Home Open Account Help 245 users online

Model Railroading > Opinions solicited for a very basic model railroad.


Date: 09/11/20 19:00
Opinions solicited for a very basic model railroad.
Author: RRBaron

What with the lockdown, and all the honey-dos done for the remainer of the century, I now have time after 40 years for a simple 4X9 HO model pike. Simple plywood and 1 X 4s,etc. No DCC, DCCC, DCCCC, just old- school F1 is forward and F2 is backward. No scale smoke need here in Socal, and I will hum the horns and wwhistles. DRGW stangard gauge is my thing, no baby gauge stuff on my road! (Maybe in the background though.) 100% Old0-School, like the 1960-70s. That kind of shake the box MR, although I do have some heavy duty brass and nearly every brass caboose made for the Big Man Rio Grande. However, I have a couple of questions I need answers to before wearing my N95 24/7 inside not outside. I hate trackwork! I hate laying ballast, it comes lose and finds its way everywhere. Yep, I'm Iooking for track track that snaps together and has built-in ballast-ojust NOT Bachmann! Maybe Fleishmann PRO-FI track with low profile ballast which you nail/glue to cork/foam roadbed. Marklin/TRIX USA has similar track of very high quality but with very high ballast to cover hidden wiring. Too high for me! But if you have ever been to Germany, even the freight yards have such grandly ballasted track! (Whjo won the war--eh?)  Same with KATO, and others. I have played around with different track systems and I seem to like Pro-fi track the best. Roco took over the line and closed production in January but there is still plenty around including unique flex-track with moldered-in ballast!!!  Any TOs have experiecne with it? Theer are few switch types but enough for my design. All of the track systems come on light gray "ballast". I intend to touch-up the ballast with rattle can dark gray. The ties on the TRIX track are way too far apart for the USA. Any comments? BTW, what color was DRGW really? I recall it was very dark slag from om-line USS Geneva Mill in Utah. A coule of years ago I still found a pile of it to the UP/DRGW mainline in Spanish Canyon. It is very dark almost black. I thought I would crush it but the stuff is hard like meteoites! Does somebody make real good DRGW-type ballast in HO for spread here and ther? I am in your hands--stop laughing and make yourself useful! Thanks befor hand!!! :)



Date: 09/11/20 21:07
Re: Opinions solicited for a very basic model railroad.
Author: bnsfmodeler

Well if you think about Dr. Athearn made almost ever car you would need in Old-School, like the 1960-70 I just bought a Athearn SP TM Undec she is still a beauty to me 40 years later I also bought 100 new Athearn One containers so you have to have balance LOL

 Dave



Date: 09/11/20 23:11
Re: Opinions solicited for a very basic model railroad.
Author: fbe

For your collection of heavy brass locomotives a 4' wide platform may be too narrow. Using prebuilt factory sectional track will severly limit your choice in curve radii.

Reread some of the recent threads about layout curve construction for ideas.


https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?3,5101397



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/20 23:13 by fbe.



Date: 09/11/20 23:57
Re: Opinions solicited for a very basic model railroad.
Author: RRBaron

fbe Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> For your collection of heavy brass locomotives a
> 4' wide platform may be too narrow. Using prebuilt
> factory sectional track will severely limit your
> choice in curve radii.

Thanks, but when I wrote "heavy duty brass" I meant "tricked-out" 4-6-0s and first gen. diesels that will sail around 20-24 inch radius pre-fab track. There simply have no more space than 5 X 8. Thanks for the back postings. I realize that many TOs can't get their heads around my ancient ways--but remember I grew-up in the 1950s when everything worked, so I am rather disinterested in the future and am glad I won't be there. But I'm still listening!. 



Date: 09/12/20 05:44
Re: Opinions solicited for a very basic model railroad.
Author: UP951West

RRBaron Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> fbe Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > For your collection of heavy brass locomotives
> a
> > 4' wide platform may be too narrow. Using
> prebuilt
> > factory sectional track will severely limit
> your
> > choice in curve radii.
>
> Thanks, but when I wrote "heavy duty brass" I
> meant "tricked-out" 4-6-0s and first gen. diesels
> that will sail around 20-24 inch radius pre-fab
> track. There simply have no more space than 5 X 8.
> Thanks for the back postings. I realize that many
> TOs can't get their heads around my ancient
> ways--but remember I grew-up in the 1950s when
> everything worked, so I am rather disinterested in
> the future and am glad I won't be there. But I'm
> still listening!. 
I love your comments . I can relate. 
 



Date: 09/12/20 05:55
Re: Opinions solicited for a very basic model railroad.
Author: WrongWayMurphy

A guy here inherited a double roundy roundly layout laid with Kato track.

After a couple moves and laying on its end for a couple years in a hot texas garage,
he set it horizontal,  cleaned the track, and it works perfectly.  Yes the "ballast" molded in
is light gray and RG was typically dark, but you want to run your train abound in circles
without coming off the tracks, right?  This should be your ticket, unless you totally commit
to old school and go with Athearn rubber band drive diesels, then all bets are off.



