Problems with "The Central Midland" Atlas HO-29 layout w/Pics

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R

railandsail

Guest
#21
Lots of Trains Simultaneously

Ditto. Although I'm building a once-through-each-scene narrow-shelf-around-the-walls layout right now, it's only because I have the space for it. If my space was more constricted, I'd use the spaghetti-bowl approach because for me running trains is what model railroading is mostly about.
I like running trains as well.
Note:
railandsail said:
Doubletrack Mainlines
I made another significant modification to the trackplan that would allow for continuous double train operation without regards for the original single-track bridge restriction. This consists of a curved ramp that shortcut-links the upper inner mainline with the lower inner mainline in the ‘access hole’ area destined to be hidden by a removable foam mountain structure. This link rail is a steep grade, but I have been able to run long trains both up and down the grade without derailing. I also included protective barriers on the sides of the ramp to contain any derailments. Two long trains running in the same direction get out of phase due to the difference in the length of the two loops. Two trains in opposite directions is quite photogenic
So I could run 2 long trains continuously around the layout, another short train around loop under turntable, a turntable operation, and a freight yard switching operation all at the same time. Then I was considering a logging train loop in the 'mountains'.
 
R

railandsail

Guest
#22
Layout for Sale

I'm going to put my layout for sale on Ebay pretty soon. I've decided I will build another over in Asia.

I may have time to convert it to DCC before I leave, and I may have a unique offer for transport to, and set up in the buyers location. That's a bit different than most such offers. :cool:

So if you know someone that really should be getting their trains running, rather than just sitting in boxes, or on display, tell them about it.

railandsail@gmail.com
 
#23
one thing I like to use to check for level track is exactly that. a level... find a 6" level or even a pice of flat steel a few inches long that cant bow or flex. then tweak and shim the track at spots that a train derails. remember a 6 axel loco needs better track work than a 4 axel. if your track seams level in a curve check the outside rail for issues first. the locos trucks will push on the outside rail as its forced to turn. A bent rail or a low spot in the rail will let the leading wheel ride up and over it. this is where shims under the roadbed or track help. I think you are at a stage where all the flaws will show. this is a normal step in the building process that even great track layers deal with. Keep up the good work its coming along nicely

Trent
 
R

railandsail

Guest
#24
One of John's Best

....just happened across this posting over on the Atlas forums site

I truly think this is one of The Best Atlas track plans!

If you follow the layout as a single track mainline, and go thru all the main's crossover's, (As The mainline run) look at the Industry/switching potential.

On the far left, the inside siding track can be a lead to a mine or timber or gravel 'industry thing' in the and above the 2 mains that crossover each other. (One, of course is hidden - at ground zero.)

Over on the right, If you leave extra room to run parallel with the 2 mains, is a siding/switching area. I was thinking of a multi-single siloed Grain Elevater complex that would use only one or 2 tracks; Again switchable as the mainline crossover at the bottom lets a main train run freely, while switching along that right side.

John, gives a little hint of these possibilities, with that little freighthouse at the bottom of the layout - again on a 'siding' , IF and when run as a single track mainline.

All three Siding area's could be switched from the 'siding' off of the main - Not impeding a mainline run - His layout allows a mainline runner AND local freight ops at the same time!

If you want a GREAT idea for that single track circle - Go to a Hobby Shop and take a look at the cover of Kalmbachs (Ian Rice author) "Small, Smart & Practical Track Plans" Just look what one example of that Loop with a little straight track, CAN Become!

That John Armstrong - THE BEST !

His Layouts are like the very Best Bob Dylan song, the more you examine the more you see and learn.

That Ian Rice Book is a Great read, also, And he explains the layout on that cover.

I've got tons of idea's, but gotta keep "my eyes on the prize," - just getting the main track layed down.
 
R

railandsail

Guest
#25
Interim Layout Fullfillment, mine is for sale now

1) Are you still dreaming of that certain perfect layout you’ve been planning for years??

2) Are you tired of procrastinating about getting a layout, so you can actual run some of those fabulous model trains in your ever-increasing collection??

What you need is an interim plan, at least. And you never can tell, your ‘interim plan’ may turn out to be more of a permanent plan than you first anticipated…..that’s what happened to me. So I’m here to offer you the chance to take over my ‘interim plan layout’, and make additions to it as you desire, or simply run your trains for a while and then sell it onward to another ‘layout-less’ train person.

I bought this layout as just a bench work frame with sectional brass track. My ‘interim plan’ was to just clean up the brass track, smooth out its form, solder all the joints of the sectional track together to obtain some good electrical contact, and then run some trains. I would then sell it off to another rr-fan and build my dream layout. Alas, I drew more fond of its big versatility in a relatively small space, and developed a whole theme to pursue. Concurrently I realized that I would likely not have the time to start a new dream layout from scratch that would offer the enjoyment I was getting from tweaking this one, and running new trains I was still buying.

Fortunately the gentleman who built the ‘open grid’ base structure made the decision to provide for the layout to be broken down into 3 sections for removal or installation into a new home location. I’ve maintained that same capability with my additions, both mechanically and electrically.

Some thoughts on my pricing.
I believe Atlas currently list the price of this layout plan with its most basics; track & turnouts (no power packs, bldgs, turntable, etc) at $1995. I’ve easily added this amount to the layout myself. I venture to guess that should you employ one of the professional layout building services to build such a layout, you would probably be talking $11-15K plus, plus.

