A Newbie's First Attempt (N Scale)

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by cyb0rg, Jan 3, 2005.

  1. cyb0rg

    cyb0rg New Member


    I've been working on this thing for days. There are actually 3 layouts that I have in what I would call "final" stages of development, but this is the one I like the best. I welcome any ideas/suggestions from anyone who would offer it, but first, I want to cover what I want to accomplish:

    This is a door sized layout, approx. 3x6 1/2. Someday, there may be a Phase II expansion which will double it's size, and put the finished product in an L shape. I'm trying to model the 1940-1950 era of Cleveland, Ohio's Lake Erie operations. These include the N&SS and Erie Lackawanna lines. I want this layout to have a very industrial and dirty feel. There won't be a lot of elevation changes, but I will do some scenicking for visual appeal. I want to add a lot of buildings to this layout to simulate a very urban "down on the waterfront" look. I'm hoping this layout will provide some switching/yard action along with some continuous running, as my 3 yr old will be along for the ride.

    The yard is front and center because I feel it will be the focus of all the action. I felt that an out-and-back type layout would accomplish the overall goal of leaving the terminal, picking up/dropping off loads, and returning home. This layout was designed using RightTrack 5.0, and is pretty close to scale. The straight sections of track are 5" and most of the minimum turning radius uses 11" curves. I'm particularly interested in help with the yard and staging area. I want these to be realistic, yet easy to operate and be able to hold rolling stock for both passenger and freight.

    Also, any idea how many locos/rolling stock this layout would be able to hold? Thanks for any input :)

    [EDIT] After checking again, I still have 6" more left to use along the bottom of the layout, as this one is 30"x80". Back to the drawing board.
  2. Muddy Creek

    Muddy Creek Member

    Hi cyb0rg,

    Good to see you here at The Gauge,

    I have a couple of suggestions to an otherwise well-thought plan. I'd think about changing the location of the Passenger Depot on the siding to face the mainline at the upper right. This might make passenger operations easier as you wouldn't have to back into the siding to the depot. Passenger trains could be served from one mainline in either direction. You could use the siding for another industry.

    The switches at the bottom right are great since the locomotive from a train arriving there can run around the train back to the yard. If you can spare the room at the end of the bottom tracks, I might move them a little further to the right and add another set at the other end, if only for your switcher to have a handy run-around while switching.

    You're probably going to be using diesels since there is no way of turning a loco at the yard end.

    I'm sure others will have helpfull hints.

    Good luck and have fun with your little son.

  3. siderod

    siderod Member

    You may or may not already know this, but you have a reversing loop in your plan...these can be a pain to wire, but it's easier in DCC. Which do you plan on using? (DC or DCC?)

    Other then that, i like it alot...i'm toying with the idea of doing a small layout (i think that'll give me a total of 3?), prehaps in HO, maybe a switching layout...anywho, back to the topic at hand...i agree with moving the passenger depot...other then that and the reversing loop...looks GREAT!
  4. cyb0rg

    cyb0rg New Member


    Thanks for the suggestions!

    I moved the Passenger Depot as suggested (I think) and took advantage of my miscalculation in depth by adding more track in the yard. I also added another switch off the main line on the bottom left. I also forgot to label where the enginehouse will be, and made a slight visual change there as well.

    I'm aware of the reversing loop issues, and I'm hoping to go DCC. Wiring isn't my forte, though I'll have some help with that. I have access to about all the DC equipment I'd ever need (from my grandfather's old layout) but I'm from the school of "if you're gonna do it, do it right and do it once." I haven't begun to price DCC units yet, but it seems like the way to go.

    [EDIT] I can spell...honest.
  5. siderod

    siderod Member

    I'd suggest another station move...from where it is directly left a bit, to go between those 2 parallel tracks...

    Lookin better though!
  6. cyb0rg

    cyb0rg New Member

    Oh okay...now I see where you guys are talking about. I've been staring at RightTrack for too long, I think I need some air.

    I edited the image (was easier to change in PhotoShop and just upload a new one) with a couple red X's. Is this where you guys are talking about?
  7. Muddy Creek

    Muddy Creek Member

    Yeah, I'd rather see the station off a siding and on the mainline also, where trains stop briefly and then leave easily. A railroad would want to eliminate switching moves when it can, especially in their passenger service where time is critical and profits are iffy. Passenger trains could also approach the station in alternating directions. I'm sure there are some places where passenger trains have to back into a siding to get to the platform (there's a prototype for everything) and maybe cyborg has a particular reason for wanting it off the mainline. But I'd put a curved platform either in the extreme upper right corner or on the inside track of that same loop. I picked there because it's the furthest point from your yard and because you could stop a train on what is essentially a passing siding while a freight runs past it on the other track. Or two passenger ttrains could meet there.

    Or if you moved it to where Siderod suggested, you could put a freight station on the siding just behind it and still put an industry at the end of the siding. A station stop would only block the main for a few minutes.

    Looks good. I saw the plan posted elsewhere, cyborg. Don't think I'm ignoring you there!

    Good luck.

  8. Muddy Creek

    Muddy Creek Member

    Yep, one of those spots would work as I said in the post above. Was typing it as you posted your reply.

  9. Looks like a pretty good plan.

    I'll agree with the others: Put your passenger station in the curve at the far right, the Local Amtrak station is on a similar curved track area. this looks like a varient on the 'Out-n-Back' doorway layout from the Atlas Book, called 'Unhinged & Horizontal'

    As for turning engines, thats really no big deal. you can always use the 0-5-0 switcher to turn the engines around :)

    It also looks like you could squeeze at least 1 more track into the yard.
  10. cyb0rg

    cyb0rg New Member

    Yep, that's what it's based on! I wasn't happy with the amount of yard space in that layout, so I improvised.

    I wanted it to look "separate". This is an industrial setting, and while I don't want hills and scenery to dominate the layout, I want it to appear to have its own section.

    I'm still very unhappy with the yard, both in size and function. It would be better suited at the bottom where I can get longer runs. Back to the drawing board for me. I've learned a lot, having done this about 50 times already. I just wish I could go see an N scale yard in person, it would help a great deal.
  11. cyb0rg

    cyb0rg New Member

    Blah! [​IMG]

    At this rate, I'll never get past the planning phase and I'll just make choo-choo sounds while I run my trains around on a piece of plywood. I've kept the above layout in a file, but decided that I didn't like it. I've been hard at work trying to come up with something better, but I just can't make it work. It's frustrating.

    I think I'll just drop some voodoo bones on the floor and arrange my tracks that way.

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