Meet Carl - a man with a plan.

Updated 1/15/2023

The layout is planned using Marklin’s C Track. I decided to go Marklin because I liked the detail of the models, the simplicity of 3 rail and that I can use tighter radius curves. The visible part of the layout is quite nice. When I started flipping through the plans and saw the benchwork design along with the lower hidden level I wonder if I bit off more than I can chew. Since the plans are all in metric the first thing I did was to invest in a meter stick and a metric tape measure. 

The benchwork went together very easily and what looks like a jigsaw puzzle will set me up for having attachment points for the upper levels. I laid out the track on the open framework to check for proper positioning. I then put plywood underneath the track and made a “compass” car to mark the plywood and cut it out to fit. Because I wanted to deaden the sound and have a smooth surface I glued 1/4” cork to the plywood. From here the track was laid and secured, the wiring is in and I’ve test run what I have so far. I will send you more updates as the work continues. Regards, Carl   

Blog update July 5th 2022

As promised, here is my next installment of my “ Man with a (Track)Plan blog. As you can see from the photos, I have completed the right half of the lower level or Schattenbahnhof as they say in German. Once the track was in place I was able to wire in all of the turnouts using the Marklin M83 turnout decoders along with the external power supplies. While the turnouts can be powered directly from the Marklin CS3, I decided to power the switch machines with their own power. Given the size of this layout, I did not want to power everything off of the CS3. I also added a separate power supply for the turnout lanterns as well. I will continue to use the external power supplies for all of the lower level accessible turnouts and accessories. When I get to the upper level I will be using the built in decoders and these will be powered by track power from the CS3. I am opting for this method because there will only be 11 to 12 inches of clearance between the lowest level and the underside of the upper level. Now it is time to start building higher. The last photo is of the next stage.

Track Plan for the next level up.

Home made contact tracks.  All you have to do is cut the connection between the two rails, use insulated connecters at the beginning and end of the section and run a wire for a S88 Feedback Module.

Blog Update 10/18/22

Hi Michael, It’s been a while since my last update, so here goes. I finally figured out how to put in the harbor area. The problem was that all of the track in this area is not connected to any of the existing track. The next section will connect the two tracks of the main line with the harbor trackage at the top right of the photo where the single track on the right is now headed. So far, so good. Now I have to wire this section and when it gets connected to the main I’ll be able to screw the track down. Next up will be the upper level. Till next time, Carl

Blog Update 1/15/2023

Here is my latest update to the layout. The harbor with its return loop is now complete. In this installment I am now building the track that will take me to the upper level. The hardest part here was deciding just where the harbor area should be placed. All of the track work there is not connected to any of the existing track. It only connects at the top level where the track from the harbor goes up to the top level. When using the plan I could only approximate where to start laying the track. It all worked out and I’ve got all of the turnouts in ou the right side of the layout. Next up will be connecting the left side and bringing it up to the top level.

Till next time,

Carl