Author Topic: Retro Tech Layout Project - N Scale Compact Layout  (Read 22763 times)

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Point353

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Re: Retro Tech Layout Project - N Scale Compact Layout
« Reply #285 on: April 27, 2019, 07:26:34 AM »
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Wait a minute Mr. Postman...

This nostalgia kick may have gone too far...
Imagine if the H&F had survived long enough and then decided to upgrade their equipment with second-hand Metroliner cars.




jpec

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Re: Retro Tech Layout Project - N Scale Compact Layout
« Reply #286 on: April 27, 2019, 10:20:58 PM »
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I bet that's the same set I let go by without a second bid...  Was it complete in the box with track etc?  I was slobbering over that the whole time it was on the block...

Lee

No, these were some loose ones. The prices on those sets started getting stupid after the first one I saw went for close to 200 bucks. I'm saving my money to invest in Catherine Pugh books... :D
"It's sad that you have to die to see how many people loved you..." - Rodney Bingenheimer

jpec

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Re: Retro Tech Layout Project - N Scale Compact Layout
« Reply #287 on: April 27, 2019, 10:33:23 PM »
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You may now wash your eyes out.

http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/misc-m/mmid794bma.jpg

Those were my favorite units...I wish they'd kept the same scheme after they chopped them. Speed Lettering was the best.
I did one of those with an Athearn GP9. I had one sitting on a table at Timonium while I was putting Kadee couplers on them in the good old days before drop-ins and a guy offered me $75 for it - who was I to dash this man's dreams? I promptly bought 2 more of the upgraded ones and a couple packs of Champ Decals and still had lunch money. I ended up giving them to a friend when I perverted to N Scale...I tried to recover them when he passed on 9 years ago but somewhere between wife 2.0 and wife 3.0 his trains disappeared.
"It's sad that you have to die to see how many people loved you..." - Rodney Bingenheimer

wm3798

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Re: Retro Tech Layout Project - N Scale Compact Layout
« Reply #288 on: April 29, 2019, 10:46:34 AM »
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Imagine if the H&F had survived long enough and then decided to upgrade their equipment with second-hand Metroliner cars.


Hmmm.  A 32' long double ended Metroliner car...  Compelling thought...  Let me cruise the auction sites for some scrap shells...
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

jpec

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Re: Retro Tech Layout Project - N Scale Compact Layout
« Reply #289 on: April 29, 2019, 04:51:52 PM »
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Hmmm.  A 32' long double ended Metroliner car...  Compelling thought...  Let me cruise the auction sites for some scrap shells...

Hurry...before Ed or Josh design something that looks like a sex toy...
"It's sad that you have to die to see how many people loved you..." - Rodney Bingenheimer

wm3798

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Re: Retro Tech Layout Project - N Scale Compact Layout
« Reply #290 on: May 09, 2019, 02:32:06 PM »
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Call me crazy...


It's green.  It's the wrong color.  It's not a car the WM ever had.  It's an inaccurate model of the car it was trying to model.  It has pizza cutters and square couplers.  Did I mention it's the wrong color?
I can't tell you how many of these I have repainted over the years.  And lowered, and installed body mount couplers.  Pigs with lipstick, high heels and garter belts, all of them.

But this one has been stored unused for 30 years, in the original box.  Probably with factory air.
and now it's on the way to my house to be added to my Vintage N Scale Western Maryland train.  It's surprising how well represented the WM was back in the Dark Ages of 1:160, and almost always completely inaccurately.  I intend to collect all that I can to pull behind my Atlas/Roco FA1... which by the way is also wrong. (WM had FA-2s).

