Author Topic: Saginaw Transfer Railroad  (Read 7795 times)

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Denver Road Doug

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Saginaw Transfer Railroad
« on: April 26, 2011, 07:16:19 PM »
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Welcome to my new model railroad.   It will very simplistic and set in the late 90's/early 00's era, very loosely based on BNSF and UP in Saginaw, TX.   I say very loosely because there won't be major features included like the interchanges, but the overall feel (based mostly on rolling stock and a grain elavator flat) will be the Saginaw/North Fort Worth area.  (mere minutes away from BNSF's world headquarters)

Sometimes I think my model railroading "body of work" could fit in a thimble.   I've done plenty over the years but, well, still have never really had a layout anywhere near completion.   My last attempt was a small "4x8ish" layout depictng the Trinity Railway Express and got to the running trains point for a brief period before apartment living relegated it to storage.  Will it ever see the light of day again....probably not.  My eventual goal is to build the dream layout: BNSF-era circa 1999, ex-Fort Worth & Denver and ex-Amarillo area ATSF Transcon.  So I'm building loco and freight car fleets to meet that end-goal and want a place to run those from time to time until a house becomes a reality.

So fast forward to "taken on a roommate and even less space" yet determined to have a place to run trains.  Also, dating so can't fill my apartment with trains because, well just because.  ;-)   After throwing around several options including rejoining my old club or building some T-Trak modules, I decided to try a new spin on a very old idea....a layout that can be stowed under the bed.

The "spin" is, it's a two-stage setup, and built on foam.   So the original plan was, one side would be a yard scene and would sit on my dresser, staying out 80-90% of the time.   The other side would be a simple out and back double-track loop with virtually no scenery, designed to easily be taken down when not running trains.   Lightweight, and Unitrack to make construction fast and simple, minimize tracklaying and switch machine headaches, and to survive the bumps of being portable/stowable.   Overall, very spartan and minimalist, although I still plan to use it as a testbed for DCC, detection, and signalling so there will be some complexity behind the curtain.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2011, 10:37:26 AM by Denver Road Doug »
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Denver Road Doug

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Re: Stowable Outcome-Based Model Railroad
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2011, 07:20:15 PM »
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I've gone all over the map regarding construction.  Originally I was planning to use two 2" sheets laminated together to make a thick "board" that I had hoped would be both lightweight and strong enough to have some structural strength for spanning from the dresser to the opposing wall with minimal support assistance.   I initially had trouble with finding 2" foam so I started with a sheet of 1", figuring I would eventually laminate 4 together if I didn't find any 2".   Well, finally did find 2" and now I've decided to go with one 1" layer laminated to one 2" layer.   The 2" layer will have cavities cut out to hold the electronics for DCC, detection, and signalling.   More on construction and givens/druthers to follow, but now for the down and dirty track plan and a couple of initial photos.   :)


The Trackplan. (Slight Changes From This Rev)
« Last Edit: April 27, 2011, 03:38:51 PM by Denver Road Doug »
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Denver Road Doug

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Re: Stowable Outcome-Based Model Railroad
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2011, 07:21:05 PM »
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Business End


The Loop
« Last Edit: April 27, 2011, 03:38:35 PM by Denver Road Doug »
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Denver Road Doug

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Re: Stowable Outcome-Based Model Railroad
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2011, 07:32:34 PM »
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So, regarding givens and druthers...

Givens
  • Lightweight - Should need minimal support structure and easy to carry
  • Stowable - Must fit completely under bed
  • Unitrack - Benefits of durability, self-contained motors, performance
  • DCC/DecoderPro - Standard control system
  • Capacity to store 3 full trains on yard end - goal is to run trains, makes for good therapy
Druthers
  • Durable - Desire minimal flex/instability and able to withstand repeated moving
  • Implementation of Detection, Transponding, and Signalling - Test bed for future layouts
  • Certain Design Elements - Small yard and a few industrial spurs to allow for mini-ops session
  • Self-Contained - don't want to have massive wiring craziness, or excessive setup tasks.
  • Scenery/structures - needs to be durable, but I do want it to look somewhat like a model railroad as opposed to the Death Star trench scene.
  • Superelevated Unitrack pieces - want to incorporate in some capacity to be able to test rolling stock and locos on superlevated curves.
  • Utilize existing Unitrack - to minimize costs
« Last Edit: April 27, 2011, 03:41:31 PM by Denver Road Doug »
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Denver Road Doug

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Re: Stowable Outcome-Based Model Railroad
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2011, 05:23:54 PM »
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OK, so I've come up with a name for this layout:  The Saginaw Transfer Railroad.

