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Thread: Going Small - Summerville Subdivision

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    Default Going Small - Summerville Subdivision

    Hi people

    Some of you know that due to unforseen circumstances, I'm losing the house I have lived in since I built it nearly 17 years ago . Enough of that chatter tho

    I tore out the new layout I was building and am going small now
    When I say small , its really not that small at 44 1/2" wide and 91 1/2" long . Almost a 4'×8' . It is based on a hollow door with edge extensions added to it .

    I plan to run basic OP's a good deal of the time , but i also like to railfan it as well . My family like to see trains run , not do switching , so I see this as opportunity to do some of both

    The plan im going to post is one by Byron Henderson , he has it posted on his web site Layout Visions so I don't think he minds that people use it . I thank him for doing that . He even has downloadable PDF's there

    images_1.jpg

    I like it for a few reasons

    - it has a small yard which i will use as staging more than as a fiddle yard per say
    - it has a decent length interchange track .... another staging track perhaps
    - the yard could be used to assemble and break down trains and make up a train for the interchange out bound and for a local to do it days work
    - it has for its size decent minimum radius
    - it has a reversing track (good ? bad ?) but its there anyways
    - it has room for a very small town , never done a town , look forward to doing one
    - it has separation from the 2 sides ....will be operated from both sides
    - it has double track so I can run a train and sit back when I want to do that , maybe even switch out a industry while running a train
    - because of the interchange track , I could maybe plausibly run another railroad off of it and do a few loops before it goes away
    - it has room for say 3 industries 2 small , 1 slightly larger
    - it has scenic opportunity
    - I know its a lot of track , but the interior of the loops don't have a lot of track , I think thats good

    Compromises to original plan

    I have 2 choices as I see it , keep all 4 tracks in the yard area and sacrifice the minimum radius down to somewhere in the 15 inch area
    Or sacrifice 1 yard track and keep the minimum radius in the 17 inch area
    Suggestions on which compromise would be great

    I do plan on running bigger 6 axle power on this , as well as 4 axle locals

    And one other thing I would ask , any flaws that stand out to you ? Suggestions to tweak it better ?

    The rather large ridge in the middle , I think i would change that up a bit , but still use it as separation for the 2 sides

    I will leave it at that today and listen to responses and answer questions as best as I can

    Thank you NSN for the help and guidance I have recieved over the years and most recently the support of this group with the difficulties recently thrown my way .

    Oh 1 more thing , I can move this thing to a new place to live once we know where we will land in a couple of months

    Thanks

    Steve


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    Looks like a great plan Steve.

    I would sacrifice one track in the yard in favor of larger radius if you are going to be running 6 axle locomotives. I just think they look better.

    Rob
    Rob

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    I'd keep all the tracks in the yard, and go with 15-ish inch minimum radius curves. I guess I'd look at it this way: which would you miss more, that extra track, or the visual difference between ~17 and ~15" radius? These pics are Kato Dash 9s on 15.5" radius track (Atlas True Track salvaged from my first layout). Wish I had something at 17" for a good comparison, but at least it will give you an idea of what the lower end of what you are considering looks like.

    DSCN6827.jpgDSCN6828.jpgDSCN6829.jpg

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    Steve, that's a good track plan and full of operating potential.

    The only weakness I see, and it's a minor thing, is lack of a short runaround at Weston. Eastridge has one. But that said, Weston's switching could just as easily be handled by a westbound local switching its respective trailing point spurs, and its eastbound counterpart doing the same.

    And yes, I'd too sacrifice a yard track for a broader radius.

    Byron's not fond of "island-style" layouts, but he sure hits some homeruns with them.

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    That certainly looks like a great layout! I particularly like how it's one long scene wrapped around the forest in the center. Basically starts at bottom right, where trains come from the interchange, then a local will be built to travel around the left curve, serve the industries in the top half, enter the forest and come back out to serve the industries in the bottom half. Turn around (no runaround, so need to have the loco sandwiched between cars) and return to the yard. For this, the yard needs to have some visual separation from the industries in the lower half, of course.

