Southern Pacific Switching Layout
#1
Well...The time has come for me to build another layout, I liked my Miami Layout, but I realized that I was never going to be able to finish it, due to a number of reasons, But I learned greatly from that layout, Most importantly I learned not to go too fast when building a layout, and not to overestimate my modeling ability.

Now I present you the track-plan for my HO-scale Southern Pacific Switching Layout:
[Image: SouthernPacificSwitchingLayout.jpg?t=1286422379]

The layout is set at the end of a fictional branch-line of the Southern Pacific somewhere in Southern Oregon. The reason I choose this theme is because my Childhood memories of trains were of the Southern Pacific, I remember when I was little I used to watch a train video about Southern Pacific in Oregon. The layout is designed so I can change Eras easily, I plan to run it mostly in the 1990's since That was when my earliest train memories occurred.

I do not plan on getting benchwork up until next month so there won't be much pictures until then, however I do plan on cleaning my room up in the next few days so I can take some pictures of the layout space, I will also be setting up a simple 4x8 in the trainroom over the weekend so whenever I feel the need to fun trains I can go out there and run some laps.
Justin Miller
Modeling the Lebanon Industrial Railway (LIRY)
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#2
Justin,

I like the plan and will be looking forward to the construction photos starting next month!!!
Be Wise Beware Be Safe
"Mountain Goat" Greg

http://oregontrunk.blogspot.com/
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#3
Thanks Greg! I promise to have at least one construction photo up by November 31st :mistht:

I am thinking of building the benchwork using 18" Hollow Core doors, These seem to pretty popular among switching layouts, but they seem pretty expensive, I think Home Depot sells them for about $30 Each Confusedhocked: ! I will be needing three of them and I will also have to buy foam, and that makes the total cost of benchwork over $100 and I can't afford that. Could I just use the foam as benchwork or is there another alternative?
Justin Miller
Modeling the Lebanon Industrial Railway (LIRY)
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#4
Justin -

I like the plan - go for it!

Benchwork is cheap compared to say, a brass locomotive or DCC system or even a decent sound decoder. Don't sweat the cost of the benchwork. Bite the bullet and spend what you have to in order to get trains running sooner.

You may want to consider building a simple butt-joint framework of 1x3s with the foam as a top. BUT, by the time you purchase the lumber (and screws), measure, cut and assemble it, you could have used an 18" door and saved some time. The difference in cost is not great so like I said, don't fret over the cost of benchwork. Just don't skimp on stability whatever method you use.

Look, I'm married with two kids and a well-paying career and I only get $30/month plus a cut of whatever 'extra' services I perform (weddings & funerals) as hobby money. Actually, the $30 is 'mad money' to spend however I want. I just don't buy anything not covered by some other money in the budget, or go to Starbucks - I make my own espresso drinks at home! With a limited budget I'm glad to be able to download Model Railroad Hobbyist for FREE, check out Model Railroader from my public library, and I'm not a member of the NMRA. Dues would run me two months worth of hobby money.

So I'm pretty frugal with my hobby spending, prioritizing as much as I can. I'm even debating on whether or not I want to go to the next big train show because inevitably I'll end up spending money I could be saving for the layout. So don't let finances get you down. Do what you can with what you've got, and save up for the rest. Budget your time and money so that you can build the layout in successive stages.

An advantage of a switching layout is being able to get past the benchwork stage relatively quickly and cheaply. My timesaver is only 14" by 5' and the layout top is 1/4" ply I scrounged from an alley on trash day. The framing is all 1x3 I purchased at Lowes or HD...can't remember which. The subroadbed is yardsticks which were free from the same hardware store.

Galen
I may not be a rivet counter, but I sure do like rivets!
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#5
Thanks Galen! I guess I should be lucky that since I am a teenager almost all of my money is "Model Railroad Money". I did find some 24" doors for $18 at Home depot, so I guess I could be okay with wider benchwork Big Grin
Justin Miller
Modeling the Lebanon Industrial Railway (LIRY)
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#6
Justin --

If you have access to a table saw, it is possible to rip the doors down to the desired width, carefully peel the lamination off the section removed, sand any residue off, spread with carpenters' glue and reinsert the "edge stiffener" back into the hollow core, making sure you don't push it in too far.

