Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Progress Report

Well another month has passed since the last update. So it's time to give a quick run down on the latest.
Firstly I thought it's probably time to post the track plan so that you have some idea of where things sit.

This is the top deck plan. Unfortunately the entry door to the shed is right where the word Corinth is, so a bit of rearranging will need to take place in that area.

Here's the track plan of the lower level / staging. The entry door does not affect this level!

Now for the visual progress. The top level for the towns of Ft Edward and Whitehall have been installed and leveled. Prior to that happening all the staging tracks on the outside of the peninsula were carefully checked for any damage and where the tracks were cut or pulled up across baseboard joins they were relaid. Not a lot of damage was found. Mostly it was just short lengths where the adhesive had dis-bonded.
Then after the top level was leveled, the track was also inspected and re-secured as required.

Here we have the blob at the end of Ft Edward and the staging return loop below it.

Here is another shot of Ft Edward, the floor is getting clearer!

Looking the other way through Ft Edward. look carefully and you can see that there is still some track to be relaid / rejoined near the yellow tape measure.

And here we are looking at Whitehall.

Whitehall from the other end. Just a few tracks here in the foreground to relay.

Well that's it for now. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Progress Report

With the warmer weather arriving the progress on the layout has slowed noticeably. All the spring chores that can't be put off any longer all need attending to, but that's enough of the excuses.

So what has happened?

Well all the work has been on the horseshoe shaped peninsula. When we removed this peninsula from Brendan's, all the track work and bench work was removed leaving a great big wall. To get the wall out and transported it was cut vertically into 4 large sections with a circular saw.  The resulting cuts caused a bit of damage and looked very ugly on the back drop. After a bit of pondering on how best to repair the wall / backdrop sections I decided to bite the bullet and remove and replace the existing cladding.
Most of the 3mm mdf sheets came off easily as they had only been screwed on however the area around the return loop had a lot of glue on it which need to be removed carefully with a chisel. Once the cladding was off I was able to replace the noggins which had been cut through.
I started on the inside of the horseshoe which is now complete other than cutting a few tunnel portals, and I'm really happy with the way it has come up.

Looking up the inside of the horseshoe from the access end

 Looking from the top of the horseshoe back towards the entrance end and reversing loop.

 The area on the outside of the horseshoe above the return loop. This area had a lot of glue and took lots of elbow grease. Fortunately it's not a full sheet in length.

A shot of the mess when standing at the shed door. This is the outside of the horseshoe, looking at the curved end. Can't wait to get some of the layout up off the floor and into position.

The curved end on the outside of the horseshoe.

Looking down the outside of the horseshoe on the far side, just two sheets to go.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Let There Be Light

The progress has been slow but steady over the past few weeks. I've been focusing on getting some good lighting up around the part of the layout that has been reconstructed. It was becoming very hard to work with the poor temporary lighting that had been installed. I've marked the ceiling in line with the edge of the layout and positioned the lights accordingly. Where the edge of the layout is a straight line the progress was quick and easy, but the layout has some nice curves in it's form and positioning the lights in these areas took a fair bit of work. The lights are on two circuits, hence in the pictures only every second light is on.

Also recently I've had a split system aircon installed, now it will be a nice temperature in the train room all year round

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Slow and Steady

Well the progress has been slow but steady, the section of wall with the return loop has been swung into position. The legs for the wall have been secured to the floor now that everything is sitting where it is meant to. Getting the return loop level took some considerable time, just due to the way it screws together.The outer staging has been secured into place, it went back together very well, it lined up exactly with the existing screw holes and the track bed lined up perfectly as well.

A panoramic shot showing the complete peninsula for the door.

 Just a general view of the return loop area

 The outer staging is in the bottom right of picture, the return loop is up the top sticking up to the left, the bit of track work that you can see in the lower left of the picture will sit above the return loop.

A view inside the peninsula. The return loop track is at the bottom right of picture.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Progress Report

The reassembly is ticking along as you can see by the photos. It is becoming easier to move around the shed as things get put back together.
The staging tracks have been secured in place at the end of the aisle. Final adjustment of the wall on the right is still required.

Panoramic shot from the shed door. The piece of wall on the left will be spun 90 degrees and butted up against the the wall section that ends in the middle of the shot

Staging tracks on the outside of the peninsula are sitting in place, waiting for final assembly.

Staging tracks on the outside of peninsula, looking down the other side.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Now Where Does This Piece Go??

Well a picture tells a thousand words.. After the big move I shut the door on the shed and forgot about it for a few weeks. I was just over working on the shed. It had been a pretty intense 7 weeks to get it ready. Unfortunately I didn't have time to paint it, at the very least I was hoping to get it painted in an undercoat, but as you can see that didn't happen. It will happen at some stage but now I have things to paint around.

Here is a panoramic shot taken from the door the day after the move. What a mess/puzzle!

My first job was to roughly install some fluro tubes, These will follow the layout around, but i'm not sure where the edge is yet, so a temporary installation will have to do. This was the the first section installed. It runs along the back wall of the shed (left of picture) and it has the grade down to staging. Putting this section up gave me a small amount of floor space through which to walk and use.

A bit later looking the other direction along the back wall (right of picture) I've put the first bit of top deck on because it was a really awkward shape, and was always in the way.  I am holding off putting any more of the top deck on until I have finished the staging tracks. It's all to do with access.
I was able to get Norm Bray to give me a hand to position the two bits of internal wall. We had to unpack the shed, move stuff around and then repack it. There just isn't the space in the shed to move bits around to their final locations. Thanks Norm!

