Author Topic: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf  (Read 7933 times)

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freedj

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N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« on: April 26, 2018, 10:36:35 AM »
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After a 20 year break from model railroading I decided to build a small N scale switching layout on a shelf.  I really enjoy logic puzzles and so the englenook or timesaver really appealed to me.  I liked how small they could be, and that it would offer a lot of switching puzzle for its space and cost.

I spent some time catching up on the hobby and discovered Free-moN and that their more spacious trackwork and modular approach really appealed to me.  I also realized how unprototypical the englenook and timesaver layout designs are.

Then I realized that I would rather use a trackplan designed for operation than try to design one myself for my first real layout.  The small Layouts page on Andrews trains gave me a lot of inspiration (https://huntervalleylines.wordpress.com/layout-designs/small-layouts/) as well as the work of Lance Mindheim (http://lancemindheim.com/).

I was paging through the March 2016 issue of MR and saw the Fall Creek layout by Robert Pethound.  I liked
 how the entire layout was based around a more realistic switching operation, along with a set of 12 switch lists and the method for generating more.  It was designed in HO scale and came in at 15 x 144.



I decided to adapt the layout to N scale and to fit my space. While there are no Free-moN clubs around Detroit, i still feel like they have put a lot of thought into their standards and have opted to design this
track plan with:
* code 55 track
* #7 turnouts
* 6" straights between reverse curves



My track plan is a very close copy of the Fall Creek plan.  It has shrunk from 144x15 to 114x11 while increasing the turnouts from #5 to #7.  I have also flipped the plan to put the bridge scene on the left hand side and given a bit more room at the front and back for scenery. I have divided it into three modules, two 36" modules and a 42" center module.  This lets me get all the turnouts and turnout motors easily into the center module.

I am planning on using the Traverse City MI area in the 1970s as a prototype.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2018, 11:44:49 AM »
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Awesome!

Can't wait to see pics.

What railroad is it going to be? Was that GTW?

You'll really be able to drive yourself nuts. I mean, have a lot of extra fun, if you couple that plan with Traincrew: http://traincrew.conrail1285.com/


Cajonpassfan

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2018, 11:55:00 AM »
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Welcome back to model railroading!
I think you'll find our new equipment much improved (with some exceptions).
Otto K.

freedj

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2018, 04:41:16 PM »
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I am planning on modeling the C&O / Chessie.  Here is a photo of the trestle for the river crossing on the left module.




I've built out my module benchwork. I went with a torsion box design made of 1/4" baltic birtch sides and ribs with 3/4 birtch ply end plates.  Since im only joining the modules to themselves I made end plate pairs, ganged them together and drilled for 1/2" aluminum dowels for alignment.  I left 2" of internal space for wiring and switch machines and 1" of negative space on the top for a chunk of foam.  I'll be using spline of some sort under the track.




Lemosteam

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2018, 06:34:54 AM »
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Where in Detroit are you?  I live in Macomb Township, near 25 Mile road and Romeo Plank Road.  There may be others interested in a Freemo N module in the area.  I have been contemplating one for a while.

@Hornwrecker comes to mind...

Yes and welcome back to MRR!

I really like your box construction as well, very clean.  What CSX/Chessie Locale are you planning for?

freedj

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2018, 07:54:10 AM »
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I am in the 8 mile and woodward area.  Im looking to model the C&O around Traverse City in the 1970s on this layout.  I'll probably narrow it down a bit further as i do more research.

Possible industries include from the OPSIG industry list:
* Cherryland Coop
* McCough Coal & Feed Co
* Ginsburg Iron & Metal Co
* Cone Gear Co
* Grand Rapids Sash & Door Co
* Morgan J C Canning Co
* Red Mill Lbr Co
* Traverse City Plywood Co
* Traverse City Implt Co

Possible industries from perusing google maps:
* Tentcraft
* hammersmithequipment.com
* Skilled Manufacturing
* Wicksall Distributors Inc


My last two turnouts should arrive today.  Im hoping to get some trackwork done over the weekend.  I am trying to decide if I want to drop the siding roadbed height down a bit, and if so, where to make those transitions.  I've got some 3/32? sheet cork that seems like a pretty good fit, but i don't think I want to try and transition between the 1/8 and 3/32 in the space of that crossover type track near the fuel tank.  I'll probably transition on either side of that siding turnout.   I'll probably also leave the runaround full height.


jpec

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2018, 11:05:21 PM »
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Great photo of the train crossing the river...70's era Detroit should make for an awesome layout...

Jeff
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soo

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2018, 07:55:00 PM »
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Great concept!!. The torsion box is a great idea..strong but light weight.
I need to get off my 6 and work on my freemoN sections..just collecting dust.

Keep up the great work!

Wyatt

freedj

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2018, 08:45:30 AM »
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I got finished up gluing in the turnouts and connecting track on the center module last night. 



I am pleased with how the siding is turning out.



And the wiring is coming along nicely.

« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 08:47:30 AM by freedj »

thomasjmdavis

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2018, 11:20:51 AM »
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I think I have canoed under that bridge.  Lots of locations in that part of the state that are ideal for modeling. 
Tom D.

Some things are better left unsaid. Which I generally realize right after I have said them.

wm3798

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2018, 09:45:39 PM »
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Is this the line that went from Woodville, Ohio out to Manistee?  From 1961 till he retired in 1991, my dad was the traffic manager for Martin Marietta Chemicals, and he oversaw the shipping of lime and magnesium oxide out of their plants in those two cities.  I can't remember what products went where, and sadly, he's not around anymore to ask...  But if that's the line I'm thinking of, you'll need some covered hoppers to handle the through traffic!

Here's a little memento of his shipments, bestowed upon him in 1988, the year he shipped 271,000 tons of lime...It sits on my desk now.




Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

freedj

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2018, 09:53:42 AM »
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wm3798, it's just north of there.

This weekend I ran out to Ikea and got another shelf system to extend my benchwork.

I assembled it and then had to level the floor in my 1920's house so that i had a good surface for the modules.  I built a riser to bring the modules up a bit and give me a bit of bench space, and i completed the trackwork on 2 of the modules!




After completing the trackwork on the right hand module and adding a short piece of snaptrack left module mainline, I was able switch the layout for the first time!

Im testing out the riser height.  Right now it is 41" from the floor or about at chin level when I sit in my chair.




kc9jts

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2018, 10:22:28 AM »
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And the wiring is coming along nicely.



What sort of terminal block is that, commercially available?

freedj

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2018, 10:50:51 AM »
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It is available commercially.  I got mine from ebay. 

Search for: PCB001 Power Distribution Board With Status LEDs for DC and AC Voltage

So far I like them, but annoyingly one of them is slotted, and the other is phillips.  I got them in the same order!

freedj

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2018, 10:00:39 AM »
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I finished gluing all the track down and soldering feeders on all three modules last night. 

The first train is rolling into town!