Definitely for the Future

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by rockislandmike, Feb 12, 2002.

  1. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    As some of you may know, my wife and I have already agreed that when we get our first house (est. 2004), I get half of the basement for a layout. So I've been doodling.

    My idea is not to work with just one railroad, but instead to have three or four that are on almost equal footing. The pic below is a couple of versions ago, but you get the idea (my scanner is on the fritz again, or I'd scan the brand new version from last night in).

    Anyways, just thought I'd see if anyone had some thoughts. I've already eliminated the shortline on the left side, but I still think it might be too busy, so I'm further considering eliminating the BN line, and the shortline near the middle-top. The newer version also includes staging on the bottom right (such that the SOO/ATSF loops are in the staging area); the ROCK line also goes to staging to loop (with one line through the mountains, the other goes underneath the layout to staging).

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  2. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Just my humble opinion, but I see a maint. nightmare here.But then I'm one who subcribes to the KISS principle and less is more. Do you have lots of people to help you clean track, switch points, replace switch machines etc. ? How many people will you have to operate the trains ? How much money do you have for all those trains, controllers,switch machines etc. ? Not trying to rain on your parade but I almost went down that road myself. If you got the time, money and people, and it's what you want go for it. Whatever you decide I wish you the best.:D
  3. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    BTW you didn't indicate what scale it is. I'm guessing N-Scale if that plan is anywhere near to scale otherwise it looks like you will be down to 13-15 inch radius in HO.Again good luck!:)
  4. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    HO actually. Each grid is 1'. Minimum radius will be 22" on the Santa Fe loop (26" otherwise); all other railroads will be 22" easements into 18" curve minimums (unless impossible).
  5. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Note that I was just freehanding the curves, however, so they may look a lot tighter than they will actually be in the final layout (in more recent versions I've been using a plastic circle template thingie to approximate the curve radii, so it does look a little smoother).
  6. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Hi Mike!
    Looks like you've got big plans, & that's a nice sized space to work with.
    This is just my humble opinion, & it stems from having built a couple of layouts that ended up being too big for me to deal with...
    If I were you, & wanted to utilize that amount of space, I would select ONE of your larger lines, like the ATSF, or ROCK (don't ask me why, but I get the feeling you're a Rock Island fan! :D), & make it the primary feature, & simply model junctions/interchanges with the other RR's along the way.
    That way you could pare down the amount of mainline track, giving you more room for yards, industries, scenery, etc...
    You could allow the other RR's to have trackage rights on your main line, & interchanges provide great opportunities for staging, & operation.
    In short, you could have a big mainline with continuous running, & have staged trains entering & leaving at various interchange points.
    Like I said, that's just my opinion...I'm a guy who likes real simple trackwork, & lots of scenery...
    Good luck with the new layout...& I hope you get a nice house attached to it! :D
  7. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Well I guess go back to my first post and answer those questions. Depending on the answers you come up with you should know which is the right track to go down (pun intended). One other thought, if that is HO I don't think you are going to have much room for scenery.
  8. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Listen to Charlie.:p
  9. billk

    billk Active Member

    Have you looked at John Armstrong's book Track Planning for Realistic Operation? It describes a method to use during the doodling stage, so that you don't doodle yourself into a corner (he didn't put it quite that way!). Basically it keeps you somewhere near the realm of the possible.

    I kinda thought it was N scale, too, based on a rough estimate of some of the curve radii. Looks like one of the tightest might be that black loop in the middle, and if it is to fit on a 3-ft wide space, it has to be less than 18in (radiii are measured to the center of the track, not the outside).

    Anyway, I would bet you would be a lot happier setting a larger minimum radius, if you can, and sticking with it. It would eliminate a lot of the worries about your equipment being able to handle the curves, would be less likely to cause derailments, and look better to boot.

    Jeez, I'm writing a book here! Try planning it in building stages - phase 1, phase 2, etc. It's harder, but you did say 2004, right? Make phase 1 fairly easy to do, but also make it so that when you're done you have something you can run a train on and operate a little, and is presentable enough to show to your in-laws. Maybe just that middle ell. You might not make it to the next phase, but then you'll be having so much fun you won't care!
    Bill K
  10. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Funny you should mention that, because that was exactly my plan - building the central "L" starting this spring. As an aside, I realized after this drawing how right you were - the black middle loop part is now four feet wide.

    And said book is inbound courtesy of Amazon (well not really courtesy, I had to pay for it and all).

    And thanks for everyone's comments so far. It makes me realize I wasn't off-base when I thought things might be too busy. I shall contemplate that, and return to the old "drawing page" as it were.
  11. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Hey Mike,
    You're doing the right way by hashing it out on paper first.
    I remember several years ago, when my wife & I, & 2 small daughters had just moved into a new house...I had just gotten back into model RRing for the first time since I was a kid...My thinking was...the basement is 20x40 feet...my layout will be...20x40!
    I immediately started building benchwork. I remember the look on my wife's face after I had filled a good portion of the basement with wood framing...I imagined it to be the same look she would have given me if I was...say...mowing the lawn naked...:D
    To make a long story short, about the only thing that benchwork ever supported was a lot of cobwebs.
    My advice to anyone is don't do what I did...Don't bite off more than you can chew! It will cause what should be a fun hobby not to be fun. And it may cause a spouse to have second thoughts about those vows they took! ;)
  12. farmer ron

    farmer ron Member

    Mike, I agree with what others have posted, just one suggestion that may help. When you design you layout on the small size paper, get some large sheets or a roll of large paper, lay it down on you basement floor and with your diagram in hand draw your layout 1 to 1 size on the paper on the floor, using your track plan and your actual radius that you are planning. This will give you a better idea as to where your problems may be, clearances, industries locations and sizes avaliable, scenery applications, etc. It has worked for mee for years and saved a lot of agrivation. Ron.
  13. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Future House!

    Hi Mike and Everyone:

    Jessica has already told me that I will have a room for my trains and "stuff". Tennessee, there is no basements. So I will have a room.

    Jessica has already told me a G scale railroad around the great room is OUT of the question! However, I will have a spare room.
    In this room, I wont only have my trains. Which there is ALOT of!:D But also my Ham Radio stuff! :eek: PLUS computers!! :eek:

    So, I will have my layout. With cables coming in from my antennas to my radios. I'll have one room as my work shoppe.

    Andy

    PS
    I have told her my plans with the 2 100 foot towers with a garden railroad yet!:D :eek: :D :p

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