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Martijn Meerts

A non-Japanese layout

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Martijn Meerts

Not much news, most time's been spent on painting the track required for the main station area. Still got a few pieces to go, and about 4 turnouts (the turnouts take about half an hour each, making sure not to paint pieces that shouldn't be painted ;))

 

We've decided (or more like, I've decided, and my father just has to go along with my decision ;)) to add as much detail as we can. For that reason I've ordered 2 building kits for 2 different types of signals. 1 of them a standard block signal, the other a station exit signal. Both of them have a distant signal as well. The station exit signal/distant signal combo has 10 LED's and I believe 7 different states, should be fun putting those together ;)

 

Because many of our blocks will allow travel in both directions, most blocks will require 2 signals. Obviously, hidden track won't get any signals :) We need quite a few signals, but we're gonna get them over time, just making sure we can easily place them later on.

 

I've also ordered some Tomix catenary, the mast are close enough to German prototype, so that'll also make everything look a let better. Unfortunately, the pantographs of European trains are all sprung, and some of them go up way too far, so we can't run trains with the pantographs up. But at least we'll have masts. I'll also need to kitbash some of the double track masts to make them long enough for 3 tracks, for which I'll likely need a few more boxes of double track catenary poles =)

 

Other than that, lots of small little details will be added. Things like tiny indicators showing how far a locomotive can drive up to a turnout, markers to show the length and position of the track, cable gutters, track magnets, etc, etc.

 

Lastly, I've also starting experimenting with LED lighting. I'll be adding lights to all buildings and also the platforms etc. Right now we have 3 platforms built up out of 20 kits in total. Each kit will receive 4 LEDs for general light, and also 1 LED for either the stairs going down into the tunnels underneath the tracks, or the little newspaper stand. So the platforms alone will get 100 LEDs (and of course, computer controlled ;))

 

Not sure which LEDs to use, I still have a lot of white ones, which can be made warm white with a little clear orange paint. Problem is, those LEDs are no longer in production, and I haven't found any others with the same specs. Then again, I haven't looked that hard =)

 

I'll put up some more pictures of the progress soon.

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disturbman

Question:  why don't you use the europeans catenary? There is plenty of them. I don't see the need to go buy tomix's one. Even more if you can't run the trains with the pantographs uped.

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Martijn Meerts

Price.. Tomix is much cheaper than for example Vollmer, Viessmann or Sommerfeldt. Mainly because Tomix isn't meant to be  functional.

 

I can for example buy about 4 Vollmer catenary masts for the price of a box of 24 Tomix masts.

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Martijn Meerts

Managed to get quite a bit of work in today. All tracks for the mainline station are now painted and put into position, and we removed all the full scale track plan paper from underneath the tracks. We also got the 2 signal building kitss we ordered to check them out. Half the building kit is pre-made, although I had to take apart 1 of the 2 kits because both the main signal housing and the distant signal were glued on a bit crooked. It should be interesting trying to build the kits, they're rather small, and especially the exit signal has about 12 wires which need to be somehow soldered and connected ;)

 

Also started working on some of the small detail bits, and trying to figure out how to build other small detail bits. It's funny really, when I was a kid, I had no patience at all for pre-planning a layout and adding all the little details. My father always got annoyed by that, because he wanted to make sure the tracks were straight, and that things would run well. These days though, my father is getting impatient with all the little details I'm trying to add. Especially all the lights seem to be over the top =)

 

Anyway, on to some pictures:

 

 

Image 011:

Testing some ballast. I really like the contrast of the dark sleepers and the grey ballast, but in the end I don't think it would look good considering our rolling stock isn't very modern. We'll likely go for the brown with a little bit of grey mixed in just to break the brown a bit. Not sure about the size of the ballast, it's Woodland Scenics "medium" ballast. I saw the fine ballast as well, but that just seemed too fine for N-scale, it was more like sand than ballast really. Any opinions? =)

 

Image 012:

Overview shot of the main line station tracks as well as the stub track. Platforms are temporarily placed to see how it looks, and to help with determining the position of stop sections (for computer control) as well as placement of catenary masts.

