Welcome to SouthwestTrakers blog. We are dedicated to sharing N-Scale model railroading through the use of T-Trak modules. We are in Lubbock, Texas, USA and currently number 7 modelers, well over 50 presentable modules, with over 24 modules cut out and in some stage of becoming presentable.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Home Layout Becomes two levels

The upper level for my home T-Trak layout is becoming a reality.  Over last few days, I have cleaned off the existing shelf, removed the lighting and facia, removed the wire shelving, lowered the brackets 6 inches and mounted the plywood.  Below are some progress photos.

Facia, lights and wire shelves have been removed.
The sky boards are just laying forward protecting the modules beneath them.
I had to purchase a couple more shelf standards in order to lower the brackets.
In order to mount the plywood securely to the shop walls, I mounted 2 x 2 's
to the wall, using the level to make sure they were at the same height as the
shelf brackets.  I then screwed the plywood down to the 2 x 2 's from the top.
After both pieces were secured to the wall, I added a plywood splice to
reinforce and level the joint.  After clamping in place, I used eight 2" flat head
screws to make an absolutely solid joint.
The result is two 16-foot shelves.  I still have to add facia and lighting and sky boards.  Stay tuned for a future blog post.  These photos show the final result of tonight's work.

Next up, facia and lighting.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Since the last post, I've been slowly working on the paper mock ups of the structures.  To do this, the laser cut panels of the building kit are copied. This way, I have reasonably accurate buildings when done.  I'm not putting much time in on each one, just enough to cut and tape the mock-up for size and placing each on the layout.  So far, I'm about one-third done.  Here's some snaps of how it's working:

This is the west end of Tomix Crossing.On the far end loop are some some company houses from AMB, three to a box.  I'll probably need a few more of some sort here.  

The next module is a 1x with a loop on the inner track. Currently, there are six (two packages) of Grandt Line Reese Street houses.  Both of these modules represent a poorer area of town, and will need detailing to suit.

The next module is a 2x, and has a Bachmann 1930's school (long discontinued, I think. I was lucky to find this one.)  It has no roof, but that's fine. I can see the space it'll need.  There will be some playground equipment behind it.  Also, a business building is to be placed. Behind it I'm considered a couple of buildings (the yellow boxes) between the tram loop and the main tracks.  It may prove to be a bit too tight.  If so, I can adjust the tram loop size a little bit.

Moving on to the second 2x module, we find the county courthouse (from Woodland Scenics) and a small, old style hotel.  Somewhere in there should wind up holding a service station from Micro Engineering.  At the front, there is a small station structure, laying in its package.  

Next to see is the wye, with the tail crossing the main lines.  The turnouts and trackage is all Tomix, hence the name.  It fits nicely on the double-deep module. Not really creative, but at least it serves as a "project code name" until when or if another one is chosen.  Across the tail track is a country church from Osborn Models.  Also, two or three middle-income houses will fit here.  Shown is one of them, with the copy of the main pieces ready for cutting and taping.  By the way, for those who worry about such, the wye turnout is properly insulated for reverse wiring.  I plan on installing a reverser under here on a permanent basis.

From there, we cross onto the next space, another 1x module.  The row house kit shown is one of two to populate the space.  The six houses will form a compact neighborhood.  

The sixth (and final) module is barely shown.  I'm really not sure what will go there, but there are two worthy candidates lurking in the project pile.  We'll see what develops. For now, I think I'll close this blurb with an overlook of the layout.

Friday, October 3, 2014

My workbench has been evicted to make room for a home layout (Yea! At last!) so, no workbench picture.  However, at the end there's a link to a short video of the new layout. 

The layout of made of double-deep TTrak modules, covering both sides of the usual table.  It's a conventional double-track loop, with a couple of small deviations.  First, a wye connection is made on the inner loop, crossing both loops on the other side and being available for expansion.  Yes, I've done an expansion connection on another module. So, that's a real probability.  It could be an industrial park, or perhaps a flavor of something like FreeMo-N.  Exactly what remains for the foggy, foggy future.

The other deviation is an inner loop of Tomix Wide Tram track, and is featured on the video.  The whole layout is to be a town, so the tram track is fitting.  The trams to be used are not the modern Tomix light rail unit shown but something more 1930-ish from Kato, the 14-070 Hiroshima Hannover Tram units. The design dates from the late 1920's.  Live overhead, we'll see, and maybe DCC in there, too. Looong term dreams.

There are going to be some tight spaces for structures, so I'm making paper mockups of them to test the fit.  Hopefully, nothing too drastic.