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kazoospec
kazoospec UberDork
2/8/20 3:21 p.m.

As with all my projects, this one started on a whim fueled, at least in part, by the enablers on this board. 

Step one, buy a train.  Nope, this should not have been step one.  Fortunately, the big brains of GRM talked me into Kato N Scale, which is both excellent quality and space efficient.  Kazookid2 gets this set for Christmas:

  Kato USA Model Train Products N Amtrak P42 Superliner Phase IVb Starter Set

Step one(b) - start actually doing some research, find out you got lucky, it's good stuff and, as always, GRM was right. 

Step two, buy more track.  No, this shouldn't have been step two either.  

Step two(b) - dig our crappy old Bachmann stuff so we can make use of our new siding track.

Step three - buy more track.  (There seems to be a pattern here)

Step four - clean out a corner of the storage room.  (This should have been step one, and should have been done about 7 years ago)  Step four also triggers the law of unintended consequences in that Mrs. Kazoo and I start talking while we're working and decide we ought to finish the half bath in the basement.  

Step five - realize I haven't the time, tools or skills to build an adequate train table.  Hire a handyman friend who has all three in spades and gives you the "friends and family discount".  Result: 

Further bulletins as events warrant. 

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
2/8/20 4:27 p.m.

Following.

Also, bravo on the thread tags. Well played Sir.

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
2/8/20 4:44 p.m.

Broadway Limited has your ES44AC available in CP and CN livery as of yesterday: https://youtu.be/Pm6M3Izmx9c

 

kazoospec
kazoospec UberDork
2/8/20 5:06 p.m.
ShawnG said:

Broadway Limited has your ES44AC available in CP and CN livery as of yesterday: https://youtu.be/Pm6M3Izmx9c

 

Looks like a really nice model and a pretty good price point.  Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, it's DCC only. For now, we're sticking with DC.  We'll probably end up with another Kato sometime soon, although I think I'll end up converting to MT couplers.  It seems like just about everyone but Kato is using them these days.  

NickD
NickD PowerDork
2/8/20 5:30 p.m.

Oh snap, this is spreading faster than Coronavirus.

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
2/8/20 5:41 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

I guess that makes you patient zero.

NickD
NickD PowerDork
2/9/20 7:35 a.m.

And thanks to you guys, I was looking at an N-scale Pennsylvania K4 and heavyweight passenger cars.

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
2/9/20 8:05 a.m.

I love it.  I had HO trains as a kid. Thinking I want to build an N scale layout. Planning on starting with a small shelf switching layout to get my feet wet. So far just in the dreaming/planning/researching  stages. 
 

Nick is patient zero, although Wally has periodically posted about his Christmas layout for years. 

02Pilot
02Pilot SuperDork
2/9/20 9:02 a.m.

Yeah, watching all of this happening is bad. I had an HO layout as a kid, and I still have a bunch of the rolling stock somewhere; I haven't seen it in decades, but I know there was some really nice European stuff, including a couple of Roco pieces (a steam engine and a powered passenger car, IIRC), that my father brought over. I didn't appreciate how nice that stuff was at the time. I also can't imagine having enough room to actually do anything with it anytime soon, which is depressing.

Wally
Wally MegaDork
2/9/20 12:50 p.m.

Man with sausage fingers dismantles large railway:

I've finally got a minute to take down the train for this year.  I didn't get to take many pics of it running this year but I ended up putting out four trains.  I also picked up a controller that will let a fifth train run back and forth across the front of the room on a third level for next year. 


kazoospec
kazoospec UberDork
2/9/20 3:13 p.m.

Today's update:  Just a crappy cell phone pic of a "brain work" day.  We laid out the foam sheet for the tabletop.  Not quite ready to glue yet as there are still some "landscape" decisions to be made re: bridges/roads, etc. that may result in cutting some of the "base foam" down to table top level.  We also laid out what we currently have for track.  I made an Amazon "rookie mistake" and accepted order fulfillment on some stuff from Japan, so we're still waiting on a few pieces.  When they arrive, we'll have everything we need to make the pic below into a "double loop".  

Today, I spent a couple hours figuring out what we need to take the layout around the "far end" of the table.  I was horrified to find there was math involved, but I think I've got it figured out.   EDIT:  Also, here's our current rough track plan (there's an "outside rail" that isn't continued on the drawing to save time).  Eventually, we'll also drop a branch line and sidings down the middle of the layout, but the beauty of Unitrack is you can always go back and do that later.  

kazoospec
kazoospec UberDork
2/15/20 2:16 p.m.

