, as a former Milwaukean, I hope point #7 above refers to Kenosha. We filled our hole in the ground years ago unwanted Cubs paraphernalia.
    Now Hold on there one minute Bud.... I should mention that I did live 1/2 block from Wrigley and was an original patron of the left field bleachers back in 67 and still watch Every game. Last time they were in the WS was the year I was born but things are looking like it's about to change so you might want to dig those things back up, could be worth something soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoNW View Post
    7. Hole in Ground is a reference to the Pink Lady Quarry.
    But the pictures I've seen, they are cutting up hills, for the stuff.
    Yep that's the plan for my ballast quarry.

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    As I said in another thread I never liked the look of the engine house/machine shop I made from the Model Power Brewery. I like how it came out just never liked the size of it so I decided to do this. I will post more pictures when it's done.
    I also laid down the mainline track, moved a few things and am in the process of wiring it back up. I trying to get a train running for my Granddaughter before she leaves today. Again more pictures and a video (I promise Moose ) as soon as I get it done, hopefully tonight or at least by morning.

    As far as the engine house/machine shop I'm going to remove the lower section that the red arrow is pointing to and put the wall of windows (white arrow) up against the main building or I might just brick it up instead.

    3.jpg

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    Well I didn't get this and other things on the layout done when I wanted because of "stuff" Dr's, Honey Do's, etc. but today I got some done.

    First I modified the engine house/shop that was originally the Model Power Brewery to a smaller size as I had talked about in the previous post above.
    It is 98% done, just have to add the fence, replace the window that fell out, touch up the paint and doe a little more weathering. All in all I like the size it is now.

    Second I added two mork tracks to the yard with a runaround between them. I kept the runaround just above that leading into the A/D track. This will allow runaround as well as turning the loco 180 degrees thereby negating the need for a turntable. That track is just laid there for now to see how it would look, I will cut it to fit and solder it together if nobody sees a problem with how it will function.
    I decided to not use the flex track for the A/D track and yard lead/exit and replaced it with Kato. Not sure if I have all my terminology correct so please excuse me if I didn't.

    I also ordered a Wathers Car Shop to use in conjuction with the Backshop with is represented by card stock at the moment. With that order I have a Walthers Interstate Fuel and a Blairline Farmer Fertilizer coming as well and they should be here today.

    Let me know what you all think.

    Original Building Size

    1.jpg

    Smaller Version

    5.jpg6.jpg7.jpg

    Yard Pictures.
    In picture #3 and #4 the 2 card stock cutouts are the Allied Rail on the left and the Northern Light & Power to the right of the Unitrack A/D track.
    I'm not sure where that one will be placed yet but it will be somewhere along the A/D track.

    1.jpg2.jpg3.jpg4.jpg5.jpg6.jpg

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    I'm also planning to make a swing out or down (most likely the latter) section with a bridge over a dried up creek bed to connect the left and right sections in the front.. Thinking I will have to make double width front to back for more scenery options.
    I'm already gluing the 2" foam in place and waiting for it to dry.

    gate.jpg

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