There are quite a few Santa Fe model railroad layouts about.
But Jim’s really caught my attention – it’s quite a project.
Here’s his last post on his 11×22 HO scale.
His pics below really do give you an idea of how big his layout is.
“I really enjoy watching trains run.
It all started many years ago when on Christmas morning I woke up to find a Marx train running on a loop of track under our Christmas tree.
Like many other guys guys on this forum I was hooked on trains at an early age.
I am now in my 70’s and still get a great deal of pleasure just watching ‘em run.
I choose PMD of Romeoville, Illinois to build my layout. I consider myself very lucky to have this crew just 25 miles from my house.
I had been in contact with PMD for 7 month before the actual build started.
They were in the final stages of a HO layout for a client on the west coast and I needed that project to wrap up before they could start mine. That was fine, as I got to view that layout with 95% of the scenery in place. Seeing this helped me make up my mind that PMD was right for me.
My build started on December and I expected delivery at the end of September / early October. I have taken several pictures of the process and will start posting them below.
For now, I will list some facts about the build and post a reasonable facsimile of the track plan.
Yes, my layout is a loop. Actually two loops. This allows me to sit back, relax and let them run in opposite directions if I choose or in the same direction depending on my mood.
1. The layout is HO.
2. Outside dimensions 22’ x 11’
3. ALL track is Peco code 83
4. ALL turnouts are Peco #8’s – none are manual.
5. Each main line is divided 10 blocks.
6. Each yard track is divided into 2 blocks.
7. My plan is to use TrainController to automate the entire layout, with the option of each main line manually when my train buddies are over.
8. Every mainline curve has easements into and out of the curve and is super elevated.
9. Every elevation change also uses an easement at the base and summit.
10. Signaling, while not prototypical will be installed along each main to provide “eye candy”.
11.A lift gate on the left side (with a gas piston installed) will allow easy access into the layout for operators.
I will start by posting a picture from one of my early visits to PMD. This picture is from a layout that they were building for a client on the West Coast.
I will be having a good size passenger station as one of the main scenes on my layout. It will serve the complete 12-car EL Capitan set that Walther’s released about five years ago. I also have a complete Super Chief set which will stop on the other side of the platform.
Seeing the great detail in and around this fine passenger station made my decision to go with PMD a lot easier. For that reason, I call this one the money shot.
The Passenger station from another angle.
After an initial review and agreement of my track plan I made a small deposit to show PMD that I am truly interested in their services. They use their design software to calculate material cost and plot the layout incorporating the easements how best to construct and size each section for transporting and assembling the finished product.
Part of the next phase includes building a small-scale mock-up to aid in visualizing the layout in 3 dimensions. (I got to keep this when the layout was delivered)
In March I went to check the progress on my build and was amazed to find that they were using 13-ply Birch for the sub-roadbed, risers, and cross members, basically EVERYTHING
In addition, I had requested that the front corners be rounded using 24″ radius corners. This would all but eliminate guys banging into the corners. Here is how they did that.
The back of the layout will be fastened to a wall so they will be normal 90-degree corners.
The gap in the foreground is where the lift gate will be installed. The left side of the picture is the back of the layout and it will be attached to my basement wall.
The long stretch on the right is the front of the layout. In the foreground is the gate gap.
From this second-floor balcony, I was able to capture the whole layout.
This is the Central Valley double-track Heavy Duty Truss Bridge. This was built from a kit and will be mildly weathered before final installation. The bridge will cross over the double track main line, just as the lower tracks are crossing over a river. This scene will be one of three major focal points. Many more details (besides the weathering) will be added before delivery
Next is the early stages of a small (Veteran’s Park) scene that will be near the center of a small town shopping and entertainment area.
The lumber yard / building supply business is the only industry with a service spur.
Custom made signage at the entry point.
Jeff is my son, he works for a major lumber supply company in the Chicago area. In later posts, you will see businesses and shops featuring other family names based on their occupation or talents.
That’s it for now. My next post will show you the technics PMD uses to simplify wiring.
For now, I will close with a short video of the test run.
A huge big thanks to Jim. I love a back story.
If you missd his last post, it’s here.
That’s it for today’s missive.
Please do keep ’em coming because I enjoy them as much as you do.
And if today is the day you press the button on your very own layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.