CN Oxford Subdivision (Layout Plan)

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Agatheron, Nov 17, 2003.

  1. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Well, after some frustrating deliberation and productive talking with my wife I've given up on my idea of a layout on Ivar shelving, and am developing my first starter layout on a 36x80" door.

    The Ivar idea was neat, and has been done by others, but its inherent modular nature plus tight-tight spaces wasn't going to work with what I had hoped for. As a result, I decided to run with my original plan with a few modifications.

    I came up with the name "CN Oxford Subdivision" as a general representation of the type of rail activity in Southern Ontario without getting into one specific area... Is this "freelance prototype"? There's also a switching yard, as well as an interchange to deliver goods off the map. The landscaping opportunities are pretty diverse... Rolling hills, rivers, and bedrock that is quite suitable for concrete/cement plants.

    Anyway, here's the plan:

    Attached Files:

  2. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    I'm planning to mount the roadbed on 2" thick insulation styrofoam. This allows me to "dig" into the foam a bit to get up to 26 scale vertical feet available to me for some terrain below the level of the track. I may put risers under the spur track leading to the quarry to experiment with a slight rise in elevation.

    Thoughts? Suggestions? Pitfalls?
  3. Bikerdad

    Bikerdad Member

    A modest suggestion

    Looks good, I'd suggest that you do something to break up the "gridlike" horizontals along the "Southern" (i.e. bottom) edge. Simply tweaking the plan a bit to modify the abundance of track that is parallel to your benchwork edge will add a lot of dynamism to the finished layout. It does this by counteracting the tendency of the eye to associate the linear parallelism of the track with the "container edge" of the benchwork.
  4. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    I don't mind modest or immodest suggestions... :) I have a fairly thick skin due to the line of work I am in... The trackplan is still a draft, and the straight grid does indeed bug me... I had thought about doing some slight rotations of the oval... Even by turning the whole thing a few degrees would add some interest to the layout itself...

    I'm also going to experiment with doing some adjustments, and even perhaps trying something else from the ground up. This particular plan provides no opportunities for a reversing loop... I think it could get real boring real quick watching my Via train going around in circles, even with the backdrop in place.
  5. NScale

    NScale Member

    Looks really good, I like it alot. But I do agree with Bikerdad on running track parallel to your benchwork edge. I don't run track in a straight line anywhere on a layout either. Looking great! :D
  6. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    As others have said, it would be neat to have tracks at an angle to the edge but when you are trying to fit what you can onto a 36"x80" door you don't have much room and you want to have as large a radius curve as you can. I wouldn't reduce radius to achieve the effect suggested. One way to do that is to have a slim waist in that the track could curve a bit more then curve out again at the other end. Then you would have to watch out for "S" curves. No easy answers. Maybe it would be just as easy to fit a couple of angle cut pieces to the edge of the door.
  7. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Here's a variant on the plan, minus the labels... I've rotated the track plan 1-2 degrees, plus added in some flextrack along the straights to create some more interest. I also reversed the auto industry siding and added an extra spur to handle both parts arriving and cars outgoing. I also removed another spur that wasn't doing anything except taking up valuable scenery space...

    I think using the flextrack can make things a little more interesting, but I wonder if I've fallen into any traps...

    Attached Files:

  8. NScale

    NScale Member

    I like how you've changed it. Looks great :)
  9. Hoss

    Hoss Member

    I like the changes too...but I'm struggling with my own track plan over in the track planning section so what do I know. :(
  10. cpr_paul

    cpr_paul Member

    I must have missed your posts about using Ivar shelving - I could have helped you out a bit there as my last layout was done using Ivar. I found the key was to make a frame within the Ivar (on 1x2 strapping) for the base of the layout. That frame also allowed me to "spill" over the sides of the Ivar shelving in order to accommodate a larger radius curve (still only got about 12"). I had an out and back layout in a "c" shape. I agree though that using Ivar is a pain, especially with clearances.
  11. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Admittedly this is a bit of a struggle as well... I don't even have the space for this yet, so my trackplans seem to be a complete "in theory" work. I suppose I should post this over in the track planning forum rather than here...

    I am continuously fighting against the temptation to make the layout too busy, but I want to keep it interesting. With this above layout, I have the following concerns:

    1. It's flat... There's some potential for grades, but I really don't know enough about RTS or other trackplanning software to get a handle on this. More on this later...

    2. It's "unidirectional" in that once a given locomotive is down on the track it will always be facing the same direction. Not as much of a struggle with bi-directional consists, I suppose, but my Via Rail loco is only going to be going in one direction... There's no real room for a reversing loop.

    3. Room for scenery. I pulled out some extra track on the lower part of this to open up some room for scenery... The switching yard on the other side has a bit more room now as well... but it's still pretty tight...

