Backwoods NE in Florida

Layout tours of our registered members and railroad clubs
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Cuse
Posts: 1290
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:05 am
Location: New Smyrna Beach, FL

No worries Bob...I know you have many layouts to feed.

I moved the existing layout over a little bit and now can see the expansion materializing. The "alley" is 3.5' wide and the length of the wall is 16'. The existing layout extends 12', so I will either mirror it in length or, more likely go all the way to the corner of the room, which would allow me a little more depth for a return loop. The primary depth of the shelf along the wall will be 1.5', allowing for a 2' aisle (a little tight but it will keep me in shape). I probably should move the layout another 6" away from the wall to widen that, I suppose. The general idea is a long narrow shelf with tight turnarounds on the ends for continuous loop(s). I am pondering two independent loops on different levels so I can run two trains and have complex over/under scenes with bridges and trestles above one and other. The overriding theme is "verticality" with high bridges and big rock faces, with little boxcabs pulling short trains through overwhelming scenery...Malcolm Furlow is on my mind for sure. I need to make sure I don't overdo my wish list and diminish the scenic drama with too "much" stuff or tracks...it will be, after all, quite narrow.

I'm looking through all of my old notes and sketches, looking for those images that remind me of what I NEED to include and what would be nice and what to avoid...exciting time.
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Cuse
Posts: 1290
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:05 am
Location: New Smyrna Beach, FL

Here's the photo I thought
expansion spot.jpg
I attached...I don't know that I'll ever get comfortable with the "new" forum. Sorry Jimmy.
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GPdemayo
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Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:12 pm
Location: Longwood, FL

Looks like you've got a plan John.....looking forward to seeing what you do with it. 8-)
Gregory P. DeMayo
General Construction Superintendent Emeritus
St. Louis & Denver Railroad
Longwood, FL
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Cuse
Posts: 1290
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:05 am
Location: New Smyrna Beach, FL

GPdemayo wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 8:04 am Looks like you've got a plan John.....looking forward to seeing what you do with it. 8-)
Thanks for checking in Greg...unfortunately, I've got a million plans running through my head...I'm not even sure if I'm going to stick with HOn30, or HOn3...honestly, N gauge is appealing to me as well, given the "little trains - big scenery" vibe I'm pondering. This is a really good one to get nothing done. I am going to the National Narrow Gauge Convention in Tacoma in September...maybe it would be best if I stuck to planning and prep (maybe basic benchwork) because I know I'll have my mind blown by something I'll see there (and/or buy). One of my all time favorite inspirational layouts will be at the convention site..."The Hangman Creek Lumber Company", so maybe I should just relax and resist hammering nails just yet.

I've still got a large kit to build and a river scene to complete on my existing layout...but it's hard to be loyal :twisted:
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Cuse
Posts: 1290
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:05 am
Location: New Smyrna Beach, FL

Wife and daughter headed "into town" later today, so I have much of my day to blow on silly stuff like our passion for trains. I'm planning a significant expansion and today I plan to lay my Narrow Gauge Gazettes, notebooks, and 40 years of MR clippings all over the floor and make some real decisions about my priorities for the new area...I'll be looking for "signature scenes", construction methods that have worked (and maybe could have been simpler), realistic allowances for scenery space and turning radii, etc.

I like the format John Armstrong used for his layout-design clients...especially the "Givens & Druthers" scales. For example "Operations vs Scenery" or "Ease of Construction vs Complexity of Grades, etc"...I am definitely a candidate for overthinking, so today I hope to go all-in and power through my paralysis by analysis and make some decisive plans :idea: . I've already ordered some shelf brackets and made an initial purchase at Lowe's...there are certain construction principles and materials that I've settled on, so I've begun with that.

