Author Topic: new 6 ft NTrak module for the Lone Star Region set up in June!  (Read 7656 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

arbomambo

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1180
  • Respect: +384
0
Hello all...
I had been completely unaware that there was to be a big train show this June in Round Rock, TX (Austin suburb)...I lived in Round Rock from '89 until moving back to the Gulf Coast in 2003.
I cut my N scale teeth with the AustNtrak group and I was excited to hear they will be setting up for the show. Frankly, I've missed my friends there AND participating in a model railroad group (although I find the Ntrak standards difficult to allow effectively modellled prototypical scenes). However, there's no denying the draw of being able to create massive layouts with NTrak modules.
 Another thing I miss is being able to attend decently sized train shows...seems that Texas had/has quite a few train shows compared to the dearth of shows here in the Deep South.
I've decided to build a module (I sold my previous ones, built in Austin, to members of AustNtrak before I moved), to be completed in time for the Round Rock show. A great opportunity to travel back and visit with Austin/Round Rock friends, hit some favorite eatery and night spots, participate in a show, and talk trains.
 I like the 6 ft modules for the scenery aspects they allow, and, as long as there is another 6 footer, or a 2 foot module in the mix, they'll fit into the layout scheme with a little planning.
The AustNtrak group runs digital on Red, and runs separate digital network on Blue-instead of the 'mountain line', many, or by now, most of ther AustNTrak modules have , instead an 'alternate' blue track, at track level, where the 'mountain line' would normally reside. They also have incorporated an additional siding off of the Red line (Red siding or orange) to allow some level of operation on the digitally controlled red line.
 My previous 6 footer (still being used in group setups) incorporated the red siding and alternate blue; however, I  ended the red siding at both ends of the module, and curved blue line away from red and yellow, and back again at the other end of the module, doing my best to isolate just red and yellow-to better represent a double track main. The blue represented the 'original' single track mainline, and the parallel red and yellow represented the new double track alignment-foam scenery was designed to represent this with the 'new tangent  track being placed in a cut into the hilly terrain.
 
This is the way the module appears today (it's changed hands numerous times and has seen some rough handling-the original interlocking tower is gone and a church sits in its place-gone, also, is the nice cantilever signal bridge that signaled this junction between blue and alternate blue-some details have been lost from the gas station at the rear as well. A skyboard was built and included, but I believe its no longer around



I named this module 'Arbo Junction' and used one of the old Sunrise ATSF station signs to label it...
I recently found some more pics of it, taken by a board member on another forum-hopefully, he won't mind if I reproduce his pics to better illustrate my work...
Here one can see where the interlocking tower used to reside....



and a view from the other end...showing the cut and the crossovers (I never did add signal bridges-they would look great here)





I used different ballast for red siding and the old main line- and a completely different ballast on alternate blue to represent another railroad that made aq connection with the old main at Arbo Junction.


The new 6 footer will do some of the same things-end red siding at both ends, but this one will also have alternate blue connect, at both ends, with blue. This one will represent a New Mexican scene on the ATSF mainling...somewhere just east of Laguna. A large mesa will dominate the area  from the red-yellow-blue tracks to the rear of the module; in this case, I'll have to disguise blue as a lesser or set out track of the double track main.
I'm excited to start and finish this in time for the show in June-Peco electrofrog switched are on their way from Mike Fifer, and I have enough sticks of old code 80 to lay track!

Here is a rough sketch of the plan-showing some of the details and highlights....



and today, work began on the module frame...I had intended to rip plywood for this one, but with so many furniture grade 1x4s in the garage, I couldn't rationalize buying the plywood-I drill holes with a doorknob attachment to keep the module woodwork light...as usual, my helper is watching out for any squirrels that may attempt to intrude on the build!





Thanks for looking!
~Bruce
"STILL Thrilled to be in N scale!"

