Author Topic: N scale Falls Road Secondary 'Retro Modeling Childhood memories'  (Read 910 times)

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learmoia

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Well, here we go!..

I'm getting close to the starting point of building a layout at the new house, so I figured I should start a thread to motivate me to continue progress.

We're settled into the new house - I think I have the basement moisture issues under control (new gutters).. and it's time to move forward.

Introduction to what I'm doing:   "Modeling Childhood Memories"  My life long interest in railroads started it about 2 years old.. and was encouraged by my grandfather who became a railfan and N scale modeler in his retirement.  My childhood memories involved railfanning around Western New York mostly between Rochester and Niagara Falls. and spending hours in the basement operating my Grandfather's layout (a large but very basic N scale layout.)

His layout was roughly 12' by 30' with no specific prototype, but there was always a focus on New York Central, Pennsylvania and Conrail.. (and for some reason Santa Fe.. but he was in the air force (or navy I can't remember) so I assume that had something to do with the ATSF stuff).  He was actively modeling in N scale from the early 1980s to the mid 1990s (then he moved towards HO)

I will post some pics and vids of his layout in the next post.

The layout I have planned will focus on the New York Central Falls Road secondary (where we railfanned most of the time). 

For the construction of the layout, I want to limit myself in scope of what was available as I was growing up.  I'm planning to build the layout using only items available from 1995ish and before.  (track, buildings, scenery, rolling stock, ect).  -- Including the ability to scratch-build items as needed.

There will be a few exceptions to the pre 1995 rule:
DCC:  The layout will be DCC.. (so friends can operate trains, and I don't have to wire blocks.)  (Technically I could use a 1995 DCC system.. but.. No.. )

Vintage items produced before 1995 vs Current items available before 1995:  I've come to the conclusion that I don't want to hunt down all 'used' items - So I've gathered 1990-1995 Walthers catalogs to give myself a guideline for what I can use and what I can't.  (This really helps with rolling stock).

I'm planning to model 'eras'
Early 1990s Conrail - Using current prototypical equipment.
Freelance New York Central / Penn Central - Using Vintage Pre-1995 items.


The upcoming layout (current design) measures about 45' by 41'. filling 2 rooms in the basement.. (1 room is roughly 20x24, the other room is 30x12)  with about an 8' bridge between rooms.

Upcoming hurdles to meet before benchwork:
The layout room(s) will remain unfinished with painted concrete block walls... But..
--Take or leave old tile floor in the basement.. (May or may not be old asbestos tile)... I'm going to see about testing the tile and may pull it up if  it's clean, and not sure what to do if it's asbestos.

-- Install new outlets and convert ceiling lights to plugs for shop lights.  (Lights and outlets are on the same 15A circut) - Planning for my office and modeling area in one room (and my wife's craft area in the other room) and I want the layout and office on an independent 20a circuit from the lights.)

-- Install new shop lights.. (nothing fancy just need more than 5 light bulbs)

-- Build modeling area / desk & setup office.

-- Paint walls Sky blue.

-- Start building layout.   :D

More in the next post.

~Ian




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learmoia

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Re: N scale Falls Road Secondary 'Retro Modeling Childhood memories'
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2018, 06:02:03 PM »
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Some pictures of the old layout...

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And a Video..
« Last Edit: August 09, 2018, 06:06:44 PM by learmoia »
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learmoia

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Re: N scale Falls Road Secondary 'Retro Modeling Childhood memories'
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2018, 07:05:54 PM »
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And the current design of what I'm planning..
Full View..
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Detail of Room 1..
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Detail of Room 2..
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Somewhere I need to find room for my wife's ghost town, but I'll figure that out once I have benchwork up.. (Either the Peninsula in Room 1), or Enlarge the staging yard in Room 2.. )

Also I need to find room for a medium size grain elevator to justify getting the Scale Trains Covered Hoppers.. (Which did frequent this line)..

More soon..
~Ian

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LIRR

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Re: N scale Falls Road Secondary 'Retro Modeling Childhood memories'
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2018, 08:46:18 PM »
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Good for you....good luck. I recommend a drop ceiling to help reduce dust on the rails

peteski

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Re: N scale Falls Road Secondary 'Retro Modeling Childhood memories'
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2018, 09:41:01 PM »
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Interesting concept Ian:  Retro N scale layout.  I have a feeling that in time you will likely start sneaking in some more recent models.  :)

I also hope that the fairly large size will not be a problem.  I see many modelers plan big, then get overwhelmed by the amount of work needed to make the layout usable (and later, even presentable).  Being part of a layout building crew of 5 (on my friend's layout) it still took us many years to get it completed (well as complete as layouts ever get).  And his layout is much smaller than what you are envisioning. If he was a lone-wolf, he would have likely never completed his layout.  But then again, Mike ( @C855B  ) seems to be doing ok, tackling his large layout mostly alone (with wife helping). Hmmm . . .

