Sunday, January 15, 2012

Where will the Layout Live

I have mulled it around for 4-5 years about a seriously having a decent home layout.

I had started with a table winched up over the car in the garage, but that is just too much pain and effort since the car barely fits in, let alone enough storage space and workbench to keep a layout going. That effort being a bakers dozen years ago.

It was a pretty decent bit of engineering on my retired fathers' side - there was a nice steel tube frame bolted to the ceiling of my garage with a boat winch attached and four wire cables hanging down to a big table I had made from chip board, 3 by 2's with water pipe legs.

This N Scale layout was going to be my empire, but Murphy got involved and when I had decided to cover the whole layout (which had a sheet of 50mm foam on it) with 3mm cork tiles, Murphy made damn sure the proper spray-on contact adhesive was not going to last. It went on and worked well for two or three months, but then during summer and after 6 months, it let go - all over.

It peeved my no end and that is pretty much where my empire stopped. Instead I went and joined a club that is full of ratbags. That club has been my modelling focus for over a decade now and I have lots of fun down there. You can even check out their N Scale layout with the blog "Club'N Around"
or the club has a website - RMCQ.

But as I find I want to do more and more, I am now ready to have my own empire at home - a proper one this time. So this time I will build a shed for it and my modelling bench etc. I am piggy backing off of others that I know with their own train sheds - check them out on their blogs  of "Craig's Shed" and "Silkwood Depot".

So I have started to think on it and doodle. So far I have come up with some sketches in a CAD program to see what the layout of the shed will be. They are no where near final and only reflect my current thoughts.

I started with variants of the one on the left, but am tending to lean to the right here. This way a train driver can follow his train exactly around without having to sometimes run around a peninsula to catch up with it. Here are some of my thoughts so far:

. N scale.
. 6m x 12m shed.
. Roughly a 3m x 3m working area for myself and storage for my train bits and pieces.
. Air-conditioning.
. Double Deck.
. Normal aisle width of 100cm with pinch points being 80cm.
. First deck at 100cm and the second maybe 45cm above the first.
. Single track Helix to get between decks.
. Bottom deck to be a dogbone.
. Top deck to be a single track with balloon loops at both ends.
. Lots of passing loops.
. No shortcuts across the root of a peninsula.
. 2 or 2.2 percent max gradient.
. Minimum radius on mainlines to be 60cm.

So far, as can be seen in the drawing above, the decks are 50cm wide with peninsula's being 100cm wide. Based on this, I am now leaning on "maybe" getting the shed 7m wide and not 6m. I don't know - all depends.

So that's it for my musings for now and hopefully I actually get away from the computer and train club for long enough to go see a shed salesman and actually get one built so I can have some real problems to solve and design and build.

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