00 6' x 5' for father and son

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Kentishman
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Re: 00 6' x 5' for father and son

Postby Kentishman » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:14 pm

Locoworks suggestion of moving the inner point to the right is worth a look. If you bring it back sufficiently so that the inner siding comes up parallel to the inside vertical edge of the layout, you would have more room for wagons, quite possibly 5 or so short ones. If you then put in another point on the left hand of these two sidings you might be looking at sufficient room for an Inglenook puzzle (3 sidings of 3, 3 and 5 wagons' length) and still have room for the refuelling siding. May be a bit tight, but worth trying on the track plan?

aforsyth
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Re: 00 6' x 5' for father and son

Postby aforsyth » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:59 pm

Yes - thanks guys, I'll try that tonight. I think it should be possible to fit the point in directly after the other one, despite the curve being 1st radius. I did try it quickly last night, but didn't have time to experiment too much.
Getting an Inglenook setup on the layout would be the icing on the cake!

Alan

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Re: 00 6' x 5' for father and son

Postby aforsyth » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:58 am

So here's the update with fixed sidings. It wasn't quite so easy - the sidings and branchline were less than an inch apart, so I had to add a spacer between the sidings / refuelling points on the branchline, thereby shaving off a few inches from the incline. However, I think it's worth it to get better length sidings. The refuelling siding uses 18" 2nd radius curves, so is acceptable for long wheelbase Hornby and Bachmann engines. In fact, if I extended it a little more, a 2 car DMU / Autotrain could fit on there, so it could be used for ECS (empty coaching stock) duties too. The sidings with their 1st radius 15" curves, however, would have to be shunted by an 0-6-0 or 0-4-0 (nothing unusual in that!).

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I was playing around with another kickback siding coming off the shortest siding, back towards the station, but it just gets too busy. I suppose if I use the refuelling siding too, I have a basic 'Inglehook sidings' scenario. Can anyone suggest anything better with the placement of the sidings?

Thanks,
Alan

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Re: 00 6' x 5' for father and son

Postby locoworks » Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:48 pm

another consideration regarding the goods sidings is that uncoupling on tight curves isn't very easy and I don't think anybody makes something for the job. you might be able to cut some thin plasticard in an arc an try it, but I'm thinking the hooks might interfere with each other??. assuming you are tension locks.....

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Re: 00 6' x 5' for father and son

Postby TimberSurf » Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:15 pm

Running DC and DCC on the layout together is a bad idea!

Running one or the other is fine. One switch? No.
Wire for DC with separate feeds, bus for each, when you want DCC, join all together, fine, but you also have to "live" all the dead sidings, but need to have them all separate for DC, thus one switch needs to be many separate poles!

Short answer is yes, long answer is that it will complicate the wiring and involve many switch's and/or relays!

Get your track plan sorted first, then we can discuss how complicated the wiring could get! :)
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Re: 00 6' x 5' for father and son

Postby flying scotsman123 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:21 pm

Timbersurf; it was my understanding that it is no more difficult wiring for dc than dc and dcc, as when u switch to dcc, you just switch all sections on. More complicated than just dcc, but no more than dc. Running two in parallel is Ok as long as the lines are not connected, I'd strongly advise against having points linking the two. Otherwise separate loops onbthe same board us fine as long as you remember which is which, dcc locos can go dc but dc locos cannot go dcc!
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Re: 00 6' x 5' for father and son

Postby TimberSurf » Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:03 am

Your not wrong Flying Scotsman, but its difficult to explain completely without writing many paragraphs! :)
If the tracks were independent, then yes you can mix, but if they join, or a loco bridges the two! Poof!
You could complicate it by having, two dead sections between with "logic" switching to ensure they never meet electrically, but it gets real over/complicated! Any thing is possible, just gets more complex in the controls!
If this layout were to have say, three controllers for DC, to keep the circuits separate, 3 off double pole double throw switch's would be needed to combine all together for DCC, simple. But you would still have all dead sidings. To make all sidings "live", each and every one would need a double pole switch! ( I count at least 5 more), this leaves the very dodgy possibility of throwing all but one and hey presto, poof! So, best not to do with 8 switch's, but with one that energises 8 relays. A better, cheaper and more full proof method is to use a multi-pole connector between layout and controllers, then disconnect and have second plug with bridges on pins for dcc.
I wasn't going to write all this gumf till the poor guy gets the layout sorted! Enough on his plate, for the mo, sorting out the track layout! :o
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Re: 00 6' x 5' for father and son

Postby aforsyth » Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:27 am

Thanks, guys, for your helpful comments.

locoworks wrote:another consideration regarding the goods sidings is that uncoupling on tight curves isn't very easy and I don't think anybody makes something for the job. you might be able to cut some thin plasticard in an arc an try it, but I'm thinking the hooks might interfere with each other??. assuming you are tension locks.....

