Starting with an apology today.
A short while ago, Gary sent in this wonderful post.
He responded to all your comments, but in the blizzard of emails I get most days, Gary’s response fell through the cracks and got buried in my inbox.
Sorry about that.
Fortunately, while I was looking for something else, I stumbled across it. So here it is:
“Hi Alastair…… thank you for giving me this opportunity to thank you and all the guys that responded to my blog and pictures on my Sunnyside Yard project.
I do not know the right words to express how I feel after seeing the number of responses that were posted, the suggestions and positive views on what I have done so far. I do not think I am a sentimental guy but WOW, FLABBERGASTED, TOUCHED…….. I don’t know the right word…..THANK YOU ALL.
I asked Alastair how I could respond to your questions and he said to put this blog together and he would post it.
So here it goes…… I am going to list by subjects that you commented on:
I agree with all of you that the wiring got out of hand. I did label each of the connections. I have two transformers; one for A/C and one for D/C each going to a Power Distribution Board. From there, I have 4 D/C buss’s and 3 A/C buss’s.
So far, the D/C buss’s I have are used only for track power and running the engines and one undertrack uncoupler by Railcrew.
The A/C buss’s feeds the power for the signals, switches and lights and future power needed for scenery. The wiring started out organized but when I started having the signals work in conjunction with the switches that’s when it got crowed. I also have wiring for the 4 blocks that are on the layout. Right now I have 20 switches (turnouts) and 15 signals. Each switch (turnout) has 3 wires that have to run from the switch machine to the switch controller.
I haven’t connected signals to all the switches yet. I bought a terminal switch but I did not know how to use it to cut down on the amount of wiring. You still have to run wire to the connectors and controllers.
The engine yard is going to add more so I am thinking of having the engine yard have its own power source. I have to figure out where to locate it. I am going to have many small blocks with signals that will store the engines.
One of you gave me some good advice on how to avoid a “RAT’s NEST”. I am going to look into these “Brady” markers as they are called. I haven’t run into a “ground Loop” problem because I have separate power supply for the lights and trains.
I am also going to take your suggestion and run separate A/C lines for the different accessories (street lights, housing lights, signals, etc.).
For the Electrical Engineer, I hope your ankle heels. As for the lump that was found being non-benign; my prayers are with you and I hope the biopsy is negative. Right now I am in remission from my Lymph Node cancer. Went through 8 months of chemotherapy; still have a few side effects remaining but I am doing OK. Enough of that, let’s get back to model railroading.
Another gentleman wrote about “solder tag strips for wiring and bundle them into “looms” for your future sanity”? What’s a LOOM? I will investigate that.
SIZE OF LAYOUT & CENTER OF LAYOUT
The layout table 9 feet long and 7 feet wide.
It originally was going to be 11 feet by 10 feet but I was concerned about getting to the center of the layout. So I decided to make it smaller and I have area around the whole layout to walk around. I purposely did not build the table into a corner or against a wall and I measured my arm span to make sure I could reach into the center of the layout. I have provided a picture of the main portion of Sunnyside Yards:
It’s not the whole yard. Not shown, the bottom left hand corner leads into the Long Island Railroad Freight yard and to the right there are actually 31 passenger tracks not shown and then east of that was a smaller freight yard where the post office was, also not shown.
This picture is the basis for my layout but it won’t look exactly like this. If you look closely will see the passenger yard to the right of the center buildings, then there are the buildings (commissary building, and power supply buildings); behind the buildings you will see parking lot and cars and a street going up a ramp (I am not doing that) and right next to the smokestack on the right you will see the two stall engine house (I will have to make this from scratch because of the shape) and the left hand corner in front of the buildings is the engine yard.
This is the basis for my layout but it will not look exactly like this. In the center of my layout will be these buildings, so once they are in place, I should not have to worry about reaching over. My plan after all the track and signals are installed is for me to measure the center area and build this portion outside the layout. When done, fit it in and lay it down in that area.
I have started out using SPST (single pole single throw) toggles for changing the signal lights. Then I started using the Snap Relay by Atlas for that and now I am going to use the Tortoise and or the Atlas Deluxe under table switch for throwing the turnout and changing the signal color.
I also use a DPDT (double pole double throw) toggles to turn power on & off to a block while also changing the signal color at the same time. I will continue to us DPDT because you can control both D/C and A/C current with the one switch.
I don’t know what a Pulse Controller is but I will look it up. What did you mean by “slow speed running”?
Gentlemen……. thank you…… like one of you said…”…all the frustration evaporated….” when I read your post and compliments and suggestions.
I will be starting on the engine yard tomorrow. I don’t think my layout will look as good as some of the model railroads you guys put up that Alastair shows, BUT IT WILL BE FUN.
Oh and I also ordered Alastair’s Beginner book.
Gary of Elmont”
A huge thanks to Gary – another wonderful post. What I like most about it is it always comes back to the most important point – having fun.
That’s all for today folks.
Please do keep ’em coming. And if you want to get cracking on your layout like, Gary, the Beginner’s Guide is here.