I also ordered a large steel trestle from Micro Engineering - so that will certainly be one of the scenes I've committed to. My Maine HOn30 layout seems to be gradually relocating to the Pacific Northwest, scenically...blame Bragdon's amazing rockwork method...I've never felt so comfortable making large rock faces- I'm releasing my inner Malcolm Furlow :D


Here's just a couple of things currently up for consideration
...Woodland Scenics foam risers for fast, reliable lightweight track support. I love Homasote for track laying, but it's hard to find.
...Lowered area(s) of fascia/benchwork for dramatic gorge crossings (my layout is shadowbox "framed", so this might be disruptive to the overall effect in the room.
...Minimum turnaround radii - I've got a pretty narrow area, but continuous running is a must. I like the toylike narrow gauge stuff, but I need a couple good runners with no troubles.
...Possibly two (separate) loops at different heights - to allow two independently running trains, weaving under and over each other...just not sure squeezing it in is realistic.
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Zephyrus52246
Posts: 2308
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:08 am

Ah, the possibilites of expansion. I intend to extend The Empire as well, but I need to get some basic scenery in the main room first. I get my homasote products here https://www.cwhomaroad.com/ I like my roadbed precut as it's a real mess working with the stuff.

Jeff
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PRR Modeler
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Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:21 pm

I look forward to seeing what you come up with.
Curt Webb
The Late Great Pennsylvania Railroad
Freelanced PRR Bellevue Subdivision
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ReadingBob
Posts: 2855
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:20 pm
Location: Lake Mary, FL

John,

I can spare a 4' x 8' sheet of Homosote if you need one. We'd probably have to cut it up some how to fit in a vehicle. It's yours if you want it. ;)

Bob
Bob Butts
robertbutts1@att.net

There's a fine line between Hobby and Mental Illness.
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Cuse
Posts: 1290
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:05 am
Location: New Smyrna Beach, FL

ReadingBob wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 4:31 pm John,

I can spare a 4' x 8' sheet of Homosote if you need one. We'd probably have to cut it up some how to fit in a vehicle. It's yours if you want it. ;)

Bob
Bob, that would be fantastic. I haven't started calling around yet-I can try to find my own first...or, when the time comes and you need one, I'll supply it.

When I get my RV out of the shop, I should be able to take it as is. Thanks very much.
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Cuse
Posts: 1290
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:05 am
Location: New Smyrna Beach, FL

Spent most of yesterday, researching stacks of NG Gazettes and my own stash of articles and doodles trying to narrow down my "needs" for my expansion. I'm tired of it and my brain is full of ideas...next step is to put pen to paper and start sketching realistic track plans that will allow me to incorporate as many of the scenes as I can without compromising too much. I've decided on a few things (for now at least) that I was up in the air about...
-I'm probably going to limit the length of the expansion to 12' which would mirror my existing 4x12'...this leaves room for my kit workbench, but still a bit of a squeeze.
-I will join the scenery to the existing layout but will not actually connect the track...it's just not worth the damage to benefit ratio to me...operation is not a priority.
-I would like to have two separate loops of track on two different levels. IF I have any grade at all, it will be a spur and only for dramatic scenic purposes...perhaps to a mine. I'm still not sure to what extent I'll have hidden track...perhaps a LOT...have to visualize a bit and make sure of access, etc. Likely, I will have both loops disappear for some distance to diminish the loop effect.
-At least two large bridges, one steel, one a wood trestle...I'd also like to mix in smaller bridges, retaining wall fills and short tunnels and cuts to break up the view of the train.
-I would like to have dramatically lowered fascia, in some places, to extend the scenery and enhance the verticality of rock faces and deep gorge(s) to cross. It is essentially a shadowbox layout, with upper and lower fascia and a fairly narrow viewing area, so I have to give this a lot of thought...so it doesn't mess up the look of the whole layout. I think I want to keep the upper fascia at a consistent level height to match the existing layout and provide consistent lighting.
-I've got plenty of room for turnaround loop(s) on the end against the wall, but on the other end, I've got some figuring to do...My best bet is to simply experiment with my existing motive power and some intended purchases to be sure I can keep the maximum width (on that end) at around 2'...that's a very tight minimum radius-but I am modeling in HOn30, so doable if I'm careful.
-I'm considering making one of the loops HOn3, just to give me a broader range of available motive power...I'd love a nice little brass, oily smooth, Shay someday and not much in HOn30.
...time to start sketching or just walk away for a bit.

John
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