Saturday 31 August 2013

Testing out the plan

Time to test the plan and see how it fits.

One of the advantages of developing a layout plan with the planing applications that are on the market today is that you can easily print the plan 1:1 scale and with a bit of time, lay it out and see how things fit.

As I am using Anyrail V5 to develop my plan all I needed was access to a A3 printer and a ream of paper. So off to work I went and proceeded to print 250 odd A3 pages.. (Thankfully work is fairly accommodating so this was not an issue.) As part of the application it is easy to define what to print and the scale and it has a simple function that only prints the pages that has layout parts on them. So this automatically dropped the page count down, however due to the size of the layout and the shed, 250 pages were still needed.

Once the plan was printed, and free time allocated for the job, I proceeded to lay out the pages and tape them together. I also cut off the excess parts of the page where the isle is located.
As the shed floor is cold concrete, and the our house has polished timber floors, I decided that the house was the better place to put the layout together.

After a few evenings and a few hours this afternoon, the layout build on paper 1:1 scale was completed. As I taped it together in sections, it was then easy to roll / fold and walk it out to the shed.

Below are a number of pictures of the layout on paper, all laid out in the room.

Now I can walk around the isles I'm happy to say that it fits really well and I'm happy with the isle widths that I have designed into the layout. Some may say, in places it is a bit tight, however I think it will work really well.

Here are a number of pictures to show the layout all laid out.

Standing at the entry door looking at North Creek on the left and Plattsburgh in the middle

Standing at the door looking right at Willsboro against the wall and the end of the main yard of Whitehall

Staging at the door looking over at Ft Edward, on the left, Saratoga Springs in the middle and Whitehall on the other side.

 Looking at Whitehall in the middle and Saratoga Springs on the other side of Whitehall.

 Standing at the end of the Ft Edward peninsula

Now that the plan is laid out, I will continue to mark out on the floor where the peninsula's need to be placed based on the plan and then next week end make a start on the build.

The 400lm of 70mmx19mm timber for the structure and the 10 x 2400 x 1200 x 12mm C/D ply arrive on Wednesday or Thursday this week..

Thanks for dropping by.

Stay tuned as the build now proceeds.

Thursday 22 August 2013

Design Complete

New Layout Design Complete.

With the construction about to begin, I have been doing a heap of work on the design.

I have tried a number of ideas with the staging and have come up with the following design.


The plan is that trains will set up ready to leave staging heading either North or South.
As a given train progresses out of staging and onto the layout, it will eventually end up in staging again on the opposite end of the layout.
Once the train has re entered staging it will stay there until it is turned and prepared to depart again with a new train number. (The turning of a train via the reversing loop will primarily be done by me and not the engineers).

The idea being that, if a train heads North and enters North Staging (aka Rouses Point) then the only way back onto the layout is in the reverse direction and will enter the layout from the North with a South bound train number. The same goes for Trains that enter staging to the south (aka Mechanicville). The only way back onto the layout is to head North with a North bound train number.

As you can see from the plan there is a staging bypass track. This will mainly only be used during non operating sessions where I want to set a train going and leave it run around the layout.

In terms of the reverse loop at the end of staging, I will again use the PSXAR-SC auto reverser that will allow a train to enter the loop, and when the train reaches the end of the block just before the turnout, the PSXAR-SC will auto reverse the polarity and throw the turnout to enable the train to continue with out the need for an engineer to throw the turnout.

Main Deck:
I have not changed the main deck much since the last update as I am happy with it. I have made a few tweaks here and there and adjusted some deck heights to allow more space between levels.

Testing the layout:
I recently came across some software called Train Player.
This allows me to import the plan as it stands from Anyrail V5 into Train player.
I can then set up a train with the car types I want to use and a few loco's and basically operate the layout as it will work in the shed. This software is great.! I could set up a 2 loco, 20 x 50ft box cars and a caboose and run it around the entire layout including in and out of staging.
I am able to see if my standard train length is able to fit into the sidings and also run the train at a given scale speed and see how long it takes to run the entire layout.

During my testing, I ran a 20 car train at 72km/h (scale speed) around the layout from staging to staging. It took about 10 real minutes to run the entire length. This is a great way to test and see how things will work.

Anyway, the timber is due to arrive in the next week or so and then it will be time to get stuck into the construction.
Come back from time to time and watch how we progress..

I am going to set an ambitious target of the staging and main line it self to be completed by Christmas. So lets see how we go.

Thanks again..

Saturday 3 August 2013

Let the building begin

Let the building begin. (well the pre planning bit anyway)

After the demolition of the old D&H 2nd Sub, I have now cleaned up the room, and stored the timber from the old layout.

Once the room was given the once over with a broom and the temporary carpet was lifted up and also stored, it was time to map out where the new layout will go and get a feel for the space and the width of the isles etc.

I used some masking tape on the concrete floor and mapped out the isles and the dividing wall that runs along the peninsula's.

There are still a few things in the rool that line the wall due to lack of other places to put them.

Then I placed the retained staging in it place to see how things fit..

While things will be a little tight, I'm sure things will work out well..

Until next time..