Author Topic: Milwaukee Road in KCMO Industrial Layout (ex Midway Ind.)  (Read 7242 times)

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milw12

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Milwaukee Road in KCMO Industrial Layout (ex Midway Ind.)
« on: May 21, 2017, 10:10:17 AM »
+5
9/16/17 A visit from the future! The layout is now set in Kansas City, more details here

The past few months have found me working on a new switching layout, heavily inspired by Lance Mindheim's LAJ layout, but loosely based on the Midway area of St. Paul. Loosely in that it's more inspired by the area than anything else, the goal is to capture a feeling rather than a photographic representation. So the industries don't actually exist but for in my mind, although the building and architectural styles will be drawn from the area I called home for a few years and have been in and out of my whole life. The goal is to create a believable and simple slice of railroading by properly using proportions and 'negative' space such as scenery only areas and realistic parking lots, etc. It's more enjoyable than it sounds, I swear  8)



An early draft, much has changed!The purple building/area has been scratched for more scenery, and the roads simplified

Set in the mid 80's early 90's, the 63"x12" layout will be all code 40 featuring my first handlaid turnouts. Milwaukee and BN power will be used, although in actuality the Minnesota Commercial handles most of the rail traffic, at least these days.



Early construction



Wiring, a task I actually enjoy quite a bit, and the Fast Tracks neat Bullfrog/sidewinder combo turnout control





Thanks for looking!
« Last Edit: September 16, 2017, 08:22:25 PM by John »

milw12

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Re: Midway Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2017, 10:22:27 AM »
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This weekend, the rainy weather allowed me to dial in the foamcore mock ups closer to the final product, followed by wrapping them in construction paper with little scale doodles for windows and doors. I was inspired by Tim Horton's mock ups on his BCR layout, which appear to be hand drawn with colored pencils, although much nicer than mine.





Like I mentioned in the weekend thread, it's amazing what even a crude scale mock up can do for visualization. I believe it's due to that something as common and familiar as scale doors and windows help to make the scenes more relevant to the viewer, versus the white box look. Plus making the little drawings was easy, quick and fun for someone who hasn't done crafts like this since grade school  8)

Next up, the right hand turnout for the team track spur. It's not like I've been putting this one off at all  :facepalm:

Thanks for looking, questions, comments, and criticisms always welcome!
« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 03:57:00 PM by milw12 »

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Midway Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2017, 10:52:00 AM »
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I love it!

ristooch

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Re: Midway Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2017, 05:54:18 PM »
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I rather like your side-mounted Bullfrog turnout control to save depth. Never thought of that! Layout is elegant in its simplicity and lends itself to high level of detail and finish.

Paul Ristuccia
Model on,
Paul Ristuccia

amato1969

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Re: Midway Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2017, 01:21:21 PM »
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Let's see some more of that code 40 switch!  With a move coming up sooner than later, I am leaning toward a similar shelf-type layout.

  Frank

milw12

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Re: Midway Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2017, 09:45:16 AM »
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Thanks Ed!

Thank you Paul! I wish I could take credit for the design, but it's kind of a combo of Lance's One Turnout Layout and his LAJ, adapted to my preferences. Elegance, if achieved, will be a happy by-product (and a high compliment, thank you!), as I'm keeping everything simple for a vapid reason: when less is more, there's also less work involved  ;)

I'm looking forward to details and finishes, this way I can give everything the attention it deserves for a good end result, hopefully.

Given that my benchwork is 1/2" ply on a 1x2 frame, I don't really have a whole lot of room underneath, but Fast Track's sidewinder  fit perfectly. Never mind the shameless plug, but I'm happy :D

Frank, thank you, how about these:




Apologies for the blur

Hardly a beauty but it works  :P The switch machine wire will be trimmed after a little more fine tuning, and paint is a work in progress. The PC board ties definitely need another coat.

Even as a roundy-round guy, I like the manageability of a shelf. One perk is that it slides under the couch and out of sight when polite company is over, and being apartment bound for the near future moves are never far from my mind as well.

Speaking of race tracks, I set up a loop on the coffee table to break in my new GP38-2 from the train show a few weekends ago:



I've done these loops before but it's never done much for me. It's hard to explain, but for the first time it 'clicked,' and even running a train on a glass table was satisfying. The late-year Milwaukee Road may just be the prototype that I've never had :D

Thanks again all!
« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 03:55:24 PM by milw12 »

milw12

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Re: Midway Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2017, 10:02:37 AM »
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And I finally knuckled down and built the other turnout. It's been a few month so I was a little more rusty than usual. I started handlaying turnouts at the end of February, the one pictured in the previous post is the first that worked. I'm obliged to give Chris333 a shout out, his advice has been incredibly helpful since I started this process a few months ago, he's a modeling wizard and an all-around nice guy to boot  :D



The setup, I'm always surprised at the amount of tools it takes to do this, I use everything pictured.

Some process shots, so you can see the horror unfold:  :scared:







The track laying crew had high ambitions for the long weekend, but the holiday, barbecue, nice weather and baseball understandably lead to lost focus and productivity. :D

Finishing the track, wiring and testing the additions are up next, plus another switch machine. A bit of work, but fun and easy to break into chunks when I have the time, and it (hopefully) won't involve more turnouts  :)

Thanks for looking!
« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 03:53:04 PM by milw12 »

tefsom85

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Re: Midway Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2017, 02:21:22 PM »
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Nice work.   I have to agree that the FastTracks products are a great addition to our hobby.     Perhaps you can share some of the gotchas that you have come across building these?

amato1969

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Re: Midway Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2017, 08:55:24 AM »
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Thanks for the close-ups of your switches.  Really nice work!

