Evans Hollow Industrial Build – Part 3: Holding the whole thing up with Trestles

In part 2 of this series we looked at the baseboard design. Covering the the issues I’d found and the solutions I’d come up with to work around them using a Hollow-Core Door (HCD) as a baseboard. This time we’ll look at building a set of trestle legs for the layout to rest on.

What is a trestle?

Image 1: Trestle Parts and Descriptions

The dictionary definition runs something like this: A trestle support (a.k.a. trestle legs) consists of a horizontal piece of wood fitted with four divergent legs that serve, together with at least one other of the same type, to hold a board at a working height.

They can be classified mainly in two families:

              • Fixed trestle legs
              • Folding trestle legs

We’ll be looking at the latter of these two in this article. Click the image (left) to view the trestles in use on the layout, along with the names of the parts and the orientation of the dimensions used in this article.

Why trestles instead of legs?

For other projects I’ve used legs as I was more comfortable in their construction than I was with trestles (they are somewhat simpler). Having completed the set for the Evans Hollow Industrial layout (formerly the Hollow Core Door/New Layout/Layout without a name layout) I’m a lot more comfortable with the design and build process, and surprised how well made and sturdy my creations are. So again, why trestles instead of legs? Well, there are two main reasons:

  • Storage, and
  • Simplicity of attachment

Storage and it’s advantages

There are two parts to the storage:

  1. Storage of the trestles when not in use, and
  2. Storage on the trestles when they are in use

For item 1: when not in use it is easy to store the trestle legs of the layout. They are remarkably small when folded; so that’s a big plus.

For item 2: when in use it is great to have storage available. Trestles when in use with a layout have most of the weight above the top of the trestle. This significantly raises the centre of mass well above floor level, which if incorrectly designed, leads to instability, especially where the trestle is of narrower width. You can mitigate the instability by using a wider span to offset the high centre of mass. However, adding storage across the lower stretchers (using a shelf for example) and adding weight lowers the centre of mass on the trestle much closer to the floor. Regardless of the given width the lower the centre of mass the more stable the trestle is.

There is one final benefit to having trestles about the house: they can be used for more than just the layout. Need a quick table for a party or get together? Whip out your trestle legs, a couple of 2x4s, and a board made from ply and you have a perfectly serviceable table.

Simplicity of attachment

For this layout you simply stick the trestle legs underneath the baseboard. Job done. I do have some further modifications to the baseboard to be completed to ensure the legs stay where they are put.

In open frame benchwork they can be located inside the framework. Job done there!

What I discovered during the build

Using a framing square is crucial to the successful completion of a set of trestles. When building trestles we are not using a framing square as intended (to build roof trusses) but as a long wood square to make the legs and cross braces square and true.

There are a bunch of videos on YouTube that will tell you everything you’ll ever want or need to know about the tool. For railway modellers building trestles all you need to know are that it’s a big metal square, with a a fat and a thin part. I used the fat part (called the blade) for locating the cross pieces with the longer skinny part (called the tongue) held down the side of the legs of the trestle.

This makes getting everything square and true a snap, so long as your boards are squared and you can buy your lumber this way from the big box store, which makes the whole thing easy-peasy.

Tools and methods

Tools you need

  • A saw (hand or a powered circular/mitre model)
  • A Framing Square, or if you don’t have access to one, get as large a sqaure as you can manage. In this case, size does matter, as it limits the errors that can creep in during assembly
  • A drill (either powered of hand)
  • A screwdriver (either powered or hand)
  • Screws (no longer than 3/4 the thickness of your leg and cross braces combined)
  • Glue (regular PVA or Carpenters glue if you have that on hand)
  • Clamps (to hold the cross pieces while drilling and gluing/screwing together)


  • DAR (dressed all round) Pine or other similar wood (I used Australian 4×1″ pine really 19mm x 90mm)
  • 4 butt hinges 3 inches (75mm) wide
  • Rope or chain for the trestle stop – I  wanted my trestles spread 21 1/2″ (546mm) measured from the outsides of the lower stretcher, so you’ll need at least that length and about 20 percent more to tie knots if using rope


There are a couple of critical measurements here that I suggest you layout on your legs before beginning the build:

