Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Nice Diversion

Every now and then someone on a mailing list or forum I subscribe to posts a design challenge. Chris Abbott, co-host of Model Rail Radio, put out a design challenge to its mailing list earlier this month on coming up with a design using the same square footage of a 4x8 sheet of plywood, but not necessarily just the square sheet. I took up the challenge and made a few quick decisions. I thought back to a thread on  The Railwire Forums where a poster was looking at some layouts and mentioned he saw a raffle layout made by making a few cuts on a sheet of plywood. I do not recall who made the layout but I believe it was a division of the NMRA as part of a fundraiser. It was called the Coal River Branch RR. Here is the drawing and completed layout as posted on The Railwire:

The overall plan is nice, but it has some rally tight curves. For my solution to Chris' challenge, I really didn't want too many grades or any over-under portions for each of construction. I used the same cutting diagram for the 4x8 sheet as shown below as the base of the design:
Of course, me being in N-scale, the layout design was done in it. It has a minimum radius of 14" which is only in the passing siding of the lower blob. All other curves are 15" or greater. All turnouts are #5 based on the FastTrack PDF dimensions. The major industry is a paper mill in the top blob with a brewery in the bottom one. Some other smaller warehouses and a team track are scattered throughout the rest of the layout on the ends of the sidings. Some influences I used (stole?) were:
So, since you've scrolled down this far, I guess I should post a picture of the drawing.

As you can see, you'd most likely need to have the back against a wall but access to each side. The overall size of the layout is 8x7 so a room of 11x11 would be a good fit, giving some aisle space around the edges.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Layout Progress - May 16, 2011

I realized I hadn't put up a new post in a while. Mostly that's because I haven't done a ton of work and I waffled somewhat, almost to the point of taking down the two decks and going with a single one. Luckily, I have a wise wife that said just build on what you got, stop over-thinking. So the progress that has been made so far is centered around backdrops. I cut up a bunch of pieces of hardboard (note to self, have Lowes/HD do this next time since it's very dusty) of various sizes and kind-of slotted them in around the layout. My dad then came over and helped put up a couple of them. Unfortunately, we over bent one and it snapped in our hands and another "dented" while attached. A third one is still up and going strong, but I'm probably going to take it down and go with putting the hardboard into the corners square and using aluminum flashing to round the corners. Here are some photos of the pieces sitting in place awaiting to be mounted to the benchwork.

I'm hoping I can get back into the basement over the next few weeks and get the backdrop up as well as do some more benchwork (more on that in another post).


Welcome to the my Conrail Model Railroad site. I will document the research, design, construction and operations of my N-scale model railroad based on Conrail's Ft. Wayne Line in Ohio.

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