AT&N: Modern-Era Layout

Discussion in 'Freelance' started by trainchaser007, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    I finally got my new layout rewired with 6 blocks.. Since I was working on the wiring, I thought a work train was appropriate. I haven't laid track for the sidings yet but Rome wasn't built in a day.
     
  2. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Looking good, Brandon. I even think that some of these buildings, when leveled out and sized accordingly, could be glued to some foam board and made into shallow-depth building flats to give the backdrop a little more of a 3-dimensional look. Either way, I think these will add a lot.

    Best Regards,
     
  3. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    I've already realized the idea of using these images for a large backdrop isn't feasible. The images west of Hwy. 17 and east of Elm St. don't seem to be backdrop friendly. However, I cut out images of some of the buildings along Frisco St. For now, I cropped them, printed them in gray scale, cut them out, & trimmed off the ends a little here and there. I'm gonna set them in place to get an idea of how it's going to look. I may or may not use the storage building front. It just depends on whether it will fit between Hwy. 17 & Elm St. without being cramped since I can't don't plan on running Frisco St. to scale length. I also cropped out the metal roof since it was added recently and is of insignificant value to me and not worth the trouble to model as far as I'm concerned. Chris, I'm glad you suggested gluing them on foam board for the purpose of adding depth. Now that I have resolved my block wiring issues, the next thing I have to do is lay down the run-around tracks on each side. I wanted 6 blocks, 2 on each side and 1 on each end, so the two 205 Atlas Controllers that Bob Thomas gave me a while back did the job perfectly. More to come...
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  4. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    My best layout video ever... so far. Enjoy the "DC sound" I added.
     
  5. WindsorSpring

    WindsorSpring Member

    I missed the Sulligent Cotton Oil building in the previous video; I am glad to see this one shows it is on the layout.
     
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  6. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    I finally got around to making a little progress on the siding at Reform this afternoon. I managed to glue down all of the foam roadbed and lay track from the north turnout to the crossover. I wanted to lay track all the way to the south turnout and get it wired and operating, but like they say, Rome wasn't built in a day.
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  7. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    I laid the rest of the track for the siding at Reform tonight. I'm looking forward to getting it wired. I also de-cluttered the layout, set up a few structures, ran a coal train, and took some pictures. I guess a certain celebrity is on the run again in Sulligent.

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  8. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Nice progress photos. Laying and wiring track is not my favorite aspect of the hobby but it sure makes or breaks a layout. I look forward to seeing the track weathered and ballasted.
     
  9. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    I made a little more progress in between church services yesterday afternoon. I got the "Beats Nothing So Far" roadbed and track through Sulligent glued down with DAP Dynaflex 230. I also got the two short sections of the Alabama Southern at Reform glued down. Finally, I glued down the interchange track along the AT&N depot at Reform. I learned that cutting rails and ties at an angle (at the inside edge of the layout), even with a Dremel tool, is not easy. The next steps will be wiring the two sidings, then ballasting the track. Then I have to decide where to place structures, make roadways/parking lots/driveways/etc., and add ground cover/weeds/shrubs & eventually trees. I also have to tackle the storefront flats project. In other news, one of my neighbors (a contractor) got me a big box of sawdust. I plan on cutting it down to size in my blender and using it for a wood chips. I also have about a 1.5 gallons of sand that I plan to put through the blender. I got the blender idea from a youtube video. There always seems to be plenty to do.

     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
  10. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    I may be posting too often, but if I am, it's because I'm having too much fun. I got the siding at Reform
    wired tonight just before my nine-year-old daughter came and asked, "Daddy, are you not going to watch wrestling with me?" Needless to say, the siding at Sulligent did not get wired tonight. Before she pulled me away, I found some figures and signals that William Moreland (wpmoreland719) kindly gave me a little over 2 years ago. I got them out on the layout for the first time to take a few pictures.

    3 guys working and 3 more just standing around (counting the conductor on the switcher). It must be a government project.
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    "Now you didn't hear this from me, but..."
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    "I know the gas truck could blow up at any moment, but The Great Depression just called. It wants its fire truck back."
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    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
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  11. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    I did a lot of prep work yesterday.
    1. I sifted through a 5-gallon bucket of fine limestone from the remains of a pile left by the county at the back of my school and wound up with over 1/2 gallon of ballast-size material and about 3 pints of larger material.
    2. I dismantled an N scale tank car to make an HO propane tank. My mother gave me the tank car years ago when she received it as a gift from Readers Digest. It was made for static display only so I thought I may as well make something useful out of it. http://www.ebay.com/gds/Beware-of-H...le-engines-and-cars-/10000000012107188/g.html
    3. I replaced the dummy couplers on a couple of boxcars (GM&O & ICG) for the interchange track at Reform.
    4. I made some scrap metal out of some scouring pads, aluminum foil, and thick, silver wrapping paper. I put it in the blender that my aunt bought me for Christmas. (Tip: Cut the scouring pads as small as possible with tin snips first.)
    5. I sifted though some leftover construction sand that I got from (where else) my school. I got 4 liters and 1 pint of sand out of it. That's probably more than a lifetime supply of model railroad sand.
    6. I sifted through a box of sawdust that my neighbor (a contractor) collected for me. I ended up with about 1 gallon and 1 pint of very fine sawdust for HO scale wood chips.
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  12. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    I finally finished wiring the last section of track tonight!!! I have 6 blocks. Each of the two curves is a block. At Reform, the main is on one block and a run-around siding is on another block. I left the AT&N/ABS interchange track isolated and un-powered to help prevent locomotives from running off the layout and falling 42" onto the bare concrete floor in case something goes wrong with the interchange track's turnout. The AT&N main at Sulligent is on a block while the BNSF main (actually used for another run-around siding) is on another block. I'm using two Atlas 205 connectors that Bob Thomas (rjthomas909) gave me. I have one near the center of each town. Each of them controls the main, siding, and the curve to the left of its respective town. You can see where I positioned the 205 connectors on the sides of the layout in the video, "Layout progress 2 14 16" in post #169.
    I must say that I will never use Atlas turnouts with plastic frogs on another layout except maybe the ones I already have - and those I may use only in places where power/connectivity is not necessary at all. The plastic frogs are horrible. Small locomotives tend to lose power, especially at low speeds. They even hamper larger locomotives. In this video, you will see that even the fastest locomotives have trouble getting through them. I'm not sure what a good alternative to Atlas Code 100 turnouts is, but there has to be something better that doesn't have ridiculous plastic frogs. If you have a suggestion, feel free to reply. Meanwhile, enjoy the video.
     
