Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Parker, Nov 12, 2003.

  1. Parker

    Parker New Member

    I have been trying to come up with a track plan for the past few weeks that I would enjoy. I have made a few on my own but I just don't have a knack for it.
    Does anyone have any suggestions for a 3' x 8' layout that would incorporate a prairie scene on one half and a mountainous on the other. I'm interested in a double mainline with a couple of sidings one for grain elevator and one for a coal or gravel mine and a small town plus a small staging yard..I'm open to any and all suggestions. At this point I'm not looking for elevation changes ect..just a nice flat enjoyable layout.

  2. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    N-Scale? You can have the scenery drop below and rise above the track (while keeping the track itself level) to enhance the mountain side of the layout. You would of course need to use a backdrop down the middle or running corner to corner to seperate the two scenes. Shouldn't be that hard except having that second mainline loop will really crowd things up, scenery wise as well as making for a really tight radius on the inner loop. Can be done but I think you would have a much more visually appealing layout with just one mainline loop. BTW Parker welcome to the Gauge! :)
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think you would find operation much more interresting and challenging with a single track main and passing siding on each side. What motive power, era, and equipment are you going to run? If you are running very small steam, or 4 axle diesels, and no 85' passenger equipment or other long cars, the tight radius on an inner loop might work. If you are going to run big steam, long cars, or 6 axles diesels, you probably won't be able to fit an inner circle that will work.
  4. Parker

    Parker New Member

    I'm sorry I forgot to mention that I am modeling N scale. I'm modeling CP from the 80's forward, right now I only have a couple of SD40's. The reason I would like a double mainline is I prefer to watch trains run continuous rather then switching operations.
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    It might work with a double track main if you run the sd40s on the outside track, and run a couple gp40s on the inside.
  6. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member


    Hi, Parker!

    I'd have to say that in N scale, a 3 by 8 foot layout will provide heaps of room for you. A few ruminations...

    CURVES - Let's say that you allow 3 inches from the track centre to the edge of the layout on each side. That gives you a 15 inch radius for larger 6-axle units. They'll overhang, but should track reliably. I'm unsure as to the track spacing in N scale, but the inner track would still work well for 4-axle locomotives.

    TRACK - If you're starting out, I'd recommend that you go with Atlas code 80 flextrack, and most importantly, PECO TURNOUTS! They will not let you down, and the extra expense is worth it five times over. The Atlas flex is good, reliable track, and is easy to work with.

    GROUND - I'd suggest putting the trackwork on a base of 2 inch styrofoam. That way, not only can you add your ground elevation for mountains and such, you can also have sections lower than the track. Believe me, this makes a big difference.

    FRAMEWORK - I think that 1 by 4 framework, with joists every 16 inches should be more than adequate. 16 inch centres between joists allows access with a battery-powered drill, something eveyone seems to use these days. For a smaller layout like this, 2 by 2 legs braced and cross-braced would do the trick.

    Remember...I am not an expert. These are not gospel- just suggestions.

  7. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    My preference would be to reduce it to a single main, even with the intent of use, but here's a double for you. It's way too tracky in my opinion, but you can leave off any of the sidings you like. Also there is no crossover between the two mains, totally isolated, which you may wish to change. I will add the RTS file to the yahoo group.

    Attached Files:

    • n.jpg
      File size:
      48.6 KB
  8. Parker

    Parker New Member

    Wow, thanks for the great reply's I wasn't expecting a layout to be drwan, thanks Jon. I'll put some serious thought into bringing it down to a single mainline.

    Lighthorseman thanks for the tip on Peco turnouts, I already have a couple of Atlas turnouts and I was digusted with them. The long rail on one of them was acctaully a 1/4" short. My benchwork has already been built and I am using a foam sub-bed, but only one inch thick, I'll upgrade it to two inches.
  9. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi Robb,
    This plan although 10' by 5' was in fact my H0 Badger Creek at one time (Logging theme) so for N-gauge, it would be a piece of cake to fit in your area.
  10. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    No problem, Mr. P., I drew that up jest fer you ;)

    I used to do a lot more track planning with the atlas program, but it's been broken for about 8 or 9 months. Now I've got it running again and I can crack out a layout pretty quick :D :D :D
  11. Hoss

    Hoss Member

    How exactly do you "break" RTS?? ;)
  12. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    I broke it on two computers, one W95, one W98; got where flextrack wouldn't flex :confused: believe it ir not, it wanted to bend at angles! I fixed it by installing it on a completely different machine. I'm sur eit would work if I slicked off the hard drive and reinstalled W98, but I wasn't willing to do that.

    Attached Files:

  13. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Try runnin' a train down them tracks, Hoss! :D :D :D Actually, I didn't answer your valid question. I don't know how I broke it, it just broke one day. My W98 machine broke, then several months later the old W95 machine broke inthe same manner. Spooky.

    OK, here's a single main version...

    Attached Files:

  14. Hoss

    Hoss Member


    I guess if anybody could do it Jon could do it. ;) I could be wrong, but I thought there was some kind of adjustment for that in the software?? Increase the number for more curvy curves and decrease for more angly curves....but I could be wrong.
  15. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    On this software you just get the flextrack tool and click on two open ends of other track sections and it draws the flex track, usually fairly poorly, then you adjust it with the flex track adjusting tool. Most people give up and jsut use sectional track, but I find that too restrictive. Once you get the hang of it, it works great, utnil it breaks.

    I looked and looked for settings and even deleted the software and reinstalled it. :confused: :confused: :confused:
  16. Hoss

    Hoss Member

    Right...that's what I use too...but I still thought if you went into "Elements" and messed with the properties for flextrack it had a place to adjust the "gradations" or something like that...and I remember reading that the higher the number you put in the box there the more "segments" would be used for making the curve....making it appear more curvy....and the lower the number the lower the segments....making it more angled looking. I could be making this all up though. I'm known to do that from time to time.

    Any chance you somehow just lowered that number so it started making angles instead of curves?? Does ALL of your flextrack sections consist of three angled sections to make up the curve (when it was broke, that is)??

    I don't guess it really matters though since you got it fixed....and since we're getting off topic. :)
  17. one possibility would be to modify some of the door plans from 'Mikes small trackplans' which are all 2-1/2 by 6-2/3 feet.

    a few samples:


  18. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Hot dawg Hoss! Yer a genius. Where were you nine months ago? :D :D :D I don't know how it got changed, especially since I didn't even know where it was. I set it back to the recommend "4". It's good to know, because now it's working on his PC, which is sometimes the only one I can get to. Now I have 3 RTS machines!!!
  19. Hoss

    Hoss Member

    Well...momma always said she knew I was good for somethin'. I guess I need to call her up and tell her what it is. :D
  20. Parker

    Parker New Member

    Thanks again for all the help, it's greatly appriciated. One question though, Jon on the plans you drew for me will the curves on the right hand side be too tight for my 6-axle Loco's?


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