Future home of...

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by ocalicreek, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    And finally...

    ...the nucleus of what may be a plan I really like. We'll see. This sketch is 1/2" = 1'. I'm working on a 1" = 1' (my track template scale) larger rough draft now to see how feasible the curves and grades are. More description to follow if this plan actually develops.


    View attachment 31908

    Attached Files:

  2. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    wye vs. turntable

    Here are two options for Murdock's Landing 'town', adjacent the timesaver. Note on the plan in the previous post that I mention (if you can see the small print) how replacing the wye with a turntable may provide more room for the loop and visual separation of the two scenes (junction on the left and ML on the right).

    The "main line", represented by the 22" radius curve shown at the top of each image will be on a pile trestle or something (steel girder?) over a marshy area/stream bed, elevated 4-5" above the tracks at ML...but 8-9" higher than the lowest water surface. The tracks at ML are already 4-5" above the water surface and I can do that math, I think.

    So that will provide some scenic separation of the scenes. But the primary reason for going with a turntable instead of the wye was the length and shape of the runaround in town. With the wye, it's an awkward s shape of 18-20" radius curvature. For the turntable, it's a nice curve into town with good room on the narrow side for a station and plenty of room on the other side for the Ocali Outfitters diorama...which wouldn't really have fit at all in the wye arrangement.

    View attachment 31909

    View attachment 31910


    Attached Files:

  3. fuzzyloggin

    fuzzyloggin Member

    nice ideas , its a good point you make about the turntable , i appreciate you pointing things like that out to us as it helps us newbies learn :)
  4. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    The turntable and service facilities definitely add more interest and would seem to make a better transition to the time saver. I also like the multiple elevations adding areas of interest in the same geographical location (if that makes any sense:oops: )
  5. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

    I would go for the turntabel, too. Your drawing with the turntable looks much more interesting than the drawing with the wye.
  6. viperman

    viperman Active Member

    Galen, just letting you know I was here. Not enough time to read through it all right now, and actually need to get off the computer for a while, but I will check back in tonight
  7. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Modification to the plan in post #81 (still the frontrunner...but I'm still not convinced it's the one). I had scaled back the working area to 8' rather than 9' after living with the car in there a few days last week (until ousting it again this week to continue the clean-out...getting there!!!). Now I think I can go 8' 6" and be happy with that. This will give an additional 6" on the upper level above the long staging yard to make it 18" wide and still maintain a 30" wide aisle.

    Now I'm tossing around options for that section above staging...is it primarily a mining branch, an interchange connection (and with what...the VGN, N&W, Big Tujunga Lumber Co?) or just a branch to a small town? This decision will determine some operating scheme characteristics so I will weigh it carefully.

    Thanks Jeff & Steve (& cnw1961 & viperman) for your replies. Not sure where all the other folks are...

  8. fsm1000

    fsm1000 Member

    Hi Galen
    In Steves thread you asked us to pop over here and give you ideas. Ok here are some of mine.
    Please take it as intended which is simply this. I have tried to draw upon the experiences of not just myself and those I have met but also those I have read about [like John Allen etc].
    Anyhow here goes.
    One, make a list of things you HAVE TO HAVE>
    A list of things you WANT TO HAVE.
    And a list of things you think would be nice.
    Then make a general plan with EVERYTHING in it. This will be much to big and crowded of course, but bear with me a second. Now that you have everything, start to remove the 'things that would be nice' but not all of them just most of them.
    Now start to remove the things you WANT but again not all of them just most of them. This should leave you with a layout that ismuch smaller and rather satisfying.

    Also don't forget to put in a PURPOSE for your railroad. Look at it seriously. If you ran your locos at half speed [say 30 MPH instead of 70 MPH] would you get a good hour of enjoyment?

    Next try to make a plan with ONLY the things you absolutley have to have. Now instead of removing, add things to it from the want lists and other lists.

    Now you will have two layouts. Look closely and you will see they are probably very very different to each other.
    Now comes the hard part. Merge the two together into one layout and THAT will be the one you will be happy with.

    Ok now comes the fun part.
    Make a model of the layout. ALl the greats that I know of have done that. They make a small model of the room and layout. This helps in placing buildings and then the scenery etc.
    Also [this may sound weird but...] you also can 'play' the model. Imagineering how it works and what you can do on it.
    John Allen made a model of his house and basement and railroad. I have his book :D .
    Anyhow, I give an example of what I did on my website if you need ideas.

    Also see if you can get some large pieces of paper [or tape some smaller pieces together] and make some full sized templaates. This will make adding easements etc much easier later.

