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D4789

D4789 Temp Layout 2

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D4789

Background - I have always lived in apartments with limited space and moved every 3 to 4 years so I could never create a layout for my German HO trains.  Once I did have a temp layout on the floor for a few days but a drunk ex-girlfriend tripped and sent the train flying like the Galaxy Express 999 at takeoff and put an end to that experiment.  2+ years ago I bought my first two N trains along with a Kato V13 and M1.  I wanted a simple Double Viaduct loop on a 30” x 72” portable table that I could leave setup in the dining nook.  1st mistake.  The V13 was just a bit too wide so I ordered another 30” x 72’ table.  Now I have all this extra empty space on the second table so I setup the oval from the M1 and then I needed another train and power pack.  I still had some empty space, so I got a platform and a V1.  Since I have a V1, I should get another train and so on ... Thus with as much advanced urban planning as the city of Boston my first temp layout was born.  This layout worked reasonable well and I tweaked it several times but was insufficient to run my long trains and house my growing collection.  I need more tables and the only place with any space was the bedroom.
 

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Claude_Dreyfus
11 hours ago, D4789 said:

...but a drunk ex-girlfriend tripped and sent the train flying like the Galaxy Express 999 at takeoff and put an end to that experiment

 

So, did this drunken hooliganism result in the change in status of said girlfriend?

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cteno4
13 hours ago, D4789 said:

put an end to that experiment


the ex-girlfriend, running on the floor, or both?

 

sounds like the usual creeping train disease! I think your subconscious knew the second table would be needed... slippery slope man, slippery slope.

 

jeff

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D4789

Hi Claude – The layout was disassembled but she lasted a few more years.  She was actually very supportive of all my hobbies.  She was obsessed with Hello Kitty and as long as I bought her something Hello Kitty each time, she actually encouraged me to order more robots from Japan (Macross & Gundam).  

 

Hi cteno4 – I really got hooked after I received my 3rd train (Kato Shiki-shima) in the mail.  Although not fun at first as I really thought I was going to break it trying to install the lights.  I watched that official Kato video 12 times and they made it look so easy.  Anyway seeing how cool that train looked all lit up caused two major expansions.  I needed to lengthen the main line and I needed a place to park it.  So I added two more smaller tables… bunnies …

 

Which brings me to the new layout.

 

Planning & Objectives – I actually let the size of the bedroom dictate the size and shape of the layout.  I played around with a bunch of 30” x 72” and 24” x 48” portable tables.  (Sorry for the inches – Alexa told me it is 76 x 183 cm & 61 X 122 cm).  Perfect for me as they are inexpensive, light and easy to move.  I also had to work around the bed as that was the one piece of furniture that I could not move out of the room.

1.        I wanted to avoid the rookie mistake that I made in the first layout of not being able to reach a section of track due to walls.  (Nothing is more fun than taking apart your layout to retrieve a derailed 8 car train). 

2.        I wanted to make the main line as long as possible so I could run some of my longer trains.  Like a long KoKi freight train.  BTW - I knew I was hooked when I found myself watching YouTube videos of KoKi trains and counting the number of containers and cars.   

3.       I wanted to be able to park as many trains as possible.  It looks cool and I realized that connecting those close couplers was not always easy.  I am much better at it now but I am happier if I can avoid it.

4.       I wanted at least three lines (not including the double Viaduct loop) and I wanted all three lines connected to each other.  (So you could run 5 trains at once including the double Viaduct)

5.       I needed to add my turntable.  I picked one up over a year ago and it has been sitting in a box due to lack of space.  I watched the real one turn when I was in the Japan Railway Museum and have been fascinated with them ever since.

6.       I wanted the layout to be fun and not necessarily worry about prototype.  Although I would love to have a realistic permanent layout, it is just not possible for me at this time.  When I first bought the viaduct loop, I envisioned creating a make-believe Japanese theme park – sort of a variation of the indoor Lotte World monorail (Korean Disney World) that runs around the attractions. 

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D4789

Build – After playing around with the tables I came up with this configuration. 

