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Old 01-06-2011, 03:05 PM   #1
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The "new" San Miguel Railway

As most of you know by now, I had to dismantle the last incarnation of the San Miguel that I had just started. I needed to free up space in this room for my son and a 3X6 table with shelf extension on it that was another 2x1 was just taking up too much room. I'm also in a bit of a financial bind right now which was going to make getting a big project like that in prime operating condition problematic. There was no place to store it so it had to be dismantled.
Well, I'm down but not out! Presented for your kind consideration is the "new" San Miguel Railway. It's a bit smaller than before and one of the prerequisites is that I be a be to get it "up and going" with stuff I have on hand.
The space available to me now is 20 inches wide by 6 feet long. I know it doesn't sound much smaller than the other layout but you would be surprised at how much less space that actually is especially considering it can be placed against the wall and doesn't have to be out in the middle of the room where I can access the back of it. This was an issue with the first incarnation that was based around the original Gorre and Daphetid.
Unfortunately, there is not a lot of ground breaking track planning you can do when you're limited to 3 left hand turnouts, a handful of flex and a turntable so the plan is quite simple.
It's basically an Inglenook with one more turnout added that leads to the
turntable and a track that runs behind everything at a higher level to give scenic interest. Eventuallly when the layout can be expanded, this higher track will connect to something but for now it's a "dummy" as far as operation is concerned.
Attached are two pictures, one is a crude pencil and pen drawing of the plan with scenery, bridge and building placement shown to give an idea of what I have in this crazy mind of mine and the other is my interpertation of the plan in RTS. I'm not great with RTS so this is the best I can do but at least it let's me know things will fit in the allotted space.
So there it is. I was going to continue this whole deal in my original San Miguel thread but under the circumstances, it deppressed me to look at it so I requested Roscoe close that thread for me and I'm starting fresh here.
BTW, this layout will still have a heavy John Allen influence too and it and will also eventually grow into the big "empire" I intended the original to be.
I just needed to start with something smaller and more financially attainable as the first "stage". More to come....
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File Type: jpg San Miguel.jpg (106.3 KB, 558 views)
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:59 PM   #2
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Looks like it will work for you. Atleast you will have a layout.
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:30 PM   #3
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Looks like it will work for you. Atleast you will have a layout.
As simple as it is, I think it will be quite a lot of fun. An operating "day" can consist of pulling the loco out of the engine house and onto the turntable, rotating it to line with the service track, pulling onto the service track for coal and water and then going back onto the turntable to turn the loco to be aligned with the mainline. Then the loco can be used to work the Inglenook puzzle. The tracks are longer than a traditional Inglenook which will make things easy but if I want the challenge I can put some kind of temporary wheel stop on the spurs to shorten them to a more traditional Inglenook length.
The thing I look forward to the most though is that I'm always rushing myself to get things done on a big layout. With a project this small I can savor every detail and really work on making something special without feeling "over extended" or a push to get done.
BTW, your signature really applies to me right now, it may not be "what's best, but it's what's best for me."
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:03 PM   #4
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Have you thought about moving the turntable to the left side of the layout and using it to move the engine from the front track to the back track? That would also free up the turnout to the TT for more industry. I'm not sure if I'm explaining it well.
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:25 PM   #5
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Have you thought about moving the turntable to the left side of the layout and using it to move the engine from the front track to the back track? That would also free up the turnout to the TT for more industry. I'm not sure if I'm explaining it well.
Joe,
I understand what you're getting at but the back track is 2 inches higher in elevation than the front track and TT. I like multi level trackage and right now the back track is there purely for scenic interest. As soon as I have more room, I will build a module with a 180 degree turnback curve on a 2% grade that will go on the left side and connect the front and back tracks together.
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah_count View Post
Joe,
I understand what you're getting at but the back track is 2 inches higher in elevation than the front track and TT. I like multi level trackage and right now the back track is there purely for scenic interest. As soon as I have more room, I will build a module with a 180 degree turnback curve on a 2% grade that will go on the left side and connect the front and back tracks together.
Sounds like a good plan. I didn't realize you were using this as the start of a bigger layout. I thought it was just to hold you until you could go back to work on the bigger layout. It's wise to plan ahead and use what you have if you can.
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Old 01-07-2011, 03:20 PM   #7
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Unfortunately the larger layout had to be dismantled. There was just no place my wife and I could come up with to store it. So yes, this is the start of a larger layout. The plan with the larger layout was that if would have to narrow down to a shelf width in places so this plan or something similar could have ended up attached to the larger layout. Instead, it's the starting point now.
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Old 01-07-2011, 09:00 AM   #8
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Looks like a good plan to me..please keep us updated..Jerry
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:42 PM   #9
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Michael, sounds like a good start to a plan man
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:18 PM   #10
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Benchwork