- That's true locoworks - I hadn't considered that. Do you think it would be possible to make a custom tension lock uncoupling ramp for a first radius (15") curve? Could be inspiration for a future project, I guess. I'll have to experiment when I get to that stage.

TimberSurf wrote:Your not wrong Flying Scotsman, but its difficult to explain completely without writing many paragraphs! :)
If the tracks were independent, then yes you can mix, but if they join, or a loco bridges the two! Poof!
You could complicate it by having, two dead sections between with "logic" switching to ensure they never meet electrically, but it gets real over/complicated! Any thing is possible, just gets more complex in the controls!
If this layout were to have say, three controllers for DC, to keep the circuits separate, 3 off double pole double throw switch's would be needed to combine all together for DCC, simple. But you would still have all dead sidings. To make all sidings "live", each and every one would need a double pole switch! ( I count at least 5 more), this leaves the very dodgy possibility of throwing all but one and hey presto, poof! So, best not to do with 8 switch's, but with one that energises 8 relays. A better, cheaper and more full proof method is to use a multi-pole connector between layout and controllers, then disconnect and have second plug with bridges on pins for dcc.
I wasn't going to write all this gumf till the poor guy gets the layout sorted! Enough on his plate, for the mo, sorting out the track layout! :o

- Thanks for the explanation, Timbersurf. You're right, I will probably switch this plan over to the electrics forum to work this out, now that I have a plan that seems to tick all the boxes (that you can tick for 6' x 5'!). Suffice to say that I definitely want to have both DC and DCC operation available, since I have both types of controller/locos, but definitely won't try to run both at the same time due to the 'poof' issue. I'm actually considering wiring it all in a 'live frog' type scenario for DCC, so would cancel out the insulfrog point isolation property, then introduce switchable isolating sections for certain areas that need this for sensible DC operation. The precise sectional electrical blocks that I will use for DC are not clear yet - I still need to think it all through. My last layout in the 90s (also double track mainline with branch) used multiple block sections with DC cab control for two controllers, which was great but might over-complicate things in this situation.

All comments are very much appreciated!

Finally, are there any other 'gotchas' about this layout plan that can be seen? The eventual upper level will be another story in itself, but I'm pretty happy with this track plan right now, despite the obvious compromises due to space.

Alan

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TimberSurf
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Re: 00 6' x 5' for father and son

Postby TimberSurf » Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:00 pm

It has to be said that this is a very "busy" layout on a small board! Needs some solid planning to make it "work" and look "right". The future second level really needs heavy planning! There is nothing wrong, but here's some points for further thought:-
B looks narrower than all other gaps between tracks
Any train that wants access to G will have to "back" in via a platform F? Double slip maybe better at B
A. How do you migrate from river to "Beach"?
You mentioned boards are made, is the river cutting installed?
You will need an embankment/walls to "lift" the branchline (marked in Orange)
How will you cross the green tracks to get to the hill, H to J?
I am still not convinced having 50% of the track covered by the hill is wise or practical, to get an upper level, you now cant see twice as much track!
If I understand your plan that the "dotted" colours are switchable between controllers and that each colour is a controller? This may work for a long/large layouts with multiple operator sectors, but on such a small layout makes little sense. Trains are unable to "run" round the loops, as two controllers are required and some switching between them, will give very slow, stop start action. My opinion (though you may disagree, depends on how you intend to run) would be to use one controller per loop, as per colours in my drawing. Insulated joint between all colour changes and maybe 3 cross the green sidings at G for DC operation multiple engines on green controller
How many sides can you access? (i.e. were are any walls the layout is butted up to?) Minimum would be the whole of the left and top sides for access to under hill!
Once the track laydown is final, we can discuss as a DC setup wiring, then later agree additional wiring to make DCC.
Going to live frogs does not change the way the point works, just means extra switch required on point motor and more wiring to tracks, as the middle ends of the points have to have insulators!
layout3_phase1_sidings_fixed_zpseb7ca3ceTS.jpg
4 controllers or 2-3 with switchover
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Re: 00 6' x 5' for father and son

Postby aforsyth » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:04 am

Hi Timbersurf,

Thanks for the detailed reply! Some great points - funnily enough, things I'd been pondering about too! I'll comment on each point you made:

TimberSurf wrote:B looks narrower than all other gaps between tracks

Yes - I will probably play around with the exact goods yard layout before I pin it, since most of it is set track. I certainly want to avoid any collisions due to track clearances not being observed.

