designing first layout blues

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by CSXFan, Apr 8, 2002.

  1. CSXFan

    CSXFan Member

    HI all, I'm trying to sttle on a track plan for my first N scale layout.
    I'm going to use a 2' by 4' piece of plywood as the base and then use foam ontop of that to use for scenery. I was wondering if any of you more experienced modelers would like to sketch some designs for me, here are the criteria. 1. there must be room for my Walthers Western Coal Flood Loader ( I will modify it to fit), 2 It must have a view blocking ridge in the midle (It's set in Eastern KY) and 3 it must have interchange points for a larger railroad that i plan on building in the future. Thanks.
  2. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Welcome to The Gauge CSXFan,
    Also welcome to the "1st layout design frustration" :) we've all been there too :D .
    Although 2 ft x 4 ft seems a very small size to have a decent model on, there is a site which depicts quite a number of interesting layouts on just such a frame size.
    Visit , it should get your enthusiasm really going. The diagrams are drawn using standard Atlas track parts (I think) but there's no reason why you shouldn't use flexitrack if that were to be your preference. Peco "set track" turnouts are shorter than Atlas but I'm not sure locos with 3 axle trucks would be happy going over crossovers using these particular turnouts. Others in this forum can probably advise you on this.

    You are likely to have all your criteria met with one or two of the suggested layouts. Happy building. Oh, and by the way... we love to see photos of progress :D so have a camera handy ;) .

  3. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

  4. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Greetings, CSXFan!

    I'm designing a small layout myself at present. In fact, until recently, I was attempting to create one in 2'x4' like yourself; but I found that I had a little extra room so I'm taking advantage of it. My current design is 2.5'x5'. Anyway, check the threads titled "Breaking up is hard to do..." and "Small Layout" in the Track Planning for the Future forum. You can see some ideas that I've been toying with (may not exactly fit your criteria) and might pick up some useful information that other members had imparted to me.

    Are you using any kind of track planning software?

    Have fun!

  5. CSXFan

    CSXFan Member


    Thanks for all the help guys. I should get cracking on the layout in a couple weeks or so. Summer break will be the time where i can get most of the construction done(Mainly scenery).
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Thoretically, you should be able to build the same layout in 2x4 that an HOer could build in 4x8. You'll have the same sharp curves and limitations, but you can at least reach across the whole thing.

    There are enough 4x8 HO plans lying around.
  7. billk

    billk Active Member

    This is usually, but not always true. Due to the 1:87 vs 1:160 scale factors, a 4X8 foot layout size in HO actually scales down to about 26-1/8 X 52-1/4 inches in N scale. If you try to use a HO scale plan that is already taking advantage of reduced radii, etc., to squeeze every square inch out of the 4X8, you could end up with an undesirable N scale plan. You just need to keep this in mind.
  8. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    As far as converting layouts is concerned, I like to use Atlas RTS to recreate the layout using standard Atlas N-scale snap track. This gives me a realistic idea of the plan's dimensions.


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