  1. Top stretcher – I chose to be about 1/2″ (12mm) below the top of the leg – but really anything between nothing and 1/4″-1″ (6-25mm) works – the closer to the top of the leg the upper stretcher is the better
  2. Bottom stretcher – 8-10″ (200-250mm) above the bottom of the leg – I chose 8″ (200mm) as this looked to me to be about right
NOTE: The Evans Hollow Industrial sits at 49 1/4″ (1250 mm) above the floor to the top of the baseboard (my diaphragm sits at this height which puts it slightly below my outstretched arm) which is perfect for me, allowing standing and operating without bending. Additionally the layout is at eye height for me sitting in an office chair – which is great for photography, and for when I just want to operate sitting down. It’s not too high for the younger members, not to low for taller members of the operating team; a good compromise height.
  1. The first step in making trestles is to determine the best layout height for you. I like something in the 48-54 inch (1220 – 1370mm) height range. Whatever the height you want cut your legs to that length. Sure you’ll lose a little because of the spread of the legs, but only an inch or two (In my case all the legs were cut to 48 inches (1176mm) on the mitre saw)
  2. Measure the width of your leg space (in my case the width of the door), and cut  four stretchers to that width
  3. On your workbench or surface (I used a kitchen table btw) set out a single leg with a single stretcher at right angle to the leg and at a height that works for you below what will become the top of the trestle, then clamp the two together ensuring space to allow for the screw holes to be drilled
  4. Drill four screw holes in a square pattern on the stretcher, ensuring that they go into the leg (measuring with the twist drill in the chuck of the drill) to make sure that you have enough of the screw going into the leg piece
  5. Undo the clamp, and place glue on the leg face underneath the stretcher around the four screw holes you’ve just drilled – use the framing square to check for squareness
  6. Screw your four screws into the stretcher so that the screw thread is clearing the face of the stretcher by 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch (1.5-3mm) and locate the board to the leg again aligning the board with screws into their respective holes, then clamp again
  7. Tighten the four screws all the way into the stretcher and the leg, leave clamped
  8. Repeat steps 3-7 for the lower stretcher
  9. Remove the clamps from the first leg and prepare your second leg, using the framing square and clamps, then follow steps 3-7 again to mount the second leg. Once complete repeat for the second trestle
  10. Once both trestles are complete you’ll need to add the hinges. The Mitre 10 video show how to this so I’m not going to into that too deeply – keep in mind that if your top stretcher is at the very top of the leg, you can do as the video shows when mounting the hinge, if you’ve mounted them lower as I did you’ll need to modify that to as shown below in image 2 (click the image for the larger version)
  11. Finally you’ll need to drill a hole in the exact middle of the bottom stretcher on each leg of the trestle for the trestle rope – measure from both width and height and then drill a pilot hole, and a clearance hole for the rope
  12. Knot one end of your rope and per the video string it through the first leg, then the second, measuring for the width between the stretchers, then tie the second knot and re-check the measurement, you may need to adjust a couple of times here before getting it right (I did) – then repeat for the other side

Image 2: The hinge location on my trestles

And that is the whole process start to finish. Please do watch the video, and consult the plan. You do not need to make these exactly as I have. Make them the height and width that fits your situation.

Finally a note on safety: When you are using any tool, especially those that cut or punch make sure you are wearing eye protection at all times. Small parts can and will fly into your eyes if you are not very careful. I’m not responsible for any damage to you or others from using the information presented here.


  • Plans (PDF format) and a video showing how to build trestles (Mitre10 NZ video)

Interested in keeping in touch or discussing posts, pages and ideas? Connect with us on the Andrew’s Trains page on Facebook

Posted in Layout Design, Layouts, Modelling, Site Updates, Small, Switching, This Site, Updates | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Site Seeing – 14 October 2019 – The Operations Gold Mine Edition

Seeing how others conduct their operations, and their session is a valuable learning tool. Visit the Burnt Hills and Big Flats railroad for some great ideas and examples.

The Burnt Hills and Big Flats Ops Site

Steve Prevette’s layout is a great layout in its own right. Beyond that he’s made it a great example of how to operate also. Of more importance, I think, is his willingness to share his operating information online.

His site (listed in the Resources section below) shows thoughtfulness and planning. There’s overviews, details and instructions and in all it is an excellent site to see how things “should, and “can” be done for a layout large or small.

I hope that you enjoy reading the information presented by Steve as much as I have.


