First draft of layout

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Hammerli, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. Elite Lancer

    Elite Lancer Member

    Originally Posted by Elite Lancer
    2) Also your river seems to just end in the middle. Perhads you could make the river start as a going down a mountsin and grow across the layout into a river and ending as a lake in the corner.

    Yeah, I kind of figured that you wanted to make the lake in the pit but normally lakes have a river going in and one going out which I why I suggested it to be in the corner. I like my idea for it better. It just gives it a more nicer natural touch if you know what I mean. If you rearrange things a bit you could make it work. Have the mountain in one corner and the lake in the next and a tunnel going through the mountain and baboom you have a whole new peice of scenery going on.
  2. Hammerli

    Hammerli Member

    OK, I've found a walk-in that I actually like. This allows me to keep the orchid stand where it is, and doesn't consume all of the wall space on that end. Sorry for the large pic, drawn 1":1' it was too big for my scanner bed. Dimensions are 15' x 11' on left and 10' on right. It will be easy to incorporate some mild 1 to 2% grades over these long runs. The center of the right blob is the logging camp, which will have about a 5% grade starting just after the turnout and 18" curves since only the Shay will be using that.

    The yard is big enough for me, and while I know the turntable is a little large, I'd like to incorporate it, but I may remove it. If I do, how could I better improve that area within the confines of the passing track?

    I thought about getting rid of the logging camp where it is now and moving the town from front and center into that blob, but I don't know if that would gain me anything. If I did that how could I omprove the area the town is now? I couldn't see anywhere to comfortably put a passenger terminal on a passing track sort of affair, and I'd kind of like that if I could work it in.

    Thanks to all who've contributed, I am listening to the advice. I know I seem to be jumping around, but I'm hoping this will be the final basic footprint. I've laid out the perimeter on the floor in twine and it looks like it will be comfortable for two people in the center.

    I haven't added river, elevations, etc yet since this is likely to go through several revisions and I didn't want those things to constrain other aspects.

  3. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    The obvious that jumps out at me is to add a second spur at the logging camp. This is based on operating the logging as a branch or separate company with its own locomotive, rather than just a spur. You need the second spur to do any kind of independent operations on the logging branch.

    You have 3 separate scenes - yard and turntable, logging camp, and town. Which one is the most important to you; which one would you want visitors to see first? That should probably go inside the left loop, which will be seen first.

    Grades are for cosmetic purposes only on this plan. You want to ensure that they do not detract more from operation than they add in visual appeal. You could very easily build the track all on one level and just vary the scenery up and down. If you do use grades, keep the logging branch at 4% or so, with the logging camp on the level. Keep the rest of the grades at 2% - enough to be seen, but not enough to cause trouble. Ease the grades to less than 3/4% in a 3ft vicinity of any turnouts. This will allow switching operations to leave cuts of cars in place.

    yours in planning
  4. Hammerli

    Hammerli Member

    I'd like to keep the logging camp where it is, since that seems to work out in that blob. If I swapped the position of the yard area and town, it would probably make sense. I could then have the sawmill on the outskirts of town and the run would be past the yard. That would allow better sidings near the town and the yard would be easier to access. Maybe I can make an abbreviated E and have enough space for the turntable that way.
  5. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Watch out for those S-curves at the left end of the left passing siding!

    Regarding the turntable size... well, how long is your largest steam engine with tender? I don't think any rigid-frame engine big enough to warrant more than a 100-footer could run on your curves (the minimum mainline radius appears to be 27.5", or am I missing something?) so that table's only worth it if you have articulateds.

    Curved turnouts are absolute lifesavers in situations like this, with hardly any straight track around.
  6. Hammerli

    Hammerli Member

    I fixed those by adding in a section of stright track about 90' long between the radii.

    I have the Lionel Challenger, BLI 2-6-6-4, BLI 4-4-4-4, BLI J1 2-10-4, BLI J 4-8-4, P2K 2-8-8-2, and I'll be getting a BLI Brass 4-8-4 for Christmas;) According to all of the documentation from the manufacturers, those will all run on curves varying between 18" and 24" (except brass which has min. 27" requirement). The bulk of the curves are 28" to 30", with a few 27.5" and even fewer 26" as transitions. Are you saying I shouldn't pay attention to the manufacturer's recommendations, but rather follow some other guideline? According to my calculations a 100' turntable isn't going to work for most of those.
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I like this plan! I like how it is split into three distinct areas - loco servicing/roundhouse, town, and logging.

    The only trouble I see is the crossover on the right side between the middle and outer (extreme right) track. I think this will prevent the middle track that goes to the logging camp from gaining any real elevation, unless you use really steep grades.

  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    One other thought, re: turntables.

    Not all steam on a given road had to be turned on every turntable. Some of those engines are very big, and you would not expect to be able to turn them at mid-sized facilities. You have several routes that act as return loops, so you can use those to turn the biggest engines.

