Help me find a theam to get started!

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Dansco, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. Dansco

    Dansco Member


    I have packed as much track as I can fit on a 4 X 7 sheet of plywood! This was my "proof" layout.. proving that I would enjoy this new hobby and that what I read is posible. It has been proven, time to move on... Previously I had wasted some bandwidth in this forum with layout plans, and appologize for bothering. That said, I have had to revisit my previous space allocation and come up with something that is useable NOW, instead of waiting for other pending projects to complete to begin.

    Here is the space that I can use. The heavy black lines are the only real walls (no access), the lighter lines represent the maximum space I can use (full access). Iv tried a few bench work options, but Im in a rut. My engines and stock is mostly modern era, though not current.

    Throw out any ideas!

    Duck unders, lift outs, hinges etc. anything goes!!!

    A theam would be a great place to start!

    ho scale
    At least one continuours loop
    Mulitple trains and operators, with 3 independent play areas:
    For example: (1) mainline freight (2) Main Yard Switching (3) Mine/industry switching

    Operations over everthing else

    Attached Files:

  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Hi Dansco. You seem to have a main area about 7 feet by 13 feet with a long rectangle behind it; or 9 feet by 13 with a notch and a lump.
    Steam, diesel or both? The bit at the top left could hold a small turntable with tracks around it. Or the back area could be a yard of sorts with engine facilities in the top right corner.
    I'd probably go for a basic circular shape -- you could get 2 to4 feet wide with your access (inside + outside) except at the back. Now I'd try to put the main running lines as far out as possible to get the widest curves, and add the interesting bits inside, where they'll be more accessible. Can the lower left diagonal border be fudged any to get a curve? If not, you can fit a bit of siding into the corners.
    You could get curves of around 36" radius for your main lines.
    If you're looking for an older freight operation (40' cars), you could push it down to 24" radius. A wye across the front (bottom) face would let you put a yard or station across the middle of the space -- possible raised over the rear benchwork. Or put the wye on the back wall and have a nice visible station at the front.
    I've often suggested that you may want to model wherever you were when you first became interested in trains.
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    A few questions to help you decide on a theme. Do you have a favorite railroad? Do you prefer mountain railroading, the plains, coastal/harbor operations? What area would you like to model-East Coast, Southwest desert, Northwest forrests? I think model railroads are much more believable and effective if designed from a prototypical perspective. Even freelanced railroads are more effective if designed as a might have been. Establishing the geographic area of the railroad will determine to a large extent the scenery the trains run through and help to determine your theme.
  4. Dansco

    Dansco Member

    I think I have it now, just need to dig it out!

    Answering questions and comments;

    60103: I have only disiel, but I can imgine how a steam train might be fun as a "tourist" coach serving some small sea side comunity...

    About the wye in front, Im not sure how to design a wye that works.. can you link some examples?

    Chaparral: I LOVE the story approach to visualizing, i will try my hand at that to see if I can generate some ideas. I will definitely at least create a model of moving things from here to there as I go..

    Russ Bellinis:
    Iv only discovered interest in Real trins since I started playing with the little ones! My discovering this hobby was a mere whim, but it seems to have remarkable staying power!

    I realize that all my imginings of this new layout are allways around the pacific northwest, where I live, and more specificaly mountains and costal. I figure somthing like Tillimok bay with a mainline running through the costal range on one part of the loop and following the coast line around the bay (imigine a "C" shape) with industry etc. I do beleive there is a Tillmok railway, and Iv followed the tracks on google so this might be the best place to start! Thats for the idea and direction. As I consider this more, I realize I do have a connection to this tillimok line....

    When I purchases my first HO loco from Mainline Trains in Forest Grove Oregon (best prices and service in the area by the way). I took it home and set up a bit of track and ran it arround. It was just a few days when communiting into work that I noticed an engine on a siding (near Hwy 26 and 47 jct) that I have never noticed an engine on before. Conicentely enough the engine was EXACTLY the same engine I had puchased as a model, a GP7! Diffrent collors of course, but functtionly the same... on the proto loco was the washed out letteres "Tillimok!" Of course I wanted to know more about this line, so I googled up a map and followed the line over the costal range and into Tillimok bay... I just realized that my imgination has been running with this idea, without my knowledge. Funny how that works...

    Somewhere in there is my theme....

  5. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Chaparral, you should be an author and write for a living. That was a great story !
    Dansco, it sounds like your on your way !

  6. Dansco

    Dansco Member

    Yup, IM on the way....

    Now its a matter of scope.. do I focus real tight on just the bay area, or do I expand it out to the cosatal range cross over and even into the indstrial area near hillsboro???

    Hillsboro allows for some switching etc. as it is more of a hub, where as the Tillamook bay area seem to be the end of the line..

    If I was interested in steam period, this would be an EXCELNT choice for logging with sea going intermodal..but steam is beyond my ken at this time...

