Sunday, January 1, 2012

0001 Savannah Central – First day! First Post!

Welcome to the Savannah Central Railway!  Follow along as we design and build a small layout from day one through completion.  Stop laughing.  I have completed layouts!  At least, until I had children.

First, we'll start off by creating a file in my computer called SAVANNAH CENTRAL.  This will be the archive for all information and will keep everything separate from my original Dixie Central plan.  Then I'll create a !SAVANNAH CENTRAL file in the folder.  This is my main notes file and where I'll keep notes, information, maps and communications from friends who help with the project.  You will help, won't you?

I've already done a lot of theoretical work on the Dixie Central and you can read about it on its own blog:  The first thing we'll do is copy it's layout parameters over and make a file called SAVANNAH CENTRAL LAYOUT PARAMETERS.  This is the archive where I'll keep all the specifics about the layout.  We'll start with this:

Savannah Central Layout Parameters
Rev 01/01/2012
Name: The Savannah Central Railway
Scale: HO 1:87
Gauge: Standard 4' 8 1/2"
Prototype: Freelanced, based on Southern
Theme: Late 1940's cotton and textile hauling
Railroad's Purpose: Move cotton from the fields through finished textile stages and export
Layout Purpose: Complete NMRA AP Program requirements for Civil, Electrical, Structures & Scenery
Location: East to Southeast Georgia
Era: Late 1940's
Mainline Run:
Min Radius: 22" min radius
Min Turnout: #5
Ruling Grade: 2.0%
Track Saturation:
Design Parameters:
Control: Digitrax DCC or equivalent
Track: Walthers code 83, some turnouts manual throw for realism and more complex operations.
Other: Waterways removable for "off layout construction"

Next, we'll need some layout dimensions.  I'll need to double-check these, but they are just about right.

Well, so much for that idea.  I drew it once, but must have just sketched it so I didn't put in proper walls or dimensions.  Guess we'll start over.  The room dimensions MUST be perfect, especially in this room where there are a lot of obstructions including one that breathes fire.  A.k.a fireplace.  We'll work on this during the week and while we finish cleaning out the basement room.  The basement room is small, but is totally finished.  The trick to this layout is making sure I meet the NMRA AP Requirements for Civil, Electrical and Scenery while not making the layout hard to navigate.  Essentially what I do best - designing small layouts with a lot of impact.

Luckily I have all the files from the Dixie Central, so let's go see what we can steal.

I've got a rolling stock acquisition roster which needs to be updated.  I'll move that file over.

Here's a rolling stock requirements spreadsheet that we can use.  Actually there is a bunch of stuff.  Let's see if I had a railroad string diagram.  Nope.  None.  Ok...this will get us started.  My next chore is to move my new computer over to my main desk.

All for sure to sign up for email posts on the top right!

Oh, shoot...I did have a string diagram!  It is on the bottom of the layout drawing!


  1. Scott,

    Yea! It's great to see you starting on your layout. Will you add to your "Layout Purpose" also "to have fun!"? I know that I'll learn alot by following your progress.


  2. Goal #1 - Have fun! When I quit having fun with trains sprinkle my ashes on the Western & Atlantic Subdivision of the CSX, somewhere around Moon Station.


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