|Construction shots:||Benchwork | Scenery | Finished Scenes|
|Layout:||Trackplan & Specs|
Road to MMR | Articles
Durango & Silverton RR Shots |About Me
For grins, I made a composite "aerial" photograph of the layout. Click here to see that. (Updated when the layout had 100% scenery, 11/01/12)
I planned the new layout using Abracadata's "3D Railroad Concept and Design" software. I'd planned my original '70s/'80s layout using pencil and paper, and found this software to be an invaluable way to make changes and to explore all sorts of "what if" scenarios in a short period of time.
|The layout is designed to fit into a space
roughly 35' x 15' (shown here in red). There's an alcove in the
room that I've designated as the workshop area, both for modeling and
other home projects. The room contains two 5' doorways (lower
center and lower left). The one in the center is the main entryway
to the room.
Because I'm presently the only operator, I've chosen to use a loop-to-loop design that will allow me to continuously run a through train as a "traffic diversion," while I'm doing switching duties with a local way freight.
In the above design, the upper and lower return loops are located in the upper "blob." As a scene block, I put a high backdrop down the center of both peninsulas, as well as down the center of the reverse loop blob (indicated in red). Both of the backdrops on the peninsulas are "wrap-around," 180-degree backdrops.
|Here's a schematic of the
trackplan (09/16/07). The gray represents tracks that haven't been
laid or even planned out yet. (For you non-railroad types, this is what the track
would look like if it was unraveled and stretched end-to-end.)
|Layout size||Approx. 35' x 15'|
|Layout design||Loop-to-loop, with enough sidings to keep one operator (me!) busy switching|
|Era||1953/1954, steam (with one diesel)|
|Theme||Completely freelanced. Basically small town Midwest, specifically Minnesota and Wisconsin|
|Benchwork||Classic L-girder, with benchwork both attached to the walls and free-standing|
|Layout height||The lowest track on the railroad is 49" off the floor; the highest is 57".|
|Grades||The maximum grade is about 1% . The grade from Glen Oaks to the upper return loop is virtually continuous.|
|Trackage||Code 83 mainline and sidings
(Atlas SuperFlex on cork roadbed. Someday I'll relay visible track by hand using Code 70 on sidings, but I may not get the time to do that even if there is such a thing as reincarnation.)
Mainline subroadbed is 5/8" plywood. Yard is 1/2" Homosote on 5/8" plywood.
|Minimum radius||30" on all mainline curves, 28" on sidings|
|Turnouts||All Walthers Code 83; #6 on mainline, #5 on sidings; also several #8 curved turnouts|
DCS 100), plus PM4 power manager running two power
districts, the reverse loops, and auto-polarity reverse. Throttles
are a DT400 (radio), DT300 (radio), UT-4 (radio) and a DT100 (infrared)
as a spare.
Handbuilt Automatic Reverse Loop Switching circuit (by Rob Paisley; plans downloaded from his internet site at http://home.cogeco.ca/~rpaisley4/CircuitIndex.html . Folks, this circuit is worth its weight in brass!)
Handbuilt Infrared Hidden Track Occupancy Detectors and Wig-Wag actuator (same as above)
Crossing bell and flasher, built from a Peter Thorne article in Model Railroader in the early '80s
|Motive power||Two Bachman Spectrum 2-8-0 Consolidations, IHC Mogul 2-6-0, Life-Like Proto 2000 0-8-0 switcher, Broadway Ltd. SW7 diesel, a Walthers doodlebug, and a doodlebug kitbashed in the late '70s (remotored and new trucks added in 2000, nickel silver wheels added in 2004.)|
|Scenery||Hydrocal-soaked paper towels over either crumpled newspaper or extruded foam insulation; Sculptamold layered over the Hydrocal; Woodland Scenics' ground foam and trees|
|Operation||Computer-generated switchlists produced by "Ship It!" (Albion Software). I usually run the layout alone, engineering a way freight as a through freight makes a continuous run from loop to loop, to act as a mainline diversion. Although it has never happened, the layout could easily handle operations by 4 or 5 operators. Sessions usually consist of a morning way freight and through freight; the afternoon schedule is identical. The way freight switches all five towns in both directions. One session usually takes four evenings to complete.|
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Shots of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge RR