The fun lingers long after the money is gone...
Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

DKS

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Re: Retro Tech Layout Project - N Scale Compact Layout
« Reply #291 on: May 09, 2019, 03:13:26 PM »
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Shucks, I think I had maybe 4-5 of them. None with factory air, but you can't have everything. I also have some of these knocking around, if you're interested:



Came in two varieties:



And:



That's all that Aurora released under the WM flag. Atlas et al probably released others.
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CRL

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Re: Retro Tech Layout Project - N Scale Compact Layout
« Reply #292 on: May 09, 2019, 04:04:45 PM »
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Cut them some slack... the paint was on sale!  :trollface:

wm3798

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Re: Retro Tech Layout Project - N Scale Compact Layout
« Reply #293 on: May 09, 2019, 04:05:53 PM »
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That flatcar raises some interest.  I already purchased my token gray hopper, although I have seen several versions of the paint scheme applied with varying degrees of murkiness...  I also have a 40' boxcar, and several copies of the old Atlas pulpwood rack, which I had updated with MT couplers and fresh road numbers for the old paper mill scene.  I'll be swapping the trucks back to something more primitive on the one that still sports the original road number. for inclusion in this project.
I also hope to get my hands on a pair of original Atlas 90 ton hoppers, one red, one gray, both with the same road number (85090) from the days when we got one number, and we LIKED it!
Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

OldEastRR

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Re: Retro Tech Layout Project - N Scale Compact Layout
« Reply #294 on: May 10, 2019, 01:21:21 AM »
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Shucks, I think I had maybe 4-5 of them. None with factory air, but you can't have everything. I also have some of these knocking around, if you're interested:




Oh, those super thick silk-screened letters and logos .... they were harder to remove than the basic car color.
Great thing about nostalgia we can remember the things that went wrong back in our past, but we don't have to re-live the crappy feelings that went along with them.

wm3798

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Re: Retro Tech Layout Project - N Scale Compact Layout
« Reply #295 on: June 06, 2019, 11:50:23 AM »
+1
So this project has been eclipsed by the TTrak modules, which has proven to be a manageable level of modeling for me at this time.  So I'm going to wind down this thread, satisfied with the knowledge that I'll have all that old track in a box, next to all my new c55 track that's also in a box, both waiting for the day when I have a dedicated hobby space... 

I will probably use a lot of what I accumulated to build out a "stage" for my TTrak modules to live with...  I still want to build some infrastructure to run my retro fleet on, so it probably won't be much more than a staging track or three behind the skyboards of Cumberland with a Unitrack interface at each end.

Lessons learned? 
I really enjoy running trains on the old DC power pack more than I'll ever want to admit.  Those old mechanisms can be rough, but mucking about in them to add electronicals tends to make them worse.
Scenery is my bag.  I love detailing a scene.  The Retro Layout never got past blue foam, because I never quite settled on a track plan, and it would have required a couple of solid nights of wiring and soldering rails to make it operate reliably.  I never was able to string that time together, so it remained blue, which made me blue to look at it.
Code 80 track is fun to play with.  I like the snap track ethos, even though it's not terribly photogenic.  I was quite hesitant to adopt Unitrak (just read most of my 12,000+ posts... you'll see a trend, or ask Ed how long it took me to finally build a TTrak module...) but I've discovered that it contains that same joy with a slightly better product.  It will still be awhile before I spring $25 for a turnout, but it could happen...
Passenger train are fun to run in circles.
Freight trains are fun to run in circles.
Steam locos are fun to run in circles.
Diesels are fun to run in circles.

So there you have it.  This project is a wrap.  Look for more TTrak modules and a layout plan using them in a future thread.

All the best!
Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

CRL

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Re: Retro Tech Layout Project - N Scale Compact Layout
« Reply #296 on: June 06, 2019, 12:47:31 PM »
+2
I’ve entertained the thought of building a couple of unified 3x TTrak modules, but I would only use the Kato Unitrack at the public junction ends and use code 55 flex for the rest. No reason to install any turnouts to serve industries since the local club doesn’t operate, just sets up at train shows and runs round and round and round and round and round and round... kid knocks over train... and round and round and round...

But it does give some opportunities for scenery modeling.

wm3798

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Re: Return of the Zombie: Retro Tech Layout Project - N Scale Compact Layout
« Reply #297 on: August 09, 2019, 03:03:14 PM »
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After my first T-Trak event at Altoona, I've come to the conclusion that the goals of that project, and the goals of a modestly sized home layout are not entirely compatible. 

While I'm enthusiastically planning more modules, I want to re-focus on having a presentable, more or less permanent layout in the den.

