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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings! I finally have a web hosting site that allows me to share photos of what I've accomplished since 2007. This is an indoor layout that covers a 26' by 12' basement corner. Notations accompany each slide.

You can click the link and launch the Powerpoint presentation, or right-click the link and select "Save Target As" to download the file to your desktop. Whatever works better for you, the server should serve it up quickly. The file is 5MB - lots of photos.

There is also a request for track plans for an outdoor layout in a space of 30' by 60' - any takers?

http://174.120.6.124/~astobie/indoor_G_scale.ppt

Thanks - comments are welcome and encouraged!
Andy Stobie
Stanley, NY
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! I even tried extending the point at which the transition track connected to the upper loop - I bought a #6 LH switch and placed it approximately over the passenger station, with the intent of lengthening the transition track that far. It would have run behind the existing upper loop to emerge above the station. But having built the benchwork right up against the wall, I had little clearance to get behind there to work. Once I came up with the crossover idea, and had acquired the 24" Truss Bridge, I decided that had to go in instead! After so long and so much carpentry, I just wanted to run trains!


One other note, the evergreens are WalMart 18" desktop Xmas trees - after the holidays with 50% and then 75% off sales, they cost me 2/$1 and 4/$1 - they orginally sold for a buck each. It was the cheapest, easiest scenery I'd ever done! But I do need to try to ballast the tracks now - from what I've seen that would add a lot of character.
 

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Boy, you've put a lot of effort into a potentially great layout. Shame to give it all a rest and move outside. Indoor scenery can be beautiful with little or no real effort if you just use natural materials. A little sand and gravel will go a long way towards a very realistic scene. Chicken grit for ballast and a bunch of Woodland Scenics product are your only real expense. Look for G scale items outside the hobby shop. I found BBQ's and benches and things like that in the dollar store. Novelty fridge magnets are another source for 'stuff' you can use.

Have a ball.

Dave
 

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As you probably figured out, to get from the lower loop to the upper loop at a relatively sane grade would have required something on the order of 30 - 40 feet of track plus another six or eight feet off each end to properly manage the 'leveling out'. Given your wide curves and space constraints, the only really feasible way of doing that would have been a 'rising loop' almost all the way around the outer edge of the layout - and just the one track to boot, with no upper level reversing loop.

Several of us here have attempted multi-level layouts in the past; that transition is always a severe pain. (I eventually hope to add a second level to my line...assuming I ever get the bottom level far enough along.)

I'm indoors myself, so alas, I can't offer you much advice on the outside layout, except that keeping it elevated is a good way to 'save the back'.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That math is exactly right... another deviation that affected the outcome was that the crossover switches at Circle B on the track plan were to be at a midpoint of the grade, with the inner loop dropping away and the gentler climb to the upper. But I found that the entire layout would then be on a grade - nowhere to park cars without rolling away! Being indoors definitely limits any yard space. As for locos, I have added an FA-1/FB-1 set, a U-Boat, and for my grandson, I just picked up a Lionel Thomas the Train! But now I have nowhere to park everything. I've thought about lobbying the 'boss' to be able to expand beyond my 'given' quarter of the basement, to add storage space or return curves. But then that track could be used outside... decisions, decisions.... since this is New York though, I have to remember I will be holed up like a rat for much of the winter, so I'll neeed the indoor layout for my sanity!
 

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Ahhh...winter. Excellent reason to be an indoor model railroader.

As to the rest of it...yes, a yard is a given, especially if you tend to collect rolling stock.

Another thing you'll find yourself wanting is a really long mainline run: to paraphrase another poster here, you don't need the engineer to be waving to his girlfriend in 'Arriving Town' while the guy in the caboose is saying goodbye his wife in 'Leaving Town', which is the sort of situation you can end up with all to easily once you hook up a twelve or fourteen car train and turn it loose. (Do the math - a fourteen car train is two thirds the length of your layout).

