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Discussion Starter #1
Well guys here is what we have planned so far. Would love to hear some feedback from any and all. It will have a small grade to it since the yard isnt flat but not much more then about 1.0%. We have had trains for about 7 years now and this will be our first adventure into the great outdoors. We have some smaller LGB engine's with a mix of LGB and USA rolling stock. I also just purchased a USA SD70 so that will be the biggest peice of equipment we will be using. I do plan for now to use track power (layouts not that big) and possibly using the Aristo-Craft train engineer with on board reciever for the engine's. Well thats the overview, let me know what you think.

Thank you
Shawn :D

 

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It looks nice. The first layout I built outside was a dog bone. I built it on a terrace cut into the side of a hill. My only suggestion would be to make your curves larger. It looks like your diameter is on the order of 9'. Even going to 10' will help.

My advice and almost everyone else's is to go with the largest diameter that you can fit into the available space. When you put a passing siding on the long straight make it as long as possible. Trains have a funny way of growing longer when they are planted in the outdoors. It must be all the sun shine.

Chuck N
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So sorry the picture came out so small. I though it would have been bigger. I have made plans for 8' diameter turns on each end. Im trying to not invade the grass area as much as possible since my kids still need a place to play soccer, catch and so on. I know this will grow, but for now I think this will be a good start.
 

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Take Chucks advice and try to make the curve diameters bigger. I've got a half circle of track 15' diameter that looks small with a train on it. If you can't fit in bigger curves you might consider a point to point switching line if you like switching cars etc.

Whatever you decide it's your RR. You're going to have hours of fun with it. Go for whatever you feel good with.

Best wishes on your project. Hope you post some pix when you start construction.

Regards,

Joe
 

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Nice plan.

Why do you want to preserve grass space? I know a guy whose goal is to eliminate all grass. Put in big curves.

You have a nice expansion space along that other side toward the garden. Careful! Garden railroads are invasive
They send out runners called "track" and will eventually take over your whole property
 

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The 8' diameter will be fine for your LGB cars and engines, but your SD70 will not be a happy camper. See the thread in the Rolling Stock Forum about the SD70-MAC.

It would take more track, but could you put a 10' loop at the bottom end under the tree? The kids probably won't be playing ball there, and put the other loop in the area marked garden? This would leave most of the playable grass alone and you would be able to run modern 1:29 trains, or anything else. Everything looks better on the bigger curves.

I run USAT streamliners on my 10' diameter curves. They handle it OK, but they look more toy like than they should. It is really only the long passenger cars (USAT and Aristo Heavyweights) that look unhappy. 1:20.3 and all the other scales that I run are OK.

Chuck N
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all for the kind words and the wisdom. I set a few stakes in the yard last night just to see the limits of the proposed railway. The wife was at first iffy about how much of the yard I would be taking up but then gave her blessing. Im affraid that if I reapproach her with an even bigger setting I may get shot down completely. I will have to restake the layout tonight and see what she says to the larger radii. I will get the camera out tonight and get some shots so all of you can see what I am working with. Now I need to find crusher fines in my area. My area happens to be Burbank Ca.

Thanks again
Shawn :D
 

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You slowly sneak the stakes out a few inches at a time
 

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Discussion Starter #10
LOL! I think Im stuck with the 8' turns for now. This will be a good start for us though. My kids are so excited to make progress with all of this. Now I need to buy track, any good deals out there???
 

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Discussion Starter #11
UPDATE: Got some stuff accomplished. Still dont have pics ready to post (sorry). We got the area cleared and leveled a few weeks ago. Since then I have been looking for subroadbed to use. I also surveyed the mainline and set grade stakes every 5 foot through in the straight areas and every foot or so in the curves. Once I have happy that it was all level, I dug out from around the grade stakes and this last weekend we put down the subroadbed. I came up short by about 30 feet so next weekend we will have to pick up some more. My track is still on order should have it by the end of October. I plan on finishing the subroadbed and its compaction and running the wires from the garage out to the layout. I will try and get some pictures in the next few days.
 

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Visit my site on mods for the SD70 that will allow it to operate on your curves. The major thing you need to do is increase the coupler swing, and it's pretty easy.

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Posted By Greg Elmassian on 09/29/2008 10:36 AM
Visit my site on mods for the SD70 that will allow it to operate on your curves. The major thing you need to do is increase the coupler swing, and it's pretty easy.

