"The Unnamed Layout" - A Large DCC Layout In The Loft

Post pictures and information about your own personal model railway layout that is under construction. Keep members up-to-date with what you are doing and discuss problems that you are having.
User avatar
CraigB192
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:34 am
Location: Cumbernauld, Scotland

"The Unnamed Layout" - A Large DCC Layout In The Loft

Postby CraigB192 » Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:47 pm

Here's my initial plan. I'll have a modern-era large layout on two levels, DCC controlled.

Image

I cannot figure out how to change the colours of the tracks, so just take it as the outer loop being at a higher level than the rest. The Key:

A - Urban area. The upper line will be at street level along with a number of town-centre type buildings and maybe some residential. I haven't decided on the exact position of where the tracks will pass through, it depends on what else I want at track level. The low level platforms will be roughly below the main line ones, towards the opening.

B - A small station, hopefully at a kind of seaside village if I can figure that out.

C - Sea cliffs - the track above the letter would be sloping down the hillside behind the cliffs.

D - Some kind of container / goods sea port.

E - I've not decided on what to put here yet, it could be industrial or agricultural. It may be a home to some of Sodor's finest, at least in the short term.

F to G - is my incline between the two levels, it gives about 1.8 metres to drop / rise, although part of that is on a curve.

H - Some kind of traction depot for the goods locos.


My thoughts are:

The main outer loop is shown in Hornby 3rd radius, but I will make it in 4th to run high speed trains such as the Pendolino or Eurostar.

The central double loop might just be a little boring, sadly I have a scientific brain and not an artistic one, so I tend to think in straight lines and even curves. Looking at layouts in this forum those which loop around streets or hills are more interesting looking. It will be used for running "local" services and slow goods so I might change that. I'll need to bring in my arty cousin as an artistic consultant!

The reason for the upper loop over the seaside things and the bay are to make use of my Grand Suspension Bridge. It kind of takes away the reality from the whole thing, but I've had it for years and it has never been out of the box, so I'm determined to use it and it allows me to have a long fast loop of the whole space.

Any comments are welcome, positive and negative ones. I especially welcome artistic / aesthetic suggestions.


Edit - picture improved.
Last edited by CraigB192 on Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:06 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
hobby boy
Posts: 430
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:22 am
Location: Basingstoke, Hampshire, United Kingdom
Contact:

Re: A Large Layout In The Loft

Postby hobby boy » Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:17 pm

wow sounds like it'll be an interesting layout. Have you started making it yet?

Hobby Boy
I have this engine like the picture :) GWR 0-6-0 Pannier tank
Check out Andrew's layout Hookstoke Junction UPDATED! Should do more work as it's now the Easter Holidays :) After the holdiays are over, my layout won't get updated much Age = 15

User avatar
CraigB192
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:34 am
Location: Cumbernauld, Scotland

Re: A Large Layout In The Loft

Postby CraigB192 » Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:09 pm

'fraid not yet. I have the ply and some softwood strapping, but I'm still in the process of flooring and organising the loft so I won't start in earnest for a month or so. I do plan to keep a photo diary though.

User avatar
CraigB192
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:34 am
Location: Cumbernauld, Scotland

Re: A Large Layout In The Loft

Postby CraigB192 » Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:03 am

Update: Finally construction has begun.

My blank canvas, well sort of blank
Image

The sides for the long runs
Image

The framework is begun
Image

And my quality control checking the levels are good
Image

The boards go on this afternoon, whenever the missus gets out of bed (in fairness she was nightshift last night!).

Lofty

Re: A Large Layout In The Loft

Postby Lofty » Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:07 pm

You may want to consider some insulation before you go any further.

Lofts without it tend to get very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter.