Might be time to hit the drawing board again. Most of us indoor modelers have done that more than once. I've rebuilt the benchwork on mine three times now; the last time I knosked a hole through the wall into a storerroom next to the loft where the layout is located to give myself an extra 4 foot by 12 foot worth of space (my original space was almost the same dimensions as yours by the way).
 

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Andy

Thanks for sharing the indoor layout with us. I can understand the advantages of having a layout inside in the winter. Well here's my suggestion if you go outside. Come out the basement door at the left from a train storage yard. Curve around the hill go some distance then return via a generous curve (16 to 20 foot diameter) with track 2 feet above the ground on raised track. Make a simple oval. Maybe put a wye to the basement and giving you an easy way to reverse trains. The hillside track could be built on a retaining wall to give you space for buildings, switching and a yard. If it was me I would be inclinded to build a layout above the leaching field. I would keep it on the ground for looks, but keep it simple for easy removal if you have to dig up the field.

Terl
 

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Thanks Andy. Nice job.

I also have an indoor layout on multiple levels. Like you, I had hoped to connect them - but found no way to make it work.

At least your back yard has the potential for a layout. As you can see, there is no hope for me...

 

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Keep the indoor layout for use during bad weather, use it in good weather as on-track storage. Bring a line out the door to the outdoor layout so that you can bring out and put away fully made up trains. This makes is easy to run when you only have an hour or so. It looks like you could come out the basement door and cross in front of the deck at chest height and then work your way in back of the garage on a decreasing grade, then turn out to the yard not too far above ground level.

You can build above the leech field on raised track such that it can come out and go back without a lot of difficulty. However, if you have to dig in the leech field, you'll probably be using some heavy equipment to do it so allow an access path for that equipment.

You might consider some as simple as a long folded dogbone with a 25 to 30 foot loop at one end with a somewhat smaller loop inside and above that one with a "mountain" in the middle of the loops
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here's a couple photos to help show the basement doors and the patio outside them. It also shows the slope around the deck. Maybe this will trigger ideas on integrating indoor trackage with outdoor.

I added a berm on the outside of the patio with the idea of installing a pondless water feature this summer. There would be a small mountain with waterfall where the birdbath is, flowing to the opposite end of the berm. And of course, the idea of a railroad along the shoreline (unattended), either figure-eight or dogbone with 8' diameter loops, with a nice bridge over the water at some point. I thought about trestles under the loops to support the track. The berm is about 25 feet long but the far end "trestled" loop could extent beyond it a little.

I really appreciate the input, guys! So many good ideas!


http://gator804.hostgator.com/~astobie/basement_door_and_patio.jpg

http://gator804.hostgator.com/~astobie/patio_berm.jpg
 

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Another suggestion

Your upper loop is going to make scenery much more difficult. It is not connected to the rest of the railroad either. You could either consider scrapping it OR suspending it, maybe even a little higher so that it can be walked under without ducking. As a suspended loop, it gets the supports out of the way AND allows it to be run anywhere around the basement without much interference with anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Your upper loop... is not connected to the rest of the railroad either. You could either consider scrapping it OR suspending it, maybe even a little higher so that it can be walked under without ducking


if you review the earlier slides, I tried to connect the upper and lower loops but the grade was just too steep. It would have made for great operating, too! I'm thinking about scenery, and I think the long upper side could be made a viaduct by adding styrofoam carved columns to cover the risers. The bridge area will be easy to model as a gorge with multi-layer bridges. The open side though will need some imagination, you're right there! And as for walk-under, the upper loop is just right for that - if you're 5' 9" like me or shorter - that's how I set that loop's height. However the inner loop under the warehouse is the bad duck-under. I bought some lift-out rail clamps in hopes of creating either a hinged/pivot entrance or a complete lift-out section. It's tougher now that I've placed buildings - they are in about the only place I have room for them. I considered the suspended loop option, but my 'boss' nixed that idea until we install a suspended ceiling - which was probably the right call. I have to say that - she may be reading the forum... :)
 
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