OK this is probably about the last time I can recycle benchwork!
I cut down one of my L girders to six feet in length and re worked the legs and braces. The joist are 20 inches wide and screwed and glue in place.
The first pic is the new benchwork and the second shows the board for the layout sitting on top of the joist. Of course it will be fastened down shortly.
Please excuse the room appearance, I am working at cleaning it out and getting ready to patch walls and repaint it for me and my son's computer room/den. That's why the larger layout had to go.
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File Type: jpg Photo0587.jpg (164.1 KB, 347 views)
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:37 PM   #11
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OK, have been making very slow but steady progress. Board is now fastened down to bench work and all the bracing is back in place on the legs. I cut out the hole for the turntable and started laying out the trackage. Results are shown below....
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:29 PM   #12
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Laid out a little more track. This is the complete lower level of the plan. The track is just temporarily held in place with some finishing nails.
Tomorrow I will mark it and then take it up in order to glue down the cork roadbed. I'll also work out the high level track as well.
One thing about being on a budget and not having a lot of turnouts and track is that I will have a nice uncluttered layout with a high scenery to track
ratio!
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May the work of the incomparable John Allen
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Check out the "San Miguel RR" here

Last edited by noah_count : 01-09-2011 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:21 AM   #13
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Looks great, Mike.

Good going.
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:41 AM   #14
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Looks very good Mike, nice clean work. A train will be running in no time at all.
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:04 PM   #15
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Michael, the trackage is looking good man, glad to see you're still making a layout!
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:36 PM   #16
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Michael, the trackage is looking good man, glad to see you're still making a layout!
Yes, I couldn't completely do without a layout. This one is very simple by space and economic necessities but I'm having fun and that's what counts.
I'm also finding that with the small size and simplicity that I'm preceding at what, for me at least, is a very leisurely pace. Usually with bigger layouts, I'm in a hurry to get done or to a certain point of done anyway. With this one, not so much.
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:11 PM   #17
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Scenic considerations

Just because I'm building a small simple shelf layout doesn't mean I have to abandon my love for rugged mountain scenery and bridges. Part of the reason for adding the upper level "dummy" track is to open up scenic possibilities.
Today I cut out the "gorge" that will contain a small river scene and allow me to add the scenic interest of the tracks crossing it on two bridges. The lower level track will cross on a Warren truss bridge and the higher one will cross on a wooden trestle.
Again, this is a question of using stuff I have on hand. I modified the Kato truss bridge long ago to accept ME code 55 bridge track and I had already started building the trestle bents for the other layout using my "poor mans" construction technique.
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:43 PM   #18
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Well I guess it's time to call in the track crew. Here's a pic of the layout as it stands thus far. I've got to head back to work tomorrow after a couple of snow days but I managed to get this much done. Still need to do a light sanding of the cork roadbed to knock off any irregularities and high spots but then I can start laying track.
I haven't completely finished cutting near my turnouts, I always like to leave a little excess till I get the turnout in place. I also have yet to lay any roadbed on the other side of the gorge or install upper level track support there. I will wait to I get a better handle on my bridge and trestle placement before I do that but basically this phase of construction is about wrapped up.
More to come...
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:35 AM   #19
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Did you get backk on your meds yet? Hope so, that is a good idea to put those priority.
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:17 PM   #20
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A little bit more progress to report on the layout.
After years of using cardboard or foam board to make the profile boards for my mountains, I decided to try something a tad more substantial this time.
In my necessary quest to save money by using what I have on hand, I took some hardboard scraps I had laying around and tacked them to the back of the layout and drew my mountain profile on them. Then I took them loose and cut them with a jigsaw. Since the scraps were all manner of colors from black to sky blue backdrop color I dug around in my paint box and found some gloss black paint and blasted them all black. Doesn't matter, it's going to be hidden anyway but I wanted to give things some uniformity to look at while I worked on the layout between now and the plaster stage. I used gloss black instead of flat because again, it's what I "have on hand".
I then reattached the pieces to the layout and covered the seams with some black tape. What looks like a continuous piece in the pic is actually three odd pieces of hardboard. I will use this profile board to attach my web of cardboard strips to and then cover it with plaster soaked paper towels. Should end up with a strong mountain side.
This deal of using all my train stuff and building stuff that I already have without going out and buying too much stuff got me to thinking.
I wonder how many of us could put together a credible small layout or diorama just using stuff we have collected up over the years and didn't use on our big layouts? Would be a neat challenge.
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