TimberSurf wrote:Any train that wants access to G will have to "back" in via a platform F? Double slip maybe better at B

Yes - I've wondered about whether the reverse access to the goods yard will become frustrating too, however I can always use the refuelling siding for goods if necessary, and assuming I get the high level terminus to have a couple of sidings (and good smooth running), it could be quite absorbing on a rainy day. To be honest, I don't see how I can make access to the Goods Yard easier, without redoing that area of the plan completely?

TimberSurf wrote:A. How do you migrate from river to "Beach"?

I've been wondering about that detail too! I think the 'river' will actually be a tidal stream, which will join the sea via a rocky area on the 'beach'.

TimberSurf wrote:You mentioned boards are made, is the river cutting installed?

No - see the picture below. Other than a couple of last 2"x1" braces, I need to drill holes for coach bolts both for joining the boards and fitting legs, then the river would be next. I'm planning to lower the middle area of the board (2' wide x 1'), plus the 6" strip of beach on the right.

TimberSurf wrote:You will need an embankment/walls to "lift" the branchline (marked in Orange)

Yes - quite how I do that (and make it work with portable baseboards) I'm not sure, but it will be a later project (phase 3 with the upper level terminus).

TimberSurf wrote:How will you cross the green tracks to get to the hill, H to J?

Some sort of extended girder bridge - again, the precise position of the high level tracks will be dictated by the goods yard area, which will be refined in Phase 2 (low level Branch / goods yard).

TimberSurf wrote:I am still not convinced having 50% of the track covered by the hill is wise or practical, to get an upper level, you now cant see twice as much track!

That's very true. I've been playing with the idea of having much of the storage tracks in view, which will be true for Phases 1 (mainline) and 2 anyway. It could be that the Branch line becomes another continuous run (3rd loop) and I dispense with the idea of an upper level. At the very least, the tunnel at bottom left will be moved further back so that the curved crossover is in view, also to improve access.

TimberSurf wrote:If I understand your plan that the "dotted" colours are switchable between controllers and that each colour is a controller? This may work for a long/large layouts with multiple operator sectors, but on such a small layout makes little sense. Trains are unable to "run" round the loops, as two controllers are required and some switching between them, will give very slow, stop start action. My opinion (though you may disagree, depends on how you intend to run) would be to use one controller per loop, as per colours in my drawing. Insulated joint between all colour changes and maybe 3 cross the green sidings at G for DC operation multiple engines on green controller

No - the colours on the plan simply show logical areas of mainline, branch, incline and upper level. The easiest (but most limiting) method I would use for DC is to allocate one controller for down main, one for up main, and one for branch, but I still have to work out whether I can live with the limitations (e.g. use of 3 controllers instead of 2, complications for changing lines as you mention, etc.). Anyway - that's for another forum group.

TimberSurf wrote:How many sides can you access? (i.e. were are any walls the layout is butted up to?) Minimum would be the whole of the left and top sides for access to under hill!

There will be access all round the layout if necessary, since it will be temporarily set up in my office, but the main viewing sides are front and right. I'm hoping that most normal access can be accomplished from the centre access area, occasional access via removable back / hill to the left for derailments, etc. (I would use point motors for controlling hidden points).

TimberSurf wrote:Once the track laydown is final, we can discuss as a DC setup wiring, then later agree additional wiring to make DCC.
.
Agreed, although I think the layout is near final now. As I mentioned, the layout of goods yard sidings may change slightly as I play around with different configurations.

TimberSurf wrote:Going to live frogs does not change the way the point works, just means extra switch required on point motor and more wiring to tracks, as the middle ends of the points have to have insulators

Yes - sorry, I meant using the Hornby 'live' clips or similar. I'd love to use electrofrogs on another layout, probably an end-to-end type with more realistic operations when I have the space, but it was always going to have to be the compromise of set track insulfrog points on this size layout in order to get the 'trainset' elements I wanted on there.

