CN Oxford Subdivision Take 2

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Agatheron, Nov 29, 2003.

  1. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Well, I've been fooling around with the trackplanning software again. I have a new offering which, I hope, allows for a bit more scenery and is less spaghetti-bowlish than my previous plans. This is an N-Scale layout based on a 36"x80" door. The inner loop uses 13" radius turns, with 14.5" on the outer loop. My intention was to create an artificial subdivision based on the industrial operations in Southern Ontario. Auto Industry, Quarries and Cement plants, Agriculture (Corn and Feed), and Cereals. This particular one is a variant from "Mike's Trackplans" page, transforming the "hidden staging" into a more active rural industry areas. This plan also assumes a scenic divider down the middle of the layout.

    The river is simply for flavour at the moment... it can be repositioned, of course. There is also the possibility of doing some grade changes between the front and the back of the layout. However, I've not factored that in as of yet. Any suggestions? Feedback would be most appreciated.

    Attached Files:

  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Is there a reason for double track? A single track main would leave more room for scenery.
  3. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi Agatheron

    Although the plan concept is good, I feel you still have far too much track. Perhaps a single main line would be a better option which would allow for more scenery.
    Also I feel there are too many run-arounds on the bottom tracks.
  4. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    Well, if you are looking for an opinion, mine pretty much mirrors the other 2.I like alot about the plan,it has excellant operating potential.the dbl track mainline however is overkill unless all you want to do is run trains.Then i can see having it and suffering with a bt les scenery.It a mater of what you want to do and what you think will be your main interest.Running? or Operating?It is certainly an excellant and ambitious first layout.Decide whats most important and then build it.5 years from now you may decide its time to tackle another layout and this one will give you something to operate on while you build a larger pike.:thumb:
  5. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Thanks for the feedback, and I really do find it very helpful. One of my concerns has been the overall volume of track relative to the space I have. I can't really see running trains any longer than 10-15 cars on a layout this size.

    My reasoning for the double track has to do with what I see in the prototype near me. The CN Mainline that runs through london is Double track. The various spur lines are single track, but operating wise, there are trains passing back and forth on this mainline pretty much every half-hour.

    My concerns are what traps I'm falling into being someone quite new to the hobby. I realize it's an ambitious layout for a first go, but I know I will get bored with a simple oval if there aren't any industry or operations to work with.

    My thoughts on simplifying so far:

    1. The Double Track that leads to the Auto plant can be reduced to a single spur that forks at the end. One for parts delivery, the other for auto pick up.

    2. Reducing the size of the Oxford Yard by at least one stub track. I have some other ideas that I could toy around with as well.

    3. Both sides of the layout have arrival/departure tracks that are not part of the mainline. While I trust this is good yard design, it may not be the best in terms of allowing space for scenery.

    At any rate, I'm going to fiddle around, and see what I can come up with... Any more suggetions?
  6. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    Get a bigger door
    Make it a walk around with a backdrop in the middle to extend the feel of the layout
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The problem with double track on such a small layout is repetition. You may want to replicate the action you see nearby, but you will find that you will have your consist memorized on both trains very soon after you start operating. Once you have a consist memorized, it will be two trains running in circles.
  8. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

    Hi Aga:
    I like the layout as it has a lot of operational possibilities. What I’d suggest is to eliminate your double track mainline by separating it into different elevations and cross them over each other at one end so they are really one long main line. I’ll try to describe.
    1. Raise the rear yard up, including the primary interchange line and siding. This allows you to see it well from the “front” of the layout and separates it visually from the “inner” loop action.
    2. As you go counterclockwise from your note “via rail” in the upper left, start dropping the outer loop down and cross it under the inner loop just before the turnout into the Oxford yard.
    3. Run the line at the lower elevation past the yard and after passing the turnout and entering the curve at “via rail” hold the elevation down through the industrial sidings on the back side of your layout.
    4. After passing the last turnout on the backside, start to elevate the tracks to pass over the crossover described in note one above and tie the inner line back into the outer line.
    5. This outer line stays elevated across the front of the layout and stays at a raised elevation so it will mate up with the raised “Sub” yard.
    6. Do not connect the inner and outer lines at the front. This allows them to be at different elevations like the rear tracks at CNO-Sub. Take the turnouts on the outer line and flip them so you form a passing siding towards the front edge of the layout. You have a couple of passing/industrial sidings at the rear which will serve the same purpose.