    Ok so you have a couple of drawings and three lists at least and now a model. By this time you will be chomping at the bit to get started. If you are happy with it all then jump right in because as in most things, the preparation is the toughest [and longest] part.

    You did ask soooo :D:D:D LOL
    I hope this helps you out.
  9. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Steve...great ideas! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Yes, I did ask and have received. I've been going about the planning in a similar fashion, but not exactly in the order you suggested. I think I may sketch up a couple plans in that manner and see what happens. I've made a givens and druthers list but not the full on version in the 'sticky' post for this division of the forum. It's been mostly in my head, but gosh it sure does help to lay it all out on paper.

    I too have 'the book' and love poring over its pages. The model of his house is alongside a section of text about the joy John found just in planning. I know this feeling...but have yet to take it to the model level. When I do this list will be the first to know!


  10. viperman

    viperman Active Member

    I'm in a similar situation to you Galen. I am just trying to come up with a track plan I really like. I have found a couple, but for various reasons, I'm not sure I want to use either one. The reason for the one is mainly cost, as I would have to be buying a lot of risers, inclines, etc. Maybe I will just stick with the Atlas plan I found originally.

    Sorry I can't offer you any help. You are much more skilled at this than I am. Hopefully just popping in here can give you some support and help
  11. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Operational Schematic

    Hello All,

    Here's a quick schematic to accompany a question(s) I have regarding operations. Yes, I know this is a planning forum, and in this case, the operations will have a bearing on how I plan part of the layout.

    SO, looking last night at the many sketches I've made over the past month at least I realized I had done what Steve had suggested, but only out of sequence. I have sketched various plans with the max wants and min wants as well as max needs and min needs and many in between. I think I'm still tending toward including more than I 'should' (ugh, I know, bad word) but hey, it's my layout. Anyway, it's good to hear advice that helps to put it all in perspective and provides a bigger picture when I've lost sight of the forest for looking at all the different trees.

    The plan in post 81 (working on a revised version now) seems to hold the most promise. It allows me to store some trains in staging, bring them out and run them around a loop, then return them. Drawback here is that they must be 'turned' between operating sessions, or backed into staging each time.

    But that brings us to my question. I'm wondering just how much trackage I should include in the town above the staging yard. Specifically, what sort of engine facilities and sorting yard, as well as a potential interchange. More on that later.

    What I see as determining factors are the operational capabilities/limitations of the arrangement you see here:

    View attachment 32004

    Murdock's Landing includes a turntable (see other posts above for that track schematic) and small engine house as well as some sort of coaling facility and water as well as a diesel fuel facility out on the timesaver for river tugs as well as the Critter (EMD Model 40) that lives in the engine house. It's really only for turning and servicing locomotives, which because of the steep grades (looks like 4%) and tight turns out of ML, are small and nimble. (10 wheelers, moguls and light consolidations). Trains are short and traffic is either going down river or local to ML, as well as passenger service.

    The way I'm considering operating staging is by running manifests from staging, through the junction, and back (W to E or vice versa). Now...will these freights simply drop off and pick up cuts of cars at the junction, or travel either uphill to town or downhill to ML on the branch itself? (Really, it's two branches, but as you'll see it could be run as one also).

    If cuts of cars are dropped off at the junction, then I need a train to originate in the town (or staging) that will handle those cars. If that train originates in the town, I would guess that it would head down to the junction, leave cars there that don't need to go down to ML and take the ones that do to minimize train length (and permile or perdiem charges) and do just the same on its way back up through the junction to town. Do you see the dilemma?

    I could see the traffic headed down to the river landing at ML necessitating a dedicated branch line train that originated in staging somewhere. But what to do with the town? I had considered making it an interchange connection with the Big Tujunga Lumber Company. A hidden spur in switchback fashion would hide a shay and a few cars of finished lumber to be forwarded on by the OCRy to connections at ML, headed downriver, or in staging somehow. IN this case I could see a train coming out of staging heading up to that interchange to make the connection (and serve any industries along the way, like the mine spur) then returning. That'd be fine too. IN that case I wouldn't really need any sort of facilities except maybe a water tower and possibly a turntable

    Space dictates that I can't really make the junction much more than it is...a passing track of sorts and a team track with station. Otherwise, it could be more of a town with full facilities to serve the locos that work the branches and to service those on passing trains if necessary.

    Then there's the whole issue of passenger traffic. But that's another post altogether. I'm also thinking of submitting this post to the operations forum. Sorry for the long post, but this is pretty important. Whaddya think?


    Attached Files:

  12. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    AHA! Just rereading the post and I realized it'd be real easy to add a wye to the junction, so Wbound trains can head down to town and Ebound trains could head up the branch with locos facing the right way after a quick trip round the wye. Hmmm....

