Having a hard time choosing a layout

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by alphanumeric, Jun 7, 2004.

  1. alphanumeric

    alphanumeric Member

    GRRR :mad:

    its been a week and I have spent over 500$ in cars + engines and maybe 200$ in buildings and track...

    and I still cant choose a layout that I want to go with!!

    I have this Atlas "NINE N scale railroads" and I dont like any of them.. I want to either go with a 3ft x 6ft or 4ft x 8ft layout.. I need a big switch yard to store all my trains.. also I want to have a nice sized Kato commuter station, maybe a 2nd one.. a track of homes and some industrial buildings with car loading platforms.. like Coal, wood, freight storage etc...

    I really hate having to go with a rectangle peice of plywood, and would rather go with a "along the wall" type layout.. but I dont have room for that..

    if any of you know a way I can go with maybe an L shaped layout thats maybe 2.5 - 3ft from the wall and maybe 7-6 ft in each direction.. but I would have a problem with looping the train back around..

    this is my first layout.. and I want to do things right the first time.. so I dont kick myself in the butt later on in the future...

    I also want to try and avoid using software to make my layout.. something with pictures, on an already made layout would be cool.. I would hate to copy someones style..I dunno :confused:

    this is coming from a guy.. who spends hours in the train store.. and cant decide what he wants to buy :sleeping:

    so if any of you have any pointers to making a good layout that will suite my needs lemmie know..

    oh ya.. I want to avoid having just a plane flat layout.. I want it to be bi leveled, I dont mean double decker layout. but just higher grades around the layout.. with bridges..but I also dont want the layout cluttered with tons of track..

    the layout would also have to support commuter passenger cars.. I have the new Athearn F59PHI with 3 bombadier cars(metrolink) and also Just ordered 2 P42 genisis with an 8 car superliner fleet and they are pretty long suckers.. so my corner radius cant be that tight..

    I live on the west coast, (southern california to be exact) if that helps anything.. my era is going to be somewhat modern, like 80-90 and some 2000?
  2. alphanumeric

    alphanumeric Member

    oh ya I forgot.. I want to be able to run 2 trains on it at once w\o having conflict of other trains.. 1 commuter rail and 1 freight, with some action going on in the yard.. I will be going DCC..

    I saw someones track plans in the thread above this one in the contest..

    the first one I like that style.. long haul lines, with a hidden curved loop.. this would be good for my passenger commuter, cause it just goes in reverse at the end of the line.. but the freight would have to loop.. =(
  3. alphanumeric

    alphanumeric Member

    I feel really stupid.. im on my 3rd post in under 5min haha

    OKAY.. I think I figured something out.. I could go with a Smaller, but longer skinny layout, with long streight runs.. and just make my loops under moutains, with a tight radious, just enough that my superliners and bombadier passenger cars could turn on.. they could turn on a tight radious.. but since u cant see it (its under ground) I wont have to worry about that!!
  4. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    alpha, are you sure you don't have room for around-the walls??
    Why don't you post a sketch of your available space with doors,
    windows, stairs, closets, and water heaters marked on it? :D

    Someone will have a good idea, if they have the right perspective. :) :)
    And welcome to The-Gauge!!!!!!!! :thumb:
  5. alphanumeric

    alphanumeric Member

    ahh thanks for the welcome! I am only 23 and still living with mommy and daddy.. but if I lived on my own. I wouldnt be able to afford a layout hehe..

    anyways.. I have 2 10ft x 10ft rooms , and a possible garage, I might have to get rid of my project car.. I will draw up some plans tho... of the space I am dealing with..

    I have on my coffee table, some old school bachmann track. I am testing the curve radius with my super long passenger cars.. I want to have Long straight lines for long trains , with under the table turn outs to loop teh train.. I think going this route, is more prototypical.. I will get back to you guys in 10min.. I might take a pic of my test turn too hehe..
  6. alphanumeric

    alphanumeric Member

    okay , I had a sucsessful run id like to share with you guys.. I have a 2ft coffee table I was testing on.. and with really tight radius bachman track.. my cars, even at 85% throttle stayed on the track!!

    so I guess I am going to plan a dog bone type layout.. with hidden, under the moutain loops.. attached is the layout area, along with my test run.. any comments or critisizm are welcome


  7. pomperaugrr

    pomperaugrr Member

    Unfortunately, the layout area attachment didn't come through. If you do have a 10' x10' room, you have plenty of space for a shelf layout, or an around the walls layout. Keeping the shelf width to between 24 and 30 inches wide will yield a lot of layout. This would be far more enjoyable than a 4'x8' table top layout. It is possible to build such a layout in sections, so they can move with you when the time comes. I'm not saying it has to be modular, but plan for the layout to be moved, in advance. This way you can save much of your work and incorporate it into a new layout space later.

