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Author Previous Topic: Chuck Diljaks Wyoming Valley Railroad Topic Next Topic: HTRR - Chapter 2
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MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 06/13/2009 :  01:01:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have finally decided to start this thread and share with you my experiences building my new PRR Northern Division layout. As some of you may recall, I tore down my old layout about two years ago when I decided it was time to sell my old home and move into a smaller house. (Pictures of the old layout can still be seen on my website) As painful a decision as that was, luck was with me as I found a house with a larger basement! I drove my real estate agent nuts as I was very insistent that the new house have a large, deep, dry basement! This limited my choices to some extent, but the search was well worth it! And oh, by the way, I do love the house that sits atop this basement!

The new basement is 32í by 24í. A newly built walled off area now conceals the heater/AC unit and hot water heater, and creates a storage room that will also house the staging yard. This still leaves a 32í by 18í area dedicated to the layout itself! Best of all, the basement is deep; the finished suspended ceiling will be 6í10Ē off the floor, a luxury to us taller railroaders!

Although this layout will be larger, it will incorporate the same elements as the old layout; the PRR Northern Division mainline, this time from Selinsgrove Junction to just north of Northumberland Yard, as well as three branch lines; the Wilkes-Barre line, the Shamokin Secondary track and the Selinsgrove Secondary track. It will feature interchanges with the Reading RR in Shamokin, the Lehigh Valley RR in Mount Carmel, Pa., and Wilkes-Barre, Pa., along with the Delaware & Hudson and CNJ, also in Wilkes-Barre. The biggest difference is that in addition to the foot print of the layout being nearly 50% bigger, this layout will also be double decked, so in essence, it will be almost three times the size of the last layout! While I am an operations nut, and the layout is planned for operations, I plan to better utilize that additional space for scenery and structures and avoid crowding the layout with too much track.

The lower level will be dedicated to the mainline run from north on Northumberland Yard to Selinsgrove Jct., as well as the Selinsgrove Secondary track. The second level will be dedicated to the two other branch lines; the Shamokin Secondary and the Wilkes-Barre branch, including Buttonwood Yard. Each branch line will emerge from the helix (located approximately mid-way around the layout) and run in opposing directions. Therefore, no two tracks will share the same scene. And before anyone asks me, no, I do not have a Ďtrack planí other than the one in my head. Iím great at doodling, but when it comes to an actual scale plan, well, itís in my head! Eventually I will most likely do one, and will definitely sketch areas such as the yard as I go. This is the way I build! Sorry guys, I know Iím breaking some rules here, but itís worked for me in the past so Iím going with it this time around too!

Visual progress has been slow to this point. I moved into the house in mid-January, but of course I spent a lot of time settling in. Work has been hectic, and on top of that, my son recently got married, but now with all of that out of the way, I hope to make steady progress. Bruce (SteamNut) and Rick (Harsco) have been instrumental in helping with the planning and initial construction. My first priority is to finish the basement by sheet rocking the walls of the basement and installing a suspended ceiling.
Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13060

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 06/13/2009 :  01:05:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ok, so here are some initial pictures to give you an idea of what I have to work with. The first picture is the view of the basement as you first come down the stairs. As you can see, itís a mess! Yes, on moving day, when in doubt, it went into the basement! So I have a lot of stuff to work around for now, but slowly itís getting cleaned out. Actually, most of this stuff is boxes of train stuff. In fact, you can clearly see most of the old layout laying on the floor in this first picture.



This picture is looking from one corner of the basement across to the other corner. That is where the storage room will be. You can see the furnace and hot water heater to the right. A wall will be built to seal this area off from the railroad room, creating a storage room that will also house the staging yard.



Turning slightly to the left, you are looking down the side wall of the house. A nice 32í run!



This area here will eventually house my workbench. Once the wall is built, this will be an alcove with a built in workbench.



Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13060 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 06/13/2009 :  01:10:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Work begins! On a nice cold March day, Bruce, Rick and I took a trip to Loweís, stocked up on 2x4ís and sheet rock and built the wall that will define the storage room. Actually, truth be told, Bruce and Rick built the wall. I watched!

Here, Rick looks on as Bruce begins the thinking process!



Bruce has laid down the bottom plate and 2íx4ís are going up! Iím telling you, the man is an animal! When he gets going, just stand back and donít get in his way!





By the end of the day, the wall was framed and wiring was going in.



There is nothing better than having friends that can help you out on a project like this! Next step, sheet rock! More to comeÖ


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13060 Go to Top of Page

hunter48820
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 06/13/2009 :  01:18:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Way to go Mark. I'm really happy for you finally getting goin on the next layout!!! And it really is nice to have friends ready to help. But I also know that you've been a lot of help to your buddies!! You are getting into one of the fun parts for me, dreaming and designing!! I really look forward to the updates.



Look out for #1, but don't step in #2!

Andy Keeney
Dewitt, MI

Country: USA | Posts: 6117 Go to Top of Page

nhguy
Fireman



Posted - 06/13/2009 :  01:39:15 AM  Show Profile  Visit nhguy's Homepage  Send nhguy a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Well, There you go! It is always great to take the first steps in getting the next project going. Nice to have a few friends to help to. I'm looking forward to your progress. You can certainly look at my layout construction for ideas on building a double deck layout on the link at the bottom of the page Mark. Your welcome to steal some ideas.

Bill



Bill Shanaman
New Haven RR
Hartford Division
in Colorado.

Country: USA | Posts: 4763 Go to Top of Page

Harsco
Fireman



Posted - 06/13/2009 :  06:29:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
<checking watch> Is it done yet? First ops session is scheduled for October, right? LOL... let the games begin!

I realize that the pictures can't adequately translate how it going to look, but Mark's rough, double-decker track plan is going be operationally awesome....lots of mainline running, switching, staging....it's got it all.




Country: USA | Posts: 1319 Go to Top of Page

Tyson Rayles
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 06/13/2009 :  08:44:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote






Mike

Country: USA | Posts: 12229 Go to Top of Page

shark_jj
Engine Wiper



Posted - 06/13/2009 :  09:00:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mark, looking forward to your progress reports.

John Johnston
Grand Trunk Southern

Country: Canada | Posts: 389 Go to Top of Page

Dutchman
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 06/13/2009 :  09:11:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It is great to see you guys get started on the new layout!

Bruce

Modeling the railroads of the Jersey Highlands in HO and the logging railroads of Pennsylvania in HOn3

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deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 06/13/2009 :  10:34:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's a "wish I had done that" thought: Staple plastic sheeting over the ceiling joists. That'll help control dust a lot!

Also consider running -switched- power all along the layout run, with a single switch that you can use to make sure -everything- is turned off when you leave the train room.

My brother advised that I put a wood floor in my train room. This was great advice, it's a lot easier to stand on. What I did was lay a grid of 1x2 pressure treated wood, and then put 3/4 tongue & groove plywood on top. On top of that I laid vinyl tile that looks like slate and I'm very happy with the effect.

Good luck, and please continue to post construction photos. Personally I find construction, work-in-progress photos inspiring, as they remind me that not everyone has a fully finished contest quality railroad show up instantaneously once they've completed the track plan :-)

dave



Country: USA | Posts: 6157 Go to Top of Page

Peterpools
Engineer



Posted - 06/13/2009 :  11:07:21 AM  Show Profile  Visit Peterpools's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Mark
You're on your way and the makings of a wonderful railroad. What I wouldn't give for all that space. Good luck and keep posting often.
Peter
BCT



Country: USA | Posts: 12335 Go to Top of Page

Steam Nut
Fireman



Posted - 06/13/2009 :  11:12:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well here I go again helping on yet another layout. We need another work night, The tools are getting sleepy. I guess I lost to battle on the vertical staging yard design I did meny years ago. LOL!


Country: USA | Posts: 1751 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 06/13/2009 :  5:14:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by deemery

Here's a "wish I had done that" thought: Staple plastic sheeting over the ceiling joists. That'll help control dust a lot!


Good point Dave. Actually, I'll be installing a suspended ceiling. That will go in before any of the main benchwork. I'm going for the finished room look.

quote:
Also consider running -switched- power all along the layout run, with a single switch that you can use to make sure -everything- is turned off when you leave the train room.


Also way ahead of you on this one! It's in the plan. I'm actually installing a sub-panel in the basement, with dedicated circuits to the work bench, a minimum of 2 circuits for layout lighting, and a dedicated switched circuit for the layout. All good ideas!

quote:
My brother advised that I put a wood floor in my train room. This was great advice, it's a lot easier to stand on. What I did was lay a grid of 1x2 pressure treated wood, and then put 3/4 tongue & groove plywood on top. On top of that I laid vinyl tile that looks like slate and I'm very happy with the effect.


I haven't decided what I'm doing with the floor yet. Obviously, once the bulk of the heavy work is done, it will get painted to seal it. Beyond that, I'll most likely put down carpet runners, but that one is still subject to change. Good idea on the flooring though.

quote:
Good luck, and please continue to post construction photos. Personally I find construction, work-in-progress photos inspiring, as they remind me that not everyone has a fully finished contest quality railroad show up instantaneously once they've completed the track plan :-)

dave


Thanks Dave! Yes, it will take time, especially the way I tend to drag my feet. But with Bruce and Rick on my back, and helping me, I hope the project moves a long at a constant pace.


Mark

Edited by - MarkF on 06/13/2009 6:00:33 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 13060 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 06/13/2009 :  5:16:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the comments and words of encouragement! It is fun starting a new project like this. While I was very happy with my old layout, it did have it's flaws! Yes Bruce, remember the hidden staging yard? I'll never do that again!



Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13060 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 06/13/2009 :  7:19:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a suspended ceiling in my room, and I'm sorry I did this. The ceiling tiles themselves give off dust, etc, and the suspension system lets dust filter down from above. If nothing else, I'd spray-seal (clear sealant) the ceiling tiles. When the washer dumped a load of water on this room, it was a mixed blessing. The ceiling tiles disintegrated and got crap over parts of the layout, but it was less work to relay the tiles than it would have been to redo wallboard. But to do it again, I'd do wallboard and accept the hassle/time/expense...

My train room is also the old furnace room. When we replaced the electric heat pump with a gas furnace and gas water heater, I got this really nice 60 amp line to the train room that I had broken down to power the train room, and my computer room/home office, both on separate circuits (separate from the rest of the basement) That was just dumb luck on my part. The other piece of dumb luck was that, since the room also has the hot water heater, it was really easy to install a sink. That's the best part of my room, having a sink 5 steps away from the workbench!

dave



Country: USA | Posts: 6157 Go to Top of Page

jatravia
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 06/13/2009 :  9:29:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey Mark,

I'm glad to see work has begun! I lost track of you a little - did you get the house near Ralph (which would then mean your near me)? I never know what my schedule is going to be like, and I know you have a lot of work before you get to it, but I'd be willing to help you with scenery.

Joe <><



Country: USA | Posts: 2829 Go to Top of Page
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