I did it all wrong! Can someone help me salvage this mess?

T

trainidiot

Registered
2 Dec 2018
5
4
52
Ohio
#1
I have always loved trains. I always dreamed of having a train. A couple of years ago, I decided that the "average dummy" ought to be able to figure out how to make a train work. Apparently, I am substantially less than the "average dummy". Here is my pathetic story..... I purchased a G scale Bachmann Big Haulers set and launched into a frantic buying session of Bachmann brass outdoor track. I chose a HUGE section of my backyard and made a train garden. After mutliple layout changes, leveling efforts, etc.....I decided that the power source that came with the train wasn't hefty enough to supply power all across the track, so I purchased a different power source. The train went around the track once (while stuttering the whole time) and then stopped. Eventually, the engine began to smoke (not the good kind coming out of the smokestack!) and smelled like burnt toast. Literally, it was fried.
After giving up on the railroad for a season, the following season I decided to purchase a different locomotive and power supply. (Note, this is a simple power supply that connects to the track and is not programmable in any way (I believe that DCC is what you smart people call the layouts that are programmable). It works great when I have the time to clean the track and pull all of the plants that tend to grow up through the track out of the way. My landscape was designed for beauty and not so much for practicality around a railroad.

See what I mean? I did it all wrong.

I no longer have the time nor the patience to fight with my garden railroad. It brings stress, rather than joy into my life. I would very much love to salvage some of the items that I have already purchased, by having my train run at chair rail height in my spare bedroom. My issue is this.....with doorways and closets, it can't run in just a simple loop. I have a lot of brass track, an awesome power supply...so I really want to re-use all of this stuff. Essentially, what I have is a C shape area that it could run in (around the perimeter of part of the room. I would like for it to start at point A.....travel to point B....and then automatically change direction and return, in reverse, to part A.....and then start the whole process over again. Is there something that I can attach to the track to make it do this? I have searched online and am not really finding what I need. I might not be searching with the right terminology. Can anyone help this train idiot?

I appreciate you taking the time to read this lengthy post and apologize in advance for my lack of train knowledge/terminology.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
13,499
3,126
70
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
#2
Perhaps you could try again in the Garden but at a height of 2-3 feet. The Garden can then grow up to it. Have a look at some of my posts linked in my Signature below. Certainly my build will give you some idea of what I have done. A Railway on Sticks as it is generally known can be constructed very quickly if you follow how I have done it. But start SMALL and allow it to grow as you gain experience and expertise. We all started like that.

If you want Automatic Indoors look at LGB EPL it will do all that you mention. But setting it all up may proove to be just as frustrating formyou!
 
SophieB

SophieB

Registered
24 Sep 2017
19
18
61
Elizabeth City, NC, USA
#3
What you are looking for is called a Reversing Unit. Your train gets to the end of the track, stops and then runs back the way it came. Several companies make them, my husband and I have an LGB unit and it works fine with no problems. The only issue is that your train is going to be running backwards half the time. No problem if it's just a trolley but it looks a bit off with a regular train.
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
21,231
2,454
Tamworth, Staffs.
#4
Also known as a 'shuttle' unit.. There are several available. - Even LGB did one built into a buffer-stop.
 
P

playmofire

Registered
23 Oct 2010
6,336
682
North Yorks
#5
I wrote the answer below yesterday, but when I came to post it your original post could not be found. It replicates what has already said to some degree but also adds other ideas.

"What you want is an auto-shuttle of one sort or another. This would set the train off in one direction and stop it at the other end. The train would pause there for a short time (maybe as much as a minute but there will almost certainly be some means of adjusting this) and then return.

You could add another piece of equipment called a station stop which would allow you to introduce a station stop or stops on the journey. The train could be made to slow down, stop, pause, and set off again as it travelled from end to end.

If the "shelf" your track is on is wide enough, you can add scenery and buildings and by careful positioning of points the train can follow a different route on the return journey so that, in effect, you have an end-to-end layout with a continuous running section between each terminus."
 
