new attic layout

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RodzRx7
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new attic layout

Postby RodzRx7 » Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:59 pm

hi everyone

this is the layout I am looking to build in my attic, only place I have room for it the house is modern with plenty of room up there and access to all side of the layout. (is there any thing I have to look out for in the winter etc storing trains up there? attic is fully boarded with lights and sockets now).
I am after a few continues loops as I enjoy trains going round and round (my dad had a end to end and I find that boring) I also hope my son will enjoy it more if he can watch trains going round etc and able to control one loop himself.
trains to be run are nothing big, flying scotmans, intercity 125, few diesels electrics and a small train like a smoky joe (had them as a kid) oh and don't forget Thomas the tank engine for the boy
my plan is to build it in sections when I am on my flip night for night shifts then move it to the attic and put it in place then move on to the next section

Image

one of the major problems I see for myself is the wiring and understanding of how it all works, I am a mechanical commissioning engineer so handy with my hands and not afraid to take things on.
what are you thinking of the layout?
cheers for any help, advise or abuse for taking on to much.
kind regards
sean

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End2end
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Re: new attic layout

Postby End2end » Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:42 am

One thing I noticed. I think the platforms are way too short for things like the Flying Scotsman or Intercity 125 if they are based on Hornby sized platfrom pieces.
I've just gone and checked and a Smokey Joe loco with 2 full length coaches barely fits along 4 Hornby platform straight pieces.
As you can see here on my layout. The bottom platform is 3 straights and 1 ramp long (there is no ramp at the left end, off picture) and the Green loco is an 0-6-0 with shunters truck, ventilated van and brake van attached and comes in under 3 straight platform pieces long.
The top platform is effectively 4 straights and 2 ramps and the black loco is an 0-6-0 Jinty with 1 full length coach attached.
Image
Both the loco's in the picture are longer than a Smokey Joe or other 0-4-0 loco.

How about flipping the layout somehow so the complicated trackwork is on the longer side to give you more platform length?
Also I just noticed on the plan there are 2 points and a crossover that do not seem to connect to any other track. Is this intentional?
Hope it helps.
Thanks
End2end

Edit: It was sad day when I had to sell my Intercity 125 in swift livery because it couldn't fit on the layout I designed because of my lack of space.
No relevence, I'm just still in mourning. :( :lol:
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RodzRx7
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Re: new attic layout

Postby RodzRx7 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:01 am

Hi end2end
A very good point well made and I completely over looked that. I could take out the yellow/blue connection on the left hand side extended the platform to maybe 6-7bigs long and extend the yellow station siding to the end.
I will have a play tonight and pop a picture up.

Good spot with the extra points. I made a 4th loop on a higher level and the plan was Thomas could run round that leaving me to play with the 3 loops and shunting ahaha.
The more I looked at it I though maybe bit too much for now.
I will add that in tonight see what you think.
Thanks for the help

Sean

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End2end
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Re: new attic layout

Postby End2end » Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:21 pm

RodzRx7 wrote:one of the major problems I see for myself is the wiring and understanding of how it all works

Sorry, one thing I forgot to mention. Go DCC it's MUCH easier! :D Just solder "dropper wires" from your DCC power "bus" to the track instead of using the Hornby track connector for example.
And if going DCC, and you can fit them in as they are a different size and give different track spacing, the advice would usually be USE LIVE FROG POINTS.
I would say have a look at them before you start to buy any track as without them wiring might be a concern. Just use the search function here on the forum. It's a constant discussion for new layout builders.
Thanks
End2end
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RodzRx7
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Re: new attic layout

Postby RodzRx7 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:59 pm

hi end2end

I have been looking at DCC but unsure where to start with it and the full cost involved, the problem I have is I already bought most of the track and a lot of points after a drunk purchase on ebay :D

would you have a rough idea what I would need to covert over to DCC and the cost involved, I also now have 7 trains that would also need converting.