  7. Dansco

    Dansco Member

    Now were moving...

    Here is a basic idea of the outside loop. The circles are all 28" which is nice...

    Of course there will need to be some serious scale compression and more than a few "warp tunnels"

    Particularly concernign is that there is no "loop". The lower connection between hillsboro and Tillamook dosent exists. For operations I may "disable" this connection in favor of a more point to point set up. However, Im getting all my data on this line from Google maps, maybe there used to be a line there, I can then revive it.. anyone know where to look for that kinda of information?

    Basic Operation story and key interest points;

    We start by building a train of empty and full box cars, empty refers and some finsihed goods (from points east???) in the Hillsboro yard. On our way north out of Hillsboro we stop by "Feed and Seed" elevator and load some hoppers with dairy cow feed.

    As we pick up speed we pass under hwy 6, and hwy 26.

    Near the Hwy 47 and 26 junction we pass the siding where sits some rusted but occasionaly used cars. (this is where i saw the geep)

    Not much further north we begin our entry into the coast range and pass over hwy 47 as it heads to Vernonia and eventualy passes my house! This crossing is very interesting as it is a graded and curved wooden trestle bridge that connects oposite sides of a small valey that hwy 47 runs through..

    We now head into the coast range proper as hwy 26 passes beneth us in the 26 tunnel.

    We leave roads and towns behind us as we traverse the coast range, tunnels, creeks, etc are encoutered.

    As we decend the coast range grade we overlook the sleepy sea side town of Rockaway beach, we follow coast line turning inland to the eastern shore of Tillamook bay passing by Bay City (great clamming in the tidal flats)

    Finaly we enter the north end of the Tillamook valey, a beautifull green dairy paradise with lush green fields (good thing we havent added DCC "smell-o-vision" to our layouts yet...) Our train picks up the siding to the Tillamook Cheese factory where we couple some modern refers full of cheese and ice cream, and leave empties of the same.. back on to the mainline, we stop at a "Feed and Seed" along the way and leave our cars of diary cow feed, and finaly to the small area hub near the Tillamook airport where we leave some finished goods cars and pick up some empties. We pick up a new head engine and retrace our path...

    On the way past Rockaway beach we see the dinner steamer train heading out for its romantic run around the Tillamook valey foot hills offering sweeping view of the bay and the pacific ocean beyond...

    Attached Files:

  8. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Dansco: You have an excellent resource in your local area for logging and short line information. Timber Times magazine is published in Hillsboro, OR. I'm sure you can get info on just about any past or present railroad operation in Oregon from them. Phone (503) 293-6658 or P.O. Box 219 Hillsboro,OR 97123.
  9. Dansco

    Dansco Member

    Thanks for all the help and support...

    Ill check out Timber Times.

    Here is my latest design, a work in progress.

    The "hidden" track is the "loop through." I believe the proto is point to point, but for NASCAR set (my 5 yr old son) a loop is a must. The long spur along the front gives me a place to build up trains, sort of an mini staging... its not realy a tunnel, but sits 4" lower than the rest of the layout. So you get a sense of it not being part of the scene.

    The blue line between Tillamook and Hillsboro yards is a divider.

    Id like to try and fit a small independent that explores the coast range.. perhaps someone revitalzied an old loging train for a "dude ranch" type set up...

    Please spot any obvious problems...


    Attached Files:

  10. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    It,s hard to tell, but the yard? at hillsboro, looks like a train would be completely trapped.

  11. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    May I suggest a scene divider or a mirror to give the appearance of longer sidings in the lower left corner where the Tillamook and Hillsboro yards come together. Also, those two stub tracks beyond the switches at the left end of the Hillsboro yard look pretty short.
  12. Dansco

    Dansco Member

    grewsome: The yard is at the end of a siding. one way in one way out. Ill post a better pic that sould clear it up..

    Jim: If you look close theres a thin blue line exactly where you sugest that represents scene divider. Im trying to get some more siding in the hillsboro yard, without going to far into the rest of the layout, but its not going well.

  13. Dansco

    Dansco Member

    • Changed Point to point cities to be more in line with the proto "Port of Tillamook Bay Rail Road"
    • Improved yard along front edge
    • Added "Staging" in and out tracks and reverse loop.
    • Added mountain tour loop (not proto) but could be...

    Attached Files:

  14. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You mentioned earlier that you were thinking of modern diesel with a steam powered tourist train. A prototype for such a thing in your area is the ex-S.P. Daylight in Portland Oregon. You can get the GS4 in Daylight colors in a Bachmann Spectrum, an exelent runner. For the passenger cars you can get either full length 85 foot scale models in the daylight colors from Concor, Rivarossi, or Walthers. If you need to compromise due to tighter radius curves, you can get the streamlined cars in daylight colors from Athearn that are a scale 72 foot length. Normally the train resides in a park in Portland, but it is operational and is taken out for excursions a few times each year.

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