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Monthly Archives: December 2014 December 30, 20148 Reasons to Single or Double Track Your Model RailroadOne of the key questions asked when it comes to track planning is whether to single track or double track the line.
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The answer to that dilemma will become apparent when you decide the answers to these 8 questions:1. Building These N scale rails plans are small only each has decent features to be interesting. These north scurf track plans are small but from shelf railroad track plans each one has enough features to be interesting. I recollect going ended to my grandparents house on Christmas morning and in that location on the dining put over was an HO scale model train set. If you want space I strongly encourage you to build up unmatchable of the shelf layouts that are very the focus.
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Ane endeavour to theoretical account things that employ some of my skills from the preceding with the store bought flirt train. Running two or more trains on your own is more difficult than you might think, especially when operating a large layout.
In that respect are lots of ways to pour trackage onto a shelf switcher and shelf plans design doodling shunting layouts is type A great occupation for a rainy afternoon operating theatre a. I watched with childish glee as the little Reading steam engine pulled antiophthalmic factor short drawing string of freightage cars up over and around a figur.
Like many little boys I got my first model train fix for I remember going concluded to my grandparents house on Christmas sunup and in that location on the dining table was an HO ordered series model.
DCC has made wiring and control much easier, but if you are not paying attention, the trains could derail on a curve, in a tunnel, or onto the floor.2.

Are you prepared for more track maintenance?I am not trying to discourage you from double tracking, far from it; but it is important to be aware of the ramifications in terms of cost, space, operation, and maintenance. Do you have the time, the energy, and the patience to ensure both mains are kept clean for your trains to run smoothly?3.
Do you have enough space to double track?I touched on space requirements earlier, but the importance of having enough space to double track should not be overlooked.
In particular, the curves need to be wide enough and spaced correctly, so that trains don’t side swipe each other and derail.
Do you operate enough freight traffic to justify two mains?In the real world, single track railroads typically have a passing siding where a train can wait for another train to clear. If you’re only going to operate one train, and then maybe 10 to 15 minutes later operate the next one, then a single track is possibly all you require.6.
A model railroad can be more visually interesting, and look a little more prototypical by double tracking, or by using a combination of single track and double track. One option is to double track most of the layout and then run a single track over a bridge, through a tunnel, on a tight curve, possibly through a town, or somewhere else where it might be much easier to just have single track. That approach is not uncommon on real railroads, because it can save the railroad money without adversely affecting operational efficiency.7.
What is the length of your longest train?If you opt to single track your layout and compensate by including passing sidings, then you’ll need to know the length of your longest train before committing.
Also, it can be a good idea to position a siding close to a passenger station, rail yard or industry. An industry could operate off a siding without affecting the main line traffic operations.Now, I could have posed this question earlier, because it is a key factor.
This minimized delays, because being on a different line the fast freights didn’t need to wait for the slower regular stopping passenger trains.As a matter of interest, until January 1956 a railroad with revenues of $1 million was classified as a Class 1 railroad. Before 1956, railroads with annual revenues below $100,000 were classified as Class III railroads.The annual revenue cutoff requirement for railroad classification has increased over the years. Class 1 railroads increased several times from $3 million to $5 million by 1965, to $10 million by 1976, to $50 million in 1978, and in 2011 to $433.2 million.
The number of railroads meeting the Class 1 cutoff requirements reduced in number over the years.Throughout the years there were also other requirements and changes that affected railroad classifications.
In 1979 all terminal and switching railroads were re-designated to Class III.Railroads with increasing revenues were often reluctant to be reclassified, because an upgrading usually meant a corresponding increase in legal and administrative costs. An example was in 1991 when the Wisconsin Central and Montana Rail Link Class II railroads requested the ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission) increase the required minimum revenue requirement from $93.5 million. This was to avoid being re-designated to Class I.Also, the introduction of CTC (Centralized Traffic Control) changed railroad signal operations. Many rail passenger services ceased to exist as railroads were forced to streamline or downsize operations with single track and passing sidings.So, numerous changes have impacted rail operation over the decades. One solution is to store your excess trains in their boxes or put them on display in cabinets or on shelves. Try to integrate your staging track with it linked to the main track at each end.If there is sufficient space for two staging tracks, then better still. The intent of a yard (other than for storage) is to gather inbound cars for redistribution, and to assign them to trains bound for the intended destination.Although the easy way is to just lift a car off the track and plonk it down where you want it, that takes the fun out of solving the puzzle.
Always include an escape route so that locomotives don’t get trapped on track spurs at the REAR of a line of freight cars.4.
With a more interesting track configuration it is possible to simulate the day-to-day activities of a real railroad. And, that’s where the stimulation, action, and challenges can really come into play.I said “challenges”, because the job on any railroad (real or scale model), is to operate the railroad as efficiently and effectively as possible. So, cars on spurs need to be efficiently organized and accessible (too many cars on a spur can cause operational issues and delays).The pickups and drop offs can be controlled on a model railroad with the aid of car cards. The trains would go from one destination to another picking up and dropping off passengers or freight. This all needs to happen to a schedule so as not to delay passengers, or delaying freight from getting delivered, or delaying other trains.Too many cars waiting around doing nothing could send the railroad broke. Decide if there are any special instructions to go with the car.This is where model railroad operation can really become interesting, because each train or car can function like pieces (or tokens) on a giant playing board (your layout).
Too many delays and this will affect the railroads profitability.The key to all this is to have fun, regardless of whether you want to take operations seriously, or just watch your trains go around the track.
A little complexity can give a model railroad purpose, but too much complexity can lead to frustration.
What a wonderful layout!!Space limitations are a problem almost every model railroader faces when constructing or expanding their layout.
They obviously require less space to operate, and the landscape also takes up less space when compared to bigger scales such as HO, OO, and of course the very large O scale.However, another option worthy of consideration is to include a shelf layout as part of the design. I built a very accurate and good quality loft room in my father’s house in England ready for a railway like Talented Dave’s set up but left and went to live in Australia. To hide my train set so my friends when they visit will not know its there and won’t know I am an Anorack as they call it in England.Using Cedar Marine Plywood for the Train BaseboardI purchased 15mm thick Cedar marine plywood as it is my favorite plywood.
I was going to build my board at Christmas but we had a Creative Arts & Technology night coming up at the school where I am the Design and Technology teacher. Three of my students had finished their robotic project so I quickly designed the board and started them off building it.
My board is going to have two layers and at least six trains running at a time.The bottom board is constructed from four pieces that bolt together with four bolts for each section.

