fictitious QA&P West TX layout agriculture industry

Discussion in 'Freelance' started by skyraider, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    We're mostly settled into our home in Rule, TX. With any move, there were many unexpected issues and occurrences but all is well.

    The 25' X 35' building that was going to be converted to a layout building is full of stuff for the property: 60" mower / tractor, trailer, spray trailer, etc. As a result, the space for a layout has been reduced to 14' X 20'. A little bit of a disappointment, but still an improvement over the tiny basement in Colorado Springs!!

    The layout is going to be a fictitious venture between the QA&P, the FW&D and the Orient Line (Rule is on the old Orient Line. The depot is still in town and in excellent condition). The room is actually 19' X 19', but using the entire room would not leave room for a couple of pieces of furniture I want in the room, and would necessitate two lift outs.

    Attached are the two proposed layout plans I have designed. Both have numerous shortcomings, but are getting close to being as good as I am capable of. They will be predominantly west central Texas scenery--just west of where we live across the Brazos River.

    One is an around the room shelf layout with one lift out. It has a mainline run of 55', has a few industry spurs, but offers ease of access and maintenance (nothing that can't be easily reached), and I can use 34" radius curves on the mainline.

    The other is a modified folded dogbone. The mainline is 104' long. It is my favorite of the two, but the mainline radius is 30" in most places; there are a few locations that will be difficult to reach and will need some access panels, and I'm concerned about whether I'll ever finish it.

    Any suggestions are welcome. Karl already made a couple regarding the folded dogbone and I did my best to improve upon his ideas (the yard and loco facility are too far apart, but better than they were). A few photos of the scenery I will use are also attached.

    Time to head to church!

    IMG_20191010_094744609.jpg Brazos crossing.jpg IMG_20190506_122324609.jpg IMG_20190326_163713_456.jpg
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2020
  2. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Good Morning Paul,

    These are both very nice. While I like the second one a bit more, I would recommend adjusting the track arrangements for small town 1 and 2 such that you could switch them with the drop-down removed. Perhaps a run-around in each or a two-ended siding for the industries. For the spurs, face the other way or give a bit more lead without the drop-down. One thing I like about the second layout is that you could build it a bit at a time.

    I look forward to seeing progress, which ever you choose to build. Let me know what era you choose, and I will send you an appropriate Wichita Falls and Northwestern boxcar for your rolling stock collection (if time is appropriate (pre-1923))!

    -Bob T.
  3. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    P.S. Here is a nice scene for you:


    This black and white photograph shows the Kansas City, Mexico, & Orient Railway's bridge #1009.5 at the fourth crossing at Alamito Creek that extended between Alpine, Texas and Presidio, Texas.

    Original source:

    And another:


    This black and white photograph shows a group of men standing in front of a Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway's caboose in Rule, Texas.

    Date: Between 1900 and 1928

    Original Source:

    Kansas Historical Society.
  4. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Hi Bob,

    Thanks for the suggestions. Let me look at the designs and see how I can incorporate what you suggested. The run around for small town 1 would be easy. I've already considered that. Your offer of a boxcar is incredibly generous!! Thank you!! I also am leaning towards the second, simpler design. It allows more than just a layout in the room; is easier to reach all portions of the layout without liftout access panels; and would be fairly easy to actually complete.

    Most of what I model is steam / diesel transition. I like steam primarily, but also incorporate a little early diesel. About all I have in the way of diesels is F units, FA's (Frisco), and an SD-7 that may be sold because it's Rio Grande that ran on the layout I had when we lived in Colorado.
    The two scene are great. I had thought of a fairly long, low timber trestle, but the plate girder might be better. Those were numerous around this area. Amazing that you found a photo of a caboose in Rule!!!


    Paul Moore
  5. gstout

    gstout Member Supporter

    I'd try to steer clear of the lift-outs. Your first plan looks better to me. On the other hand, given all those wide-open spaces I see in the attached photos, why not do G-scale and build outdoors?

  6. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    We actually looked at building a large garden layout. The issue with that is moving everything related to the layout to mow the three acres...or doing hours of trimming to mow and trim around it.
    I couldn't figure out a way to get over or around the track. We have 48 pecan trees on the property, as well. I'd have to sell all my HO and O scale to buy G scale, but that could be done.

    A couple of photos of the property attached.
    ext rear property.jpg ext front 4.jpg

    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
  7. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Both layouts have positives. Personally, I like the first plan. It has a about the same industries, but has a yard, whereas the second doesn't.

    What every you end up doing, good luck with it. I just got moved in to my new house this weekend, I've got some work to do before I can start building the next layout.
  8. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    The "work on the house" part I completely understand. We've replaced some of the siding (house is part brick / part wood siding) scraped, caulked, sanded and painted the exterior; cut two cords of firewood with the chainsaw; replaced two ceiling fans and two light fixtures; installed four sets of mini blinds; etc.; etc. It's a solid old house, but it's old. It may still be awhile before actually starting the new layout.

    Personally, I like the first layout better. The scenic opportunities exceed the second. But the first one will take twice as long to build, cost twice as much, etc.

    As a result, I designed the second as a simpler, easier to build version of the first. I'm still on the fence as to which one I will build...or maybe design something completely different!!! It's supposed to be fun, so I'm not placing any pressure on myself to get started.

  9. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Bob (and anyone else viewing),

    Note attached revised layout plan. The two industries have been changed and now have run arounds or through tracks.

    Last edited: Apr 1, 2020
  10. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Very Nice. I might measure when building for clearance of "Small Town 2" to make sure the loco could escape, and scootch over to the left just a bit if needed. I would also consider making the run around in "Small Town 1" more central along the main, emerging where where you have the word "Flats". Are you drawing this in AnyRail? As Ethan pointed out, you might want more of a yard in the central town. If 2-2.5 inch centers would permit, you might put another track on the upper area above the wye, even if one of the tracks was stub-ended. This is going to be a nice project!

