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Martijn Meerts

JR-Chiisai: Storage yard modules

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Martijn Meerts

As already talked about in this thread, I've been working on a design for a storage yard. The purpose is to store trains (obviously) of various length, from short 2 or 3 car local trains to complete sleeper trains, to full 16 car shinkansen. Another purpose is for the yard to act as an end-point/return loop for a modular layout.

 

The initial idea is to have 28 tracks, although I might have to reconsider that. In the track plan, I drew the tracks closer together than the standard Peco track spacing. This might be a problem, but it also might not be. I need to test it with some of the wider trains. Also, I'll likely need to modify the Peco turnouts in order to make them fit in the first place :)

 

Progress will likely be slow, considering most time is still spend on the non-japanese layout, and I have in mind to order some more 0-scale track work soon-ish, including some turnouts and the first stage of a turntable kit.

 

 

Anyway, some initial pictures:

 

Image 000:

The approximate track plan for the first module. Blue tracks are the entrance tracks (left-to-right), green tracks are exit tracks (right-to-left.) Track 14 and 28 are through tracks, to make sure trains can always enter and exit. The module is 70cm deep (which is really the minimum required for a loop that can handle shinkansen) and probably around 125 to 130cm long. The entire plan in this image needs to move to the right a little, so that the turnouts aren't right on the edge.

 

Image 001:

A bunch of Peco track, most of which just arrived the day of this writing. There's 8 right-hand turnouts (medium), 5 left-hand turnouts (medium), 1 right-hand turnout (large), 1 right-hand turnout (small) and 15 lengths of flex track (just over 90cm each.) The little packages are joiners and extra sleepers. The small and large turnouts were really just to get an idea of how the things look. The small ones would be useful for local lines, the large ones are obviously great for shinkansen line crossovers.

 

Image 002:

The 3 different sized of turnouts lined up. I'll be using the middle ones for the storage yard. The small ones would've saves me some space, but the radius on them is a little below the recommended shinkansen minimum radius, and with so many turnouts right after one another, I didn't want to take a risk.

 

Image 003:

I'd call Houston to tell them we have a problem, but they'll likely try to come up with some incredibly expensive scheme to solve it (sort of like Nasa's million+ dollar ballpoint pen that could write in space whereas the russians just used a pencil....)

As you can see, the turnouts will need some modifications. I was thinking of cutting away some bits and pieces anyway, so it's no big deal. The 4 holes on the outside of the track are where you mount the Peco turnout motors, but I won't be using those. That means the sleepers there can be trimmed. The throwbar also doesn't need to be as long as Peco makes them, so those too will be trimmed. Finally, there's a small metal plate on the bottom, which holds a little spring in place. The spring is too keep the blades snug against the rail. Considering I'll be using servo's, I don't need the spring, nor the metal plate. All that should mean it'll be possible to somehow get things to fit =)

jrc-sy01_000-trackplan.jpg

jrc-sy01_001-tracks.jpg

jrc-sy01_002-peco_turnouts.jpg

jrc-sy01_003-uhoh.jpg

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Lawrence

Crikey Martijn that will keep you busy for a while!  As for picture 3, you would have thought that Peco would have come up with a solution really, the only thing I would suggest is to cut up some spare track into 25mm lengths, and fit them onto the ends of the first point as extensions, I realise it will muck up your radii a bit, but it will give you the clearance you need (the 25mm is just a guide, try different lengths and see what works for you).  Good luck with the project

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Martijn Meerts

Crikey Martijn that will keep you busy for a while!  As for picture 3, you would have thought that Peco would have come up with a solution really, the only thing I would suggest is to cut up some spare track into 25mm lengths, and fit them onto the ends of the first point as extensions, I realise it will muck up your radii a bit, but it will give you the clearance you need (the 25mm is just a guide, try different lengths and see what works for you).  Good luck with the project

 

Could be Peco never designed the track to be used in this way, however, compound yards like these are used a lot in models, and there are prototypical ones as well. Adding bits of straight to get enough space would've been an option, but I'd end up with less tracks (not that that would've been so bad considering the current number of tracks =))

 

 

 

I spent a bit more time with the turnouts, and ended up "adjusting" some turnouts. From 1 I just cut off some bits and pieces. The other one got a bit more work done. Some pictures:

 

Image 004:

First stage of making the turnouts fit. I just cut off the larger block area. The entire block is normally used to hold the Peco turnout motor, but it's not needed when using servo's. It also doesn't look very good from a prototypical point of view.