In places I have had to join the plywood because I didn’t want to waste any expensive pieces not by choice.
Apart from a few glue marks the board is excellent.The students also made me some adjustable legs out of steel which were welded and cleaned up and powder coated. I’ll improve on the up and down motion later.Collection of Model Trains Ready For The New LayoutThese are a few more pictures of my track set out template (Not totally convinced yet).
I Like a lot of Australian trains and rolling stock detail is very good.I have just started a sloping girder bridge to take you from the top layer a round the curve. I really do like Australian landscape and gum trees and grain storage systems but I only have about 380mm to fit under the hide away desk.Thanks to Steve for sending in the information and photos.
Part of it is my own fault, because the track config is just a main line with a couple of sidings.
I have space to include a branch line, so I know when I add that, it will provide more variety.  What I need is more purpose for my system. However, over time, many mines either run out of the resource they are extracting from the ground, or the minable quantities become unprofitable.
Depending on the size or scale of mineral find or farming activities, a small town would get established complete with streets (or art least a main street), a general store, saloon, maybe a jail or sheriffs office, a schoolhouse, church, and blacksmiths.
The valuable mineral deposits ran out when there were no more precious minerals to dig, no ore smelter or mine chute was built, no railroad arrived, and the few structures left were often abandoned. Even a scene like that (although somewhat sad), can develop into a mysterious and fascination landscape on a model railroad.
This list is by no means complete, but serves to show how wide spread and important mining is or was in the USA and Canada.This article has mainly focused on mining in North America, but that’s not to say mining in other countries has been or still is very important. South Africa is known for its precious metals like diamonds, Australia has many resources including iron ore, coal, gold, copper, silver, uranium, opals, bauxite, nickel, diamonds, zinc, oil shale, petroleum, and natural gas.
And, most mines need good rail access to transport the precious resources to a refinery, or to a port for export. Many of the buildings can be purchased separately, but most are also available in bulk packs of 6 or more assorted buildings. The downloadable plans are already weathered & detailed so no paints are required (unless you want to add further detailing). Apart from being very realistic in appearance, they are also very sturdy after construction, although you can add extra internal supports if you choose. You only need to download the plans once, and you can then build several from the same download if you choose.
5 Quick Tunnel TipsModel train tunnels are generally a necessity on mountainous layouts, but they can also add greatly to the realism of a scene.A tunnel is an excellent device for making a model railroad seem to be much bigger than it actually is. A tunnel will hide the train for part of its journey, leaving the viewer to imagine it has departed the area for a distant destination. When the train mysteriously reappears out the other end of the tunnel, it is easy to imagine it’s a completely different train coming from somewhere else. An unpainted “plywood-colored” tunnel interior will look unnatural, and lack the dark and mysterious appearance of a real tunnel.2. If you are not experienced with making your own tunnel portals, they are reasonably inexpensive to buy. Ready-made tunnel portals sometimes are pre-weathered, but you can add your own weathering effects with gray wash, chalk etc.
Ready-made portals are certainly more realistic at the entrance to a tunnel than is a roughly cut hole.4. Allow plenty of clearance inside the tunnel for your longest and tallest trains to navigate safely. There also needs to be adequate clearance for track and trains to the left and right of tunnel entrances. Although this won’t necessarily stop all derailments, it will ensure your trains don’t come to a sudden stop each time they try to enter the tunnel. Also, you’ll want enough space to put your fingers, or a tool (pair of long forceps or tweezers) inside the entrance if a train derails.5.
Allow access to the tunnel interior, because you can almost guarantee your trains will want to derail in the most hard to reach location on your layout, especially inside tunnels! Derailed trains can usually be retrieved easily from inside short tunnels, but longer curved tunnels can be problematic. This is why creating another access point is a good idea, either from underneath the track, or through the side of the mountain.
Another option is to make your mountain (or tunnel) as a lift off section.One quick idea is to build an old photo frame into the scenery. When a train derails you simply remove the backing sheet of frame to access the inside of your tunnel. How much new wiring will I need to do to convert to DCC considering that I currently have various blocks I use to control trains in the different sections of my layout.

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