Author Topic: Let's Bash the Scenic Ridge  (Read 2142 times)

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SandyEggoJake

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Let's Bash the Scenic Ridge
« on: August 23, 2018, 12:08:02 AM »
+1
My son and I are in the planning stage of a rehab and modification of a Woodland Scenics, Scenic Ridge N scale layout.    https://woodlandscenics.woodlandscenics.com/show/Item/ST1482/page/1

Primary user will be my son, who is turning seven soon.  Yes, he is young, but he has been using N Scale snap track like a pro since he was five.   Our hope is this will be "his" layout.  [With some hope that will help keep his hands off my modules!  Get me the Kragle!  ]  So more a place to experiment with building scenery and to play.  Thus not likely something destined for a magazine cover. 

Our plan is this layout will be suspended over his bed.  To operate, it will be lowered, and resting on his mattress.  Otherwise, it will be raised and locked to the ceiling.  The lift mechanics I've installed are based on a Racor Pro Ceiling Storage Lift, PHL-1.  Instead of the mesh floor, I've created an attractive hollow base, on which the layout will set.  This allows us to remove the layout completely for some building activites not idea for his bedroom.  Also allows some storage as well as wire chases.  A separate, stained wood valance will be affixed to the ceiling outside the lift that locks to the base when raised, tied into the rafters above.  The valance will keep it safe from (some!) destruction, as well as help keep some dust off it and allow for layout lighting. 

As for theme... he has good taste; the Old West.  A recent visit to the Golden Spike National Park has us thinking small steam, but he's also a fan of the Santa Fe Warbonnet.  And his favorite Athearn John Deere Special may make the occasional time machine appearance.  Small motive and cars of the classic era do reasonable well with the Scenic Ridge's tight curves of Atlas code 80.

Why the Scenic Ridge, you ask?  Well, mostly because we have one. 

Bought as part of a large bundle of high end n scale rolling stock and scenery materials at an estate sale, at a ridiculously low price.  The layout's scenics were quickly / crudely worked on in the last days of locally noted G scale modeler - mostly by his family it seems, right over his home hospital bed - as a way for them all to have something to do to keep their mind off his situation.  So with his passing, the family just wanted to see it go to a good home and loved the idea of it being a kid's "first layout".  Still, as is, it's really is little more than a roundy-round with a single siding. 

We cleaned it up and got it running for a few months now.  But my son and I are now ready to improve the track plan and tackle making the ridge more "scenic". 



But it needs more action.  Our track plan has three objectives:

1) Add another siding the create a small yard upfront, reconfigured to allow for some light switching.

2) Add a turnout and an industry with a siding to the left infield.  This is the foothills side.   He wants an old time mine, so thinking a head stock and a tipple over the siding.  Perhaps (on back fascia) model a lift shaft with some drifts?

3) Add a turnout and industry with a siding in the right infield.  This is the town side.   Intentionally sparse.  Not much more than a country store depot and stock yards. Perhaps even a scratch built small "Gallows" style roundtable so we can turn a loco?  Have also considered installing a pair of curved turnouts on right loop, which would then need some reversing loop track wiring.     

Currently his locos are all DC, but know he's already eyeing my DCC + sound stuff on this layout too. 

Here's our current plan. 

The crossover will actually be a Trix 15 degree code 80 double slip that I already own.  Thinking Peco curved turnouts might help for the infield siding turnouts - especially for the right side.  (Non atlas turnout shown here are fudged in the plan as such are not in the Atlas Track Plan Software object library.)



Thoughts?  Once we get a track plan, hope to periodically provide updates. 
« Last Edit: September 03, 2018, 07:45:16 PM by SandyEggoJake »

OldEastRR

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Re: Let's Bash the Scenic Ridge
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2018, 03:50:58 PM »
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First off, you'd be best moving this to the "Layout Engineeering Reports" thread, as you are going about building a layout.
Second get ahold of "101 Track Plans" by Kalmbach books. You might find one at your library, or local RR club. Not sure if it's still available from Kalmbach. But it has many plans, some with figure 8's like yours, that have added spurs and sidings that you might be able to fit into your layout. Even the bigger plans could have ideas you can use.
Third, do lots of doodling with variations and track arrangements. Then when you figure you've got one you like, go back and fiddle with it some more. You may find an even better plan that way. 
Fourth, if you like switching put in spurs that face the opposite way from each other. Then you need to swiitch some of them going in one direction around the layout, and some going the other way.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2018, 04:02:17 PM by OldEastRR »

peteski

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Re: Let's Bash the Scenic Ridge
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2018, 04:00:21 PM »
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First off, you'd be best moving this to the "Engineering Layout Reports" thread, as you are going about building a layout.

LOL, that is usually my line (but I abstained this time to see how long it lasts in the section).

BTW Jake, I like the entire concept and I'm glad to see your son showing interest (and is willing to have this thing hanging over his bed).  :)
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thomasjmdavis

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Re: Let's Bash the Scenic Ridge
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2018, 04:43:50 PM »
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Quote from: SandyEggoJake date=1534997282

....Primary user will be my son, who is turning seven soon.  Yes, he is young, but he has been using N Scale snap track like a pro since he was five....