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  13. Friscotony

    Friscotony Member

    It looks like you are having WAY to much fun. Keep up the good work and enjoy.

    Tony Lalumia
     
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  14. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    I finally got around to modeling some chimney & exhaust stack smoke last night while running a local freight. I bought a Bachmann depot on Ebay years ago without realizing it's chimney was missing. Last night, I finally took some scraps of Walthers Cornerstone brick sheets left over from my Sulligent Cotton Oil Co. building project, and made a chimney for the depot. I took a cotton ball and stretched out "smoke" to glue on top of every chimney and exhaust stack I could find on my structures. Winter smoke and (planned) summer crops? I guess I've done something to alter Doc Brown's "Space Time Continuum."
     
  15. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    I "paved" Hwy. 17 through Sulligent today with black, air-dry, "Plus Clay" from Activa http://activaproducts.com/collections/air-dry-clay/products/2-2-lb-package-of-black-plus-clay. If the clay dries as advertised, I will use it on all of my paved roadways. The clay was much easier to work with than plaster. I used a dough roller to spread it thin, starting at the outside track edge, and rolling away from the track to create a ramp at first. From the bottom of the ramps & outward, I used as much pressure as I could muster to spread it as thin as possible. Then I laid my coil car's box on it (because it was a good width and it was handy) and trimmed the clay to the width of the box with a knife. I gently sloped the edges of the pavement with my finger. I used a very sharp kitchen knife (don't tell my wife) to level the clay with the tops of the rails and to create spaces inside on the insides of the rails for wheel flanges. The clay is still damp, but so far, I think it looks great... and it's already the color I wanted for pavement. After that, I started replacing some of the missing ties. I sand spikes off with a palm sander so that the ties slide in under the rails easier. To me, sanding off the spikes is easier than cutting them off with an x-acto knife. I'm sure there are better techniques to do what I've done, but this is what I came up with and it worked for me.
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  16. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Looks like fresh asphalt. You're getting a lot accomplished.
     
  17. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    So far, the clay that I used to model pavement is drying nicely and looks very much like pavement to me. It should be fully cured by tomorrow afternoon. I would have liked to have waited for the results after it completely cures before spending any more time and energy shaping more of it, but I was afraid that what I had left would dry out too much if I waited any longer... even though I put it in an air-tight container with a damp cloth as the directions stated (a Ziploc bag with a wet wash cloth actually). Being afraid to wait any longer, I began working on a section of the 4-lane (U.S. Hwy 82) through Reform. Since it was twice the width of the 2-lane in Sulligent, it took twice as much clay and twice as much effort. It didn't take long to realize that I didn't have enough clay to finish the 4-lane from the tracks to the wall, so instead, I used what little I had left to work on some other crossings: Elm St. in Sulligent, & 4th Ave. SE in Reform. I forgot to buy a wallpaper seam roller the last time I was in Walmart, but I found out that rolling my old Hotwheels steam roller back and forth with a little downward pressure, actually works quite well as a way to fine tune the road surface. As soon as I get all of the roadways & crossings completed, I'll begin ballasting track. After that, I'll work on ground cover. At Reform, the AT&N rolled out the RS1 and the little 44 tonner to check for flange clearance before the paving crew wrapped things up and called it a day. The tiny bit of clay I had left was in the bucket of a loader, about to be dumped into a dump truck. I almost forgot... If you're coming into Sulligent from the north, watch out for that speed trap just before the tracks. I heard a trucker got on his radio to warn others about seeing a "smokey" in that area.
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    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
  18. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    (Update on the clay roadways) After 72 hours, the 2-lane at Sulligent is showing signs of shrinkage. Over the past 24 hours, the length of the 2-lane from the tracks to the inside edge of the layout has shrunk. It pulled toward the tracks, pulling away from the inside edge of the layout and cracking (pretty bad) at the corners of the intersection (just off-layout). I will have to re-work the end of the 2-lane near the inside edge of the layout when I get more clay. There will probably be an unwanted seam, but what asphalt doesn't have seams, especially where new pavement meets old pavement? Meanwhile, after 48 hours of curing at Reform, the 4-lane has some minimal cracks. Unless the cracks widen or the length of the roadway shrinks, I can simply "seal" the cracks with a black sharpie marker. After all, just like seams, what asphalt doesn't crack and have to have those cracks sealed? Regardless of the minimal cracks and the shrinking of the 2-lane's length, I still prefer this clay over the plaster (which also cracked) and paint that I tried on my last layout. I took some shots of the cracks and shrinkage, as well as some better pictures of the paving crew as they work on the crossing.
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  19. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Brandon, looks like your road crews were able to work around the W. Alabama storms Tuesday...good timing.

    Best Regards,
     
  20. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

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