Saturday, March 9, 2013

First Post - The Structure

The thing I learned from reading and looking at a lot of pikes, and then from starting my own twisted oval design, is that I didn't want to do that type of layout.  I wanted to do a Point-to-Point railroad.

The biggest advantage in this design is that you don't have to worry about what was for me the tricky electrical stuff.  All electrical is tricky for me, but with no loops wiring would be easier for me.

Also, I didn't want to build only a few structures in a town that would sit in the curve of a track that circled around to an industry that was oddly angled and ridiculously close to the town.  I wanted to spread out, use straighter lines, and make a town with twenty or more structures.

It became clear that I had to build it in my garage.  It's 19 feet by 20 feet, and that would give me a lot of room to work in.  In fact, the plan calls for a finished pike of 75 feet.  But because I had to be able to lift it up and away from regular garage stuff (like cars and ladders and shop vacs) I built it using my own variant of N-Trak.  Real N-Trak people would cringe at what I've done, but it's what I needed.

I built 32-inch wide modules, which was based on the stud spacing in my garage (16 inches on center).  I built cleats to the back of the boxes and wood rails on the wall in which the cleats would slide.  The box depth started at 24 inches and I realized almost immediately that I couldn't do what I wanted in that shallow of a space, even in N-Scale.  And there would be no way I could put in realistic curves.

So I built extensions onto the front of each module.  That gave me 30 inches of depth.  That would be perfect.  That is until Bachmann came out with their Peterbuilt streetcar.  To fit that and the track the car would need into my town I would need more depth.  So I added another 8-inch extension onto the town modules.  And then I needed to add extension to the modules on either side of the town so I could line up the track properly.

Below is a photo of the first set of modules.

These are modules 1 through 4.  Each now have the 8-inch extension (not shown in this photo).  Each module will lift up out of the way, and the legs detach (pretty much they just fall away).  You will note that module 2 and 4 do not have front legs.  I used an angled brace from back to front to support the module.  I needed to get to the store of wood (which you can see), and the dog had to get to his litter area (which you don't want to see).

Three other modules are now built.  Two of them would follow the 4th module and would create the perpendicular turn at the back of the garage.  The third module is attached to module 1 (I call it the zero module).  This one is 8 feet long and about 30 inches wide and will become a fairly good sized yard.

More later. 

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