Room.jpg.71913a392ef5ee8214599b7d6c011d34.jpg

It is 120” across the top and 144” along the right side (305 cm top and 366 cm on right side).  The tables are flush against the wall on the right side.  They are 6 inches away from the window/wall at the top and about 24 inches from the wall on the left side.  Although there is only about 12 inches of walking space as I need to put a TV table for the controllers and switches.  Unfortunately it is extremely close to the bed (8 Inches to 12 inches) so I have to be extra careful getting up in the morning.  While not ideal, this was the biggest layout that I could fit and still have a configuration where I could satisfy Objective 1.  (Reach Everything).  I added green catering tables cloths to cover the tables to help reduce noise and keep the tracks from sliding and give it a uniform look as the tables were all a little different.

 

Now it was time to start building the layout.  The great part about building a temp layout is you can just start putting track down and see what fits.  In order to satisfy Objective 2 and make the main line as long as possible, I decided to run the line around the perimeter of all the tables.  I added some singe viaduct track along the right side wall but did not raise it as there really wasn’t enough room to go up and down and I didn’t want to use single Viaduct on the curves as I was going to be running long trains that might rub.

 

Next, I added the double Viaduct as it could only fit across the top.  I really debated doubling the width of the Viaduct station but decided against it as I would not have room for the moving bus track and it would mess up my plans for the second main line. 

1938221733_Main1.thumb.jpeg.fdb3719eb73b7864211ef39206e2615d.jpeg

Side note: Somehow, I have managed to acquire a number of busses.  Why - busses are cool and I like the anime wrapped ones.  Plus it can be so easy to add one to a train order.  I.e. I think to myself - I am already paying so much for shipping on this order.  I might as well add this cool $10-12 bus as it won’t really add to the shipping cost.  (I know – definition of Rationalization)

 

The second main line or circle line is a line that runs around the perimeter (at a different angle) of the double Viaduct.  It connects to the main line via a double crossover.  Leaving the double crossover switched allows me to have a single train circle the double Viaduct and then move to the main line and run around the perimeter and then back around the Viaduct again.  It works really well with the longer trains.  The circle line is also connected to the freight area and turntable via the triangle and the inner loop via two left turnouts.  (Objective 4) Based on live train testing and changing the freight area, I probably rebuilt this section 6 times.

 

Connection.thumb.jpeg.3ffeb8b3b730f99a8771377a4552d2d8.jpeg

 

Now it was time to add some turnouts to the main line and circle line to park some trains.  There is a single right turnout on the main line (behind the double viaduct) that holds the 14 car Sunrise Express – barely.  I wish it was about 2 to 3 inches longer but it works and you can’t really see it as it is in the back. 

 

[Does anyone have those Kato Store special Sunrise Express cars that attach the two trains with the open doors?  Are they cool?]

 

 Also in the back off of the circle line there is also a place for an 8 car, 10 car and 11 car train.  In the front of the double Viaduct, there is a 10 car train with a station off of the circle line.  (Objective 3)    

 

1826384205_Main2.thumb.jpeg.880ede441b2dd4f665e405bc0c86eb16.jpeg

Main 3.jpeg

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D4789

It was time to focus on the bottom of the layout.  The freight / turntable / platform area is basically on one 30” x 72” table.  I really wish that this part of the layout was at least 12” to 18” wider and 24” longer as I had to make a lot of design changes and compromises.  The placement of the turntable was dictated solely by space and luckily three roundhouse buildings fit at the end.  (Objective 5)  The controls for the turntable are on a TV table next to the layout.  I used a straight single approach to the turntable.  I did play around with multiple connections to the turntable but decided to create the mini rail yard instead.  It holds two three car trains and one 5 car train. 

 

Side note:  Most of my trains run in a prototypical configuration but that 5 car train may not.  For some reason I really like the repainted KiHa40 South Hokkaido Railway cars and they were the reason why I started to purchase some Tomix trains.  Anyway, I have all 5 of the repainted cars together.  The most I have ever seen on a video is 4 but hey they have all 5 on some of their official souvenirs so in my mind they probably did it once …        

 

I had originally envisioned creating 4 lines using the new UniTram Freight Depot Sets but ended up having just 2 that can hold 12 Koki cars each.  (I really like the UniTram plates.  They are a bit pricy but work well for a temp layout.)  I did use a few of my leftover rail plates to create a dummy track to park a few extra KoKis that I can swap out.  I added a line next to the platform for my Taki 1000.  Unfortunately it can only hold 10 of the 12 cars.  Since I had some extra space between the main line and the UniTram, I added an eight car passing lane to the main line.