T

trainidiot

Registered
2 Dec 2018
5
4
52
Ohio
#6
Perhaps you could try again in the Garden but at a height of 2-3 feet. The Garden can then grow up to it. Have a look at some of my posts linked in my Signature below. Certainly my build will give you some idea of what I have done. A Railway on Sticks as it is generally known can be constructed very quickly if you follow how I have done it. But start SMALL and allow it to grow as you gain experience and expertise. We all started like that.

If you want Automatic Indoors look at LGB EPL it will do all that you mention. But setting it all up may proove to be just as frustrating formyou!
Your layout is simply amazing! The stuff my dreams are made of! I wish I had the time and energy to work on replicating at least part of it. Unfortunately, I am beginning a new career venture that will have me working 70-80 hours/week, hence my desire to bring the train inside so I can enjoy it at least on a small scale. Thank you for your input and for sharing your amazing work!
 
T

trainidiot

Registered
2 Dec 2018
5
4
52
Ohio
#7
The only issue is that your train is going to be running backwards half the time. No problem if it's just a trolley but it looks a bit off with a regular train.[/QUOTE]

Aha! I will search using the term "reversing unit" and see what I can find. Thank you! I know it will look a bit off, but I'd rather it look a bit off than give up on it entirely. I named my railroad "Chris gets Cross Railroad" because it just frustrated me and made me swear a lot! ;)
 
T

trainidiot

Registered
2 Dec 2018
5
4
52
Ohio
#8
Also known as a 'shuttle' unit.. T

Ahh...."shuttle unit"....something else to search for. Thanks so very much....heading to cyberspace now. :)
 
T

trainidiot

Registered
2 Dec 2018
5
4
52
Ohio
#9
If the "shelf" your track is on is wide enough, you can add scenery and buildings and by careful positioning of points the train can follow a different route on the return journey so that, in effect, you have an end-to-end layout with a continuous running section between each terminus."[/QUOTE]

Yes! I am researching "auto shuttle" now and hoping to find something that will accomplish this. I would LOVE to be able to add some scenery and buildings and make something unique, albeit weird. :)
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
22,918
3,080
North West Norfolk
#10
I am beginning a new career venture that will have me working 70-80 hours/week, hence my desire to bring the train inside so I can enjoy it at least on a small scale.
I think the secret will be, while having big dreams (we all have 'em) to start small and instant with a view to growing.

When I started on my first garden railway, I knew that if I didn't bang it down in a few weekends, it would never get done, so it was instant track bed, no fancy electronics and quick and easy purchase of locos. Over time, I developed it - then moved house to start all over again :rock::rock::rock::rock:.

The first bit is to get a train running - then add the detail.

111471_50c246daec09230c031d7dd0edefd6e4.png
 
a98087

a98087

Registered
8 Nov 2009
1,480
132
31
Wiltshire
#11
On whatever layout you use indoor or outdoor, make sure you use track jumpers,

This helps to ensure that power reaches all parts of the layout, the position of jumpers can be every few feet or every track piece it depends on how many you want and need

Dan
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
13,499
3,126
70
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
#12
The only issue is that your train is going to be running backwards half the time. No problem if it's just a trolley but it looks a bit off with a regular train.
Aha! I will search using the term "reversing unit" and see what I can find. Thank you! I know it will look a bit off, but I'd rather it look a bit off than give up on it entirely. I named my railroad "Chris gets Cross Railroad" because it just frustrated me and made me swear a lot! ;)[/QUOTE]
Thanks for your compliments on my line.

Do not beat yourself up too much about Trains Propelling, this is quite normal in some cases. Rack Railways to name but one instance, but more aproptiately the Darjeeling in India has Zig Zags to help gain height. Look at some of the Vids on line about this amazing Railway.
 
