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On30 - In A Small Room
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 Posted: Fri Nov 17th, 2017 05:44 am
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Tom Ward
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I'm currently in the design phase with my layout.  I've been using the program AnyRail to fit a shelf style layout into an 11' X 12' room.  To manage this I'm taking advantage of the 4' X 8' closet and using two levels for additional real estate.  A four level helix connects the upper and lower levels.  The track will be hand laid to make use of curved turnouts and the minimum radius will be 18".  Aisle-ways have a minimum width of 30".  Track height for the two levels will be 42" and 62".  Grades are fairly steep at 4.5% on the helix and upper level but I'll be running a Shay up there exclusively.
I'm planning to build most of the major structures from scratch.  I'll also be incorporating Arduino control of sound and animation in several areas around the layout.
The main theme of the layout is mining and the upper level focuses on that with three stamp mills and four small mines.  The lower level has a smelter but most of it is dedicated to an engine service terminal and small yard with a focus on operations.  In the closet is one stamp mill that is serviced on both levels.  The original plan was for point to point operation but I added a narrow shelf along one wall to connect the track in the closet back into the yard area for loopty loop operation.  I'm thinking it'd be fun to have a rail bus slowly looping around the layout to disrupt switching operations.
I've reached a point in the design where I'm pretty happy with things and think I'm now ready to begin construction.  I ran my design through the TrainPlayer program to verify the design and found the operations to be enjoyable.
Tom



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 Posted: Fri Nov 17th, 2017 06:50 am
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Jonah K
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I'm in a similar, yet smaller situation. Mining theme with Arduino controls for lighting, as well as scrathbuilt buildings.

Looking forward to seeing more!

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 Posted: Fri Nov 17th, 2017 04:07 pm
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Tom Ward
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Jonah - I had originally drawn up a design on paper and thought I was very limited with what I could do.  After laying it out with AnyRails and using curved turnouts I found I could add a lot more to the design.  I thought I had added some shots of the layout design but they seem to have dropped out.  I'll try again here with the lower deck first.
The yard and engine service area are on the left with a bump out for the roundhouse and shop.  I have a kit for an HO 90' turntable that I plan to modify for O scale.  The water tank, coal tower, sand house and ash pit are already completed and just waiting for the benchwork to go up.  The roundhouse is a Thomas Yorke design but I need to modify the rear walls to bring it in closer to the turntable.  There are industry flats along the wall behind the yard.  The yard is actually a stretched out and modified Timesaver design.
As you go clockwise around the room from the yard on the left there is a smelter on another bump out.  This is based on the Rose - Walsh smelter but significantly reduced in size.  This will be built from scratch.  Along the wall behind the smelter are more industry flats.  Clockwise from there the track reduces to the mainline and crosses a bridge above a town in a gulley (Blackrock?).  Just after the bridge is a turnout for the helix.  Traveling straight ahead takes you outside the helix across three bridges on a mountainside.  I plan to model this area after the high line above Ophir with the mountainside extending from the top of the helix almost to the floor.  The track enters the closet to service a 20 stamp mill and also branches off to return to the yard area.
Tom

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 Posted: Fri Nov 17th, 2017 05:00 pm
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Si.
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Hi Tom :wave:



WOW !


Your trackplan looks really great for that space !! :thumb:

Good use of the 'odd' smaller area as well.


Curved switches are a def. help in the big squeeze. :)

Sooouper nicely done 'AnyRail' drawing for the project.



:cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:



Si.



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 Posted: Fri Nov 17th, 2017 05:14 pm
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Tom Ward
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I mentioned earlier that the roundhouse is a Thomas Yorke design.  I bought it almost ten years ago on eBay for an earlier layout that never got done.  The original design calls for the rear walls to be 53" back from the center of the turntable.  That means the front wall is 30" back from the edge of the turntable.  This small room won't allow for that but having the full engine service terminal is an important feature for me.  The solution is to widen the rear wall sections to spread the back of the building out.  By doing that I'll be able to have it set back 12" instead of 30".  My plan also calls for a two track car shop/machine shop next to the roundhouse.  This will fit on a 30" wide bump out that sits perpendicular to the yard.  By using curved turnouts at the top of the yard I can get it all to fit along the 8' length of wall.
Tom

