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Thread: The D&J Railroad -- From Scratch

  1. #1

    Default The D&J Railroad -- Building a Large MR From Scratch

    I started this thread in the Introduction section, but decided it really should be over here. I hope you can follow along as I start this major project from a blank basement setting to a fully sceniced model railroad with a southwestern look and UP/BNSF motive power.
    This is the start of a large basement layout that I have been promising to myself for some time now. The previous D&J Railroad was a full perimeter basement layout with 2 1/2 scale miles of double track mainline and 14 industries. It had its beginnings in 1984 using left over lumber from the construction of my house back then. It's final configuration was controlled with Digitrax and included a 40' end to end staging yard. The previous layout was built in sections over an 18 year time frame. No detailed plan was ever really put together other than a rough idea of where I wanted track to run and scenery to spring up. I tore it down in 2005 to remodel the basement then to sell the house. The housing market fell apart shortly after that and my hobby sat in boxes and bins until I attempted to start a new layout in late 2008. In March 2009 my wife died and I again tore out what I had started.
    I am in a new house now with over 2000 square feet of basement that will be totally dedicated to the new D&J Railroad. The first thing I have to do is put up stud framing to support drywall.
    This picture is a layout of the basement showing the stairwell and utilities in the center of the basement. The circles are 8', 10' and 15' in diameter.
    Another picture is in post #10 of this thread showing the approximate location of the peninsulas and the benchwork plan for around the walls.



    The triangle shape in the upper right will be a small utility room with the walk out sliding door on the top wall line. The dimensions of the basement are 35' x55' and it will be totally model railroad.

    This is the first stud framing to be completed along the left wall in the diagram. The size of the room in the picture is deceiving because of the 8 1/2 foot ceiling. The height of the ceiling makes the room look smaller.



    Put some more wall studs up. This extends around and half way up the right side of the basement drawing. This is about 100' of wall so far.



    22 Oct 11: Loaded 51 sheets of 1/2" drywall into the basement. Still mulling over track plan for the center part of the basement.
    26 Oct 11: The stud framing is completed and I have put up the drywall around the utility room on the top right of the basement layout.
    14 Nov 11: A lot of the drywall is up now. Getting down to the tedious parts of enclosing the pipes, center steel I beam, air ducts and rounding the corners of the room. I can do the painting with an air gun because there is no carpeting in the basement to be concerned about. First coat will be a sandable primer so I can do the final smoothing. After that, the scenery background sky color will be applied by air gun and brush for a graduated sky color from horizon to a sky blue ceiling.




    This is one of the rounded corners. With the larger radii of the planned corner curves, it would be virtually impossible to reach all the way into the corner to do scenery or whatever else without crawling onto the bench. It also provides a smoother transition from one wall to another for the background.
    Keeping in mind, the bottom half of the wall will be concealed by the benchwork skirting, thus no need to put drywall there but I can store stuff under the benchwork behind the skirting.

    28 Nov 11 Finishing up with cutting drywall. Now just spreading the mud and tape.
    Benchwork can't be to far off now.






    2 Jan 2012 - Most of the sanding is done now. Just a few touch up places with mud and then a layer of primer paint.



    14 Jan 2012 - First coat of primer is applied to the walls. A little more sanding touch up and the sky blue paint will go on this weekend.



    16 Jan 2012. Flat blue paint is applied to the entire room. I just finished vacuuming the floor before this picture to clean up the dried over spray, so some of the dust is still in the air. I'm considering painting the floor before beginning the benchwork.







    21 Jan 2012 - Started installing the benchwork.



    I had to narrow down the size of the benchwork as it passes in front of the stairway door. This allows about 12" of shelf for a double track mainline to pass.



    Benchwork for the first peninsula is started. I'm using anchor screws to secure it to the floor so it doesn't slide or tip. The half circle in the background is 8' in diameter. I use that to make sure I have at the very least 48" radius for the curves. This peninsula will be about 55" radius for track.


    4 Feb 2012 - The second peninsula is almost completed in the picture below. Just need to add the diagonal supports to keep the uprights in place.
    You can almost see the team of late version BNSF motive power coming down the yard lead into the sorting yard with a string of loaded well cars on the right while another trio is ready head uphill with a cut of 25 auto carriers with a set of SD40-2s pushing from the rear.

