Model Railway Forum banner
1 - 20 of 42 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. I am planning to set up a track that goes from room to room thru the entire house. I don't have anything yet, not even the house. I am in the planning stages and trying to figure out what all I will need once I start building. I don't know much about the model rr hobby, I had an HO scale santa fe set many years ago, but only got to play with it a couple times as I did not have enough room to lay it out. I do know I want the O scale so that the details of the train are easier to see. I think a shelf from wall to wall as a baseboard would not be too difficult. If the house has an upstairs I would like for the train to make the trek up as well. I have read some on here about that and found that a 1 to 30 ratio is about the best. I live somewhat near an actual rr, and have noticed some of the trains rolling through will have 2 and 3 locomotives. Is this possible on a model rr layout as well? I know from tallking to a gentleman local, when I was at my last job, that in a larger layout power supply becomes an issue so I will need to know about this as well.

I would like in a couple of rooms to have switch tracks so the train can circle the room. I probably will not do much for scenery, probably tunnels where the track passes through the walls. Most likely this will be done in sections. I will probably start with the room the train circles and maybe have it pass into the other room, circle 3 walls and come back to the original room.

I have notice a difference in track metals, nickle\silver and steel, would I be better running nickle silver in this setup to keep possible rusting out of the picture? I also read about the nickle\silver not having the traction of the steel, would nickle silver for the flats and steel for the grade be possible?

Enough questions from me for now, lets get some answers then I'll ask alot more, so please bare with me.

Eddie.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,614 Posts
if you dont mind me saying so i think you need to learn to walk before you try and run.

yes it is possible to double head and tripple head locomotives. particularly if you are using a digital control system. in america this is called consisting.

regarding the track metal, the rusting issue depends on allot of things. how often are you going to use it? are you fussed about the look of the yellower metal? how damp is the house? to make a climb up to a second floor you are either going to need a train lift (in which case there wont be any gradients) or a spiral in which case your trains are going to spend a long time going round and round quite possibly out of view. this i would find unacceptable but its your house and your layout.

I think you need to do allot more reading and allot more planning before you commit to anything.

you might also want to concider something allong the lines of a sky-trestle system. i think it looks daft on its own but it might be a way of having a mainline in one room and the loop in another.

http://www.locoboose.com/SkyTrestle/O-Scale.html

Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
I do need to learn to walk before I run, which is why I am asking all the questions that I have asked. It will probably be 3 or 4 years before I start on this project. I want to learn what I can so that over time I can peice together some of the necessary parts.

I don't mind a yellower look to the metal, I'm not going for something that looks absolutely like the real thing, I just want a train that will travel room to room and maybe up to the next level.

Pedromorgan, can you tell me more about the digital control system?

Would having the multiple locomotives help pull a steeper grade. say 1 in 15 versus 1 in 30??
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,201 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,397 Posts
I would suggest that making a test layout in a smaller size and gauge may be a good idea to familiarise yourself with what is required in the construction of a layout. The layout you are talking about going through your entire house may be a bit more ambitious than you realise. It would be worth finding out what skills are required and logistics before commencing on such a grand project. It would be a major commitment of time and money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I work an odd schedule and most everything is closed when Im not at work so I have trouble getting to the library. Lets start here, lets say I need to run 10 feet then a 90 degree turn, X 4 to complete a lap around the room. Leaving out the base for the track as a shelf isn't too hard to do, what other than the track and a train do I need, more specifically, what power supply. Do they max out at a certain # of feet of track?

What kind of problems will I run into once there are 4 or 5 rooms running 150 feet of track in all? Is there a certain type of power supply once I get into such a large amount of track? I would prefer to buy at first what I plan on using, I don't like to buy something as a temporary thing.

I learn fairly quickly, so even though I don't know much right now about it, I should be able to pick up on it all fairly quickly.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,614 Posts
most DCC systems are upgradable. you buy the basic system and then buy more boosters as you deem fit.

i have sucessfully run a 60foot layout from a single controller. tha was on DC. DCC control uses AC and should be much better at going the distance.
the limiting factor is not really the length of track but what you want to put on it. the power units are rated in amps. for example if you get an 8 amp power unit then you are going to struggle if you want to run more than 8 amps worth of trains and/or accessories from it. the current draw depends on the individual loco's and decoders-one of the drawbacks of starting from scratch is that you dont know what that will be)

i really must echo Neils comments to start a smaller layout first to gain a better understanding of exactly whats involved and the limitations of whats available, your skill, your patience and your wallet!