 

image5.thumb.jpeg.4a0c646d85336a10fa6ef5f54e6f97df.jpeg217791582_RailYard.thumb.jpeg.5d2f41f6846d42f066187974bcba013c.jpeg

 

I also added the platform for two 10 car trains that connects directly to the main line.  There is also a track that runs in between the main line and the platform along the wall connecting at the top of the layout.  Originally back when I was going to have a single viaduct on this part of the main line, I was going to use this as a bypass route so that the longer trains would not have to traverse the viaduct.  When I revised the layout of the circle line and triangle, the placement of the bypass track was interfering so I decided not to raise the main line.  I ended up turning the bypass into an extremely long parking space that could hold 20 cars and a perfect place for my Orient Express.  (Or a perfect place for a full E5/E6 - if I ever purchase one – not this year but hopefully someday.)

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D4789

Finally, I started to work on the inner loop (Completing Objective 4).  While it looks simple it actually took me a while to complete.  I had originally designed it to run my 2 and 3 car trains.  It had a bunch of curves and looked really great.  I originally was I was going to park the 6 car trains at the bottom of the layout where the mini rail yard is located but did not have enough room.  I tried a test run with a six car train on the tight S curves and you can imagine what happened.  (I knew it was not going to work – just full of wishful thinking.)  I turned the entire loop to a more traditional setup to house and run the 6 car trains.  Of course now I needed to order some straight track as I had removed all of those curves and added all the platform space.  Luckily even during lockdown I was able to order Kato track from a shop in the US and after 10 days I was back in business.  The inner loop now has two platforms and can hold 4 six car trains and one four car train.  I kept my original idea of the theme park for the inside of the double Viaduct (with less room) and divided it up into “worlds”.  If I get back into modeling this is likely where I would actually create some small 8” to 12” individual dioramas on plates that could be easily be transported when I move.  (It has been over 11 years but luckily I still have all my modeling tools – somewhere in storage).  I also added small moving bus highway loop next to the viaduct station.  While not very realistic, it fits in the theme park setting as a way for tourists to get to different areas.  I really wish I could have kept my original inner loop but it works from a train running perspective.  The two car trains are just on a dummy track (rationalized by being on display at the theme park) so I can easily add them if I want to run them.

 

Side Note:  the 4 car train is in “Tank World” section of the park and is my other non-proto train.  This one I know for sure as the 1st car and the 4th car of the Kashima Rinkai Railway 6000 Girls und Panzer train are the same 6006 car in real life.  Still it looks really cool as a 4 car train and I love Girls und Panzer as it bring together 3 of my Hobbies (Trains, WWII Tanks and Anime). 

1020402578_InnerLoop.thumb.jpeg.c9fc0bc9e4afbcb6a2fcd885b292139b.jpeg

 

Controls – The controls for the layout are divided into three sections.  At the bottom are the controls for the turntable and local switches.  The top are the Kato controls for the Double Viaduct, Inner Loop and Circle Line and switches along with a sound box for Inner Loop and Circle Line.  In the middle is the Kato Bluetooth controller and Sound Box w speakers for the Main Line.  It also has the switches for the area.  I use an old obsolete iPad 4 as the dedicated controller.  It works perfectly as the Kato app still works on IOS 10.3.3  It also allows me to run the Main Line while lying in bed.  I also have the Tomix Platform sound box there.     

 

Conclusion – Thanks to extensive testing and reworking trains of all sizes run extremely well.  Trains of 6 cars or less can run on the entire line and the Mail Line can handle 20+.  Like most things in life the layout became a compromise but I did manage to satisfy all of my objectives and had a lot of fun doing it.

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AhmadKane
Posted (edited)

You know what this reminds me of? A buffet. But instead of drooling on the next hot pan of mac and cheese I'm drooling at the sheer complexity of it.

 

I think there could be an objective 5 and run the Hello Kitty train set on it

Edited by AhmadKane

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