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Messages - DACS

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Layout Tours / Re: Willapa Valley Western R.R. (WVWR.R.) The Bridge Route
« on: October 23, 2019, 07:59:17 AM »
   My apologies...It would seem the WVW R.R., will be on an indefinite hold.  My brother Jim, passed away yesterday.  He somehow contracted an extremely rare form of a cancer called HLH.  He was 70.
   My sis in law wants the railroad built anyway as a memorial to Jim.  It was at my request.
   My brother was greatly loved by all who knew him.  He will be so very sorely missed.  But, he is now with the Lord in a brand new mansion.


   Thanks for the drop in and the questions and comments.  Yes, the layout is HO.  The island you are seeing, is 12' in length from the backwall to front.  At the yard level, the trackwork is at 55" from the floor.  From   the yard level to where the tracks you see crossing is at 53.5" top of rail.  The run from the yards to this point is 22'.  If my math works for me, that is a 0.068% grade.  The rails going around and coming out below the upper loop, is at 49.5".  The run from where they cross is 21' 8", or  a 4" drop.  Again, if my math is not failing me in my old age, and I am using the formula correctly, that is a 0.183% grade.  So from the yards to the lower track in that crossing of rails, it is a 4" clearance.
   And a partridge in a pear tree.  Man, it's been a long time since last, doing this sort of thing.

   Hope I calculated that correctly.  But, I do have a lot of room to work in, if adjustments become necessary.

   Again, as this progresses, things will start to become more clear to you as well as to me.  This is my first large railroad that I have worked with.  Don't forget, I am making this for a 30' x 19' space.  Now I am talking about trying to get just a little more space so I can make the helix at 30" radius.


   Well, I have finally been able to make some progress on the layout plan proper.  I made a statement earlier about 36" max and 34" min radius curves...well, that pie in the sky statement came tumbling down once compass, ruler, pen and paper and I might add, reality started meeting up.  I ended up with 30" and 28" with easements added.  I wish it were more.  But, don't we all desire a warehouse sized layout! 
   I started with the lower island.  I moved it down 1 foot from it's original location for layout clearance reasons.  Which I will show the reasoning for that, later on in the thread.
   I also made width and depth changes on the island.  Here is a pic of the mod's with the track plan as it is now.  It brought the layout from a very unacceptable 3% grade down to a very respectable 1% grade overall.
   The helix, which will connect the upper and lower yards together is 28" radius with 6 rings and a 2.19 % grade.  I am going to work on that and try to get it down to 1.5%.  Of course that will depend upon negotiations for just a touch more space in the upper tight corner of the layout room.  If negotiations fail, it is one of those things we will have to just live with.  It is just on one end of the layout and it will be mostly hidden with below the layout access.
   Think that's it for now.  Here's the pic of current developments.  The inner loops are coming from the upper yard at the top of the pic.  The inner track is coming from the left side of the layout and will end up in the lower yards at the top.  As the drawing progresses, this will begin to make more sense.  This mod has also prompted more rugged scenery including seven trestles and six tunnels.  My brother and I really like that!


   Thanks again everyone for your comments and interest.  And also my brother's name is Jim. You won't be seeing many post from him if any, he's not a media person.   Maybe eventually I can get him to post something. 

   In my great exuberance to tell about the railroads future, I forgot to included some important statistics. Mainline maximum radius will be 36 in, minimum radius will be 34 in. All Mainline turnouts will be #6 and yards #5.  The Helix will be a minimum radius of 28 in.


   Thanks for the responses everybody. Me,him, we and us will be from this point forward, my brother and I.  Yes, it is a joint venture.
   I am the scenery and electronics end of it.  Both of us are into the carpentry end, tracklaying, etc....  My brother is also the one with the electrical hook up connections,  (pun intended).


Layout Tours / Willapa Valley Western R.R. (WVWR.R.) The Bridge Route
« on: July 03, 2019, 01:01:45 PM »
   I may be jumping the gun here a little, but I cannot help myself.  The excitement of actually seeing a plan and forward movement on this, has gotten me acting like a kid in a candy factory.

   The Willapa Valley Western will be a fictitious shortline railroad.  It's location will be Washington State.  It will have connections on both ends with major railroads.  Thus, "the bridge route" moniker.  Also, that will also explain different railroad named engines showing up on various occasions.  The WVW will have it's own motive power though, with it's own paint scheme.  Still working on that.  It is going to be set in the time frame of early to mid GP motive power.

   The railroad will be in the basement of my brothers abode, in a space (after much debate with the matriarch of the house), of 19' x 30'.  Originally 37', but concessions were made in the matter of some physical restrictions.  HOPEFULLY...These dimensions remain in tact.

   The railroad will be large enough that it will have mountainous (sub alpine), as well as some prairie landscaping.  It is going to be L-girder for the most part.  This was decided upon as there will be some trestles and scenery that will go below benchtop level almost to floor.

   I have a tentative outline diagram of the layout done...the islands, cover two posts that come out from the right 7'9" from the wall.  We have an overhead issue as the ceiling height is just at 6' 5".  So, all ceiling lighting will have to be flush mounted.  There will be valances, so we can put in led strip lighting.  The idea of making it a double decker went into the toilet with that ceiling height.  So, we decided to make it a single deck with a large upper and lower run of main line.  At the top of the layout, will be an upper and lower yard areas.  The lower will be a staging yard which will come out at the left,  with a helix going to the top yard and on the right side will go into a tunnel and come out below the upper yard on the right wall, while the upper comes through a canyon of sorts and will have a maximum 14" separation from the lower.  As the main line is extremely long, 225', not counting passing sidings, sidings or yards; grades will be no more than 3%.  The lower deck height will be 34" from the floor.  This means that many places on the lower section of the layout will drop below the main deck height.  In some, almost to the floor.