 

Image 013:

Bit of a closer look at some of the tracks. While it's a lot of work painting rust on the tracks and giving the sleepers a flat red brown colour, it sure makes the whole thing look much better. Quite pleased with how it looks so far.

 

Image 014:

Little detail shot of the end of the stub track.

 

Image 015:

Placing some catenary masts to see how it looks. These masts will be painting a green grey colour, not sure yet which exactly, but it'll be one of the colours that Tamiya has available in spray cans ;)

 

Image 016:

Passenger view, checking if the masts are straight ;)

 

Image 017:

The first of many little detail bits around the station area. This is a so-called "grenzzeichen" or "border marker". The idea is that they mark the position to where a train can drive on tracks that come together in a turnout. It's made from a very small pin with a half-round top. I dipped it in white paint, let it dry, and then with a Tamiya #0 brush (which has about 15-20 hairs I guess ;)) I painted on the red parts. The pin is about half a millimeter thick, the cap is probably around 1.5 - 2 millimeters.

 

Image 018:

This is where they "grenzzeichen" is supposed to be placed. For example, a train can drive up to the position of the marker (aligning the front of the locomotive with the marker), and still allow another train to pass on the other track.

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014-moritzburg_station_detail.jpg

015-catenary_test.jpg

016-catenary_test.jpg

017-grenzzeichen.jpg

018-grenzzeichen.jpg

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David

Image 016:

Passenger view, checking if the masts are straight ;)

 

I can see the British system for keeping the trains on time is being used - all the clocks are set different.

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Martijn Meerts

Image 016:

Passenger view, checking if the masts are straight ;)

 

I can see the British system for keeping the trains on time is being used - all the clocks are set different.

 

Hahaha, yeah.. My father built the platforms (they're from before I moved back to The Netherlands ;)), and he's not really into making sure the little things are correct. Most of the time he doesn't even follow the instructions ;)

 

I might print out some new clocks, a bit more modern looking perhaps.

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disturbman
I might print out some new clocks, a bit more modern looking perhaps.

 

No need to, they are totally prototypical. Those round clock are evrywhere here in Berlin's stations.

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Bernard

Marti - That is the straightest track laying I've ever seen! There are things I'm learning from you that I wished I had done on my layout. Great work so far.

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Mudkip Orange

Marti - That is the straightest track laying I've ever seen! There are things I'm learning from you that I wished I had done on my layout. Great work so far.

In fairness, he's using mostly sectional track.

 

Much easier to get it true that way then with flex.

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Martijn Meerts

I'm actually using a bunch of Minitrix 02 track, which is semi-flexible, but yeah, it's easier than using all flex track (which I'll find out soon enough :))

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Mudkip Orange

Minitrix 02 track, which is semi-flexible

 

I stand corrected.

 

Of course nothing is easier than KATO

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Mossberg

In fairness, he's using mostly sectional track.

Much easier to get it true that way then with flex.

 

I am not sure I agree with you Mudkip. Curves are definitely easier to do with sectional track but I think straight parts are easier to do with flex track, at least Rocos stiffer version.

 

/Magnus M

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Bernard

Minitrix 02 track, which is semi-flexible

 

I stand corrected.

 

Of course nothing is easier than KATO

Kato is easier to work with but with Flex track you can make any radius you want.

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Mudkip Orange

I am not sure I agree with you Mudkip. Curves are definitely easier to do with sectional track but I think straight parts are easier to do with flex track, at least Rocos stiffer version.

 

Does Roco make flex track with concrete ties? My experience is limited to Peco and Atlas, and I've found it nearly impossible to keep either of those perfectly straight without an adjacent track gauge that stays put while the glue dries.

