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Unnamed Freight Windowsill Layout


katem

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As my main main layout is not in a working condition right now (and moving out of our flat is possible in near future), I started working on a very simple layout that would allow me to run some trains in case I start to loose motivation or need cheering up.

 

Initial conditions:

  • located on a windowsill, but able to be moved elsewhere (size of approx. 30 × 147 cm)
  • long, straight, yard-like layout for a possible train switching puzzle
  • usable for a train showcase as well, if needed
  • very simple build, no fancy stuff, no foliage, no buildings, just Tomix rails and electric turnouts
  • OCD problem: all buffers must be aligned
  • inventory problem: no S70 tracks available
  • 3 little locos and cca 40 two-axis freight cars with a possible future roster expansion

 

Got a board of 25 × 145 cm to build the layout on. There are some legs and cables can run underneath the board. To further simplify the build, I'm going to glue the rails directly onto the board, with no cork or foam layer in between.

 

The inventory for this project is rather limited so I threw everything I can use into AnyRail and after a lot of fiddling this layout came out of it. Seems like it is kinda interesting layout, given the constraints I have. It has a lot of spurs to move trains from and to in puzzles and also a lot of straights to showcase trains on. Any idea for improvement is very welcome. It's always possible to get some other tracks but as I'd like to finish this as soon as possible, it would be better to use just what I already have.

 

27548356_Window21-8v6TF.thumb.jpg.0d1379bcbd9f6ec66cfc16f348fb6162.jpg

 

AnyRail file is here, inventory is 8×S280, 14×S140, 20×S72.5, 4×C541-15, 4×C280-15, 6×PR541-15, 8×PL541-15, 12×buffer.

 

I did many different iterations and nothing substantially different came out of it, yet I'll put few more days into thinking about the layout above. Then will drill holes for feeders and turnouts and start gluing tracks using hot glue gun.

Edited by katem
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is it possible to incorporate the shed area from you main layout? No buildings seems rather bare...

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20 hours ago, ianlaw said:

is it possible to incorporate the shed area from you main layout? No buildings seems rather bare...

 

Maybe in the future? Kitbash something freight-resembling from Tomix small platforms, add some hoppers above the tracks, some barn for locos, some backdrop with a factory.. But that's a project for the future, not something I'd be able to manage right now unfortunately.

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I was a little impatient and had to start building just after the package from RGR arrived. For today, I finished the top four tracks and started running. The low-voltage controller is nice for shunting, the train does not run too fast even on max. The operation is a little louder but that's expected, the board resonates a little. As power units for both KiWas are still somewhere in AmiAmi warehouse, I have just one shunting loco. Looking forward to running with more cars 🙂 The buffers are not glued so they can be removed when storing the board or a track to some other module can be connected.

 

20210818_133724592_iOS.thumb.jpg.ede93b6809a79ce551e07683c8507ec3.jpg

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Katem,

 

There is a game called Time Saver where you take a switcher and arrange the freight cars in a certain order. It is really a fun way to operate trains

and pass time. I built one but lost it in a fire. Your layout plan reminded me of it.

 

The freight car would be mixed up and then you would be timed matching the colors again.

 

image.thumb.png.1c261f61d3c58ba5d18361a9db541d19.png

 

image.thumb.png.d1222569e2fe1d488c5e62d24929265f.png

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On 8/19/2021 at 11:25 AM, katem said:
On 8/19/2021 at 10:44 AM, disturbman said:

How does the Tomix B-Train-like loc run?

 

Surprisingly well, given its size. It's filled with a weight everywhere, including cabin. Power pickup is on all three axes, but the leftmost (left as in the picture) has tires on both wheels. Even though all axes have cogs, motor is not connected to the rightmost one. The motor is noticeably louder when running in one direction (to left). It has problems with turnouts, gets stuck on them almost every time when running very slowly (middle axis gets stuck on turnout dead zone, right axis stops picking up probably because of turnout bumpiness, left axis has tires). No problem in higher speeds though. I did not stress-test it with many cars yet. A little footage is on Instagram here.

 

After few more sessions, I'm not that happy with the loco anymore. The problems with pickup make it difficult to use as a switcher, turnouts are everywhere and it really likes to stop on each one of them. Today I had a look at internals of the loco (first time disassembling something completely and the assembling it back correctly, yay) and tried several different changes and adjustments. In the end I ended up moving the axis with tires into the middle - the loco now has little worse adhesion yet still manages to pull more than ten 2-axis cars with just a little slipping, however, what is more important, it does not get stuck at turnouts anymore. I'll gladly accept a little worse running experience in return for not stopping all the time. And the source of all of that? The middle axis has a little cut-out in the copper strip that collects power so it did not pick up power on little bumps 🤦‍♀️ which means only one side axis was powered and that's why it got stuck in turnout dead zones.