 

Image 005:

Removed the little metal plate and spring that gives Peco turnouts their "up and over" mechanism (once the blades are halfway, they'll get thrown the rest of the way by the spring. Really nice system actually, but of course unnecessary when using servo's =))

 

Image 006:

The entire "turnout motor block" removed. Looks nicer without all the additional plastic around the front of the blades.

 

Image 007:

Like image 006. The red indicator means a sleeper will be placed there to fill up the void left by cutting out the turnout motor block. Unfortunately, the Peco replacement sleepers for flex track are too high to fill this gap. I could adjust them, but it's easier to just use some Evergreen strips. Although, I might check to see of roco/minitrix sleepers might fit.

 

The blue indicator means I'll need to put some sort of detail there. Probably just a simple cover. It's mainly to hide the weird looking sleepers that are a bit shorter =)

 

The red arrows point to where the fake turnout motor can be placed. Tomix turnouts come with a fake device, so I'll likely base it on those.

 

(I actually do plan to ballast and (slightly) scenic the yard, because it can be set up as a visible part of the layout.)

 

Image 008:

A quick clearance test. The distances aren't 100% correct, but it should be very close to this picture. It's fairly tight, but it should look pretty nice with the entire yard filled =)

jrc-sy01_004-turnout_bashing_1.jpg

jrc-sy01_005-turnout_bashing_2.jpg

jrc-sy01_006-turnout_bashing_3.jpg

jrc-sy01_007-turnout_bashing_4.jpg

jrc-sy01_008-track_spacing.jpg

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Martijn Meerts

I recently got my ESU servo decoder, so I was able to test a couple of servo's I had around. It worked really well actually. Also tested the Uhlenbrock servo decoder I've had lying around for a LONG time already. It has more functions then the ESU decoder, but it's a pain to set up, and it seems like the servo's don't move quite as smooth.

 

Anyways, I also went to the store to buy a bunch of wood today. For some unknown reason they didn't have time to cut it for me, so I'll have to go back on wednesday (no way I'm able to take home 3 sheets of 244x122cm wood :)). I'll be buying enough wood for all 4 storage yard modules (or, more like sections) in 1 go.

 

I made a 3d model of the module base, I'll post a picture of it later today. I guess the module base will be quite heavy considering I'm using fairly heavy wood, but rather a bit heavy than not strong enough ...

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Martijn Meerts

Here are some shots of the module base I'm planning on building. The one in the pictures is 1.25 x 0.7 meters, which is quite sizable for a module. However, with the goal of being able to run 16 car trains, I guess the modules get large fast. The biggest issue with the 16 car trains is of course that each block needs to be at least long enough to fit the train, unless I add a system that would allow a single train to occupy multiple blocks (which is seen in the prototype as well, but usually only at stations)

 

Anyway...

 

 

Image 009:

Overview of the module. The dark brown bits are 15mm plywood, 15cm in height. There are many reason why I picked a fairly heavy type of wood, with the main one being that the outer sides are also the main structure. The red triangles are of the same plywood, as are the blue ones. The blue ones have a small corner cut out to allow for the module legs to slide in. These triangles make it easier to assemble everything, as well as add considerable strength. The dark beige bits are strips of around 2x2 cm, and they are the support for the top sheet of plywood, which will be around 6-7mm thick. On top of the plywood I'll likely but some cork, even though the sound dampening properties of cork vanish after having been soaked with water and white glue =)

 

Image 010:

A detail shot of the module leg inside the construction to hold the legs.

 

 

Obviously, there are things missing here, like holes for wiring etc, but this was just to give me an quick overview of the module base before actually starting to build them.

jrc-sy01_009-module_base.jpg

jrc-sy01_010-module_base_corner_detail.jpg

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Martijn Meerts

I've had a whole bunch of wood cut for me recently, my measurements weren't 100% correct, but it wasn't much off.

 

The plywood sides ended up being 14cm instead of 15cm, because the saw they have at the store creates a 4mm cut. This ended up in 15cm being just too much to get out of 1 sheet of plywood. Obviously, 14 or 15cm makes little difference :)

 

The support for the plywood top sheet (which ended up being 6.5mm) are 1.8 x 1.8 cm instead of 2x2, again, no big deal.