   The layout will be round and round, out and back or point to point.  DEPENDS ON ONES MOOD 

   The first thing we will be doing is studding, electrical and finishing out the space proper. 

   We will be putting display cabinets along the open left wall.  But, they will be built into the wall flush mounted, rather than being in the isle.   Which is  just a touch over 3' wide.

   The section in the lower left of the pic, is the workshop area with a holding yard above the work bench.  The white piece just above the work shop area, is the entrance door to the layout room.

   The layout will be DCC with sound, to eventually become both manually or computer controlled.  To accomplish this, we have decided to go with a hybrid combination of Digitrax and CTI layout control.  As neither him nor I know anything about computer language, we decided against JMRI totally.  CTI also requires language, but it is "BASIC".  That, I at least, can get through and he can learn.  It will be a good learning point for both of us.

   For now, I think that is for the pic of the "TENTATIVE", layout area.  Notice that the track plan is not yet added.  That will show up in the next addition along with grade separations, heights and divider locations.  Oh, the ruler on the lower right, is an 18" steel rule.




Scratchbuilding / Re: Building HO Scale SA Style Signals
« on: June 07, 2019, 10:07:49 AM »
The recessed lighting is only going to be over the walk areas. There will be valance lighting that you won't see other than the light pitched onto actual layout. That will be diffused blue white and yellow.  All the valance lighting will be on Dim control.


Scratchbuilding / Re: Building HO Scale SA Style Signals
« on: May 27, 2019, 12:07:14 PM »
Thanks for all the compliments guys. I still have to show in the thread how I put the wires in the tube how I mount the LEDs to the wires how I make the hood and then assemble that part. Then add it to the Mast and The Shield.

Right now the layout is in the planning stages we have the space which is 15ft wide by 32 ft long.  We have to finish out the room itself we have to build 2 walls and then finish it inside and out on all four. we have to have it wired for electrical.  Plenty of wall outlets and overhead lighting .
 I'm planning on taking still shots of progress and videos
We have two issues with our space it has a very low ceiling about 7'.  That means all of our lighting will have to be recessed. We plan on having several outlets for electrical around the base of the layout against the wall. And we have to post that are off center. Those will create a problem as far as how the layoffs going to have to be placed in the room.

So far it's a no named Railroad it will be completely freelanced. It will follow prototypical practices but not any particular Railroad


Scratchbuilding / Re: Building HO Scale SA Style Signals
« on: April 26, 2019, 08:52:38 PM »
Thank you for the drop in and the comments Gregory and Mark.  They are much appreciated.


Scratchbuilding / Re: Building HO Scale SA Style Signals
« on: April 17, 2019, 06:06:04 PM »
It passes the test...

Scratchbuilding / Re: Building HO Scale SA Style Signals
« on: April 17, 2019, 02:44:12 PM »
   Thanks for the input guys.
   The layout I am building these signals for, is going to be very large.  All the signaling will be fully "Automatic Block Signaling".  They will all be "absolute.  Passing sidings will have permissive. They will also have manual overrides when it's required.  The entire layout will be either run by a dedicated computer or dispatch panel.
   The top signal is an intermediate or home signal.  All home signals will have a cabinet as it's base.  The middle signal is for all rail intersections.  The top head is always distant on all four heads.  The lower head is for "east, west, north south."
   The third signal with staggered heads are "Absolute/permissive."  When a train is to take the siding, the upper head will be green and the lower will be yellow.  This indicates speed restrictions.  Under main line upper will be green lower will be dark.  If the upper of course is red and the lower dark, then this indicates the next block is occupied. Green or yellow, green being not restrictive, yellow restrictive.  Again, the entire system is "Absolute/restrictive."
   The owner and myself are both freelance model railroaders.  This is the system that we have agreed upon.  It may not be prototypical in the strictest sense.  But it will sure be fun to watch it all work.
   The entire railroad is to be on a dedicated computer.  It can also all be overriden manually or by local panels.


Scratchbuilding / Re: Building HO Scale SA Style Signals
« on: April 17, 2019, 09:57:35 AM »
I retreated from this thread because of two reasons.  1. There did not seem to be much interest. 2. I needed to redesign the front part of the jig.  I wanted to be able to build many different signal variations without building jigs for each style.

Here are the three styles I can now build on the same jig.  They are:

1. intermediate
2. crossing interlocking
3. passing siding interlocking


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Re: Thursday, February 14, 2019
« on: February 14, 2019, 10:09:30 AM »
Good morning all.  Happy Valentine's day!
Still stuck living in the ol' rv. Our Lot snow has melted some, but still can't get home.  Melted snow has left lots of standing  water.  It froze last night.  Roads are treacherous. 
Have a good day everyone.


What size tubing are these made of?  My signals are 3/32" tubing.  I use #35 magnet wire in these.  I can get four in the tubing.


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Tuesday morning Feb. 12
« on: February 12, 2019, 05:35:08 AM »
Good Morning everyone

Did we ever get slammed here in Seattle,  I couldn't even get home. I am originally from Illinois.  Tough winters.  When I started hearing about this storm I made a decision to take my RV to work.   Good thing I did.  My manager let me plug in.  I am writing this from my little home away from home.
Where I work, we had about 8" on the first day.  4" the second and another 3 on the 3rd day.  Sloppy wet snow that was impossible to navigate.  Yesterday, evening, it started raining.  Now it has taken that snow down a few inches.  Hope it doesn't freeze.  Hope everyone has a marvelous day.


Little edit here:  This will be my 5th day in the RV here.  Glad I listened to my first instinct about this storm.  Old Illinois farm boy memories.

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