Author Topic: Free Mo N or Ntrak. Seeking direction now for a project later.  (Read 6482 times)

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wm3798

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Free Mo N or Ntrak. Seeking direction now for a project later.
« on: February 14, 2013, 04:46:08 PM »
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As you know by now, the WM Western Lines layout has faded into the pages of history, or at the very least has been redistributed.  So I'm looking for a new project that will keep my interest, and make use of some of the work that went into the old layout.

I'd like to build a module (or two) to showcase my Cumberland Station model, and set it in a reasonably scale representation of its natural habitat.

I'm leaning toward a FreemoN design so I can more purely recreate the track arrangement that exists, including a gentle curve through the station, the bridge across the Potomac below the station, and the steel beam bridge just west of it.  Keys to the plan would be the concrete flood controls along Wills Creek in front of the station, the US48 bridge just east of the station, and the various town structures that are in the background.  See below for a reference.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=cumberland+Maryland&hl=en&ll=39.649005,-78.76318&spn=0.00361,0.008256&sll=38.657566,-76.328311&sspn=0.468635,1.056747&t=h&hnear=Cumberland,+Allegany,+Maryland&z=18

That said, I don't know if there's a Freemo group anywhere near me (Bantrack supports a One Track modular system, but I'm not sure if that's the same thing) so my other option would be to sacrifice prototype fidelity to the landscape and just whip up a garden variety 3 track N Track module (conveniently the station has 3 tracks running through it, but they're not code 80- rail :ashat:!)

Here's some views of the original installation, which I never completed, but gives you some idea of what I'm working with.






Keep in mind that the industrial tracks and buildings behind the station were foobed in for the operating layout, and would not be part of the module.  I'd want to have a more representational model of the actual Cumberland cityscape instead.

So before I get to the point where I have a legit "Engineering Report" quality post, I'd like some feedback as to what direction to take this thing.

Thanks in advance.
Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

wcfn100

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Re: Free Mo N or Ntrak. Seeking direction now for a project later.
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2013, 04:53:27 PM »
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I'm thinking N-Trak.

C80 and 1.5" track centers are only required on the ends of module (or set of modules).  You could use ME c55 and squeeze the tracks a little closer together in front of the station.

Jason

Ron McF

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Re: Free Mo N or Ntrak. Seeking direction now for a project later.
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2013, 05:04:36 PM »
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Thanks for the link. I see now how the station relates to the steel bridge you show on your blog site.

Fitting in the gentle curve that links the two structures will be tricky, but I would be inclined to go Free Mo, so you can incorporate it into your next (?) home layout.  BUT build some transition sections for each end that will allow it to be included in an N-trak set up.

EDIT ... I just realised that the bridge has only two tracks anyway, so you can't really use it on an N-trak layout without some concession to fidelity.

Regards,
Ron
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 05:11:49 PM by Ron McF »
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peteski

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Re: Free Mo N or Ntrak. Seeking direction now for a project later.
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2013, 05:05:02 PM »
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I would go with what type of modules are more popular in your area (looks line N-Trak).  Why? Because it will give you a chance to show the modules off to the public and actually run some trains through them.   OneTrak could also be an option (assuming that there are enough owners in the area to set up a layout.

As far as code 80 goes, have you read any recent editions of the N-Trak manual?

Here is an excerpt:
Code 55 Track
While handlaid track of any size is not
used on the three “Community Property”
tracks, Peco code 55 track and turnouts
have proved quite satisfactory. The flex
track is very rugged and not easily damaged
because of the lower flange being
buried in the ties. Unfortunately we haven’t
found an easy way to fit Atlas connecting
tracks between modules and ask that the
last couple of inches be Atlas code 80 track
with the permanent rail transition built into
your module.
As this was written in mid 2002, Atlas
had just introduced code 55 track. On the
original production track, MicroTrains®
standard wheels hit the spikes. For this reason
we are not allowing this track on the
three main NTRAK tracks. If the dies are
changed so that the majority of equipment
will run OK, then it will be allowed.
. . . 42 . . .

Zox

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Re: Free Mo N or Ntrak. Seeking direction now for a project later.
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2013, 05:28:40 PM »
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You could always do Smart-N...  8)

(Join us. Join...ussss...)
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 05:30:33 PM by Zox »
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Catt

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Re: Free Mo N or Ntrak. Seeking direction now for a project later.
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2013, 05:32:58 PM »
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Hooking up the PECO code 55 to ATLAS code 80 could not be simpler seeing as the bottom flange makes the rail actually .080" tall just like the ATLAS code 80.The hard part is hooking code 55 from ATLAS or ME to the PECO code 55 cause you got to remove that bottom flange.
Johnathan (Catt) Edwards
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Grande Valley Railway
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VonRyan

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Re: Free Mo N or Ntrak. Seeking direction now for a project later.
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2013, 05:33:45 PM »
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I'd say N-Trak, or possibly oNe-Trak.
Depending on the N-Trak club you belong to, track arrangement doesn't really matter except at the module ends.
New Jersey Southern now has the ability to go from any track to any track (those being the three mains and the 10" optional blue or Blue/White as it is sometimes referred to), plus we tend to go with Point-to-Point style layouts, relying on our two "special ends" and other modules with crossovers.