 

I now have enough wood for all 4 of the modules, and I've started cutting several pieces to length. I bought a new tool for this, basically a contraption that allows you to use a jigsaw as a miter saw. Quite handy actually. Not 100% accurate, but a lot more accurate (not to mention a LOT faster) then trying to get straight and angled cuts by hand.

 

The only thing missing to build the modules cases now is cork, or some other material to place under the tracks.

 

 

I'm pretty sure I'll adjust the track plan as well. As mentioned earlier, the track spacing between all the storage tracks is slightly less than the standard Peco track spacing. The trains will still fit on the tracks (apart from the Galaxy Express gun car anyway ;)), but as I might want to add scenery, and make the modules look somewhat like a prototypical storage yard, I really want to get a more standard spacing.

 

 

Other than that, I'm still figuring out how to wire up the turnouts. The Wiring For DCC site has several articles about Peco turnouts, and how to wire them, but I can't say I completely agree with everything they mention there.

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Martijn Meerts

After a lot of thinking, drawing, redrawing, experimenting, and various other words that sound cool, I've come up with the final track plan for the storage yard.

 

In the picture (which is rather big...), top to bottom is initial version with 28 through tracks, 2nd version with half the through tracks converted to stubs (for shinkansen etc.)), and the bottom is the final version with the track spacing adjusted to be standard peco spacing. This means "only" 24 tracks are left, but at least there's more space between the trains. I've also managed to increase the length of the tracks slightly, without increasing the total length. Each through track is now 2.55 meters, total length is 4.5 meters. Obviously, the stub tracks are a bit longer.

 

As for progress. I have all the wood for the modules, and recently also received cork and special glue. I've also printed the final track plan in full scale, which cost me about 61 A4 pages. Unfortunately, Rail modeler seems to be slightly off with the peco code 55 turnouts, and the real ones don't completely correspond to the printed ones. However, that's not really an issue, as the printer track plan is still a great refrence. Last but not least, I bought a whole bunch of little screws to temporarily keep the track in place.

 

Hopefully I can actually start some actual building soon instead of just buying stuff =)

jrc-sy01_011-trackplan_final.jpg

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Tecchan

Crazy! ^__^

 

I'm glad for you that you can afford (and I mean afford space) having such a layout! And this is juste storage yard, can't wait to see the whole thing!

 

Looking forward to see that! :-)

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Martijn Meerts

Well, I don't really have the space. I can fit it on the attic, but during summer it's too hot there. I've been considering adding thermal isolation and fixing the whole thing up, but there's a water leak somewhere up there. It's only a small one, but big enough to cause mold on the isolation material. It would optimally also need a new floor and new stairs...

 

As for the whole layout... Everything will be modules, and the initial goal is to make something to go to shows with, and get some more attention to Japanese model trains over here. I do have some modules already planned, 1 of them being a full size Tokyo Station (possible with a hidden yard underneath it), and a series of modules based on Studio Ghibli movies.

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Darklighter

Thanks for sharing your track plan. I'm currently planning a storage yard and I must say, your plan is pretty clever.  :grin

I'm thinking about using medium Code 80 turnouts (approx. 30 mm track center spacing).

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Martijn Meerts

I had a lot of great input from various people on the forum to get to this track plan, so it only makes sense to share it :)

 

I've used medium code 55 turnouts myself, so medium code 80 should be easy enough as well. If you want I can send you a 1:1 scale PDF of the whole thing, if you print that and use it as a reference, it'd be much easier to lay the track correctly.

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cteno4

As for the whole layout... Everything will be modules, and the initial goal is to make something to go to shows with, and get some more attention to Japanese model trains over here. I do have some modules already planned, 1 of them being a full size Tokyo Station (possible with a hidden yard underneath it), and a series of modules based on Studio Ghibli movies.

 

 

Martijn,

 

you have a semi to move that tokyo station module! seriously be careful of module size with your transportation to/from shows, even the size to get through doorways/halls, etc at home to where they live the rest of the time. one of the big things for JRM was to make sure the modules would fit in the backseat of a smaller car. still an issue for us to transport the jrm layout, its not that big but really takes the toyota van to haul it easily.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Martijn Meerts

Jeff, I've pretty much decided that if I ever manage to get to a show, I'll be renting a mini van or possibly get my brother to drive with his mini-truck. There's always going to be more than 1 person setting up the whole thing, so carrying it should be okay.