Interested in keeping in touch or discussing posts, pages and ideas? Connect with us on the Andrew’s Trains page on Facebook

Posted in Layouts, Liked off site, Modelling, Operations, Site seeing, Sites of interest, Web | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Evans Hollow Industrial Build: Quick Update – 05 October 2019

Yeah. It’s been a while. Don’t worry, it’s me, not you.

So what’s been happening on the layout of late? Not a whole lot to be frank. We’re in the middle of packing prior to a move back to Melbourne (Vic not FLA). As a result I’ve been clearing, cleaning and packing, books, models, tools and so on, while still trying to fit in holiday time and work.

I’ve not been completely idle; just short of available time to write and blog and post stuff. I’ve yet to complete Part 3 – building trestles – but it’s close. For now I’d love to give you a quick update on where I’m up to: putting down cork and track laying.

As shown in previous posts the track outline, feed points, frog wiring and so on is drawn on the foam prior to lifting all of the track and prepping for cork to go down. A couple of weeks ago I got the mainline, and the spur into scrappy’s completed one day. Then sanded the entirety of the laid cork to get it smooth.

Here’s an overview of what that looks like to date:

Click on the image to go full size. The spur into Scrappy (lower right) had two separate heights of cork laid. The higher one for the mainline and the thinner one for the spur itself. They were then sanded (power) to blend them in so that the spur drops from the mainline to the spur height and on the end of the spur I sanded it right down to the foam height as I want to have the track disappear into the scenery here.

You’ll note that I’ve dug the trenches in the foam for the wire-in-tube switching for the turnouts. These will be operated by double pole – double throw switches from beyond the end of the baseboard. These will be wired from under the board and will switch frog polarity also. Some more images of this below:

I’ll sign off for now. I’m expecting an enforced period of recovery later in the week, where I hope to get more work done on the layout. I aim to be at running status before we move in late november so I’d better get my tail in gear.

Later gator







Posted in Home, Layout Design, Layouts, Modelling, Operations, Site Updates, Small, Switching, This Site, Updates, Web | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Site Seeing – Books on Operations (Real and Model) – October 4, 2019

I talk a lot about operations for model railroads. There are many reasons for this. Primarily I urge railway and railroad modellers to consider this aspect of the hobby because it allows greater play value – no matter the size of your layout space.

Today while packing for our upcoming move I got to my operations section. Two books on my shelf stood out and I wanted to share them with you. One focuses on the prototype, the other on the model. Both enlighten on their own the mysterious world of operation. Together they provide a great insight (at least to me when I was learning) and compliment each other in helping you understand how operations works.

The Railroad – What it is, and What it does (The introduction to railroading)

By John H Armstrong

Everything you ever wanted to know about railroads (*or railways for that matter) is in this book. Ans as a railroader primer, it gets you inside the industry quickly and explains the why and what in clear easy to read language.

Starting from the absolute basics of how trains evolved to using the flange, through train speeds and the reason for trains, and not individual cars, you’ll soon find that you are on the inside, rather than struggling to understand.

Keep in mind that this is only the beginning of the rabbit hole, that is the railroading industry, but what a great way to start your journey. My version covers me though to my operating period.

The newest version (which I have yet to buy – waiting on some of those books to sell!) covers equipment to procedures and marketing to maintenance.  Amazon’s blurb says: “This book is ideal for novices and experts alike. The easy-to-read narrative presents a brief history of railroading from the coal-fed ‘iron horses’ that helped build a nation to the latest generation of EPA-compliant locomotives. You’ll also find current information on new technologies such as ECP brakes and computer-assisted transportation systems. The fifth edition is a resource for anyone wanting to learn about modern day railroads. The book delves into many facets of the railroad industry including such topics as freight cars, locomotives, track, signal and communication technology, intermodal traffic, operations, labor relations, and design engineering.”

If you don’t have a copy – go get one. Simple as that. It will make your understanding of the railroad and your ability to see beyond the layout so much better.

Operation Handbook – For Model Railroads

By Paul Mallery

This book is (in my opinion) the best of the readily available model railroad operation books. Are there others out there? Sure there are. Tony Koester has one, but I feel it is merely a glossary for the better works of Paul Mallery and Bruce Chubb.

Paul Mallery’s books provides a complete handbook for running a realistic model railroad. It covers every aspect of operations, including timetables, orders, signals, waybills, communication, passengers, freight, locomotives, and MOW.

At 200 pages with a full index I highly recommend it to you if you want to put the learning from the first book, onto the layout.


