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Progress Report : The Megill River System In On30

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  • Progress Report : The Megill River System In On30

    At the end of September, my family moved into a larger house, as the kids were growing, and I was seriously chafing at the bit for a dedicated train room. Well, the gods smiled upon us, and we found a perfect place out in the country.[:-bouncy] 3 1/2 acres meant that our resident petting zoo could come along, and the house had a 15 by 20 foot finished (train) room.

    After all the moving hullabaloo, work on the new layout started. I had a few ideas of what I wanted. No duckunder, as my back was still complaining from the last layout, and I'm not getting any younger, thinner, or more agile.

    Here's a shot of the room I had to work with.

    I built the first section of the layout frame from 1 by 4 pine, and laid it out on the floor.

    Once I'd made sure that my measurements were correct, and that the access door could be opened and closed, I built the feet from 2 by 4 pine for the rear, and 2 by 6 pine for the front.

    At that point, I glued 2 inch thick blue styrofoam to the framework with a latex-based caulk, and weighted the whole thing down with hardcover books.

  • #2
    ...Oops! Here's the styro and books.

    I put down track to represent a rough trackplan idea, mainly due to the fact that I'm abysmally terrible at actually sketching things out properly. I had a rough idea of what I wanted...a small locomotive servicing area, with water and coal towers, a sanding shed, and an ashpit along one section of track. I also wanted a small yard, and a turntable, with a three or four stall enginehouse. There was to be a return loop going around the whole section. Here's what I ended up with.


    • #3
      Okay! Time to start putting down track. Here's what I'm doing. I am handlaying hand-cut 3/16 inch square basswood ties, and spiking code 83 rail to them. I started with the outer line of track, the return loop...with flat latex paint covering the styrofoam. Here are some of the ties glued down with yellow carpenter's glue.

      After the glue had dried, these babies were on really solidly! I sanded the tops gently, not to get them perfectly even, but just to eliminate any really bad height differences, which there actually weren't, anyway. I then stained the ties with Minwax Walnut stain, after testing it on a scrap piece of foam to make sure that it wouldn't eat the styrofoam base. I did not see it do so at all, and I have the added protection of a layer of latex paint, too. Here's what they looked like.

      Next, it was time to lay the rail, and spike. Someone gave me a wonderful tip when I first started, and that was to leave a few HO ties on the track as rough gauge spacers, which are later removed as tracklaying progresses. Here is a picture that shows what I used to spike the track,as well as some of the HO ties still in place.

      More follows...


      • #4
        That is the basis of how my trackwork is done. Now, is the tedious process of actually completing all the track that I need laid. Here is a shot of the runaround track, with the future water, sand, coal and ashpit area between the two tracks.

        Next, came the small three-track yard, which I have just finished today. I find it rather funny that the small yard holds more rolling stock than I actually have. Here is a progress shot of the beginning of the yard construction.

        Two little plastic people discuss the rail-laying progress...

        Will update soon...


        • #5
          Steve I've been following your progress over at the Gauge with alot of interest as I'm thinking about doing something with On30. What is the radius of your loop? While I prefer the looks of flex to handlaid you are doing a very nice job! 8D


          • #6
            Steve, this is a great looking layout you're building! :up:

            Are you handlaying your turnouts also?

            We've got some members here who are interested in handlaying track and/or building in On30. I'm pretty sure they will be interested in following your construction methods and progress.


            • #7
              Hi Steve

              You have posted an excellent tutorial.

              I am going to post a link to this topic over in the Model Railroad Construction Forum under the benchwork sticky so that others will be able to find this link in the future.

              I know that you have demonstrated more than benchwork but I figure most people(like me) who would be interested in this thread would be starting with benchwork.

              Thanks again for the post and keep on posting your progress please.
              <img src="" alt="" /><br /><br>John Bagley<br /><br>Modeling the Alaska Railroad in HO in Wildwood Georgia.


              • #8
                Very nice Steve!

                And educational. [:-graduate]

                Please keep us posted on your progress,

                Thanks and best wishes for the new year,


                • #9

                  That is a train room to drool over.[:-drool] Thanks for the progress photos. Please keep them coming.



                  • #10
                    Outstanding!!![:-bouncy][:-bouncy][:-bouncy][}] [:-sing][:-star] :up:
                    Scouter first, railroader second


                    • #11
                      Thanks very much for the kind comments, everyone. [:-bouncy]

                      Tyson - I guess I'm sort of at the other end of the spectrum, as the narrow gauge flextrack is just too "perfect" for me. I would never try to handlay standard gauge mainline, as it generally is laid perfectly spaced and aligned. I am specifically attempting to capture the "hurry-up-and-throw-this-stuff-down" narrow gauge type construction methods.

                      Mike - I'm "kitbashing" On30 turnouts from Atlas code 83 ones. I posted a tutrial elsewhere, but could re-do it here, if you'd like.

                      Just yesterday, I finished spiking the small yard, and here is an overhead shot.

                      Although it is only a three track yard, it still holds all my rolling stock...with room to spare!


                      • #12
                        Hey Steve!

                        Welcome to the RR-Line! (you know me over at The Gauge as "Charlie"'s a long, & stupid story! )

                        You have really intrigued me with this "kitbashed" track! I just can't get over how cool that is! 8D

                        You're one more reason that I'm really liking what I see with this On30 stuff!

                        "Life is all the stuff that happened while you were making other plans."


                        • #13
                          Hi, Steve,

                          I'd like to see what you're doing with the Atlas turnouts, and the other guys probably would like to also. If you don't mind, how about posting your tutorial here? :up:


                          • #14
                            Hi Steve, looking very good my friend, can't wait for scenery and photos to appear.


                            Tyson, wow from N-scale to 0n30, what a jump.LOL



                            • #15
                              Hi Steve. I'm very impressed with your progress so far. I too would like to see what you are doing with the Atlas turnouts. I would also like to see more progress photos when you start your scenery.
                              Follow along as my dog and I travel the country in our van.
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