 

The average size of each module is around 125x70cm. The storage yard will be 2 modules of 125x70 (they'll have all the turnouts on them), 1 module of 160x70 (sandwiched in between the modules with turnouts) and 1 module of 40x70 (the one with the 180 degree curve.)

 

The Tokyo modules will probably be around the same size, and the station building(s) are most likely going to be removable, so that they can be transported separately. I don't have a lot of experience with building/transporting modules, so the sizes might be no good, but the club layouts I've seen all have modules that are larger than what I'm going for.

 

I'm just going to build the storage yard, and see what it's like with those sizes. It's all a learning experience ;)

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cteno4

Martijn,

 

cool, just didnt want you to build the boat in the basement! with those sized modules you will fill up a good sized van fast! even maneuvering our modules in their boxes (about 1" larger than the modules themselves) can be tricky. sounds like you dont plan on doing the haul out that much. also think about how you can stack them, ie spacers between the modules, boxes, or a rack of some kind to pack them into the van and protect scenery/buildings.

 

one idea for your modules is to think of a girder system for them to sit on. we have this for the jrm and it makes a great base that can then sit on tables, sawhorses or their own removable legs (coming this fall). ours is just 1" x 2" runners with some cross pieces. the straight sections are 3.5m long and fold in the center with hinges for easier transport. then two end sections bolt to the ends. simple, cheap and pretty lightweight but strong solution. the at home could be something much beffier that perhaps is more built in that the modules rest on and not get torn out to go on the road.

 

did you ever get tokyo station paper model set? i can see about scanning some of mine if you want some reference things. its a pretty big set, let me know.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Martijn Meerts

I have the advantage that 2 of my brothers drive trucks. 1 drives small trucks, the other semi-trailers, so I'm sure I can get the modules to where they should go :)

 

I guess they won't be traveling that much though, considering there's not that many shows nearby that I'm away of. I guess twice a year could be considered often for the moment.

 

I've been thinking of some sort of support structures to not only transport them, but also store them when not in use. I have some ideas that should be nice and stable. I'll need to make some 3d models of it at some point to get an idea of how it works.

 

 

Still haven't gotten the Tokyo Station model, it's still on backorder at HLJ, the same status as it has been for about a year now I guess =)

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cteno4

Martijn,

 

ha that really helps. turns out transport is now one of our biggest issues for doing shows.

 

we fiddled with several ideas for transport/storage of modules. first was doing boxes that had rails along the inside sides that we could slide in 2 or 3 modules. this proved a bit too hard to engineer for what it was worth and we ended up doing simple 3/8" luan ply boxes for each module. worked out to about $5-6 per box. the box is braced with 0.5"x0.5" stock along the inside of all the corners. we cut some hand holds into the ends and sides to make them easy to pick up. then we put little ski runners along the bottom of each that are just at the inside dimensions of the open tops so the boxes can securely nest together and made a few tops. this way we can nest 2-4 modules into one stack and throw some straps around them with a lid to have a tidy crate two guys can easily manage and fits in the van or hatch backs.

 

boxes take up some more volume, but are easy to put the modules in and provide good protection in transport and storage.

 

if you get really stuck on the tokyo station i can see about scanning mine. will take some time, but if i go ahead and pull all the pages apart it should not be too bad. if you are going to do it it would probably be the easiest starting point!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Martijn Meerts

Some scans would be great. Initially it's really only to get somewhat correct dimensions considering the paper kit is of the original version. The 3rd story has been removed in the current one, and the domes are gone. Although I do believe they plan to bring back the domes, which would be great =)

 

Don't pull the pages apart for my sake though, only do it if you were planning on doing it in the first place.

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cteno4

have you seen the postcard version? its tiny, but may have some ideas on it.

 

ill poke at this when i have some time, its ok to pull it apart as if i ever build it that will need to happen and the paper is pretty stiff so even opening it to look at it tends to start bending the pages. wish they had just put this loose in a plastic bag or in a folder the way other paper craft items are, the binding is a pain!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Martijn Meerts

I've tried using google maps, but it's not really accurate because the pictures aren't 100% from above, so you have the 3d look of buildings obscuring parts, and you have shadows cast by buildings obscuring other parts. I'm guessing the paper model is based on the original blueprints, so it would be much more accurate.

 

Now, obviously it doesn't have to be 100% accurate, but if you start with measurements that are off, the final building will be even more off. Tokyo Station will most likely be the main focal point of the layout, so I do want the station building to look as correct as possible.

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keitaro

sounds epic.

