Back from the drawing board

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Go Big1, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. Go Big1

    Go Big1 Member

    Okay, here we go again. I posted some track plans waaayy back when (about a year ago), and have since been doing a lot more thinking than doing. Well, as the summer started waning in the Chicago area, my thoughts again returned to getting that model railroad empire going. I have attached my latest, hopefully greatest trackplan for your review.

    Benchwork - will be 3 benches, two 5' by 4' benches with a 4' by 2' in the middle.
    Tech specs - DCC, probably 2 to 3 engines on the layout at any given time.
    Era - Planning to model the early 70's to early 80's.
    Railroad - Mostly Rock Island and C&NW.
    Location - Mythical. I plan to have a mountainous/hill area feel on the layout.
    Use - Want some general switching to keep things interesting for the kids and I, but my switching will mostly be something along the lines of "pick up gravel at siding A, and deliver to concrete plant at siding B, etc.". I also want to have the ability to just let the kids "run the trains" around the track, hence a point-to-point is out of the question.
    Secondary use - you will notice a lot of roads along the front of the layout. That is also for my 3 kids to be able to run cars along that frontage road.

    Ok, with that out of the way, let me discuss the layout attached a bit. The black color represents roads (lots and lots of roads!).
    The brown color represents industrial buildings (gravel plant, concrete plant, etc)
    The orange represents more retail type structures (think Walthers cornerstone Merchants Row 1 & 2).
    The green represents possible mountains with tunnels (the kids really want tunnels for the trains to go through).
    The red represents bridges.
    The blue guessed it! water!

    Basically the plan (traveling clockwise) is to have the tracks elevate starting at the left front area, hitting a 4 1/2 inch height before the switch along the back, then start dropping back down once you get past the bridge along the back. I realize I will need a 3 or 4 degree incline to accomplish this, but I do not plan to pull more than 5 or 6 cars with each train, so I presume the engines can handle this.

    Thoughts? Questions?

    Attached Files:

  2. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Cool Mike!! I like the plan you came up with. what would be cool is to have a train pick up gravel at the gravel plant (on the elevated tracks) and then have to travel around the layout to drop off its load at the cement plant (which would be at ground level).... :mrgreen:
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Do you have access to the back corners of the layout at each end? It will be extremely difficult to reach the far back corners from the front of the layout, and impossible if the layout is more than 3 feet high.
  4. Go Big1

    Go Big1 Member

    Josh, thanks for the reply. I think this layout is not too simplistic that I will tire of it quickly, but also not too complex - as this will be my first try at benchwork, trackwork, scenery, etc.

    Russ - yes, I will be have access to both sides of layout. The only area that will be against a wall will be the entire back of the layout, but I think I should be able to get to all points on the layout pretty easily with the 3 sided access.

    Any other thoughts or comments from anyone?
  5. Dave1905

    Dave1905 Member

    Grades: Yes you can get up them, but will there be a flat enough space to leave cars on the main line while you switch the upper industries? If you uncouple from the train or leave cars on the main will they take off on their own?

    Track: you ought to have a "runaround" a track with switch on both ends so you can get cars on the other end of the engine.

    Scenery: I think it will be very challenging to scenic the way you have the roads laid out. You have the industry on the upper level and immediately after leaving the parking lot you cross the lower level main 4 1/2 in below the parking lot. Consider having the upper level roads leave the layout to the left and not connect into the lowe level roads. After all if its a 2 block drive, why would you want to ship by rail? Nothing says the roads have to connect.

    Dave H.

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