Gary’s been in touch with his HO scale wiring block.
“Hi Alastair…. Gary from Elmont, NY, USA, here with an interim update on my Sunnyside Yard project.
My last blog to you was that I had completed the track work for the passenger yard and was going to start planning for the engine yard.
My steps are still the same and that is to complete all the track work, switches and signals before working on any scenery.
Picture 1 that I sent was the layout plan that I designed using SCARM but that did not work out because I did not have enough room because the radius of the turn track I need to use for the long engines, GG1s, and passenger cars has to be at a minimum of 22 degrees.
I am using 24 degree as much as possible. So I had to redesign the engine yard. Picture 2 is what I designed in order to fit within the 7 foot length that I had to work with.
Nothing in these pictures is permanent and the few structures and trackside scenery are only temporary to give me some ideas on how it would look.
The tracks are laid down with temporary rail spikes. This actually worked out better than using SCARM because now I know that this design will fit.
I tested each above table switch machine to make sure they worked. I will be using Tortoise and Atlas under table switch machines for the rest of the turnouts.
Pictures 3 & 4 I will print out and use to plan my wiring for all the blocks, switches and signals.
I am not using DCC so I needed to develop induvial 13 inch blocks for each engine. If you look at PICTURE 5 closely you can see where I used insulated rail joiners to create the blocks.
All told I have 16 small 13 inch blocks; each can hold a long GG1 engine. I also will have two work trains. If you go back and look PICTURE 2, the track to the right of the GG1 in the forefront of the picture is no complete on purpose. This is a dummy track that I am going to use to have a track crew working on the rail, to connect it up.
In PICTURE 2 again, you will see the SLIP Switch in the left hand corner that I am using to give any engine the ability to access and be parked in any of the yard sidings.
PICTURE 6 is what the layout looks like right now before I start working on the electrical wiring for the engine yard.
I am leaning towards have this engine yard be its own block section with a separate power supply and have a control panel catty-corner in the layout to the passenger yard control panel.
Each block will be controlled with a DPDT toggle which will control the power to the block and the changing of the dwarf signal from RED to Green when the power is on and Green to Red when the power is off.
I know that I can use the Tortoise and Atlas switch machines be able to throw the switch and change the color of the signal indicating the direction of the turnout. I would like to also be able to control power to certain blocks when a switch is thrown. I do not know if I can throw the switch, change the signal and provide power to the block that the engine is leaving. I will be calling Circuitron to talk to their tech people to find out if that is possible and how to do the wiring.
Hooking up the power to control a block is not a problem……doing it for 16 small blocks might be a wiring nightmare?
In my last blog, I received many suggestions from many of the readers……. If anyone has suggestions on the wiring, please don’t hesitate to comment. One question….is it better to use a Power Distribution board or Terminal Blocks?
Once I complete the track work for this section, I can then start on the scenery and figures for the engine yard. I am planning a two stall engine house with maintenance crews; a track crew working on completing a section of track; a road maintenance crew; some maintenance sheds and maintenance crews. Then I will go back to the passenger yard.
Am I crazy doing this because I love it. But I think I am going to be here a long time.
Keep you posted and I love reading and looking at all your layouts.
A huge thanks to Gary for sharing his HO scale wiring block. If you can help out with his questions, please do leave a comment below.
It’s so wonderful seeing all your layouts take shape from the very beginning – especially with a good narrative too. And I know it inspires a lot of readers too, so please do keep ’em coming.
That’s all for today folks.
Please do keep ’em coming.
And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.
PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.