best get searching and reading as well

thanks for the help

RodzRx7
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Re: new attic layout

Postby RodzRx7 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:24 pm

Here is the plan I had running a elevated red track but I do think that is just taking on to much so time to calm down

[imp]Image[/img]

great advise about the platforms end2end works a lot better now very happy with it, I have also tamed that red track down for now and it can be used for a nice end to end to shunt about some small rolling stock, maybe adding to it later date who knows

[imp]Image[/img]

cant wait to get crack with it

sean

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End2end
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Re: new attic layout

Postby End2end » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:26 pm

A DCC controller, 7 DCC chips for the locos and 2 thicknesses of wire for the DCC wiring bus so you can solder wires from the DCC bus to the track using finer wire "droppers"
I've used 32/0.2 for the DCC bus wire and 7/0.2 for the track droppers.
Bare in mind, I mean DCC READY loco's. If they are not DCC ready you can still solder a DCC chip into a loco.

The cheapest new DCC controllers are possibly the Hornby select and the Bachmann E-Z controller. It does depend on how you want to phsyically control the loco's. My budget was low and I wanted a knob instead of buttons for control so I bought the Bachmann E-Z controller as part of a train set which I have sold off the rest of it. Although after that I also bought the E-Z Companion which is another slave controller that plugs into the first main/master controller (easy to tell the difference, they are different colours) to give me 2 knobs for control.

The Bachmann E-Z command can only run upto 9 DCC fitted loco's and the Hornby select has it's problems not being fully NMRA compatible.
I'd say have a look around...no drunk purchases here ! :lol: to see which you think would be expansive enough to control your layout as you can, if you want, control more than just loco's with DCC.Point motors for example.
I split my working into 2. Loco control with DCC but point motors via a DC control panel so the 9 DCC / loco limitation on my controller is not a problem unless I buy more than 9 loco's and I want them on the track at the same time.
I own 9. :lol:
If it's any help click the links below my posts to see my 3 threads about my layout.
When I started all I knew was how to open a box and put a train set together. :shock:
Hope it helps
Thanks
End2end
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carnehan
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Re: new attic layout

Postby carnehan » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:32 pm

To throw some numbers at you, a DCC decoder will cost you from as little as £14 per decoder but can go a lot higher. I use the NCE Powercab as my controller - you are talking in or around £100 for it.

I'd suggest you read round the subject but at least wire up your layout to future proof it should you decide at some point to go DCC.

Paul

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End2end
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Re: new attic layout

Postby End2end » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:45 pm

Just looking at the original it may still be possible.
movedlayout.jpg
movedlayout.jpg (56.17 KiB) Viewed 1002 times

By adding more track and pushing your red track within my red box further to the top, flipping the passing loop in my black box the other way.
This means you could move the point in the lower left black box over to the new black box position on the right, as the gradient can start nearer the top right as the top track has been pushed futher back making the decline from the top right of the diagram to the bottom left of the diagram start and finsh earlier.
Of course, all this is speculation and would need to be planned properly. :D
And remember 1st and 2nd second radius curves are really to be avoided if possible. No one likes them nor do most loco's. :lol:
Hope it helps.
Thanks
End2end
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RodzRx7
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Re: new attic layout

Postby RodzRx7 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:03 pm

end2end I had to read that post several times that was like code to me but understand it now, I do like the idea of DCC and starting to see the benefits when wiring the layout up compared to analogue, I do like your idea of knobs rather than buttons to control the locos and I plan not to have more than 4/5 locos running at once, when I started this I did think it would be a cheapish hobbies compared to other ones but it soon adds up so will have to get the ££££ under control soon haha, I will go have a dig through your threads to get some info out ref DCC and thanks again.

paul - thanks for the quick insight into numbers and I will have a look at a few controllers but thinking I will need to set aside a few hundred for control, the DCC decoder I fit to each loco, do I need some soft of software to programme them?

