North East Houston Switch

Discussion in 'Planks, Switching and Shelf Layouts' started by DustyHilux, Jul 27, 2022.

  1. DustyHilux

    DustyHilux Full Member

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    G'day P1MRC!

    This is the start of my build thread for my 'North East Houston Switch' shelf layout,

    I have wanted to build a simple shelf switching layout for a few years now, having a young family and a career change has kept me very busy, but i've got more and more free time now to get busy on the bench.

    heavily inspired by Lance Mindheims layouts and design, which i came across a while back as i got deeper into researching weathered rolling stock and initially had planned on building a simple LA style static diorama for photos, that idea snowballed and i thought it would be a bit more fun to have something operational.

    fast forward a bit and now i'm here, i've picked up some materials (timber, extruded foam board etc) to start my benchwork this week,

    the area i've picked is located in Houston Texas, NE of the city not far from the UP Englewood yards
    I've never been to Houston, just a fan of the state i guess and interested in all those small towns off the highways, so i spend a bit of time google mapping and looking at towns and following the freight lines

    i'm planning on laying the tracks similar to this area and will be loosely basing the structures and industry off of this as well,


    I've got some track, a few Walthers buildings to build and we will take it from there.

    my end goal is to have a simple and realistic layout and i think this is a great way to learn a lot of the fundamentals of model rail.

    stay tuned.
     
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  2. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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  3. DustyHilux

    DustyHilux Full Member

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    hangin to get started tomorrow arvo!

    for sure, i havnt decided if i'll run the double track across my road yet or freelance it a bit to make it work with my bench dimensions,
    roughly will be 1800x450 but i would like to add the curved single track on one end so it might have a bit of an L shape going on too
     
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  4. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    The curved single track will certainly give it that little bit more. Maybe it can hold a car or two as an off spot ?

    Cheers, Gary.
     
  5. Chris Doroszenko

    Chris Doroszenko Lost in the spare room Full Member

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    Great idea Dustyhilux...thats going to be a perfect lil switching section for your shelf. Looking forward to the updates.
    Welcome aboard!!:gday:

    Kind regards
    Chris
     
  6. DustyHilux

    DustyHilux Full Member

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    Cheers Chris!

    knocked off early from work today, went home via the not so local hobby store and grabbed a couple little things,

    made a start on the base, will cut the foam later tonight and glue it down tomorrow after a stop past the hardware store

    once i've got that part i'll work out what size to make the small extension for the right hand side which will from the L shape

    next i'm going to work out how all the wiring etc will go, havn't really done any of that before (on a layout that is) so looking forward to learning how that all works!




     
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  7. red clubbie

    red clubbie Full Member

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    I was pretty apprehensive about starting my wiring, having not wired a Layout before.

    I did plenty of research and asked questions on the Forum.
    There are really helpful people on the Forum, so if you have any queries, ask away...

    Cheers,
    Geoff.
     
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  8. DustyHilux

    DustyHilux Full Member

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    Thats it Geoff! thats why I'm here haha! glad I found this little community


    messed around last night and this morning with track and mock up buildings, got way too complicated with my trackwork and settled back for something simple, almost copying the LA Junction but adding another industry on the Left, obviously this will look a lot different but the track layout is similar
     
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  9. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    Nice track plan that will offer plenty of operation. :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:

    Wiring is a reasonably simple affair. Looking at the point you purchased, it is an insulated frog (Insulfrog). The Insulfrog points will make wiring easier for you. Will you be going down the DCC route or sticking with traditional DC ?

    Cheers, Gary.
     
  10. DustyHilux

    DustyHilux Full Member

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    This layout will be DC to keep it simple, I’ve only currently got one loco (GP15-1 UP) which is DC,

    I think it will be fine for now and upgrade at a later date when I’m ready to invest in some more expensive locos and rolling stock.

    I am a gas tech/plumber by day and do a fair bit of electrical work within appliances, it’s just a matter of applying all that to a model rail layout! :D

    I’ll reach out Gary in the very near future
     
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  11. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    Here is a simple wiring diagram/schematic you can use for isolating the sidings.


    With the use of insulated rail joiners and 5 x single pole/single throw switches or toggles, you can isolate the individual sidings for DC running.

    Cheers, Gary.
     
  12. DustyHilux

    DustyHilux Full Member

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    G'day Crew,

    got the foam down and rolled on some paint to seal it up,

    have been playing around with the layout and my structures and have come up with a different layout,
    i think this will work better with having two industries to switch,

    i am going back to my original ideas and basing this in California, not so much LA but maybe further north,
    Bakersfield type area, as i've travelled there a few times and have some of my own photos to reference,

    1st industry will be a general shipping company receiving and dispatching box cars,
    and the 2nd will be an aluminium foundry, receiving raw materials (aluminium ingot, and also sand)
    as well as dispatching finished cast products

    i've got another structure which is the Walthers small business center, (modern concrete panel factory) but i'm not 100% if this will fit in as it have a loading dock area at the back
    i may have to kit bash it into two structures, but that is a problem for later,

    no other pics apart from a new layout design


    hope you all had a productive weekend!

    cheers,
    J.
     
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  13. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    Simplified ! :thumbs:

    Have you enough lead on the left hand side to switch cars from the Shipping Co. ? Or will it be a case of one loco/one car at a time for switching ?

    Have you considered orientating the layout so it runs from bottom left to top right ? I see that the LH point is behind the non-rail served industry. :scratchchin:

    Cheers, Gary.
     
  14. DustyHilux

    DustyHilux Full Member

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    For some reason the drawing looks shorter than my actual layout even though it’s drawn with the right measurements, there is enough lead in there, and yep it will just be a 1 loco and 1 or 2 car switch operation

    I can move the structure across so the point is not behind as much,

    when I get home I’ll have another mess about and flip it around,

    All part of the process
     
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