A toughie!

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by brakie, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Guys,I am helping a very good friend design a N Scale layout on a 36" x72" hollow core door and as of now we are stumped and need help.
    The wants.

    1.A small 3-4 track yard.

    2.A Small town area with 2-3 industries.

    3.A power plant /mine loads in/empties out.

    The first two is the easy part #3 is where we are stumped.

    The givens.He would like not to have any steep grades and prefers to have no grades.

    My thoughts is to have a Mountain on one end with the mine at one end and the power plant at the other with the main line passing behind the mountain while 2 hidden tracks connect the power plant and mine.
    Any suggestions,ideas or plans is quite welcome.
  2. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    How about a backdrop running along the length of the layout down the middle? Position the mine and power plant on opposit sides of the backdrop at an angle so a siding can angle toward the center of the layout, pass through the back drop and both industries, and then connect with the main on the other side. It'll likely need to be a reverse loop I'd guess to maximize the space....

  3. you'll want two such sidings. One as 'load in' the other as 'load out'. I'd go one better than that though: in addition to the (cut out) backdrops, build out buildings on either side to give some depth for a load to be backed in at each side.
  4. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Good point SS. I'm imagining something like this....

    Attached Files:

    • plan.jpg
      File size:
      27.4 KB
  5. hminky

    hminky Member

    A scenic divider down the center improves most possibilities. It is better if the divider physically divides the layout in half. The open ends tends to produce strange scenic problems.


    The track going diagnally across the middle is a loads-in/empties-out track. That is 4x8 in HO.

    I have a web article about operating the loads-in/empties-out at:


    Thank you if you visit
  6. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Harold,I do believe that a view block will play a key roll. :thumb:

    Ralph,The question I have were do we put the yard? :eek:
  7. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    "Ralph,The question I have were do we put the yard?"

    Brakie, that's the new toughie! :)
  8. a point: I'd worry about a PURE single industry railroad: It might get boring after a while.

    This is a 27"x60" plan, which could easily be stretched for your door , or your could take the two tracks at the top and turn them into a huge yard. I should be able to modify this track and give you something by tomorrow:

  9. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    SS,The man wants loads in/empties out plus 2-3 other industries plus a small 3-4 track yard.The yard, town and 2-3 other industries isn't the problem..The problem is the mine/power plant.Frankly if that was MY layout I would go a better route and build the same door layout design I had in the 80s and have it up and running in about 3 weeks.. :D However,I am not the one calling the shots here. :(
  10. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    That :curse: yard is what's giving me problems with my layout as well. My wants and needs are a little easier to accomodate because I have more space to work with though.

    I found an image once that might suit your needs, and through an hour of searching this morning, I've been unable to find it. :oops: I'll keep looking and post it...hopefully.
  11. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    Found it!

    Check out this site: Click me
  12. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    2-8-2,I like that idea..Now if I can have him to see things in a more realistic view.
    The thing is he models CSX and has 30 Athearn coal porters and wants to use them as 2 15 car unit trains pulled by 2 Athearn SD70Ms and I am trying to help the guy out but,I fear he wants more then that space will allow. :(
  13. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    A 3-4 track yard with how much capacity in each track?
  14. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Well the stars of the show will be the 2 unit trains so he will need enough yard track to hold 15-20 cars for the local or daily road freight depending on which one he will want to run between unit trains..I do know he wants to hold the local between 6-8 cars and the road freight between 15-18 cars and still have some cars left in the yard.I figure 3 tracks holding 9 cars each should obtain his goal.
    We decided that a 15-18 car train would look about right for this layout with the engine following the last car just a tad under three quarters way around the loop-if my 20 year memory serves me correctly... :confused:
  15. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Ok Guys,I got Ron thinking on a 3' x 8' cut down piece of 4'x8' plywood which should give him some realistic working area for what he wants and still be in his allotted space.. :D
  16. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Brakie, 3' will have an 18 inch radius hanging over the edge on both sides. To get an 18 inch minimum radius he will need at least 40 inches to allow an inch on each side of the track between the track and the edge. Second question, will the Sd70macs negotiate an 18 inch radius with cars in tow without derailing either the locomotive or the car immediately behind?
  17. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Russ,Not to worry its N scale and he will be using a 15" curve more then likely. :D
  18. here is the door sized layout, using 11" curves.

    while I made the crossover track with sectional track, it will almost certainly be better with flextrack.

    Attached Files:

  19. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Personally, I would add a cross-over at the upper right corner. This will shorten the run-around distance for working either the yard or the industrial area at the top, and keep the switching more or less confined to a given side of the layout.

    In my case, I might also seriously consider a single track LI/EO reversing section instread of the 2 track version you have shown. Harold's web site shows you how to switch/operate the single track version.

    Otherwise, the layout is good enough that I'm considering recommending it to my father who is switching to an N scale door layout in his retirement home.

    My 2 cents, YMMV.

    yours in laying out
  20. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    You are correct a crossover is needed by the industries and a engine escape for the yard and of course a mine on the other side of the divider.. :thumb: .

    SS,Not bad..That layout is highly workable with some minor changes... :thumb:

    Thanks! I will have Ron to take a look see and see what he thinks. :D

    As far as flex track I have already discuss that at lenght with Ron and he plans on using flex track.

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