A Micro Switching Layout

A Micro Switching Layout

Postby RodTT » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:02 pm

Having sold my HO switching layout Yorkford, PA http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/newsforyou/yorkfordpa.htm to a good home, I've decided to do something similar in TT for my next US outline layout. I modelled in British 3mm for over a decade so TT is not totally strange territory for me.

P1040351.JPG


This is the finished thing...do you like it? Ok, so it's not quite finished. It's 40 inches by 10 and the final layout will be about the same, maybe a little deeper so the track isn't too close to the front edge. The somewhat bashed-around and well-used track shown is from the 3mm Society (UK), with a mix of Peco and hand-built turnouts. I may go for Peco HOm track instead for a more uniform look, but either way I intend to reduce the sleeper spacing to make it look more prototypical (see next post).

There will be some industrial low relief buildings across the back, and industries in the spaces to left and right, with maybe a scrap yard and a team track. A street will run diagonally somewhere from back to front. Trains will enter and leave the layout via a fiddle yard at right.

Era and location will probably be a bit fluid depending on what stock I end up with.

P1040354.JPG


The stock in the picture (without detailing parts as yet) was ordered from Zeuke in Holland, and very nice it is too. Other items are on order from Zeuke, Lok-n-Roll and Shapeways. Not cheap - but that's a good way to stop me buying too much!

I will be converting the locos to DCC and will probably get sound from a couple of under-baseboard MRC sounders I have left over from Yorkford.

The idea is to end up with a layout to take to shows, possibly with interchangeable backscenes for giving my British stock a run-out. But we'll see how that goes, I said it before with Yorkford and it never happened.

Smoking factory chimney as before for spectators to operate is a must!

Ideally I'd like the buildings to be 'proper' 3D, from styrene etc., but to avoid too much scratchbuilding I'll probably go for some card kits.

That's the plan anyway...
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Re: A Micro Switching Layout

Postby RodTT » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:06 pm

As to track, here's a picture of some options. From left to right: Peco HOm unmodified; same with sleeper spacing reduced; 3mm Society track unmodified; same with sleeper spacing reduced.

P1040338.JPG


P1040341.JPG


Which do you think is best? Second photo shows the track alongside the types of turnouts I'll be using, which I won't be modifying. I don't think any of the options are ideal but I will definitely go with one of them. After ballasting and weathering the differences probably won't be so stark.
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Re: A Micro Switching Layout

Postby Arseny » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:03 pm

But why not Tillig or Kuehn ?
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Re: A Micro Switching Layout

Postby RodTT » Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:16 pm

Arseny wrote:But why not Tillig or Kuehn ?


Because I don't have any. Track is at least one thing I don't have to buy, otherwise I might have considered it.
Are Tillig and Kuehn more prototypical for the US?
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Re: A Micro Switching Layout

Postby Arseny » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:28 am

We have discussed it here sometimes ago, but I am afraid I can't find that topic.
If I am not mistaken, the German rails have been connected to the ties in different way.
So, if you are a great criticaster, they are not too prototypical. But as for me, I prefer ready-to-use tracks that I can buy in the hobby shop in my city, so my choice is Tillig.
As concerns the interval between the ties - I do not know the answer.
I am not American and I did not visit USA or Canada ever, so I can be wrong.
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Re: A Micro Switching Layout

Postby Bernd » Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:58 am

Arseny wrote:As concerns the interval between the ties - I do not know the answer.
I am not American and I did not visit USA or Canada ever, so I can be wrong.


NMRA has the standards for tie spacing. Main line is usually 21" center of tie to center of tie. Branch lines the spacing was wider. Don't recall right now what it is.

Rail tie spacing: https://www.google.com/search?q=railroad+track+tie+spacing&rls=com.microsoft:en-US:IE-Address&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiDt-62qvLVAhXDTCYKHb9TBDYQsAQIPg&biw=1536&bih=808#imgrc=_&spf=1503661832136

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Re: A Micro Switching Layout

Postby Sventton » Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:59 am

Going with what you have readily available...I would prefer the Peco, with the reduced tie spacing.
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Re: A Micro Switching Layout

Postby Graandpa » Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:46 am

One comment. There are turnouts facing both directions and no way to move a locomotive around a car (a run around track) when it is on the wrong end of a car that is supposed to go in a particular siding. Some pre-arranging in the fiddle yard would be necessary unless you add a cross over between the two diagonal tracks.

A Timesaver TT layout designed by John Allen (Model Railroader Magazine in the 1950's and since) will fit in the same space and handle up to eight cars and a locomotive without a fiddle yard. A fiddle yard could be used, too. Such layouts have


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Re: A Micro Switching Layout

Postby RodTT » Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:03 am

Graandpa wrote:One comment. There are turnouts facing both directions and no way to move a locomotive around a car (a run around track) when it is on the wrong end of a car that is supposed to go in a particular siding. Some pre-arranging in the fiddle yard would be necessary unless you add a cross over between the two diagonal tracks.

A Timesaver TT layout designed by John Allen (Model Railroader Magazine in the 1950's and since) will fit in the same space and handle up to eight cars and a locomotive without a fiddle yard. A fiddle yard could be used, too. Such layouts have


Yes, the lack of a run-around is intentional this time round. My previous layout http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/newsforyou/yorkfordpa.htm had one and we found that at shows we rarely used it. Locating freight cars at one end of the loco or the other will be done in the fiddle yard, it only takes a matter of seconds, especially as I intend to have two tracks in the fiddle yard on a kind of sector plate.
Prototypes did without run-arounds where possible to save on track.
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Re: A Micro Switching Layout

Postby RodTT » Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:14 am

As to tie spacing - figures seem to vary. According to the Railway Tie Association (they had to exist, didn't they?), http://www.rta.org/faqs, the spacing is 19.5in. According to Wikipedia it's 18. So for TT something like 0.15 to 0.175 inches should look about right. But I suppose you have to take into account the tie thickness too, a thicker tie would presumably look better with a bigger gap.
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