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Author Topic: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start-- (posted on March 12, 2009)  (Read 4183 times)

BIGMIG

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Well I decided to just start a new post from the start of this project rather than start in the middle.This is a new section here on Hobby Havoc and I hope other's will join in.  ;D ;D
Any of my posts you are more than welcome to comment on and offer any ideas you you might have that would add to this adventure building this layout.I'm just building as I go and only have a general idea of what will get done and where it will go.  ??? ??? ??? ???

This will be an on-going project along with other hobbys I also injoy.I still like to fly model planes,like to play with the RC boats,may still drive a tank around ever so often,but have told myself NO more Tanks------- :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(

If we get off topic now and then,no big deal as we will soon be back on it again.   ;D ;D



    This was the start,building the table-----

BIGMIG

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Re: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start--
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2013, 01:13:44 AM »
On my first layout I built I made the misstake of not having a center access hatch--(but when I made the table I did not know it would ene up multi-level) so this table has a hatch.It also now has roller wheels on the legs so it can be pushed against the wall when I'm not working on the portions against the wall.It is very easy to move it around when wanted.

While at this stage I was buying a lot of used track and switches,along with items that were new but at bargin prices off ebay.This project is being done the older fashion way with the old style HO block systems and wiring methods.I also bought a lot of new stuff,flex-rail,cork roadbed,some engines,rail joiners,and other misc-items.This is being built with new and used track and switches.I would guess about 80 percent of what I will end up with will be used items bought off ebay.Most of what I have bought so far has been realy good stuff and at a fraction of what it would cost new from a hobby shop or online dealer.There are a lot of good buys to be had that way,but I would stay away from buying engines on ebay unless you realy know what you are going to get or know what you are bidding on.There are a lot of junk engines being sold on ebay and some of them for as much or more than they can be bought new. ??? ???

Now the start of laying the first rail and roadbed------

                                 BIGMIG---or---BIGGERMIG---or ---Larry  ;D
              Hey  Yooooou  even works   ;D

Offline zean

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Re: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start--
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2013, 01:32:49 AM »
Continuing on laying more rail and starting the ramps that go to the next level.One for giong up and one for coming down. ::) ::) While doing the ramps other track was being laid.

                       BIGMIG  ;)

BIGMIG

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Re: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start--
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2013, 01:35:20 AM »
Now around this time I added the box to hold the controlers,taking into account that I would be able to expand these on either side as things progressed and more room for switches and additional controlers were needed.And a few more pictures of building the ramps----- ;)

BIGMIG

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Re: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start--
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2013, 01:37:19 AM »
Well things are going to start getting busy now.---- :D :D :D It's growing faster and faster--- ::) ::)

P.S.  Did I say NO MORE TANKS ???? ::) ::)

            More ---pic's

BIGMIG

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Re: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start--
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2013, 01:38:48 AM »
At this point putting on the side rails that will support the next level.Adding control switches that will operate the track switches (some call them switch points ).And have also been working on some of the wiring under the table from the track switches to the control switches.Not one of my favorite jobs- >:(

                       BIGGERMIG  ;)

Offline zean

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Re: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start--
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2013, 01:39:21 AM »

Be interesting to see how this layout comes out. How do you keep track of everything with multiple levels  :)

BIGMIG

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Re: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start--
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2013, 01:39:55 AM »
Hello Zean,
 Right now it is confusing to operate because I have not got everthing marked and labeled as I'm still in the process of hooking up switches and wires.

    This may be a lot more than you wanted to know--- ;D ;D but it will explain to others also how it will be set up.

I'll start with how direction will work.The end my controlers are on where I will be standing to run the trains will be refered to as the "south end" of the layout.And of course looking straight ahead of me will be the "north end" of the layout.To my right will be "east" and to my left will be "west".All train movement therefor will either be refered to as "east bound" or "west bound".   

Now on a real railroad like I worked on that was several hundred miles long on my division or district all trains were either dessignated "west bound" or "eastbound" and all main line switches were either refered to as a east switch or a west switch at any particular switch on a main line.Now we all know trains in a lot of areas don't just go in a straight lines.(our track followed the columbia river for a good portion of the division I worked) You pretty much forgot about any true compuss heading and just thought about everthing in terms of east and west. ??? ???    Got everybody confused yet. Better stop here at this point and hope it helps as to truly explain it would require some time explaining it all.


But to continue on to my little system all siddings will have a name (example for one "oak brook" ) therefor if it's running east and west on the northend of the layout--The switch on my left would be the "west switch" and the switch on my right would be the "east switch"

How this will be labeled-----------             W---Oak Brook---E

Another passing track or sidding on the southend of the layout---( "Maupin" )

Would be labeled My left--West--on my right--East

                                                            W---Maupin---E

Now on siddings running north and south they would be marked with a "N" for the north switch and a "S" for the south switch----

                                                            N---Finley---S

All stub tracks will only require a Name as there is only one entrance and one switch.It will be labeled as an example----( M--engine trk )    ( M--Caboose trk )   ( M--House trk )   ( M--Cement trk )  The M signafieing as Main line or Main track that you move off from to enter the stub track. If I have this figured out right it should be pretty basic to operate and keep track of.