User avatar
CraigB192
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:34 am
Location: Cumbernauld, Scotland

Re: A Large Layout In The Loft

Postby CraigB192 » Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:47 pm

I thought about that at first as it was a problem when I was young and trying to build in my parents' loft. However I live in a modern house in a kind of eco-development. Under those floorboards there is 270mm mineral wool insulation and between the rafters under the roof wood is a layer of 20mm insulating fibre board. I asked advice from my brother who is a civil engineer working for a housebuilder and he says that to add further insulation to the roof without putting breather tiles on the roof would affect the airflow in this type of house and could cause condensation build-up.

I'll just have to live with the temperatures. There is a noticeable difference between how it feels and how my parents' loft feels. It won't get so bad that it'll affect anything up there, other than me!

The boards went down today, now all I need is a name for the layout!

User avatar
CraigB192
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:34 am
Location: Cumbernauld, Scotland

Re: A Large Layout In The Loft

Postby CraigB192 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:54 am

Aaaggh! The £500 startup budget I had has just been blown getting my car through its MOT! This might be a bit slower than I was planning.

The big question now is: since almost all of my old track was steel and I've decided to replac it - is it easiest to start with a set and expand it or just to buy the loose track I need as I go along? I suppose it depends on what track to go for and how much I want to fork out in one go.

[qifop]
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:49 pm

Re: A Large Layout In The Loft

Postby [qifop] » Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:09 pm

I shopped around and looked for the cheapest set I could find with decent amount of track as then atleast I had some track and all the power/controller etc.

In the end I got a DCC pendolino set, from Argos on some discount for £120. Used all the track, fetched £80 for the train on ebay (once I had used it to test the radius of the curves - if that train is happy at high speed any would be I guessed as such long carriages). So I effectively got the Hornby DCC select controller, large oval of track and some turn outs, for £40.

I then bought all the track packs as works out much cheaper to get track to play with laying out to get an idea for design.

With my new layout I was able to recycle about 70% of the track (not damaged from ballasting) and reuse, with an additional spend of £70 for more track from hattons. Expensive game! I worked my layout around the track I had available which is more friendly on the pocket!

HTH

User avatar
beerandpies
Posts: 606
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 11:00 pm
Location: Liverpool, UK
Contact:

Re: A Large Layout In The Loft

Postby beerandpies » Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:04 pm

Might it be worth dabbling with flexi track? The cost per foot is much less overall (£2.60-£3 per yard on a popular modelling website) and it allows for a more err.. flexible layout. When I started my N-Gauge layout I was very intimidated by it as it requires cutting, joining (fishplates are to be bought seperately) and a bit more planning but after having a quick dabble I realised laying it was pretty easy and satisfying. I doubt I would go back to set track now.

It's certainly worth reading up on.
cheers, Mark.
Scragg End

User avatar
CraigB192
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:34 am
Location: Cumbernauld, Scotland

Re: A Large Layout In The Loft

Postby CraigB192 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:12 pm

Baseboard work is progressing reasonably well now, the low-level boards are all down and painted a nice "clay" and I've started on the supports for the upper level. Lots of track has been bought as has the wire to run as my under-board DCC bus. I've also invested in a few tools such as a multimeter and soldering iron, and a small oil-filled radiator.

One thing I can't decide on which I need to sort out soon is my estuary bridge, at the bottom of the layout. I've decided to make the whole upper level double-tracked so I can run two high-speed trains at the same time - I have my Pendolino and will probably invest in a Eurostar. The trouble is that when it was only going to be single-tracked my plan was to use my Grand Suspension Bridge, but I don't know what to do now that I'm going for double-track. I had thought of putting a second bridge as an addition, although I think two suspension bridges would look silly. My second thought was to run a viaduct parallel to it, but then saw it on Black-Marlin's layout. It looks good there, but probably wouldn't be the look I'm after.

Anyone know of any long (or linkable) double-tracked bridges?

User avatar
trainsandco
Posts: 2135
Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 10:34 am
Location: Great Western Territory

Re: A Large Layout In The Loft

Postby trainsandco » Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:14 pm

bloomin' eck!!!! thats huge!!!!!!!!!

Good luck with this project, to you and your companion ;)

Ben
A layout is never finished, it's just a shortage of ideas.

