Help with a layout design

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by CAS, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. CAS

    CAS Member

    I am in need of some help, designing alot.
    i have been a member here for almost 3 years. And after a few of my first post, i was told by some members here it took them a long time to come up with a design they liked. I never taught it would have taken so long. But, for me, it has. I had purchased so many different layout plan books thru the years. And none of the plans were to my liking. I have tried designing my own plan, but came up with nothing. From the first day i joined here, i was in total awe, of the work you people have done with your layouts. And still today, it only has gotten better.

    I have been going back and forth between N and Ho. But N scale finally won. Here is a diagram of my space i have to work with.


    It is to fit into a 10'x8' space. The backwall is 10ft, no windows. The left wall is 8' of space, with a small basement window that won't come into play. The right side is a small 20'' wall, then open.

    This will be n scale,
    Looking for continuis running, or even loop to loop.
    Layout can be a shelf, u, l, e, it doesn't matter. Not to worried about ducking under the layout.
    1970 - 1980
    Midwestern area, not much elevation, but some ok.
    A few passing sidings,
    A grain elevator, and paper mill industries a must.
    Would like to have 2 major towns.
    Would like a 4 or 5 track yard with a small engine facility, (have a 2 stall loco house i would like to use). with 2 entrance's
    Operating mostly myself, sometimes with another person.
    Would like to be able to operate 2 trains, opposite directions.
    8 -10 cars train length, mostly 50'ers.
    Atlas code 55 track, flextrack will be used.
    Will be DCC.
    It will be built in modules, just in case i have to move it one day.
    I'm pretty tall, so the height will be about 45 - 48'' high from ground

    If more information is need, don't hestitate to ask.

    If anyone would like to help me out with a design, i would really appreciate it.

    I just want to start to run some trains :cry:.

    Thank you very much,
  2. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    What is your favorite railroad? Why? Is it because a pretty paint scheme? Is it because of particularly rugged locomotive? Is it because you grew up near it? Is it because of an infamous tunnel?

    I ask these questions because they can profoundly impact what you're looking for in a layout...what catches your eye. I presume that you like the CNW judging by your avatar...and that it is because you grew up near it. Therefore: double track race track through the corn fields. You need signals...and you need them set up for left hand operation. Grades are not essential because you're building a racetrack. Double deck might be a good idea since the terrain is flat...I'll give you an idea in a little bit...

    EDIT: we are. 15" min radius...with 24-30" aisles. In between loops it is double deck...maximizes the mainline without traveling through a scene twice. Use scenic dividers on the right...which is the 10' opening. The top is the 8' opening. Great town spots/yard possible yard spots at each loop and on the right side of the scenic divider which hides the reverse loop scene from the mainline along the opening. Additional fly by small towns could be added along the 12" wide shelf portions. You'd build the main first with a few major feature: yards, towns, and your key industries' locations set. You could add the sidings later. Hope this provides you with some ideas/inspiration.

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  3. CAS

    CAS Member

    Thanks nkp174,
    Yes, CNW is my favorite.

    But i really don't care for the double main line layout.
    Thanks for taking the time to make a rough draft of a plan.

  4. trainz_dude24

    trainz_dude24 Member

    My favorite railway

    :cool: I live near NPRR, so it's my favorite railroad. I like the engines that run on this railway because they are easy to understand.
  5. trainz_dude24

    trainz_dude24 Member

    Connections to different railways

    Hey! I just came up with the coolest idea! :rolleyes: What if all USA, Canada, Mexican, and South American railways were connected? There could be an Amtrak that runs from Austin, Tx to New York! And don't forget a train that would run all the way from Argentina to British Columbia!:cool: Endless possibilities!
  6. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    So, do I understand that the "open" areas cannot have layout in them, but can be walked in to access the layout?
  7. CAS

    CAS Member

    Yes, that is correct, baldwinjl. I only have 8'x10' area for the layout itself.

  8. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    It really helps if you can count on being able to walk in the open area (including for operation), it's almost as good as having the area itself. It makes access much better. Let me think for a while, I might have an outline tonight.

  9. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Do you car about the length of your mainline? Essentially what I drew was to maximize the mainline length. I feel that single track is best for modeling...although I think of the CNW as a double track railroad. Single track doubles the perceived length of a mainline.