  Frank

milw12

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Re: Midway Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2017, 11:12:27 AM »
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Thanks Frank  :)

tefsom85, thanks! For gotchas I'd have to think about it, but off the top of my head, soldering techniques are huge, especially for keeping webs clear so you don't have to file everything. Keep the iron just away from the rail, the solder will wick under the rail naturally. To help control the amount of solder,  use small diameter (I think I have 0.035) solder, and flatten the working end with a pliers, and even trim a bit off if needed to help with heavy-handed goobers. I can't recall who I got this from on this forum, but thanks for the good tip nonetheless  :lol:

Patience, actually reading the FT instruction manual (reading... instructions? it's hard I know, but helps) and finding your comfort zone are key. With the jig these almost build themselves. The manual makes you jump around a bit, preparing some rail, then soldering, more prep, then solder. It's good for the first run, but I prefer to do all the 'dry,' non-soldering work at once up front and the soldering everything in one go.

The instructions want you to solder both sides of the rail in some spots. With code 40 this seems a little extreme and a good chance of having the solder interfere with wheel flanges if you are not careful. The width of the rail base is so narrow that you can hold the iron and solder on the outside of the rail, then watch the solder flow form the outside of the rail, under and then to the inside on it's own. I may touch up the inside with the iron, but I'm avoiding full blown joints until I develop some better dexterity. I can't attest to long-term durability, but I don't seem to see why this would be an issue.

Another thing I recall is adding more PC board ties is a common recommendation for strength. I've added a few here and there but have yet to find a good technique because I'm really bad at freehand solder. Some of the older handlaying threads around here are helpful, I found them with google. Lots of tips from the masters if you're willing to dig. I'd link some but I've lost them already  :facepalm:

Hope that helps, I'll add more as I remember

milw12

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Re: Midway Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2017, 11:13:09 AM »
+3
The golden spike:



As you can see I used a very technical instrument for determining the 22" radius on the team track. Code 100 no less. An old holdover from my first layout as a teen, had to dig around the folks' basement for that. Found it in a box with a #6 turnout, and was surprised with just how huge turnouts are in HO, given I haven't paid attention to one in years. I'll stick with N, thanks  :D

An overview, I'm pleased the track design and the layout as a whole:



Next up, wiring, witch machine and painting track, probably at my patented snail's pace  8)

Thanks for looking!
« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 03:46:39 PM by milw12 »

milw12

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Re: Midway Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2017, 12:01:22 PM »
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Found this in my images folder, must have passed it up earlier, kinda liked it:

« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 03:48:44 PM by milw12 »

migalyto

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Re: Midway Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2017, 07:42:38 AM »
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This is looking fantastic! I know what you mean by the size of HO, As an N scale modeler for a few years, I have started to dabble in HO. Everything looks huge to me, don't know if I will be able to get past that!

milw12

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Re: Midway Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2017, 07:56:10 PM »
+2
Thanks migalyto! Glad I'm not the only one, I once belonged to an O scale club, and that scale was in serious contention :scared: Maybe on the floor...  :D

Took advantage of a hot, rainy, humid day for what it's best meant for, staying inside in the AC:



exciting update, I know!

Wrapped up some unseen but necessary components. Finished wiring and installed the last bullfrog, which seems to be a hot topic around here lately. Well worth it if you have a few bucks and want to save some time. The second bullfrog went a lot smoother than the first, and I was able to get better operation out of it. So I took a moment and dismantled the first one, re-waxed the moving parts, and tightened it up a bit. It worked before, but much better now. I was happy before, now I'm very happy  :D

A side note, after wiring the new track, I came up with a dead short. First thought: oh s***.  How can a point-to-point layout with one block and  two turnouts have electrical problems, can't make this up, better turn in my modeler's card. Should have checked for shorts with each pair of feeders.  :facepalm:

I knew the original rail was fine from running trains on it. After checking and double checking the newly added feeders and determining nothing was crossed, it had to be either a freak incident or the turnout. So after stuffing paper for insulation in rail gaps and checking every gap in the PC board ties, I finally found the culprit: a sliver of copper across each of two gaps in an extra PC board tie I must have added after I checked the turnout for shorts. When I filed the gaps in I missed the last hair for the gap, and a little scrape of a razor blade took care of the mild panic. I usually take quite a bit of pride in my electrical work, but sometimes it's good to be grounded, pun intended   8)

The yellow wires with the orange wire nuts are for the frogs, if/when I get around to DCC and want frog juicers. Seemed easier to add these now and never need them than leave them out and switch to DCC. Although DCC for a one locomotive layout is a hard sell, especially when I have no desire for sound and not a lick of DCC equipment. I think a NCE powercab plus everything I need billed out to $500-600, definitely a 'manana' project. I'd definitely like DCC but for one locomotive? Though a pair of either lashed cab-out BN SW1500's or MILW MP15AC's would be pretty cool...

All of the track mechanical/electrical elements are in place now, testing and track painting are up next!
« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 03:44:26 PM by milw12 »

Chris333

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Re: Midway Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2017, 08:07:10 PM »
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I had a short on my latest tiny layout as well. I did the paper through the frog gaps and looked over all the track with a eye loop and couldn't find any missed gaps. There was some crud in a rail gap, but that wasn't it. I was using a little wimpy throttle that kept tripping so I just hooked up a beefier MRC power pack and turned it up all the way. Hooked original throttle back up and no more short. I fried whatever was bridging the gap!  :D