    30" wide benchwork will allow you to access everything and provide for 13" radius turnback loops. My shelf layout is primarily 24" wide, but does have a 30" wide section for a hidden curved section, with 13" radius curves. This should meet your needs and keep the longer cars on track. I am hiding most of my 13" radius section, as longer cars do not look very realistic on them.

    Just my $.02

  8. alphanumeric

    alphanumeric Member

    wow I am .02 cents richer.. thanks, I will prolly go with your advice.. ;)
  9. jmarksbery

    jmarksbery Active Member

    :wave: Alpha, welcome to the Gauge. Remember you have a square room, 10 x 10. Draw the room more percise and you will gain a little more space. Example below. Just a thought. Jim :)

    Attached Files:

  10. alphanumeric

    alphanumeric Member

    hmm.. well my bed that close to the colset, I dunno.. i'll try it.. I hardly use it anyways.. also I have a 40 gal fish tank in that right hand wall..

    I will make a lil better detailed picture of the room.. I am beginging to have a gerneral idea of how I should do my layout. thanks to your guys support.. it will be in an L shape.. I wish I could do a U, but that would require me to switch my rooms around..
  11. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    A shelf type layout can be mounted around shoulder height which gives good viewing angles and allows the area under the layout for other things like fish tanks, bed, tv, etc. A narrow lift out section can be used if the layout needs to cross in front of a closet door. The same thing can be used to go in front of the bedroom door. You could conceivably go all the way around the room in one long continuous loop with broad radius curves.
  12. Sir_Prize

    Sir_Prize Member

    I saw someone put a tube thru a fish tank for the train to run.
    For the life of me can't remember where. It was N scale, maybe Z.

    But put'n the layout more to a standing height would diffintely be better.
    I'm in the process of making mine at a 46" height; then again, I do have it dropping 4"-6" for a canal with waterside shops.

    Perhaps, make part of the shelf the top of the headboard to the bed.
    Could you opt for a smaller bed? Like a full or twin.... just tossing ideas.
  13. alphanumeric

    alphanumeric Member

    I just bought this bed so that is a no go.. I used to sleep on my leather sofa and not own a bed to gain the extra room.. but now that I moved I have 2 10x10ft bedrooms to myself.. 1 of which has the bed and fish tank.. the other with tv, stereo, coffee table, sofa and computer, with with doors and closet, it leaves no space in there..

    is what might work out a little better, is if I swapped all the stuff around in both rooms.. and that will be more layout freindly due to how the door and closet are setup.

    what would help out alot.. is if I saw pictures of other peoples layouts.. so I can get some general ideas..

    height is another thing that I did not know what I shold go with.. what is a good height to go with for an ALONG the wall setup? 4 feet kind of seems to tall.. I dunno =\

    hopefully I can get my layout plans soon! I am so anxious to start building!
  14. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I built my shelf layout so it just comes up to my armpit. I find this is too high for working on, but it is a good height for viewing. (There were other considerations.) You may want to measure how high you are when you sit up in bed, for the bottom of the benchwork.
    Are you in N scale? you didn't say, but the trains look like N.
  15. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Arm pit height gives a good view of the trains. The smaller the trains, the closer to eye level will look better in my opinion. If the height makes it hard to work on the layout, get one of those folding two step stools from your local home center, and store it out of sight in a closet.
  16. alphanumeric

    alphanumeric Member

    I have came up with another idea, in the garage.. with enough room for a parked car..


    if anyone wants to try to sketch out a layout for me.. that would be great.. I have this atlas software installed on my computer.. should I even give that a try???

    I want to have the turn sections covered with tight radius track. to give more room in the layout. also a decent sized swtich yard, engine house, car shop, coal mines, a track of houses + stores. the trouble I am having with my imagination.. is having lots of graded track. I want to avoid having a really flat layout.

    what type of line should I build for commuter trains? just a line that goes around the edge of the table? and have a seperate line for freight that goes all around the table? I am so indicisive, and it sux
  17. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    around Toronto, the Commuter trains run on the freight lines. The main modifications were extra sidings at the outer ends to store the GO trains at night, or to get them out of the way of the freight trains between runs. Originally, all the trains on our line were joined together and run as a unit back down to the main GO yard. This then became a weekend only stunt and then stopped.
    The sidings have platforms for passengers and electrical connections for keeping lights and heat on in the coaches, and possibly something for the locos. Some lines store the trains away from a station, so there is no passenger platform.
    Remember that your railroad will squeeze the commuter authority for every penny they can to build extra tracks, improve bridges, move stations, put in grade separations. The commuter authorities will resist.
  18. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Was going to mention: check out ThorTrains (a gauge member) who has a site full of track plans.
  19. alphanumeric

    alphanumeric Member

    GO uses the same F59PHI and bi level bombadier cars as our so cali Metrolink I think, right?

    I will keep my eye out for that persons layout plans, thanks =)

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