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 Posted: Fri Nov 17th, 2017 05:21 pm
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Tom Ward
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SI - thanks for nice comments.  I haven't been able to talk my wife into letting me take over the 20' X 30' bonus room over the garage so this space will have to do for now.  She thinks there's some other use for that space but I just don't see it.  I think I have to work on my diplomacy skills or something but ya know, old dog, new tricks.  Maybe someday.....
Tom

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 Posted: Fri Nov 17th, 2017 06:05 pm
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Tom Ward
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The structures for the engine service terminal (water, coal, sand and ash) are mostly finished.  Making these was what got me really interested in scratch building and animation.  The water tank is built around a 4" PVC coupling which looked about the right size to me.  The spout is animated and has a dedicated sound track.
The coaling tower was my second project.  My original drawings were based on a DSS&A design and articles by Wayne Wesolowski in the 1988 Railroad Model Craftsman magazine.  While doing the drawings I found that an architect had used this same article to design a new coaling tower for the Henry Ford museum in Michigan, built in 2014.  His design was kinda beefier than the original so I modeled mine after that.  As I was building it I developed the idea that this is my railroad and I would do things a little different from the prototype and I made some minor modifications that made sense to me.  The coal pit is based on the one in Chama.  The coaling tower chute in front and the bucket in back are driven by DC motors (converting over to stepper motors now) and there are sound tracks that tie in with these operations.
My third project was the sand house and while loosely based on the Chama and Durango sand houses I made my sand bin the way I thought made the most sense.  A hopper is parked on a trestle over the bin and loads it directly, just like the coaling tower.  I know manual labor was cheap back then but it adds some nice detail to the scene.  The spout on the sand tower is animated and has a sound track to go along with it.
The ash pit is based on the one at Chama.  Sort of.  I plan to have a pile of ashes with glowing embers beneath it that will be activated when an loco stops there.
For all four of these structures I'm using an Arduino Mega controller with a motor control board and a WAV file player to coordinate the sounds and animations.  There are seven "scenes" here and each is controlled by a push button mounted on the facia.
Tom

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 Posted: Fri Nov 17th, 2017 08:21 pm
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jtrain
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Tom, that's an excellent layout.  I really like the right side of that track plan, great space for vertical scenery with a train running along the mountainside.

The only problem I see with this plan is in the lower left hand corner where the track crosses the entryway.  At 42", this will be an uncomfortable duck under height and the track being on a curve (not to mention those two spurs), a lift out, swing out, vertical hinge, or a roll out section of track there would be difficult to engineer.

I would strongly suggest making the upper level a continuous loop and making the lower level a point-to-point operation between the engine terminal and the stamp mill.  At least, that's what I would do.  Crawling under a 42" duck under would get old very quick.  The upper deck, at 62", is high enough as a nod under, so it's not as much of a problem.

Other than that, this is a winner of a plan for that space.  The roundhouse, smelter, and mill on the lower level are really going to be the stars of the show.

--James:2t:



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 Posted: Fri Nov 17th, 2017 08:43 pm
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Lee B
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I really like what you have so far. I have seen few On30 layouts in small rooms that don't look toy-like.
I think you have an excellent balance for authentic looks for track and structures, but still small enough to fit into a small room.
I'm looking forward to seeing your progress!



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 Posted: Fri Nov 17th, 2017 09:41 pm
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Tom Ward
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Lee + James - thank you for your comments and suggestions.  I agree about the area in front of the door being a difficult duck-under.  I was planning for it to be hinged to swing up against the wall at the bottom of the drawing.  I don't expect it to be used often as its only real purpose is for the rail bus to run continuously as a distraction.  It may be more trouble than it's worth.  My main interest here will be point to point operation.  As far as the engineering for it.......I suspect you're right about track alignment problems here.  The track running up to it on the narrow shelf along the wall serves a good purpose for switching at the mill and I like the idea of the two sidings coming down from the yard.  The curved track running into the turntable was just based on prototype track at Chama and I thought it looked cool.  I could eliminate all of that and reduce it to one track or dump the idea of the lift up gate entirely.  I'll figure that part out when I get to it.
I'll post the drawing for the upper deck here shortly.  It only goes around half the room because I was concerned about things getting too claustrophobic.  The area over the roundhouse and yard on the left will stay open.  The coaling tower is 14.25" tall and I didn't want it getting lost behind an upper deck valance.
Tom

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