    OK, one more - on curves. The manufacturer's minimum radius is a minimum for physical operation. I think what Triplex might be getting at is setting a larger minimum for appearances.

  9. Hammerli

    Hammerli Member

    The problem is that with a C shape in the area I have, I can't make really big radii. I still don't prefer the C to the donut or table top earlier layouts, but no matter what I can't do big radii in my space. I figured that the numbers I was using were enough above the min. that appearance wouldn't be too bad. I won't be using any large passenger cars, so I only have to worry about the engines. That's why I asked if there was some other guideline. If there is some appearance reference with respect to radii, please point me to a link. I'm still open to gross modification to this layout if someone can come up with a better plan using broader curves; I'm just not seeing how that can be done.

    I struggle with the turntable. It is one of my most liked aspects of the steam era, so I have a hard time leaving it out since I'd rather have inclusion of things I like at the expense of prototypical accuracy.
  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    The only "appearance" guideline for radii seems to be "longer cars or engines require broader curves to look better". So you are doing well by that measure. After all, it is your layout...

    About turntables - I too like the turntables, and all the steam-era servicing stuff. I would leave it the way it is. What size have you drawn there?

  11. Hammerli

    Hammerli Member

    I used the 20" Walthers quotes for their 130' turntable.
  12. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I said "unless you have articulateds". You do.
    The manufacturer's minimum is often less than what's needed for reliable operation, even if you disregard looks entirely. The Kato N-scale SD90MAC supposedly runs on 11"; modellers I've met say minimums from 15" to a staggering (for N scale) 25"!

    In HO, I usually go by these guidelines: smaller 4-8-4 - 27" minimum. large 4-8-4 with caterpillar tender (needs 110' turntable) - 30" minimum. 2-10-4 - 33" minimum. 4-4-4-4 - 33" minimum. small 2-8-8-2 - 24" minimum. 4-6-6-4 - 26" to 30" minimum, depending on the specific (plastic)model. Brass articulateds - uncertain, not less than 30". Some Cab-Forwards or Big Boys need 42"!

    (Edit: These figures are based on those used by John Armstrong in his custom layout planning. Since he didn't have a client's actual engines to test, I'll asssume he was being conservative. I give them as advice, as assurance that all engines of the same general type should work.)

    If your engines run fine on your actual radii, then appearance is your opinion. Some people run 60' cars on 18"; some won't use more than 40-footers. Some people run full-length passenger cars on 22"; others restrict them to 30" curves.
  13. Hammerli

    Hammerli Member

    Thanks Triplex. I'm starting to regret leaving my world of Z scale. I'm beginning to think the sound and big engines just aren't worth devoting a larger area than I would like to accomodate 33" R curves. With Z I'm so used to a walk around table top display, and that's the look I like. This whole benchwork around the entire room just doesn't sit well with me. Unfortunately I bought the engines first, but fortunately it's probably a good time of year to put them on eBay.
  14. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    As I said, if they'll run on 27", then go for it. Test before you build. You don't want to sell those engines...
    I know the feeling. Both that HO seems big, and the fact that I like the aesthetics of tabletop layouts better than around-the-walls types. I know that going around the walls offers the possiblity of using more of your area for layout as compared to aisle, so I usually have to plan for it.
  15. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Is there then any thought to giving up the continuous running (which of course requires all those return loops that consume space)? In addition to moving from Z to HO, would you also move from continuous running on a tabletop to point-to-point on a shelf? It's an entirely different kind of operation, but maybe....

  16. Hammerli

    Hammerli Member

    I was thinking about that this afternoon. There aren't a lot of point to point layouts in the books I have, are there any links that have some layouts along those lines in similar space? I wanted to be able to run two trains at once, and with a point to point I think that would be more difficult with a single operator. I think part of it is simply what I'm used to which is multiple trains running in multiple loops in Z, which isn't something that bothered me about Z.
  17. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I suppose it is really a question of what aspect(s) of model railroading you like the most.

    If you really want to see (and hear!) those locos running through spectacular scenery, then you will probably want to retain some sort of continuous running capacity.

    If you really like operational challenges, then maybe an industrial, logging, or other switching type layout (could be point to point) would be preferred.

    If you want to build and detail models, then a kind of "diorama layout" might be for you, with many detailed scenes, but little concession to making it "operational".

    Combine any one of the three above - there may be other approaches to consider - with what seems to be your overriding concern (SPACE), and see what suggests itself to you. Someone (can't think of the reference right now) called this "sorting out the 'givens & druthers'" stage of layout planning.

  18. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Right on the button! Point-to-point won't fit your style, from what I can see.
    20" would be a 145' turntable. 130' is less than 17".
  19. Hammerli

    Hammerli Member

    According to Walthers catalog specs, the overall for their 130' is 20 1/8", and the bridge is 18 7/8" so that's what I was using.

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