Benchwork Help

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Ace44, Oct 27, 2004.

  1. Ace44

    Ace44 New Member

    Hello all. I have been reading this forum for a number of months while I was in the process of moving and setting up in a new house. Now I have a 16' x 16' area in which I will be able to set up my model railroad (diesel era, probably eighties). My question is the area that I have set out is along only 2 walls so I can't do a around the walls type layout. I would like continuous operation, switching, and a good sized yard. I would also prefer a walk-in over a duck-under. Any ideas for benchwork or even a track plan?

    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. seanm

    seanm Member


    I am about int he same position you are in... a little smaller. I will be watching any responses you get. What scale are you working in? I am using N.

  3. Alan B

    Alan B Member

    Build legs for your benches. They don't need to be real sturdy, unless you are going to stand or lean on it. I used 2x2s, but 2x4s will work. You build it like a work bench. You can anchor to the available walls if you really think you need to solidify things. Backdrops are nice. They can be made out of masonite and secured to the back of your benchwork.

  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Some information we need to help you is what scale are you modeling in? What minimum radius do you want/need? An "L" shaped "water wings" would mork if you have enough room. If a 22" minimum radius is acceptable, you have room for a 12' x 12' x 2' wide "L" with a 4' x 4' at each end for your turn around track. I don't know if it is still in print, but Robert Sleicher (spelling?)
    wrote a book titled Build Your Next Model Railroad This Way. He basically did two turn around tracks with a double timesaver in the middle. You have quite a bit more room than he used, so it would be easy to enlarge the plan he did.
  5. Ace44

    Ace44 New Member

    Thanks Russ. I am modelling HO scale and the radius I was thinking was 24 and 22 if I run a doulble main. I was thinking that same as you about the waterwings style. I would probably run the yard along one wall and the industrial/town along the other wall with and then have the engine servicing facility come out in a pennisula. Now I just have to design something and find the time to build it.

    If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.

  6. rksstl

    rksstl Member

    Heres how I did my bench work along the walls. Hope this helps :)

    Attached Files:

  7. seanm

    seanm Member


    can I ask you some details please?

    It looks like you are supported about every 18" along the wall... is this correct?

    You are using a foam base? How thick is it?

    What is your max overhang out from the wall?

    I would really like to see a picture from underneath... is that possible?


  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You may find that a yard takes up more space than you can afford to give up. A yard could easily use up most of your layout space. You might consider a hidden staging yard underneath the main layout. You could use a pair of ramps from either end of the staging yard up to the other end of the mainline to raise the trains from staging to the mainline.
  9. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Ace -

    I have a similar layout to what space you describe. It's an L-shape that grew from a 4x8. I'm attaching the track plan in case it spurs any ideas. A few notes:

    The "upper" leg of the L is the original 4x8 (which is actually 4.5x8). It's a double-loop going up to a logging/mining area, one loop is 2% grade up, one is 2% down. It's basically all circling a large hill/mountain (I removed the grade lines for clarity).

    Near the top of the layout, you may notice a switch to nowhere. This leads to a staging area/reverse loop below "ground" level. Also, the whole layout is 22" radius minimum (thus the need for a few extra inches on the 4x8), EXCEPT the hilltop logging/mining area which is 15" - very tight radius, but fine for the little ore cars, geared locos, etc. which serve it. In your world, I imagine switching and smaller 8-wheel diesels would do fine. You're not going to run 12-wheel diesels or longer cars through there, though.

    As you leave this area, you proceed through a yard to another loop at the bottom, which represents a town with industries that use the wood/coal from the other area. I model the PRR in the 1920's-40's, but certainly equally applicable to modern era. The yard is not large and certainly makes some compromises from "reality" -- but as another poster mentioned, yards can take up huge amounts of space, especially as you get closer and closer to prototypical. So I settled for having a yard that's not 100% realistic rather than having nothing OR giving over the whole leg of the L to yard...

    I used RTS to design this, so it all looks like sectional, though it's mostly flextrack in reality. Also, you'll see some weird "not connected" pieces of track. Assume they're connected - it just wasn't worth the hassle to "force" the software to do it. example - the "town" at the bottom has a siding off the main where there's a station -- it's connected at both ends for "thru" traffic, but the program has no facility for a switch-on-a-curve, so I just left it looking like a one-entry spur...

    Best of luck,

  10. Ace44

    Ace44 New Member

    Thanks for the look at your plan. If I get some time this weekend I will try to get something down on paper. Right now I am thinking that I will drop the main under the yard and have it reappear on the other side of the layout. Might have a few storage tracks down there also. This would also allow for longer running trains as they only go through each section once as the return will be hidden. If I get something designed I will try to post it.

    Thanks for the help!

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