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Martijn Meerts

Couple more images...

 

Image 019:

Front view of a block signal. This is a common signal which just shows either stop or go. There's also a distant signal, which can show expect stop, expect go or expect limited speed.

 

Image 020:

Side view of the block signal. Just now I noticed that the upper "basket" thing is positioned wrong. It should be against the back of the black main signal box. Should be fixable (I hope ;))

 

Image 021:

The wires coming from the signal. Remember that this is the signal with the least amount of wires (not counting those without distant signal =))

 

Image 022:

Before I can do some ballasting, I need to place the platforms. Before I can place the platforms, I need to add some lighting. This is a tiny 0603 white LED with a coat of clear orange paint. The clear orange takes away some of the whiteness. It doesn't end up being the dark orange colour that's painted on the LED though.

 

Image 023:

This is where the LED ends up. In this case it's to light up the newspaper stand.

 

 

A couple of things I need to think about now. For one, the more advanced station exit signal are supposed to have 1 green, 2 red, 1 yellow/orange and 2 white LEDs. The problem is that the white ones are actually yellow/orange. It seems that's the case with all the kits. The signals use 0603 LEDs, so it's not like I can't replace the yellow/orange ones with white ones, but it's a bit of added cost and mainly added time. I guess I have to suck it up if I want signals though.

 

Another issue is the distant signals. I'm not sure I should have them, it might get a bit too crazy with all the lights, or, if I swap the currently used resistors with higher value ones, it might look great. On the other hand, having the distant signals on the main line means the branch line will be even more obvious branch line, because that won't have distant signals at all. For the price, I don't have to leave out the distant signals, the kits are only 1-2 euro more expensive with distant signal.

 

The one thing I do know however, is that whatever I decide for with regards to the signals, they won't be prototypical. Then again, it's just not doable to be prototypical with signals unless you have a LOT of space. For example, a distant signal on a main line should be about 900-1000 meters in front of the main signal it belongs to. That'd be about 6 meters in N-scale ;)

019-blocksignal_front.jpg

020-blocksignal_side.jpg

021-blocksignal_wires.jpg

022-LED.jpg

023-LED_installed.jpg

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Mossberg

Does Roco make flex track with concrete ties? My experience is limited to Peco and Atlas, and I've found it nearly impossible to keep either of those perfectly straight without an adjacent track gauge that stays put while the glue dries.

 

No I think they only have with wooden ties. At least the one I have all have wooden ties. But they have two versions of their flex track. One stiffer and one more flexible.

 

But don't you nail or screw down your track while you let the glue dry? I always nail or screw the rail to the base. Then I remove the nails/screws after the ballast and glue has dried.

 

/Magnus M

 

Sorry Martijn for stealing your thread.

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quinntopia

Martijn....as others have said, truly inspiring...although it makes me feel somewhat ashamed at how quickly and less diligently I put things together.  :lipssealed:

 

Unfortunately, the pantographs of European trains are all sprung, and some of them go up way too far, so we can't run trains with the pantographs up.

 

I've had this problem too (in fact, my first experience was seeing my SBB Re 450 slaw into the bottom of my Kato overhead station!), is there any solution to adding something to keep the pantographs lower?  I've consider some very fine 'fishing wire' tied off to the pantograph to keep it at a sensible limit, but haven't tried it yet.  Does anyone do this?  I think using the Tomix cantenary poles is a great idea and I may follow your example.

 

And by the way, I personally don't think you're going to have too many lights!  :grin

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Martijn Meerts

Time for the first couple of pictures of the new year ;)

 

We've been working on the layout almost daily, but progress is still a little slow. Lots of things to think about and lots of things to build (and add lighting to ;)) The following are a couple of shots of little details here and there.

 

Image 024:

The "grenzzeichen" from before, but this time hidden in some ballast. It's not very noticeable, but it somehow managed to catch your eye nevertheless ;)

 

Image 025:

Early work on a small road across all track so that service vehicles can drive onto each of the platforms. Made from plastic sheets and some Tamiya putty. Still needs quite a bit of work obviously...

