Quinntopia Expansion! Again!?

I've been struggling with the idea of expanding for some time.  My original intention for my 'Version 3' (building off of "Version 2" naturally) of my layout was the trolley, viaduct, downtown expansion, and a 12" extension to the existing yard to add more storage and a passenger terminal.  Below is the previous "Version 2" and those planned changes to "Version 3"
The above Version 2 was my expansion of "Version 1", what was where I was at when I started this blog!  The new stuff, sort of highlighted in yellow,  3 is below:
The good news is that three of the four 'big items are, if not complete, at least at the stage where buildings, wiring, and the other final details need to be complete after major construction.  The challenge I was facing with the final addition, the Passenger Terminal Extension, was that an additional 12 inches would make some of the areas on the 'southern' side of the layout more difficult to reach.   I also started to think, or at least convince myself, that this layout doesn't need to be as 'temporary' or portable as I have - to date - been designing it.  So I decided to push out the boundaries and expand.  Below is my plan for "Version 4":
And what continues to keep me away from running trains or wiring all the buildings I've been working on has been this fundamental obstacle.  The good news is that this summer I decided to bite the bullet (and overcome some interesting feelings of futility and doubt!) and move on to "Version 4" construction!
There were some nerve-wracking moments....smashing out the foundation on a section of my viaduct was not fun, although recalling the interesting stuff I can do with the extended main line kept me going!
Something else which will add more enjoyment to operations, is that the Red Line, which was pretty much land-locked within the green line on the lower level, now gets some elevation and a cross over.   Just out of view on the left is  really nice bridge I got from a company called "Hack" in Germany.  Decently priced metal bridges!
The above explains my rather limited modelling posts over the past several weeks...I've been spending whatever precious hobby time I can get in the dust trying to move this along.

I've also realized something about my planning process with this project.  I tend to create my plan in Rail Modeller as more or less a guide, but then plan on improvising or changing the actual plan once I start laying things out.  I've got a more less 'fresh canvas' now so I don't know if I know for sure at this stage of planning what exactly I want to do. 

I do know that I'll be using a bit more flex track...the beautiful sweeping curves that these afford compel me to bite the bullet (partly inspired by Pascal's beautiful work)!  I'll also be converting my existing yard and installing the new Passenger terminal tracks using Minitrix's track rather than Unitrack (which was inspired by this).  The reasons for this is that Unitrack - despite its great looks - just doesn't look completely right to me for a yard.  Perfect for main lines and routes but-in a yard- the high ballast wasn't working for me.  I chose Minitrix track as I really like the simplicity of their switch machines which allow them to be more or less 'hidden' from view without the complexity of installing under-table motors.  We'll see how that goes in the future.

That's all for now!  All I have to say is...goooooo N SCALE!!!


  1. Gulps // Drool

    Was not something I was expecting to see... You are now even further away from running trains again than you were before.

    But that's great and I think all this space to fill and build suits more than anything else. ;)

  2. I think this is very nice. Looking forward to seeing how this all comes together.

    Just promise you'll find a way to keep your parade curve? That idea is too good to die (even if the original is now long gone).

  3. Hello,

    you will have a beautifull layout with this new extension .

    i am waiting for tne next pictures et yours curves on the project..



  4. Cannot wait to see it expand! Always look forward to see your amazing layout.

  5. Looks like this will be a great addition, a lot more interesting than the previously-planned passenger terminal extension. Do you have any idea whether the new area will be rural or urban? Might be nice to include some villages and trees on one section of Quinntopia!

  6. Time for DCC switch control !
    ...ok, I'm out Jerry ;-)

  7. Thanks everyone for your encouraging comments! As you may have noticed from my post, making this sort of change was not an easy commitment...as La Saucisse says, it puts me even further away from running trains!

    DON: Absolutely have no plans to change the parade curve...the photo looks like I'm tearing it out (!), but I'm actually just moving or expanding the portal underneath it.

    PASCAL: Your work has been a big influence on me! I really love those curves! I don't have the room to do anything close to what you've done, but hopefully you will see some indications of your inspiration in my expanded area!

    SUDSANA: Yes, there will be a bit more 'countryside' in this expanded version...of course, I have this internal debate with myself about where the urban areas will end and the rural take over...we'll see what happens!

    PIERRE: Funny you mention that...as I wait for my track materials to arrive (most of it has to be ordered from Germany), I've been drafting up my new control panel and figuring out how to wire everything. I am wondering if this is the time to make the switch!

  8. About DCC, as I mentioned in previous posts it's a personal choice, and one that costs a bit more indeed.

    To me the most important advantage is wiring (hence time saving). Looking at your extension, you'd stick a few decoders under the switches and just have to lay 2 wires back to the controller...and no cable mess with manual switches.

    Anyway if you ever go for it, don't hesitate to ask, I have well learned the do's and don't in the last year :-) and many other regular commenters surely have good inputs.

  9. mr. Quinn,
    Your expansion not withstanding, my 70 year old brain can't figure out how to leave you an email. Your layout has inspired me to create a N scale layout of my own, adjacent to my my O scale layout.

    I have a question to ask! How do you get your LRV's to reverse direction. An Oh, what are the dimensions of your system.


    L.Q. la Salle
    Perkasie, PA

  10. Hi Lou!

    Sorry that it took me a while to respond to your post! Unfortunately, I don't post my email address as it gets overflowing with spam! But you can email me at quinntopia with the email domain being '@ hotmail dot com'

    I hope that makes sense! The trolley/tram is reversed using an auto-reversing mechanism. I forgot which brand. There are many choices.