Here is a shot from the door looking at the other side of the internal wall. It's slowing coming together. Fortunately Brendan took lots of photos whilst he constructed it, and these have been invaluable in putting it back together, as have our hand written notes on the timbers.
I had this great idea that I would use the existing screw holes to put it back together. It worked really well until I looked along a long straight section of track going down to the staging and discovered that I had built a roller coaster. The screw holes work for the horizontal plane, but not for the vertical as the undulations in my slab floor and in a different location to Brendan's slab floor. Doh!
Anyway with the use of a laser level, some brute force and ignorance I got the subframe back to level, now I just need to adjust the track bed.

The bench work across the far wall has been found and installed.

I had a small disaster here. although the photo does not clearly show what has happened, that section leaning at 45 degrees is now about 4 feet to short. There was a join which was not adequately supported  and when I pushed it into place it let go. All the staging tracks were torn apart on the join, Grrr something else to do.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Move

With the settlement of Brendan's house fast approaching and my shed being as ready as it was going to get, we looked at the winter forecast and picked a day. Monday the 8th of June was to be the day of the move unless the weather turned nasty.
In the week leading up to the 8th the weather forecast was regularly checked. The forecast kept changing, but as the day got closer it seemed to settle down to windy with a chance of showers late in the afternoon, but being Melbourne we took a "we'll see on the morning" approach.
Also during the week preceding the move some dis-assembly work was undertaken. Brendan had to remove an internal wall in his shed to allow everything to come out in large pieces, and of course part of the layout was attached to this wall.
To actually move the layout we ended deciding to use a car transport trailer with a solid deck. I hired this from the local servo and it turned out to be perfect for the task.
Well on the morning the weather that was dished up was very windy but dry. We can work with that. So at about 8:30am we started, I can't say how many trips were made, probably about 10. Due to the fact it was only a short trip we didn't try to cram everything onto the trailer at once, so we loaded to try and cause minimal damage whilst keeping it in large pieces.

Here is one of the loads already to go

Most of the track has been removed at this stage. We are about to pull apart the curved wall and remove the track from within it, to get this view Brendan had to remove an internal wall from the shed which ran left to right across the foreground of this picture.

Early evening and we are still going, just one more internal wall to go, everything else has been removed and transported to it's new home.

Brendan's shed, minus the layout. Just debris and lights left.

To get those internal walls into my shed we needed to remove the end wall cladding and center purlin. This is why I had to leave part of the internal wall unfinished, We just slid the internal wall framing out of the way. In the back ground you can see the jigsaw puzzle that is now my railroad empire. The shed also has "aircell" insulation in the walls which makes a fair bit of difference to the internal temperature vs outside temperature.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Negotiation, Deal and Shed Preperation

After a few days Brendan got back in touch and said that he thought that a Burlington Northern take over of the D&H was probably a good idea and that we should work out a deal. So over the next few days we figured out what he wanted to sell and what I wanted to buy and we reached an agreement that would see the D&H relocated to my shed.
Oh crap, now I have a deadline! We wanted to move the layout only once, so working back from Brendan's house settlement date, I figured I'd have about 6 weeks to get the shed sorted. So for the next 6 weeks, every spare moment that I had was spent on fitting out the shed.
The electrical wiring needed to be installed and connected, the concrete slab needed sealing, then I needed to put in stud walls and a ceiling.
The entire shed would need a stud frame wall built within the existing shed walls

The walls were insulated with r4 batts and were covered in 9mm mdf

A false ceiling was then in installed and insulated with r4 batts, the panel lifter from the bunnings hire shop made it so easy!

Almost done! In all it took around seven weeks, but that worked out well. As I was preparing the shed, Brendan had begun the massive job of packing up the trains as well as doing some preliminary dis-assembly. 
This last bit of stud framed wall needed to be removable until after the layout was installed. We were pretty certain that almost everything would come through the access door, but the internal walls that made up the peninsulas were most likely going to have to come through that part of the shed wall.

Monday, July 27, 2015

The back story

Just before xmas 2014, I had my new 9x6 metre shed (train room) erected in the back yard. Within these 4 walls I was going to create an as yet unplanned N scale empire. If you look closely at the center of the shed you can see that I was keen to get started.

Whilst this was being built I was keenly following the progress of another similar sized N scale railroad which was located just a short drive away. ( Brendan, the owner of the D&H 2ndsub was blazing ahead, building pretty much the layout that I had wanted to build. I had already decided that I wanted to use a floor plan that closely matched his. As far as I was concerned his plan was a very efficient use of space that allowed for some very good mainline runs, great switching and good distances between towns. 
Anyway work got in the way of doing anything much, then sometime in March whilst sitting in a hotel room on the other side of the planet I received a shocking email form Brendan saying that he had unexpectedly received an offer to buy his house that was to good to say no to and that the railroad would have to be pulled apart. The shock was that his house wasn't on the market! This bought about a shocked outcry from the people who had operated on the D&H and were expecting to see it become a great model railroad. Personally I thought he'd been spending to much time with the MEK solvent as it was to early for an April fools day prank, but no, this was the real deal, sadly the D&H was soon to be pulled apart.
Then sometime in early April myself and Brendan drove over to the other side of the city for an operating session on Rod Warren's amazing "Santa Fe Railway Southern Division" ( During that drive Brendan explained that the new layout room would be a completely different shape/size and that very little of the existing railroad if any would find it's way into the new room.
Then a few days later I realised that my shed and Brendan's soon to be old shed were almost the same dimensions, an idea was born!! Maybe, just maybe the Burlington Northern could acquire the about to abandoned right of way, at the very least the idea of an acquisition should be explored. After seeking approval of this idea from my wife (and getting it) I called Brendan and briefly explained it him, he was surprised but didn't dismiss the idea, rather he said he'd think about it a get back to me in a few days. There was hope!!