F

Fred Mills

Registered
27 Mar 2017
842
382
76
Ottawa/Nepean, Ontario Canada
#13
If I may jump in at this late hour, of your discontent...
How about starting over. Start with your name so civilized people can address you properly. Feel welcome here, you can learn a lot from many seasoned Large Scale railroaders, who call this home.
We all have made mistakes, but that's part of the learning process.
Start by doing a bit of good research, and find a group, or even a lone model railroader near you. Check the web, for such places as Large scale Central, which is based in the Eastern USofA...lots of local experience there. Knowing what part of the North American climate you are in can help using materials suited for you...
Good fortune young fellow...
Fred Mills
 
LGB333

LGB333

Member
15 Feb 2015
44
9
McLean Virginia
#14
I have always loved trains. I always dreamed of having a train. A couple of years ago, I decided that the "average dummy" ought to be able to figure out how to make a train work. Apparently, I am substantially less than the "average dummy". Here is my pathetic story..... I purchased a G scale Bachmann Big Haulers set and launched into a frantic buying session of Bachmann brass outdoor track. I chose a HUGE section of my backyard and made a train garden. After mutliple layout changes, leveling efforts, etc.....I decided that the power source that came with the train wasn't hefty enough to supply power all across the track, so I purchased a different power source. The train went around the track once (while stuttering the whole time) and then stopped. Eventually, the engine began to smoke (not the good kind coming out of the smokestack!) and smelled like burnt toast. Literally, it was fried.
After giving up on the railroad for a season, the following season I decided to purchase a different locomotive and power supply. (Note, this is a simple power supply that connects to the track and is not programmable in any way (I believe that DCC is what you smart people call the layouts that are programmable). It works great when I have the time to clean the track and pull all of the plants that tend to grow up through the track out of the way. My landscape was designed for beauty and not so much for practicality around a railroad.

See what I mean? I did it all wrong.

I no longer have the time nor the patience to fight with my garden railroad. It brings stress, rather than joy into my life. I would very much love to salvage some of the items that I have already purchased, by having my train run at chair rail height in my spare bedroom. My issue is this.....with doorways and closets, it can't run in just a simple loop. I have a lot of brass track, an awesome power supply...so I really want to re-use all of this stuff. Essentially, what I have is a C shape area that it could run in (around the perimeter of part of the room. I would like for it to start at point A.....travel to point B....and then automatically change direction and return, in reverse, to part A.....and then start the whole process over again. Is there something that I can attach to the track to make it do this? I have searched online and am not really finding what I need. I might not be searching with the right terminology. Can anyone help this train idiot?

I appreciate you taking the time to read this lengthy post and apologize in advance for my lack of train knowledge/terminology.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A Garden Railway is definitely a lot more work than an indoor one..........you're dealing with all the challenges of Mother Nature. As someone also mentioned, you can buy a back and forth shuttle device such as the Massoth Automatic Shuttle for Analog Operation #8431001 $106.90 available at AllAboutLGB.com. LGB has a similar one for a higher price built into a track bumper unit........I believe still made for LGB by Massoth Germany. I bought a unit, for example, 20 years ago for $50. But these all only operate on DC/Analog power.........appears you operate on DCC/Digital Power. But if your DCC Central Station is powered by a DC Transformer then you're all set to use a shuttle unit. I'm not aware of any that can be used on a Digital layout.

You can also use a loop to loop device, or called a reverse loop, that's available for either Analog or Digital powered track systems, that change the direction of the current. Again, Massoth and LGB made these devices such as the Massoth DiMax Reverse Loop Module #8157001 $115.90. Go to www.AllAboutLGB.com for technical information on these two differnt type electronics where you can also download the installation instructions for review.
 
