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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I finally have started my layout, and in the spirit of this forum I'll post some pictures as I go.
It will be a very small layout, and unlike most it will be a point to point switching layout using the Florida East Coast's Meadley lead as inspiration.
I have lots of room for a loop in other parts of my yard, but this area really struck my fancy for the layout and I wanted to start with something small. I don't have a lot of time to work on it, maybe 2 or 3 days a month.
Here is the site after 2 days of cleaning out the rock mulch (don't ever landscape with rock mulch!!)


I also put in drain pipes to redirect the gutter down spouts on to the drive and not into the layout space.
Next I raised and leveled the space with landscape timbers--I will be running battery and R/C and did not want any grades. Besides it is really tough to get a car to stay on a siding that is not level.

And here are my gandy dancers--this can be a family hobby.



And the progress on the ladder roadbed, ripped from ceder 2x6 and leveled on PVC pipes:

This has all taken place over the last few months, just getting around to posting.
I'll add to this as I get more done. Thanks for your interest.
 

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Very nicely done, looks like it should be an interesting layout. Hope you will keep us posted on progress. Wish I had a couple of helpers!

Best wishes, Joe M.
 

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Very nice!

Helpful youngun's there.
 

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Looking good. Track power,battery? Code 332 or 250?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the comments.

The yunguns (yup thats what they are south of the Mason-Dixon line) up and left with mommy today to go swimming at a friends pool!/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sad.gif Not sure how swimming beats a day in the sun moving dirt--oh well.

Paul the track is code 250, llagas creek Al rail, switch crafters #6 switches and 2 old pullman switches I had laying around.
Battery power--I posted the engine I built in the rolling stock forum http://www.mylargescale.com/Communi...rumid/14/postid/20844/view/topic/Default.aspx
If this turns out a fraction as nice as your layout I will consider it a sucess:D
Thanks for the inspiration.
I have to credit Richard Smith with the ladder roadbed I am building: 2x6 ceder ripped on my table saw. It is working well, though I think he had acess to better quality ceder--about half of the slats I cut cracked or split at imperfections in the wood but still at about $13 for a 2x6x10 ceder board that yields about 20ft plus of roadbed--not bad!! Beats the cost of PCV lumber at over $5.00 per slat./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/shocked.gif
I painted all the lumber as it will be in the ground.
I have some better shots of the progress from last night, just need to download.
 

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I have a few Old Pullman turnouts. They are a bit tight in tolerance through the guard rails from the factory. I used a dremel to widen them a little. Also the point attachment to the throw bar is weak. I had a couple break. I now rebuild the throwbars in the same way that Sunset Valley does theirs. The Old Pullmans will work fine after the mods. Glad you chose to use code 250. Everything runs fine on it and it is so much better looking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I finished the roadbed today, just before the afternoon monsoon:D

Here's a few shots of it. Next Ineed to fill in around the ladder and get on with laying the track. Still working on ballast choice--looks like it will be limestone fines--just want to find something a little more coarse than the stuff used for leveling patio stones--that is more like the size of sand. Anyone have any thoughts and buring the ladder in gravel of just dirt?



 

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Matt,
If you go to the Sunset Valley website and look at a couple turnouts you can see how they do it. A heavier throw bar made out of,I think, delrin plastic. There is a fairly good size brass tab that is soldered to the inside of the point rails and screwed to the throwbar. Leave the screw slightly loose. The throwbar will be a bit oversize but worth it for long reliable operation. I also now use only their brass ground throws and switch stands on new installs,again a quality product. I think the Sunset Valley turnouts are the best built on the market,bar none. Also check the gauge on the Old Pullman. I think those were the ones that were a little tight in spots. And you are right,much easier to do on the workbench.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update:

Finally got some more work done. I buried the ladder roadbed in 3/8 limestone gravel (the only rock in Fl) and then topped up with limestone screenings--what I will be using for ballast. I also began laying track last night until the the skeeters got too bad:mad:





I'll keep posting as I make progress--we'll see how the weather holds out.
 

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The Meadley Branch is really looking good. Your work is very nice and I am really enjoying your posts with Pics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Barry. I'll keep em comming as I get time. Should get more done in the next few days if the rain holds off--the wife and kids are out of town!
 

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Matt,

You've managed to get a nice sweeping track flow in spite of a confined space. Your track really looks good.

I've heard some folks down your way have good luck with cypress. I've never used it myself because it's not readily available here but it might be an alternative in case you have trouble getting good cedar. It is used a lot for outdoor furniture, etc. I don't know how it would price out either compared to cedar down there.

Please keep the photos coming. That is exceptionally neat work you're doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Richard,
thanks that means alot comming from you--your work is exceptional.

I purposely used #6 switches and a minimum of 6 ft RADIUS curves and then let the track flow rather than forcing the track to fit the plan. Never get as much track in a space in the real world as I manage to on paper.:confused:

Never thought much about cypress--they don't have it at the BIG BOXes (blue or orange). Guess I could check at a real lumber yard. Problem is I usually have only Sat afternoon and Sunday to work on the railroad and only the BIG BOXes are open.
The cedar is expensive but much better than the cost of PVC (over $5.00 each for a 1x2), especially by ripping a 2x6 (about $14)per your instructions. Though I have to admit it was not easy on my little Craftsman table saw, but with 2 of us we managed it. Thanks dad (guess the cost of the airline ticket to have him come from Denver would have bought a lot of pvc--thats assuming he came to help me and not really to see the grand kids;)" border=0>!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Spent the morning lowering and putting new trucks and kadee's on my test car. Got to have a test car right?:confused:
Nah, its not to push around and play trains--this is real testing going on here!!/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif
Anyone but me love to push the cars around by hand--love the feeling of steel wheels on steel rail (ok plated steel on aluminum rail--but you get the idea.) Kind of takes me back to the Lionel on the floor in the basement, spent more time pushing the cars around than running the locomotive.



Eventually it will be detailed and painted to look more like this:



Better get back to laying track, lunch break is over, and this thing ain't gonna build itself./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/laugh.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
This afternoon's progress. All the switches are in, more track to lay, but I am running out of track. Time to call Stretch at C&OC tomorow for another box of Llagas creek track.




Thank goodness I don't have to wire all this up--ode to battery power!
 

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Looks fantastic, Matt!
You have almost convinced me to go with the ladder system. I'm afraid with all of our freezes and thaws concrete wouldn't have much of a chance. I'll have to take another look at Richard's page. I like the way you built up the surrounding dirt to make the ladder frame not so raised. It looks like it's possible to make the system look realistic. I'm still hashing over the expenses of nickel - silver vs aluminum track weighed with battery conversion vs track power. UGGHHH! Gotta love this hobby!/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/w00t.gif
Keep us posted!
another Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Matt,

I had the same issues picking track, and in addition to cost I chose battery because I will likely be able to run the trains infrequently--and if I gotta clean track for an hour before each run it ain't gonna happen/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/angry.gif

The other thought I had is with a R/C battery locomotive I could theoretically run on any layout regardless of track power, DCC etc.

The engine is done, but haven't really run it much--except for a loop of track in the livingroom.

On a small layout like this one I think the cost of the Airwire,batteries and sound system would just offset the cost of brass or steel rail. A large layout the cost of track would be a real concern. With that said the aluminum rail is EASY to work with, no rail bender, and cuts with my HO rail nipper. Sure makes it easy to get good track alignment to be able to snip the rail in place.
 
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