Regards, Greg


I already checked that out Greg. I will mod it when the time comes.
 

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If you cant run your big stuff you could always make it into a narrow guage Logging or miing operations. I also just got my layout started this summer and my biggest curves are 6.5. Im also more into the narrow gauge look and running Porters and such. Just a though especially if space is limted. Take a look at the Kittatinny Mt RR I have been posting about for a few months now. Cant wait to see some pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Posted By snowshoe on 09/29/2008 4:41 PM
If you cant run your big stuff you could always make it into a narrow guage Logging or miing operations. I also just got my layout started this summer and my biggest curves are 6.5. Im also more into the narrow gauge look and running Porters and such. Just a though especially if space is limted. Take a look at the Kittatinny Mt RR I have been posting about for a few months now. Cant wait to see some pictures.


I tried to clean up a bit tonight so I could take some pics for you guys. Didnt happen. Tomorrow I shall try again. We also have a few LGB locos to run on the layout so we will still have tons of fun. All of my track will be 6 foot flex track that will be soldered together. Since its all flex I will be making my own curves. I pushed them out as far as possible. My radius will be larger then 8 but smaller than 9. I should be around 8.5 foot.
 

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For power, the Aristo onboard is no longer in productoin for the 27 or 75 mhz versions. Some stores do have the 75 mhz unit still on the shelves.
Aristocraft is in the process of developing a 900mhz which was already replaced with a 2.4 ghz unit, but not yet available.

Also, for the LGB smaller engines, starting with track power and the 27mhz track side receiver set to linear mode will work for now. Note that Aristo has a sale this month (sept/oct) where you buy the transmitter/receiver and get a second receiver free ($10 shipipng ).

Check out the Aristocraft site for details on this.
.
 

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I think aristo may still be making the 27 mhz units. But I could be wrong on that


I would second what everyone else is saying.The 8 foot curves will look too small with an SD-70. I have a lot of 8 ft curves and my larger locos look too big. I rushed into the hobby and I'd always wanted some of the larger steamers. I like them, mainline, "modern" steam is my favorite style, but in retrospect I should have thought a little harder about it. It takes a LOT of space for them to look right. I will probably start moving to smaller steam, like the new aristo consolidation or the USA dockside.


You could go narrow gauge. Narrow gauge stuff tends to look better on tight curves, even though it's bigger


or


If you have a small space go for smaller locos. The SD-70 is big, but the USA Trains GP 38 is 8 inches smaller and will run better and look better.


Or maybe it won't matter at all--it'll be fun, and you'll end up tinkering with it all the time
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Posted By lownote on 09/30/2008 5:44 AM
I think aristo may still be making the 27 mhz units. But I could be wrong on that


I would second what everyone else is saying.The 8 foot curves will look too small with an SD-70. I have a lot of 8 ft curves and my larger locos look too big. I rushed into the hobby and I'd always wanted some of the larger steamers. I like them, mainline, "modern" steam is my favorite style, but in retrospect I should have thought a little harder about it. It takes a LOT of space for them to look right. I will probably start moving to smaller steam, like the new aristo consolidation or the USA dockside.


You could go narrow gauge. Narrow gauge stuff tends to look better on tight curves, even though it's bigger


or


If you have a small space go for smaller locos. The SD-70 is big, but the USA Trains GP 38 is 8 inches smaller and will run better and look better.


Or maybe it won't matter at all--it'll be fun, and you'll end up tinkering with it all the time




BINGO! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Honestly guys this is a family project. Im doing it so it gives my kids something to do outside with me and the wife. With economic times as they are it gives us something to enjoy that wont mean having to leave the house. I know the sd70 is a HUGE train. Thats why I bought it. Eventually I will have an area that it large enough for 20' turns so it looks right at home. Until then Im going to have fun with it just the way it is. I will try and post pics tonight so you all can enjoy what we are already enjoying.

Shawn :D
 

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Sesh I think people are just offering their experiences. Your track design looks great. Tonight my daughter ran her little "thomas" train, made out of a wooden pull toy and an old LGB loco, and she decorated it with blue masking tape and flowers and herbs from the garden. It looked great and it was doingexactly what it was supposed to do, which is make a nice family activity.


Good luck, and keep us posted!
 
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