 

20210903_220130675_iOS.thumb.jpg.c1034eaed6390922238f70a0eb764649.jpg

 

Another 3-axis loco is on the way from Japan, from Micro Ace this time, looking forward to seeing how that one runs.

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On 8/18/2021 at 8:26 PM, inobu said:

Katem,

 

There is a game called Time Saver where you take a switcher and arrange the freight cars in a certain order. It is really a fun way to operate trains

and pass time. I built one but lost it in a fire. Your layout plan reminded me of it.

 

The freight car would be mixed up and then you would be timed matching the colors again.

 

Ah, I'm sorry, it must be difficult to lose stuff that is important to you in a fire.

Thanks a lot for all te info, I've heard about switcher games but not about Time Saver specifically. You're right that the layout is somewhat similar 🙂 Seems that uncouplers are important part of that game, is that right? I uncouple manually anywhere I need, even at turnouts, so it's probably easier than having fixed points for uncoupling 🙂 Currently I have the top four tracks installed and operational, the two bottom are still in a drawer for later time when the last batch of freight cars arrives. Having just two spare tracks at bottom left and three at top right (others are needed for switching) gets challenging pretty fast when trying to prepare a consist of randomly-selected cars. You can see the layout in action in my last three posts on Instagram.

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MeTheSwede
7 hours ago, katem said:

 

After few more sessions, I'm not that happy with the loco anymore. The problems with pickup make it difficult to use as a switcher, turnouts are everywhere and it really likes to stop on each one of them. Today I had a look at internals of the loco (first time disassembling something completely and the assembling it back correctly, yay) and tried several different changes and adjustments. In the end I ended up moving the axis with tires into the middle - the loco now has little worse adhesion yet still manages to pull more than ten 2-axis cars with just a little slipping, however, what is more important, it does not get stuck at turnouts anymore. I'll gladly accept a little worse running experience in return for not stopping all the time. And the source of all of that? The middle axis has a little cut-out in the copper strip that collects power so it did not pick up power on little bumps 🤦‍♀️ which means only one side axis was powered and that's why it got stuck in turnout dead zones.

 

20210903_220130675_iOS.thumb.jpg.c1034eaed6390922238f70a0eb764649.jpg

 

Another 3-axis loco is on the way from Japan, from Micro Ace this time, looking forward to seeing how that one runs.

 

The timing of this post was perfect for me!  👍  My thinking process had reached as far as whether improved connectivity might be possible by getting rid of the tracktion tire wheel pair.

 

It also sounds very reassuring that it was your first attempt at total loco disasemble and reasemble and it turned succesful. Did you use any instruction/video/photos to aid you in this, or figured it out anyway?

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On 9/4/2021 at 8:07 AM, MeTheSwede said:

 

The timing of this post was perfect for me!  👍  My thinking process had reached as far as whether improved connectivity might be possible by getting rid of the tracktion tire wheel pair.

 

It also sounds very reassuring that it was your first attempt at total loco disasemble and reasemble and it turned succesful. Did you use any instruction/video/photos to aid you in this, or figured it out anyway?

 

One of the tried but unsuccessful adjustments was moving the tires to the axis not connected with motor but then the loco barely ran on its own and couldn't pull any cars, the wheels were slipping like a lot. Tires are a must here.

Tires on first axis are fine for running in normal speed while not stopping on turnouts but in the yard running on low speed the pickup was really horrible on turnouts and having tires on the middle axis is acceptable compromise.

I've seen the video of the Micro Ace one on discord, seems it also has some problems. Fun fact: I ordered two of the Micro Ace ones by accident 🤦‍♀️ so I really hope they will be usable. 

 

I did not use any guide, instead just tried it myself, starting with unlocking the visible bits, learning the internal structure steep by step. I'm happy about it, not only because I managed to disassemble and assemble again but also because I learned a lot about the internals of the loco and also I did not lose any part which I consider a miracle 😁 The coupler pocket does not have separate cover so the coupler springs were jumping all over the place. 

Edited by katem
fix word: coupler pocket does not have separate _cover_
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