Happy early Thanksgiving! It’s beginning to really feel like winter here in Texas. I’ve been doing some layout building and designing of sorts. I helped a client lay some flex track for his suspended HO layout, and it turned out really well.
Von Irwin has a beautiful O gauge layout in his master bedroom. I don’t how many hours he’s spent building it, but they have been hours very well spent. He had a friend of his install suspension cables that run down from his attic through the ceiling to hold up his single-loop layout. It has part of a town, a small military compound, and one siding on it. Laying the track was simple, but laying everything in a wide enough radius for his Big Boy was a challenge. Most minimum radii for Big Boys are 24″, and the diameter of the layout was probably 26″ or 28″. Some parts of the layout were cut unevenly, so the track ties come up flush with the edge. I had to be creative in measuring certain points of curves, especially at the turnout. The turnout is curved, so I couldn’t form it to the edge of the layout like the flex track. It is fortunate that the model Big Boys’ driver trucks are both articulated instead of just the front one as is prototypical. It still hangs pretty far over–nearly an inch in a couple places–but makes all the curves and the turnout.
I’m pretty jealous of Von’s train room. I love the wall-to-wall loops up high.
One of my favorite things about Von’s layout is how he has everything well-protected. He has chicken wire mesh fastened to the underside of the layout and to the clear plastic retaining walls. Even if something were to derail or be knocked off, the mesh would save it.