As always thanks for all you have done to keep us all informed of the layouts from many different people around the world.
A few years ago, a good friend passed away. He not only had multiple train layouts (in Pennsylvania in the summer and Florida in the winter) but he was a collector of trains.
The fall of last year his wife put all the O scale trains into an auction. I decided to bid on a few items and won some. To my surprise I got more then I bargained on.
At the time I had my HO layout. And I had put together an O scale layout to run a Rail King 2-6-0 engine.
This runs on a 32-inch radius curve. Here is the layout that I had at the time. The U-shaped layout (18 inches from the floor, future plans on HO above the O scale at 43 inches) in green was the O scale that was running and working on the scenery. The inside was the HO scale layout.
The items that I bid on showed the items but with a white background. So, there was no reference to size. That included when I went on line to see their typical cost as a reference to know how much to bid. The engine that I had ran on the 32-inch curves and was a 2-6-0 engine with coal car that is seventeen inches long.
I bid on two engines that were 4-6-2 that turned out to be 21 inches long. I picked them up at 30 percent of full price. These ended up taking a 45-inch radius curve.
So, this blew my initial O scale layout out of the water. I also picked up two engines with coal cars (one 4-8-4 and one claimed to be the Mattak at 2-6-6-2) at 35 percent of cost. Both of these takes a 54-inch radius curve (groan) at 27 inches long.
I also picked up the ‘Greenbrier’ at 25 percent of cost (purchase at dealer is $1,200) which is 2-6-6-6 and turns out to be 31 inches long (double groan). Great deals but my present layout cannot handle these three. The second picture shows the size differences.
I decided it was time for a major change. Trash the HO scale and save as much as possible. Upgrade the O scale to handle the all the engines.
I managed to save and clean up all the HO track. Save the building, trees, autos, etc. into storage from the town, mountain, farm, Ren Faire, and six level double track double helix.
Then using ‘AnyRail 6’ to design the following layout (picture # 3). Notice the addition between the original U shape layout. The inside track is the 32 inch radius. The next three tracks are 45-inch, 54-inch and 72-inch radius respectively.
The initial O scale uses three rail ‘ROSS’ tracks. I ordered all the rest of the track a little at a time from my local dealer ‘Rail Tales’. Got some in but with the pandemic and Ross being shut down and some workers having the virus they are now working on back orders (been waiting for a couple of months).
The next four pictures displays where I am at the present. No permanent building placement or scenery until the track is powered up and the trains run with 95 percent of the problems taken care of.
The O scale is 18 inches off the floor, so no working under the layout. My understanding is I need one transformer for each track. Have designed the control console but not built it yet. But the electrical layout I put together. The terminal board connections on the back of the control console are displayed next. One terminal board for each track. And due to the length of the bus lines I split the lines into four directions.
I was told I need feeder lines about every 8 to 10 feet. ROSS has track that have electrical connections, no soldering needed – yippee. With this data I can set up terminal blocks at every feeder connection point. Schematic displayed.
Using an extra tall facia board, I installed ‘split wire loom flex tubing cable conduit’ and terminal boards on the outside of the track.
The upper conduit will carry the 32- and 45-inch track bus wire. The middle conduit will carry the 54- and 72-inch track bus wire.
The bottom conduit will carry building lights when I get around to it. The facia board with cabling and feeder wire terminal boards is now displayed.
The feeder wires are connected in the picture.
The bus wire is gauge 10 solid (less magnetic hysteresis and lower resistance per linear foot but not very flexible) and the feeder wires are 19-gauge multiple flexible strands. A hole is drilled at each electrical track connections to feed the wires down and easily pulled to the front of the layout.
The length of each individual track comes out to roughly 1328 inches or just under 111 feet.
Is my math correct – –
actual inches = (1328 inches / X) = 2.4 track inches / (12 inches * 10 feet) = 66,400
then actual miles = (66400 actual inches / 12 inches) / 5280 feet = 12.6 miles.
A big thanks to Lawrence for sharing this project – I can’t wait to see this one progress.
That’s all for today folks.
Please do keep ’em coming.
And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if you’re are missing out on all the fun.
PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here. Still updated everyday.