end2end thanks for the drawing there on top of the layout that has opened my eyes to new stuff cant believe I have looked at this for nights on end and not seen it, maybe to much beer haha this is some thing I will look at, on my next turn around day I am planning on building up the layout in the kitchen see if it can be done and what spare track I require it will also let me test the red route.

what is the deal with R1&R2 curves I have been meaning to ask it for awhile but thought it might of been a stupid question. my flying Scotsman will go round the inside oval on my layout with out any issues and I only plan to run smaller trains on the oval R1, I can if required maybe push the bottom left hand yellow bend out to R3 if space will allow it and play with the red track to see what I can fit

cheers guys
sean

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End2end
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Re: new attic layout

Postby End2end » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:35 pm

RodzRx7 wrote:I had to read that post several times that was like code to me but understand it now

I know exactly what you mean. I'm banging my head against electronics soloutions at the moment. :lol:
I'm probably the last person to look towards for DCC advice. :? I have one of the cheapest DCC controllers around at around £60 new. It does not change any C.V.'s and can only run 9 decoders, wether they be in loco's or another item like an accessory only decoder for point throwing or the ilk.
Fine if that's all you need. My points are not contolled by DCC.
I'd also echo carnehan's post about future proofing the layout wiring.
Thanks
End2end
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carnehan
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Re: new attic layout

Postby carnehan » Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:15 pm

Sean, I can only speak for the Powercab. No software is required to programme the decoders. Everything is done within the Powercab unit. Put the chip in the loco, plop it on the track, let the unit read it, push a couple of buttons and bippitty bop, your loco is controlled by it.

Read around the subject and you'll be amazed at what dcc can do for your layout.

Paul

RodzRx7
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Re: new attic layout

Postby RodzRx7 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:12 pm

thanks guys, will have a good read at work tomorrow, don't think I am too bothered about having a all singing and dancing auto railway after all its a fun build so DCC to control my locos then an analogue system to control the points, who knows....

I had a little play with the layout when I got in tonight what do you think? I reckon the idea of moving red track up the way has worked well, but what height do I set the track at on this system to allow trains under? and I take it you want the gradient over the longest possible length?

Image

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End2end
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Re: new attic layout

Postby End2end » Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:23 pm

That's looking good...and now for something completly different...
If your not going to have a station on the top red passing loop.........why not make the red line the lower line and the rest of the track raised, flipping the layout completly on it's head :?: :idea:
That way most of the track is visable, or can be tunnelled but much easier to clean more of the track. :)
You may be able to extend the lower horizontal red track by the station, increasing the length you have to get low enough under the other tracks and also push the top most red track even further back directly under the top yellow track giving even more running length and thus the time it takes for the train to reappear.
This should also give you a longer passing loop on the top red track if you extend the upper red track both to the left and right.
You'd need to bend the right hand side red line somehow to line up with the yellow track at the point position in the lower right.
Just an idea. :mrgreen:
Thanks
End2end
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TimberSurf
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Re: new attic layout

Postby TimberSurf » Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:54 pm

Hello and welcome to the Forum Sean
Check out the control pages on my website, then look at http://www.brian-lambert.co.uk/ for in depth detail.
DCC and Live Frogs might be simply the best solution, but is not critical. It is a little easier to wire, but Electrofrogs mean you have to have microswitchs and point motors straight off, your diving into the deep end, straight away. There is all the help you need on here, but starting simple then adapting later will get you up and running much quicker. Lots to ponder, decisions to be made and planning to be done!

Ask here and get a feeling for what you are confident to tackle. Research, research, research, forewarned is forearmed!
Don't forget you need full access to track lost under elevated track!
What type/make of track have you bought?
When you say build and move later, do you just mean the woodwork? Sectioned boards with track on will make life a nightmare (exhibition style track/electrics) {but would mean if you move house, railway could go with you]
Image
Lumsdonia <--- Hit link to go to my website for full story and wiring advice!


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