Givens and Druthers

“Givens and Druthers” is the excepted term for what we want and what we would like on are model railroads. It seems a bit formal to me and I prefer to think of it as what I know and what I would like.

What I know: My railroad is set in 1954. It originally started out in 1953, but I picked up a couple of Classic Metal Works automobiles of 1954 vintage and the year jumped ahead. The railroad is double tracked. I like the looks of a double tracked railroad, possibly because during my youth we took many trips up north to visit relatives. The route was HWY 10 in Minnesota following what would be the Burlington Northerns double track main line. Also because of space constraints the length of the sidings would leave short single track portions, at which point it might as well be double tracked.

The layout will have 30″ minimum radius curves. 36″ minimum aisle width, with most being 42″ or greater. It will be double decked. I have finished the layout room with sheet rocked walls, a suspended ceiling, with plenty of overhead lighting. Also a finished floor. This is because the last layout was dark and cramped, very uninviting.

Most of the road power will be steam. The thought being that while the railroad is converting to diesel power, and what road wasn’t at this time, because of the length of the division steam was still a viable source of power. Diesel power will be making inroads even in this division but will not be prominent.

I will be using a Digitrax DCC power system for the layout. Which leads to the things I want:

I plan on powering all turnouts with Tortoise switch machines. They are a must on the upper level as it would be difficult to reach into the scene because of the height and I don’t want push/pull knobs on the fascia. They will be controlled by Digitrax DS 64 stationary controllers. A track diagram will be on the fascia with switch numbers and a bi-color LED to indicate the switch position.

There will be a signal system on the mainline. I will be using the Atlas signal system, and while I know that the type G signals were not that common, the system is pretty straight forward in installation. I will be using the NCE DB-20 for track detection.

While in the city sections there are no at grade crossings, as you move into the countryside the larger towns will have lighted crossing signals. The smaller towns will have only the standard crossbucks.

Scenery will consist of rural farming communities outside of the cities with predominately deciduous trees on the lower deck. The upper deck is set in more northern Minnesota with again rural settings with more evergreen type trees and rock outcroppings which is typical of this area.

That’s kind of it for right now. I have had all these thoughts rolling around in my head but have never written them down. I suppose it’s good that I am finally writing them down as it will make things easier going forward. As I think of more I will update the blog as to what they are.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.