Do you have an idea of a budget?

Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
I will probably start the layout in just one room, then branch off into the next later on. It will be a project that takes a while to do. As far as a budget goes I would be willing to put $300-400 down to get it started and a few hundred a year after that till the whole house had train service.

In regards too the amperage of the power unit, as of now I only plan to run the train and 4-6 switch track peices, would it cause a problem to get something with more amperage than needed, to allow for future upgrades?
 

·
Ian Wigglesworth
Joined
·
750 Posts
Eddieb,

That amount of money may buy you one locomotive in O-gauge...if your lucky.
Add to that the track work.
If you want a decent powered DCC controller that would be about £250 ($440) on it's own!

You asked about going around the walls of a room, in O-gauge I hope you have the door in the centre of the room and not near to one corner.

In your example, you have a wall, you said 10ft long? well the straight length of track would be about 6ft long you would need at least 2ft at each end to fit in the minimum radius curves possible in O-gauge, I think I'm being over optimistic with that as well, probably more like 3ft at each corner!
I have no idea what the minimum radius curve would be, but it just wouldn't be practical to have an O-gauge layout running around the walls, you could do it in OO-gauge which would mean you could still use the room, just about, if it's a really big room.
It would be more suited to N-gauge, unless you plan to run the track work above door height?

Property Wood Floor Flooring Hardwood

The picture shows how I tried it in OO-gauge the baseboards stick out into the room by 300mm, I still had to add corner baseboards as the curves were still too tight!
This was in a spare bedroom, my train room, and you couldn't really use it for anything else with this going around the walls!
The Sky-trestle system that Peter has posted the link to looks about the only real way of fitting an O-gauge loco in around the walls.
It says they do the 72inch or 6ft radius curve as the O-54.......54inches 4.5ft is too small to look good operationally


Good luck!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
wiggy25 Thank you for the information. I am planning on going above door height with it, which is also part of the reason I wanted O scale, so it can be seen better. I have no problem buying used track to help save some coin. I didn't realize the cost of the controler, but it is something my wife and I want to do so I guess it would require saving just a little bit more for a little longer.

Things like this are why I am asking now, years before doing it, instead of trying to find out real quick before I go to a hobby store and end up with a severe case of shock and awe.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,614 Posts
QUOTE (eddieb @ 4 Sep 2008, 16:33) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I will probably start the layout in just one room, then branch off into the next later on. It will be a project that takes a while to do. As far as a budget goes I would be willing to put $300-400 down to get it started and a few hundred a year after that till the whole house had train service.

In regards too the amperage of the power unit, as of now I only plan to run the train and 4-6 switch track peices, would it cause a problem to get something with more amperage than needed, to allow for future upgrades?
hello eddie

You need to think about what kind of stock you want to be running. with the very tight corners you need to be thinking about small loco's rather than big pacifics.

i'm afraid i have to agree with wiggy about the budget. i think you need to add a zero to your figures. saving money by purchasing second hand equipment may be a bit of an own goal in this case. because the track is going to be so high fromt he ground, reliability has to be very important. you dont want derailments happenng with the possibility of a £500 loco crashing to the ground.

you are correct about the controller. you can have as many amps as you like on the power supply. its a good plan to go a bit overkill n the power side of things. to start with i think you should be looking at about 8 amps to get you started. if you use a good system you can upgrade as and when you need to.

did you take a look at the sky trestle link i posted? have you thought about going LGB instead. it would have its advantages. and it would be easier to see at that height.

Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
pedromorgan I did look at the sky trestle, I like it but I think Id prefer something metal. But for simplicity I think a shelf will work for me, most rooms it will only go through on 2 walls.

LGB??? What is this new (to me) term?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,845 Posts
QUOTE LGB??? What is this new (to me) term?

