My Layouts

Layouts by Jerome A Lepinski.

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Lepsky Speedway II

    This is actually more of a rearranging of the modules from the layout I built in Minneapolis, known as "Lepsky Speedway".   There are very few pictures of that layout I can display to the public due to the numerous features that were built into the layout which are still confidential.

    The first step was to tear out the dungeon apartment that was in the basement of the house we bought.   Once that was all ripped out we were able to get the bank turn module crates into the basement and mount them on legs.   In this image you can see one of the handles I mounted to the crates.   These handles made it a lot easier to haul the modules up and down staircases.

    With both of the crates mounted on legs it was time to see how they fared the 180 mile trip.   A couple of guardrails fell off in transit but no serious damage from the packing and moving of the large modules.

    These are my Big Bank Turn Modules very dirty from the trip.   For those of you who are interested the tracks are supported with custom bent coat hangers screwed to the table surface and poked through the holes I drilled in the side of the tracks.   These hanger supports and a few air bags were all that were inside the crates holding the tracks in place during the trip.   The crates were stood on edge in a rental trailer and hauled to our new home.

    While this basement is bigger due to the size and shape, I can't fit ten feet of track between the two Big Bank modules without dividing off a section of the basement.   So I have to settle for three feet of straights between the two large modules, which still makes a huge fast track.

    I installed the multi tier support frames that mount to the legs beneath the tables.   With these support frames I am able to support three tiers of tracks.   The bottom teir is obviously for the Big Bank modules known as the "Yellow" and "White" lanes.   The top teir is for the "Red" and "Green" lanes.   The center teir is for the railroad that will intersect with all four lanes when this structure is complete.

    This structure will be four feet three inches wide by nineteen feet long when it is complete.   If you look under the left Big Bank Module you can see the crates for the Flat Spiral and the intersection section modules.

    I uncrated some of the other modules I've made over the years.   The module on the left we call the "Mountain Pass" partially because it was on the top of the layout, but mostly because of the height of the spirals.   This module is still partially collapsed to make a crate small enough to get up and down staircases.   On the right is the module know as the "Head-On" module.   This module forces a change in traffic flow and can be used in one of two ways.   Discussed in more detail later in this page.

    I installed four 1/2-13 carriage bolts in the center section that allows me to slowly move the tables together with a wrench.   The speedway construction crew built a temporary detour to get the track open.   The speedway crew came up with a balanced detour of progressively smaller, then larger radii 1/8 circle curves with two six inch straights.   Two auto piloted stunt Vipers came out to test the track and detour under the supervision of the construction crew.

    This is as close as I can get to an all in one view with the camera I have.

    Some of you may have noticed the strange silver guardrails on a lot of the tracks.   These were scraps from the production of mounting rings for airport runway light fixtures.   Made of 14 Ga. Stainless Steel, they make excellent guardrails and look pretty good too.   They do not bend to fit bank turns so I used standard yellow and white guard rails on all of the banks.   They are not easy to bend in any direction but never in two directions fithout some serious horsepower.   People have asked why I have guardrails on the inside of the banked turns, this is simply to allow cars to stop on a curve if needed or give the slow drifters a chance.   I also think it makes it look more like a bridge.

    There are two ways to use the "Head-On" module.   First it can be used as a stand alone layout by adding a 1/2 circle of 6" radius curve to the end.   And wiring it so that you travel side by side through all of the spirals and opposite directions only on the two 1/2 circles of 6" radius curve at each end.   The second way is how it is intended to be used, you enter and exit side by side but somewhere in the spirals and danger tracks you will pass in opposite directions.
    The "Head-On" module is completely covered in scenery built from cardboard and covered with model railroad ground cover.   The general shape of the landscaping ensures that a disabled vehicle does not stay far from the track.   There are a few strips of paneling supported by 2x2s.   I painted all of these and a few walls sky blue in honor of a bridge I like in Mpls. MN.   The bridge is called the Camden Bridge after the city(suburb) on the west bank of the river.   The Camden Bridge is four lanes of road with a sidewalk that crosses over the Mississippi River, on the west shore it goes over a railroad track which also crosses the river and goes over 8 lanes of I-94 which goes over Shingle Creek which has a pedestrian/bike trail.   You have to see it to believe it!   I would include photos but there is no way to photograph it!

    From this view you can see a few of the wires that are strung beneath the tracks.   I looped a wire around each of the rail connections the length of each segment on the module, so I could tighten them from the top if need be.   The majority of this track is AFX Speed-Lok track which everyone knows is fragile.   In fact a lot of this track was broken before I got it.   A few clips while gluing and some pot hole filling was required in a few places.   All of the track sections have been glued together along all of the seams both length and width of all of the tracks.

    A few cobblestone tracks painted silver are both an audio and visual warning that you are leaving the fast tracks.   Why silver? you ask.   While they are intended to be bricks they sound more like expanded metal bridge work to me.   Did you notice the little yellow and white dots on the tracks?   I marked each section of track with lane colors only on the drivers side of a slot as you leave each track section.   Just like my flow images are marked at the exit of each track section, except both lanes are marked.   I think this is a lot less distracting than a big solid color line around the entire layout, guardrails are also color coded with the lanes.

    These coat hanger supports have been in place since 1986 when I constructed these modules.   There has been a lot of vehicle traffic through these modules and they are still holding up even after moving it 180 miles.   Through the end of this layout you can see some of the tables of the future.

    Just like in real life after you drive really fast for a long distance it is hard to drive slow when you need to.   The speedway construction crews are gathered to prepare for their next expansion.

    Put a few walls back in place to deflect projectiles.   These come in handy when children and novice drivers get out on the track.   The walls are strips of office chair carpet protectors with a texture pattern in them.

    There is more to this module than meets the eye in the partially collapsed module.    Levels three and five each have a three foot section of wiggle tracks.   Level four has some 6" radius curve as well as some squeezes and a couple of lane changes.   I will give this module more coverage when it is expanded back to normal size.

    I do all the wiring I can with phone wire because I bought a used phone system from a big old building and it came with a lot of wire.   I set up a bunch of controllers with 10ft of cord and used phone jacks to connect them.   The four wire jacks (RJ-10) work great for reversing controllers, but the six wire jacks (RJ-12) are better for modules because wires five and six can power scenery lights.   Tabs of colored tape identify the controller jack for each lane which also has it's own transformer.   The "Red" and "Green" lanes are for any vehicle that will fit under a three inch over-head.   The "Yellow" and "White" lanes have both a semi-truck and a minimum speed restriction on them.

    Additional images will be added to this page as the layout expands.

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