The other book to which I’ve referred above for the modeller is:

  • How to Operate Your Model Railroad by Bruce A. Chubb.

I believe that this is the best of the model railroad operations books available. Getting a good used copy is difficult, very worthwhile though.


Posted in Book, Layouts, Operations, Publishing, Site seeing, This Site | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

BIG book sale – Cleaning house before moving house

We’re in the process of moving and it’s time to slim down my hobby book and railroad paper collection…

What’s for sale?

Items have been arranged into four categories:

  1. Rare/Out of Print books
  2. Railroad/Railway Modelling (including operations, track planning, etc.)
  3. Railroad Paper (WTT, ETT, Rule and other books)
  4. Modelling General (mainly military)

To simplify the process of selling the books and paper here is how I want the process to go – nice and simple.


  • My preferred payment method is PayPal. You must have a valid email address to use PayPal. I’ll consider pick up with payment by cash on a case by case basis. See the Q and A section below for more.
  • All transactions will be invoiced via PayPal. The invoice will include the item cost, the cost of Australia Post’s shipping box/padded bag/etc. and your choice of insurance. I will confirm postage/shipping costs once you have confirmed the book or books you are buying.
  • Purchases will not be sent until the invoice has been paid in full and received into my PayPal account.

Postage / Shipping

  • All purchases will be cardboard reinforced, and bubble wrapped before posting
  • Postage costs will vary depending  on weight/displacement (cubic volume), and destination


  • I urge you to pay for postal insurance on all books purchased. I can guarantee the condition of the books when they leave my house. All bets are off once they get into the hands of Australia Post, their international shipping partners, Australian Customs and Border security and your version of the same.
  • I will send images of any books purchased as packed to the buyer as proof of condition before sending (another reason for needing an email address)
  • Should you choose NOT to pay for insurance on your items, you accept all responsibility for any damage caused during the postal/shipping process

Q and A

  1. How will the books be sold?
    1. All books will be sold on a first come first served basis. The first person to contact me, and commit to buy, will be considered the winner. If invoices are not paid for within 48 hours, the second person in the email list will be offered the book, and so on until sold and paid for.
  2. How do I purchase a book, or books?
    1. Follow the procedure below:
      1. Click the book cover
      2. Copy the title including the $ value
      3. Use the contact form on the sales page to message me that you want to purchase the book/s
  3. How will I know if I’ve ‘won’ the item?
    1. You will be contacted by email, with a PayPal invoice. This is a first in buyer wins sale – just like in a store.
  4. Are the prices on each item set; are you open to offers?
    1. Only the rare book prices are set ‘as is’. For all other books I’m open to offers – no ‘reasonable’ offer will be refused.
  5. What currency will I be billed in?
    1. All books are priced in Australian dollars and you will be invoiced as such through PayPal. So for overseas buyers you’ll be getting a bargain.
  6. Will you combine purchases?
    1. I will bundle books together and ship as one unit to save you on postage and shipping costs. Please remember that books are usually weighty so postage will rise the more books you place in one package.
  7. Are you open to offers for the books for sale?
    1. I am open to offers on all books, with the exception of the rare books (these are already conservatively priced).
  8. Can I pick up the books to save on postage?
    1. If you live in Victoria (Australia) and can make it to either Ballarat or Melbourne’s CBD (depending on my work schedule), you can pick up from either of these locations by prior arrangement.
  9. If I pick the books up, can I pay by cash?
    1. I’d prefer to complete payment via PayPal. However, by prior arrangement I am happy to take your hard earned in person. I’ll email you totals and we’ll arrange a pick up time and place.

Have a question that is not covered above?

Use the form below to get in touch. I’ll update this post as new  questions arise.

Interested in looking at the books

Go to the books sales page here: Book sales page

Posted in Books, For Sale, Railroad Paper, This Site, Web | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Evans Hollow Industrial build: Quick Update – 08 August 2019

Wanted to share some photos of the new layout build. I’ve been preparing, and where I needed to, buying wiring materials to complete the major wiring. More…

The layout – as built

Here are some more images of the layout build as it stands at the moment. You’ll note that the layout is freestanding, resting on trestles (hand built with simple woodworking tools in my garage – more on that later in another post).

I’ve included the final trackplan; it’s important for me to point out that you can plan forever on screen, but while ever you don’t take the plan to the baseboard I really cannot see what I have and what I need to do to make the layout visually appealing (well at least that’s how it is for me).

Track laying

When I begin to lay out the track I print out the track plan, and using a grid marked out on the plan and layout board, begin to match up the plan to the layout.

Then I mark up the top of the layout surface (in this case 2″ blue foam) using a pencil to mark the outside of the ties. This enables me to positively place the cork where I need it to be once the track is removed, drill holes for feeds and frogs, and although not shown in these photos mark out the sub-terrain ‘rod in tube’ locations from the tie bar to the front fascia of the layout.

These markings allow me to dig out the foam before installing the cork, drill the holes in the fascia and install the tubes in place using hot glue. There’ll be a post on that too in the not too distant future for those that may not know about this switch operating method.


Wrap up

That’s it for this post.

I’m finding that time to write posts is really short at the moment – work is an all consuming animal as we live 120 Km from where I work – so I’m adding 4 travel hours a day to what is an already 9-10 hour day. Looking forward to moving back into Melbourne later in the year which will give me a lot of time back in my life.

I have three weeks of holiday coming up in 1 week batches over the next 6 weeks – looking forward to that and to getting more photos and posts out to you all.

Next week I’ll be working broken shifts and will be working on posts covering these topics:

  1. Layout Build Part 3 post on building Trestles,
  2. Track laying,
  3. Switching infrastructure (rod in tube), and
  4. Wiring.

I hope that you’ll ask any questions that you have either here through the comments, or on the facebook page.


Interested in keeping in touch or discussing posts, pages and ideas? Connect with us on the

Andrew’s Trains page on Facebook

Posted in Layout Design, Modelling, Site Updates, Small, Switching, This Site | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

New Layout Build – Part 2: The challenges of a new type of baseboard

In Part 1 of this series I covered the design decisions made and how I expected them to work with the planned operations methods. This time we’ll look at the baseboard used along with building a set of trestles for the layout to rest upon.

What is a hollow-core door?

OK – so that door to your bedroom, or really any interior door, is a hollow-core door (HCD). That is, it is not a solid wood door made of stiles, rails and panels. The face is usually MDF, or something equally as smooth for a nice finish. There’s a solid wood frame around the periphery of the door (for attaching hinges, handles and locks) and a honeycomb interior which the facers glue to providing the stiffening for the whole thing. Take a look at image 1 below.

Image 1: The interior (hollow-core) door used for the new layout

This is a narrow door (the narrowest in stock at my local builders centre – Mitre10 in regional Victoria if you’re wondering) and are often used for closet doors and other narrow access applications which just happens to be perfect for those of us wanting to build a shelf layout.

At 2040 mm (80.3 inches) long, 420 mm (16.5 inches) wide and 35 mm (1.4 inches) deep they are not too big to be carried by the average person through the house without issue.

Issues I’ve discovered

I’ve read that over time that without stiffening hollow-core doors can droop. If you are using these on some sort of shelving system I doubt this would be an issue. I intend this to be a freestanding layout so to ensure that droop doesn’t become a drag I have provided outer stiffening along the length of the board (and across the ends for another reason discussed later).

As I wanted to keep the costs down on this build I used what I had in stock from my wood pile and so 90mm x 19mm clear pine for the stiffening was used. This allowed me to provide:

  • the required stiffening,
  • coverage for the outside of the foam board, and
  • a small lip below the baseboard to assist in locating the trestle legs

All the components are shown in image 2 below.

Image 2: The baseboard components – door, 50mm foam, and 90 x 19mm clear pine

What I’d do different next time

Should I build another layout on a hollow-core door I’d:

  • replace the clear pine with 6mm AA Grade Mixed Hardwood Marine Plywood, ripped down to 100mm strips and glued and screwed to the edges of the door.

You could go thicker than this but I think the 6 mm would be good enough for adding the stiffness you need over the length of the door. The ply would be quite a bit lighter than the 19 mm clear pine, yet would be just as stiff and as easy to finish.

A Hollow-core door as a baseboard?