 

would love to see when finished.

 

I was going to do this with a board underneath (on my current project I am just starting) not epic like yours but was going to expand it to 9 tracks

 

As when I am finished that i will be making another board and eventually have them both be attachable. The second board I am thinking about doing will have 3 - 4 tracks but that is a long time away.....

 

I was going to do 1262 Fine Track Electric 3-Way Points N-PLR541/280-15(F) x 4 branching out 1 on each side middle connecting to the next 3 way it leaves a good bit of a space between the next turn off.

 

either way that looks both expansive and very complicated for me haha good luck

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Martijn Meerts

Expansive perhaps, but not complicated. It's really just a bunch of straight tracks with some turnouts ;)

 

 

I'm probably going to glue some sheets of cork to the base board today. Might try to get them sanded down a little tomorrow, as well as starting pasting the track plan together. I'm also going to paint the cork black underneath the tracks. Reason for this is the make sure the cork won't be visible after ballasting, and also so that the cork doesn't get soaked with white glue from the ballasting.

 

I did go and buy an occupancy detector today to test that as well (I know how they work, but so far I've only used the Selectrix ones, needed one to test with the ECoS), and ordered 3 more of them, as well as a return loop module which solves the whole short circuit issue.

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KenS

What do you use to paint your cork?

 

I've been using acrylic artists paint (not model acrylic), which I can get in a gray that matches my Unitrack, and dries flexible and a bit tacky, so it tends to hold the track in place (I don't ballast my unitrack) and still acts to deaden sound.  But it does tend to go on a bit uneven unless I'm very careful since it's a thick paint.

 

The usual problem with painted cork is that the painted cork becomes rigid, and you lose some of the sound-deadening advantage.

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Martijn Meerts

I'm probably going to use latex paint, normally used to paint walls and such. It's fairly thick as well, but it goes on easy and covers the surface well.

 

The paint might remove some of the sound-deadening, but cork that gets soaked with white glue will lose pretty much all sound-deadening once the glue hard dried up. I'm not all that worried about the noise though, as it tells me there are trains running ;)

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cteno4

One thing to be aware of on a module with latex house/wall paint is it tends to shrink a little when it dries and that over a large area can cause some warping.

 

i saw this on the jrm modules which we made very thin for weight and space--they are very rigid though. i specifically left the first test module out for a few months in the garage and brought it in and out of the house a few times to see if the design would hold up to humidity changes w/o any finishing on it and thrown around in abusive storage positions. the test module held up well and still is totally flat like 2 years later. we get nasty humidity swings around here and plywood and foamcore can really warp just sitting around.

 

The final modules were totally sealed with 2 coats of verathane to protect them from humidity. and the came out of that process totally flat and true. then later we put a good coat of latex gray on the top as a scenery base color on the tops and the whole top warped up a mm or two on some of the modules. since the tops were sealed with the verathane it was not due to the wood warping, but due to the latex paint shrinking some and pulling on the whole top side. really shocked me. with time it has relaxed some and pretty much gone away, i assume as with handling the paint has cracked some and given up some of its pull on the top.

 

i would not have thought this to be a problem, but it was. if you superstructure is heavier may be no problem for you and the cork layer might also give some play as well.

 

also think about using matte medium instead of glue for your ballast as its much more flexible than white glue is. if you need a lot you can also get deep tint latex base (basically latex paint w/o pigment) and you mix it up, then let it sit and decant off the clear stuff on top to use. we also have a cheap craft matte medium here in the states called modge podge and its pretty cheap, especially when you use a craft store coupon. the artist matte medium can be pricy.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Martijn Meerts

Hmm.. I'll have to check in to the latex paint shrinking. Although, the structure is sturdy enough to prevent any warping for these particular modules, it might have a more noticeable effect on modules that use open-frame construction. The wood for the roadbed can be long and thin in those cases, which means they'll be more susceptible to warping.

 

I've read about a lot of things one can use instead of white glue, but most of the products used are difficult to find outside of the US (interestingly, most ballasting articles come from Americans ;)), either because they don't exist here, or because they have a completely different name. I do remember reading about ballasting on a Dutch page somewhere, and they mentioned a type of primer like paint which worked well instead of white glue. I dries up clear and remains flexible, can be used straight away without mixing with water, and is even (a lot) cheaper than white glue. Disadvantage is that I can't easily test it myself, considering the smallest amount of the stuff the local store has is 10 liters =)

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