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Discussion Starter #1
Two years ago I built a portable, trailer mounted layout using left over LGB brass track and switches when I rebuilt my outside layout with LGB Nickel Plated switches and Aristo-Craft Stainless Steel track.

In case anyone may be interested in building a similar portable layout the topic is in the archives at:

http://www.mylargescale.com/archive/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=45014

Over the past two years the layout was only moved twice (to local train shows) and when I recently bought a MoPac Caboose I decided to move the trailer layout to the caboose.

http://www.mylargescale.com/Community/Forums/tabid/56/forumid/5/postid/68305/view/topic/Default.aspx

On rethinking things, I have decided to go a step further and remove the layout from the trailer, make it permanent and double its size.

This is the current track layout on the trailer:




This will be the new track layout:



It will provide a more realistic operations capability plus include double track and reversing capabilities.

I still have a quantity of LGB R1 switches so there is a possibility of adding them to the layout or to a future extension of the layout.

Jerry
 

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Getting our home built so maybe we can start playing with trains again!
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Jerry!!!! Holy Crap!!! You old dog!!!!! I know I just skim through here these days but I haven't seen from you in a while! Glad to see you're still around and kicking. We gotta have another get together here in VA. Layout is up and running again too.

Great to see you're still knocking around with things.


Later,

Joe
 

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I was wondering what happened to you too Jerry! Glad to see you are still around ^^

-Will
 

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How in the world did I miss the Caboose posts? WOW! That is cool! Not for me, but still pretty cool!

As for the trailer layout I'll miss it! It got me thinking about doing something similar with my old trailer. The outside layout comes first of course.

Great to see you posting again!

Chas
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Posted By cmjdisanto on 03/25/2009 11:23 AM
Jerry!!!! Holy Crap!!! You old dog!!!!! I know I just skim through here these days but I haven't seen from you in a while! Glad to see you're still around and kicking. We gotta have another get together here in VA. Layout is up and running again too.

Great to see you're still knocking around with things.


Later,

Joe




Hi Joe,

We are planning to go to the Big Train Operator's Show this year. Perhaps we will get a chance to get together then.

Rather than go to the ECLSTS I figured the BTO show would be better because EBT and Steamtown etc. will be open then.

Regards,

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Posted By Engineercub on 03/25/2009 11:33 AM
I was wondering what happened to you too Jerry! Glad to see you are still around ^^

-Will


Hi Will,

Yes, I'm still around but getting the school to give up their caboose on public auction, buying it on auction, moving it, and now restoring it have really been taking up all of my time and effort (and money).

Thankfully the LGB Bankruptcy had conveniently resulted in a severe reduction in my model train expenses so coming up with the funds to buy and move the caboose became a possibility.

Regards,

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Posted By wchasr on 03/25/2009 11:39 AM
How in the world did I miss the Caboose posts? WOW! That is cool! Not for me, but still pretty cool!

As for the trailer layout I'll miss it! It got me thinking about doing something similar with my old trailer. The outside layout comes first of course.

Great to see you posting again!

Chas






Hi Chas,

Thank you for your comments.

It turned out that the Arkansas Railroad Museum show was the only time the trailer ever went anywhere and with the cost of gas, new tires etc. it just got too expensive for me.

Last year the trailer needed two tires. This year the trailer needs another tire plus my Suburban (which I used to haul the trailer) actually needs 4 new tires before I would trust it to pull the trailer again. The Michelin tires have very good tread but are over 15 years old and have extremely poor traction (especially in any rain). I almost had an accident when the tires failed to grip the road last year.

The weight of the layout plus the weight of the trailer was simply too much for the Suburban tires and brakes to handle except in good weather.

I finally decided to face reality and accept that the trailer was probably never going anywhere again.

Just in case things change, I am building a platform for the trailer layout (retaining its portability) and although I am reconfiguring it, it would not be that difficult to put it back on the trailer at some time in the future.

When I eventually get the caboose and new outside (formerly trailer) layout done I will be posting more once again. Before that happens the entire outside of the caboose needs to be repainted.

Regards,

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Posted By Jerry Barnes on 03/25/2009 6:30 PM
Jerry,
Better stop feeding those critters, they will be tearing up your railroad and eating the buildings/people.


Hi Jerry,

I understand your point but I enjoy watching them.

There are six raccoons feeding outside right now and I bought an additional 250 lbs of chopped corn yesterday. At only $7.50 per bag I figure it costs me around $1.00 a night ($30 a month) for several hours of entertainment watching them.

They are so accustomed to coming to the caboose to feed now that if they ever become a problem there should be little difficulty in trapping them and releasing them elsewhere. I am thankful that they live here because I enjoy watching them.

What is amazing is that we have lived here for 20 years and aside from one day (years ago) spotting 7 raccoons in a tree (by their eyes at night) I have never seen a raccoon here. I had even gone looking for them in the woods at night with a spotlight but never spotted any.

The same with deer. I'm perfectly willing to feed them (they eat less than the raccoons) for the opportunity to watch them.

If they should cause some minor damage to the layout that too is a price I am willing to pay.

We just have different perspectives and priorities. For me watching wildlife is more important than some plastic buildings but then I have had very little damage done over many years and my layout is above ground, on decking and not as vulnerable to damage as some prototypical layouts might be.

