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Thread: Going Modular

  1. #1
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    Default Going Modular

    After finally getting the N scale guys in the club to agree on a Bend track variation, may I present to you for you're critiquing pleasure: a pair of 2.5x4' modules that are being planned as my contribution to the modular layout. I'm sure this isn't the last version of it, but over all I like where it is going.


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    Some Details about the modules:

    -All track is KATO (besides the Nn3 loop of course)
    -I have to be able to run a train while it is set up at home (wife's orders to prolong the need to build other modules!)
    -DCC/DC
    -The RED track and the bottom half of the YELLOW loop is elevated slightly from the double main lines.
    -The BLUE loop is also at the elevated level as the RED track is. It slopes down and then returns back to normal height on the outer loop.
    -The big empty space on the right module will be for a town.
    -General idea for terrain will be hilly Appalachian
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    Bo D.
    B&O Keyridge Subdivision
    I'm not allowed to run the train, the whistle I can't blow. I'm not allowed to say how fast the Railroad Train can go.
    I'm not allowed to shoot off steam, nor even clang the bell. But let the damned Train jump the track, and see who catches hell!


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    I'll be watching! :spy:
    Yours,

    Gene

    Turtle Creek Industrial RR

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

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    This has the feel of a place where a Class 1 mainline meets up with a narrow gauge shortline, with the red yard handling trans-loading. I would suggest that all of the crossovers be on the yard side (bottom) instead. Then, what you might do is to put the top main lines into a tunnel, and let the narrow gauge be really elevated! The top stretch of the yellow loop could be in a tunnel so that it serves as hidden staging, and the double mainline at top can enter a tunnel portal just 6" in from each end. Then, the top edge can be developed as high terrain, so that the Nn3 line has a bit of a mountain to climb. I'd extend a long spur over onto the right module that maybe uses a switchback or two to get up to the pinnacle, where there can be some log loading.

    Get yourself a Rail Pass for free travel on the WP&P: wpandp.com
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    Interesting Bo.
    So what is the radius of the Yellow loop?

    I like what WP is saying about expanding the Nn3 up and over.

    Now unless your group has put a nix in tunnels on the main, this could be easily addressed by having the top side of the drawing be open from the side, but also covered up with a removable fascia that is held in place with Velcro which for easy access.

    Another option that I seen, there is no reason one side (or both sides) couldn't be widened out a bit similar to this:



    Then have your mainlines swing out to follow the edge.
    This also be done on top and instead of the mains going underground, the Nn3 could be on a higher ridge.

    Just thinking outloud.....
    The Little Rock Line blog


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    Another thought that you have probably already answered.... Someone has to be the "end of the line" at each end of the module string with a loop. Could you be that guy and therefore have more room for your continuous loop? Alternately could you design a pair of loops for yourself at home, giving you more room?
    Daniel Dawson

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    [INDENT @WP&P The Narrow gauge line that I am modeling didn't have any switch backs. But I like where you are going with that. I do have a shay that would appreciate some switch backs though.... hmm.... I really like making one side of the double main lines in tunnels. Maybe a trans load between a shay line and the Nn3? The possibilities are endless.

    As far as trans-loading, I do not want to make it the focal point of these modules. I was thinking of having a small station with a platform between the two gauges and that is about it.
    [/INDENT]
    @Allen H. The yellow track is 9.75" curves. A little tight, but it will allow me to run some equipment. Double stacks have to be able to pass through them so tunnels are acceptable. I like the swing out idea, I'll see what the bench work guy says about it. With yours and @WP&P 's idea, that would break up the N trak feel that my current design has.
    @Mobile One Out of the group of us making the leap into modules, we have already dived up who is making what to start us off. I offered to make either an end module or two straights. But yes, the idea down the road is to make "End cap modules" instead of the larger end modules to connect the two main lines together.
    Bo D.
    B&O Keyridge Subdivision
    I'm not allowed to run the train, the whistle I can't blow. I'm not allowed to say how fast the Railroad Train can go.
    I'm not allowed to shoot off steam, nor even clang the bell. But let the damned Train jump the track, and see who catches hell!


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    I do NTRAK modular railroad, so a slightly different beast, but my initial thought when looking at your design is that there is too much in too small of a space.

    I'm not sure the BendTrak standards, but the NTRAK mainlines are 24" and 18" curves for both looks and smooth operation of everything. By contrast, your Nn3 I think may look a bit more like an amusement park ride than a operational sawmill due to the size of the curves and such. We have a lot of members who start out trying to get a whole lot of track on a 4' module, and end up realizing they need 8', or even 12' to make it look great.

    I would either run the red excursion yard up diagonal (following a line of what is now your ladder) and get some longer tracks and ditch the Nn3. Passenger cars are LONG, you need longer sidings for them, plus any excursion place often has some dead locos and other stuff awaiting restoration.

    OR ditch the red and make the Nn3 take up the entire inner space and give it a bit more room.

    You always can build more modules later, despite the wife's protests!
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    You have completely ignored the place where modular systems go wrong.

    The joints.

    You have too many places where you will have problems. The angled tracks can be a real pain to align. When mating modules, which tracks do you connect first? The angled ones? The straight ones? You cannot do both at the same time. Any two modules should be able to plug together just like connecting two extension cords.

    You should eliminate any angled tracks that cross a module joint.

    In order to keep the connections between modules simple and be able to cope with modular variations caused by external conditions. They use a standard joiner piece of track. But a fixed size track cannot deal with some problems. So many clubs are adopting the Unitrack variable length track to cope. Using these at every place where tracks on the modules meet. The modules can be aligned, the tracks inserted, then expanded to fill the gap.

    Elevating the the yard for the yellow tracks makes no sense. It is a poor practice to place turnouts on grades.
    Use what you know about the world to model…
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    @ChicagoNW - I only have one angled track on that revision of the plan which I don't see it causing an issue because like you said at the end, we are going with the KATO expansion track pcs at all joints. I tried doing the least amount of angled track as possible because of that issue, and will keep that in mind going forward.

    Also that revision had the lower half of the yellow loop elevated, no turnouts were placed on inclines. My 3x5' had a turnout with one and I eventually ripped it out because it was a PIT!!!!
    Bo D.
    B&O Keyridge Subdivision
    I'm not allowed to run the train, the whistle I can't blow. I'm not allowed to say how fast the Railroad Train can go.
    I'm not allowed to shoot off steam, nor even clang the bell. But let the damned Train jump the track, and see who catches hell!


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    The Kato expandable tracks seem hit or miss, some people love them, some people say all the do is cause derailments. I have little personal experience.

    With sectional/flex, an angled joint is no problem. The joiner track drops in over the joint after module alignment, regardless of if they are perpendicular or angled. Plenty of NTRAK modules with angle track, like 2-piece junctions and various fancier yards. I suspect if using the Kato expandable the same is true.

    The angle should only be an issue if you plan to do TTRAK style joints, where the track hangs over the edge and just clicks together. An angle track does not work well with that at all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoNW View Post
    You have too many places where you will have problems. The angled tracks can be a real pain to align. When mating modules, which tracks do you connect first? The angled ones? The straight ones? You cannot do both at the same time. Any two modules should be able to plug together just like connecting two extension cords.
    You read the plan differently than I do.

    There is one module in the drawing. It happens to be made of two sections, but it is still one module.

    For module sections that are always placed together in the same way, the only trick you need to know is that you use alignment pins at the intramodule end plates to join sections together. You lay the track on the sections with the alignment pins in place. If you do this right, you can use butt joints on the tracks crossing the intramodule end plate, even for tracks that cross the joint at an angle.

    Paul
    Last edited by pbender; 3rd Apr 2017 at 06:08 PM.

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    Don't get hung up on keeping track perpendicular to the module joints. Have a look at this post: http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...666#post449666

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  22. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bicknell View Post
    By contrast, your Nn3 I think may look a bit more like an amusement park ride
    I am really worried about that happening actually. I think that with some more modifications to the plan with some ideas being tossed out, I THINK that I'll be able to get away from that. We'll see though.

    Or do I save the Nn3 plans for a later date and run with the shay and switch backs up over one of the double main lines. That sounds appealing.
    Bo D.
    B&O Keyridge Subdivision
    I'm not allowed to run the train, the whistle I can't blow. I'm not allowed to say how fast the Railroad Train can go.
    I'm not allowed to shoot off steam, nor even clang the bell. But let the damned Train jump the track, and see who catches hell!


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    Scenery makes or breaks any track plan.
    According to what I see on the plan no amusement park rides are on the layout. So, I figure trees will fill most of that space.

    Despite a a popular misconception, all narrow railroads were not on mountains. Many were built by owners too cheap to pay for wider ties or heavier equipment. Some were even used in subway style freight service. Before the Civil War ended you could find narrow gauge trains anywhere around the country.

    It might be the way the software presents Unitrack, but I don't see any difference between the variable tracks and other short segments of track.
    Use what you know about the world to model…
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    Agreed about the narrow gauge lines, the railroad that I am wanting to model operated in the foot hill of the Appalachians, so hills not mountains.

    SCARM doesn't have the expansion track piece in their library. So I use two smaller pcs to make something close to the actual size of it.
    Bo D.
    B&O Keyridge Subdivision
    I'm not allowed to run the train, the whistle I can't blow. I'm not allowed to say how fast the Railroad Train can go.
    I'm not allowed to shoot off steam, nor even clang the bell. But let the damned Train jump the track, and see who catches hell!


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    if you haven''t seen this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM1H0URvKX8
    Yours,

    Gene

    Turtle Creek Industrial RR

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

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    That is very nice, but, that is some version of Unitrack I have never seen.
    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 RailKing50 View Post
    I am really worried about that happening actually. I think that with some more modifications to the plan with some ideas being tossed out, I THINK that I'll be able to get away from that. We'll see though. Or do I save the Nn3 plans for a later date and run with the shay and switch backs up over one of the double main lines. That sounds appealing.
    Does the Nn3 need to be a loop? Perhaps a point to point would be appropriate here?
    Steve - Jugtown Modeler..............Don't know enough about railroading yet, but scale modeling is my life..............Web-Folio

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    @Jugtown Modeler - Not necessarily, but I think that I would rather have it be one. If I wanted to use my shay I would make it a pt to pt.
    Bo D.
    B&O Keyridge Subdivision
    I'm not allowed to run the train, the whistle I can't blow. I'm not allowed to say how fast the Railroad Train can go.
    I'm not allowed to shoot off steam, nor even clang the bell. But let the damned Train jump the track, and see who catches hell!


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    Using @Allen H. 's idea of a bump out. The bump out is 6", making the modules 36" at its widest section.
    -Swinging out the tracks onto the bump out and then putting them through a tunnel gives me more room for a pair of switchbacks.
    -All of the switchback tracks will be ATLAS Flex, the section across the continental divide are flat 5" Atlas sections (I may revisit this). No slope across module divides.
    -All inclines are 3%.
    -From the inner most yard track to the switch back is just over 6". Tight, but workable.

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    Last edited by RailKing50; 7th Apr 2017 at 03:29 PM. Reason: Operator Error
    Bo D.
    B&O Keyridge Subdivision
    I'm not allowed to run the train, the whistle I can't blow. I'm not allowed to say how fast the Railroad Train can go.
    I'm not allowed to shoot off steam, nor even clang the bell. But let the damned Train jump the track, and see who catches hell!


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