Although i've never seen an actual oNe-Trak layout, from my readings it seems that it doesn't really matter what the modules are like, sort of like a Free-MoN type thing. Plus oNe-Trak would certainly allow for some gracious curves, just as would Free-Mon.

In all, it really depends on what clubs are closest to you, or how easy it would be to start a new club.

-Cody F.
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wm3798

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Re: Free Mo N or Ntrak. Seeking direction now for a project later.
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2013, 05:43:28 PM »
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I've always just had a thorn in my saddle about straight up N trak.  I've seen some really stunning work in that format, such as Bernie Kempinski's C&O modules, but those of you who know me know that Peco and Atlas c80 are just not acceptable in my eyes.

I'll be looking at Lord Zox's Smart-N and see what that offers.  Since I'm in Easton now, Ft. Meade is only about an hour from me...

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

TiVoPrince

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Re: Free Mo N or Ntrak. Seeking direction now for a project later.
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2013, 05:45:29 PM »
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NTRAK 
will get you more opportunities to show off.  National compatibility and a long history is hard to argue with. 

oNetrak will only provide the opportunities your local club provides.  Thre may be compatibilities but since most every club creates thier own standards or adaptation of the core standards he may or may not work  option creeps in...
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eric220

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Re: Free Mo N or Ntrak. Seeking direction now for a project later.
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2013, 05:46:49 PM »
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I would suggest identifying the clubs that you could/would join first. That might help narrow your options.
-Eric

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Zox

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Re: Free Mo N or Ntrak. Seeking direction now for a project later.
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2013, 05:50:21 PM »
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Peco and Atlas c80 are just not acceptable in my eyes.

I'll be looking at Lord Zox's Smart-N and see what that offers.

Well, we're out, then--we use Code 80 because some of our members run a lot of European/NEM-standard equipment.  :(
Rob M., a.k.a. Zox
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seusscaboose

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Re: Free Mo N or Ntrak. Seeking direction now for a project later.
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2013, 06:33:00 PM »
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there is no Free Mo in the area.

I would rule out NTrak b/c you're striving to keep the 2 track main... and you would need to hide the third track behind a skyboard and have 2 transition modules to make your Cumberland module work (it could be done, 1T is a simpler and better solution)

The closest Club solution is BANTRAK with 1Trak (we have a set of guidelines to ensure a continuous look and feel). We are only really setting up 1T about 3x per year these days (the majority of BANTRAK 1T'ers do hang out here).

One alternative would be to build modules and be self contained (and set up at shows wherever you want) at your leisure  (Cambridge/Easton, Upper Marlboro, Timonium, WM Hysterical events, etc.)?

just a thought.
EP



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mr_mike_m

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Re: Free Mo N or Ntrak. Seeking direction now for a project later.
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2013, 10:06:42 PM »
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I belong to an ntrak club, and a few of the members (me included) are discussing onetrak options within our club.

I've been following your work for a while, and I think you would have more satisfaction from freemo. After seeing MC Fujiwara's build threads for his various modules at nscale.net, I'm sold! The concept of "higher standards" and the use of code 55, etc. are very appealing.

Just my 2 cents.

Mike Maloney




Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Free Mo N or Ntrak. Seeking direction now for a project later.
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2013, 10:12:46 PM »
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It's not just the format, it's also the people. MC is lucky because he found a group and format that works.

If its one or the other, go with the people you like.

You can always photoshop the tracks.

davefoxx

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Re: Free Mo N or Ntrak. Seeking direction now for a project later.
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2013, 10:21:12 PM »
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I'd go with oNeTRAK, Lee.  Even if BANTRAK only sets it up three times per year that's three weekends that you would probably need to give up the entire weekend to attend.  Knowing you usually work on Saturdays, three weekends might be enough in a calendar year.  You could always still attend the shows on other weekends, but not hook up your module, if you really just want to be active with the club.  Or, you could get some more interest going in oNeTRAK, so there's more than three shows per year.

Ed has asked me to build a oNeTRAk module in the past, and I have been really tossing around some ideas for the past few years.  My problem is the time commitments.  With young children, I just can't take off for entire weekends very often.

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