mike

mike

Moderator
Staff member
GSC Moderator
24 Oct 2009
49,211
3,356
Rossendale
www.lazygrangebay.co.uk
#15
We all started at the beginning and knew nothing.. it's a learning curve..I'm a fully qualified idiot...no one ever argues over that...build it simple and basic.. indoors or out doors.. the rest is experience..
There are no stuiped questions...ask as meny questions as you need
There are lots of asnwers ..and more correct asnwers
The trick is to figure out what suits u best..
Mines raised up...
The track that is
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,213
1,739
North Essex
#16
If I may jump in at this late hour, of your discontent...
How about starting over. Start with your name so civilized people can address you properly. Feel welcome here, you can learn a lot from many seasoned Large Scale railroaders, who call this home.
We all have made mistakes, but that's part of the learning process.
Start by doing a bit of good research, and find a group, or even a lone model railroader near you. Check the web, for such places as Large scale Central, which is based in the Eastern USofA...lots of local experience there. Knowing what part of the North American climate you are in can help using materials suited for you...
Good fortune young fellow...
Fred Mills
All good points, Fred, especially about having a name to refer to - calling someone "trainidiot" when answering a post just doesn't feel right, even if they've chosen it themselves! ;)

However the poster has explained that he's wanting to build a small INDOOR layout now, so the climate question doesn't really affect him.
I would certainly second (or third) the advice about finding some other local enthusiasts, there is nothing like actually seeing how other folks have done things - although again, garden layout building experience may be a little less relevant to an indoor setup.

There are quite a few folks on here who have indoor G scale lines both large and small, either in addition or as an alternative to outdoor setups. I have a semi-portable indoor layout on three boards each about 6' x 2', which I bought second-hand and have been gradually improving and refitting; here is is on a recent outing to our local G Scale Society open day:

111479_8c73c450f329fcb7f187ffd814459b17.jpeg



.....and here is a shot of one of the three layout boards from when I originally acquired it, without any stock or scenery:

111481_320b57e8136aa996e585d2e34a468d39.jpeg


It does sound as though your situation calls for an end-to-end run with a shuttle unit to reverse the train at each end - if you keep to smaller locos and rolling stock, a little tank engine (possibly running bunker-first with a couple of short coaches?) will not look out of place running in both directions....

Jon.
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
22,918
3,080
North West Norfolk
#17
especially about having a name to refer to - calling someone "trainidiot" when answering a post just doesn't feel right, even if they've chosen it themselves! ;)

Jon.
I think there are some very creative user names out there :p:p:p:p:p:p
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,213
1,739
North Essex
#18
I think there are some very creative user names out there :p:p:p:p:p:p
Oh, I quite agree - and to be clear, I have no problem at all with whatever folks choose to use as their forum username - but as we've discussed before, it just feels much more polite to be able to address someone by their actual name when replying to their posts, rather than by a username..... which is why I always sign off my posts as Jon, and not as "Zerogee".

Each to their own, of course.... ;)

Jon.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
13,499
3,126
70
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
#19
Oh, I quite agree - and to be clear, I have no problem at all with whatever folks choose to use as their forum username - but as we've discussed before, it just feels much more polite to be able to address someone by their actual name when replying to their posts, rather than by a username..... which is why I always sign off my posts as Jon, and not as "Zerogee".

Each to their own, of course.... ;)

Jon.
I fully agree with your views about Sign on so that we know each others names, even though some have told me theirs I do not always remember them when in the Forum. This is why I have put my JonD in my Signature Line along with a few other bits and bobs. Saves me retyping and trying to remember where they are. But hey as you say Each to their own.
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
22,918
3,080
North West Norfolk
#20
Oh, I quite agree - and to be clear, I have no problem at all with whatever folks choose to use as their forum username - but as we've discussed before, it just feels much more polite to be able to address someone by their actual name when replying to their posts, rather than by a username..... which is why I always sign off my posts as Jon, and not as "Zerogee".

Each to their own, of course.... ;)

Jon.
I was being slightly tongue in cheek - can't help myself at times.

I am referred to by various contractions of my user name - there's history with the real name, as I was named Michael Ian, then my parents decided that they wanted to call me Ian. Explaining all that at school to every teacher, every year at the beginning of term left me scarred for life :D:D:D:D:D so I personally don't give a Castlemaine XXXX about what people call me :mask::mask::mask::mask::mask:

.......... and after 48 years in the construction industry, they've called me quite a few names ........... :smoke::smoke::smoke::smoke::smoke::smoke::smoke::smoke::smoke: