Author Topic: Pennsylvania Railroad Juniata Division 2.0  (Read 4075 times)

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Dave V

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Pennsylvania Railroad Juniata Division 2.0
« on: December 29, 2016, 08:28:34 PM »
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I thought a clean break from the old layout thread might help trigger new inspiration...

I'm considering a new version of the now 10-year-old N scale Juniata Division.  The old layout has been around a while and while there are lots of things about it I like, I feel like I've outgrown it like a pair of pants from college.  Let's first talk about what's wrong with the Juniata Division as it is now:

1)  Poor use of space.  The HCD island requires space on all sides to access and therefore wastes room space.
2)  Code 80 track.  There are better options out there.
3)  Short mainline run.
4)  Operationally awkward.  That is to say switching opportunities exist but are stymied by lack of runaround tracks or switch leads so switching moves block mainlines...very un-Pennsy-like.  While I honestly care little about switching I'd like the tracks to make some sense visually as well as to make it possible to so someothing meaningful someday if I ever do change my mind.
5)  Stub-end staging is too short and difficult to use.
6)  Electrical.  After 10 years I'm starting to have electrical problems...dead spots in the track.  Also having issues with the Peco Insulfrog switches shorting wide-tread wheels on BLI locomotives.

So, for a JD 2.0, let's look at the space:



It's actually about 10'5" by 14'7" once the walls were studded and wallboarded.  The windowed wall at the top contains the Colorado Midland Railway (5' x 2'6").  The new layout would occupy the lower two-thirds of the room.  I figure I need 2'6" clearance between the JD 2.0 and the CMRy for comfort.

Givens and Druthers

Givens

1)  The space above.  No puncturing walls, no invading the CMRy's space.  Just the roughly 9 x 10 space in the lower 2/3 of the big bedroom.  The big closet is my workshop and the utility closet is unfit for railroading.  You're just gonna hafta trust me on that.
2)  Pennsy in the 1950s, primarily Middle Division, centered on Lewistown (I want to use DKS' awesome station kitbash again).
3)  Must have some provision for run-through staging.
4)  Minimum mainline radius 13.75".
5)  Minimum two complete mainline tracks that can be operated independently (i.e., they never cross or conflict with one another).

Druthers

1)  4-track main.
2)  Classic PRR stone-arch bridge.
3)  An open-country running scene.
4)  Code 55 track, either Peco (leaning that way) or ME/Atlas.

Would be really cool but probably pushing it

1)  Roundhouse and turntables for all my awesome steam locos!
2)  An excuse to use my two Vulcan Manufacturing kits.

Other than that, I'm kinda flexible.  Again, the 4-track main is a druthers but not a drop-dead requirement.

A cockpit design would make a 4-track racetrack very easy to do.  In fact, it would allow run-through staging on one of the outside sides behind a low backdrop.  OTOH, I have back problems, so a cockpit layout would need to be very high.

A U-shaped layout gives a longer run but the curves then become an issue for minimum radius (or "lobe width") particularly if more than 2 tracks are used.  For reference, the JD 1.0 is 36" wide and the two mains have a 13.75" and 15" radius at the "lobes."

A folded dogbone in the corner gives the effect of a 4-track main but I'm not super thrilled with the scenic possibilities or staging opportunities it would give, but I admit I haven't thought it through in depth.  Of, and for reference, I saw this O-scale 3-rail Pennsy layout plan by Norm Charbonneau that could be a basis for a four-track cockpit in N scale:



Imagine it rotated 90 degrees left so that the turntable is in the lower right of the room.  Imagine it with 4 tracks in N and a few extra staging tracks along the long side adjacent to the turntable.  I don't know if all that would fit or work, but it's a start!

Okay...  I've said my piece.  I humbly request your help in designing a Juniata Division 2.0!
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LIRR

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Re: Pennsylvania Railroad Juniata Division 2.0
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2016, 08:52:13 PM »
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What's your planned layout height? My N scale layout (currently being dismantled piece-meal) was about 56" above the finished floor (aff). My work bench was under it at one end of the room. I could sit and work beneath it with plenty of headroom, and with the chair tucked in I could stand and operate. The layout depth front to back was 22" over a 30" HCD work bench. If you do something like that, you can use the large closet over your work bench for staging loops or a roundhouse....

Dave V

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Re: Pennsylvania Railroad Juniata Division 2.0
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2016, 08:55:52 PM »
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What's your planned layout height? My N scale layout (currently being dismantled piece-meal) was about 56" above the finished floor (aff). My work bench was under it at one end of the room. I could sit and work beneath it with plenty of headroom, and with the chair tucked in I could stand and operate. The layout depth front to back was 22" over a 30" HCD work bench. If you do something like that, you can use the large closet over your work bench for staging loops or a roundhouse....

I don't know but I'd like it to be higher than the ~42" or so of the current JD.

I'm not planning to use the workshop for part of the model railroad.  Remember, no going through walls, just the lower 2/3 of the room in the diagram.  Thanks!
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LIRR

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Re: Pennsylvania Railroad Juniata Division 2.0
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2016, 08:59:33 PM »
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Walls are not our friends......

wcfn100

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Re: Pennsylvania Railroad Juniata Division 2.0
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2016, 09:06:24 PM »
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What's the measurement between the door and bottom wall in the lower right corner?