  13. Illus

    Illus Member

    Would the wye be far enough away from the town and branch so it wouldn't seem cramped? If so, it's a good idea.
  14. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Change of plans...again.

    Hello All.

    So it seems to me things were getting pretty complex. Operationally, one could say interesting. Something was not quite right and I couldn't put my finger on it. I was talking it over with my wife and she asked me what I didn't like about the latest plan and I didn't know at the time. Now I look back at it (after taking a little hiatus to sketch out a plan for Viperman) and can see the problems.

    Problem 1: Scenery. Sure, there would be plenty of interesting scenery on the previous plan, but I think proportionally more time would be spent laying track than working on scenery. The track to scenery ratio seemed pretty track-heavy.

    Problem 2: Completability. I would hope to get that plan built, but may not get past the track stage before having to move again, when budget and time allowances are factored in. We'd like to have a second child and stepping up the caregiver duties during pregnancy can sure take a chunk out of the energy needed to build a model railroad.

    I guess a combo of those two ideas is the ability to get past the benchwork and track laying to the part I really enjoy most...the scenery...in a reasonable amount of time. I enjoy all the aspects of the hobby, but really it's the scenery (structures included) I love the most.

    My last large layout in Florida never got very far into the scenery stages. In fact, I still hadn't finalized a good bit of the trackage and wiring (oh how DCC would have simplified all that mess!) when it had to be dismantled. I had long since moved away before then anyway.

    That was one reason for building the timesaver (among others)...a project that could actually be completed. So with this in mind, I present the following plan in the next post, with description.

  15. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    scenicked and relaxed

    View attachment 32154

    Mainline radii...24" on the 'wings' and 22/20 on the inner curves/passing track.

    If this looks familiar, it's because I borrowed the basic design from Iain Rice's Abingdon Branch plan from his Small, Smart & Practical book. Only my staging is off to the right, with an 18" aisle between the layout and garage door for (hopefully only!) occasional access.

    I've managed to include four of the dioramas that I've been working on, two of which are pretty much complete. Plenty of room for scenery, and as long as the clearance doesn't exceed 57" beneath the cable box it isn't a problem.

    Operationally I'd stage three trains...an Ebound & Wbound freight for picking up and setting out cars (or just one to serve as two Ebounds or two Wbounds) and either a passenger train or coal drag. Cuts of cars for ML would be set out on the passing track. The shifter or Critter would come out of the enginehouse, pull the cars down to the landing, and get to work.

    I really like this plan...but will probably redraw it with 22" curves and easements rather than push the 24" radius...although the visible curve to tangent connections are practically eased already...so we'll see. Whaddya think?


    Attached Files:

    • wmg4.JPG
      File size:
      66.6 KB
  16. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Hey Galem, that looks great. I have a question for ya,

    It appears that you draw the track plan on graph paper, how do you do it? Do you have one of those track planning templates? It is really neat and looks good and that is something I am looking for.

    Also, how do you know what scale to make everything, I mean, how do you take a 12' x 2.5' layout and scale it down to fit on a piece of paper with the track and buildings on it. Are you getting confussed yet? I am starting to get my self confussed.

    What Im trying to say is how do you make everything the right scale?
  17. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    I use a template I found in a LHS made by CTT...it's green with little cutouts for curve radius and other track 'staples' like various degree crossings, turnouts #4, 5, 6 & a #4 wye, etc. So far it has been fairly flexible for my use. I also use a clear plastic 'french curve' tool (I think that's the right name) that has spiral curves on it, but I mostly use it for lines where I want a large curve or gentle curve that doesn't fit a designated radius.

    Of course, a simple compass and ruler will work very well. My planning template is in 1"=1' scale, but if you use a basic ruler in 3/4"=1' scale then 1/16" increments become inches (pretty cool, huh!).

    I find with this template, that if I use a mechanical pencil with fine lead I can draw down each side of the groove and make the rail effect you see in many of my sketches. For a while it was too hard to keep the line 'centered' in the groove, so one 22" radius curve was actually closer to 22-1/2" and another 21-1/2" depending on which side of the groove I used. But once I figured out it was meant to be used like I use it now then it got a whole lot more interesting and accurate.

    Also, I never really found a compass I like, so that's why I've favored the template. I suppose if I ever do find a good compass I may switch to that, as it can be more accurate actually. But that brings up another point. While some aspects of the plan call for a high degree of accuracy, others (like some structures, and features that are just 'roughed-in' until later after construction begins etc.) do not...

    And finally, one really cool tool I found was a flexible ruler. Got it at Michaels in the drafting section. If you want a quick estimate on how long that twisty turny section is (for figuring grades, mostly) then just bend the ruler to fit and read it. Way cool timesaving device.

