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 Post subject: Comtrain goes Ho HO HO !
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:12 pm 
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Wednesday March 25 2009
Well as I am starting from scratch I thought I might as well document the progress of my model railway too.
Before I go much further, you must understand that I am 63 years old and have been collecting model trains for 50 of those years :mrgreen: So please don't think that I am bragging (I am not) And no need to feel envy either I have what I have because I waited 40 years to get it :D Don't wish you were in my shoes, rather relish your youth and a long time setting up things so that one day,you might get a little going your way too. oh where was I?.....ah yes...
Anyhow for most of that time I was buying a house, bringing up my kids and had little space to do much with my Trains. And little money left spare to buy the brass models that was all we could get in Australian outline.
When I got married I was determined to buy a house as soon as possible. No way was I going to make some land lord rich at my expense. So I moved into my house a year later and made a bank and a finance company rich instead.
So my first layout went into a 3.6m x 3.6m bedroom. It dissapointed me, and about 5 years later my son arrived and the bedroom became a nursery. It took another 4 years to clear the second mortgage, and I decided to build a 6m x 6m garage out back and layout number 2 was quickly put together. However it was never sceniced, and was a dissapointment.
Remember that son that took out the first layout? Well at 17 he also took out the second layout. His Mum talked me into pulling out the layout and turning the shed over to Dale's brand new pad. That was in 1990. But it was Ok because I had got together a whole heap of railway mates, secured a building from the VR and started a model railway club, that was going to build a massive model railway, and I got my running done there. http://www.hbmrc.net/ Here we are come over for a visit. Tell them Rod sent you :D
In 1997 I transferred to the North East and worked as a driver in Wodonga, So I sold everything and bought a new house in Wodonga. This time the one who shall be obeyed picked the house and you guessed it, no room for a model railway, or a garage / shed for that matter either.
So apart from a visit to HBR in Melbourne I was again a collector with no way of running trains. In 2004 my wife succumbed to breast cancer, and 2 days before Christmas I kissed her goodbye as she left this World for another place. It took me a while but I finally got rid of Riitt's house amd moved to a 10 acre block near Yackandandah, where I built a house (small) and a studio (huge) and started to plan my model railway. This one will get finished, I hope and God willing.
These first pictures show a massive big mess! I got my stuff out of storage and am steadily working through all the boxes to remember what I have got. The boxes will eventually store under the bench work, so everything is getting moved around as the benchwork finally starts to spread around the room.
The room is 15 m x 8 m. The railway will start to the left of the door, and loop back and under itself (two levels (stacked one above the other) will then go down the long wall turn along the end wall and into the middle where a center module will be built. Returning back to the end wall, and then up the other long wall, into another loop where the bottom level climbs up to the top level and circulates the room a second time. It has been a painful process and the design changes day to day as I remember previous mistakes and pick something up from all the books I am reading, and web sites I am visiting.
Oh and again I have helped start off a model railway club, this time in Albury-Wodonga,The http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Murray_Railway/ This little group is one of the keenest groups of people I have ever met in a model club. Lets see how we go, but next time I will show you the studio :)
Cheers
Rod

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:05 am 
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This is the starting corner. As I do not want to block the doorway I have put loops on both sides.
The loops will hide storage sidings on the bottom level, as well the top level will now extend into the corner and will be a carriage storage area and local engine service area as part of a large station.
The storage sidings in the loop will be covered by a dual track that sweeps to the right near the left hand pillar loops around and joins the storage sidings (hidden) before entering the lower level. A large feature bridge will span the lower track. If my calculations are correct I can average a 1.5% gradient.

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Yeah a massive mess! Still sorting through 40 years of collecting! Most of this stuff will end up under the layout, however....
This longer view shows the separation between the two levels. It would seem that visually when you concentrate on your level the other level should be out of your vision. I am hoping that the illusion will carry through to the model. Top level extends 300mm from pillars The bottom level nominally 600mm.

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Trentham sits in the corner
Trentham will be restored for the new model railway club.


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A 3 part Murray Railway Module system supports a load of stuff being prepared for operation on the new layout.

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What a mess!! Hopefully next time I take pictures here, this will have found a home!

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A thoroughly chalked NSWGR 35 Class. Still needs work, and I have to find a way to seal it without causing it to get wet and run!

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Highly modified Lima 930 and B Class. Heart wants to keep them, they served me well. But I would get nothing for them, so will keep, I guess.


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The high level track swings towards the camera and spirals around to the lower levels 1200 min radius and 1.5% grade. The track will be sceniced to appear as a grassed embankment. A few trees along the line and telegraph poles and fences.
The side not able to be seen will be open, allowing access to the hidden storage sidings. These sidings do not change level, simply store the train till it needs to return to the other end of the line.
On the high level the baseboard will now continue into the corner. A BG station starts about where the spirit level is heading to the left. connected will be a grain silo and storage siding and or a small locomotive depot on the top deck heading into the corner.
Well see if I can do some more bench work tomorrow, and then write some more here.
Goodnight
Rod

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:24 pm 
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Saturday 28 March 2009

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A70 a hand built epoxy casting bought in the days when quality injection molding was never ever going to happen.
This is one engine I will never swap, it does sit up front of Precision Brass engines and the Auscision Plastic will take second place to it as well.
This engine belonged to a mate who died suddenly whilst still a young man.

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949 A lima model, rebuilt by Peter (ANR) Smith, at least 20 years ago. A prize purchase with its sister in SAR red and silver. Done many miles and enjoyed by thousands at Exhibitions all these years. Sadly it does not look that good up against the TOR models.

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The only 44 I have and its a dummy. However it is being fitted with a camera and transmitter/ recorder. So it might be interesting!
A good comparison of how wrong the Lima body really is.

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A good comparison of how wrong the Lima body really is
From the top, you notice the Lima is short and too wide and the windscreen is imitating the bow of a boat!!

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No 2 end and B end comparison. You just got to wonder how qualified was the draftsman who did the drawings for Lima.

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Probably the Limas best view if you don't look past the headlight.

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Well I did get a little done today. I wasted a few hours looking for a model that I thought I might of lost (Peter's A)
and more trying to figure out how to open it so I could chip it.

Then the layout design needed a rethink and some changes. I had to lower the board slightly, and trust it will not destroy the effect of the lower level climbing through a valley.

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But at least the top level store yard and loco depot should be ok now.

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Yeah I think it will be fine!
Now I need to cut out a paper template as large as the whole loop. Then on the floor draw in the track allowing for transitions and easy reverse curves to make sure everything fits in. When I am satisfied, I will lay the ply out on the baseboard. Mark in the track position and using a jig saw, cut out the double main line and then using risers glue and screw it into its final place creating the 1.5% gradient up to the top level.
The remainder of the board can then be fixed into position and the hidden storage roads will be fixed in place. Fill in the gaps from the cut out where necessary. and protect the gap with strips of masonite (ready made at Bunning's called framing spacers) to prevent derailed vehicles falling through. I do it this way, as you cannot have a solid bench top because of the risers, well you can but this way I get a more stable riser and by laminating strips of ply on the joins on this cut out track bed, I get a very smooth gradient as well as nice easements.
Well God willing and in between motor car races tomorrow, I will return soon enough :D
Cheers
Rod

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:57 pm 
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Sunday March 29 2009 Jenson Button wins Melbourne Grand Prix.

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Well between races I guess I spent a few hours figuring out how to lay 1200 mm minimum curves in a loop 2520 x 2520.
Easy you say? ah well no its not :( You need about 100 mm as a transition so already you have used 2500 plus another 50mm for double track!
and then your starting point on the top level cannot be against the wall it needs to be at least three tracks in from it to allow yard tracks to head down into corner.
I couuld gain some of the 1200 lost entering the top level, by exagerating the reverse curve, that is continuing the curve coming past the book case until it is facing the corner of my house (seen through the window). Then after a transition, swing reverse back into the upper level deck.
However I am not certain that is the best answer, particularly as I close couple my pass cars.
So it would seem at least one of these curves will come down to 900 mm (or 36") and that might be one of many compromises , I will need to make before this layout is done. :D

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The 2500 maximum side is mainly influenced by the doorway, which I do not want to block.
I wonder if I could use mirrors to bring that background seen through the window, inside as my backdrop?

Well seemingly not a lot was done today, however I did fix down a lot of the cross supports after measuring where the sheets will finnish. The next job will be t chalk out the actual track.
I am using a mixture of Peco code 75 and code 100 Which appears to the eye to give the effect that two gauges are being used :) I visited the Peco site and downloaded track templates in HO realtime size. Tomorrow I will go into town and get a few hundred photo copies and cut them out and use them to fit my track in place. I am hoping that this layout will be the best one yet. I have the knowledge, I think I have the ability :) So I need to make sure that the layout can come apart as simply as possible. I need to make sure that points do not end up over board joins and that point motors can easily be fitted. This is perhaps a good way to do it, before everything gets set in concrete (eh? plaster)
WEll not sure when I will get back to it, anyway we will see when it happens.
Cheers
Rod

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:18 pm 
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Friday 3-04-2009

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First thing was to clag some newsprint to top of the finished tables to allow me to draw in the curves.
Like I thought, it is going to be difficult to maintain 1200mm curves. The crayon circle is 1200mm, however I need to hide the storage sidings under there too!

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Well I am still finding holes in my planning :D
The loop is there to store lower level trains and to lower track from top level down to the lower level on a gradient not more than 1.5%.
The SG track up against the wall on the top level and that puts it on the outside of the loop starting from the bottom. It needs to arrive on the top level and be on the outside there as well. It would be convenient if the wheat silos and the loco facility were seperated from the SG too. So I am going to try to cross under neath the BG near the top, cross under the top board and come up between the window pillars (steep pinch) and swerve around the pillar as it heads to left of picture.. oh in this space pictured below.