    Last edited by D&J RailRoad; 02-05-2012 at 02:55 PM.
    Ken
    When ya absolutely positively need model railroad fun, choose the D&J Railroad.


    Visit the progress of the construction of the D&J Railroad at:
    http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/f...-From-Scratch]

  2. Default

    In the beginning, there was a plan and a wall.......and it was good!
    Corey

  3. Default

    I love your choice in Wallpaper! Very 1960's NASA!

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Secondhandmodeler View Post
    In the beginning, there was a plan and a wall.......and it was good!
    Good one there Second. LOL
    Ken
    When ya absolutely positively need model railroad fun, choose the D&J Railroad.


    Visit the progress of the construction of the D&J Railroad at:
    http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/f...-From-Scratch]

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by OCN Guy View Post
    I love your choice in Wallpaper! Very 1960's NASA!
    The insulation was already nailed to the concrete wall by the builder so I will just put the studs up in front of it.
    Ken
    When ya absolutely positively need model railroad fun, choose the D&J Railroad.


    Visit the progress of the construction of the D&J Railroad at:
    http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/f...-From-Scratch]

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by D&J RailRoad View Post
    The insulation was already nailed to the concrete wall by the builder so I will just put the studs up in front of it.
    Nailed to the concrete, huh? Interesting...

  7. #7

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    I have the stud walls put up all the way to the bottom right corner of the basement layout drawing. That's about 80 linear feet or so. I'll stop by Lowes on the way home from work today and pick up another load of 104" 2x4s, a door with frame and some concrete screws. I ordered about 300 feet of flex track and cork roadbed from M.B. Kliens and a drywall installation rack to put up the ceiling and walls.
    The bench work plan is settling into an around the wall with a deformed T coming off the wall at the top of the drawing and each arm of the T opeing up into a large balloon of about 8' radii loops (16' diameter). The depth of the scenery of the balloons will be kept to about 3' for easy access to industries. All the mainline will be double tracked.
    Ken
    When ya absolutely positively need model railroad fun, choose the D&J Railroad.


    Visit the progress of the construction of the D&J Railroad at:
    http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/f...-From-Scratch]

  8. #8

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    I take it from your user title this will be in HO? I'm starting an N layout myself and I envy the kind of space you have there! I could have double the space you'd have and I'd probably still go N, just for the sense of scale you could achieve.

    Keep us posted!

  9. #9

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    The drywall rack arrived yesterday via FedEx and I have about another day's work in finishing the last utility room wall in the upper right of the basement layout plan. Gotta put a door in there too. Should have it completed tonight. Then it's on to putting up drywall.
    In addition to this work, I'm finishing up some exterior yard work around a deck that I just completed. Spreading 11 tons of crushed stone under it to keep the weeds down.

    30 Oct 2011: Drywall has been started. Installing rounded corners has slowed things down a bit, but it will bring the back of the scenery in the corners into reach without having to crawl up onto the table surface. On 30 Oct I have drywall from the top right of the layout drawing down around to the bottom left corner. After the walls are up, I will put some ceiling coverage in.
    Last edited by D&J RailRoad; 10-31-2011 at 04:43 AM.
    Ken
    When ya absolutely positively need model railroad fun, choose the D&J Railroad.


    Visit the progress of the construction of the D&J Railroad at:
    http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/f...-From-Scratch]

  10. #10

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    This is the general track plan for the layout. As I build the benchwork, it will become apparent where industries can fit in. A sorting yard will go on the center pennisula and a staging yard will fit under the table starting from the top wall around to the left, then the bottom wall and come back up to the top level in the left pennisula. All mainline track will be double track and should be around 6 miles for one loop. The basement dimensions are about 35' verticle and about 55' wide with a 9 foot ceiling. Minimum radii will be about 55" (110" circle).
    Last edited by D&J RailRoad; 08-10-2012 at 07:50 AM.
    Ken
    When ya absolutely positively need model railroad fun, choose the D&J Railroad.


    Visit the progress of the construction of the D&J Railroad at:
    http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/f...-From-Scratch]

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