Piedmont Division Blog

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Swing Gate Follow-Up Initial Thoughts

March 25th, 2008 · No Comments

I posted an update to the Sixth Annual International Spring Layout Party on the TrainBoard.com Layout Design Discussion section including the latest work on the backdrop and the Allied Rail Rebuilders kit in the locomotive servicing facility of the layout. Dave H. (aka ppuinn on TrainBoard.com) posted the following reply:

Ryan: You've done a nice job on the engine house. I like the idea of making the model lift out, and then disguising the gap with scenery and chainlink fence. I also noticed lots of pictures mounted on foamboard. I just put together a mock-up of pics on foamboard to test out a bridge placement in one area of my layout and I was surprised how few of my dozens of pictures of the prototype bridge were usable for the mock-up...there always seemed to be a pole, tree or something in the way, or else the image was incomplete and had to be pieced together with another pic (that usually had to be resized to match the first pic). Is there a chance you could post in Railimages some of the pictures of tanks, towers, buildings, etc you've used for your foamboard mounted backdrop pieces so we could size and print them to put on our own layouts? I looked through the photo galleries on your layout website...very impressive! You present well-organized and documented descriptions of your work with lots of pictures. (I've Private Messaged you about the swing gate.)

This is the PM copied:
Ryan: I enjoyed looking through the photo galleries on your layout website. Your pics and text on the swing gate idea provided a great tutorial. Would you consider doing a follow-up on the swing gate tutorial and post it in the Layout Design forum? The follow-up would be sort of a brief overview Trainboarders could refer to when considering possible methods for solving the common layout design issue of getting inside a layout that has an around-the-room or donut design. Ideally, such an overview would provide information on the pros and cons of using a swing gate to span an aisle, summarize or link to the original swing gate construction plans, and describe how the swing gate has worked out over the last few months. If you put "Swing Gate" in the title, then Trainboarders could search in the Layout Design forum and come up with a convenient reference that links to the original construction plans, and offers them the benefit of your hands-on experience with the swing gate to answer questions, such as: Is there anything you would do differently if you were to build it again (Lessons Learned)? Were there some design elements others should change/avoid in constructing their own swing gate? Would you recommend any changes in the particular materials they use to build the gate? Were there any construction methods or tricks that you found especially helpful or that did NOT work for you? Did you have any electrical or mechanical fail-safes to prevent mishaps if the gate wasn't correctly positioned? Would you change how you have incorporated the swing gate into the overall track plan? Did you have to do any special tweaking/fine-tuning/reconstruction to get it to operate reliably the first time? Is there any routine maintenance (besides cleaning the track) that should be scheduled to keep the swing gate operating reliably after you've gotten it set up the first time? Have there been any serendipitous outcomes: any benefits that you hadn't expected when you first built the gate, but which, nonetheless, really enhanced effectiveness of the gate, helped the track plan or operation, or made life on the layout easier? How about unintended consequences or unanticipated negative outcomes that others should consider or plan for, if they build a similar swing gate? PM me, if you have any questions or comments.
So I have a few thoughts on the topic and will formulate a new topic thread as Dave has described for the TrainBoard.com forum. Here is my reply PM to Dave:

David, I like your idea about posting the "Swing Gate" as a link to the tutorial in the Layout Design Forum here on TrainBoard.com. I will start one today and add to it as time permits. With your permission I could reference you as the motivation for the thread and then post some of your questions as an "FAQ" or "Frequently Asked Questions" section possibly on my PD site or the TrainBoard.com thread. Regards, Ryan

Tags: Model Railroading

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