Listen to your wife. "Go play with Allan's Trains!"
the Kudzu & Western
retired to Maryville, TN near Knoxville. The new layout is being
built in the 49' x 16'6" room over the garage. Like my last
model railroad, I will be trying new thngs that you probably have
never seen done before.
will be a folded loop capable of continuous running when viewed
by guests. For operating sessions, there is a wye in the middle
of the loop that will allow trains to be served by a yard that will
effectively will be two terminating yards.
I don't have to lay on my back under the layout, all the wiring
will be done from the front via hinge-down smoked Plexiglas facia.
This will also allow me to store things under the layout without
having to move them.
Further, to avoid having to get under
they layout, there will be no switch machines. It gets better, there
will be no ground throws!
Faster construction doesn't mean cheaper.
For example, using IDC's (Insulation Displacement Connectors, also
called "suitcase connectors") will be faster at connecting
feeders to buses than soldering them, but cost more than using solder.
I'm also thinking about using terminal strips to connect feeders
to buses. They cost money, too.
I'll be using Peco Electrofrog turnouts
with the sprung throwbars. I'll just change the turnout position
by flicking the the points with my finger. With no switch machines
or ground throws, I need a way to power route frogs. I will be using
Frog Juicers. They cost about the same as a Tortoise, but don't
require access under the layout. Since I had Tortoises that I sold,
once again my construction technique will be faster, but not cheaper.
Ah, but in one way, it will be cheaper
and so much faster. That is, there will be no control panels. Control
panels traditionally consume about half the time it takes to wire
a layout. When I've been in clubs, that's all I did was wire. As
most model railroaders aren't good at wiring, I often worked alone.
As I'm contemplating signaling, I need
a way for the system to know the position of the mainline turnouts.
I'm hoping to use optical sensors on the throwbars. When I start
laying track, I will test that this will work.
For speedy construction, the layout
will be one level instead of the four levels of the old railroad.
Another reason is that the room has slanted ceilings. Trying to
go multilevel would drastically narrow the railroad. I don't have
a set timeline for finishing, but surely it will be faster than
the 14 years of the previous layout.
With all the facia panels being hinged-down,
the benchwork will be octogon shaped for the turn around loops.
The smoked Plexiglas hinged-down facia will allow viewing of status
lights without having to drill the facia for all of them as well
as label them - another speed booster.
Yes, this will be a long, narrow
layout. The middle of the "E", shown above, will contain
the yard. The top and bottom of the "E" will run down
the two walls. (The west side is shown started in the far left.)
The various boxes shown contain everything that was saved from the
previous layout. They will be stored under the layout until needed.
benchwork is shaped like the letter "E". The yard will
be located on the middle leg of the "E". The turn around
loops will be at the ends of the "E". I'll post a picture
of the benchwork when completed. At the current rate of construction,
that should be within a few months.
for more. In the meantime, check out the original
High & Xiety that I built in Texas.
Be sure to take this little picture
tour of Clinchfield