The time has come. After over 10 years of amassing trains, producing numerous test track videos, and always looking for a new hobby, I have begun construction on my own model railroad layout, the North East and Everee Railroad.
The name of the railroad was chosen to accommodate my varied interest in many different railroads (N.E. and Everee – get it?) and their respective equipment. Since this project will be a very long term one, it gets its own special category here on RCGrabBag.com.
The railroad layout will be in HO scale, and will occupy approximately 17×14 feet of my basement. This may seem large to some of you, but to those in the hobby, it’s a small layout. As such, it will present some challenges, as well as compromises. I like big steam, so having large locomotives running on a small layout had me scratching my head on the best way to accomplish this goal without making the trains look silly.
Large locomotives look unrealistic coming around tight turns, with large chunks of the front and rear of the locomotive hanging over the turns. So for my layout, I’ve imposed a minimum turn radius of 32″, BUT, there will be compromises, so I may need to have tighter curves in some areas, but those areas will be inside tunnels, hidden from view. Also, I envision a grand wooden trestle at the highest point of my railroad. By grand, I mean 12-14 inches above the lowest levels of track on the layout. In order to do this, I’m going to have to compromise and create grades much greater in steepness than would occur in the real world, or on larger model layouts, in order to reach that height. These sort of compromises are often necessary in model railroading. The key is keeping them to a minimum or avoiding them whenever possible.
The layout will have a double-track mainline, yard, turntable large enough for my largest locos, passenger station(s), freight depot(s), and will be controlled by DCC. The bulk of the track will be Atlas code 83 flex track, and turnouts will be a minimum of #6 or greater, except perhaps in some industrial sidings.
As you can see, I’m trying to cram a LOT into a small railroad layout, and trying to make it look like I’m not trying to cram a lot into a small railroad layout. My theme for this model railroad is “big steam on a little railroad”, and may help some of you in the same dilemma in which I find myself.
So, construction begins…
Jan 17, 2011: The first shot here is an unoccupied section of our finished basement. This will be the location of the layout. The next photo I’ve brought in some 1×4 8ft pine boards and am laying out a makeshift perimeter to illustrate the space that will be occupied by the layout.
This is a 4ft x 16ft section of benchwork was erected today. It only took about four hours. It is made up of 1×4 pine with a height of about 40 inches. On top of the benchwork will be a 4-inch layer of foam insulation to serve as the table top. This puts the lowest level of the platform at around 44 inches.
Much more to come, so stay tuned. This website will be updated regularly with progress.
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