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traingeekboy

Transalpina Railway

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It's been some time since I actually worked on a railway. My front garden railway was fun. I got a lot of good comments from passers by. 

Yet, there are problems with the front garden railway.

1. I can't even take a break to run to the loo without fearing that someone will steal my stock. 

2. It is fairly limited in operations.

3. Various design problems are showing up from my initial construction that I don't even want to bother to fix at this point.

4. Having to haul out both power supply and stock for running. 

 

So what to do? I will leave the current non running railway in place. Maybe I will get an itch to run trains and I can go fix a spot or two and get something going around the mainline.

Since this past summer I have had a shed. A real shed that a person can stand in. I had thought I would build a garden railway that runs through the shed, I made loads of hand drawn track sketches, but my current time limit of actual modeling time isn't too conducive to building a long mainline in the garden.

I have decided to make a compromise. I am going to build something inside the shed and then later on I can expand to a long mainline outside the shed. Since it is a smaller design I expect that as I do build, in fits and starts, I can get a fair amount done and be inspired to return for more building fun.

I have always said that a model railroader should have something to run trains on, even if it is just an oval of track on a plain board. I don't even have that right now. That is a problem.

So here it is. My current plan for the Transalpina Railway. It's just a hand drawn plan, but i've been playing with track long enough that I know how to make this into a running railway. 

Griffs Pre-garden railway.jpg

Edited by traingeekboy

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Morning Griff, that is some plan. What is the size of the baseboard in the shed? I have a man shed, 12X6 feet and thought I would just have a fiddle yard come storage area with an entrance into and out of the shed. Something like Micks Worsley Dale but just storage sidings. But yours is something different entirely. I have a lawnmower and other 'stuff' to store in the shed as well as the railway which limits my options considerably. 

How does your plan fit into the shed such as access door and so forth? I look forward to seeing this in construction.

cheers

mark

 

Edited by markgd

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My dimensions are about the same as yours, 12 x7. I've spent a lot of time thinking this layout shed concept. It may still be flawed, who knows. :)

I got the shed because I needed storage. So it's full of badly arranged junk. I measured the actual cardboard boxes and designed some shelving for the shed. A 2 foot wide shelf that is 28 inches tall can hold all the boxes without huge gaps between them. I can recycle the wood shelves I have now that don't really fit anything well and use them for the surface areas.

Once these long low shelves get built I have a good surface for the yard areas.

If you look at the plan the outer loop and inner loop are only connected by a cross over, so it's a fake double mainline. It is actually meant to represent three station areas as one. The outer loops would be a shunting area and double ended station that feeds trains into the inner lop station as traffic. The very inside track in the station area will get elaborated with some industrial tracks as destinations for goods wagons.

I am also planning on putting mirrors along the back of the yard, to give an even bigger station look. I find fake backdrops to be -- fake. ;) 

The outer ovals will run along the walls of the shed on small shelves. An HO track only needs about 2 inches wide to fit, so maybe go to 6-8 inches and have a little space for roll over protection. 

I am hoping I can create a bit of actual operational interest by running scheduled passenger trains and unscheduled freight as extras.

All of these operational ideas come from reading too many model railroader magazines, where they hammer it into your head that just building a layout isn't good enough; one must operate realistically. I have never really done much "realistic operation" I may hate it. I tend to really just like running my trains roundy roundy for hours like a little kid. ;) 

I am not sure about height on the layout, I am thinking inside height of 28 inches so that with the 4-6 inch frame it sits on, my layout would be waist tall in the outdoor sections. As you mentioned storage, if you go tall, you can fit storage underneath. I designed my storage for those office document storage boxes with lids. So the 12 foot long 2 foot wide section holds about 32 boxes. It still leaves me 5 feet of moving around in room and I can squeeze in my workbenches for tools and such.

Griffs operation scheme.jpg

Edited by traingeekboy

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Good to see you back in a pre-construction mode Griff and I look forward to seeing these plans develop.

Getting things running inside the shed first is probably the correct decision and 12 x 7 feet is a decent size building. I think mine's 12 x 8 if I remember correctly but I never considered the idea of a circular layout within it, mainly because I've always planned for scale length trains and anything more than a few coaches or wagons to me would look a bit confined. 

At the pace we seem to be progressing it's likely to be a while before we see the Transalpina Railway make its proposed connection with the great outdoors but it will certainly provide ample opportunity for you to run trains under cover with plenty of operational interest as and when you desire it. Most of the time it's just good to sit back and watch trains go by.

Between us we seem to have been around the forum for a long time and yet we're both still here making plans for what we would like to do. Maybe something along the lines of "it's not the winning but the taking part that counts" would be appropriate? Certainly the saying "model railway's are never finished" sums up my contributions to date.

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45 minutes ago, mick said:

Between us we seem to have been around the forum for a long time and yet we're both still here making plans for what we would like to do. Maybe something along the lines of "it's not the winning but the taking part that counts" would be appropriate? Certainly the saying "model railway's are never finished" sums up my contributions to date.

We've both done our fair share of actual building and exploring different materials Mick. Just seems we've both been so darned busy! 

I think I just want to make sure to actually have some kind of railway running before too long. I also have the added head ache of having to make catenary for my collection of electrics.

But as I've noticed with your recent build of the past few years, the main thing is having solid foundation that lasts. Especially something you can fire up on a moments notice and just see some trains run.

 

As to the size of trains, I am actually planning on having 8 foot trains on this layout. And then when It gets the expansion, it will just free those trains up to roam some rails. I do have some shorter commuter type Emu's and Dmu's though. 

Edited by traingeekboy

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You're right, exploring... that's what we've been doing these past few years. I'm sure we've both realised by now that a firm foundation is the basis upon which all good layouts are built and I have complete confidence in you.

