20x28 layout design for comment

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by kchronister, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Here are designs for my layout discussed in "good news - bad news" Please let me know what you think...

    Sorry if they're hard to see - the part I cut off is just a curve around.

    The first one is the main line, essentially at 0" elevation. The second one is the upper level, which starts at 0" by the yard and climbs at about 1% grade up to 6-7" at the mine/logging camp.


    PS - In answer to the first question my club friend asked... I'm DCC so the multiple Y's and Reverse Loops don't present much of a challenge - I've already got the auto-reverse modules from Tony's and they work like a charm.

    Attached Files:

  2. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    FWIW, here is a 'combined' view of upper and lower together. (not separate decks, mind you, just elevation difference).

    I can't get the "move to back/front" thing to work right, so this is reversed - actually looks like the upper level is below the main line... Working on that...


    Attached Files:

  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Looks great to me. Have fun!
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Kris: are you putting your family in the layout? How about Krispsburgh for the reverse loop?
    A slice of advice from John Allen: he felt that when you introduce separate elements (the trolley line, the logging line, narrow gauge) one would take over and the others get neglected.
  5. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    When I was thinking along the lines of super-broad curves (maybe not necessary after all for the prototype I was thinking of - the real Horsehoe Curve area didn't see big engines like 4-4-6-4s) and a four-track main, I realized that space efficiency would be paramount. I was considering only one peninsula instead of three: start on the left side, go most of the way to the right, then double back. A U-shaped peninsula with only one end loop; what Armstrong calls a "spiral aisle". I was even considering having two decks all the way around all the walls, with the transition between them taking up the entire peninsula.

    It seems I misinterpreted your goals. Since Altoona/Harrisburg/Horseshoe Curve is one of the regions I've considered modelling, I approached your layout as if it were my own. That made me enthusiastic, but I read my own givens and druthers in.

    You appear to be making good use of the multiple peninsulas to make visually separate scenes. Since my ideas would have fit what you said, it appears we've definitely approached the problem different ways. What exactly do you want to do with this layout - and what do you not want to include?
  6. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Triplex - I'll do the best I can to put it in words. FIrstly, I can tell you that I specifically WANT to violate the guidance 60103 gives. I absolutely positively want multiple elements - freight, major passenger activity, logging & mining, traction, etc. Far be it from me to contradict Mr. Allen, but to me focusing on 'one thing' would be boring.

    A lot of what follows stems from that. One large peninsula wouldn't be as conducive to it. Nor would a 4-track main. THe fact that I'm not especially bound by prototype issues is the source of my silly names -- calling Harrisburg "harrysburg" is my way of saying it's an homage to the prototype, but not necessarily attempting to really replicate it. Another way to think of it is boiling the famous broad way 4 tracks down to 2 is a form of compression... I did struggle mightily with that very issue.

    Another definite area we differ is on multiple decks. To me, they simply destroy the illusion... I've had them before and they just don't do it for me.

    Nevertheless, I found your comments very helpful and thank you for them. I'll continue to rethink/reflect on this... Until construction starts (probably Oct-Nov), it's simply a collection of pixels on a screen...

  7. belg

    belg Member

    Kris, I am also in the planning stages of my HO railroad and totally agree w. you that it has to be enjoyable to YOU, I do not plan around any prototypes either to keep anything available to me in planning. I have worked with two guys as a colaboration one was a prototype and the other a freeflowing type of modeler and I'm still trying to bring elements of both together to form my layout.
    I was wondering if you could elaborate on the fact that you showed two levels of track but you say thats not the case????? :confused: You have me scratching my head on that one, I'm still trying to get my head around some of these concepts so please don't feel it is an attack on your plan just a dope that doesn't get it.
    My feeling is that I would like to create multilevels but not not necessarily have a nolix or helix, the plans by John Allen and Malcolm Furlow really grab me and I know either you hate them or love them, because they create whimsy and fun, NOT PROTOTYPE.
    Hope to follow along w. your planning and building so please keep us informed and updated, :thumb: thanks alot Pat.
    I just noticed that your from PA are you anywhere near Bath PA? I visit friends there regularly?
  8. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    belg -

    The two 'levels' I showed were just to make the track plan clearer. They both exist on the same "deck." It's simply that one of them is generally elevated while the other is generally at "ground" level. So showing them separately helped remove some of the 'spaghetti' look to the plan. This is, of course, complicated by the fact that I've far-from-mastered 3rd Planit, so can't show multiple levels of trackage together effectively.

    I do struggle with the multi-decking thing. On the plus side, it's a great way to effectively double your available space in a given amount of room. On the downside, you're almost certainly looking at a nolix or helix - both of which necessitate more grade than I like to hassle with. Or, you do two decks and don't connect them. Mostly, for me personally, it's a matter of the effect. To my eye, multi-decking invariably gives more of a "diorama" effect - at least on the lower deck(s). Something about having a "ceiling" over the lower deck just destroys the illusion for me.

    I also try to walk the fine line between adherence to some reality and becoming a slave to prototype... This is less of a struggle for me, as over the course of building my prior layouts, I've come to a compromise that works for me. I can't even define it.. It's just knowing my own level of required reality. Somewhere between the guys who can run modern diesels next to old style 4-4-0's without a problem, and counting rivets is a happy medium for me. Basically the best way I can put it is everything has to have _some_ basis in prototype/reality, but not necessarily perfectly accurate. A good example is the fact that I'm modeling the PRR main line, but not using 4 tracks as the prototype did... It just would have pre-empted too many other things I wanted to adhere to that, so I reluctantly decided a 2-track main would 'fill in' as a reasonable substitute for it.

    I have no idea where Bath, PA is, I fear. I live sort of near Gettysburg - about midway between Strasburg and Altoona :)

  9. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I never said I supported Allen's rule! I perfectly understand multiple elements.
    Actually, assuming a double-faced backdrop, the U-shaped peninsula would effectively be four shelves, no two of which you could see at once (unless you have eyes in the back of your head or X-ray vision). But, the only reason Armstrong advises such a configuration is to save space. And, since you don't seem to be losing much with the current configuration, I don't see a problem with it.
    Are the upper tracks on your plan only for the logging and traction? Then you can certainly get away with steep grades.
    I understand that feeling, too. In my case, it was the realization that some 1950s plans I liked could not be used as the basis for double-deck plans. Spaghetti-like track arrangements are kind of hard when you need a central backdrop to support the upper deck, and duckunders become impossible because the lower deck of a two-deck plan is lower than a typical single-deck layout. Super-wide tables, operated from the edges but with hidden central access, aren't feasible with another deck above - the layout looks too much like a cave.
    I understand both of you. I always plan layouts based on modelling/operation concerns first. I don't let myself be limited by constraints of a specific place.
  10. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Kris: I pass on advice; I don't know if it's universally true. (I'd love to add Toronto street cars to my British layout...)
    And I still think you should model the reservoir on the floor in the middle of Rabbit's Foot Curve.
  11. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    David -

    I completely understand: I have a weakness for streamliners, myself. I'll make you a deal. I'll look the other way while you run your street cars if you ignore the Hiawatha and Pioneer zephyr running on my PRR layout.

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