Building a modular home layout
#1
After a long time and many attempts to come up with an acceptable track plan without too many compromises, I have now decided to start from scratch (yet again), and this time with a purely modular approach. I've decided to go with the European FREMO standard, and have spent quite some time coming up with a plan for standardized modules of equal size, albeit with some substandard modules to be used at home only (sharper curves to make it fit in my room etc).

I admit that the modular setup is somewhat restricting to the layout and track plan, especially in a space as small as mine, but I think the positives outweigh the negatives here. I still have room for two towns/stations with industrial sidings, all the modules are interchangable and can be rearranged in a different setup if/when we move to another house, and whenever I feel the need for a change, I can build a new module to replace an old one without having to throw away the old module. In addition, most of the modules can be used at FREMO meetings if I want to participate in those.

This weekend I bought materials and tools to get started on my first modules. First I cut a 12mm plywood sheet into smaller and manageable pieces, just large enough to make two end pieces from each (I bought two finished end pieces to use as templates):

[Image: 3030_w1200.jpg]

[Image: 3031_w1200.jpg]

I also cut the subroadbed and internal bracing from 12mm ply, and the long sides were cut from 9mm ply. I still have some more cutting to do before I can start assembling all the pieces, but hopefully the first couple of module frames will be finished during the Easter holidays.

Svein
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#2
Good luck !
Mike

Sent from my pocket calculator using two tin cans and a string
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#3
Svein Wrote:I admit that the modular setup is somewhat restricting to the layout and track plan, especially in a space as small as mine, but I think the positives outweigh the negatives here. I still have room for two towns/stations with industrial sidings, all the modules are interchangable and can be rearranged in a different setup if/when we move to another house, and whenever I feel the need for a change, I can build a new module to replace an old one without having to throw away the old module. In addition, most of the modules can be used at FREMO meetings if I want to participate in those.
First I cut a 12mm plywood sheet into smaller and manageable pieces, just large enough to make two end pieces from each (I bought two finished end pieces to use as templates): Svein

It's the, * being able to take part or all of a layout to something like the FREMO meetings * that got me into, and kept me into modules. When you stated, " I bought two finished end pieces to use as templates ", I thought FREMO. 357 Longer trains can be run on modules at a show, than can ever be run on the average home layout.......AND you can have a bigger audience !! Thumbsup Thumbsup 8-)
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#4
I've often thought that if I decided to rebuild my layout I would go for modules ..... I like the idea of being able to 'swap out' sections and the knowledge the layout is portable if you move house.

Please keep us posted of your progress Svein, I shall be watching with interest.

Cheers,

Kev
Such is life
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#5
It's really the flexibility of the modular system that appeals to me. I've finally accepted that I don't have the space for everything I want, at least not all at once, so building smaller modules with various design elements and key features is a nice trade-off I think.

Here's a principal drawing of what I'm thinking for my room:

[Image: nordvoll_modulbasert_05_w1200.jpg]

The outer loop along the walls are hidden track and staging, and will be fixed to the walls. The modules are sized to be stacked on top of each other and bolted together in pairs for easy transport, and consist of (from top left and around the room):

- Easement curve, radius 750mm, 22.5 degrees
- 2 straight modules, length 950mm (FREMO standard)
- Easement curve, radius 750mm, 22.5 degrees
- Curved module radius 750mm, 45 degrees
- Curved module radius 1300mm, 45 degrees (FREMO branchline standard)
- Curved module radius 750mm, 45 degrees
- Easement curve, radius 750mm, 22.5 degrees
- 2 straight modules, length 950mm (FREMO standard)
- Easement curve, radius 750mm, 22.5 degrees

The two stations in the center are only sketches, but are examples of what will fit along the upper and lower walls. Extra sections can be fitted to add more length to the passing tracks, if I want to use the stations at FREMO meetings (have to build another set of end sections in that case, as the ones drawn are not FREMO standard).

Svein
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#6
The design of a fixed portion along all the walls with staging and flexible modules for scenery parts is very unique. I like it!
Reinhard
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#7
Thanks, Reinhard. I tried a lot of different configurations before choosing this one, including both various twice-around plans and double deck plans, but no matter what I did I could never get the impression that the train actually moved from one place to the next, so I restricted myself to only one station and the surrounding scenery. With the hidden staging loop I can, as mostly solo operator, mimic somewhat realistic train movements in one town throughout any given day, and the timetable and train schedules will also reflect that.

There are only 5 staging tracks, but the two longest can hold two trains each, for a total of 7 trains during one session, which is plenty for a single operator running sequencial rather that after a fast clock. Some trains will have pickups, other set-outs, some both, and that along with some through freight and passenger trains will make for an interesting and varying session.

Svein
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#8
Since most RRs here don;t like switchbacks here's a suggestion w/o yours. Modeling Los Angeles Junction Ry & have included a Charlie Slater 1971 Switching map pf the Swift & Plywood Lead for you to see hoe it;s done here, yes there is a switchback but all industries have their own spurs. That way no cars have to be moved. And Reinhard has been here to see the LAJ! Thumbsup


   

   
Andy Jackson
Santa Fe Springs CA
ATSF/LAJ Ry Fan & Modeler
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#9
Andy; As I mentioned earlier, the two stations are only sketches to show what will fit, but I agree that the switchback isn't the best solution. Actually, the lower sketch is quite typical of a rural countryside station here in Norway, with the depot in the lower left with a short spur to a freight house next to it, and a couple of combined team tracks / log loading tracks with a small gantry crane on the other side of the main. The switchback was added just for fun, but I totally agree that your crossing is a better way to fit an extra spur in the upper left.

Svein
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#10
Svein
In Norway do they have what we call here "Track Charts"? They are really just a diagram of the tracks & other things on or around the tracks. Or do you have any aerial photos of the stations you want model that you can post here?
Andy Jackson
Santa Fe Springs CA
ATSF/LAJ Ry Fan & Modeler
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#11
Andy; For the moment I'm modeling freelance, so I'm not trying to recreate any specific station. OTOH, one station I would like to model (if/when I get the required space) is Tinnoset, one of only two stations here in Norway with a railway ferry. The line was closed down years ago, but since I'm modeling the steam era before 1960 it doesn't matter. Unfortunately this particular line was electrified from the beginning, and had no steam engines in regular service, but I would like to model it as it could have been without the catenary, and with a small engine facility and turntable instead.

Go to http://kart.finn.no/ and do a search for "Tinnoset , Notodden", click on "Hybrid" in the upper right to turn on aerial view, and there it is, complete with the ferry and everything. If you follow the lake Tinnsjø upwards along the west side, you get to the station Mæl and the other ferry connection. The map view doesn't show the tracks at Mæl though, so you have to use the Hybrid view. The line from Mæl continues on to the city of Rjukan, which played a significant role in our national WW2 history.

I have a photo album with pics from Tinnoset and Mæl, from a trip back in 2010: http://foto.mjf.no/main.php?g2_itemId=9206

The Norwegian National Rail Administration has an annual document, or "Product description" as they call it. It's available online at http://www.jernbaneverket.no/no/Marked/I...ment-2013/. When you click on the link on the right that says Network Statement 2013, you get to the index of that document. It's divided into several subcategories, and Chapter 3.6.1.2 Selected Stations is a rather large PDF file (349 pages) listing many stations with schematic drawings, track and platform lengths, and other facilities. As you scroll down, you'll see that there are plenty of small stations with only one passing siding, a couple of spurs and nothing else.

You could also do a search on the different stations in the map link above to get aerial views, as the schematics in the Network Statement are very simple.

Svein
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#12
Svein
Thanks! That's great info on what you're going to model. And it's going to be YOUR freelance MR, so you can do whatever you want!
Andy Jackson
Santa Fe Springs CA
ATSF/LAJ Ry Fan & Modeler
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#13
Yesterday I didn't get to do anything at all, but today I finished the first module frame:

[Image: 3041_w1200.jpg]

[Image: 3042_w1200.jpg]

After these pics were taken, all the corners and screw heads were spackled, so after a little sanding tomorrow it's ready for the first coat of paint. As you can see, the landscape profiles aren't decided yet, but I'll get there eventually. I'm going to build a second module frame before laying the track, so I can test both modules to make sure the track is properly aligned towards the module ends.

Svein
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#14
Svein
Take a look at this website on building & running on this modular club layout: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://s-ss3.home.mindspring.com/id2.html">http://s-ss3.home.mindspring.com/id2.html</a><!-- m -->
Note how they do the tracks at module ends. My layout is modular in case of ever having to move. May lay the tracks across edges & cut them if a move is needed.
Andy Jackson
Santa Fe Springs CA
ATSF/LAJ Ry Fan & Modeler
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#15
Using PC board ties to secure the track ends is a neat idea. I have to try that some day, but for now I'm going for the traditional way of soldering the track ends to brass screws. I've done that before on a sectional layout I built, and it worked great. Having a template for the track alignment is also a good thing to ensure it gets right every time, I'm thinking of doing something similar with my own FREMO templates, as of now they are only used to get the correct end profile.

I was getting ready to paint the module today, when I discovered a couple of details that should be in place first. So I had to do another round of gluing, screwing and spackling, and have to wait for the spackling to harden before I can sand it down and do the first coat of paint. Hopefully I'll be able to do it by the end of the day, otherwise there's a whole day extra just waiting for the paint to dry before the second coat... Wallbang

Svein
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