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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Jeff Compton Posted - 02/06/2017 : 11:46:34 AM
I'm in the process of building a new layout. My previous layout started about 25 years ago and was only about 25% completed when a flood sent all of it to the curb. Then as most of us have experienced, life happens as the kids got older and the time for starting another one was replaced by other things. Life changes, a new house and I now the time to work on a new layout. My youngest daughter has two sons with another on the way and as all young boys seem to be at this age, they love trains. So grandpa has decided to quit sitting around thinking about building a layout and to get up and start! An added incentive has been that my son-in-law's father had a layout when my son-in-law was young and he has fond memories of that layout. His dad has since passed away and I felt it was fitting to build this layout for his grandsons too. I'll try to post pictures in my next thread!
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
jbvb Posted - 09/06/2017 : 12:28:29 PM
RR-Line was in fact broken by an attack earlier this week. The messages it gives when a picture is too big (more than 800 pixels wide) or has a name RR-Line can't digest (stick to alphabet and digits to be safe) is not very clear. There are tutorials.

Glad to hear about the progress, and that you like your control panels. Regarding the 2-6-0, can you view what happens to the wheels from track level? If the locations are awkward, another forum member had success making a 'slow motion' phone video to diagnose a problem.
Jeff Compton Posted - 09/06/2017 : 10:37:44 AM
Finally got all the wiring issues/shorts resolved and trains are running! Thanks to the forum members who helped with issues I ran into with the wiring.
I am having trouble posting pictures on the progress (I keep getting a message that the web page is either under maintenance or has a web page error) but I have installed the Barrett Hill touch toggles to my switch machines and have made three control panels for the layout. They are very easy to install and there is no soldering involved. The toggles are working quite nicely and I like the red/green visual of whether a switch is thrown or not.
Running trains and making sure I have no track problems before ballasting. The diesels run fine but I have a 2-6-0 who's front trucks derail at a couple of places which I am trying to rectify.
Jeff Compton Posted - 05/02/2017 : 3:53:43 PM
Thanks Mark and Louis. The wiring process is slow but I hope to get it done in the next few weeks. Soldering is still my Achilles Heel but I keep plugging away. I plan on running trains a lot before any ballast or other scenery begins. I'm sure there will be issues that will need to be addressed!

MarkF Posted - 05/02/2017 : 2:20:49 PM
Great progress Jeff! Your taking the right approach; finish up the wiring and get trains rolling. First, as Louis implied, it's nice to sometimes just run something to take the boredom out of some of the projects down the road, but just as important, you should run it a lot in order to find any issues that may arise or changes you might want to make. It's easier to do it now than later.
desertdrover Posted - 05/02/2017 : 09:42:01 AM
Things appear to be going along nicely for you Jeff. If you think your soldering skills leave much to be desired, then you will find it doesn't take long to sharpen them up after doing any kind of railroad modeling.
It's always nice when you get to the ability to run trains as you continue to build the layout, it just seems to make things more interesting, and takes the boredom out of just building.
robchant Posted - 05/02/2017 : 04:45:08 AM
Hi Jeff,

It's really starting to take shape, and is coming together very good. Nice watching your progress.

Take care,
Jeff Compton Posted - 05/01/2017 : 6:49:32 PM

This is the picture in the link that won't open!
Jeff Compton Posted - 05/01/2017 : 6:46:55 PM

http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/data/Jeff Compton/201751183044_IMG_2974.JPG[/img'

I finally finished putting down the risers and roadbed. I ran the bus wires underneath the layout and put male/female connectors between the different modules so it will be easier to dismantle and move. I am now in the process of soldering feeders wires to the various switches. There are two areas where there are 3-4 switches in the same area so I cut that area out. It makes it a lot easier to wire and solder. My soldering skills leave much to be desired but I seem to be making good joints between the wires and the track. Slowly but surely the layout is starting to take place. I am looking forward to getting some trains up and running!
Jeff Compton Posted - 03/12/2017 : 3:02:25 PM
Thanks Louis! I have read enough posts on this forum to really understand your comment about getting the track work right. That's probably the biggest reason I am taking my time with this first step. I hope the Woodland Scenics risers will help with easy transitions between elevations. I also have the FastTracks sweepsticks which really help making smooth curves. With a trip coming up soon to the warmer climate of Florida, I won't be making much progress until April but I hope to get all the roadbed down by the end of April.
desertdrover Posted - 03/12/2017 : 11:31:29 AM
Originally posted by Jeff Compton

There is actually some progress on the layout. I continue to get a little overwhelmed at times, not wanting to make too many mistakes which impedes the progress. I finally got to a point where I needed to get some roadbed down. As you can see, I am using the Woodland Scenics risers and roadbed. I hope to continue the progress along the back wall this week.

That is some nice progress going on there Jeff! Don't let yourself get overwhelmed, but do take the time to plan your track work and get it right, because there is nothing worse than have bad track and never enjoying the layout. Scenery and other stuff can get by with hit and miss, but once the track work is down and in working order, everything else will fall into place fast, and move right along. So you are moving with the right ideas, and at the right speed here. Nice job!
Jeff Compton Posted - 03/12/2017 : 10:54:58 AM
David - I have read that as well. There was an article on using double-sided foam tape to secure the wood to the foam. The author has used this for around 5 years and has had no problems yet so that is the method I believe I will attempt. I am using 1 1/2" foam so I have some longer, sturdier piano wire to run form the switch machines to the switches.
Mark - That is what I have to get telling myself so I can continue to move forward. I need to get to the point where I can begin wiring the layout and getting trains running. I think that will be the best way to see how things are working and if I need to make any changes though Rob provided me with a design that fits well with the are I have.
I appreciate the input from both of you!
MarkF Posted - 03/11/2017 : 10:54:21 PM
Great progress Jeff, but don't be afraid to make mistakes. You will, and that's ok. It's how we learn. Believe me, we all make mistakes! Better than that though is down the road, when things get running, you will see something and come up with a different way to do it. For example, you make decide that a turnout should be moved, or wish you had run a certain track a different way. Don't be afraid to make those changes as it will improve your layout and your level of satisfaction. Its not a mistake, but rather an improvement. So changes are in your future and that's ok! Just keep building and have fun!
David Clark Posted - 03/11/2017 : 6:28:52 PM
Jeff, from what I have seen on foam substrate you need to insert a piece of wood into a well in the foam that you can then screw the switch machine to. Pretty easy to find similar ideas on the net. I was thinking of using foam at one point then switched to open-grid system with risers. That was mostly due to having more familiarity with open-grid. I am sure any obstacles can be overcome.
Good luck,
Jeff Compton Posted - 03/11/2017 : 3:28:37 PM
There is actually some progress on the layout. I continue to get a little overwhelmed at times, not wanting to make too many mistakes which impedes the progress. I finally got to a point where I needed to get some roadbed down. As you can see, I am using the Woodland Scenics risers and roadbed. I hope to continue the progress along the back wall this week.
Jeff Compton Posted - 02/14/2017 : 09:05:43 AM
James - Thanks for checking in and the suggestions. All the sections are bolted together and so they can be easily separated if the layout needs to be moved. I also bolted part of it to the wall so it is pretty solid and secure. I am planning on using the Woodland Scenics foam risers to create the grades. Great suggestion on the foam. I'm going to try not to plant one solid piece of foam on top of another, especially where I have to install those switches. I'm going to have to do a little research on securing those Tortoise machines to foam!

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