Bruce M. Arbo
CATT- Coastal Alabama T-TRAK
NTRAK Board of Directors
https://nationalt-traklayout.com/

[/ur

arbomambo

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1180
  • Respect: +384
Re: new 6 ft NTrak module for the Lone Star Region set up in June!
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2014, 11:26:51 AM »
0
A beautiful day in Coastal Alabama!...knocked out the leg pockets for the module, and skinned it with 3/8" sanded plywood.
I sanded round every interior edge (modules get 'handled' quite a bit-duhhhh- and I don't want any rough edges underneath). Next step is to clean up all the edges where the plywood top slightly overlaps the frame; I want smooth, smooth edges-then I'll drill doorknob holes all along the back 1x4 longitudinal beam.
I'm going to finish this one in time to bring it to the Lone Star region set-up, then leave it with a friend who's current module is at retirement age. Just my way of saying thanks!
~Bruce









"STILL Thrilled to be in N scale!"

Bruce M. Arbo
CATT- Coastal Alabama T-TRAK
NTRAK Board of Directors
https://nationalt-traklayout.com/

[/ur

arbomambo

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1180
  • Respect: +384
Re: new 6 ft NTrak module for the Lone Star Region set up in June!
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2014, 12:34:52 PM »
0
I took the opportunity to jigsaw the top and front frame in order to drop the front lip about two inches-this will allow some foreground 'below track level' scenery-of course, it all looks too 'symmetrical' at this point, but after adding the fascia and foam the area will look much more 'random' and have natural contours...
~Bruce



"STILL Thrilled to be in N scale!"

Bruce M. Arbo
CATT- Coastal Alabama T-TRAK
NTRAK Board of Directors
https://nationalt-traklayout.com/

[/ur

35tac

  • Posts: 8
  • Respect: 0
Re: new 6 ft NTrak module for the Lone Star Region set up in June!
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2014, 02:52:14 PM »
0
I like the setup especially for what I assume are 1X1 legs. I think this would work nice for HO shelf modules. Thanks for the pictures.
Wayne

arbomambo

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1180
  • Respect: +384
Re: new 6 ft NTrak module for the Lone Star Region set up in June!
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2014, 02:34:28 PM »
0
cork is down...
At this point, it all looks too symmetrical.....sadly, one of the results of the Ntrak standards; there are not too many options available trying to diguise the Ntrak standards to portray anything seriously prototypical-I'm going to do my best with this one...
Even working with the code 80 track is kind of bizarre; all of my home projects are code 55 and code 40-the code 80 almost appears to be a larger scale!
But Ntrak does have its moments...I really enjoyed the set-ups and fellowship with other model railroaders...being able to talk to the public at shows, answer questions, share tips, etc....
I would really love getting together with a 'Freemo' group, but not much going on in that respect down in 'these here parts'....
~Bruce



"STILL Thrilled to be in N scale!"

Bruce M. Arbo
CATT- Coastal Alabama T-TRAK
NTRAK Board of Directors
https://nationalt-traklayout.com/

[/ur

Scottl

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 4028
  • Respect: +445
Re: new 6 ft NTrak module for the Lone Star Region set up in June!
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2014, 03:33:55 PM »
0
I really like your concept sketch, this will be a beautiful module.  Nice clean construction work, you are off to a great start.

arbomambo

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1180
  • Respect: +384
Re: new 6 ft NTrak module for the Lone Star Region set up in June!
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2014, 03:07:23 PM »
0
I took the opportunity, today, to cut and fit the track and switches....I removed ties where I'm going to drop feeders; I also drilled the feeder drop holes.
I'm going to solder all the joins and feeders before I fix the track to the cork....ties will be added to the gapped areas, the track will be filed and tsted electrically, then it will be ready to be painted.
Thanks for looking,
~Bruce







"STILL Thrilled to be in N scale!"