In art school, several of us did exactly that with 3'-0" x 6'-8" H.C. doors, cutting them down to a length of 4'-6" and using them as drawing board tops! Just cover them with a sheet of Borco and done! A cheap drawing board for the student apartment ... turn it over, cover that side with a piece of "cold-press" illustration board and it becomes a "double-duty" work surface ... drawing board on one side, model building surface on the other ... just depends which side is up when sitting on the saw horses.
biL
Lehigh Susquehanna & Western


"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." ~~Abraham Lincoln

Food for Thought
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#7
Nice looking track plan that follows prototype practices-I noticed a lot of that lately.. :tada:
Larry
Engineman
SSRy

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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#8
Brakie Wrote:Nice looking track plan that follows prototype practices-I noticed a lot of that lately.. :tada:

What Larry said! :yup: Nice simple, and prototypical track plan. About the only thing I might change would be to make the interchange track a bit longer, but not a necessity by any means.
Ed
"Friends don't let friends build Timesavers"
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#9
Justin...

Not sure if I am too late, but you might want to look around at any "used" hardware shops you might have (we have one called the "Re-Store" run by Habitat for Humanity). You might find doors that are a) cheaper, and b) bi-fold closet doors that are already 18" or so.

Even if all your money is "railroad money", it's still nice to save on some things (benchwork) to spend on others (sound-equipped, highly detailed locos). Wink Big Grin

Andrew
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#10
Justin, since you live in a small town, is anyone in town doing a remodeling job on their house? You might get some doors that are being replaced for free if you stop by and ask.
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#11
Thanks for the comments guys!

Andrew, I have a store just like that in my town, That's where I got the lumber for my previous layouts, Next time I go there I will have to look for doors.

Russ, I doubt anybody would be doing any remodeling in this economy, but there are lots of people giving away free stuff at yard sales.
Justin Miller
Modeling the Lebanon Industrial Railway (LIRY)
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#12
Good News! My grandpa gave me a couple of shelf brackets for the benchwork, He also told me that the "Re-store" should have a few doors there for cheap, He said that he would get some and bring them up to me in a few days. This means that bench-work should start in a few days, and it is going to cost alot less then I originally planned.
Justin Miller
Modeling the Lebanon Industrial Railway (LIRY)
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#13
Justinmiller171 Wrote:Good News! My grandpa gave me a couple of shelf brackets for the benchwork, He also told me that the "Re-store" should have a few doors there for cheap, He said that he would get some and bring them up to me in a few days. This means that bench-work should start in a few days, and it is going to cost alot less then I originally planned.

Excellent! Go for it! :tada: :tada:

Galen
I may not be a rivet counter, but I sure do like rivets!
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#14
Sorry I haven't made any progress yet Sad , I am saving up all of my money for the 2010 International Railfair: http://www.internationalrailfair.com/
It is the only trainshow in my area and that is more important that setting up benchwork, however I will keep my promise to start benchwork by November 30th :mistht:
Justin Miller
Modeling the Lebanon Industrial Railway (LIRY)
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#15
A few quick updates:

1. I went to the "Re-store" and found 24x80 inch Doors for $4.99 each, My grandpa will be bringing them up here in a few days, This means Pictures!
in a few days

2. When I went to disassemble my Miami Layout I discovered that when I soldered the track together it melted the plastic parts that kept the rail against the ties. So the track is pretty much unusable now Cry , However this does give me an excuse to upgrade to Micro-Engineering track Big Grin .

3. The Train-show is 3 weeks from today and I can hardly wait! :bounce1: I am planning on getting a sound and dcc equipped engine since that is one of the most expensive parts of the layout, I will make sure to take lots of picture while I am there! :tada:

4. While waiting for the doors I figured I could make a few changes to the track-plan while I was waiting, The main difference is that I changed the scenery from forest to Industrial park, Forest scenery made it seem alot more compressed and that really annoyed me. Here is the track-plan, I have been working on it for about a month:
[Image: EspeeSwitchingLayout1.jpg?t=1288063049]
Justin Miller
Modeling the Lebanon Industrial Railway (LIRY)
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