Below is a picture of the 5 baseboards (9mm MDF, 2"x1" softwood bracing at 12"-18" intervals) as of this evening. Sorry for the weird angle, induced by me balancing on a step ladder in order to fit it all in! They'll be joined together by coachbolts, and the legs you can see will be fitted (10 in all using a piggyback arrangement from the bottom right board). The gap at the top middle is due to that rear storage yard board being accidentally cut slightly smaller at the wood merchant, so I cut it in half so that the gap would be in the middle rather than at the baseboard join.

Image

Thanks again - these are really helpful discussions for me at this stage. However, unless there's any other major issue with the basic track plan, I will probably continue this thread over on the 'building' forum group, where I'd be very glad to discuss details of track laying, electrics, operation and scenic details!

Thanks again,
Alan

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TimberSurf
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Re: 00 6' x 5' for father and son

Postby TimberSurf » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:38 am

Yes - I've wondered about whether the reverse access to the goods yard will become frustrating too, however I can always use the refuelling siding for goods if necessary, and assuming I get the high level terminus to have a couple of sidings (and good smooth running), it could be quite absorbing on a rainy day. To be honest, I don't see how I can make access to the Goods Yard easier, without redoing that area of the plan completely?

Redo and/or use a Peco double slip

Yes - quite how I do that (and make it work with portable baseboards) I'm not sure, but it will be a later project (phase 3 with the upper level terminus).

Use a "Plate" to "Plate" principle of facing the end with a strip of softwood that mates with one on other board.

That's very true. I've been playing with the idea of having much of the storage tracks in view, which will be true for Phases 1 (mainline) and 2 anyway. It could be that the Branch line becomes another continuous run (3rd loop) and I dispense with the idea of an upper level. At the very least, the tunnel at bottom left will be moved further back so that the curved crossover is in view, also to improve access.

The upper level could/should definitely be reduced in size and keep all point work "not under" the upper.

No - the colours on the plan simply show logical areas of mainline, branch, incline and upper level. The easiest (but most limiting) method I would use for DC is to allocate one controller for down main, one for up main, and one for branch, but I still have to work out whether I can live with the limitations (e.g. use of 3 controllers instead of 2, complications for changing lines as you mention, etc.). Anyway - that's for another forum group.

A couple of selector switch's could easily be applied to allow two controllers to run three zones.


Put a link to your build thread in your final post here.
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Kentishman
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Re: 00 6' x 5' for father and son

Postby Kentishman » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:05 pm

download/file.php?id=16825

‘TimberSurf wrote:If I understand your plan that the "dotted" colours are switchable between controllers and that each colour is a controller? This may work for a long/large layouts with multiple operator sectors, but on such a small layout makes little sense. Trains are unable to "run" round the loops, as two controllers are required and some switching between them, will give very slow, stop start action. My opinion (though you may disagree, depends on how you intend to run) would be to use one controller per loop, as per colours in my drawing. Insulated joint between all colour changes and maybe 3 cross the green sidings at G for DC operation multiple engines on green controller

No - the colours on the plan simply show logical areas of mainline, branch, incline and upper level. The easiest (but most limiting) method I would use for DC is to allocate one controller for down main, one for up main, and one for branch, but I still have to work out whether I can live with the limitations (e.g. use of 3 controllers instead of 2, complications for changing lines as you mention, etc.). Anyway - that's for another forum group.’


Shouldn’t the question be: ‘how many loco’s do you want to run at any one time, and where?’ For either the track plan as shown in aforsyth’s post of the 6th Feb, or the revised version from Timbersurf above, two controllers would be sufficient for one or two operators. I like Timbersurf’s division of the layout but you wouldn’t need three controllers unless you wanted to have activity on green, purple and blue at the same time.
Now:
1. Think of each of Timbersurf’s coloured areas as a zone to be powered. Each zone should be completely electrically isolated from those zones adjoining.
2. Using two controllers or a twin, with common return wiring, provide a single pole double throw switch for each zone (an on-off-on slider or latching toggle switch).
3. Provide the power feed from the centre tag of a switch to the zone. You may need to provide more than one feed to the zone from that tag, depending on
i) the layout of points within the zone; and
ii) whether you want to have any isolating sections within the zone (insert an on-off switch in the feed to the section of track that may be isolated).
NB to try and keep the wiring neat, I run one wire from the switch to an adjacent chocolate block connector and then provide the multiple feeds to within the given zone.
4. Identify each controller separately, e.g. ‘A’ and ‘B’. Take a feed wire from controller A and link to the top tag on each zone switch, and a separate feed wire from controller B and link to the bottom tag on each zone switch. NB if using toggle switches, the lever when down selects the top feed and vice versa.
5. You now have three options for each zone, i) power from A; ii) power from B; or iii) switch to centre and no power for that zone. This means that a zone can only receive power from one controller at a time. To move through adjoining zones, just ensure they are both / all switched to the same controller: trains will move seamlessly across zones without changing speed or any conflict in the direction of travel.
6. With this wiring in place you could, for example, shunt in the green zone on controller A while leaving another train running round the purple zone on controller B. Take this a stage further and shunt with A on green zone, and use B to alternately run a train on blue then while it is in the station turn blue to ‘off’ and run purple. Send a train round a loop using the blue line from point K (per Timbersurf’s annotation) to point C and the green line from C to K by switching both lines to the same controller.