At those prices you would likely not recoup your investment upon selling it second hand. At my $4,600 price I dare say you should recoup most all of your money even without more investment into the layout on your part…..just have fun running multiple trains.

Lets say you get in a hurry to sell, and you let it go for $2000. It only cost you $2600 to run your trains on this marvelous little layout for 1, 2,…6 years. Not bad, pure enjoyment for this price !!

Why am I selling this layout ??
Only because I’m moving overseas, and can’t justify shipping it there. I will have to build a new one over there, and maybe in my own coffee shop.

Moving it, and resetting-up.
This problem presents itself as one of the biggest obstacles to reselling a train layout. My solutions to those problems:

[Problem #1 ] solved. My layout, as built, breaks down into 3 separate sections to fit thru doorways, down stairs, and into a van

[Problem #2 ] I have a diesel box van truck that the layout can be transported in…distance & fuel may need to be considered.
(it also represents a free storage unit if there should be some need for delaying shipment for a short period of time)

[Problem #3 ] As I am retiring, I may be able to offer myself as a cheap labor source to set up the layout at your location.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
#26
Price Reduction

railandsail;121891[U said:
Some thoughts on my pricing[/U].
I believe Atlas currently list the price of this layout plan with its most basics; track & turnouts (no power packs, bldgs, turntable, etc) at $1995. I’ve easily added this amount to the layout myself. I venture to guess that should you employ one of the professional layout building services to build such a layout, you would probably be talking $11-15K plus, plus.

At those prices you would likely not recoup your investment upon selling it second hand. At my $4,600 price I dare say you should recoup most all of your money even without more investment into the layout on your part…..just have fun running multiple trains.

Lets say you get in a hurry to sell, and you let it go for $2000. It only cost you $2600 to run your trains on this marvelous little layout for 1, 2,…6 years. Not bad, pure enjoyment for this price !!
Bringing this thread up to date, first off note that I reduced the price to 3400.

I had a buyer this past fall/winter, but he was unable to follow thru.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
#27
Three Separate Sections

... allow the layout to be broken down into three sections for relocation purposes.
Okay I finally had to move the layout out of my old house and I've placed it in my Isuzu boxtruck till it gets sold or shipped somewhere. i took some photos as I disassembled the layout, but didn't have the camera handy when I took the first and biggest section apart and to the truck. So I'll start with those photos of it loaded in boxtruck.

(note: disreard the 'triangular section' containing another roundtable as it belonged to another layout I purchased a while back)
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
#29
...more sections

note the magic marker 'circles around some of the screws holes', that was to remind me of which screws had to be a part of the disassembly verse just normal frame screws.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
#31
Electrical Connections between Sections

...The entire electrical wiring system is quite elaborate, but very well organized and bundled up nicely. There are split-connectors pre-wired in to allow the layout to be broken down into three sections for relocation purposes.
Notice that the electrical wires that communicate between the 3 sections do so by male/female electrical connectors already wired in. There are only a few additional misc wires that do not have their own plugs, but these are readily obivous.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
#32
Control Panels

...The traditional Atlas turnout controls are NO longer utilized. Several capacitor-discharge units now power the turnouts when a zone button is pushed. There are toggle switches placed at each turnout location on the track plan diagrams, and their ‘handles’ are oriented so as to indicate the direction in which the track turnout is thrown. So choose the train’s route, throw all the applicable toggles to the desired direction, and then press the ‘zone button’ to activate the turnout operation.
This is the panel for control of the freight yard and turntable areas.

Not only are there LOTS of isolated blocks (thus lots of wiring), but I manage to make the whole thing convertable from the original electrical design by Atlas, as well as my later sysyem that utilizes two power packs for each block on the layout. In other words under the older non-DCC wiring I could still have any one of two different power packs controlling any one section (block) of track. AND the original Atlas plans called for the mainline power-packs to be able to run trains into the freight yard as well. I maintained that capability as well
 
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beiland

Well-Known Member
#33
Mainline Control Panel

if you look at the backsides of both of these panels you can find the capacitive discharge unit that 'throws' the Atlas switch machines...often fed to 3-4 at one shot
 
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beiland

Well-Known Member
#35
Reverese Image

HO Scale Train Layout, Central Midland (modified)

This trackplan is largely based on John Armstrong’s design, commissioned for Atlas Model RR, “The Central Midland”, plan #HO-29. But mine is in the ‘reverse image’ of the original,...
By reverse image, here is what I'm speaking of
View attachment 21051

View attachment 21052

Never did add this panoramic view
 
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#36
I have to admit that DCC is a lot less wiring. I am glad dcc is around. Saves all that time doing what you did. You did a great job and I am impressed but glad it was not me. May not have turned out that well. ;)
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
#37
...and for an 'electrically challenged' guy at that, it was a job :rolleyes:

Part of the 'organization of the wiring' was so I could continue to follow all the paths, and make changes in the future as need be.
 
#38
hello,i have been pondering building this magnifacent layout since 1968, when my uncle gave me atlas"s plan book when he closed his hobby shop in albany n.y. now thiers atlas "0" plan packages, but low&behold no plan "O"-29 ! they do have my other choice,ho-28,granite gorge&northen.my question;how do i go about putting together a midland"package in atlas "O"? i sure look foward to any and all replies.sounds intriging dont it! thank all of you.&this forum, railroadron.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
#39
Just off the top of my head I would think you could take one of those two overhead views I posted above to a print shop and have them blow it up to O scale...or a scale that will accurately represent one of your actual turnouts. Then use flex track to connect everything together
 



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