So now that we all understand what a HCD is, here’s why I’ve wanted to try a hollow-core door baseboard for a long time:

  • Cost – they are not expensive (even here in Oz with the Australia Tax where everything from overseas costs more) at the $32.00 price point they meet my time and labour cheapness test – that is I could not make a similar baseboard for the money in the time it takes to go to the hardware store, pick it up and get back home
  • Simplicity – they come in standard sizes and are the same each time as they are machine manufactured
  • appear simple to set up and get ready for use (Lance Mindheim and others use them regularly), and finally
  • To see what challenges there are to overcome – to get them to work for me – considering I come from the handmade, open grid benchwork style of baseboard and I intend to wire electrofrog points (turnouts) using double-pole, double throw miniature switches to throw the points using the wire in tube.

Let me say from the outset that there are serious challenges if you’re used to working with open grid baseboards as I am. For a start there’s a lot more planning that needs to go into the wiring and switch operation if you’re using powered (in my case Peco electrofrog) switches. Regardless whether you are using DC or DCC – the issues still exist to power the frogs.

Issues I’ve discovered

Among the things you’ll need to think about are:

  • how you’ll route the wiring both for track feeds and getting power to live frogs if you use them, and
  • what and how you’ll move the tie-rod

These are the deal breakers. I’ll share with you what I’ve come up with.

What I’m doing to overcome these issues

Routing the wiring

Thanks go out to Lance Mindheim for helping me understand how does his wiring on his layout using HCDs.

Like miners everywhere, I’m going to drill. Down that is. I’ll be drilling 3mm holes through the foam, and the HCD so that wires can go through the foam and the HCD. All wiring will be worked on underneath the baseboard for simplicity’s sake and allow easy replacement. I bought an extra long bit specifically for this specific purpose.

Neatness will be maintained by the use of self-adhesive 19 mm square sticky cable tie mounts. Cable ties will hold everything in place and if I need to I can cut a cable tie and replace a wire if needed.

Switching frog polarity and actuating the switch

After a lot of thinking and playing around with multiple ideas I’ve decided to use a Double Pole Double Throw (DPDT) miniature slide switch linked to the switch’s tie-bar via a wire in a tube (the wire in tube method). this allows me to set everything up to go under the scenery, but be replaceable if something breaks or a switch breaks down during use. While the tube will be buried in the scenery after the layout is complete, I can if need be replace the actuating wire over time should it snap, or fail in whatever way.

Since the wire will come through the fascia via the tube it is simple a matter to disengage one end from the tie-bar, the other end from DPDT switch, remove the broken part put in a new one and then join it all up again. Simple.

What I’d do differently next time

I’m not sure yet, but as I find things out I’ll let you know. Update will follow in the out of sequence posts on this build topic.

Wrap Up

I was aiming to get the trestles covered in this post, however, since I’ve been writing this in fits and starts since my holidays ended two weeks ago on my limited time off I figured we’d save that for part 3. Shift work and tram driving – ain’t life grand!

Further thoughts – Switch Control Options

I prefer to use manually thrown points. When using open grid framework baseboards for US layouts I prefer to use ground throws driving under surface mounted DPDT switches to control the frog polarity. In this case I find that using the wire-in-tube method is the better option.  There are two reasons for this:

Firstly – the distance between the bottom of the board (door at 35mm, plus foam at 50mm for a total of 85mm, plus about 5mm between the top of the foam, cork and track height). This means that to throw the switch from below the door level will require a very stiff metal to ensure proper operation of the switch due to there being little sweep movement over the long length of the actuating arm, and that my friends concerns me.

Secondly – fixing a problem is simpler and easier.

There is always the option of using switch machines in this case too. However as mentioned above I think there are major mechanical issues that would need to be worked around.  As I don’t have any experience here I’m interested in hearing from you if you have used switch machines in these situations (we can talk about this through the comments, or on the Facebook page). I would like to hear how you’ve solved that problem.

Posted in HO Scale, Inglenook, Layout Design, Layouts, Modelling, Scales, Small, Switching, Web | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Evans Hollow Industrial Build: Quick Update – August 11, 2019 – A name finally

It’s nice to have the time to allow ideas to form in their own way, and in their own time. Deciding on a name with the new layout has been one of those journeys…

Finding a name

Tonight after dinner the family and I caught the end of my favourite movie ‘Field of Dreams’. I believe this movie is the ultimate Dad and son movie. The constant refrain in the movie is: ‘If you build it, he will come’. I’m under no illusion that my Dad will walk out of the corn field any time soon to spend time to operate with me. (I don’t have a cornfield, and I’m avert to cornfield meets in any case.) On the odd chance that he does walk out of the corn he’ll have a great time working the layout. So you know – there’ll be a complete post covering everything you’ll want to know about operating the layout in a future post – never fear.