    Anyway, I did have one thought of adding grades to give some "up-and-over" interest to this layout. The two parallel tracks on the lower right hand side go a fair distance without a crossover. I'm thinking that I would have the outer track descend from the beginning of the turn on the upper right hand side, descending 1" by the time it gets to the bottom. The inner track, on the other hand, would ascend about 1" in the same distance... leaving the potential for the outer track to pass underneath the raised inner track, and then climbing up to connect with the crossover on the left hand side. The raised inner track would at this point begin a descent to the same crossover but on the outside... and connecting to the outside track. I'd have to do some fiddling, but at my present calculations, it works out to be about a 2.5-3 percent grade. Would this be too steep?
  12. Hoss

    Hoss Member

    Track planning, especially when you have little room to work with, can be frustrating I think. The important thing is to find something that YOU are happy with. My problem isn't problem is finding a track plan that I think I can make look realistic.

    I'm with this has been my biggest problem. Even though I have more space to work with than you do, I constantly find myself thinking, "Ooh....what if I stuff some more track in right over here." That's what I did on my last layout and I'm determined on this one to have less track and more scenery.

    Getting grades on a layout can sometimes be difficult. I think you can get by with a 3 percent grade if you have to. Personally, I try to keep everything at 2 percent or lower, but sometimes you have no choice. FYI....the Woodland Scenics foam riser kits are great for handling your grades. The 2 percent grades will rise 1/2" in 2 ft....just to give you a gauge to go by.

    This is something that I have struggled with I've never seen a train go through an area in the same direction over and over again. Reversing loops are one way to fix that...but you don't have room for them. Same thing if you can fit a wye in somewhere...or a turntable. The majority of my trains will consist of 2-3 locomotives, so it's easy to simply run the locos around the train to the other end if I want to go the other direction. If all else can just close your eyes and manually turn the train around with your hands....and then when you open your eyes again the train is magically going the other way. ;)
  13. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Hoss, thanks... I appreciate the input. The more I look at trackplans, the more wacky ideas I get. I'm not near my own computer at the moment, but I'm going to try putting a reverse loop into this layout. It won't be easy... but this is my thought. I'll take the yard at the top and place it on the outside of the loop. The mainline tracks will then need to curve in towards the middle making it easier to run the reversing loop through the centre of the oval. I'll disguise it with hills and scenery... as there are plenty of examples of trains running through narrow-cut hills and emerging out from under bridges, I should be reasonably safe. It still means that I'll be working with some steeper grades. However, as long as I don't go over a 3 percent grade, I should be fine. My trains won't be long enough to make that type of a grade a problem.

    If I can manage to make it work in the space, I'll post something tonight.

    Another thought I had is that I could try drawing up the plan using Atlas' Code 55 track... :confused:
  14. Hoss

    Hoss Member

    I look forward to seeing what you come up with! :)

    I'm not sure there will be much difference between drawing it in C55 and C80, but you can try it.
  15. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I'm not sure, but I think on a layout that size a reverse loop would just dominate the track plan. And then you need a second loop to turn it around again.
    If you run your VIA train in pre- F40 days, put 2 locos on it back-to-back, then you can reverse it in a passing siding. (for some reason, VIA runs its F40s "elephant style", nose to tail)
    For grades, consider making the track level and moving the scenery up and down.
  16. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Well... here's a rough sketch of what I've come up with.... a realization of what I mentioned above. It does involve 2-3 percent grades, but I am hoping that won't be too bad. The reversing loop is "hidden" and runs through the backdrop directly, and will be disguised with scenery. The Blue represents sections of track that are descending below the level up to one inch. The red shows areas ascending above the level ground of up to one inch, and the orange is above that...

    The yard has been reduced in size by one siding, but I hope that won't adversely affect it... Thoughts? I'm planning on using woodland scenics grades to handle this, and flextrack mostly... even if it's depicted using sectional track...


    Attached Files:

  17. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Ooops... one thing, the long piece of flextrack on the bottom that connects to the red track should also be red to show it sloping up to 1"...
  18. Hoss

    Hoss Member

    The only problem I see is that it appears that there is no way for a train traveling counterclockwise on the inside line to ever get to the outside line.
  19. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    This is where the drawing isn't really clear. In that muddled, multi-coloured mess on the bottom right, the inside track crosses over the outside track and connects to the outside track... As a result, a train travelling along the circuit with all the turnouts switched to straight will make two full circuits, one inside, one outside. The danger, of course, is one needs to be very careful in watching for collisions and using passing sidings...
  20. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    It's funny... after all this fiddling around, I've tried doing more things with it that could work. However, I do need to remember the "Kiss" principle... I don't want to bite off more than this newbie can chew... The reversing loop might be nice... but is it really essential? I don't know...

    I now have a variant on the track that doesn't try to have that weird twist on the lower corner, but still allows for some altitude changes...

Share This Page