The Liberty Hi-Railers use Hi-Railers standards for module building.
The standard plans can be downloaded as a PDF file
Enhancements to the Standards
We have found some techniques to better the standards while still being
compatible with other Hi-Railers. Here are the tips:
1) Use Lighter lumber than the standards. We often use 1x3s for the
outer frame and 1x2 as supports.
The illustration is a typical 4 foot long module (not to scale) The 1x3s
outer framing is shown in green. The 1x2 supports are shown in blue.
2) Use Wood Glue for all joints in addition to wood screws.
3) Use thin plywood like Luan for the top.
4) Glue the top down in addition to screwing it.
5) Build longer modules when feasible. If you can transport a longer
module, you can use the above weight saving techniques to reduce keep the longer
module manageable for handling. An eight foot long module can be used
anywhere in lieu of 2 four footers. Six foot modules must come in pairs.
(They can be together to be equivalent to 3 four foot modules or they can be
used on opposite sides to balance each other.
6) Deeper modules. The standard calls for 24 inches in depth.
However our modules are often 30 or 32 inches deep, some deeper. Note that
if you cut a 4x8 piece of plywood into thirds you get 3 four foot by 32 inch
NOTE: We are now recommending a new way to wire
modules. Please read about it here.
The old way of wiring is left below in red as reference.
7) Suggested wire color coding. Suggested only, don't loose sleep over
||Track 1 Power
||Track 2 Power
||Track 3 Power
||Ground (common for all three tracks)
||Accessory Voltage (14 volts)
||Reserved (Suggested to be wired straight through.)
In addition is suggested that you simply add little numbered tags to each end
of the wire.
8) Wiring plugs. The original standard wiring plugs Radio Shack parts
274-152 and 274-155 have been discontinued. We now use part number 274-236,
6-Position Female Interlocking Connector and part number 274-226, 6-Position Male Interlocking Connector.
9) The sixth wire. We suggest connecting the sixth wire as a through connection.
Deviations From the Standards
We have some deviations from the standards which are worth noting.
1) We do not require backdrop panels. You may still use a backdrop but
it is not required. In general members prefer the additional visibility
that is gained from the inside of the trains without the backdrops in the way.
2) We do not use Plexiglas in front of the modules. Instead we use
stanchions to rope off the layout approximately two feet from the module fronts.
Some discussion of this is worthwhile. Past experience has show that
Plexiglas fronts tend to attract children to hang on them. This is of
course dangerous for the child and disastrous for the layout. Additionally
photography and visibility through the Plexiglas is generally less than
desirable to the poor optical characteristics of the material. Rope
standoffs solve these problems.
In both of these deviations member are free to build their module to the
standards to be able to operate with other groups, while simply setting up a
little differently with the Liberty Hi-Railers.