New Warley MRC exhibition layout

chris m01

chris m01

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24 Oct 2009
4,462
Birmingham, UK
I have been thinking about proposing a G scale layout at my local club. I thought it would be useful to post the idea here first to see what sort of reaction it gets. I'm trying to build something that does not try to be a model railway but rather tries to bring the feeling of a garden railway to an exhibition. I know this has been done before but this is designed to be easily transportable and fit in the back of a hatchback. On the outside track the curve diameter is 9 feet so reasonably large locos could be run (I'm thinking of my USA Trains GPs. The SDs would run but would almost certainly throw the first wagon off the track. The club owns a circle of 9 ft diameter track which is the start point for this design.

So - is it worth having a go?
Would it go down well at exhibitions?
Any other thoughts?

indoorgarden.jpg
 
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chris m01

chris m01

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24 Oct 2009
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A few more notes. I have done a costing for this but won't publish that, all I can say is ouch.

indoorgarden2.jpg
 
chris m01

chris m01

Registered
24 Oct 2009
4,462
Birmingham, UK
I have carried out some preliminary testing. Track holds well to Styrofoam when glues and screwed. PVA glue seems to hold two pieces of Styrofoam quite well.
image2.JPG
 
trammayo

trammayo

Interested in vintage commercial vehicle, trams, t
24 Oct 2009
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The idea of using Styrofoam is a good one. Would you just make an external frame to case it and prevent damage? Plus you can make board to board connections easier.This would certainly lighten the load and the 'foam is quite a rigid material (thickness depending) in it's own right.. Also you have given me an idea for a project I started years ago!.

You will have 21 track connections, plus 11 electrical connections. To me, there are two outcomes - it either becomes tedious setting up and taking down each time or it grows on you and you want to add more scenery, etc. For me the former made me decide to build my trailer (and I have enlarged that as well).

Good luck with it and I hope you keep posting your progress!
 
PaulRhB

PaulRhB

This Way Up
I've done several from laid on grass mats on the floor to one on boards but it helps to have a team of you doing it as it's heavy on the back ;)
Here are a few of our set ups,






On a table built from 8x4 boards


Grass added and a mini mountain!


Even snow


 
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James Day

James Day

Guano Corner Rly - Runs weekly - Guano permitting
6 May 2012
1,727
Warwickshire
"You will have 21 track connections, plus 11 electrical connections. To me, there are two outcomes - it either becomes tedious setting up and taking down each time or it grows on you and you want to add more scenery, etc. For me the former made me decide to build my trailer (and I have enlarged that as well).

Good luck with it and I hope you keep posting your progress!"[/QUOTE]

Mick has a good point - A simple layout like the one you propose would be really quick to loose-lay anywhere - Floor or surface of you choice/whatever is available. This can be seen in the other images posted in this. The other advantage of loose laying is that you expand or contract your layout each time according to the sapce available.

I can see little point in screwing the track down and having all those board joints unless you really plan to do something extraordinary, with mega scenery or something else that requires it.

That said you plan to use PECO for the centre section. I have had very little experience of using that myself, but I have found that anything finer or to put it another way, 'less course' than LGB needs to be very carefully laid on a very flat/smooth surface as the all seem to be very unforgiving and derailments will follow.

Good luck whatever you choose.

James
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
"You will have 21 track connections, plus 11 electrical connections. To me, there are two outcomes - it either becomes tedious setting up and taking down each time or it grows on you and you want to add more scenery, etc. For me the former made me decide to build my trailer (and I have enlarged that as well).

Good luck with it and I hope you keep posting your progress!"
Mick has a good point - A simple layout like the one you propose would be really quick to loose-lay anywhere - Floor or surface of you choice/whatever is available. This can be seen in the other images posted in this. The other advantage of loose laying is that you expand or contract your layout each time according to the sapce available.

I can see little point in screwing the track down and having all those board joints unless you really plan to do something extraordinary, with mega scenery or something else that requires it.

That said you plan to use PECO for the centre section. I have had very little experience of using that myself, but I have found that anything finer or to put it another way, 'less course' than LGB needs to be very carefully laid on a very flat/smooth surface as the all seem to be very unforgiving and derailments will follow.

Good luck whatever you choose.

James[/QUOTE]
I think that Peco would work fine BUT, R1 Curves. Well OK you might use them anyway. But Peco long points could be an issue. Also odd sections of Track as make-ups for points etc as Peco R1 Curves not properly suited to the Points. Then if you use a Mix of LGB/PIKO/Bachman et all you need Converter Fishplates to match up with the Peco. Ok Peco do em, but not sure how they would survive the rough n tumble of constant putting up and pulling down.

Paul's concept of using say LGB Track works fine, Mike n myself did a Layout at Rail Swindon this Year. Worked fine on Tables. Bit low but most places have them. Match that up with some Rolly Grass and some buildings as Paul did on the floor. You can spend your Money on Track rather than Boards. We used Mikes LGB Jumbo at Swindon and it worked very well. Isolation taken care of by Rail Section cut with an insulator and a Micro Switch Drilled into a Sleeper end.

If I can find some pics will post them.
JonD
 
James Day

James Day

Guano Corner Rly - Runs weekly - Guano permitting
6 May 2012
1,727
Warwickshire
[QUOTE.I think that Peco would work fine BUT, R1 Curves. Well OK you might use them anyway. But Peco long points could be an issue. Also odd sections of Track as make-ups for points etc as Peco R1 Curves not properly suited to the Points. Then if you use a Mix of LGB/PIKO/Bachman et all you need Converter Fishplates to match up with the Peco. Ok Peco do em, but not sure how they would survive the rough n tumble of constant putting up and pulling down.

