Another newcomer with N-scale track questions

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by NWP-fan, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. NWP-fan

    NWP-fan Guest

    N-Scale logging/passenger interchange layout

    Hi all, just returning to the hobby after 25 years... hopefully I'm on topic in the correct forum this time.

    Here is a plan I've been working on and am gathering materials to build. Hopefully the attachment comes through OK.

    It's a 3'x5' N-scale, twice around, with a spur line. The prototype is a very loose interpretation of the Northwestern Pacific from its interchange with the California Western in Willits, CA to Eureka, as it might be present-day had an alternate history occurred. ;)

    I've used some snap-track to make life easier in RTS, but will probably go with flex-track for the real thing. The mainline (NWP) uses a minimum 11" radius, with 9-3/4" on the branch line (CW).

    I dunno, it still seems like it needs something though... Not quite sure what it is. Operationally I think it'll work, but if any experts (or not-experts, for that matter) spot anything wrong or have improvement ideas, feel free to pipe in. I really want to do this well.

    Attached Files:

  2. First Impressions

    My initial impression is that the basic idea looks pretty good, but the front end yard/interchange area looks a little too busy. Also, your crossover slope could be tricky with the interchange/platform area. With the needed slope for a crossover in the range of 2-2.5% grade, keeping cars stationary on the slope for interchange will be tricky. Turnouts on a grade can also be messy.

    I'd change the crossover to a 30, 45, or 60 degree crossover on the backstretch, instead of the curve in the upper right, eliminating the need for a grade. If you still want a slope, put a 2% grade in the branchline curve, which would raise it about 1/2 an inch (0.6" to be exact) and clearly set off the branchline's spurs.

    The front area is a little TOO track-y, I'd shorten the long siding, making it a short stub off the 'inner' track of the passing siding. that would eliminate the triple track look of the front, which is too busy. The little yard could use expansion, but as it is, you're probly better making it a single track for now, with a rerailer, and use it as a 'fiddle' space, as a place trains from farther along come in
  3. Oh yeah! Welcome to the Gauge! :wave: :wave: :wave:
  4. NWP-fan

    NWP-fan Guest

    Ah... I was worried about the grades. As it stands, I can keep the interchanges and spurs flat including the turnouts, and still have 2" of clearance at the crossover (to leave room for roadbed and benchwork), at the expense of a 3% maximum grade on the mainline. Given that the longest trains I'll be running would be a maximum of 6 or 8 cars (freight) or 3 or 4 cars (passenger), is that acceptable? I'm not too familiar with the capabilities of modern engines.

    Looks like my interchange will have to be the "giant hand" for now. Back to the drawing board for some revisions to the yard area and a crossover version...

    Thanks for the thoughtful reply and the welcome! It's nice to be back in this wonderful hobby again.
  5. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    First Welcome to the Gauge..Now lets take a realistic look at your layout.
    1.The yard should be bigger then it is now.
    2.It would be best not to have grades if at all possible on a small layout-use view blocks instead.You will be far better off then unrealistic steep grades.You can use a crossing instead.
    3.Use as much flex track as possible..This will give you better electrical flow though the rail then sectional track with all the rail joiners plus your equipment will run better.
    My suggestion is to start over with a better track plan.. :thumb:
    Suggest less track for such a small layout.
    Suggest no grades if avoidable.
    Suggest larger curves if possible.This is far better for long wheel base engines and cars.Plus the trains look and operate much better. :D
    Now,a word of caution..Todays N scale has finer wheel fledges then the old N scale of the 80s...This calls for good solid track work.Take your time laying your track..It will pay dividend's when you run your trains.Again..Use as much flex track as possible including curves.. :thumb:
    I apologize if I seem harsh...Its better to do it correctly the first time then to have to redo the layout after the track is in place.I speak from my past experiences. :oops: Also a 3'x5' layout N scale is a lot of room if its use wisely..That is why I suggested not have grades if avoidable.. :D
  6. NWP-fan

    NWP-fan Guest

    Well, you can't get more honest than that! :cool: No offense taken at all - when two mods with otherwise conflicting opinions both say to lose the up/over crossover, it would probably be unwise to ignore them. Track is cheap, plans are cheaper... I might try scaling that plan up to 4'x8' rather than trashing it, in the hope that someday I have a bigger house with room for such a thing.

    I do have some follow-up questions regarding the wheel-flange issue as it relates to grades and code 55 track (which seems it would be both more realistic and easier to solder due to its lower mass) but I'll take that over to the tech Q&A section. The answers are probably already buried in there somewhere.

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