Also another note,All siddings and stub tracks have a power switch that puts power to that track or turns the power off on that track.On the lower level there are three sections (outside main--center main--Middle main ) all can be seperate from each other thus allowing three different trains to be running in their own section or main line being independently controlled from the others plus on each of these three independent main lines two trains can be run switching from train to train by having one in a sidding while the other moves about.    WeW---I think I got it---Hope it makes sense.    ??? ??? ???

                          Larry  ;) ;)

BIGMIG

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Re: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start--
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2013, 01:41:30 AM »
Just mostly pictures as getting this post up to where I am now.-- ;) ;)

BIGMIG

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Re: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start--
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2013, 01:43:07 AM »
During the on-going building I'm still buying a few things here,a few things there and all of a sudden I decided to move the layout around and put my woodstove in my playroom for the winter time so took most of the running stock of the layout and gathered up stuff scattered around in different corners in the room and put it on the work table.Ammazing how things start to add up.  Picture below--
             Larry

BIGMIG

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Re: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start--
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2013, 01:44:32 AM »
Well we are getting closer here now to being caught up to where I'm at as far as whats allready been done.I hope for those who may look through this and mabe even read some of what I write,I hope you take in consideration the following.When I show what all I have gathered up and bought it is not for the purpose of "showing off" and trying to appear as though I'm mister I've got it all " type guy" because that is not the case.Being this is a tank forum and I do have a few tanks also,what I have spent on this train layout so far would not even ammount to enough money to buy (1) upper end Tamiya Tank with all the goodies that you would need to make it operate.Showing what I have will show what can be done on a very moderate retirement income.If you shop around and don't mind buying a lot of used items'you will be surprised at what you can end up with.This is not going to be a fancy project,but it is a fun one. ;D ;D

BIGMIG

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Re: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start--
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2013, 01:45:55 AM »
Now at this point I had been working on this layout hot and heavy for some where around 4 to 4 1/2 months (don't know exactly) and I was ready for a brake doing something different.Well I ended buying three inexspensive boats and then scratch built a boat.Worked on the train a few times while on the boats,but still was not ready to get back into the train thing yet.Remember above when I said "NO MORE TANKS"----WELL-----Thought I would order a couple of static kits "1/35 scale models" as I had never built a tank kit out of a box. ;D Turned out it was fun so I ordered two more to build,a 1/35 model and a 1/25 model.Well built those and I still had a 1/12 panzer setting on the shelf that I wanted to upgrade with HL gearboxes and tiger tracks so decided my as well finish it off at this time.

Was surprised to find that around three months had passed and it was time to get back to the train lay-out.        NO MORE TANKS--- ??? ??? ???

So now for the last couple weeks or so I have been working on and buying some HO buildings and houses to use for a kind of static dissplay that will be on the top of the hatch cover for the access
in the center of the layout.I'm using all used buildings that I have been buying off ebay.Like everything else I have been doing I don't have a specific plan,just an idea of how I'm going to set up the buildings
to make the layout look better with this hatch in place when the layout is not being used to run the trains.

This is where I'm at now----a few pictures below--
                                BIGGERMIG  ;) ;)

BIGMIG

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Re: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start--
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2013, 01:46:31 AM »
Well guys didn't take long to get this up to date. ;D I know this is a tank forum and I know this is way off track  ;D ;D Ooop's  ;D ;D ;D ,but would be nice to see some other posts here,I know there are others who have more than one hobby going on at the same time. ;D



                                  Larry   ;) ;)

Offline oztruck

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Re: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start--
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2013, 01:46:54 AM »
Hi Larry, looking good so far. Keep the photos coming.
For a while I worked for the best Hobby shop in Adelaide on and off for about 10 years, and then later for a large wholsaler here in South Australia as well. Started off as a kid with a Triang train set, then into 1/24 plastic car kits, then slot cars, about that time I found GIRLS and Motor Bikes, a few broken hearts and bones later I started into 1/25 trucks, then 1/35 Armour,then HO steam locos by Round House and small switching layouts. Next was a 4 car garage size HO layout running 40 wagon length trains was common. It was too hard to keep clean so I went to "G" guage and outside in the garden. Had miles of track and 8 locos and a whole lot of rolling stock. I then got into 1/14 Tamiya RC trucks, built over a dozen of them and even more trailers. Still got a few unbuilt. But now I am enjoying 1/16 RC tanks They are cheeper than Girls and Harleys, I can play with them unlike 1/25 plastic cars and Trucks, they take less work than the HO trains, I can take the tanks with me when I want too unlike the G Trains. And I can see them which is more than I can do with the 1/35 armour.
I will see if I can find any photos of my trains and post some for you

BIGMIG

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Re: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start--
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2013, 01:47:26 AM »
Hello oztruck and thanks for looking and the reply.I have seen a lot of your posts and you have some top rate models,and outstanding workmanship.It was interesting reading all the various hobbys you have had over the years.Being retired now and having lots of time to play with my hobby stuff it keeps me busy working on them and also writing about working on them. ;D