I'm also curious if the reason for not finishing the walls and (especially) the ceiling is because you are going for that retro-layout-in-grandpa's-basement look, or strictly financial?   Unfinished ceilings in basements are usually sources of lots of dust.  And we know that dust is a huge enemy of model railroads.
--- Peteski de Snarkski

C855B

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Re: N scale Falls Road Secondary 'Retro Modeling Childhood memories'
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2018, 10:46:36 PM »
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Good for you....good luck. I recommend a drop ceiling to help reduce dust on the rails

Amen.

... --Take or leave old tile floor in the basement.. (May or may not be old asbestos tile)... I'm going to see about testing the tile and may pull it up if  it's clean, and not sure what to do if it's asbestos. ...

I was going to offer advice on this from multiple renovations, but why give the same advice already online?: https://www.homeflooringpros.com/blog-guides/asbestos-floor-tiles/ . By no means a disaster and something you can DIY under most circumstances, and there are easy options.

... But then again, Mike ( @C855B  ) seems to be doing ok, tackling his large layout mostly alone (with wife helping). Hmmm ...

That's primarily due to early retirement so it's for all intents a full-time job. That said, if I was working for me, given what I assess to be a poor rate of progress I'd fire my @$$. :D
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

Quod Nesciunt Sibi Damno Non Erit

learmoia

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Re: N scale Falls Road Secondary 'Retro Modeling Childhood memories'
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2018, 11:58:52 PM »
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Interesting concept Ian:  Retro N scale layout.  I have a feeling that in time you will likely start sneaking in some more recent models.  :)


Remember I'm doing 2 'eras'  Early 1990s Conrail using recent models, and 60s NYC/PC using older models.
Previously I had a large collection of stuff for the 90s Conrail (enough for a much larger layout).. and I've been thinning that down to only what I need for the industries on this layout.. 10-12 locos and 100ish cars.. (In the mid 1990s, the prototype ran with 1 Crew daily - 1 GP38 and a caboose.)

In the mean time, I've been bulking up my 'Retro' roster to handle through freights ect..

I also hope that the fairly large size will not be a problem.  I see many modelers plan big, then get overwhelmed by the amount of work needed to make the layout usable (and later, even presentable).  Being part of a layout building crew of 5 (on my friend's layout) it still took us many years to get it completed (well as complete as layouts ever get).  And his layout is much smaller than what you are envisioning. If he was a lone-wolf, he would have likely never completed his layout.  But then again, Mike ( @C855B  ) seems to be doing ok, tackling his large layout mostly alone (with wife helping). Hmmm . . .

The footprint is large, but it's only 3 small towns, 1 medium town with a small yard, an auto parts plant, and a staging yard.. I had the same layout planned for the old house (11'x32' and 8'x26' L shape around the room layout, and I only added 1 town and stretched things out a bit.)..
... One thing that is hard to notice is that everything (track layouts) are drawn out to be about 70% of true 1:160.. I could go larger I suppose.. but an 'small' yard that's 16' long...

I'm also curious if the reason for not finishing the walls and (especially) the ceiling is because you are going for that retro-layout-in-grandpa's-basement look, or strictly financial?   Unfinished ceilings in basements are usually sources of lots of dust.  And we know that dust is a huge enemy of model railroads.
No.. Not a financial issue..

Some part of it, is to keep the casual unfinished look..

I finished the walls and ceiling at the old house, and it looked really nice.. but it took so long to finish it.. the layout never got started.. and we sold the house.. I came to the conclusion that it wasn't really worth the effort.. And I was still getting dust off the ceiling tiles..

The basement at the new house had a history of water seepage which is 99% solved.. (unless we have a 2" downpour that rains on the side of the house).. Still need to do some regrading in one area to fix that..).. But, so I'm not going to sink money into finishing walls.  I could do tiles.. but.. eahh.. (Or I could paint the joists I suppose)


I was going to offer advice on this from multiple renovations, but why give the same advice already online?: https://www.homeflooringpros.com/blog-guides/asbestos-floor-tiles/ . By no means a disaster and something you can DIY under most circumstances, and there are easy options.

Yeah I've been reading about it.. I've already got lung issues from birth.. Don't need to make it worse, so this is something that I won't DIY..