    Take Care,

    -Bob T.
    Sirfoldalot and Ozarktraveler like this.
  11. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Building clearance won't be an issue. They can be moved. They're not even the actual buildings that came off of my last layout--just buildings from the CAD program (3rd PlanIt).

    The plan is to finalize the layout as much as possible on paper, then build the benchwork and table top. Any adjustments necessary to trackwork and building location can still be made at that time.


    Paul Moore
    Sirfoldalot and Ozarktraveler like this.
  12. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

  13. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    After a solid year of working on the house and property (including the winter's pecan harvest), it's finally time to start building the new layout. The 19' X 19' room the layout will be in is currently my wife's craft room. We're moving her craft room to the master bedroom (20' X 26') and moving the master to a smaller but still nice bedroom. This way we each have a large room to pursue hobbies.

    The philosophy of the layout is the same as what was listed earlier in this thread. The layout plan has changed drastically. Karl Brand has given me some good input regarding the layout and it is close to taking shape. He and I both liked the idea of keeping some of the narrow gauge that I had in Colorado. Also, he suggested a staging yard. It just so happens that there is an 8' X 15' walk in closet adjacent to the layout room. I will put a tunnel through the wall from the layout to the closet for the staging yard.

    I keep changing my mind on some aspects of the layout. A small locomotive facility was originally a non negotiable, but I'm thinking I want a little more west Texas scenery (refer to above photos of the Brazos River, etc). There may not be room for both. I may build the benchwork and play with track and structures and see how everything fits. Even though I've used a CAD program and graph paper, I think better with real 1/87 scale items in front of me!

    Last week I built 20' of 30" wide benchwork and started playing with track to ensure that what is planned will fit. It seems to be working out pretty well.

    The current track plan is attached, as well as a few photos of the benchwork. The dark photograph of a layout in the center of the layout room is the original layout I built in Colorado. It will interchange with the new around the wall shelf layout. It's still in the final planning stages thanks to my inability to make up my mind!!

    Paul Moore

    Original layout + around the wall full room .jpg a.jpg IMG_5436.JPG IMG_5435.JPG IMG_5434.JPG IMG_5431.JPG
  14. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Supporter Supporter

    PAUL -- Happy to see your progress! Your property and the scenery make me envious; I am trying to talk my main squeeze into getting out of CA, but the weather is just too darn nice!
    How are you liking living out in the "sticks", as MOH calls it?
    I have a couple questions -Why cannot I see your first two plans? Is there another thread that I am overlooking?
    skyraider and Ozarktraveler like this.
  15. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Hi Sherrel,

    We love it here. The weather has been wetter than I had hoped, but that's just the pattern it's in right now. It will change. the people are super friendly; you don't have to deal with crowds everywhere; we love watching the sun go down sitting in our dining room with a view 270 degrees. my wife is crazy about the pecan orchard (we have 48 pecan trees) and is building a little pecan business. All-in-all, we are extremely pleased that we got out of Colorado.

    Five miles west of us the geography changes drastically. The photographs on the beginning of this thread were taken in Stonewall County on bicycle rides just west of us. Attached is a shot I took yesterday. It will make a nice creek scene on the layout. It's also fun watching all of the agricultural equipment going up the street we live on. Our street turns into a small farm to market road and you can take it miles out into the country. I've done bicycle rides and seen only one car in an hour and a half.

    I pulled the first two layout plans so there wouldn't be any confusion since the plan has changed. I can message them to you if you like.

    Great to hear from you!!

    Paul Moore

    IMG_20200404_162327384_HDR copy.jpg
  16. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    That is a great photo. This stay-at-home order sure is a strong argument to move out to the country, get away from the crowds, and have some land of your own.

    Take Care Paul,

    -Bob T.
    Sirfoldalot and Ozarktraveler like this.
  17. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Thanks, Bob. We are truly blessed.

    Have a great week!!

    Paul Moore
  18. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Supporter Supporter

    Thanks, Paul, I finally caught up to you. I love the looks of your property.
    What kind of internet service do you have there?
    Have a friend over in Sanger who just got hooked up to cable.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  19. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    Live Steam!
    Ozarktraveler and skyraider like this.
  20. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Oh yeah! Hubba! Hubba!

    I too, have liked live steam for a long time... even investigated what it would take to have a small narrow gauge type (7 1/2" gauge with 2 1/2" scale equipment) on a free lance theme here on the 1.3 wooded acres I have. Came up with an interesting track arrangement. SO, I began to take a serious look at what it would take. That's when reality bit me hard on the hiney like a big dog. Consider:

    * I would need to convert my entire garage into a work shop. (Currently serves dbl duty w/one vehicle and a partial motorcycle work shop w/lift table.)
    * I would need to acquire an adequately large lathe.
    * I wound need to acquire a "Bridgeport" in decent shape.
    * I would have to bone-up on my machining skills that have laid dormant for 30+ years.
    * Completed track on the ground was something like $10 per foot.
    * Switches were considerably more than $10 per foot.
    * Would have to either rent or acquire a small tractor w/front loader for roadbed/etc.
    * A small steam engine was going to be in the 10k + range.
    * One piece of rolling stock was going to be about $600 and up.
    * Just like the full sized RR-ing, MOW work now becomes mandatory.

    Didn't take long to cool the fires of my imaginary live steam engine!

    However, to this day I enjoy seeing live steam do its thing, but I lean toward small steam, such as 19th century steam.

    Ozarktraveler, qaprr and frisco1522 like this.

Share This Page