There are around 40 acres of woods here which is probably why I have few problems with wildlife. The area is also hunted regularly (not on our property) which also tends to keep wildlife away from homes. In residential neighborhoods the wildlife probably has less wild food to feed on which may force them to seek food in gardens. There are no "gardens" in our garden railways so there is little to attract wildlife to the layouts.

Regards,

Jerry
 

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Here in Iowa we are famous for "Corn fed Beef"... I suppose if you start advertising "'Coon Skin Caps" for sale I may need to ask if corn does any good for flavour of Raccoon.
 

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Getting our home built so maybe we can start playing with trains again!
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Posted By Jerry McColgan on 03/25/2009 5:23 PM

Hi Joe,

We are planning to go to the Big Train Operator's Show this year. Perhaps we will get a chance to get together then.

Rather than go to the ECLSTS I figured the BTO show would be better because EBT and Steamtown etc. will be open then.

Regards,

Jerry


Sounds great. Just drop a line when you're up in PA
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Posted By Semper Vaporo on 03/25/2009 8:39 PM
Here in Iowa we are famous for "Corn fed Beef"... I suppose if you start advertising "'Coon Skin Caps" for sale I may need to ask if corn does any good for flavour of Raccoon.


Perhaps if the Davy Crockett series is ever rebroadcast the demand for coon skin caps will return. Meanwhile I'll keep fattening them up. Fess Parker may rise again. ; )

Cheers,

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Progress in making the trailer layout permanent is going very slowly. I managed to install two posts yesterday and two today but now I have the corner posts for 8' x 8' set in concrete so when the concrete is dry the rest should go a lot faster.

The way I plan it there will be 30 each 4" x 4's supporting the layout. The lumber for the support for the trailer layout will cost almost as much as the trailer layout itself



There is probably an easier way but if so I don't know it.

Setting 4" x 4"s in concrete when they have to be aligned to a fraction of an inch is quite a challenge.

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Now that the framing has begun for the permanent installation of the trailer layout it occurred to me that it no longer makes sense to keep the R1 (4' diameter) and R2 (5' diameter) curves.

Having realized that, I have redesigned the layout to handle R3 (8' diameter) and 10' (R?) diameter curves.



This means that I will have to expand the original 8' x 16' layout to 12' x 36' but at least I realized it before I had covered any of it since the trailer portion will have to rest on a 18" base while the rest will have a 36" base.

I realize this looks like nothing more than an oversize Lionel layout but then I had many years of enjoyment with my old Lionel/American Flyer Christmas layouts so I don't see anything wrong with a plain vanilla G Scale layout.

With 14' & 18' sidings, a figure 8, reversing capabilities, and dual tracks there is not much I will not be able to do with it and visitors should have no difficulty figuring out how to run it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm very happy to say that after assembling a total of 15 sections of plywood mounted on 2" x 4"s and then installing forty four (44) 4" x 4"s the new Caboose Layout base is now completed.


Rather than be limited to small trains on the original trailer layout the expanded layout will accommodate any of my trains so it will probably get a lot of use with the Aristo-Craft FA-1's and MTH Challengers and Big Boy pulling fairly long passenger and freight trains.


I've been pretty much consumed with an assortment of projects since the caboose arrived but now with the Caboose Layout pretty much assembled I hope to get back to other things that the caboose needs.
The new caboose layout has turned out quite a bit larger than I had intended but it is more the result of what it will take to have a double track with a figure 8 using nothing smaller than R3 curves.

Going from the original 4 sheets of plywood on the Trailer Layout to 15 sheets the layout is now almost 4 times its original size.



The total track will go from 142 feet to 280 feet. The layout size increase is almost double the track increase which means that the layout will be more relaxed and less focused on just a small area.

The layout height varies from about 3' high to about 6' high as it stays level while the land slopes downward.

Now that the old trailer layout is securely screwed to the platform and to the rest of the layout it will never again be portable. On the other hand I now have the use of my trailer back which has not been available since I built the trailer layout.

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Posted By Jerry Barnes on 04/11/2009 7:17 PM
You are one hard worker Jerry.


Hi Jerry,

I am not much of a multi-tasker. When I start a project everything else tends to be ignored until I get the main project finished.

I'm not very fast but by making the layout the way that I do I can pretty much make an assembly line production out of it. Each section is made of five 45" and two 96" 2"x 4"s set on 4"x 4"s cut to whatever length it takes to be level. After setting the frame in concrete and before the concrete hardens the sheets of plywood are set on top and the frame adjusted to square up with the plywood.

I realized that carpeting comes in 12' lengths so I bought a partial roll at home depot yesterday which should cover most of the new layout with one piece and the rest in one more piece. After that the track laying should go quickly.

Hopefully there will be trains running on it by the end of the week.

I may finally have a layout where the MTH Challengers, Big Boy and Aristo-Craft FA/B-1 UP Streamliner passenger trains can run frequently.

Hopefully I will have enough remaining used LGB track to complete the layout without having to buy anything new.

Regards,

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Over the past few days I have installed green outdoor carpeting over the entire new layout frame (12' x 40') and removed all the old track etc. from the former trailer layout. Next I cleaned all the track and switches with Kaboom.

Today I will hope to start laying track.

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I am happy to say that the new Caboose Layout is now up and running! It is not complete in that the switches and track blocks are not wired but I was able to run trains on both mainlines today.

Today it was LGB Starter Sets and tomorrow I hope to be running MTH Challengers and Big Boy on it.

Jerry
 
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