Lehmann Gross Bahn. You have probably seen large model trains running back and forth in toy shop (or department stores at Christmas time) windows or on tracks hanging from the ceiling. The locomotives are usually small narrow gauge 0-4-0s. This is LGB. The 0-4-0s are the entry level products. There is a wide range of locomotives available, particularly models of the meter gauge Rhaetia Bahn (RhB) from eastern Switzerland. The trains run on 45mm gauge track and has the wide sleeper spacing characteristic of narrow gauge railways. 45mm also happens to the track gauge for Gauge 1, so LGB also make Gauge 1 scale model of standard gauge locomotives. In the past this has included a French P141 steam locomotive. It might seem to be an odd idea to mix large scale narrow gauge with smaller scale standard gauge but it works in a strange kind of way.

LGB is designed to used indoors and out, and not just for large gardens. LGB locomotives are designed to go round very tight radius curves, 2 foot minimum I think so even the smallest room can accommodate a circle of track.

Other companies make models to run on 45mm including some Big Boys from the US. I think you need a minimum of 5 foot radius to run these. I wouldn't fancy lifting one of these to a track running near the ceiling though. They are over four feet long.

The LGB company is currently reinventing itself after going "bust" in late 2006. I've forgotten who finally bought the assets but there's a long thread about it somewhere on the Forum.

In summary, LGB make large models of small cute locomotives and have often been seen running on railway track suspended 18 inches from the ceiling. Oh I nearly forgot they do a couple of "rack" locomotives which really do have the pinion to drag them up steep hills. Sounds like just what you need.

I have one LGB locomotive and four feet of track. I am seriously thinking of switching to Gauge 1. There's a rather fine model of Flying Scotsman available....

David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
If you have not bought the house yet, I suggest that you should look for a property with a large built in space. I found an old farm property with a large outbuilding. You could look for a single storey building, what we call a bungalow, with a really large loft space. Alternatively a large basement would do if dry. You could build in the loft over a large garage as well. Many railways go out into the garden from a ground floor room.

What I would not do is build all round the house.

Colombo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
colombo I have not bought the house, but when we do buy one, we will (if the house permits) set up a train in it, my wife and I both want it. Depending on the layout of the home it may only have track on one wall of most of the rooms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
378 Posts
If you ever need/want to move, you'll need to rip up the railway and put right holes in walls etc before you sell it. A modular layout is a great Idea. There have also been soon really good points made by posters above me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
QUOTE (MrBemo @ 13 Sep 2008, 06:50) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If you ever need/want to move, you'll need to rip up the railway and put right holes in walls etc before you sell it. A modular layout is a great Idea. There have also been soon really good points made by posters above me.

Eddie,

Model Railways are really very messy things to build in situ in the house.

You will have to live with debris from building work, sawdust, the smell of glue and paint and so on.

Modular construction is a good idea. Build them in a room set aside for the purpose, or in a shed or a garage, and then set them up wherever you want.

Colombo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
QUOTE (Colombo @ 16 Sep 2008, 17:52) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Eddie,

Model Railways are really very messy things to build in situ in the house.

You will have to live with debris from building work, sawdust, the smell of glue and paint and so on.

Modular construction is a good idea. Build them in a room set aside for the purpose, or in a shed or a garage, and then set them up wherever you want.

Colombo

Hi Eddie,

I like you thought about having a layout running around the house, what a grand idea I thought, would be great to see an express pass by at speed and dissapear into another room. Until, I looked further into it and found out just how much it would cost to do, getting the builders in to make the holes, track board, power etc. On a modest sized 3 bed house the cost was running into thousands, way above my budget and that was for the ground floor only in OO gauge.

Take the advice from the other posters on this thread and stick to a modular layout. I sort of have by building a portable one that when finished will be 32feet long by 12feet wide. Which will just about fit in my back garden when at full tilt. It will be much easier and as someone metioned earlier will not have all the agrevation of putting everything right if you come to sell the property at a later date.

Rayden
 

·
DT
Joined
·
4,794 Posts
I was thinking about my layout tonight. Looking at it, built into a room above my garage - I am sure that it would add value to my house if I sold it with that bonus. A hobby room is a good pull for a guy looking to express himself. I may not sell though
 
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
Top