    To your question: It depends on how much staging you'll actually want - if you put the focus on ops, three yard tracks is fine (westbound, eastbound, outbound) - you'll just need to jiggle cars coming in from the the interchange around outbound cars going out to the interchange, that's going to work just fine with that wonderful long yard lead. But then you don't have staging space for additional "through trains".

    You might be able to loose one of the existing yard tracks, keep the minimum radius, push the turnout going out to the interchange track further to the right and add one more staging track coming off the interchange track. Although that might cost you the scenery separation between the yard and the industrial area.

    I guess the layout will be against the wall on the right side? Then I'd be tempted to get an interchange track somewhere it doesn't run into the wall, so you can connect temporary staging tracks. Maybe bend the existing interchange track further around to go underneath the mainlines (height difference would also help scenery separation mentioned above) and have a connection to staging in the top right corner, or similar...

    Looking forward to what you do with our ideas,
    Heiko

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    You picked a beautiful, well-thought out design my friend. It's essentially an out-and-back layout. Train starts at the yard, goes to the loops, services trailing point industries, and then uses the reverse loop through the forest and services the spurs facing the other way and then returns to the yard.

    The beauty of this is that in most layout plans of this type, you see the yard lead connected to the mainline at the bottom left which makes it way too short. This one has the yard lead cleverly extend all the way around so you can actually operate the yard while having a train run on the outer loop. Moreover, all industries other than the woodchip yard are serviced from the inner loop which means you can also switch the industries while having another train run on the outer loop. Essentially, you can have 3 operators on this layout without bumping into each other.

    I like the design of the yard too. Typical branchline yard. The blue track is essentially the incoming/outgoing track. The next two serve as the A/D track and the engine escape track, and then finally the last two serve as classification tracks - one for Weston and one for Eastridge.

    The plan also provides for some really interesting scenic opportunities. The ridge/forest in the middle for sure is a good visual separator. You can also have the yard be about 1" lower than the mainline for additional visual interest.

    Really looking forward to seeing this come alive. :-)
    Serdar

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    Quote Originally Posted by ssoysal View Post
    You picked a beautiful, well-thought out design my friend. It's essentially an out-and-back layout. Train starts at the yard, goes to the loops, services trailing point industries, and then uses the reverse loop through the forest and services the spurs facing the other way and then returns to the yard.
    When I first looked at it after reading your comment Steve "- it has a reversing track (good ? bad ?) but its there anyways"
    was you could always make it a double track through there and make it a "Loads in, Empties out" setup?

    But after reading ssoysal's post, I now see why Bryon added the reverse section to this plan.

    The Out and Back ops would work beautiful here.
    Working only trailing points is just what i do on mine, which alleviates the need for any run arounds.

    I think this could be a winner?
    I'd say push forward with it.

    One last thing, there's no reason you couldn't move the yard one track closer to the bottom edge and stay with a larger radius on the mains?
    Simply add a small section of plexiglass or barrier to that edge by the yard.
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    Thanks guys for the suggestions

    I went today and measured the layouts future parking spot , it will fit good . The layout is movable , but will essentially be operated with the left side against a wall . Separate staging will not be possible

    I have read them all and have taken the operating points in my mind clearly (that may be a first)
    What I'm going to do is this , a combination of the opinions, as they all were very good .

    I will keep the 4 yard tracks to be operated as @ssoysal described . I like that very much
    @Heiko I like your idea of yard separation , but with the reduced width and the desire to retain max minimum radius , a decent separation is troublesome . I will take ssoysal and your idea and lower the yard and interchange slightly . I'm thinking only 5/8" tho (no cork in yard, 1/2" in base height) , but im hoping it gives some illusion of separation . Once again width is my enemy on the build . That being said I'm thinking of the yard track spacing of 1 1/8" , as I do my mainline at 33mm (slightly over 1 1/4") . Does anyone go smaller than 1 1/8" for yard tracks ? If so , is it comfortable with a tighter yard ?