Film-making Railway Enthusiast.

81D

apx068
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:35 pm

Re: A Large Layout In The Loft

Postby apx068 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:52 pm

CraigB192 wrote:One thing I can't decide on which I need to sort out soon is my estuary bridge, at the bottom of the layout. I've decided to make the whole upper level double-tracked so I can run two high-speed trains at the same time - I have my Pendolino and will probably invest in a Eurostar. The trouble is that when it was only going to be single-tracked my plan was to use my Grand Suspension Bridge, but I don't know what to do now that I'm going for double-track. I had thought of putting a second bridge as an addition, although I think two suspension bridges would look silly. My second thought was to run a viaduct parallel to it, but then saw it on Black-Marlin's layout. It looks good there, but probably wouldn't be the look I'm after.

Anyone know of any long (or linkable) double-tracked bridges?


Hi there,
I've got probably the same suspension bridge in a box and the same question about using double track...
One option I've thought about is to seperate out the tracks and have one go over the long suspension bridge and the other over a shorter arch-type bridge.

Looking at your diagram you've got the sea area the same width going back to the cliff secion I think. How about keeping the suspension bridge where it's shown and moving the other track closer to the cliff. You could then have the track at either side of the cliff on an embankment sticking out into the sea (or on a raised triangle of land either side) with a shorter bridge at the back. Perhaps make this a bit curved to indicate the cheaper "original" route and the straight suspension bridge is the more modern upgrade?

Cheers,
Jason

User avatar
Rammy
Posts: 386
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:50 pm
Location: Derby

Re: A Large Layout In The Loft

Postby Rammy » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:59 pm

Any new photos Craig? I like your ideas for a 2 level plan. That was my plan too but I just can't seem to get moving on it.
I'm looking forward to your updates to maybe give me a boost!

Dave
My layouts (in progress):
Image and Image

User avatar
CraigB192
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:34 am
Location: Cumbernauld, Scotland

Re: A Large Layout In The Loft

Postby CraigB192 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:14 am

Progress has been a bit slow. I've been buying up track and acquired a controller (Dynamis) and a Pendolino as Xmas gifts.

On the plus side my "helper" has started nursery so I can get some work done with the powertools, since he a: always insists on being in the loft with me, and b: goes nuts with the sound of the jigsaw! So on most of my days off I've got 2 hours to work.

This week I measured and cut my upper level supports and boards at the north end and the supports for the long run down the west. I'm going to need to decide soon about my bridge dilemma as I need to cut the last of my upper level boards to suit it.

This is the current view of the west side. You can see the supports for the upper level on the rafters - I know they don't look level in the pic, but honestly they are! In the 2nd principle of recycling I'm re-using the off-cuts of the floorboards - each one needed about 30mm taken off to match my roof beams, so I have dozens of bits just that size which have been handy. The boards for the high level runs will be wide enough for the double-track run (standard loading gauge set by a pair of express points on one side) - on the east side they'll be a bit wider to accommodate the branch which will link the two levels.

Image

And this is the view of the north end where I'll have an urban area with upper and lower platforms on a single station. It's not attached yet as I've only just got the bits cut and a couple of extra supports are needed. The materials are all there, but I don't have another day off until Thursday so hopefully it will get done then.

Image

It too will need painted and I hope I'll get that done on Thursday also. Who knows, maybe some track will go down this year! Realistically I'm aiming to have a train running on fixed track powered via the planned DCC-bus by the end of March. Any sooner than that will be a bonus to me.

I've been playing around with XtrkCAD to redesign the layout plan, especially the lower level on the west side to make it a little curvier and less linear. It doesn't quite line up any more, but a little creativity with flexi-track will help me in the actual build.
Last edited by CraigB192 on Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
egroeg93
Posts: 484
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 12:39 am

Re: A Large Layout In The Loft

Postby egroeg93 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:21 am

Looking good


Return to “Personal Layouts - Under Construction”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests