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 Eastern Shore Railroad in N Gauge; Take 2
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Author Previous Topic: Help with z scale track Topic Next Topic: DPM Corner Apothecary - (another) Kitbash
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Grubes
Crew Chief



Posted - 05/03/2015 :  10:17:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A move from NJ to Texas has given me the opportunity to start over and again create a model railroad based on the Delaware, Maryland, Virginia (DELMARVA) peninsula (or Easter Shore) short line formerly known as the Eastern Shore Railroad (ESHR).

This will be my 3rd try at an ESHR themed layout; the first was in N scale and the second in HO, both of which Iíve described here (Threads: Eastern Shore Railroad in N Gauge and Eastern Shore Railroad in HO respectively). I have a lot less space than in the past and this time around I'll try to grab the flavor of the DELMARVA railroad instead of trying to reproduce some of the actual sites.

I have an 18" x 11' shelf in a spare bedroom as my limitation. Attached is my track plan although I've made some very small modifications since to allow for more scenery.

I'm not sure if I'll be able to expand around the room in the future, and even if this becomes possible, there are a lot of doors, windows and closets taking up wall space (See diagram below).

The focus of the layout will be Willis Wharf; an actual small coastal town on the Eastern Shore just east of Exmore, Viriginia. The ESHR never touched Willis Wharf, but the town has the atmosphere that I associate with the area. This also gives me the opportunity to break away from my past obsession of accurately modeling the prototype and create a a visually and operationally interesting track plan in the small space available.

I'll be hand-laying Code 40 rail and use my experiences from the first Eastern Shore in N to prevent many of my past frustrations. I won't be laying tie plates like on my first layout, but will have scale rail joiners every as I'm a bit obsessive with realistic looking rail especially N gauge.

Here are some pictures of the layout concept.















Due to my work requirements and other obligations, I expect this to take a while even on a layout this small. I think that's one of the lessons of my previous layout; don't rush it, get it right the first time.

I have made some progress that I'll describe in my next posting (see first switch of new railroad picture below.) I'll also describe my disastrous start. Fortunately, that's behind me.

Hope you'll follow along.

Dave







Country: USA | Posts: 534

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 05/03/2015 :  10:26:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I followed along before, and will again. I know building is fun, but I hope you get some of the "finishing" and "running" fun too this time.


Country: USA | Posts: 5199 Go to Top of Page

Steam Nut
Fireman



Posted - 05/04/2015 :  07:13:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave, Nice to see that you are back at it again. I will be watching.


Country: USA | Posts: 1754 Go to Top of Page

Tyson Rayles
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 05/04/2015 :  07:32:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'll be following as well, good to see you back at it!

Mike

Country: USA | Posts: 12408 Go to Top of Page

Dutchman
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 05/04/2015 :  08:51:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It is good to see version 3 taking shape, Dave.

I know that area well. We often stayed at a motel in Exmore (or Onley) on the way to or from our shore house in N.C. when we had it.


Bruce

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

Country: USA | Posts: 29908 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 05/04/2015 :  11:40:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave! It's good to hear from you again. Handlaying N scale track! WOW! Knowing what you've done in the past, you know I'll be following along.

Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13362 Go to Top of Page

Harsco
Fireman



Posted - 05/05/2015 :  9:35:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just subscribed...good luck, Dave!


Country: USA | Posts: 1320 Go to Top of Page

Grubes
Crew Chief



Posted - 05/09/2015 :  09:21:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sometimes good things come from disasters

My shelf layout is mounted on top of 2 Ikea bookcases (this can be seen in a photo below). I was progressing when a self induced earthquake occurred. One of the bookcases had worked it's way loose from the wall resulting in twisted rail, mangled switches and torn wires. Fortunately damage other than the layout was minimal with the exception of my ego as I'd thought I'd mounted the bookcases the right way.

I declared the area a disaster zone, however, FEMA refused to reimburse me so I was forced to undertake the repairs on my own. I did so by starting over for a few reasons:
1. I was starting to make some of the errors on this layout that had frustrated me in the past.
2. I started this version using foam roadbed. I've found that the susceptibility to solvents and heat from a soldering iron causes flawed track work when using Code 40 rail.
3. I also was not sanding my ties which contributed to less than optimum track work.
4. Finally, I wasn't convinced that the layout design would provide me enough switching interest in the long run. (The track diagram in my previous post is the current diagram, not the diagram of the original layout).

