LAYOUT UPDATE: Track bus & droppers installed

Well, a few days later than planned, but only a few more droppers to connect to the track bus and all will be ready for testing on the first lower staging board. Both the track buses have been installed (one for the Metra yard, one for the freight yard), connected to a PSX-2 circuit breaker to create two separate power districts in case of shorts on either one, so it doesn’t shut both down. I’ve installed the DAC20 accessory decoder for the Seep switch motors, but still have to install 3 more motors before this installation is complete. All that […]

LAYOUT UPDATE: Track bus & droppers installed Read More

LAYOUT UPDATE: Track feeders, switch machines, block detection

Very productive Saturday! I’ve started adding the track feeders, switch machines and block detectors to the first staging yard board. So far I have added the feeders for the detected blocks (orange for the Freight yard, and yellow for the Metra yard), installed two Digitrax BDL168 block detectors (one for each yard) as well as a DCC Specialities PSX-2 circuit breaker (1 power district for each yard). As you can see I have used Seep solenoid switch machines – this is purely because I already have these and I have a Signatrak DAC20 accessory decoder already programmed up for these […]

LAYOUT UPDATE: Track feeders, switch machines, block detection Read More

LAYOUT UPDATE: Tracking laying on Board 1 almost finished

2nd evening of track laying, and I’ve almost finished laying the track on the first board of the lower staging yard. All the turnouts are laid, and I just have a few pieces of flex track to lay. I’ll lay these once I have re-installed the board on the wall brackets so that I can run the flex across the board joins, then will cut the track and add aligners on the outmost two tracks. Next step is to install the track feeders, track bus and wire it all up to the two block detectors (Digitrax BDL168’s) and PSX circuit […]

LAYOUT UPDATE: Tracking laying on Board 1 almost finished Read More

LAYOUT UPDATE: Track laying starts!

I’ve finally started laying track! Tonight I laid almost half the track for the lower freight siding – so almost one of the 6ft boards. Tomorrow I will lay the track for the Metra yard on this board, and then put the two layout boards together so I can run the rest of the track across the join. I will then install the track bus, feeders and block detector, followed by the switch motors and accessory decoders. Once that this all done and tested, I can start the track laying on the second half of the staging yard.

LAYOUT UPDATE: Track laying starts! Read More

YARD DESIGN: Testing the track spacing

Nothing better than testing the track in 1:1…as I found out, the initial track plan had a flaw, where the throwbar hit the track next to it, so I had to adjust the spacing (adding in 2cm pieces of track) to move the turnouts slightly away from each other. In this photo I am testing the whole yard spacing, making sure the turnouts don’t interfere with each other and the adjoining track. Another good reason is to check where the turnouts are in relation to the module crosspieces, so that switch motors can be installed without having to offset them […]

YARD DESIGN: Testing the track spacing Read More

YARD DESIGN: Planning the staging yard

Planning is progressing well for the lower level staging yard. Using AnyRail, I’ve been trying out a few designs for the two staging yards, one for the freight and one for the Metra passenger service. While using track planning software helps a huge deal, nothing beats laying it out in situ. In fact, doing so showed up a huge flaw in the AnyRail plan I’d done, or rather, the way AnyRail does the turnout drawing (I’ll show you what that was in a future video). In the meantime, I printed out the adjusted track plan and overlaid it on the […]

YARD DESIGN: Planning the staging yard Read More

HELIX BUILD: Block Detection – Episode 9

Follow along as I continue the build of my N scale model railroad. In this episode I complete the helix build by showing you the hardware I use for the block detection of my helix and give you a demonstration of the block detection in use. Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to follow my layout building progress. Also please follow my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/chicagosubnscale as I will be adding photos and updates to that as I build my new layout.

HELIX BUILD: Block Detection – Episode 9 Read More

HELIX BUILD: Wiring and track layout – Episode 8

Follow along as I continue the build of my N scale model railroad. In this episode I complete the wiring and track laying in the helix. I explain how I did the blocks for train detection and how I wired the helix. Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to follow my layout building progress. Also please follow my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/chicagosubnscale as I will be adding photos and updates to that as I build my new layout.

HELIX BUILD: Wiring and track layout – Episode 8 Read More