Big Red's NEW
Hi-Rail "O" Gauge Layout

Cartoon
Updated: 4/16/2008


Moving Train

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The Layout
Layout
Pictures
Track Diagram
Track, Turnouts,
Control
Track, Switches
Accessory Power
Lionel's Trainmaster
Command Control
Soundmaster
Capacitors
ASC 3000
Controllers
Accessories
Layout Location


The Layout

My new unnamed layout is moving toward completion at a rather slow but methodical rate. It all started in the summer of 1995 with the expansion of our third floor attic that resulted in a 20'x30' Train Room with about 550 square feet of "table-top", track lighting, air-conditioning and plenty of electric outlets.

I decided to convert from Lionel "O" and "O-72" to GargravesTM with Ross Custom SwitchesTM. The layout design was crafted on my computer using a fantastic program called RR-Track for WindowsTM put out by R&S Enterprises. Looks like it'll consist of 400+ feet of track, 46 turnouts, 63 separate blocks on three separately controlled loops with a four track terminal, a separate "yard" array, and a 32" Bowser turntable supporting an eight track roundhouse.

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    Track Diagram

    Here's the latest diagram fashioned with the RR-Track Program referred to above:

    Layout


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    Track, Turnouts and Control

    The Ross Custom SwitchTM turnouts are powered for the most part by by TortoiseTM switch machines, two in hard to reach places are powered by Z-Stuff TM DZ1000 switch machines. Each turnout that is not hidden from view also has an illuminated switch stand. The master control panel (7' long) is separated into two equally sized sections. On the left are four track controls and a track diagram showing the separate loops, yards, etc. in different map-tape colors. I mounted mini DPDT switches at the appropriate spots in the diagrams for the switches and used red and green LED's to indicate turnout position. (DPDT switch lever position also shows turnout position) Also in the diagram are additional DPDT switches and yellow LED's to show power-on to each of the 63 blocks. I use relays to control train operation on the two mainline loops. The relays also control blue LED's mounted in the diagram to show block occupancy.

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    Track, Lights, Switch Machine and Accessory Power

    Track power is controlled using four Type "Z", one Type "V", and one Type "K" transformers . I use powerstats (bought years ago on Canal Street in New York City) to control input power to the transformer. This allows me to set the controls on each transformer and never move them. Saves lots of wear and tear on the old and venerable transformers.

    Power for lights (LED's too) and accessories will come from two Type "B" and four Type "T" Transformers.

    Power for the TortoiseTMswitch machines will be from an old American Flyer transformer through a rectifier to 12V DC.

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    Lionel Trainmaster Train Control

    I've added this feature to my layout and found it to work wonderfully. I have the ability to switch between normal transformer control to Trainmaster Control for each track by the use of a SPDT switch. The layout is so large that operating with one CAB-1 control is too confusing. I've added a second so that two operators can function. I have eight (8) Powermasters, each controlling a separate track or yard.

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    Soundmaster Capacitors for use with Lionel's TMCC

    Ed Carter has figured out a way to eliminate the incompatibility problem that exists with MTH Protosounds units and Lionel's TMCC. He offers Soundmaster Capacitors to solve the problem. I received eight of them yesterday for my eight Powermasters and whoosh the incompatibility problem disappeared. I tried out my entire roster (about ten engines) of MTH Protosound/early QSI units and they all responded with the sounds, bells, whistles, and coupler operation that heretofore would not work with the TMCC system.

    Hats off to Ed, aka trainman9@aol.com for an inexpensive fix to a major incompatibility problem. Here's a link to his website that explains the Soundmaster............... Soundmaster Information

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    ASC 3000 Controllers from IC Industries

    I've just added six ASC 3000 Controllers to control up to 48 separate accessory functions via the CAB-1 of the Lionel TMCC. So far they have operated flawlessly and are a lot less complicated and lower cost than the Lionel SC-1. As stated below I do control my new bascule bridges via one of two SC-1's I own. The second is waiting for a job.

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    Accessories

    Well I've got 'em and lots of 'em too. Right now the following accessories/operating cars are up and running:

    Operating Accessories
    • 30 Water Tower
    • 97 Coal Elevator
    • 128 Newstand
    • 164 Lumber Loader new
    • 182 Magnetic Crane
    • 264 Fork Lift
    • 256 Operating Freight Station
    • 313 Bascule Bridges (2)
    • 342 Culvert Loader
    • 345 Culvert Unloader
    • 352 Icing Station
    • 362 Barrel Loader
    • 364 Lumber Conveyor
    • 397 Coal Conveyor
    • 415 Diesel Fueling Station
    • 452 Signal Bridge
    • 456 Coal Ramp
    • 455 Oil Derrick
    • 494 Rotating Beacon
    • 497 Coaling Station
    • 2300 Oil Drum Loader
    • 2321 Saw Mill
    • 2741 Intermodal Crane
    • 2723 Microwave Tower
    • 2761 Animated Billboard (Jocko/Lionelville)
    • 2767 Steam, Clean, and Wheel Grind Shop
    • 2781 Animated Passenger Station
    • 2782 Lift Bridge
    • 2798 Fork Lift Loader
    • 2802 Chat and Chew Diner
    • 2809 Animated Billboard (Milk/Safety)
    • 2878 Control Tower
    • MTH 30-9101 Operating Sinclair Gas Station
    • MTH 30-9102 Operating Firehouse
    • MTH 30-9103 Operating American Flag
    • MTH 30-9104 Operating "Speedee" Car Wash
    • MTH 30-9105 Operating "Mel's" Diner
    • MTH 30-9107 Operating Passenger Station
    • MTH 30-9110 Operating Transfer Dock
    • MTH 30-9111 Operating Freight Station
    • MTH 30-9114 Operating MacDonald's
    • MTH 30-9117 Operating Storage Tank Station
    • MTH 30-9119 Operating Log Loader
    • MTH 30-9120 Gabe the Lamplighter
    Trackside Accessories/Operating Cars
    • 45 Watchman shanty (3)
    • 47 Crossing Gates (2)(MTH)
    • 145 Watchman Shanty
    • 445 Operating Switch Tower
    • 3356 Horse Car/Corral
    • 3472 Milk Car/Platform (2)
    • 3656 Cattle Car/Corral
    • 19802 Milk Car - Carnation
    • 19810 Milk Car - Bosco
    • MTH 30-1056 High Tension Towers (3)
    • MTH 30-1094 Operating Street Clock
    • MTH 30-9031 Pennsylvania Switch Tower
    • MTH 30-9032 Radar Tower
    • MTH 30-11027 O Scale Yard Master Tower


    The Bascule Bridges are set up to work with Lionel's Trainmaster Command Control (via SC-1) or conventionally with a push button.

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    Where Layout is Located



    Westport, Connecticut



    map


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    Feel free to link me to your page, please let me know if you do.

    tpleyden@bigredtrains.com


    © 2005 Thomas P. Leyden

    TCA 69-2809.....TTOS 3479.....LCCA 11641.....LOTS 4618

    Page maintained by Tom Leyden........................... Created: 9/25/95