 

Image 026:

Detail shot of a track bumper. Painted some rust on it and added the "halt" sign. Not sure what the point is of having an unlit sign on top of an obvious point you should stop, but the prototype does it, it's easy to replicate, and it actually makes the thing look a little more interesting.

 

Image 027:

Another "halt" sign, this time one that tells the train driver where at the platform to stop the train. Quite useless in a model, but fun =)

 

Image 028:

The first signal has been put in its place. This is an "exit signal" with 10 LEDs in total. Added the signal number (N7, meaning it's an exit signal (the N) positioned in the direction of the kilometer count (in the opposite direction it would've been a P), and on track number 7). Also added some other small bits.

 

Image 029:

The light grey/green strip close to the track is a representation of a magnet. The magnet is connected to the 2 yellow bits to the left of the signal. In the prototype these things are part of the "Indusi" system (Indusi is short for Induktive Zugsicherung, or inductive train protection.) In very short and basic terms, it measures speeds of trains that pass the magnet, and makes sure things don't go wrong. For example, if a train passes a magnet near a signal showing "halt", but the train is too fast, the system can force-cut the power to the train.

 

(The big white slab is temporary btw, the signal wasn't entirely straight, so I was testing some things ;))

 

Image 030:

I've also started adding cable gutters. Basically just U profiles that lead wires from the signal house to all the signals and turnouts etc. In the prototype these are concrete U profiles with tiles to cover the wire. In the model they're rectangular strips of plastic with small and thin strips of plastic glued on top to resemble rectangular tiles. In some spots I'll use actual U profiles and have some wire inside.

 

Image 031:

1 of the new building, a signal house overlooking 1 side of the station and the little industrial/branch-line bit. I've added 2 LEDs in the top part, nothing else is lit. Still needs to be weathered of course.

024-grenzzeichen_ballasted.jpg

025-platform_service_road.jpg

026-bumper_detail.jpg

027-halt_sign.jpg

028-exit_signal.jpg

029-exit_signal_detail.jpg

030-cable_gutters.jpg

031-signal_house.jpg

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Bernard

Progress is a little slow?? :happy9:

Wow have you done a lot in a short period of time. I see the ICE train is on the tracks, do you have trains up and running?

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disturbman

Since there is theses giants rail holders screwd at regular intervals in the middle of the tracks my guess would be, no. No trains can run here.

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to2leo

Since there is theses giants rail holders screwd at regular intervals in the middle of the tracks my guess would be, no. No trains can run here.

:laugh:  someone is paying attention in class. JOKING  :laugh:

 

I wonder why use screws as holders rather.  Why not use mounting putty? So the you can temporary secure the track, test the rail and run trains?

post-60-13569923677939_thumb.jpg

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Martijn Meerts

Progress is a little slow?? :happy9:

Wow have you done a lot in a short period of time. I see the ICE train is on the tracks, do you have trains up and running?

 

The ICE is just to test spacing of the signal house. It's going to be a really tight fit, and not all trains will be able to pass it. On the upside not all trains should pass it in the first place, the 2 tracks closest to the signal box are for high speed/express/intercity.

 

 

:laugh:  someone is paying attention in class. JOKING  :laugh:

 

I wonder why use screws as holders rather.  Why not use mounting putty? So the you can temporary secure the track, test the rail and run trains?

 

 

The idea isn't to put the track down temporarily to run trains, but to keep it in place while ballasting the track. For that purpose, the putty isn't good enough. Would've been nice to have tested the design a bit, but it's a really rather straightforward track plan, so I don't see any major issues popping up for the moment.

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Bernard

Marti - Do you use the ICE train as your test train for spacing because of its size? I use my Kato Series O just for that reason. That train on my roster is just a tad larger and if it can make it through spacing in portals, station platforms, etc., so will all of my trains.