    Doing all this allows you to create the illusion of a longer “run” from the subdivision to the yard by separating the lines vertically. You can then treat the lines scenically in different ways. Might help create the illusion that they are in different places.

    Lifting up the track might allow you to turn the center divider into mountains which leads into interesting possibilities for the river “gorge”.

    Have fun.
  9. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

    Hi Again:

    Just to be clear, my setp two should say:
    2. As you go counterclockwise from your note “via rail” in the upper left, start dropping the outer loop down so it crosses under and connects to the inner loop just before the turnout into the Oxford yard. The inner loop will cross over an connect to teh outer loop in this area as well.

    English, it's a tricky thing.

  10. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member


    Thanks for the comments. Actually, your suggestion is an option I am considering. I'm also hoping to do the scenic divider up the middle to give the illusion of a larger, more interesting layout.

    I've since played around with the above trackplan a bit, borrowing parts from here and there... If I get the chance I'll post another one, but it all really hinges on the type of space I'll have available for it, and that's kind of in flux at the moment...
  11. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Instead of taking up more threadspace, here's the latest variant on the plan. I've tried to leave a lot more room for scenery, and still be able to have at least some industry represented on the layout. The Oxford Yard is reworked, borrowing a lot of ideas from the Adrisport & Codyville railway plan, however, I try to keep the minimum turning radii on the mainlines 13" and above to handle my six-axle locomotives and the inevitable Autoracks that come from trying model the local auto industry.

    Feedback would be much appreciated, as always. I'm trying to keep this do-able for a beginner who wants to keep it operationally interesting, and at least some scenic development...

    Attached Files:

  12. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I note that most of your spurs are set for counter-clockwise running on both the inside and outside tracks, if you consider that it's easiest to back in. Your team track is set the other way. Check if that run-around for the team track is long enough and has clearance enough for you to switch it. You may end up doing the cars one at a time. If you're going to use Micro Trains couplings and ramps, make sure there is room for them as well.
    (If you want to create a problem for your friends, put an uncoupling magnet 2 boxcar lengths from the bumper in a siding and watch them try to remove the cars!)
  13. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Good point... I suppose I could designate the other longer spur in the yard as the "team track" and simply have that other spur as a switchback lead, shorten it up and allow some more room for scenery... Hrm...
  14. your plan

    Your plan reminds me of the 32x80 expansion of the '3x5 for the absolute beginner' plan.


    his is much busier IMHO. The question is, on your plan, whether you want more scenery or more switching operation.
  15. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Nice catch... ;) I'll admit that I borrow a fair bit from this particular plan... It's the first one that I had ever seen proposed for the top of a door... Or rather, the Adrisport/Codyville variant on this one. However, I wanted broader curves on mine, and a bit more room for scenery than what is left on the advanced tutorial. I was also doing some reading on good yard design, and decided to eliminate the "Timesaver" from my own plan.

    While technically this advanced tutorial is a single track mainline, there are so many passing sidings, it may as well be a double track layout. I figured doubling up the mainline would give me a shot at modelling something I see everyday.

    In terms of scenery, I'd like to have room for enough where I can do a few smaller "scenic studies" such as an uninterrupted river scene, and perhaps a modest amount of city scenery around the yard. I don't want to bite off more than I can chew on my first layout. Since switching and running trains is something that I am new at, I'm leaning more in that direction to build up those skills. Scenery is something I'm already familiar with in terms of building some dioramas that have won awards.
  16. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    After doing a bit of experimenting, I think I'll end up shortening up the team track by one or two sectional lengths. Ultimately, this layout will be mostly flextrack and turnouts... However, in trying to lengthen the runaround, the right switchback becomes too short to handle any decent amount of switching, so I simply shorten up the team track and I have more room for scenery! :)

    Other suggestions? I feel I'm getting something a bit more workable here...
  17. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    If you can clear a single car (a long one???) at both ends of the runaround, it will work. It means more operating, but that's what it's for, isn't it? You can design interesting problems into the layout.
    My comparison is a golf course -- the easiest one to play would have a concrete ditch downhill from the tee to the hole. But nobody would admit to playing on it.
  18. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Actually, that's a very good point...

    I figure it will be able to clear at least one car and leave room for the switcher to get around it, even with the above design.

    Thanks for your help... any other comments/critiques?

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