Today's progress.  Doesn't look like much, but I got the "operator's station" built and attached to the outside of the layout.  Just waiting for some extension wires for the switches and I'll move all the controls down off the top of the layout.  Slow progress is better than no progress.

kazoospec
kazoospec UberDork
2/21/20 11:50 a.m.

Here's one from the "it must be dusty in here" files.  Kazookid2, whom I'm building the railroad with/for, is on the autism spectrum.  As such, his brain works a bit different than yours and mine.  I've finally figured out that he wants our model railroad to mirror a stretch of track in Battle Creek, MI.  (I believe I've mentioned this in another thread).  While waiting for our track to arrive (apparently on the "slow boat" from Japan), I start looking into scratch building the two buildings my son cares about, the train station and the water park that are near the tracks.  It seems backwards, but I actually have a plan for the water park that I think might work, but I realize the train station is going to be bear to build, and I'm not sure I can pull it off.  It has funky roof lines and overhangs, numerous windows and doors and all of this is REALLY small in N Scale.

Fast forward to last week.  I'm looking through an N Scale FB group I belong to and there's a guy advertising custom built 3D printed building services.  Figuring there's nothing to lose but a few minutes of time, I shoot him an IM, fully expecting the cost to be more than I can put into it.  In short, I ended up explaining to him why this particular building was important.  He not only agreed to build the building for me free of charge (I'll figure out SOME way to compensate him if he will let me), but explains that he has high functioning autism, but has managed to get his degree in mechanical engineering despite many challenges.  He does CAD work and 3D printing for enjoyment and a side business.  Soooo . . . I can explain to my son that a perfect stranger thought enough of him to build this for him AND that it's someone who also has, but isn't limited by, autism.  In the end, a "full heart" kind of day. 

The current status of the project:

NickD
NickD PowerDork
2/21/20 11:52 a.m.

In reply to kazoospec :

That is a good story

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
2/21/20 12:02 p.m.

Awesome.

There's a lot of good people out there, we just don't get to hear about it enough.

kazoospec
kazoospec UberDork
2/22/20 2:23 p.m.

Update in "semi final" form: 

 

Kazookid2 and I went to a train show today.  Despite rummaging all the bins at every dealer, we couldn't find any CN locos.  We did pick up a Kato double trestle bridge and some tunnel portals, though, and the rest of our track was in the mailbox when we got home, so it turned out to be a pretty solid day.  Probably going to go put everything together and see how it looks/fits on the benchwork.  Painting, finishing, detailing and lighting the train station should be a fun little scenery detour before we start finalizing track location and running wire.   

kazoospec
kazoospec UberDork
2/22/20 5:37 p.m.

Connected everything together this afternoon.  Here's the "semi-final" layout arrangement.  I say "semi-final" because we will probably add small bits of track here and there to maximize the available space, eventually add a second siding along the back wall and drop spur and yard down the middle for some added interest.   Most importantly, got the "Kazookid2 seal of approval".

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
2/22/20 5:55 p.m.

In reply to kazoospec :

That rocks. 

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
2/23/20 8:20 p.m.

I went to a train show in Myrtle Beach today and picked up some NP box cars, a reefer and a caboose. Also got a couple covered hoppers. I was hoping to find someone selling a Kato NP RDC car, but only saw a New Haven and a Pennsy set. I did buy a DCC decoder for the RDC car that I don't have, so there is that.

kazoospec
kazoospec UberDork
2/25/20 6:13 a.m.

Sadly, the tunnel portals we bought at the show turned out to be both broken and SLIGHTLY too small.  So we did what any good GRM'r would do, we built our own:

drsmooth
drsmooth HalfDork
2/25/20 3:08 p.m.
kazoospec said:

 

 

You forgot a few corners, just rotate my picture and overlay it over yours for some guidance. You can even see the feint line of the oval on your picture just like mine but the alignment is off a bit. you did get pit lane in the right spot though!

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
2/25/20 3:57 p.m.

In reply to drsmooth :

Well played. 

kazoospec
kazoospec UberDork
2/25/20 3:58 p.m.

In reply to drsmooth :

Hahahaha.  I was afraid it might look a bit too phallic, so I'm happy to get Monza jokes.  I fully expected one of you jokers to label it the Pennsylvania Erie Norfolk Illinois Southern Rail Road.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
2/25/20 4:30 p.m.

Southern Hootus & PIITB Railroad 

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
2/25/20 4:40 p.m.
kazoospec said:

In reply to drsmooth :

Hahahaha.  I was afraid it might look a bit too phallic, so I'm happy to get Monza jokes.  I fully expected one of you jokers to label it the Pennsylvania Erie Norfolk Illinois Southern Rail Road.

Thanks, I've been trying to come up with a name!

I was planning to call the trolley line the "Surface Level Urban Transport"

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