Sulligent Layout

Discussion in 'Divisions' started by trainchaser007, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Brandon, our prayers are with you on your recovery.

    The layout will definitely help you get though the hard times. There are many jobs that are not strenuous to do, layout planning, a building kit, trees and rolling stock weathering just to name a few.

    Keep up a positive attitude and the time will go by fast. Good luck to you and your family.

    Joe and Cynthia Lovett
     
  2. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Frisco Employee

    Thanks for all the prayers and kind works of support. Today is my 2nd day back at work. The past 11 weeks were quite an ordeal. I am still a little sore, but thankful to be cancer free after surgery... and without any treatments!
     
  3. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Frisco Employee

    I plan to order a custom built, 14' x 10', "side lofted metal barn" storage building within the next two weeks to serve both as a storage building and a building for my next layout. It should be delivered within 6 weeks after I place the order. The attached picture shows a similar building (different color) with 2 doors and 2 windows. If I correctly remember what the salesman said, my building will have only 1 door and and 2 windows due to the 14' x 10' building being shorter than the one shown in the attached picture. I chose the 1 door/2 window option over the 1 window/2 doors option because 2 windows will allow for 2 air conditioners ... something very necessary during Alabama summers. I also want to be able to see outside from either end of the building. I originally wanted to build a building myself to resemble a wooden depot, but having surgery to remove my kidney in February (and the ensuing recovery) put the nail in that idea's coffin. At least I didn't have to take treatments.
    I've been using SCARM to design my new layout. Although I've made several adjustments, one thing that hasn't changed in a long time is my plan for the height of the benchwork. I want my dad to be able to spend time with me around the layout. Since his health won't allow him to stand for very long, I am going to build the layout low so that it has just over 30" of clearance under the benchwork. That way, he can see everything while rolling around in an office chair. My reason for choosing a clearance of 30+" is that I already have three used, office cabinets (with drawers) that are 30" tall. They will fit under the layout nicely to provide good storage for layout stuff. The longest cabinet is 76" long x 24" deep, another one is 66" long x 21" deep, and the shortest one is 36" long x 21" deep. With a clearance of 31"-32" underneath, the cabinets will fit under the layout nicely. I also want to put some cabinets up on the walls above the layout and mount layout lighting underneath the wall cabinets. The layout will run from one side of the door, around the interior perimeter of the building, to the other side of the door. As you can see in the attached image, I'm sticking with a "dog bone" layout design. I thought about putting in a removable span across the entrance, but I just don't want to disrupt operation to get in and out and I certainly don't want want another layout with a duck-under section. A dog bone was the best option that I could come up with that didn't require a removable section or duck under section.
    I am trying to decide on whether I still want to use curved turnouts as seen on the right side of the attached images, or stick with good ole #8's wherever possible and a couple of #4's where #8's won't fit as seen on the left side. With curved turnouts, my 22"-minimum radius mainline route would required trains to take the inner most curve. Even with the largest curved turnout that Peco makes, I'm concerned that trains at running speed would want to give in to centripetal force, pick the points, and try to take the outer curve which leads to two storage tracks. Please let me know what you think is best: #8's and #4's as shown on the left, or curved turnouts as shown on the right. Scroll down to check out the attached images.
    Metal_SLB_green-copy.gif
    Sulligent #8 Turnouts.gif
    Shapshot 1.gif
     
  4. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Frisco Employee

    I came up with yet another tweak this morning. I cannot count how many tweaks this makes, but due to a special testing schedule, I had some time without students this morning. I think I heard angels singing! While the mice were away, the cat chose to play.
    I squeezed in a few more inches for each storage/passing track and devised a plan for each storage/passing track to be entered and exited through #8 turnouts... even the tight 15"-radius tracks. This gives me 6 storage tracks (not counting yard stubs). I can use any 2 routes as a running loop and any of the other 4 routes for storage/passing. The minimum radi are 22", 18" & 15". Since I use flex track, I will probably make the 18"R tracks actually 18.5"R to put a 3.5" spacing between them and the tracks on either side. Since I want the option to use any thru route at running speed, I wanted to use the longest turnouts possible, in as many places as possible. I am aware that longer equipment cannot run on tight curves. The only turnouts that aren't #8's are some #4's that enter the interchange yards/stubs.
    The attached images are what you would see from the door. "Sulligent, AL" is in the center. The interchange with the Mississippian Railway yard at Amory, MS is in the dog bone to the left. You will see an variety of freight cars there. The (former) Frisco Brilliant Branch yard at Winfield, AL is in the dog bone to the right. You'll will see coal hoppers and maybe some bulkhead flats for pulpwood there.
    Sulligent #8 Turnouts.gif
    snapshot.gif
     
