Can you improve this small HO track plan?

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by EngineerKyle, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. EngineerKyle

    EngineerKyle Member

    Hi Guys, hamr

    Well, things seem to be slowing down this summer... so I thought I'd take on a little project for my layout.

    mesa track.JPG

    This little "L" is to sit on top of a corner of my existing layout. It will hide some mainline radii as the original track will disappear into tunnel portals and go under this new, elevated part.

    Because I am on a budget, there is criteria that is "cast in stone" for this project, making it more of a challenge. I am resolved to use only the track I have in stock, that is one #4 left turnout, two #6's (a left and a right) and a 30 degree crossing. The diagram above , each square is one foot, is the best I can come up with so far. I am open to completely reworking this, or even scraping it, because I could do the hill without any track at all.

    Maybe having a little steam switcher going back and forth up there would get boring quick? It seems like we could come up with an interesting little module. I'd like it to be a quarry, feeding stone to the mainline below with open hoppers.

    It will be a fussy job because of the tight spaces. I'd like the module as lightweight as possible (pink foam?) so I can set it in place easily. I've never done anything quite like this before and it begs many questions; How do you attach turnouts and under the table switch machines to foam? Will strips of foam be rigid enough to act as "joist" supports? How do you affix roadbed and track without nails? How can I feather it into the existing landscaping?

    These are the first questions that come to mind...

    Anyway, thanks in advance for taking the time to have a look, and maybe sharing your expertise.
  2. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    This summer, I obtained my first HOn3 locomotive and I've been thinking about where in the house I would be allowed to build another layout in additon to my N scale layout. One of the ideas was to put it above the n scale layout (kinda like your idea) and your plan looks a lot like an idea I had in my head.
    While I have used blue foam for my n scale layout, I've never attached any kind of switch machines to it. I do recall seeing some threads a while back about people dealing with this. I can't find them now but will keep looking. That foam is pretty strong and I would think as long as you did not load that shelf up, using the foam as joist supports would be sufficient. As far as affixing roadbed and track without nails, I glue my cork to the foam with Elmers. I tack it down for the night with rail spikes and by morning, it's good to go. A lot of people will glue their track to the cork or even right to the foam but I have found that using the rail spikes through the cork and into the foam is sufficient. I am also finding now, that when you apply and glue your ballast down, the track stays in place adequately. Feathering it into existing landscaping is easy as I use Woodland Scenics plaster cloth and I deal with this every time I finish a new section of scenery. Use vegetation to cover the transition. Grass works well and trees and bushes are very distracting.
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think the first question to answer is what do you want to have when you are finished? Are those tracks to nowhere, or will they eventually join the rest of the layout to make a connection? I think if it is just tracks to nowhere that you can run a little engine back and forth on, but you already have a fully sceniced layout (which we have seen pics of), you will get bored with it very soon and whatever is up there will just sit while you operate the rest of your layout.

    If you can make a connection with the rest of the layout and climb the hill you have created, you could better use the three switches to make a small industry perhaps a branch to a small mine. Use one of the # 6 turnouts to come off the main, and snake that branch up the mountain. Since you are dealing with a small mine operation, you can make the grade much steeper than you would the mainline because you won't be hauling many cars up the grade or bringing many down at any one time. You could use the other #6 turnout at the top to allow the small train to pass a siding and then back into it, with the #4 being used to provide a second spur. I can visualise a small coal tipple with one track going under the tipple, and the other track being used to store empties before loading and loads waiting to go out after loading. Another possibility would be 1 track under a small tipple and the other in front of a small warehouse where the mine would receive and store supplies. The crossover might be used to cross one of the sidings or it might not. Don't let the track pieces you have determine your layout.
  4. EngineerKyle

    EngineerKyle Member


    I cannot tie this into the main layout. Thanks for the good ideas, guys.

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