Date: 09/12/20 06:09
Re: Opinions solicited for a very basic model railroad.
Author: RichM

I think you're limited to 22 inch radius with that 4' width...

But, as you mentioned the old days, you might beg,  borrow or steal (kidding!) a copy of the old Kalmbach Wescott / Armstrong books like, Track Plans for Sectional Track, and 101 Track Plans. Lots of 4 x 8 ideas to get you started thinking anyway. Lots of old school tips on how to create visual elevation, you might have to compensate for Snap Track and Custom Line turnouts.

One thing I wish I'd done before I started my current layout, Elevate the ROW at least 1-2 inches, whether with Woodland Scenics foam strips (gets costly but simplifies prep) or sheet foam cut with a hot wire. Makes culvets, bridges and scenery planning a bit simpler.



Date: 09/12/20 08:25
Re: Opinions solicited for a very basic model railroad.
Author: HB90MACH

You could always paint the balkast to ressemble what drgw used



Date: 09/12/20 08:55
Re: Opinions solicited for a very basic model railroad.
Author: tomstp

Nothing personal but, I always thought a 4 X 8 layout was guaranteed boredom after a short period of time. Find some way to make it 6X8  or 6X10.  I started out with a 4x8 and quickly got bored with it.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/20 08:57 by tomstp.



Date: 09/12/20 13:12
Re: Opinions solicited for a very basic model railroad.
Author: RRBaron

My plan is a version of a MR plan, I think from the 1990s. It will be on a 5X8 platform. Although I just passed my annual check-up with flying colors, I still don't think I'll be around long enough to get bored with this size layout! :)))) See attached.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/20 23:43 by RRBaron.




Date: 09/12/20 13:16
Re: Opinions solicited for a very basic model railroad.
Author: RRBaron

HB90MACH Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You could always paint the ballast to resemble
> what drgw used

Yes, that's what I plan to do. However, the Fleishmann track has better looking ballast and ties. Just want to know if there is some TOs out there that have worked with this kind of unconventional track system and what they have  to say about its usefulness. Pro-Fi Track looks very similar to the old American Flyer HO pre-ballasted track with the copper-looking rail. 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/20 23:44 by RRBaron.



Date: 09/12/20 15:20
Re: Opinions solicited for a very basic model railroad.
Author: fbe

You cannot increase the radius of the curves for the width or it will be too long for the 8' length. Use what the plan calls for and add extra scenery spaces on the side or add 9"-12" straight tracks in the end curves.



Date: 09/12/20 16:45
Re: Opinions solicited for a very basic model railroad.
Author: Streamliner

It's been 13+ years now since I owned Allied Model Trains, along with my wholesale company Daylight Distributors.  DD was the exclusive U.S. importer of Fleischmann products for over 20 years and we sold TONS of their Profi-Track.  It was a very high quality system, with dozens of various track pieces, including curved switch tracks, flex track, etc.  We had several Allied customers use Profi-Track to build elaborate layouts, on which they ran non-Fleischmann locos & rolling stock, with no issues.  The only thing that held it back, was the price, as it was fairly expensive.  Good luck with your "Old School" layout.  I plan on building something similar, but a bit larger, over the next year or so, but am leaning towards Kato Unitrack.

Hope you are all doing well,

Allen Drucker



Date: 09/13/20 00:02
Re: Opinions solicited for a very basic model railroad.
Author: RRBaron

fbe Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You cannot increase the radius of the curves for
> the width or it will be too long for the 8'
> length. Use what the plan calls for and add extra
> scenery spaces on the side or add 9"-12" straight
> tracks in the end curves.

I intend to follow the plan but use the extra 1' X 8" strip for a year like that at Helper, UT, with its sand tower and corrugates one-stall engine house, that until the UP take over, had a giant flying RIO GRANDE on the station side. There few town buildings will include a kitbashed model of the old Rio Grande RR YMCA. The station will be a kit bash of an earlier design. The current DRGW depot, used by Amtrak, is an awful c.1950s blonde brick number. I have a picture of the "first" Helper station, was there another design used before the current one anybody? I am also looking for photos of Castle Gate showing both "Gates" and looking from the east to the west. There are plenty of postcards of the west to east view but that does not fit what I have in mind. Looked all over the net for the above shots, but none came up, nor does the Helper museum have any such. The engine house will probably hide a DRGW-lettered Bachmann Shay, as was used on a short, steep iron ore branch out of HLP sometime around WW 1. 



Date: 09/13/20 00:09
Re: Opinions solicited for a very basic model railroad.
Author: RRBaron

Streamliner Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
Profi-Track.  It was a very
> high quality system, with dozens of various track
> pieces, including curved switch tracks, flex
> track, etc.  

Unfortunately, I think that the system only has a single size of R & L curved turnouts, single size R & L standard turnouts and a 3-way wye turnout. So, I am still looking at the other brands account various turnout sizes.  



[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.075 seconds