Drawing a blank

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by screwysquirrel, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. Hi all.

    I'm trying to brainstorm my new plan but I'm drawing a blank.

    Here's what I have for room:

    Gauge: N scale

    track bed: 2 hollow core doors laid in an L-shape, for an 80" x 110" space, with a 30" depth. Height of the doors will be approximately 30" off the ground (most operations will be one-man from a seated position). 1-or 2-inch extruded styrofoam and woodland scenics risers for elevations.

    Initial idea is a one track having just an oval outside a simple stub yard, while the other end is an elevated double folded dogbone, with elevation tricks cutting scenes from each other.

    Era is 'all': some days I feel like running steam engines hauling short freights, some days I feel like watching passenger traffic, and some days I want to run auto racks, and some days I wanna pretend its the 22nd century and watch bullet trains.

    Operationally the layout should be able to handle passenger cars and long freights like auto racks without too much overhang, offer interesting industries to switch -- I'm fond of 'take anything' industries like chemical plants, the ACME Factory (Blowing up Coyotes creatively since 1947!), food processors, and the like.

    yard should be large enough to accommodate cars, without overwhelming the layout.

    so. anyone feel like a challenge? come up with some ideas that can get my creative juices going.
  2. jambo101

    jambo101 Member

    Usually when i'm scratching my head for inspiration on a layout Google will set me on a path or give me the seed of an idea.
    You could try a site like this one Mike's Small Trackplans Page
    with the idea of putting a track plan on each door then joining the two.
  3. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Some suggestions regarding your criteria:

    I'm assuming continuous running capability is strongly desired. Your 30" depth limits you to 13" or so radius curves for the continuous run, yet you want to be able to modern era "without too much overhang". Not sure that combination is going to get you where you want to go. I would recommend either going with 36" wide doors (allows 16" radius comfortably) or forego the longer rolling stock. I believe almost everything in N will physically run on 13" radius, although it may look terrible doing so. So the other option would be accept horrible overhangs in the current space. Bottom line: something gives - width of door used, length of rolling stock, or overhang.

    Second recommendation is table height. Especially with N, I recommend going higher. 30" is standard desk top height - you look down at everything at your desktop. 36" is standard dining/kitchen table and counter height - a reasonable height for standing and working or sitting and working. I would push you to 48" height - gives more of an eye-level view when seated, but is reasonable for working from a standing position.

    just some thoughts
  4. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Hmmm, you've described my layout... more or less. While it originally started out as 2'4 deep in an L shape of 7'x9', it grew on one leg to 10'x9'. I don't think you could realistically achieve the relief that I did on two 6'8 doors but perhaps this will give you some ideas. Also, see this link ( http://forum.zealot.com/t112916/ ) for the entire build from start to now.
  5. Jambo: I know Mike's place well, but nothing new there since 2003.

    PGandW: With the base height of 30", plus 1" for the door, and 2+" of foam, the track will be about 33" and elevation levels will push to maybe 36". plenty tall enough for my preferences

    13-3/4" track is available from Kato, and seems to be enough radius for anything. Indeed I might splurge and go with Unitrack for everything.

    Trainnut: Great plan, similar to my planned space, but a bit bigger. tricky to keep track of your plans
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If I'm understanding you correctly, you want an oval and a folded dog bone? I think doing both on the same layout would be redundant. The dog bone would give you the continuous running you want and allow space inside for industries to switch. If you do want to go to the 16 inch radius, it would not be difficult to screw and glue a 2x2 at each end with a small piece of luan door skin to allow room for the 16 inch radius on the turn back curves. I haven't laid out the curve to do exact measurements, but I think a small shelf about 3" x 6" would be sufficient to support the curve with a small barrier perhaps an inch or so tall at the edge to keep trains from falling off the table. Perhaps a small berm made with Sculptamold or plaster would be sufficient to keep trains from the big drop to the floor.
  7. note quite, russ

    thats not two separate items. Instead, its a description of the curve: on the outside of the yard, a simple U shape, on the long run, the more balloon-shaped curves of the dogbone.
  8. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    If you look at my plan above, that is exactly what I have and I love it.
  9. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    It certainly looks like it contains most everything. What scale and what industries do you have?
  10. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Sorry for the delay Mountain Man...
    It is N scale and as of right now, the only industry is a coal mine. I've got a small warehouse in place as well but I have not decided what it will be used for. Time will tell.

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