So I started over again to much more satisfying results.Techniques that helped included:

1. building and testing mini-sections of track work on my desk prior to placing it on the benchwork
2. Laying ties directly on styrene with the exception of the raised mainline that is on cork instead of foam
3. Sanding the ties before laying rail
4. Not using rail joiners (even N gauge joiners can cause wheels to ride up on Code 40 rail.
5. Not painting rails prior to any soldering or gluing so that the paint does not prevent good seals and bonds.
6. Constructing the throwbars of turnouts so that stress and torque on soldered joints is minimized.
7. Not drilling holes for tortoise machine wires through the throw bars (the thinness of the ties, the width of the receiving hole in the ties, and the stress on the throwbar resulted in broken thowbars in my last layout.)

Happy to say that all track is now down and wired. Working through trouble spots and fortunately have few.

Pictures below show original layout with foam and rail joiners, new layout (ties not stained) and turnout switch points.















Country: USA | Posts: 534 Go to Top of Page

Grubes
Crew Chief



Posted - 05/09/2015 :  09:22:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
...... and thanks to all for your replies.


Country: USA | Posts: 534 Go to Top of Page

Tyson Rayles
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 05/10/2015 :  07:34:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sorry to hear about your mini earthquake, but good to hear things are going forward again.

Mike

Country: USA | Posts: 12408 Go to Top of Page

George D
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 05/10/2015 :  08:14:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice looking trackwork, Dave. Handlaying in N scale is impressive.

George



Country: USA | Posts: 13932 Go to Top of Page

coosvalley
New Hire

Posted - 05/11/2015 :  10:17:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice looking track!!!


Country: | Posts: 3 Go to Top of Page

Grubes
Crew Chief



Posted - 05/12/2015 :  9:54:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Tyson/George/Coos, thanks for the notes.

I'm adding two pictures of the, mostly completed, track work. I still have the bridge and small curve on the far left to complete.

There are some minor changes from my original track plan. Although I'd originally had two tracks next to the pier on the right side, I've removed one of them to make room for more scenery. As originally designed, I was going to put some inter-coastal freighters pier side. But if you look at my original photos, you can see that the layout looked more like a bigger city port than a remote shore harbor. By taking away the track, I've sloped the shoreline to better match the photos I'd taken at Willis Wharf.

I saw an immediate difference and the atmosphere is beginning to look more like what I'd imagined. This might change some operations and freight requirements, but I'm happier with the change.

Have actually done some switching problems and things seem to be working smoothly. My biggest issue is the Kadee magnetic coupling sometimes not working on the first pass. I also had some Exactrail boxcars that are very nice, but they use a metal weight that is magnetic which I can;t remove and is incompatible with under-rail magnets. I've been able to eliminate derailments and electrical problems, but will operate a bit more prior to adding scenery.













Country: USA | Posts: 534 Go to Top of Page

Tyson Rayles
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 05/13/2015 :  06:45:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Removing track to make room form scenery is always a good idea . After a ops session on my layout I asked my friends (with their backs to the layout so they couldn't look) how many switches were on the layout. They guessed 18 and 20, when I told them there were only 8 they didn't believe me and went and counted them as they were sure three people couldn't be kept busy for almost 2 hours on only eight switches (and there are no switching puzzles/timesaver gimmicks). Most layouts have way too many switches and too much track which hurts the scenery and therefore the believability of the layout.

Mike

Country: USA | Posts: 12408 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 05/13/2015 :  09:20:42 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Can you get at the underside of your foam base? HO scale modelers have worked out a number of ways of hinging Kadee #308 magnets. In N on foam, I wonder if a simple "whack-a-mole" lever could raise/lower high-field-strength disc magnets and do the job?


Country: USA | Posts: 5199 Go to Top of Page

adrian_batey
Fireman

Posted - 05/13/2015 :  6:35:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit adrian_batey's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Layouts looking great and ive always liked seeing your habd laid track. Nice work


Country: Australia | Posts: 1236 Go to Top of Page
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