    Does this help?

  18. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    It sure does, thanks:thumb: :D :thumb: . I am going to my LHS on saterday and I will be picking that template up when I go, I have seen it there before:) :D . Bendable ruler huh, sweet, I'll be looking for one of those next time I go to Michales.

    Thanks again for your help.
  19. fsm1000

    fsm1000 Member

    To Galen, Steven etc

    Just an idea guys but maybe it can help.
    Instead of trying to make ONE layout try making 2, 3 or 4 layouts at once.
    Ok stop screaming and let me explain LOL.

    If you have at least an 8 x 4 layout you can do this.
    If you look at my layout what you see is I have made it into sections.
    I made a service area, complete with roundhouse, turntable, siding track etc.
    That's one layout.

    Next I made a small warehouse area for 2 loading docks. That's layout number 2.
    Then I wanted a resort and a mine.
    That's the other 2 layouts.

    After designing each section I placed them in a logical order and found I had to elevate it all. No problem. After this I found I had room for another turntable and a small area for bunkhouses etc.

    Ok hopefully you see what I am getting at.
    Make a drawing of one area at a time. Make it as small as practical but also don't leave anything out that you really want.

    By making several small or mini layouts you end up with one bigger layout.

    Too many worry about finding the 'right' layout for them. It will never happen because we are all different. So you have to make your own and truly make it personal [unless you are doing a prototype].
    So what you need to do is find several mini layouts that each do what you want them to do.

    If you find a nice yard can you make it a bit shorter or even fewer tracks maybe? Good so now you have a yard and it fits in 6 square feet.

    Next you have a couple or 3 sidings serving a small industrial area. Another 6 square feet [including buildings]. That's 12 out of 32 square feet on an 8x4. You have 20 left to fill with connecting track etc.

    Lots of room left over for one more industrial area and you are done. :D

    If you have a point topoint and thin layout [like a shelf layout] you can make drop offs along the mainline etc.

    Anyhow, the point is, instead of looking at ONE layout to meet all your needs, break it down into smaller bits and look at a layout to see what PARTS it contains that you can use. Then just connect them all together.

    Hope that helped more then confused. :)
  20. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Thanks for the thoughtful response! :) I just finished rereading another Rice article from MRP 2006 about something very similar, a scene by scene approach.

    Only trouble is...I've been living with a switching layout (basically one small scene) for some time now with only a modular club on which to run longer trains (that was before I moved)...and for me, it's time to make it more about the layout than the trains. I want continuous running! :curse: I'm tired of back and forth, I want to see that dadgum train come rounding the bend over and over and over again! And I want the 'bend' to be a beautiful mountain scene, handcrafted with love by me.

    I'd love a big 'ole basement in which to set up a fantastic point-to-point with a great big run in between (but not on skinny little shelves ala Maumee Route) but that ain't happening yet.

    I was also just looking over Tim Warris' website about the Port Kelsey Ry. (www.handlaidtrack.com has a link to it...) and its demise after 15 years of modeling. The actual Port Kelsey scene made a cover shot on MR and was fully scenicked and operational. But very little of the rest of his layout ever got to that stage (partly because he was starting what looks like a fantastic business helping folks hand lay track).

    And Mike Dodd's current Virginian Layout is nearing its end, without having ever really come close to scenery unless he gets off his duff and builds some (hint, hint, Mike, if you happen to be reading this). (http://virginian.mdodd.com/).

    I don't want that. In fact, I've more than once contemplated just building a 4x8 or trying my hand at dressing up one of MR's beginner layouts so that I can bring a project to completion.

    Ian Rice has something like 4 different layouts he's working on at a time (different concept from what you're talking about) that all fit in one small shelf area that he can cycle through...but not one has continuous running. I like operations, but don't think I'm that much of an op buff to subsist on just that. Maybe I would be if the setting were interesting enough.

    That's why right now I want a layout that has continuous running with the option for 'serious' operations...where the continuous run connection is integrated or optional.

    There may be a middle way, (a mahayana for all you buddhists out there) in which I work scene by scene and the other sections of mainline are just temporary until I get to them...or like a friend's dad's two-rail O layout in his Jacksonville garage...it was basically a series of scenes linked by drop-ins across the doorways (4 or 5 if you count the big one across the garage door). But his job precluded him from getting past the scenic stage and he admitted it was something of a pain to set it up for less than just a little while.

    What does all this mean? I don't know. I'm just ranting. Thanks again for the thoughtful reply...I'll check out the latest on your site, as its been a while since I've been there.


Share This Page