JonD[/QUOTE]

A chum of mine has Maerklin Gauge 1, which was lovely to look at and ran superbly, (on LGB track, although it did not like the points!). When he tried to run it at shows on it's own track the surface needed to be billiard table smooth and flat or disaster was inevitable.

If you are doing loose lay type layouts my own experience suggests stick to LGB as it is sturdy, reliable and durable. It is also good for just about everything, including battery, live steam and I have even been host to a vintage clockwork Gauge 1 loco! Maerklin Gauge 1 will also mostly run OK, although that will clatter a little over the points!

James
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
17,832
72
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Have to say, all the Exhibitions that I and myself with Mike have done using Tables have used LGab Track exclusively. So James advice us sound as LGB Track does indeed give good running on less than perfect surfaces.
JonD
 
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James Day

James Day

Guano Corner Rly - Runs weekly - Guano permitting
6 May 2012
1,727
Warwickshire
Have to say, all the Exhibitions that I and myself with Mike have done using Tables have used LGab Track exclusively. So James advice us sound as LGB Track does indeed give good running on less than perfect surfaces.
JonD
Thanks Jon,

Completely agree. My chums and I have done loose lay layouts over the past 38 years indoors and outdoors, at homes and at shows, on tables and stages and outside on paths and on lawns.

With the latter, only once did the terrain nearly beat us and we were laying on a heavily undulating lawn where we needed to use substatial wooden packing.

My chum with his Maerklin Gauge 1 just could not do this sort of thing with his Maerklin G1 Track

In relation to eas of assembly - Just ensure the joiners are sound and tight and clip it together. Connect two wires to your controllers and you are away. Obviously you can make it more complicated if you wish to...... and have the time.....and the help....


I like complicated, but I appreciate that keeping it simple is probabaly a lot easier......

James
 
stockers

stockers

Trains, aircraft, models, walking, beer, travel
24 Oct 2009
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Nr. Ashford, Kent. England.
I would think fixing the track down would enable a far better visual appearance. Loose lay track is fine for running days but not so good looking for a model railway exhibition.. I suppose it depends on what scenery modelling you intend to do.
 
James Day

James Day

Guano Corner Rly - Runs weekly - Guano permitting
6 May 2012
1,727
Warwickshire
I would think fixing the track down would enable a far better visual appearance. Loose lay track is fine for running days but not so good looking for a model railway exhibition.. I suppose it depends on what scenery modelling you intend to do.

Alan,

You are of course right, if that is your goal. I have seen some excellent scenic G scale layouts at shows, but the logistics of lugging around and storing the fully scenic boards for even a small LGB layout does not appeal to me!

I have always tried to make up for it by incorporating movement and action and even involving the public in controlling a signal that stops the train, or even driving a train, both through some a moderating device (to prevent them doing silly things!), although that does add more complication and set up time of course.

For a lot of the public LGB still has a wow factor, by virtue of the size, which helps make up for the lack of landscaping and lineside details.

But as you say if scenery and details are you thing, then baseboards it is!

James
 
chris m01

chris m01

Registered
24 Oct 2009
4,462
Birmingham, UK
Thanks for the responses, all interesting thoughts. I've put together a smallish loose lay a few times but, especially when on my own, this is quite time consuming. I think boards where I only have to worry about board joins will be quicker to set up albeit at the cost of a loss of flexibility. The inner track will be non powered for use by battery or live steam only which will reduce connections.

I will put a proposal forward and see if it gets approved by the club.
 
chris m01

chris m01

Registered
24 Oct 2009
4,462
Birmingham, UK
I am going ahead with the layout mentioned above. Eight baseboards built. I will try placing them together and dropping some track on next Sunday at the Warley club open day.
The open day is free by the way and there should be more than 10 layouts running, but only one G. http://www.warley-mrc.org.uk/m.home.html
 
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David1226

David1226

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24 Oct 2009
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Chris

Good luck with the project, it was nice to meet up with you again, yesterday, at Solihull

David
 
chris m01

chris m01

Registered
24 Oct 2009
4,462
Birmingham, UK
The layout is progressing. The Styrofoam boards are incredibly light but track has to be glued down. Most of the track has now been glued and the electrics work fine.
Next stages - paint sleepers and rail a grimy colour, ballast track. There will be a station at one end, probably a loco shed or carriage shed in the middle and the rest will be artificial grass. I think it will be entertaining to watch and hope it might create a little interest in garden railways when it goes to shows. This is some way away yet.

The station will be at this end.
IMG_1674.JPG

Probably an engine shed on the far right road in this photo IMG_1676.JPG

This end will be mostly artificial grass IMG_1675.JPG
 
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chris m01

chris m01

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24 Oct 2009
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Birmingham, UK
Took a short video while testing today - it will look better with scenery.

 
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trammayo

trammayo

Interested in vintage commercial vehicle, trams, t
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Took a short video while testing today - it will look better with scenery.

The boards look very neat - and there's plenty of action and storage to start with! It's progressing very nicely.
 
chris m01

chris m01

Registered
24 Oct 2009
4,462
Birmingham, UK
As winter is here it's back to working on the club layout. The inner track, which was going to be battery powered only now has track power. We are working on the scenery. As the concept is to show the joys of garden railways to exhibition visitors this is very much a representation of a garden railway rather than a typical model railway.

IMG_2994.JPG

IMG_2993.JPG

IMG_2998.JPG
 
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