    I like @Allen H. and @Paul Schmidt point of trailing point OP's , I'm a beginner at more than a roundy round , so I'm easing into OP's

    @OTFan you make a good point about 15" radius , I listened to this and so far I have achieved 15 3/4" minimum on the left hand side of the layout where the triple track is , a little rework and I might get 16" . I can live with 15 3/4" minimum on the inner loop . But even that extra 1/4" make my mind happier , even if it doesn't affect running .

    I'm working things out today by actually pinning down track , this is how I get a feel for things , I'm pretty picky about turnouts and track leading into and out from , being smooth transitions . No kinks , nothing awkward . If it doesn't look smooth to my eye , I change it . That makes something harder to achieve for space , but I will sacrifice space for smooth flowing track work

    Thanks

    Steve

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    Sounds good, Steve! I think you are on a good path towards the right compromise.

    Just one remark: From my gut feeling, the right side of the layout should be against the wall, not the left. I feel you'll want good access to the yard lead and yard throat without leaning over the layout. Don't see any problem with flipping or rotating the layout, though, depending on what fits your space better.

    YMMV,
    Heiko

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    Hi Guys

    I've done some thinking since the last post and made a change

    I reduced the yard to 3 tracks from 4 . Reason being is it allowed for a bit more separation from the mainline trackage and it just looks less cramped

    I won't be having the wood chip yard spur as shown on the plan , that will be a bit of river edge up there
    I have kept as close the the "original" HO plan as I could

    downloads_1.jpg
    But of course this is in HO , but I made what I could of it in N

    Here is the track pinned down

    20210124_164745.jpg

    As you can see , I am going to attempt a resurrection of the Paper Mill
    I look at having the Mill as a great source for different types of cars . Daily inbound and outbound traffic would be required at the mill
    It is a little dominating , but im hoping I can make it look OK , sure going to give it a try as I have been wanting a Paper Mill for a very long time

    As for the other main area , I'm thinking about the Walthers American Hardware kit , the Walthers Propane dealer and maybe one more undetermined smaller industry . There will also be a few shops and a few houses
    I'm thinking the road from the town can connect to the Mill across the reversing track in the middle

    The engine service area is a WIP

    Still planing a couple of ridges to create separation from front to back of the layout and if at all possible a small creek somewhere , required by my better half . She wants water and a bridge somewhere , and I like them too . That's is going to be the 2 hardest things to figure out as space is at a premium

    Have a look , propose ideas , changes , suggestions , and please leave comments


    Thanks , you guys have been of great help

    Steve


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    Well, yes, the paper mill will be very imposing, Steve. That's not a detraction, but it will change the character of the layout from more "mountainous" to something much more "industrial."

    Most paper mills need a nearby water source, and the righthand edge of the photo suggests a possible river course alongside the right of way.

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    Does the bridge have to go over the creek? Probably sounds like a weird question, but in the top left corner of the track plan, what if the land slopes down from the ridge that will run diagonally across the layout to provide some separation, to a creek in the corner? Or a continuation of the bit of river that you mentioned putting where the wood chip spur was on the original plan. At least one of the tracks around that bend might need to be on a curved trestle as it goes around that slope? That might require some modification to the benchwork to get that change in elevation though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schmidt View Post
    Well, yes, the paper mill will be very imposing, Steve. That's not a detraction, but it will change the character of the layout from more "mountainous" to something much more "industrial."
    Paul i read this last night , slept on it , day dreamed about it all day (beats thinking about work lol) and as soon as I read it last night I knew in my mind it was just a wishful thinking kind of thing .
    So after all the thinking about it , your right about it . It will not be included on this layout .

    Now the questions is , my nicest cars I own are my 12 bluford shops wood chip cars . I love these cars and would like to see them become part of my OP's , not just run thru trains .

    How can I include them in OP's I asked myself

    Since I sacrificed the wood chip spur at the top of the layout (space constraints) I thought maybe about a pulp wood factory . Pulp wood cars and logging trucks in , wood chips out . I have the space for that without it being too tall or imposing to the other side . But that still leaves that area quite industrial . Bad thing ?