Bruce M. Arbo
CATT- Coastal Alabama T-TRAK
NTRAK Board of Directors
https://nationalt-traklayout.com/

[/ur

Ike the BN Freak

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1174
  • Respect: +24
Re: new 6 ft NTrak module for the Lone Star Region set up in June!
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2014, 04:19:10 PM »
0
No 2.49" back spacing for the joiner tracks between modules?

Also, curious why 6ft module, as most Ntrak mods are 4ft, or sets of 4ft?

arbomambo

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1180
  • Respect: +384
Re: new 6 ft NTrak module for the Lone Star Region set up in June!
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2014, 04:26:56 PM »
0
The track isn't glued yet, so I haven't cut the track back for the sectional joiner pieces-
6' simply because it allows more continuous scenery without gaps....this particular 6 footer will allow a much more 'believable mesa/butte than a 4 footer would allow...also, a 4 footer would make a high speed crossover difficult to model well...
~Bruce
"STILL Thrilled to be in N scale!"

Bruce M. Arbo
CATT- Coastal Alabama T-TRAK
NTRAK Board of Directors
https://nationalt-traklayout.com/

[/ur

Ike the BN Freak

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1174
  • Respect: +24
Re: new 6 ft NTrak module for the Lone Star Region set up in June!
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2014, 11:36:27 PM »
0
Gotcha, just most clubs and layouts I've seen shy away from 6footers, as then you need a 2 footer to either add to it to make it 8ft, or on the other side to make a 4ft module to 6ft.

But understand the continuous without gaps.  My sets are using 4ft modules, but mainly to fit into my car.

arbomambo

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1180
  • Respect: +384
Re: new 6 ft NTrak module for the Lone Star Region set up in June!
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2014, 02:18:17 PM »
0
Built a couple of NJ International plastic double track Cantilever bridges last evening...they'll go on the Ntrak Module I'm building to bring to the Lone Star Regional NMRA Convention in June...had to buy one 'silver' instead of two black one...they'll both get sprayed black after the signals are installed.
Thanks for looking,
~Bruce





"STILL Thrilled to be in N scale!"

Bruce M. Arbo
CATT- Coastal Alabama T-TRAK
NTRAK Board of Directors
https://nationalt-traklayout.com/

[/ur

Baronjutter

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 499
  • Respect: +8
Re: new 6 ft NTrak module for the Lone Star Region set up in June!
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2014, 04:20:03 PM »
0
Really cool,  I love your sandy hillside, very realistic looking.

arbomambo

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1180
  • Respect: +384
Re: new 6 ft NTrak module for the Lone Star Region set up in June!
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2014, 09:59:10 AM »
0
finished the most challenging aspect of these builds for the 'Arbonado" Ntrak module....
adding the signal heads to the cantilever signal bridges...
I had 8 PE frets of the BLMA signal heads, and I needed 8 signals (these aren't intended to be working signal heads)...I wanted to use these up as I have multiples of the beautiful Showcase Miniatures signal heads now...
These are a pain to fold and build...but I muddled through-a coat of black paint will help everything along after I add a few electrical cables...
Thanks for looking,
~Bruce









"STILL Thrilled to be in N scale!"

Bruce M. Arbo
CATT- Coastal Alabama T-TRAK
NTRAK Board of Directors
https://nationalt-traklayout.com/

[/ur

Specter3

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 678
  • Respect: +58
Re: new 6 ft NTrak module for the Lone Star Region set up in June!
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2014, 09:34:40 AM »
0
Those look really good.

arbomambo

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1180
  • Respect: +384
Re: new 6 ft NTrak module for the Lone Star Region set up in June!
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2014, 11:02:11 AM »
0
ready for painting today...





after that, moving the last piece of old furniture out of the hobby room...next weekend, weather permitting, the room gets its new coat of paint-officially becoming "The Turquoise Room"!
~Bruce
"STILL Thrilled to be in N scale!"

Bruce M. Arbo
CATT- Coastal Alabama T-TRAK
NTRAK Board of Directors
https://nationalt-traklayout.com/

[/ur