 

I did have one scare in the design of my tunnels when I first put them together. I decided to test the tunnel clearance with my Mintrix old timer steam engine. It didn't clear and I thought I was going to have to take all the tunnels apart. I decided to test it with every train on my roster. There were no problems, there was plenty of clearance. Because of height of it's smoke stack, that train can't make it around my layout.

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Martijn Meerts

Marti - Do you use the ICE train as your test train for spacing because of its size? I use my Kato Series O just for that reason. That train on my roster is just a tad larger and if it can make it through spacing in portals, station platforms, etc., so will all of my trains.

 

I use several trains to test, I'm using the ICE right now because that one wasn't (temporarily) stored in the attic. By now I've also tried with some beige and cream Rheingold cars, a tank locomotive, a heavy diesel and some other things.

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Martijn Meerts

We've come across a few problems when we started ballasting some of the track. Obviously, ballasting is boring, which can be considered a problem in itself, but the real issue was that due to the cork getting wet, it started expanding a little, and some bumps starting forming in between the tracks. Some bumps were big enough to push the ballast aside, which caused some really ugly spots... A handful of screws and washers later, the bumps were forcefully taken care of, and the problem spots re-ballasted. That solved the problem, but we still have 6 tracks to ballast which will likely cause the same bumps to form. The lesson we learned from this, is to make sure to get glue all over the cork, and not just some spots here and there to keep it in place ;)

 

We also started work on some track leading to the station, which also meant we had to start drawing up and cutting out cross sections. This is quite a bit of work really, lots of measuring and drawing and checking things out. Made even more difficult due to the fact that we don't necessarily know at which height all the track is supposed to be =)

 

Anyway, some more pictures ;)

 

 

Image 032:

A detail shot of the cable gutters. Once the "tiles" are added, and the whole thing is painted grey, they look quite good. The bit that's open is left open on purpose. I've added some cables, and eventually I'll add a little maintenance guy and the missing tiles that are supposed to cover up the gutter.

 

Image 033:

This is the first cross section we made (using wood from the old layout, hence the wavy pattern of old glue-and-cork ;)) It slots over the framework and a couple of screws will hold it in place quite nicely.

 

Image 034:

A couple of cross sections in action. The station is 12cm above the framework, the frontmost track is 8cm above the framework, which gives a grade of about 4%. We might adjust it a bit to soften the grade, but 4% tends to work okay for most trains. The painted bit of curve all the way to the right of the image is made entirely from flex track btw. Laying it was much easier than I expected.

 

Image 035:

Bit of detail from the bottom, showing how the roadbed is resting on the cross section.

 

Image 036:

This shows the 4% grade, looks much steeper from this angle than it actually is =)

 

Image 037:

Difficult to see, but this is another cross section. If you look closely you can see some markings where I need to make holes and such. This is a fairly complicated cross section because it has a lot of track cutting through it at various heights.

 

Image 038:

An updated version of the track plan. Still working on the left station, I want to incorporate our turntable there somehow, but I don't just want to toss it in, but rather have it make sense as well. The dark red tracks are supposed to be a stop for steam locomotives and provide the ability to uncouple, run around the cars to the turntable, get a bit of servicing, turn around and pick up the cars again. Not sure exactly how to work that out though.

 

The brown track up top was supposed to be a mountain line, but there's not enough space for a mountain line really. So the idea is that the track will go into a (small) mountain, and hidden inside the mountain will be 2 or 3 tracks to store trains on. So the mountain railway goes to destinations not modeled, but the track will just be a small point-to-point idea capable of running 4 or 5 short trains.

032-cable_gutter_detail.jpg

033-cross_section.jpg

034-cross_sections_in_place.jpg

035-cross_sections_detail.jpg

036-grade.jpg

037-cross_section_markings.jpg

038-trackplan_v2.jpg

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