          Larry  ;) ;)

Any pictures you may have that you can post I would love to see them. :D :D

BIGMIG

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Re: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start--
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2013, 01:48:58 AM »
Well I had been talking about starting the "second" level for a while so yesterday I went to the lumber store and bought two 1/4 inch sheets of plywood.I cut out the pieces this afternoon and now have them on the table and I'm in the process of screwing them in place.There is a couple center pieces that needed to be added to the upper two main pieces.So will use a little wood filler here and there to give everything a nice smooth appearence.The second level does cover up a lot of the lower section but will start adding to the over-all look of the layout when I start adding rail and the goodies that will go on this level.I will use wood dowels to support the outer sides of the upper level and they will be glued in place after locating where all they will be placed.It will most likely tank me a couple days getting this all fastened down and in place.Then the elevated rail from the ramps to the second level will be the next part I "think",however I could also start laying rail first before I do them.It may even be benificial to start the rail first to get the switches figured out first before bringing the elevated rails to the switches. ;D

       A few pictures of where I'm at now.                        Larry  ;) ;)

BIGMIG

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Re: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start--
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2013, 01:50:24 AM »
Think I'll just stick with pictures----Here are some.

BIGMIG

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Re: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start--
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2013, 01:57:10 AM »
A few more---

BIGMIG

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Re: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start--
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2013, 01:58:26 AM »
Well I locked this topic---Problem is I don't know how to unlock it-- ???    So I will continue to post here or just continue on with a continued post on this layout.
   A few pictures of where it's at now and will up-date one way or the other. ::) ::)

Now laying track on the second level---------
                              Larry

Offline zean

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Re: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start--
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2013, 01:59:00 AM »
Hi Larry topic unlocked now, keep at it I know that there are other train fans here and I'm sure they will chime in eventually  ;)

BIGMIG

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Re: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start--
« Reply #20 on: March 08, 2013, 01:59:35 AM »
Hello zean,
  Thanks for the help and I like the reoginized sections for trains.  :D :D

                               BIGGERMIG

BIGMIG

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Re: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start--
« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2013, 02:00:11 AM »
Well I got back to doing some work on the layout today.I'm laying the rail on the second level and had to buy some more switches,they will be here tomorrow.I bought some more used ones off ebay and hope they will be in good condition.(you never know till they are in your hand) Bought a used engine from the same seller and the engine is suppose to also be a good one,will see tomorrow.I usually lay the track out and mark where it goes with a marking pencil and then pull it up in sections as I lay and glue the cork roadbed.This time I'm going to nail down the whole upper level and test run a train on it and then start pulling it up and laying the cork.In the past I usually did not run a train on it until it was all perminently in place.If you have a trouble spot or a bad switch it is a lot harder to fix and replace this way after it is on the cork.I hope to have most of the upper level done tomorrow at this time for a trial run.will post a few pictures then.

                             Larry  ;) ;)

BIGMIG

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Re: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start--
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2013, 02:01:34 AM »
Got my switches and other items I had bought of ebay and was waiting for today,and I got lucky and all the items were as advertised all in very good condition.I bought 6 switches that is what I was realy after,but with the two seperate auctions for the switches there was a lot of extra items,straight track,curved track,switch buttons,rail joiners,bumpers,all in excelent condition.Also bid on and got from this same seller another engine that looks and runs like it just came out of the box for $18.00 dollars and an additional $1.00 dollar added to the original shipping charge on the other two auctions.Pretty cheap shipping for an engine---------

Got about 1/4 of the track in place and nailed down for testing,thought I would have gotten further,but it takes time. :D :D

                   Larry ;) ;)

BIGMIG

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Re: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start--
« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2013, 02:03:02 AM »
Well hello again,back to up-date where the lay-out is at today.Will post a bunch of pictures and take the lazy way out with just a brief summary of where I'm at.I got the second level all laid out as far as track goes and have done a lot of test running of trains on that level.Got a lot of wires that will need to be connected to all their respective switches and controls,it is surprising how many wires will go on just this level.I will be working on the down ramp tomorrow to complete the ability to run trains from the upper level to the lower level and back up again.This upper level in pictures is very deceiving as to what can be done on this level and also on the up-ramp and down-ramp.There will be six complete trains on this level at one time any of which can go from any one track to the other and the ability to go from one level to the other.All six of these made up train consists will be about 6 feet in length and with the abiltiy of two trains being able to run at the same time continually.Quite a task on a layout that is only 6 feet wide and 9 feet long.There is well over a 100 feet of track on this upper level and the two ramps in themselves,quite the feat if one was to stop and think about it. ;D ;D

This will be an ongoing project for quite some time yet,but I'm going to take a break from trains for a while and get back into flying for a while.I will be getting out my planes and going over them getting them ready for the warm weather that is just around the corner.Haven't flown for a while now and I want to get back into flying again before I forget how.I will be posting more pictures of the train layout when I get the down ramp installed and get it all working.

                                           BIGGERMIG  ??? ??? ???

BIGMIG

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Re: Multi-level HO train layout--From the start--
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2013, 02:04:27 AM »
A few more pics-----