Calling all trackplanners!

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by NH 2525, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. NH 2525

    NH 2525 New Member


    I've been an N scale model railroader for 20+ years, but this is the first time I've had the opportunity to build a layout this big. The benchwork is already in place for the shelf layout, and the dimensions cannot be modified. This was done to preserve the land grant offered by my wife in these carpeted, heated and air conditioned rooms. I am really having difficulty in coming up with a good track plan for this space. There are three holes indicated through the walls between the two rooms to allow track to pass through.


    - DCC Lenz Set 100
    - N scale 1990's to present
    - New England Themed Layout (Freelanced Shortline RR, running on old NY.NH & H trackage.)
    - Single track main with diverging branchline.
    - point to point is fine for operations, but I would also prefer a continuous running option.
    - Interchange or junction with another road, maybe with Guilford or P&W
    - Yard with about 4 classification tracks, 2 A/D tracks and engine facility (diesel), but also turntable and roundhouse for steam excursion and museum ops.
    - Prefer through type yard, as opposed to stub, but I am flexible here
    - Staging yard 4-5 tracks, stub or through, depending on plan.
    - Freight train length avg. 15 - 20 cars. Passenger 3 car steam excursion or RDC.
    - Atlas code 80 flex (because I already have 3 cases)
    - Peco Turnouts min. #8 on main, #6 on industry and yard tracks (because I prefer hand thrown turnouts and I already have 75+ of them)
    - I don't mind a train traveling through the same scene twice, just not on parallel tracks.
    - 2% max grade. Layout will remain single level, but grades for aesthetics and branch separation are good.
    - Huge cement plant (7' - 10' long) with limestone deliveries from on-line quarry. Prefer loads in out with cement plant and quarry on opposite sides of the common wall between the rooms, but alternatives are welcome!
    - Big industries! I prefer 4 or 5 big industries producing 4 or 5 carloads each, rather than a bunch of smaller ones.
    - No spaghetti bowl look. I would prefer that tracks near the front edge not run parallel to edge, if possible.
    - Broad sweepiong curves where possible. I can accept a 13 " radius for a return loop on one of the 30" sections.

    Well, that's the bulk of my preferences. Hopefully some of you on the Gauge will be able to give me some good ideas. I keep hitting the wall in trying to come up with a fun plan for solo or very small group 2-3 person operations.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    With lots of looks, but no responses yet, I will offer the following thoughts...! ;)

    In your "givens 'n' druthers" you have a lot of detail. Since you have gone to all the trouble of making a great scale drawing of your room, why not add a bit of a rough track plan to start? You have a few spaces where (for example) your through yard with steam and diesel facilities, 4 tracks, a/d tracks will work. It will be a major part of this layout, given that you want to accomodate 15-20 car trains.

    Continuous running will require a loop, or loop-to-loop, which means that your shelf on the right side will have to accomodate a loop of some sort (since you cannot add any other benchwork).

    Your "huge" cement plant will require most of one wall to implement (or maybe 1/2 the 20' wall).

    What are the plans for the area that looks like a closet? Is it to be accessed regularly? or is it staging only?

    How do you plan to run this layout - regular operators? by yourself?

    Just some thoughts to get the process rolling...

  3. NH 2525

    NH 2525 New Member

    Hi. Thanks for the reply.

    I do plan to operate this primarily as a solo operator. Maybe an occasional guest operator.

    The 6'x10' "closet can be staging or fully sceniced operational area. It is primarily storage for all of my train stuff. There are shelves under the layout. The narrow section of benchwork, spanning the door in the small room is going to be a swing gate, or swing up section, as opposed to a duck under. I'm 6', 4" and duckunders are not my idea of a good time, even at 53 inches from the floor.

    I was planning on only having a few large industries, so I don't mind taking up to 10' for the cement plant. This is not just a Medusa Cement type setup. I am picturing numerous Ortner and other hoppers delivering limestone, to augment the plant's own supply. coal hoppers for the kiln, covered hoppers for fly ash, gypsum, etc., cement hoppers for the finished cement (passing through large silos), boxcars for bagged cement, flat cars for machinery and parts deliveries, etc. I am planning on dedicated plant switchers to handle incoming and outgoing car movements.

    I was originally planning on having a loop with a branch, as I do enjoy continuous running. The room is used for many things, including a home office. There are some times when I would like to just start a train and watch it go by as I am working at the computer.

    I did the room layout with Visio, but that is not really useful for track plans. I do not have any track plans done with software, but I can probably have someone scan one of my pencil sketches. I was just hoping that someone might post their impression of what an N scale layout could look like, as opposed to building off of mine, since I am just not satisfied with the flow of mine. I just keep hitting that wall. wall1

    I'll try to get mine scanned and posted by this weekend. I am afraid that I have overplanned and have become tired of the trackplan before I even lay the track. Every variation I try to come up with ends up going back to the same basic configuration.

    Thanks again!

  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Looking forward to seeing that plan...

  5. NH 2525

    NH 2525 New Member

    I still need to get access to a scanner, then I will post the plan.


Share This Page