    Basically, figure out your mainline requirements first. The industry, town, passing siding, and yards details come later (imo).
  10. trainz_dude24

    trainz_dude24 Member

    I'm ignored

    :curse::curse::curse::curse::curse::curse::curse::curse::curse::curse: DID ANYONE PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT I POSTED ABOVE!!!!!!!!!
  11. trainz_dude24

    trainz_dude24 Member

    I live near MOPAC

    I'm sorry, but NPRR is not the railway I live near. MOPAC IS!
  12. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I read it, but since it was really off topic, I didn't comment on it. The topic in this thread is helping CAS design a layout. You'd be able to have more of a discussion on your posts if you started a new thread in the general talk forum.

    If you are interested in international might want to look up the "Clover Leaf" was part of a massive 3' gauge system which intended to connect Canada to Mexico City...through several different railroads.
  13. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    As far as single vs. double track, on a smaller layout double is generally better, since there isn't enough room to have enough or long enough passing tracks to make it workable. In this space, you could probably go either way.

    I know you say you've bought layout books, but have you bought THE track design book, Track Planning for Realistic Operations? If not, you should get it.

    To run the equipment you are talking about in the timeframe you are talking about, I think you need to be thinking a branch line, and 4 axle diesels, making the single track main feel right. Otherwise, I think you'd want more, and larger cars. Actually, I think it works out pretty well.

    Given that, I think that aiming for a minimum radius of 14" is probably about right. Using TPFRO (the book from above, too much to type) that gives us 'squares' of 16", so the space is 6x7.5 squares, which is pretty good sized. I think a G shape would make sense in this area, generally the shape nkp drew. I'd put staging along the longer open side, I think, behind a block. That way it is hidden, and yet totally accessible. I'd try to separate the loops as they go through the same area by a few inches vertically, i order to make it look like two different scenes. I'm not sure I'd try for two major towns, unless you want a real point to point (which could work well). By the time you get turned around I don't know that there is really room with out them seeming to be right on top of each other. I'd have one main town, with the yard and engine servicing, perhaps with an interchange to the main line. I f you wanted another town, maybe it would be a small passenger depot and team track.

    I'd really like to suggest doing some doodling on your own. There is a layout in your head, you just need to right tools to get it out!

  14. CAS

    CAS Member

    Yes, i have bought this book awhile back, years in fact.

    I have been trying, working with the Atlas rts track design program.
    I also came up with a plan, it's not complete yet. I will try to post what i have here shortly.

    And thanks for your help you have given me baldwinjl :thumb:.

  15. CAS

    CAS Member

    I am trying to post it, but i can't get it larger then my earlier post of my room size. i had did a search here on the forums to see how to enlarge, ot to post pictures, but i could not find anything to help me out. I usually use imageshack to host my pics, but they are all coming out very small thumbnail which don't enlarge when double clicking on the pic.

  16. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    The other things I've learned with N scale....
    You don't need wide benchwork everywhere. Eighteen inches is a lot of space.
    Less really can be more. Sometimes the most important track is the one you leave out. It really helps give the feeling of space.


    I'll be happy to help as much as I can, short of designing a layout! I've got one yelling at me to get out in the garage and get working. With some luck I'll actually be able to run a train all the way around by the end of the year, though the staging area and yard will be pretty much single track!
  17. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    Let me do an experiment....
    I'll be back.....
  18. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member


    OK, that works.

    Make sure you didn't resize when you uploaded, copy the entire Thumbnail for forums (1) section, paste it here.
  19. CAS

    CAS Member

    Ok, here is what i came up with. The squares are 12''.

    The track at the top, right of the switch is not complete. I do want it to go under that passing and back out on the right side. The radius are 13''. This will be a small elevated town. Not sure if i want the sidings here yet either. Just playing with it.
    Then going down will be a little larger town, with a few sidings there. The sidings are not done, not sure how to arrange them. Am thinking about useing building flats for some of the industries against the divider.
    A divider between that town and the yard.
    A small river, or creek on the left side. May even make the center isle larger on the left side.
  20. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    OK, I'm not expert, and remember, you paid nothing for this, so you can decide if it is worth what you paid, or not....

    I don't know for sure which are you open sides, but it doesn't matter, no matter which way is to the open side you have your yards/switching areas more than two feet from the operator, and you have to reach over other tracks to get to them. I don't think anything good can come from that scenario.

    I don't see a pupose to the oval running around the top section.

    The yard is a good start, though I think the leads are too short. At least one needs to be longer, I think. But we can get back to that some other time.

    To get that track on the right down to the bottom part, it is going to have to go outside, or it is going to be a crossing. There's not enough length to get over or under.

    All of that said, my biggest objection would be that you have enough space to get away from a donut, duckunder configuration. Let me see if I can make a sketch. You might not want to stay up to see it though! I don't know if I'll get it up tonight or not!


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