~Ian

« Last Edit: August 10, 2018, 01:14:22 AM by learmoia »
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peteski

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Re: N scale Falls Road Secondary 'Retro Modeling Childhood memories'
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2018, 01:07:55 AM »
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Thanks for the explanation. I wish you the best of luck Ian. I'm sure I'll be checking your progress from time to  time (and maybe even making few snarky comments).  :)
--- Peteski de Snarkski

nkalanaga

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Re: N scale Falls Road Secondary 'Retro Modeling Childhood memories'
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2018, 01:59:57 AM »
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For the ceiling:  Get some thick plastic, clear is fine, and staple it to the joists.  Quick, simple, and if you ever need to get to something, easily removable.  I'll stop the dust as well as a drop ceiling, and is much cheaper.  Hang the lights from the joists below the plastic.

For appearance, I'd try to find "sky blue", but clear will allow you to keep an eye on everything above it.
N Kalanaga
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C855B

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Re: N scale Falls Road Secondary 'Retro Modeling Childhood memories'
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2018, 02:26:00 AM »
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In studying the pictures and then the plan, there is one "retro" feature you might want to reconsider - some accommodation for loop running early in the execution. It looks like your grandfather's sort-of-plan was a basic loop that grew organically, so he and you were at least running trains. Obviously in your case the benchwork and track are not going appear overnight, but the plan essentially says at least all the benchwork has to be in place and the primary running tracks operational... and that's a lot of benchwork and track.

If you'll recall the evolution of my original ideas and plans, I was figuring on a phased build-out, but there was a lot of complexity in the original first phase and it was going to be a long while before there would be any meaningful train running. With your and others' guidance, the concept was adjusted to a "Phase Zero", a big wall-mounted dogbone with temporary end loops and much of the intermediate detail omitted. So I'm wondering if you could squeeze a temporary loop in the upper room at the lower right corner and trim it down as the lower room evolves into operation and you've bridged through the workshop.

FWIW.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

Quod Nesciunt Sibi Damno Non Erit

MVW

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Re: N scale Falls Road Secondary 'Retro Modeling Childhood memories'
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2018, 09:37:32 AM »
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In studying the pictures and then the plan, there is one "retro" feature you might want to reconsider - some accommodation for loop running early in the execution.


Yes, yes, yes. A thousand times, yes. You could build a temporary return loop table that you just keep moving back as the mainline progresses. There's nothing like running trains to keep the interest up. Good luck!

Jim

learmoia

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Re: N scale Falls Road Secondary 'Retro Modeling Childhood memories'
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2018, 11:01:19 AM »
+1
Agreed on the loop.. The overall plan is a giant loop for continuous running.. (but phase 1 may be the peninsulation in room 1, then come up the wall and across the gap..)

I also need to figure out main line radus.. (the sky is almost the limit).. what is pictured is 24".. but I redrew things to 30" and I only loose 1 portion of the workbench.

Sending a tile sample for asbestos testing tomorrow.. ($25 to test)

~ian
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C855B

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Re: N scale Falls Road Secondary 'Retro Modeling Childhood memories'
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2018, 11:14:03 AM »
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... I redrew things to 30" and I only lose 1 portion of the workbench. ...

Now that's cool. I couldn't do that. Given the number of end loops in my plan, the real estate need becomes enormous.
...mike

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Quod Nesciunt Sibi Damno Non Erit

learmoia

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Re: N scale Falls Road Secondary 'Retro Modeling Childhood memories'
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2018, 09:38:11 PM »
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learmoia

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Re: N scale Falls Road Secondary 'Retro Modeling Childhood memories'
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2018, 05:59:15 PM »
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Now that's cool. I couldn't do that. Given the number of end loops in my plan, the real estate need becomes enormous.

.. With the Trainworx announcement, I'm reviewing all curves (including industry spurs).. I wouldn't need any Trainworx 100T cars.. but I shouldn't limit myself just cause..


Asbestos update:

I sent a sample to be tested.. no results yet, but I spoke with the guy about removal.. and he quoted roughly $2.50/sqft removal.
.. This includes:
-Sealing the work area.
- Installing a negative air filter. (Not sure that is exactly what he called it.. but basically a giant air filter that makes sure any contaminates are captured effectivly.
- Remove all tile - bag and take out of the house.
- Remove all mastic / adhesive - chemical / oil process.
- Cleanup.

I would have 720sqft to remove for part of the basement, So price would be roughly $2000
(I was expecting a quote to be much higher)..

-- This may seem like a lot.. but the only other option is cover it with some other flooring (which would cost at least $2.50/sqft).. and if I get seepage in the basement.. then I have mold issues..   Or Seal it with Epoxy -- Likely same cost and I have to maintain it..

This company has great ratings on Angie's List / Home Advisor..
https://www.homeadvisor.com/rated.AAABudgetEnvironmental.27056992.html#

So.. seems like a no brainier..

~Ian
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