Also known as...   "The Saggy Tranny".   :-* ;D :-\
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central.vermont

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Re: Stowable Outcome-Based Model Railroad
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2011, 07:27:51 PM »
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Also known as...   "The Saggy Tranny".   :-* ;D :-\

All I have to say to that Doug is...





























Denver Road Doug

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Re: Saginaw Transfer: Stowable Outcome-Based Model Railroad
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2011, 02:06:50 PM »
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Jon,

I have no excuse.   Well actually, I think my friend Jeff made me do it.   Yeah, that's it.

Perfect response, though.   ;D

Doug
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Denver Road Doug

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Re: Saginaw Transfer: Stowable Outcome-Based Model Railroad
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2011, 11:41:38 PM »
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Some pics of progress...


Overhead of the yard end.


Overhead of the loop end.


Overview shot.  I'll be picking up some bookshelves this week to replace the tubs.

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A look at the construction.  1" foam over 2" foam, front edge of the 2" is recessed 1.5-3" to give it a different look.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 08:34:16 AM by Denver Road Doug »
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John

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Re: Saginaw Transfer: Stowable Outcome-Based Model Railroad
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2011, 07:23:07 AM »
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Interesting .. did you sandwich any plywood in there .. I would worry about the 1" getting chipped ...

Denver Road Doug

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Re: Saginaw Transfer: Stowable Outcome-Based Model Railroad
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2011, 10:37:10 AM »
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Interesting .. did you sandwich any plywood in there .. I would worry about the 1" getting chipped ...

No plywood, trying to keep it as lightweight as possible.  Chipping is a possibility, although so far I've found it to be pretty resilient.  And the beauty of it is that most "damage" can be fixed with foam-compat glue.   Only downside so far is that every bump leaves a pink or blue spot.  I only have one layer of paint on though, waiting for a final paint job until I get the two layers laminated together.  (right now the 1" is just sitting on the 2")

Also, another thing that will help is that this now no longer needs to be stowed.  It will have a permanent spot on top of some bookshelves.   My roommate moved out (I pretty much knew she was before I posted this the first time, but after I had already designed and started construction) so the second room will now revert back to a combination office/train room/room-for-my-son when he visits.   But I still like the concept, and it's lightweight enough that I hope to maybe take it to a train show or open house at some point.
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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Saginaw Transfer Railroad
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2011, 11:02:14 AM »
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I like it!

johnhale

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Re: Saginaw Transfer Railroad
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2011, 11:09:29 AM »
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John Hale
1960's era New Haven Railroad
http://mymodelrailroadsite.com

Denver Road Doug

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Re: Saginaw Transfer Railroad
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2011, 11:46:12 AM »
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OK, so pretty good progress made on the layout this week.   First, I wanted to really get the layout to have some semblance of scenery so I just painted all of the areas that would eventually have "prairie grass" yellow.  This made a big difference!  Close up it doesn't hold water but at least it's better than before and didn't take long to do.  Also, my friend and fellow n-scale modeler Wyatt came up for the 24 hours of Saginaw event and then helped me get the bookshelves assembled to replace the plastic tub benchwork that was there previously.  Again, big difference in the looks department!   I also placed a few details and structures on the layout including a mock-up grain elevator to represent the eventual flour mill that will be there.  And finally....TRAINS!  I've actually been running several different trains including "pushing the envelope" stuff like autoracks just to see how they would behave.  So far, everything works great!   So anyway, here's the evidence...


Wide-view shot of the overall layout and shelving added as benchwork.


The yard end with a few added structures


The loop end with one of my favorite trains, a UFIX coal drag headed up by some 70MAC's.


Another shot of the coal drag and the loop end. (and the dirtly little secret that I haven't gotten all of the turnout wiring dropped yet.)

If you have been following along, you may be wondering what happened to the dresser that I originally planned to put the layout on.  Well as I mentioned once before, since I no longer have a roommate, my room has been moved into the other bedroom, and this room will become a combination train room/office/room for my son.   So, I decided to put some bookshelves in place that would give me a nicer, clean look with the layout.  And a bonus, the layout height is much better now.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2011, 01:14:23 PM by Denver Road Doug »
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GaryHinshaw

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Re: Saginaw Transfer Railroad
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2011, 01:03:00 PM »
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Cool!  Talk about getting up and running quickly.

What are your scenery plans beyond the current Zip texturing?

-gfh

esa123

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Re: Saginaw Transfer Railroad
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2011, 01:36:49 PM »
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I love it! Things are looking very good and I'm glad to see you have trains running as that really helps to keep the project moving! I really like my BNSF coal trains as well so it's good to see a unit train of cars pulled by some SD70MAC's again.

Best regards,
Erik