Author Topic: Planning a layout for my son  (Read 26095 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Dave V

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 8903
  • Gender: Male
  • The Route of the Galloping Goose
  • Respect: +3921
    • Dave Vollmer's N Scale Pennsy
Planning a layout for my son
« on: November 16, 2010, 08:43:05 PM »
0
...who is now 8 years old.  Jacob loves trains, and he's very good with my N scale layout.  The layout is based on Apex, NC, although it takes considerable liberties.  It's designed for 2-train operation and uses Kato Unitrack.  The plan is to have him help me do almost all of the work.

I've actually been planning this since Spring.  I'd gotten Jacob an N scale Kato Amtrak set, and he chose Apex himself as the prototype, remembering how I would take him and his younger brother Timmy down to the depot at least once a week to watch the evening CSX train switch out cars for the former D&S branch to Durham.  We lived in Apex from 2005 to 2008 while I finished my PhD at NC State University.  Jacob chose for his first freight locomotive a Conrail SD50 with CSX patch job from Atlas!  Perfect for Apex.

We already have a bunch of the right Unitrack including most of the curved pieces.  But we need turnouts!

I'll start construction after we get settled in down in Florida.  It occurred to me to document it too, maybe with an article in mind.  This will be a kid's layout, though, so will be somewhat simpler and more durable.  The Walthers Pella Depot will stand in for the Apex, NC depot.  Several key structures representing Apex businesses Jacob remembered most (including his favorite Mexican restaurant) will be represented.



Benchwork is already built in the form of a 2 x 4 banquet table from Costco.  The layout will overhang by 3" along the long sides and 6" over the ends, giving a table size of 2.5' by 5'.

It will probably be a few months before I can start it up, but I figured I'd fire a warning shot.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 09:07:13 PM by Dave Vollmer »
Silver San Juan Scenic Line

Member SlimRail Modular Colorado Narrow Gauge
http://www.slimrail.net/

DKS

  • The Pitt
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 11571
  • Your choice for ANAL...
  • Respect: +2063
    • DKS Home
Re: Planning a layout for my son
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2010, 08:55:02 PM »
0
Gee, that's better than some "adult" plans I've seen. What did you use to render the image?
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
                                       —Monty Python

Dave V

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 8903
  • Gender: Male
  • The Route of the Galloping Goose
  • Respect: +3921
    • Dave Vollmer's N Scale Pennsy
Re: Planning a layout for my son
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2010, 08:57:56 PM »
0
Dave, it's a software package called RailModeller.  It's very much like Atlas Right Track except that it works with a Mac OS.  The trial version does't allow you to save a plan, so I did a screen capture after exporting the Kato parts list.  I then finished it up in PowerPoint (i.e., roads, trees, structures).
Silver San Juan Scenic Line

Member SlimRail Modular Colorado Narrow Gauge
http://www.slimrail.net/

davefoxx

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 8610
  • Gender: Male
  • "I like trains!"
  • Respect: +1959
Re: Planning a layout for my son
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2010, 09:08:24 PM »
0
Dave,

You're going to have a lot of fun with this layout, including bonding with your son, teaching him about model railroading, helping him to learn how to work with his hands, and the enjoyment of building a layout without the stress of adhering to a certain prototype or LDE.

I can't wait to follow along.  Have fun!

Dave Foxx

General Counsel to the Laurel Valley Ry.
Member: ACL/SAL Historical Society
A Proud HOer

Ed Kapuscinski

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 18120
  • Has a degree in American History & Culture.
  • Respect: +2300
    • Conrail 1285
Re: Planning a layout for my son
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2010, 09:38:10 PM »
0
This is great Dave. I love it.

DKS

  • The Pitt
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 11571
  • Your choice for ANAL...
  • Respect: +2063
    • DKS Home
Re: Planning a layout for my son
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2010, 10:09:01 PM »
0
Here's a slightly cleaner image you can use as a starting point, if you like.

"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
                                       —Monty Python

Dave V

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 8903
  • Gender: Male
  • The Route of the Galloping Goose
  • Respect: +3921
    • Dave Vollmer's N Scale Pennsy
Re: Planning a layout for my son
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2010, 09:44:14 AM »
0
Dave, thanks!

After pricing things out, it looks as if I'd rather go with all #6s rather than the #4s that make up 8 of the 9 turnouts in the above plan.  The #6s are much cheaper.  It will require some re-arrangement, but the overall plan should remain the same.
Silver San Juan Scenic Line

Member SlimRail Modular Colorado Narrow Gauge
http://www.slimrail.net/

Philip H

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 7413
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +483
    • Layout Progress Blog
Re: Planning a layout for my son
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2010, 09:48:16 AM »
0
Dave,
Do let us know if there's anything else you need to pull this together.  I'm sure your son would love to point out to all his friends all the stuff that came from your really cool friends all over the country.

