Thursday 18 October 2012

Come visit us at the TRAINS 2012 show November 10th & 11th

Trains 2012 Model Railroad Show
November 10th and 11th, 10am to 4pm
Cameron Recreation Center
9523 Cameron Street, Burnaby, BC

We will be there with lots of product and a NEW Display from the NOCH company featuring their new preformed layout "Tannau" fully finished running the Marklin Digital system as well as a completed N-scale "Traunstein" Noch layout. Show organizers have brought many new layouts this year and there is something for all of the family to enjoy (including the popular Lego train layout).

Setting up more than 30 feet of layouts and product at last year's Trains 2011 show

Building an N-Scale Layout - The Helix

The nearly finished helix constructed
of Gatorboard and Kato Unitrack.
The lowest level on my new layout is a 10-track staging yard and I wanted to ensure that I had great access to the trains there in case of problems and for any maintenance such as track cleaning. Some quick testing led me to realize that I would need at least 6 or 7 inches of clearance above the staging yard and below other track levels to ensure I could reach the tracks at the back of the yard once the layout was complete.  The smaller size of the layout meant that I would not be able to gain that height without using a helix.

Friday 12 October 2012

Building an N-Scale Layout - Staging Construction

Laying out the tracks onto the Gatorboard sub-roadbed.
Once the staging yard plans were finalized, it was time to get started on laying some track!  The first step was to lay down sheets of the 1/2 inch Gatorboard which would form the sub-roadbed. I then laid out the actual track on top of the Gatorboard and used a pencil to mark any cuts required. 

Thursday 11 October 2012

Customer Layout - A Noch HO Preformed Layout in Florida

We brought in this Noch HO scale preformed layout earlier this year for Dan Rudolph of Florida and he and his wife have done a fantastic job building and detailing it.  The model railroad is a great example of the fun and detail that can be had with a Noch preformed layout in a small space, even using Marklin HO scale track and trains.  The Noch layout shown is the 81710 Schönmühlen Layout and can be built in either HO or N scale (or TT but no track plans are provided by Noch).  We try to keep a number of Noch N/Z preformed layout in stock at all times. Due to the large size we usually do not keep many HO layouts in stock but can order in any layout as needed. 

Want to see a Noch layout in person? If you are in the Vancouver area for November 10th and 11th, come see us at the Trains 2012 show in Burnaby, BC.  We will be bringing completed Noch HO 'Tannau'  (Marklin digital) and N-scale 'Traunstein' layouts with us to the show!

Click above to see the layout video on YouTube
Updated: We got in touch with Dan and he graciously allowed us to post some of his photos of his layout as well. Click on the full-screen icon in the lower right of the window below for a larger view.

Friday 5 October 2012

Building an N-Scale Layout - Staging Yard Design

The old layout & staging yard (on the right)
With the benchwork built for my new N-scale layout the next challenge was to decide on how I could add more staging to the new layout.  For those unfamiliar with the term, staging or a staging yard (schattenbahnhof in German) refers to a set of tracks (usually hidden) where trains can disappear off the visible areas of a layout. Depending on how you plan to run or operate your layout, staging can represent 'the rest of the world' - destinations for the trains that you do not have the space or scope to model, or it can simply be a place to store trains on the layout until you want to run them again.  In my case, staging will be a bit of everything - my rough plan was to have staging yards at each end of the main line, allowing trains to disappear off the layout and not immediately return running in the opposite direction, adding a sense of real railway operations when running trains.  My staging will also be a place to store a number of trains so I can have a wide variety of trains running and ensuring I am not always transferring rolling stock to and from my display shelves.

Monday 1 October 2012

Building a N-Scale Layout - Lightweight Sub-Roadbed

If you have been following my layout posts so far, you know I want to keep my layout modules lightweight. I have been loath to go the usual route and use heavy plywood as sub-roadbed. Even lightweight (and very pricy) aircraft plywood can add a lot of weight to a layout very quickly. I considered using blue home insulation foam as sub-roadbed but it is flexible and fragile enough that it only works well laid directly onto a wood frame or tabletop and the thickness can make it awakward with hidden track and multiple levels. Insulation foam is still a fantastic material for a model railroad and I am sure I will be using some for scenery work at a later stage.

Sub-roadbed refers to the base foundation for your track. At its most basic, it can be a sheet of plywood on a simple frame. For more complex layouts it refers to the supporting platforms which the track is laid onto.