I have a possible running length of about 25 feet in my attic, which sounds great until you work out what length of loop lines you require in order to accommodate a full length train with a modicum of realism. We don't have overly long trains here in the UK, at least not from the period of most interest to me, but even a train of 36 x two axle wagons equates to a length approaching five metres in 4mm scale when the couplings are taut. I think that length of train requires a minimalist approach to layout design to give the trains space in the landscape. I'm trying to take my visions of a garden layout indoors!

I don't envy you the task of creating catenary. I have some electric multiple units that really require third rails adding but I'm going to solve that particular dilemma by selling them! I'm after an easy life.

8 feet trains will be no problem in your shed when you have plans to extend outdoors. I just couldn't see myself being limited to just that indoor space without the option of extending outdoors. I've had restrictions on available space before which always ended up with me not progressing with my plans for a layout. I'm afraid that without the required space I couldn't be doing this.

Anyway, less about me and mine, I'll leave it to you and yours from here.

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Exploring, yes, that's it! he he he

Yeah, 25 feet is nothing for us garden types. ha ha 

As you know I don't spend a lot on new trains, but in the past few years I've also expanded my stock collection. Lots of new odds and ends. Part of this layout concept is to have a display area for all those new trains. I tend to purchase things and squirrel them away in drawers or boxes. It's hilarious when I open a box and discover things I'd forgotten I had. :D

Project development can also fit in with exploring. Yah, I have a track plan of sorts, now I need to figure the electrical parts out. I really want something that looks like it was designed in the 60's or 70's. I've been eyeing old ACME brand switch controls that are panel mounted and have lights on them. And I plan to use a lot of toggle switches for the blocks. The goal is to end up with one of those old style control panels with the track digram on it and lots of buttons and levers.

105-444.jpg

 

I am looking at doing my station platform lines with toggles that route power from block to block.

========Left Arrival Track========== / ==========Left Platform block ==========/===========Right Platform block===========/ Right Arrival Track===============

                                                                       ^ home signal                                                                                                                                                 ^ home signal

The outer tracks are the communal tracks that lead to the three station tracks. They get a toggle for either A or B controller. 

The left platform can toggle either left arrival track, or right platform block as its feeder. If I use 2 pole center off switches, I can then also run power to the home signals on these tracks.

The right platform block is the inverse of the left one.

So depending on which arrival track the power is being fed from, one gets a red or green signal. Since they also would be center off switches I can turn them off. The sginalling would be opposite of real trains. In a real train it is about detection, in this case it is about power routing.

It isn't perfect or exactly like the real thing, but it will make the signals change colors which would be really fun.

Also, if you look at my hand drawn plan it is not to scale. It is more of a diagram. The station area would require 2 inches per track. The station island platform requires about 2 inches as well. The station fits into the future industrial track area so that blank area is undefined but will be a gap of about 8 inches. The upper part is about 14 inches wide across all the tracks. And of course that front/ inner track is another 2 inches.

I know what you mean about train lengths. I am in a quandary. I may do a either or type of running arrangement. Yes, I can run prototypical long trains, but less trains fit into the staging/feeder yard area. Or, If I want to run a tighter schedule of trains, I can just run many shorter trains. Either way the platforms will be 8 coaches long.

Speaking of coaches...

 

Oh oh -- scroll to the bottom of the discussion. ;)

 

Edited by traingeekboy

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Hi Griff, great to see you have a track plan to build in your garden shed which is a a good size, my shed is only 10 by 7 feet can't do much with that , only a storage shed ,see you have planned some siding for shunting  and one day plan to head outside, like the switch with the two lights, I am going to  be use rotary switches and each position  to light u p when on.

When do you think you be be starting construction of your layout, yeah have to agree on the staging feeder, my layout is lacking a staging yard but mightn't bother about it.

Looking forward to seeing some progress pics., looks like we are going to have a wet summer, will have to keep a check on the weekly weather report for fine days, can't win, one good think not in the high 40's.

Tony from down under keeping on moving ahead 

 

 

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I once used to work on a radar where the  12 transmitters,  were routed through the many waveguides into any of the 12 output horns. This was displayed on a wall in the control room, with 2800 little light green plaques ( smaller plaques than above) just like a signal box as above. Same shade of green!!. That control panel  was I believe supplied by a railway supplies company. Pity I wasn't around when it was scrapped...

 I have thought of building a control panel like it, but it would probably be bigger than the layout....

My layout being built in the shed, will feed out to the garden railway, on top of viaduct walls. My back does not allow for low level work...

 

 

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Just to update this discussion. I'm still planning and buying. 

-two stations

- Lots of covered platforms

-lots of toy trucks (5 so far) 

- a container crane kit by Vollmer

-So many switches/points Got some great deals on 3 way and fourway ones. Should make the station entrance trackage really fun.

-electric toggles so I can wire my blocks up in ANALOG! 

 

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Morning Griff, that is a good video clip lots of great ideas,  I am thinking of using clear PVC sheeting for my control panel face, the only problem is holding the wire in place on the back of the the panel.

You are going DC, I am doing the same as well, lots more wiring though and I be using 4 position 3 pole rotary switches,  to  switch three throttles leaving one position free for later stage DCC,  yes good ides to make it as much fun as possible with all that switching .

When do you think you be making a start on your layout,keep us posted.

Tony from nice down under keeping on moving  ahead.

 

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Really busy. My current project is on a big deadline and I already feel dead from it. So for now I am just buying some things here and there. I did discover some cool switch controls by Fleischmann that are the 6900 model toggles. They are very much the ideal thing for indicating what direction the switch is in.

 

s-l1600.jpg

Edited by traingeekboy

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