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The sg climbs up inside the BG and continues towards the camera. A station is in the foreground with a loco and storage sidings into the corner.

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The SG using 1200 mm radius enters under the top board and climbs up into the gap.
The BG arrives about the middle of the board and is 900mm or possibly 1000 mm radius

It seems 3 steps forwards and 2 steps backwards. Well I guess it is still progress ;)

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I tried to get an idea how it would look in Trainz. This depicts it as best as I could do but you need to remember that this is a double decked layout and so everything going under the bridges heading in a northernly direction will in fact be on the lower level and be underneath the upper level, not inside it as seen in Trainz.
So you can see the three levels The SG dives under the top level and comes up along the wall.
I did not get the mountain right. Standing on the aisle and looking towards the wall.. You should see the silos and storage roads to the right. A slope will fall away from these roads hiding the store tracks which are visible in the Trainz diag. However the bottom will be open to assist with rerailing vehicles.
The double line will climb the loop and as it gets to the doorway it will appear as a ledge cut into the hill, and the hill will help to hide the store roads from viewing from the aisles.
In my mind I can see it working. Now comes the hard part and put it into practice ;)

Lets see what tomorrow brings :)

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:26 pm 
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Saturday April 4th 2009
Hi all,
I have been having a think about track bed especially the raised track that sits above the bench work. I am going to experiment with Trackrite flexible track underlay, although it is expensive it seems to do a great job.
However cutting a curved 4 inch wide strip out of 2400 x 1200 sheets of ply seems like a difficult, time consuming way of getting the job done. Bunning's sell a masonite strip about an inch wide and a meter long which is used by framers to true up walls so that the plaster can be fitted on cleanly. This stuff is easy to come by and cheap. I know masonite is not great to nail track to, but I am thinking of laminating sufficient strips together, offsetting the ends so that I can make a perfect curve in position fixed to the uprights. I simply route out the top of the upright and lay the track bed into the slot, gluing and clamping as I go. The first strip and the next strip are joined by laying a new layer across the join and cutting shorter pieces to fill in the short ends hold it into the required radius and elevation and keep gluing and laminating till the whole curve is in place. Glue the peco track to the underlay and when dry, lay it on top of the laminated roadbed, curving it as you go. . It sounds right, and I have read about it in US magazines, so I think I will give it a go :lol: So on Monday a visit to Bunning's should give me a price to work on and hopefully this will work.
All I need to do is figure out how to join it to the 3 ply table tops. ;)
Cheers
Rod

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 9:16 pm 
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why don't you try woodland senics trackbed.
it work for us.

Stevy :D

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:41 pm 
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actualy stephen,
we used a different trackbed (forgot the name)
May need to check sometime. Certenly dims the noise.

Timo

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:55 pm 
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G'day Rod,

Hmmm, let me see if I have understood you properly, here. I'm presuming you intend to lay the masonite strips "top to Bottom" to form a subroadbed that will then be 1" thick x 4" wide, yes? That's an awfully thick subroadbed (is this really necessary?) and an awful lot of masonite strips...

...I can't see you bending masonite 1" thick "laterally" around the radii about which you speak, without it buckling in the middle (or somewhere else along the 1 meter length you intend to use)...

...which would mean (given a standard 1/8" thick layer of masonite), that you would need 8 strips per 1" thickness of trackbed and thus 32 strips for each meter length of trackbed...

...it's your expense...

Jerker {:)}


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 2:29 am 
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Jerker wrote:
G'day Rod,

Hmmm, let me see if I have understood you properly, here. I'm presuming you intend to lay the masonite strips "top to Bottom" to form a subroadbed that will then be 1" thick x 4" wide, yes? That's an awfully thick subroadbed (is this really necessary?) and an awful lot of masonite strips...

...I can't see you bending masonite 1" thick "laterally" around the radii about which you speak, without it buckling in the middle (or somewhere else along the 1 meter length you intend to use)...

...which would mean (given a standard 1/8" thick layer of masonite), that you would need 8 strips per 1" thickness of trackbed and thus 32 strips for each meter length of trackbed...

...it's your expense...

Jerker {:)}


Hello Gazza
Yeah its a hard call. Bunnings seem to sell it pretty cheap, and I will find out Monday how much. Apparently you bend the first two strips into your curve glue and clamp. When they are tight, just keep adding more strips till you have a 25 mm wide base add some spacers to get your 2 inch track ceners and build up your second track following the curve already established. Yeah the masonite is alligned vertically and pulled around into shape, held there by nails and glued in the fial shape you need. You don't bend it after it has hardened. As the glue sets it gets lifted and placed on top of the risers.
However Timo and Stevy reminded me about the styrene which would work as well, particularly if I had a hot gun cutter. I wonder if that Asian bloke will have his business open in the carpark opposite Collingwood College? Remember all that thick foam he had there last Easter. Might be able to do a deal :p
Woodland Scenics underlay is much dearer than Trackrite too
Cheers
Rod

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