Jason

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Re: Pennsylvania Railroad Juniata Division 2.0
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2016, 09:09:29 PM »
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I don't know but I'd like it to be higher than the ~42" or so of the current JD.

I'm not planning to use the workshop for part of the model railroad.  Remember, no going through walls, just the lower 2/3 of the room in the diagram.  Thanks!


I guess a better question is, is how tall are you ? My current layout is at around 48" which is a bit too low when sitting in a chair too work underneath , so 56" or something like that would be easier to work with. Of course, the taller you go, the less the reach can be especially for staging behind a low backdrop. As I mentioned before, a cockpit style should be as high as possible to minimize duckunder issues. Since you have back problems, i wouldn't do a cockpit form unless you design a gate (swing-out) access. You may want to do some mockups with yourself in a chair, on a stool, etc to see how the different heights work out.
Peter

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Dave V

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Re: Pennsylvania Railroad Juniata Division 2.0
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2016, 09:13:10 PM »
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Walls are not our friends......

I also don't want to make this such a big monster that I get overwhelmed.

But I do ask for some reverence for my givens...the reasons for them are both are many and mine.  I prefer not to occupy the thread negotiating the givens...they are givens, not druthers.

The main reason for this is as a man who has spent his entire adult life moving every 2 years or so even if this is the "forever house" it'll never quite feel like it.  I do wish to make the layout "moveable" if not portable, and that makes going through walls and cramping up my already cramped workshop (another reason I don't wish to share it with moving trains) far less attractive.  Now, I'm happy to take the room door off the hinges if it'll help make things better, but that's the sum of the modifications we'll be making to the room as it is now.  I have no other place for the Colorado Midland to go so it will also stay in this room.


I guess a better question is, is how tall are you ?

I'm 5' 9"...not tall.

What's the measurement between the door and bottom wall in the lower right corner?

Jason

I'm not home so can't measure it right now but I do know it's at least 3.5 feet.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2016, 09:17:29 PM by Dave Vollmer »
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wcfn100

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Re: Pennsylvania Railroad Juniata Division 2.0
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2016, 09:25:58 PM »
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I'm not home so can't measure it right now but I do know it's at least 3.5 feet.

Okay, so enough for a 4 track blob.


Jason

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Re: Pennsylvania Railroad Juniata Division 2.0
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2016, 09:34:14 PM »
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Can you remove closet doors and put the CM in there?

Dave V

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Re: Pennsylvania Railroad Juniata Division 2.0
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2016, 09:36:58 PM »
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Can you remove closet doors and put the CM in there?

That's my workshop...per the givens.
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wcfn100

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Re: Pennsylvania Railroad Juniata Division 2.0
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2016, 09:37:25 PM »
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Can you remove closet doors and put the CM in there?

Or maybe between the the two doors flat to the wall?


Jason

Dave V

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Re: Pennsylvania Railroad Juniata Division 2.0
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2016, 09:40:16 PM »
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Or maybe between the the two doors flat to the wall?


Jason

Maybe...  Hmm...  Not sure what the width is there.  I fear it's less than 5 feet.
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pdx1955

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Re: Pennsylvania Railroad Juniata Division 2.0
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2016, 09:54:08 PM »
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I'm 5' 9"...not tall.


Ok...just did some mocking up myself (I'm 10" taller so I was comparing likely eye levels) with my layout and it looks like something around 48" would bring this to about elbow height for you which would be a comfortable working/operating height. As long as you didn't reach more than 24" you could have low backdrop around 8" or so to access 4 or so tracks. That's really not enough room, so I'd probably have the scene in front of a staging-blocking backdrop no deeper than 18" so you could have about 8 or so tracks behind it.

For access underneath, 48" still appears a bit low even in an adjustable stool (really depends on your torso/leg ratio) so this really might call for something in the 52-56" height but this will generally compress scenes up top and I'd recommend easier access to staging from behind than reaching from the front. A 52-56" height would allow for using a roller chair for going under the layout without hitting your head if you made everything fixed.

I would also plan on making your benchwork sectional (bolt-together) in pieces no bigger than 3.5 by 5 feet so it could disassembled and moved by a person or two. Legs and backdrops would also be bolted on. Track could be laid continuously across the joints and cut later for a move or better, fitter pieces could be added to allow for a less-impact move (some of my layout pieces have been moved at least 4-5 times, so this works really good for getting things back together quickly).

Peter

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Chris333

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Re: Pennsylvania Railroad Juniata Division 2.0
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2016, 10:42:20 PM »
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Yeah I was thinking raise the layout up. CM and workbench go under.

Dave V

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Re: Pennsylvania Railroad Juniata Division 2.0
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2016, 10:47:42 PM »
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Yeah I was thinking raise the layout up. CM and workbench go under.

Um...  CM under the layout, sure.  I can do that.  I like it!!!

With the right height now I get the whole room if the CMRy goes underneath!

Workbench stays in the workshop with no layout.  Still a given.  I like to be able to close the worksop door and have the chaos of my workshop completely unseen from the layout.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2016, 10:50:19 PM by Dave Vollmer »
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