Friday, March 19, 2010

Upper level return loop

I put the upper level return loop benchwork in place today. It matches the benchwork from the lower level.
I wasn't sure if I could get the supports needed to hold up the upper level and still be able to scenic the pond on the lower level. It looks like that will not be a problem. The next step will be t build the curved roadbed for the track.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Finally, I get to use a piece of the old layout

I talked to a few people about the helix dilemma and I decided to not use one. The possibility of me actually using it was low so not worth the trouble. In the mean time I had a thought to put in an industry where the helix was going to be. The sawmill seemed like the perfect solution. I would have had a hard time putting the pond in somewhere else. The siding I put in for the return loop of staging would be a could place to place a switch for this industry. It is a little shorter than before and all the buildings won't fit here, however at the other end of the siding there a place where the wall changes direction and I could put the rest of the industry there. Then you will have a train called the "Wood Job" that could take flat cars of rough cut lumber from one part of the complex to the other side to be planed. A distance of about 10 feet. This also allows the train to traverse the whole railroad to the paper mill, instead of just a couple of towns.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Helix between staging levels

I made the return loop for the lower level staging at a 28" radius. The intention was to place my old helix, which was a 24" radius inside of this, just to allow continuous running between decks. As luck would have it, it didn't quite fit.
I accidentally moved the center line of the outer loop to far in, so I couldn't quite match the helix up with this. I should have made the outer loop at least 29". The way the helix was made it would have helped. I would have to also add another loop to get the height needed for the second level.
Now I have to decide if the helix is actually worth the effort to get it installed. I had the option for continuous running on the old layout and never really used it.
I have a couple of options to decide on
1. Forget the helix.
2. Rebuild the helix at a slightly smaller radius.
3. Forget the helix, but add an industry inside of the return loop on the lower level. The upper level is probably too high to do the same thing.
Time to put on the thinking cap again.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Revised Layout Plans

Below are the revised plans for the railroad. The first picture shows the lower level and the new hidden staging that will be half way through the run and represent the Mountain Division of the old layout.If you were to take a North bound train, you would start from Boston staging in the lower left corner and travel up through Cumberland Mills and then on to Portland. You would then travel to Bath and then to Belfast where you could go to the Mountain Division or onto Rockland depending on the train you have.

When you leave Rockland you would head toward Searsport while climbing toward the second level.

When you leave Searsport you have a short climb up to the second level where you cross the Penobscot river heading to Bucksport. Continuing on you go through The Notch, Katadhin, Woodsville and then into Northern Maine Junction in Bangor.
If you are wondering there is still more designing to do for the upper level.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Staging and more

I have corrected the track spacing in staging. Installed the upper staging tracks. Today I hope to add the upper level staging turnouts to get 10 tracks down to 1. Maybe even add the branch line staging. I may not make it, but making goals and having deadlines usually gets me farther along.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Upper level staging.

There was a couple of days where it seamed little progress made on the layout. Of course the things I did still needed to be done. It was just part of the room modifications I was putting off. Now both the upper and lower staging sections are done and the track spacing has been corrected for signals. I thought I was going to get to the new staging area at the midpoint of the layout, but things come up and get in the way.

I have the turnouts needed to put together the reverse loops in both the upper and lower staging. So now I have more benchwork to build. The return loops radius will be 28" and I am still deciding on whether or not to put in a 24" helix inside of these loops for connecting upper and lower staging. This helix would be just for mindless train running. It would not be used for operating sessions. I guess I'll decide if the helix will be worth the effort or not.