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My Loft Layout...
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Jordan



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
Posts: 1385

PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:32 pm    Post subject: My Loft Layout... Reply with quote

When I'd not been in the Hobby very long, I thought a BIG layout was the key to happiness, and eventually got my parents to agree to a big layout board 9ft x 6ft with a 7ft x 2ft hole in the middle in my room, which became much as P.D. Hancock once described his own room; as not so much a bedroom with a model railway in it, more a model railway room which just happened to have a bed in it....
Except of course that my board remained a very blank canvas, as I only just had enough track to just about make one loop around it, and the sheer cost of all the track I'd need for my grandiose plans became apparent - more than Paper-round Pocket Money was going to cover, anyway!!
Then I discovered Model Trains, of course, and saw the light... and have never had so much space available for a layout anyway, since that massive board, which got cut up and used in much smaller layouts over time!!

I have never had so much space since then (c.1979)....

....


until now.........


A NEW Blank Canvas.....

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Having built mostly small Shunty-Planks, I think I've lulled SWMBO into a false sense of security, and model trains are being allowed back in the house (albeit my nice new attic, above) for the first time in years....

With some 17ft x 8ft to play with, this is going to take some planning and some time, so don't expect any updates to this anytime soon... Embarassed

I just had to post about it..... Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

Initial plans are a return to US HO scale (with running rights to my lad's OO), at least one oval, and spreading out some simple Lance Mindheim-esque ideas - just a few, loooooooooooooong spurs; to be able to switch more than just one or two boxcars at a time... Oh and most likely set in Minnesota, home to these guys:- Progressive Rail Inc.... Very Happy Very Happy Cool
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Last edited by Jordan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:47 am; edited 2 times in total
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Blackcloud Railways



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1983
Location: Sandbach UK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can see the temptation for longer sidings that HO offers, but won't it seem a little, well, little after working in O? I know I have trouble adjusting smaller scales after dabbling with bigger stuff.

Having said that though, a room sized HO layout has a lot of appeal. Just make sure SWMBO knows who's room it is (or negotiate a long term lease)! Laughing
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Bob Hughes
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Jordan



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
Posts: 1385

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, HO does seem a bit on the miniature side after O scale... Confused Embarassed however I've had a load of someone's surplus HO stuff so beggars not being choosers etc, and also not looking gift horses in the face (whatever that means!!), I've been putting HO & O side-by-side to compare them.
O scale has the 'presence' of course, but longer trains look good in HO, plus the fact that with 8ft width, curves would still be extremely tight in O scale, and above all else, I really really want a roundy-roundy.... Laughing Wink
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Simon Hargraves



Joined: 26 Apr 2010
Posts: 118
Location: Hastings

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very much with you on the roundy-roundy thing Jordan; I'd love one that I could sit in the middle of and watch the trains amble by with the odd bit of shunting or whatever (a bit like some of Iain Rice's plans in "Light Railway Layout Designs")
A shame that I can't see this happening for me for the foreseeable future but I hope you enjoy whatever you end up building.
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Jordan



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
Posts: 1385

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Simon!

I've had a good long think about not only what I'd like to build, but which of my layouts I've enjoyed the most in the past, and my two favourites were Steam Mills (can't recall which MTI offhand) which was an OO/HO roundy-roundy, and Dakota Grain (MTI#2) which almost became a roundy-roundy in N scale; after the article was published it was extended around three sides of a room, then we moved house.... Rolling Eyes Evil or Very Mad Embarassed but it did allow fairly long trains and did have a bit of a sense of space.
I'm still very keen on the "Lonely Prairie Skyscraper" look (i.e. a grain Elevator in the middle of Nowhereville) but they don't really offer much in the way of switching, which is where Mr Lindheim's ideas come in Wink although I doubt I'll be re-locating from the Mid-West to Florida Rolling Eyes Laughing Laughing Laughing
My lad wants Sandwell & Dudley Station of all places Shocked for his Pendolino to whizz through. To be fair, it's our 'local' Station on the WCML (not the closest to our house) and is his own 'first experience' of Railways; the 21st Century version of all our own cherished memories of trains that made an impression on us as kids.... Wink
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Blackcloud Railways



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1983
Location: Sandbach UK

PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jordan wrote:

I'm still very keen on the "Lonely Prairie Skyscraper" look (i.e. a grain Elevator in the middle of Nowhereville) but they don't really offer much in the way of switching...


How about an elevator os a siding with another company's tracks crossing your main line on the grade and interchange tracks between the two railroads? Additional switching without the need for modelled industries, therefore preserving the open country appearance.
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Andy in Germany



Joined: 20 Aug 2007
Posts: 523
Location: Stuttgart

PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope you don't want your HO locos back Jordan:: they're a bit cut up now...

I look forward to what you're going to do with all that space: Bob's ideas of an interchange sound interesting if only because we don't have such things in Europe -possibly excepting national borders.
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Blackcloud Railways



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1983
Location: Sandbach UK

PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andy, perhaps not quite the same as the US interchanges between main line railroads but we did, and still do in some cases, have interchanges between the national networks and industrial railway systems such as Trafford Park's private railway network in Manchester, now almost entirely disused, and of course numerous colliery systems which used to exist, some of which had a considerable mileage running between pits, washeries and ports as well as exchanging with the main lines.

I'm believe there are still similar systems in Germany where local traffic, either on a private railway or a large industrial site, is exchanged with the national network.

A quick search brought up this...

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neusser_Eisenbahn

To my shame I don't read German very well but the Google translation says "It also conducts cooperative intercourse with other railway companies" which sounds much more interesting than swapping wagons. Razz
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Jordan



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
Posts: 1385

PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Korschtal wrote:
I hope you don't want your HO locos back Jordan:: they're a bit cut up now...


Don't worry Andy, I have new supplies... Laughing Wink ... although so much for the "won't be doing HO again" confidence that led me to sell up in the first place.... Rolling Eyes Embarassed Razz

Re Interchanging traffic, I'm drawn to the wonderful simplicity demonstrated in this You-Tube Clip of an interchange between Progressive Rail and Canadian Pacific.... no complex trackwork, or even lots of switching - just good no-nonsense Railroading... Cool
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Andy in Germany



Joined: 20 Aug 2007
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Location: Stuttgart

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob: That makes sense, and you're right the Neusser system operates in a similar way to the video Jordan showed.

There are a lot of harbour lines working like that in Germany, mostly in the north, and some places where smaller companies meet the DB network. These days they work using open access rules so private trains simply run to the nearest major yard on DB metals, and in some cases, DB trains run onto private lines to make deliveries: it's not as clear cut as in the US.
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Jordan



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's some pics of my new layout being built in the old Servant's Quarters of our East Wing...Very Happy


... okay, in the attic of our 1930's Semi...Embarassed


The overall layout size is about 17ft x 8ft, and if you're expecting something really spectacular sorry but this is really a large trainset...



The layout is really just two big ovals with a passing loop each and a freight branch around the outside. There's no hidden sidings - I don't see the point in this case.
The inner oval is DC; the outer oval & branch are DCC. There is just one crossover links them, but has insulated fishplates. Eventually if/when the happy day arrives that we have an all-DCC fleet, the inner oval will be wired to the DCC bus. I know mixing DC & DCC is strongly advised against, but that is mainly aimed at club layouts as far as I can see, with many possible operators. For us two alone we shouldn't get confused, and all locos are having little sticky 'dot' labels put under them - red for DC, green for DCC. I am not enabling any of the DCC locos to run on DC - something that isn't very good for them anyway as far as I've read?
The side with the plain running lines is where we plan to have a "British" station for my lad. The other side with all the loops and sidings (or sidings and spurs in US parlance) is the "American" side for me.








Curves are nominally 3ft radius on the outer oval, but tighten to Hornby 3rd radius (about 21inch?) over the central heating boiler. I made the boards narrow over that, mainly so they don't trap any heat from it, or that they don't get in the way when it's serviced. All the curves are canted, by setting them in coving adhesive spread out when the track was being laid. They're a little bit unevenly canted in places, but certainly help keep the Pendolino on the rails! The tight curves in the one corner do mean that fast trains have to slow a touch around there - this is a good thing really as it means you really do have to drive them - they can't just be set to full power and left to their own devices.



There are just three sidings on the freight branch, holding about six boxcars each. Yes - it's really just a rather large Inglenook!!! Laughing
One picture shows one of the sidings "disappearing" in a grey mess - this is in-laid track, using coving adhesive smoothed out, and the flangeways formed by dragging a home-made scraper through the mix before it drys.





The loft itself has just been insulated and boarded, with the joists etc having more wood added to them for weight support, and a velux skylight put in - it's not a full-blown conversion, doesn't add value to the house (except in layout terms!!) and counts as storage, so no planning permission is required. The internal walls of the house rise up into the loft to support the main beams, which is what the two 'intrusions' are - the builders boarded them is right up to the ceiling, which was easier for them and saved us a bit of money. On the one I removed just part of the plasterboard, leaving the framing wood, as that is the side the loft ladder comes up, and there's a handrail fitted at the bottom of that wall to assist entry. On the other side I took out the plasterboard completely, which really opens up the view down the layout, but explains the 'patch' in the ceiling boarding!



The boards themselves are Knauf Spaceboard extruded foam sheets from B&Q. They are supported by wooden battens that are screwed to the main roof beams. Hardboard strips are stuck to the edge. It's all very light but quite strong enough for HO trains - I wouldn't like to put my Heljan O Hymek on it, though!! Best of all there's no legs cluttering up the floor space.





and a You-Tube video... this is why it had to be HO Scale....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BabbOfEz8fQ
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Last edited by Jordan on Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:17 am; edited 3 times in total
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Bungus The Fogeyman



Joined: 11 Oct 2011
Posts: 104
Location: up a gumtree in Leicestershire

PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got to be honest J, I'm more interested in that Lyddlow (goods) in the last picture!!!!! More please..

DOMH
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Blackcloud Railways



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1983
Location: Sandbach UK

PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bungus The Fogeyman wrote:
Got to be honest J, I'm more interested in that Lyddlow (goods) in the last picture!!!!! More please..


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Bob Hughes
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Jordan



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
Posts: 1385

PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd forgotten I haven't done a thread about Lyddlow here... so here's a link to a new thread about it...
http://forum.mtimag.co.uk/viewtopic.php?p=7902#7902

With due thanks and acknowledgment to it's builder, Bob Blackcloud (who just beat me to posting here!!!) Laughing Wink
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Jordan



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Occasionally my lad & I indulge in racing trains - well with two ovals it'd be rude not to!! I can confirm that the Hornby Pendolino is way faster than Flying Scotsman, and pretty much everything else..!!

This infantile behaviour would be utterly frowned upon in certain circles of the hobby, but I am delighted to report that, as ever, in the USA there really IS a Prototype for Everything.... Razz Razz Razz
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZN5tYIBvlA


Now THAT'S Highballing..!!! Laughing
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