I am talking from experience as I have this set up on my own small N gauge layout. I use a Gauge Master dual controller and initially divided my layout into 3 zones. I’ve recently made a small change to the layout to provide a passing loop and increased the zones to 5 to accommodate this.
Should you wish to use three or more controllers, this may be simply achieved by substituting, for each zone, a rotary switch to select the chosen controller in lieu of the slider or toggle switch mentioned.
I do hope that this all makes sense. If it doesn’t, please do say.
KM

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pete12345
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Re: 00 6' x 5' for father and son

Postby pete12345 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:05 pm

I agree with the above. By far the best way to wire for DC is to have as many controllers as the number of trains you want to run simultaneously, the install cab control switching to allow each section to connect to any controller. You can then use one controller to complete a train movement before 'handing over' to another once it's stationary, just as you would do with DCC. There's much more flexibility compared to having controllers connected to single sections of track.

With DCC of course all this is unnecessary. You simply connect all track sections together, select a locomotive and drive it.
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Re: 00 6' x 5' for father and son

Postby aforsyth » Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:35 am

Sorry for the delay in replying. Work got the better of me for the last week! Meanwhile, I've been pondering on whether I can improve the complicated access to the goods yard...

So - here are two plans. Note that in order to compare the two, I've included the upper level station, which has been much simplified in both. The lower level storage lines (and mainline in general) remain untouched.
The colours for the tracks are still not showing electrical sections - purely logical arenas (mainline, branchline, incline, high level, storage yard).

Plan 1
The first is a slight modification to the earlier plan - I have replaced my bay siding with a loop, which makes shunting a goods train from the mainline a lot easier, although the train will sometimes have to reverse into the storage area!

Image

Plan 2
The second is a major rethink of the branchline / upper level positioning. I lose my separate branchline and secondary line entry into the storage yard (combining the two), but the goods yard has more space (no 1st radius curves on this plan at all!). On the other hand, the incline is steeper - 2.5% vs. 2.8% on the first one, but in both cases I would only expect an 08 or tank engine and the occasional brave DMU to get up to the top station!

Image

I am in two minds about these - I like the flexibility on the first one of separate branchline to the top level and secondary line to fiddleyard, but I do like the extra space and siding for the goods yard in plan two!

Any comments - which do you prefer and why?

Finally, to answer an earlier question - I would like to run a maximum of 3 trains at once, although that will probably be left to DCC control. Two controllers / trains (and therefore DPDT toggle switches for cab control) is probably the furthest I want to go with DC for now.

Really interested to see which one you guys like better!

Thanks,
Alan

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Re: 00 6' x 5' for father and son

Postby pete12345 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:31 pm

Personally, I think plan 2 works better in the layout of the inner part of the station. Number the platforms 1-4 from the outside inwards- on plan 1, there's no obvious purpose for the line leaving platforms 3 and 4 anticlockwise, other than to get to a hidden area. With plan 2, the sidings and branch are on opposite ends of that loop, giving a reason for both lines to be there. The point arrangement also means trains can get directly between platform 4 and the inner main line. I wouldn't worry much about the gradient for the branch- since there's no runround loop at the top station, passenger traffic will be limited to a DMU or autocoach, and goods trains will have to be a couple of wagons at most, since the loco will have to push the train going back to the junction.

One thing to bear in mind is that wherever you have points in a tunnel, you should provide a way to access them to retrieve derailed stock. The hillside over the points at top center can be made removeable, however on the left side under the top station, you may need access from the outside of the layout at this point. Don't put this side against a wall!
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