....A recent visit to the Golden Spike National Park has us thinking small steam, but he's also a fan of the Santa Fe Warbonnet.  And his favorite Athearn John Deere Special may make the occasional time machine appearance.  Small motive and cars of the classic era do reasonable well....
Lots of evidence of good parenting here.  Good to know that some kids are getting a proper upbringing in this day and age.
Tom D.

"The difference between the difficult and the impossible is that doing the impossible is usually more fun." (my college design professor Russell Whaley)

SandyEggoJake

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Re: Let's Bash the Scenic Ridge
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2018, 09:34:26 PM »
+2
Quote
BTW Jake, I like the entire concept and I'm glad to see your son showing interest (and is willing to have this thing hanging over his bed).

Oh, he's interested.  Perhaps too much?  Recently made the switch for "What will you be when you grow up" from saying "a vet" to "a Locomotive Engineer for the Santa Fe".   Don't have the heart to tell him....

Oh, and he's willing!  The wife?  Well... not so much.  But believe it or not, she has started to suggest "let's just buy a bigger house so"  (I love her so) "we can have a MASSIVE train room".    She was sold on the concept during a family visit last fall to John Signor's epic HO layout.     My evil plan is working perfectly!!!

SandyEggoJake

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Re: Let's Bash the Scenic Ridge
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2018, 10:23:44 PM »
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@OldEastRR

I like the idea adding in "opposite way" spurs.   However, this highlights a major drawback of this layout: there is currently no way to turn a train or even just a locomotive.  Such is why I've been considering a small turntable in the right infield. 

The only alternative that seems tractable to me is to add a double cross over somewhere.  And the only place that seems logical (given terrain) is connecting the two mains on the right loop just above the yard.  But in my experience, DCO's are a PITA.  Wiring for both DC & DCC is a challenge.  But more the issue is it could be a major source of frustration for a 6 yo (not to mention his dad) with frequent derailments.  Our plan already includes a double slip in the yard, but obviously that wouldn't foul the main.  Adding a DCO that would be crossed twice in every trip around the pike?    Yikes.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2018, 01:58:08 AM by SandyEggoJake »

OldEastRR

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Re: Let's Bash the Scenic Ridge
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2018, 05:17:53 PM »
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Well, you could run one local going one way around the layout, terminate that, make up another local going the other way. Or put in a short siding (like on the inside of the RH bottom inside loop) so the loco can run around its train and switch the other spurs. You can then branch spurs off the runaround. Also use the corners of the layout to put spurs and industries in. The spurs come right off the corner curve,
You haven't said if you're running deisels or steam. A turntable for steam is nice, but it takes up a lot of space.

chicken45

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Re: Let's Bash the Scenic Ridge
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2018, 07:16:52 PM »
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...I'm really excited to see this!
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peteski

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Re: Let's Bash the Scenic Ridge
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2018, 10:06:40 PM »
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Oh, he's interested.  Perhaps too much?  Recently made the switch for "What will you be when you grow up" from saying "a vet" to "a Locomotive Engineer for the Santa Fe".   Don't have the heart to tell him....

Oh, and he's willing!  The wife?  Well... not so much.  But believe it or not, she has started to suggest "let's just buy a bigger house so"  (I love her so) "we can have a MASSIVE train room".    She was sold on the concept during a family visit last fall to John Signor's epic HO layout.     My evil plan is working perfectly!!!

--- Peteski de Snarkski

-"Look at me, I'm satirical!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm anal retentive!!!"
-"Look at me, I have the most posts evahhhh!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm snarky!!!!"
-"Look at me, I have OCD!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm a curmudgeon!!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm not negative, just blunt and honest!!!"

SandyEggoJake

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Re: Let's Bash the Scenic Ridge
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2018, 07:44:28 PM »
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Track planning is ongoing - mostly stalled with research to see if my intended Trix double slip can be improved and made DCC friendly (see https://dccwiki.com/Wiring_Crossings) and to convert it back to manual (solenoid was shot) plus thinking to reuse some Humpyard Switch Stands otherwise gathering dust. 

But one who wandered by here tipped me off to Mark's @spookshow 2005-2013 effort with this layout.  So for those who may accidentally stumble into this thread, thought they, as I did, find his extensively detailed effort worth reviewing.  He even did cosmetic restoration to his own after ... well, I won't steal his story!

http://www.spookshow.net/layout2.html


So Mark... an operations question, if I may?  The right end of your yard; What was your experience having a pair of off-set turnouts like that?  Switching ecstasy or nightmare? 

-Jake

spookshow

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Re: Let's Bash the Scenic Ridge
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2018, 10:19:30 PM »
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TBH, I'm not much of a switching kind of guy. My layouts are generally about roundy-rounding, so the turnouts pretty much just wind up being scenery. Sorry  :oops:

-Mark

nkalanaga

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Re: Let's Bash the Scenic Ridge
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2018, 12:32:27 AM »
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"a Locomotive Engineer for the Santa Fe"

Many people in the Northwest still refer to BNSF as "the BN", and some still use the even earlier names.  I suspect there are a lot of people in ATSF territory who still call it "the Santa Fe".
N Kalanaga
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SandyEggoJake

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Re: Let's Bash the Scenic Ridge
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2018, 03:10:25 PM »
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No worries @spookshow.  Took a chance, in spite of seeing you called yourself "the great roundy-rounder".

cheers!