In going back through the various iterations that have been previously posted here, there's not one that stands out as meeting my basic criteria, so it's back to the drawing board... again.

I'm still constricted to roughly the size of a hollow core door, and I have one handy that's 32" x 80", although that one has a loop of c55 track on it, so I'm not sure I want to repurpose it just yet...  plus, a 36" width will give me a bit more flexibility with the trackwork.



So, beginning at the beginning, on the lowest level, probably on the door surface, will be a staging loop, most likely two long tracks that reverse back to a main route, as indicated by the red line.  This would be controlled by a DPDT switch to a reversing section.  The storage tracks will be separate blocks, controlled either by power routing turnouts or switches, so I can store a train or two while others are operating.  Ideally I can store 3-4 trains of varying length down there.  The section at the front edge would be open and scenicked to blend in with the tracks up on the main level.

The staging route would wrap around the end of the layout to the rear, come out from under the main at Point A, then climb upgrade to meet the main routes at Point B.  Going counter clockwise, the next point is Junction 1, where I'll have an interlocking between the two mains, and a junction with the switching branch that traverses the middle of the platform.  I'm not sure if that's the final configuration of Jct. 1, I may reverse it to ease access from the clockwise blue line to the staging route.

Jct. 2 is at the rear of the layout, and provides another crossover, which will provide access to the upper reversing loop.  Another DPDT will be provided to control polarity of this route, which will enable trains to turn and go back down into staging.  It will also likely provide access to some switching.

Jct. 3 shows the existing configuration of that section of the existing track plan, which, apart from a faulty old switch that tends to throw cars on the ground at times, seems to fit, as well as to work reasonably well.  This would all be located above the staging route on the lower level, so my plan to replace the old snap switches with Tortoise-controlled points will require some engineering to provide for clearance below.

For the sake of operating my older equipment, the inner route will have a minimum radius of 11", and 12-3/8" for the outer loop.  The switching route in the middle will have some 9.75"  My longer passenger equipment can navigate the 9.75" for the purpose of returning to staging, but will look better sweeping around the broader main line turns.  The track will be for the most part, vintage c80 on cork.

Not sure about scenic elements, but I'd like to be able to have room for my catenary poles for those times when I want to trot out the GG1 and the Metroliners, and generic enough northeastern terrain/structures so my odds and ends of WM, B&O, Penn Central, PRR, etc. don't look remarkably out of place.

I've really enjoyed running my retro equipment on what has become more or less a temporary layout, and I'm looking forward to rebuilding it to a more presentable standard.  Still with a retro ethos, with older kits, c80 rail and Rivarossi steam and Trix diesels, but presented in a more photogenic and coherent manner.

Let's see where the ride takes us from here!
Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

CRL

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Re: Retro Tech Layout Project - N Scale Compact Layout
« Reply #298 on: August 09, 2019, 05:41:54 PM »
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You’re on the edge of having a 10 pounds of potatoes in a 5 pound bag layout. That’s a lot of track to squeeze onto a hollow core door. Unless you’re using a bunch of retaining walls, you won’t have enough horizontal separation for reasonably believable vertical scenery between your levels.

wm3798

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Re: Retro Tech Layout Project - N Scale Compact Layout
« Reply #299 on: August 09, 2019, 06:01:58 PM »
+1
Despite @Ed Kapuscinski 's better angels, I'm totally okay with this feeling "model railroady".  I anticipate the only place where the lower track will be visible will be at the very front where it comes out from under the main level.  I'll work out some sort of lift out or access from below for the inevitable wreck in the staging loop, but there will be no hidden turnouts.
The grade at the rear will be accessible, but less visible until it comes around the loop at the left end.

I haven't really settled on a scenery concept yet.  Maybe something with some generic Mid Atlantic terrain...  a sizable number of my more urban pieces have been committed to the modular project.

After seeing the Palmerton, PA micro layout of @ChristianJDavis1 , I'm less concerned about being hyper prototypical with the scenery, and more about making sure the trackwork is tight, the electricals are reliable, and my odd collection of vintage equipment operates more or less smoothly.  I'll fill in the blanks with styrene and ground foam once I've met those primary goals.

Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net