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  5. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Frisco Employee

    I found out that the 10' x 14' building I'm going to purchase actually comes with double doors (6 ft wide) and 2 windows, instead of a single door and 2 windows, or double doors and only 1 window. Since I like that better, I'm going to open up the path between the dog bones to 6 feet at the expense of giving up some track. The irony is that I tried to make this plan work in a 9' x 12' space (for a 12' x 12' building with a 3' x 12' space left over for other things), but I couldn't. Now that I'm working with a 10' x 14' space, it fits perfectly... with no tight S curves.
    I have been concerned about "reach" ever since I had some EZ track set up on a 4' x 8' layout that was up against a wall and on top of a table about 6-7 years ago. As you can see, I like to keep "reach" down to 2' as much as possible. However, the dog bones require 4' x 4' areas. After several, several attempts, I gave up on finding a way to avoid reaching almost 4 feet across the dog bones and decided that I'll just have to invest in a grabber tool. This plan offers the best balance of maximizing track while also opening up floor space for other projects. I'll be able to set up a folding table in the center for working on other projects.
    Sulligent #8 Turnouts.gif
    snapshot.gif
     
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  6. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Frisco Employee

    I played around a little bit with roads and structures tonight. I'm at the point now where I'm eager to get the building delivered and start the bench work. In other news, as soon as when we move into our new home, my mother is going to go ahead and pass my great grandmother's antique, solid oak, oval table on down to me. The superintendent of my railroad said she's going to put her late mother's antique lamp on it and a picture of each of our two children on either side. I asked her if I could put an oval track around all of that for running a short train. Surprisingly, she said, "Maybe." Wish me luck with that. If that becomes a reality, I plan to cut an oval roadbed out of a thin panel, paint it gray, glue down track, ballast it, then set it on the table. It will have to be done in a way so that it can be lifted up for dusting. All of the equipment would have to be short to handle the tight curves. The table in the picture below is not the actual table, but it is the closest thing I could find without going to my parent's house to take a picture. I also have some images of my layout plan with structures added. Again, wish me luck with everything... especially the moving.
    Table.gif

    The view from the entrance.
    snapshot.gif

    The Amory, MS side, featuring the south end of the yard at the interchange with the Mississippian Railway, including the MSRW's Amory yard and old engine house... which I will have to scratch build. The Mississippian continues past the engine house on to Smithville and Fulton, both off-layout.
    snapshot2.gif

    Here's the view from Sulligent, AL facing the doorway. There are some store front flats along the wall as well as the long gone depot across the tracks... something else that I will had to scratch build... and it won't be easy at all. I'm actually dreading it, but it has to be done if I'm going to have it on my layout.
    snapshot4.gif

    The view from the Winfield, AL side with the sidings along the main near the old SLSF Brilliant Branch interchange. The Brilliant branch veers off to the coal mines off-layout.
    snapshot3.gif
     
  7. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

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  8. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Joe, do you own stock in foam board companies? You definitely push it. LOL.
     
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  9. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    I wish I had insulation foam stock, would make a million. The reason I keep pushing the idea is because it's such an important issue. Having scenery below track level makes the scene stand out so much you will be glad you went through the process.

    One of the biggest problems railroads had was drainage of water. If you install your roadbed and track directly to a sheet of plywood it creates a problem in modeling a simple ditch and the whole landscape is completely flat. The two layers of foam cures that problem. I can't stress enough how much it makes it look better. We spend a lot of time determining where the track goes so take time to determine where the water would flow. Make sure to carve all of the foam so there are no flat areas anywhere on the layout.

    I guaranty you will like the look!!!

    Joe
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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  10. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Frisco Employee

    I have officially ordered the 10' x 14' storage building that will double as my next layout space. It should arrive next week. The space between the stud walls actually measures 113" x 161" so I had to decrease the size of my plan by 3 1/2" on each side to account for the studs. I've added a few more details to my plan: A few more structures, dirt drives, dirt lots, crushed limestone lots, trees, brush, gardens, and swimming pools. I'm trying to break up the layout into scenes with trees, brush, track, and anything else I can think of. I'm going to try to use trees and may even a little elevation in the "top" corners to make the tracks "wind through the woods" ...for a whopping total of 24"...definitely not to scale to say the least.
    I've been working on a plan to hide the end of the Mississippian main (left) and the end of the Brilliant Branch (right) so they they don't just look like yard stubs. Please check out the view in the 3rd image and share any thoughts if there is a better way to make them "disappear" on the layout while appearing to continue out of sight (off-layout). For now, I plan to hide the MSRW main with a building and hide the Brilliant Branch with a small plant.
    I know this is a little too symmetrical for a lot of people, but this design maximized my track and sidings. I wanted to enter the Brilliant Branch prototypically (from a left turnout placed right behind the house and in-ground pool, but I simply don't have enough space to do that AND have two sidings. In the real world, just a few yards away, there is a short span of triple track in Winfield and the third track has a right turnout into an industrial stub... so I'm not that far off. I suppose it's a matter of give and take. I don't suppose any modeler can have everything they want, but like you all say, "It's my railroad."
    Sulligent #8 Turnouts.jpg snapshot.jpg
    snapshot2.jpg
     
  11. w3hodoug

    w3hodoug 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    Brandon, may I suggest you make the rear of the two back-wall spurs longer? Have the turnout closer to (or actually in) the street. Or put it between the two streets. Consider having a second spur off the one drawing so you can switch without going on the main. Once you start operations, you'll find that spurs are never long enough to spot all the cars you'll be delivering/picking up. One more thing - you REALLY need one of your two blobs to contain a crossover for a return loop. How else do you plan to turn an engine, train, or cut of cars?
     
  12. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Frisco Employee

    I could, but it wouldn't be prototypical at all. I'm already too far away from the prototype. (See the image below.)

    I know what crossovers and reverse loops are, but I don't want reverse loops if that's what you mean. I do not plan to turn anything around. I'm more into running loops with storage tracks for multiple trains.

    Sulligent spurs.jpg

    Red box - the part of Sulligent that I'm modeling. Items in blue - stuff I'm already moving to include: (1) moving water tower east, (2) moving pulpwood spur to the southeast, (3) moving warehouse southeast.
    upload_2017-4-27_22-56-34.png
     
  13. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Frisco Employee

    I'm still planning on building a "dog bone" layout with each end having 3 quasi-parallel, curved routes of 22", 19", and 16" radi. I want trains to be able to run loops on any route, at scale running speed. (My largest rolling stock will use the smoothest route and visa versa.) I am going to be using #8 turnouts so that trains can get through the turnouts at running speed with the most ease. Should I lay the turnouts in such as way so that the trains take the thru route, or the divergent route? I have plenty of room to do either. Please keep in mind that I want to be able to run loops through the turnouts at "running speed." Attached is an illustration of each turnout scenario and a layout plan of each. The first images shows thru routes where possible. The second image shows divergent routes. IMO, the thru routes would be better for running speed, while the divergent routes look more prototypical. For my "running loop" purposes, being able to maintain running speed through the turnout is more important than looking prototypical, so I may have already answered my own question, ...and in the end, I know "it's my railroad." However, I would still like other opinions. Can trains run though the divergent routes of #8 turnouts at running speed, or do I need to use the straight routes where possible? I like the look of using divergent routes to keep the tracks more parallel, but if trains can't get through #8 divergent routes at running speeds with ease, it's a moot point. Thru vs.jpg Sulligent #8 Turnouts Thru.jpg
    Sulligent #8 Turnouts Divergent.jpg
     
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  14. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Frisco Employee

    Our storage building (my layout space) was delivered today. It was one small step for man, one giant leap for my next layout. I told the superintendent of my railroad that with about twice as many blocks under our mobile home, I could have had a full basement layout instead. Can anyone tell me how to convince her to live in the building, and let me use the mobile home for a layout space?
    20170511_171728.jpg
    20170511_171819.jpg
     
  15. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Congratulations on your new home and layout building, Brandon!!!

    Nice touch on the trim and windows on your layout building.

    Joe
     
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  16. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Frisco Employee

    Jim James,
    As you would say, I have "come over to the dark side." 20170518_172141.jpg
     
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  17. w3hodoug

    w3hodoug 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    Most of the operational layouts here in E. TN use NCE. However, our club uses DigiTraxx. Many interface with JMRI allowing wireless smartphone app throttles.
     
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