Aisle Width

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by cpr_paul, Jan 26, 2004.

  1. cpr_paul

    cpr_paul Member

    Planning on the future n-scale empire is proceeding, even though the basement still needs major renos before I can start (I can dream, can't I?). Before I get too far along, I was hoping some folks could give me a couple of pointers on minimum aisle width to use (layout will be in a roughly 18'x8' room, running along the walls).

    I'm working on 30" aisles right now, is that too tight? This will lilkely be a single-operator layout. I have made provision for a widening of the aisle at the top end to accommodate the control panel and a chair/stool.

  2. billk

    billk Active Member

    I've seen everything from 22" to 48" touted on different web sites - guess it depends on the number of operators expected and how much room they take up (plan for future expansion on both counts!:D).

    I'd recommend starting with even something wider than the 30" you proposed, maybe 36", and then narrow it down if you have to as your planning progresses, but keeping some minimum limit as a hard requirement.
  3. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    I second the 36" minimum. That's the minimum normally used for a hallway which is just walked through in most cases (most folks don't do modeling and run trains in their hallways :D ). I might go wider if it's a main isle and will have a big control panel, or if one person will need to get around another. Of course, if the two are really really friendly, 36" should be OK. Maybe narrower if it's access to something seldom reached, but no narrower than 2 ft.
  4. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    For what its worth and food for thought..I am a member of a local advanced layout design sig.It is our consensus that 36" should be the very least we should use as a minimum standard for our aisles while others felt that 40" should be about right.Those that contend that 40" should be use suggest it would be better for the operators to move about while running trains and taking in account the well, uh,ah,hmmm.well shoot,girth of some modelers that may be in the operation group..Again this is only for what its worth and food for thought.:D
  5. Catt

    Catt Guest

    I would agree with the 36" an 8' wide room that still allows 30" of benchwork on either side.Thats a fair amount of real estate for an N scale Npire.

    You didn't mention layout height ,but I would like to reccomend at least 40".If you go taller I suggest narrower benchwork or you won't be able to reach the back of the layout.
  6. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

    Hi all:
    I fourth the 36-inch minimum. When planning restaurant seating or workstation operations we try and allow 18-inches for the person standing there looking at something and 24-inches for someone else to pass behind them. So 36-inches is a little closer than that but "y'all jus hav ta git a lil "frien'ly" ".

    Try and leave 42-48-inches at the control panel if the operators will be sitting down and others will have to pass behind them. Better yet, build a temporary mock up of what you are going to do. Go in the dining room and move the dining room table 36-inches off the wall and then sit there on your favorite train stool and have folks walk behind you. Then stand there gaping at the roses on the table and see how that works at 36-inches.

    Nothing like a mockup to let you know if something is going to work for you. Get some masking tape and layout your benchwork limits on the floor of the room you're going to be using. That might help as well.

  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    It may not just be people going down the aisle. You may be carrying boxes or baskets of supplies. I just smashed my hand carrying a laundry basket (small size) through a doorway that I can pass without problems.
  8. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    36inches or greater is certainly desirable but I do have some 24inch aisle in my layout and it's OK for me but couldn't handle more than one at a time. My main traffic area is limited to the 36 inches
  9. castlerock

    castlerock New Member

    I just came back from a club in the area that had a open house and found it hard to pass each other with 30in aisles. They have 5 to 7 trains running at a time with walk arounds and with some portly people as myself. It was tight at times.:eek:
  10. cpr_paul

    cpr_paul Member

    Thanks for all your replies so far. I'm hoping I can fit 36" aisles into the plan. It will definitely be wider at the top end where I'll be sitting - 40"+. I think I can get by with a 30" aisle at the pinchpoint - again, this will just be a single operator layout. Nothing fancy, and no hordes of people milling about.

    Once I get winnrail downloaded onto the home computer, I will hopefully be able to get a trackplan up for review.

    Thanks for the tip on layout height. 40" is about what I was thinking.
  11. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

    If you're really quite sure this will be a single-operator layout, I wouldn't worry about 30" isles --- at least not to the extent of compromising your track plan. The wider the nicer, but for one person 30" is quite comfortable. The typical interior doorway (at least in the U.S.) is 30". Stand in one and see if that isn't enough room for you to move freely. It's actually quite generous.

  12. fifer

    fifer Active Member

    As Pontiac Say's Wider Is Better

    I have torn out 2 layouts and part of the reason on both of them was not enough isle room.
    Even if it is a one man layout , at some point you are going to want to show it to someone or someone will want to look at it and you will be standing on each other's shoes.
    My layout is the same size as yours but resolved some issues by returning to N Scale. My minimum is 26" but most is 36" to 40".
    Good Luck !

  13. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    The worst problem with aisles is that they get narrow at yards and other interesting spots where you stand to operate or watch trains.
    My aisle is about 12 feet -- square -- unless you count all the chairs and tables my wife put in. :oops:

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