Author Topic: not the L&N in HO  (Read 6667 times)

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LIRR

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not the L&N in HO
« on: December 15, 2016, 08:15:46 AM »
+1
Changing the thread name. I'm thinking a early-to-mid 1960s free-lanced, INTERSTATE-type, regional/large short-line railroad in coal country that interchanges with the LN, Southern, Clinchfield and/or NW.

Now back to our program, already in progress......


Last March, an exponentially deteriorating work environment pointed to an inevitable move. I stopped working on my N scale railroad that I had spent 10 years or so building. I continued to run trains, but even so my interest and enthusiasm waned as the end of the layout seemed near. I was spending a fraction of the time in the train room that I typically did.  I’d been contemplating a switch to HO for quite some time, but never seriously. 

After much deliberation, I took the plunge and switched from N to HO. Naturally, I was reluctant to abandon my N scale railroad that I had 10+ years invested in. But once I started dismantling it, I was revved up and ready to go. I’ve spent more time in the train room in the last 3 weeks than I had in the preceding 9 months. I had contemplated switching in the past but not seriously – always thinking of the time and money invested and shaking off the urge. I’ve been in N scale since the “Postage Stamp Trains” era. But I always liked the size of HO and the heavier locos & cars are less susceptible to dirty track and more forgiving of track-laying imperfections. And the eyes aren’t getting any better with age.   

The downside of HO is less railroad in the same space. My N scale railroad represented early 1970s mainline railroading. I ran trains with 2 or 3 units, 16 or 17 cars and a caboose. Minimum visible radius was 22” at 2 turn-back “blobs” – not bad for N scale. Six axle diesels, 50’ cars as well as 60’ hi-cubes all looked good.  Being limited to the same train room, a 22” minimum radius is a bit tight for HO. Six axle diesels & 50’ cars won’t look so good. The 2 turn-back “blobs” will be pretty tight. Also, the passing sidings – while similar actual length – will only handle a single unit and 8 or 10 cars or so. The biggest hit is the track will not be able to exit the train room and turn back on itself in the closet below the basement stairs and head to a double-ended thru staging yard in the wood shop. So I will had to come up with another way to enter staging and provide a continuous run option. (Another downside is I think in N-scale, I need to recalibrate my train brain).

So, I need to backdate and downgrade. I’ll be modeling early 1960s with mostly 40’ cars & even shorter twin hoppers for the coal moves. Instead of mainline railroading, it’ll be more of what today is called a regional, similar to the Interstate Railroad. Not too big, not to small. Perhaps connecting the L&N with the Southern and/or Clinchfield or some such scheme. It may  not even be the L&N, perhaps a freelanced name. TBD.

This provides an upside to the aforementioned downside as I do not need as much equipment. I had 34 locomotives and nearly 300 cars. Now, 6 or 8 locomotives will suffice and 50 – 60 cars ought to do it. Including staging, the old layout had 78 turnouts, the new will have 36. Less maintenance all around. I will probably go the DCC route. A lot less wiring. I hate wiring. 

To save time and money, I am reusing the existing bench work as as-is as possible, removing the existing down to the sub-roadbed. That’s said.....I will post few photos soon.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 07:05:37 AM by LIRR »

LIRR

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Re: L&N somewhere in HO...
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2016, 08:28:51 AM »
+1
This was the old engine terminal area stripped down to bench work...tracks went into the closet to the right



I had some 1/2 foam to do full size track planning.....



Homosote down....first piece of roadbed....



And away we go......







« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 11:08:31 AM by LIRR »

wazzou

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Re: L&N somewhere in HO...
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2016, 01:07:38 PM »
0
You'd better open up that hole into the closet some.  :D
Excited to see your progress.  Have you already drawn a plan or just working it out as you go?
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LIRR

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Re: L&N somewhere in HO...
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2016, 01:51:58 PM »
+1
I have been doing full size track planning for each area.....






And laying out full size in the garage....






davefoxx

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Re: L&N somewhere in HO...
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2016, 02:24:52 PM »
0
I'm excited for you and the new clean slate.  But, I hope that this truly scratches your itch, considering you have cut your mainline length by at least half and your yard tracks are very short.

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MichaelT

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Re: L&N somewhere in HO...
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2016, 09:40:32 PM »
0
Like it... gonna be watching this one closely.
Jesus is my engineer! :)

LIRR

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Re: L&N somewhere in HO...
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2016, 07:46:49 AM »
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the shorter mainline, passing sidings, etc., is another reason to backdate....shorter trains and a slower pace is required. so back it up 10 years or so to the loose car railroading serving smaller, local industries. I also won't have room for the large customers like the paper mill and roof shingle plant. I ran 12 car and 8 car turns respectively to these locations. I will be able to represent a pair of coal tipples that will handle/require 8 to 10 twin hoppers.

LIRR

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Re: L&N somewhere in HO...
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2016, 09:47:27 PM »
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When I laid out the track work I noticed one of the turnouts was directly over this:



and the Bluepoint switch machine wouldn't fit. So I moved the turnout and sacrificed a car length in the passing siding and drew the track in a different color. And.....like an idiot when I put the cork down I put it in the original location right over the 1x3s. Didn't even notice until after the switch was glued down.

So I needed to get creative......





I will be able to hide this with scenery.






LIRR

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Re: L&N somewhere in HO...
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2017, 09:22:31 AM »
+2
First train moving under its own power........




Dave V

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Re: L&N somewhere in HO...
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2017, 09:50:22 AM »
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Time wasted by LIRR = 0.   :D

That was fast!  Bet it feels good!  I also bet you're not looking back as much as you thought you might.

I see that Beano loco and I'll tell you if I were into B&O, the Point-of-Rocks-Harper's Ferry-Martinsburg line would totally be what I modeled.
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LIRR

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Re: L&N somewhere in HO...
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2017, 09:56:12 AM »
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not necessarily into B&O. I bought it because it was on sale at Walthers for $65. I didn't want to spend too much up front before I was committed.

jmarley76

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Re: L&N somewhere in HO...
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2017, 10:04:30 AM »
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I've recently been looking at a lot of pictures of the Southern Railway's Murphy Branch in the 60's and 70's, so I can definitely see the appeal of the era. Lots of potential with the smaller cars, first generation locos, and maybe even steam...

I was disappointed that you were getting out of N scale, but I must say I am excited to see where you go with this new layout.

LIRR

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Re: L&N somewhere in HO...
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2017, 09:31:17 PM »
+1
Proceeding west, reusing the old sub-roadbed....


OldEastRR

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Re: L&N somewhere in HO...
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2017, 07:44:01 PM »
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I'm assuming your N PRR bridges, viaducts and overhead catenary was bought up for the rebuilding/remaking of the new JD..... guy said he wanted a bit of track w/ overhead wire.

LIRR

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Re: L&N somewhere in HO...
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2017, 08:38:20 PM »
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Trackwork proceeding west. This was and will be a bridge over Blue Creek


I was happy with the result with the stone N-scale floral foam bridge abutments, so I am using that method again.


The pulpwood yard used to be on the left in this photo, in front of the folding ruler. That was my favorite scene on my N scale railroad, I must admit it hurt to demo it.


« Last Edit: January 26, 2017, 08:40:02 PM by LIRR »