    Or I could put a saw mill there , wood chip source and I could introduce centerbeams to the layout . Slower work for the wood chip cars , but at least it's a reason to run some of them occasionally. Still have logging trucks in and loaded lumber out by truck or rail . I doubt I would have log cars in , thats too far out of my era I THINK . Is it tho ? My era is mostly going to be late 90's -Early 2000's

    @OTFan
    I think a creek/small river/stream is a must . I just don't want too many bridges . Most of the track is curved so than means curved bridges . I know how to make Micro Engineering girder and ballasted deck bridges with a small curve to them , but a bigger curved trestle thats a unknown to me . Would a fairly heavy use Subdivision have a wooden trestle still in use today ? I can see having 1 track on it (original line before expanding to double main) but i would think the second bridge would be newer and made of steel . Thoughts on this ?

    BTW I can go down as far as 3" , then I hit HCD . So no modification need to the layout base is needed I would think

    Opinions ? I listen to everybody , good collective mind here

    Thanks

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by aflica View Post
    Would a fairly heavy use Subdivision have a wooden trestle still in use today ? I can see having 1 track on it (original line before expanding to double main) but i would think the second bridge would be newer and made of steel . Thoughts on this ?
    I would look at modifying a ME steel viaduct for a curved bridge. Same idea as the girder bridges you mentioned, with the towers underneath. They sell the components several different ways so you could make one with just the shorter 40' segments. The towers would probably also need to be modified - the bottoms cut off at an angle - to fit the terrain. I think @WP&P has a curved bridge like this, but maybe I'm misremembering. If you don't like those ME towers, @Distantantennas scratch built concrete towers for something similar here: https://www.nscale.net/forums/showth...722#post554722

    On the other hand, if the creek is the important part, not the bridge, you could always do a culvert somewhere. On model railroads we (me included) tend to have lots of bridges and not so many culverts... on real railroads, it's often the reverse.

    As for log cars, apparently Englewood Railway up in your neck of the woods operated until 2017: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Englewood_Railway Not so common by your era, but plausible maybe?

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    I was looking at this track plan & thinking it looks very familiar. It wasn't til it was pointed out the reverse loop is needed for it to work as an out & back that I realized its a larger version of the old Atlas N11 'Unhinged & Horizontal' layout.

    I look forward to your progress on this as IMO the 'out & back' is a great small layout design-you can just watch them run, or you can operate it, or a combination of both.
    The Northern Alberta Railways, once the 3rd largest railway in Canada.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Riderfan View Post
    I was looking at this track plan & thinking it looks very familiar. It wasn't til it was pointed out the reverse loop is needed for it to work as an out & back that I realized its a larger version of the old Atlas N11 'Unhinged & Horizontal' layout.

    I look forward to your progress on this as IMO the 'out & back' is a great small layout design-you can just watch them run, or you can operate it, or a combination of both.
    By golly, you nailed it!

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    I have a small update , lots of work , but little to show for it lol

    I took @Heiko suggestion of lowering the yard a bit to create more separation from the main lines .

    20210206_180312.jpg

    Its only 1/2" lower but its something

    I then made my own foam curved riser with my table saw and a taper jig I made . Once cut , I then cut with a razor knife the relief cuts so it could curve around my area cut out . It rises 1/2" in 48" , so effectively a 1.04% grade .

    20210206_180252.jpg

    20210206_180328.jpg

    Its nice and smooth from the way I cut it with my jig , just a little spackle to fill the relief cuts , ready for cork . I made sure I have 8" of flat track to the turnout , didn't want trains transitioning off of a turnout directly , at least 1 locos length and a bit more before the grade and a smooth transition there as well .

    Thats it for today , maybe more tomorrow night

    Thanks for looking

    Steve


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    Nice job on that taper Steve.
    Easy to tell there's a woodworker behind the scenes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by aflica View Post
    I then made my own foam curved riser with my table saw and a taper jig I made
    Steve,

    I have been trying to wrap my head around how to cut risers on a table saw for a long time and I can never figure it out. Can you share a few details on how you made your taper jig.
    Regards,
    Warren

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    Quote Originally Posted by African Pirate View Post
    Can you share a few details on how you made your taper jig.
    Warren , I will take a pic of the jig later today and post up how I made it for you

    Steve

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