Pud,
Sounds like you are rubbing off on others . . .
Philip H.
Chief Everything Officer
Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

"There's more to MRR life than the Wheezy & Nowheresville." C855B

DKS

  • The Pitt
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 11571
  • Your choice for ANAL...
  • Respect: +2063
    • DKS Home
Re: Planning a layout for my son
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2010, 10:25:41 AM »
0
The #6s are much cheaper.  It will require some re-arrangement, but the overall plan should remain the same.

It will require quite a lot of rearrangement, actually; the 6s don't permit parallel track crossovers using the same spacing as the 4s. I think the layout may be quite different as a result...
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
                                       —Monty Python

Dave V

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 8903
  • Gender: Male
  • The Route of the Galloping Goose
  • Respect: +3921
    • Dave Vollmer's N Scale Pennsy
Re: Planning a layout for my son
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2010, 10:28:45 AM »
0
Really?  Crap.  There's a double grade crossing in there that will set the track spacing.  I don't know if the #4 or #6 crossover will match that.  It's probably based on the double crossover which is made up of #4s.  I'd hate to use the double crossover because there's nothing like it anywhere near Apex.
Silver San Juan Scenic Line

Member SlimRail Modular Colorado Narrow Gauge
http://www.slimrail.net/

DKS

  • The Pitt
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 11571
  • Your choice for ANAL...
  • Respect: +2063
    • DKS Home
Re: Planning a layout for my son
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2010, 10:52:29 AM »
0
Really?  Crap.  There's a double grade crossing in there that will set the track spacing.  I don't know if the #4 or #6 crossover will match that.  It's probably based on the double crossover which is made up of #4s.  I'd hate to use the double crossover because there's nothing like it anywhere near Apex.

It's not so much the grade crossings as the curves. Using #6s creates parallel track spacing that won't match any curve radii pairs. #4s match all of the parallel track spacing.

I agree about the double xover, but from an economy standpoint it replaces four #4s.



Note the track spacing on the siding pair, upper right. That's the bugaboo about #6s.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 10:56:44 AM by David K. Smith »
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
                                       —Monty Python

Dave V

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 8903
  • Gender: Male
  • The Route of the Galloping Goose
  • Respect: +3921
    • Dave Vollmer's N Scale Pennsy
Re: Planning a layout for my son
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2010, 11:00:54 AM »
0
Yeah, that double crossover is a 50% savings over the 4 switches it would take to replace them in a standard crossover configuration.  Maybe that's what I'd do...  Keep the 4s on the inside passing siding and the siding pairs, keep the 6 for the pit track, and replace the crossovers with a double crossover piece back where you put it.  It ain't prototypical, but honestly, it's kind of a fun and interesting piece of track, and this is again for my son's play value rather than as a no-kidding model of a prototype.

Apex, NC would make an excellent LDE one could build a door layout for, actually.
Silver San Juan Scenic Line

Member SlimRail Modular Colorado Narrow Gauge
http://www.slimrail.net/

DKS

  • The Pitt
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 11571
  • Your choice for ANAL...
  • Respect: +2063
    • DKS Home
Re: Planning a layout for my son
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2010, 11:11:32 AM »
0
Yeah, that double crossover is a 50% savings over the 4 switches it would take to replace them in a standard crossover configuration.  Maybe that's what I'd do...  Keep the 4s on the inside passing siding and the siding pairs, keep the 6 for the pit track, and replace the crossovers with a double crossover piece back where you put it.  It ain't prototypical, but honestly, it's kind of a fun and interesting piece of track, and this is again for my son's play value rather than as a no-kidding model of a prototype.

The plan above has no #4s. All #6s plus the xover.
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
                                       —Monty Python

Dave V

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 8903
  • Gender: Male
  • The Route of the Galloping Goose
  • Respect: +3921
    • Dave Vollmer's N Scale Pennsy
Re: Planning a layout for my son
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2010, 11:13:33 AM »
0
The #4s lead to simpler geometry and accurate track spacing (the inside passing siding is 9 3/4") so I would proably revert to the original plan I posted with only the x-over replacing the 2 pairs of 4s on the main.
Silver San Juan Scenic Line

Member SlimRail Modular Colorado Narrow Gauge
http://www.slimrail.net/

160pennsy

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 272
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +55
Re: Planning a layout for my son
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2010, 11:14:38 AM »
0
Dave,

I guess it's true what they say about timing...it's everything! The N-TRAK club here in Raleigh http://www.trainweb.org/nrmrc/ is working on a similar diorama to be displayed at the new downtown convention center and the subject matter is the same location in Apex, NC. One of the members had taken some reference photos of the area and I thought they might be of use to you on your project. I have volunteered to construct the Asphalt Transfer Plant, just up tracks, following plans published in Model Railroader, February 1994. Please let me know if you need any additional photos or reference material as I'm only 10 minutes from the site.

Apex, NC Chamber of Commerce - former station



Seaboard caboose next to station



Firehouse behind station




CSX depot



Salem St





P.S....Regarding NC State, my daughter just started as a freshman this fall  Go Wolfpack !!
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 12:40:23 PM by 160pennsy »
Paul Ohegyi
Director
https://nrmrc.org/