Monday, July 27, 2015

New Project: Basement Layout

Ever since I bought my house back in 2013 I've wanted to build a nice sized layout in the basement. I'm lucky enough to have the entire open floor space of the basement for my trains and whatever else I want. Now that I've been here almost two years and I would really like to run some trains, I've decided to get serious about planning and building a basement layout. It will be slightly more ambitious than a simple 4x8 sheet of plywood with an oval, but nothing too crazy since this is the first layout I will have built on my own.

I have been working on some concepts in SCARM lately and came up with something that will fit into a nice open corner I have in my basement. It will be an open-center rectangle shape with one leg sticking off to accommodate a wye for turning trains around. Overall, the main rectangle is just over 14 feet long and 7 feet wide. The leg that sticks off is about 9 inches wide and 3 feet long. To access the center I plan on either doing a lift out or duck under on the right side, I just haven't decided which yet. The duck under is simpler, but may get annoying after a while.

I like this plan because it will allow me to just run trains along the one main line, but at the same time run some simple operations in the yard and on the industrial spurs.

Mockup of my basement layout concept in SCARM
I took the SCARM plan one step further and roughed out the design for the actual benchwork. I plan on using 1x4's for the perimeter frame with 1x3's as stringers in between. There will be seven main sections that I will bolt together in case I ever decided to move the layout.

A rough look at the plan for the benchwork
 Here are a couple of 3D previews from SCARM:

A preview of the yard side of the layout
A preview of the town/industrial spur side of the layout
Even though I am still working on the office shelf layout, and I plan to continue to do so, I want to get this started so I have somewhere to finally run some trains. I've even gone ahead and bought some lumber from Home Depot to get started. I just need to find some time one of these weekends to get going on the benchwork.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Prototype Pic of the Day #22

D&M Alco C420 #976 | Image courtesy of David Hedlund via
While it may be a few minutes into July 5th as I am writing this, I thought I would post a pic today of something showcasing the red, white and blue for the fourth of July. In the picture above is D&M Alco C420 #976 wearing it's bicentennial paint scheme. Other than the obvious departure from the standard D&M colors, this one has Detroit & Mackinac Railway spelled out in a fancy font and the words "Spirit of 76" were added to the sides of the cab.