Dave’s track work

In this missive, Dave’s been busy on his track work, and Paul has a novel idea to find some space for his layout:

“Hi Alistair,

A common theme of the emails is finding space, and there’s been a huge amount of ingenuity in finding it from the community.

In apartments, the options for a decent sized layout are limited. I have a spare bedroom which doesn’t get used a huge amount, but I don’t want to lose it completely. I’m thinking of solving the issue with a “Loft Bed”. Various places sell them, but this one from IKEA (other vendors are available) has a double sized upper bunk, and a lot of space underneath.

It strikes me I could have quite a decent sized layout by boarding over the supporting battens (and possibly extending beyond), and conceal all the assorted paraphernalia that accompanies model railways under the board.

I’ve taken the plunge and ordered one. I’ll let you know how I get on.

CAVEAT: Although it’s a double sized bunk, the internet informs me that weight limitations mean it’s only suitable for one person, so anyone thinking of replacing the marital bed should proceed with caution…


“Hi Al, just uploaded this update on the track work, after things went wrong with that incline, and a few other problems, I decided to scrap the idea, and now re designed all that area, the track is now laid.

I have shown adding the droppers and soldering them, then did a test run with the Loco that gave me the most problems with the incline, and low and behold… fingers kept crossed, it’s all running good… all the ballasting and scenics next to be added…



Very latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

That’s all for today because I’m in a screaming hurry.

And don’t forget, if you want to join in with the fun, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



12 Responses to Dave’s track work

  1. Andrew Moult says:

    Nice one Dave, I’m in the process of putting in an incline on a half figure of eight I’ve moved my layout into the bedroom as an L shape and like you I’ve still got lots of work to do. I’m also putting droppers in and the main bus. Happy modelling

  2. Inclines are the bane of my (model railroading) existence. I keep deciding to “go flat”, then see an opportunity for some interesting operations if there was elevation, and I am right back into it….

  3. Merl Fisher says:

    put train on lower bed and cable and pulley the uper. that way you can lower the bed when you need it

  4. Fred Sutton says:

    Hi Al,

    I have been following your blog for several years and it is always interesting. My layout is overhead and very simple. Unfortunately, it is G scale. I like your printable structures but wish they were my scale.

    Keep up the excellent blog.

  5. Eric says:

    Hi Dave. pity about the incline, I don’t think having a flat layout is as much fun without an incline or three, at least you have kept one. Time to move to N gauge imagine the layout you could have then with all that space and plenty of room for a dozen inclines 🙂 Great work as always from the master.
    Happy Modelling
    Eric (Leeds) UK

  6. nice work Dave….
    hey Fred…there IS a % scale to make G scale copies of the structures….
    Im not sure what it is tho……
    maybe Al can help out here….
    keep em runnin fellas
    stjohn in long beach calif

  7. Keith Miller says:

    Dave you are amazing! You have a layout others can only dream about, then you rip it up and start again! Keeps you young I am sure – and it is great for us to see. I was wondering about the flux you use – Bakers fluid no 3. It is listed as acidic and corrosive. It is recommended to wash it off after the joint has cooled. I am guessing you can’t do that, so do you have any problems with corrosion of the rail or wire after a period of time?

    Just realised – of course you don’t- you rip it up and start something fresh before anything can go wrong! Thanks for sharing. Dustyk UK.

  8. Colin says:

    Very good mods Dave. I for one did not think the incline was an improvement to your layout. Of course it wasn’t detailed fully but the actual angle looked very steep and it looked very crowded. The new layout looks great. I love the slow curves that you have achieved and it goes a long way to produce a realistic curve rather than the tight ones that we area all use to because of space limitations. Cant wait to see it detailed.

  9. Rod Mackay says:

    Nice job Dave, but I should miss having sidings you reverse into, it was a big part of traditional operations. At Barry a train from the power station to be put away in the yard (which happened a few times most days) had to stop in the station to pick up the shunter, who gave the driver a radio, stop again at the yard points to let him off again, draw forward clear of the points, the shunter would wait til I had a gap in the down line traffic and could get the route set and signals off, then call the driver back on the radio, across the down main and into the headshunt, and the speed some Barry drivers got up to propelling 35 empty hoppers into the rather tatty sidings would have my heart in my mouth on occasion. An interesting exercise in timing, you had to know how long this would take to fit it in between the 20 minute each way passenger schedule, and ‘how long’ was often a function of ‘who’s on?’ Once every track is a loop line, driving becomes just ‘pull in and stop’, half the fun gone, just like that.

  10. dangerous dave says:

    Thanks all for comments , the work begins now with the ballasting and all scenics to be added , along with a lot of wiring to be done for lights etc …
    As for the Bakers liquid flux , I have not had a problem Dustyk , as you say though I done give it chance to corrode the tracks , but seriously been using for about 5 years now and not a problem , I do paint the tracks with track grime and rust …maybe that helps ……Dangerous Dave

  11. ROBERT K SCHWORM says:


    sorry about the incline problem. It appears to me that it might be a wee over 2%. Prototypical trains would run 1 to 2 %. i built a helix at 3.3% and the engine by itself would not climb it. I tore it out and put in a incline at 2%…shot it with a laser.

    An engine loses up to half its pulling power on an incline up a sharp curve so has to be very broad.

    I have a 400 inch incline at 2% rising up to 8 inches to a reversing loop. then Down to the start and on the flat again to another reversing loop under the other one. Gives me about 125 feet of run before starting over. Best of luck.


  12. Alan Batcheldor says:

    Nice going Dave. One day I will get the time to spend on mine but with grand children in one direction and an elderly mother in the other time is short!

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