I doubt that I would have my love of trains and transportation if it were not for my Dad. We were not a well to do family but my father made sure that I had a train set or two, including a Triang 00 scale Dock shunter set. We had our issues he and I, but then which father and son do not? Without his early influence I doubt I’d have had my life long passion of railway modelling and transportation.

My Dad (Evan Louis Martin) was a World War 2 veteran, suffering silently all of his life after service with PTSD. Passing through the veil in 1993 I will be celebrating him in October 2021 on his 100th birthday.

It’s fitting then that the man who started it all for me should have this layout named after him. After my ‘Field of Dreams’ moment last night I’ve decided instead on celebrating the man who bought me to my passion. So I’d like to welcome you to the Evans Hollow Industrial.

There’ll be another post on the layout soon, Part 3 covering the building of the trestles. All the best until then.

Posted in HO Scale, Layout Design, Modelling, Operations, Scales, Small, Switching, TOMA | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Evans Hollow Industrial build: Quick Update – 17 July 2019

Just a quick update on the new layout build. The woodwork was completed before I went back to work on Sunday this week. And the layout was set up in its temporary location until we move back to the big smoke later in the year. Where it will again live on the trestles I’ve built for it.

Between now and then my goal is to get the layout up to operating standards (track laid, wired, tested, trains running etc.). Once we move back to Melbourne I’ll complete the basic scenery such as ballasting and landforms. Then there’ll be the large industrial buildings to build, the junk yard fence and the junk to complete. From there I’ll be detailing the layout.

Today however I want to look at the track plan, and setting that up on the layout board. I’ve been a big fan of working things out on the board now for several years. And today’s exercise has reinforced that.

Here’s a reminder of the version I was working to when I began setting down track today:

Image 1: The original track plan (version 4)

The basic layout design and the track layout are very close. I was happy with the original design on paper (and screen). In the flesh however, it was ‘off’, just not quite right (NQR). So out came some cars, and a couple of extra switches and away we went. I like the more organic look of the track formation now. It is pleasing to the eye, and the camera (see Image 2 below).

Image 2: An overview of the layout design modifications

There’s enough straight lines about this layout (baseboard and the two warehouses – the two spurs at back left). To ensure that the viewer would not be overwhelmed by that I decided to change the 4th turnout from the straight in the plan to a curved turnout. That change to the geometry has created what is now a serpentine look to the layout. By ensuring that the trackwork is ‘going in all directions’ provides a ‘real’ feel to it all. And that pleases me very much.

Image 3: A lower shot showing the organic flow of the track arrangement

So much for a short update! I’ll be posting over the weekend in regard to the layout board and legs; as both are a new way to work for me. All the best. You thoughts and comments are most welcome here and on Facebook. Please share and let me know your thoughts.

Posted in Layouts | 2 Comments

Site Seeing – 16 July 2019 – The Little Critter that could edition

It’s not often that you get to see internal (in-plant) company railway operations today. Thankfully “Saginaw Terminal Docks” (Facebook and YouTube) posted a video from Reid Machinery in Lansing, Mi showing how they use old freight cars to store valuable machinery on their site prior to sale.

Reid Machinery’s internal railroad

Reid Machinery Inc of Lansing Michigan have specialised in moving machinery, primarily in the forging industry, throughout North America since 1992. And while that may not seem like the most worthy thing to write about on the third Tuesday in July – I urge you to hang around a moment longer. You see they also hold their large (as in big – not lots of) inventory on and in their own railroad assets.

Yes – they have their own switching layout.

Thanks to Saginaw Terminal Docks we have a front row seat, and a cab ride on one of these switching moves. I asked him about connections to the rest of the world. He tells me that the in-plant line connects to the JAIL/Adrian & Blissfield on over a mile of old track through Lansing’s south side.

And this is so modellable…

YouTube video

Some of the things to watch out for in the video are:

  • The three person crew (Engineer, conductor, and digger – and yes it’s a guy with  a shovel)
  • Slow switching speeds
  • At around the 18 minute mark – opening the boxcar door with the forklift forks (we often model the result but the actual operation is rarely filmed)

So sit back, turn up the volume and enjoy the show.


Posted in Boxcars, Layout Design, Loads, Operations, Prototype, Site seeing, Sites of interest, Small, Switching, Switching, Web, YouTube | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments