Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Back on Track!

After a long time, I am making some progress. It is actually good that I did not rush this layout. Normally I am pretty impatient and would have plugged ahead, then realized I had made some mistakes. As I get older, I am either getting lazier or more patient.

By waiting and playing around with the trains, I have managed to find several things that needed adjusted.

I had to move the run-around track in the freight yard as the run-around was too short to move the locomotive from the one end of the freight train to the other. Now I can pull a freight into the yard, uncouple, and run around to the rear of the train.

I also did a slight realignment of the two yard tracks at the front. Ignore the awful job I did on the layout chart - the tracks are actually lined up nicely. I moved them to accommodate a new (well actually used) dual track engine shed purchased from the Toronto Christmas Train Show.

I finished getting the viaduct in place and the trains are running smoothly. I did cheat a bit as some of my curves are a bit tight for my Bombardier Bi-Level GO Train coaches - I changed the couplers on the middle coach to a slightly longer coupler to stop the accordions from binding on tight curves. It still looks ok and runs MUCH smoother.

I changed my mind about the river running the whole way from one end of the layout to the other. It was taking up too much real estate that I wanted to use for other things, so now the river flows under the double track truss bridge, and curves around then off the layout, and at the other end is a waterfall under the high viaduct and low yard bridge and off the layout. This will allow me to put in a suburban passenger GO station and a small farm.

I will be locating larger buildings (city) as a view block in the corner where the hidden passenger staging is.

The town will no probably no longer have a town square, but a couple of streets on a diagonal.

The hidden freight staging will be behind background buildings. I put a fibreboard 'wall' in where the tunnel will be to ensure that if a train derails it will not fall off the track and hopefully be guided through.

I am waiting to do some more work before I make final decisions on the sidings in town, as well as the section of real estate near the duck-under. I have thought about a small lake / campground, or industry, or a slummy section of town etc - I'd like it to be interesting.

I'll take a bunch of pictures and add to this post - hopefully tonight or tomorrow.

...and here they are. First one is a short video.

video


Used Engine Shed - $20 - what a deal!
High Viaduct and low bridge over river

Freight Yard and Passenger Station
Aerial view of yard

Duck-under and river area

Looking north out of the yard.

Double Track Truss Bridge and Town

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Update - Ripping up track and re-laying!

Over the Christmas holidays I spent some time both playing around with my layout and coming up with things I liked and did not like. I came to the conclusion that there were some serious issues with my current layout that I needed to change. I hesitated to make the changes, but finally decided I would only be happy if I did.

The layout above is my latest version. There were two main issues:

1. I had put the tracks too close to the outside / backdrop, which really restricted my ability to put spurs and industries there.
2. The double track mainline really just was a big oval - pretty boring running trains around in a circle.

The new layout pulls the track back in enough places to put spurs and industries, as well as eliminates the full double track, replacing it with a mainline with runarounds that does not repeat for almost two full circuits.

I also added hidden freight staging in addition to the hidden passenger staging.