Here are my ideas, help please

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by 3duvalls, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. 3duvalls

    3duvalls New Member

    Hi all, Here is everything I know about my future layout. I have attached a room diagram and my best answers to Givens and Druthers. Not sure where to begin the design. The shape of the table and the layout are wide open for the creating. I put a few ideas on the diagram but nothing concrete yet. I appreciate any ideas and help you can give. I need all the help I can get. Thanks...

    Givens and Druthers

    (Ben & Barry Muhlenberg Line - BBML)
    Scale: Gauge: (Std, HO)

    Era: 1950s - 1960s
    Region: Western Kentucky, Muhlenberg County Coal fields
    Railroad: Interested in coal trains, logging, an old downtown with a small freight yard and depot. An added feature I want to use is a cutaway view of an underground coal mine shaft below the main surface with coal hauling cars that can be wenched up and down into the shaft. Maybe a turntable too...

    The room for the model is an upstairs room. The room is finished, heated and cooled, painted sky blue, and carpeted approximately 15' square. See my diagram attached to this post. The only real limitations in the room are the entry door, a small crawl space door, and an area blocked off by the stairway leading to the lower level of the house. The height of the room is 9'. The rear wall has an angled rise to the 9' ceiling from about 5.5'.

    Governing Rolling Stock:
    Coal Cars, and logging cars. Maybe a simple passeneger train in the background but for the most part, working trains.

    Relative Emphasis:
    Scenic realism

    Mainline Running
    Operation Priorities:
    6 Passenger Train Switching
    5 Helper District Operations
    3 Main-Line Passenger Train Operation
    2 Long Freight Train Operations
    4 Engine Terminal Movements
    1 Local Freight Operations
    Typical operating Crew: ___2___ Eye Level (Owner) _68(standing)_50(seated)_In.

    Attached Files:

  2. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    What sorts of locomotives?
  3. 3duvalls

    3duvalls New Member

    I believe I have more steamers but couldn't lay my hands on them just now. Hope some fit the project. Let me know what you think. The list of HO locomotives we currently have in our collection are:

    amtrak 5858 (needs some repair)
    santa fe 307
    csx 6383 sbd
    union pacific 238
    santa fe 4015
    (blue w/ white eagle?) 3300
    santa fe 5707
    union pacific 2056
    burlington northern 3114
    union pacific 3901
    b&o 3547 chessie system
    pennsylvania rr 8704
    union pacific 238
    l&n 5011 family lines system
    union pacific 866
    amtrak 227
    santa fe 307
    rock island 4301
    chicago & east illinois 199

    steamer 1246 color: green,rust,silver
    small steamer 998 color: black,grey
    steamer l&n color: black,rust,silver (needs some repair)
  4. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    You're going to have to prune your loco roster if you want to stick with the '50's and '60's theme. No Amtrak, CSX, Chessie System, or BN... :)

    It's a good space, with lots of room for a long mainline.

    Sorry, couldn't help myself, I'm a big John Prine Fan... :D
  5. 3duvalls

    3duvalls New Member

    Yep, I figured a few little engines would have to sit on the shelf. I just always try to buy any train I come across to give it a good home. We have lots of old O-Scale stuff too that I plan to display.

    I am quite a John Prine fan too. His stuff is kinda radical to say the least. A great writer in my opinion and ahead of his time for sure... I once had an email asking me why I live in Muhlenberg county since it was hauled away. The person thought it was literally all Guess they figured I lived in a cave or something.
  6. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    One thought I have for the space, and just to make sure you examine all possibilities, I thought of this:

    Let's say the layout is built at 45" above the floor. Since the crawl space access door is exactly that, an entrance to a crawlway, what if you shortend the door to about 3 feet tall and had the layout go over it in a manner that the shortened door could be opened and you could crawl under the layout to get to the crawl space? This would add significant layout length around the corner.
  7. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Oh... one other suggestion (if you haven't already): Read every piece of railroad and model railroad literature that you can get your hands on. There are several books on track planning and operations, lots of stuff on scenery, lots of stuff on prototype railroads. And read the magazines. You can also find tons of stuff on the internet, just google on various model railroad subjects. The NMRA site has good stuff also.
  8. 3duvalls

    3duvalls New Member

    Started playing around with a layout. Just random thinking to get my feet wet. I need to read and study more I know but eager to put something on paper kinda as a foundation. But, it looks plain to me so far. Everything is on one level except the underground coal mine. Keep in mind I don't have a grasp of the software so I moved it into an image file to clean it up. Also, not sure if the switching makes any sense either. My thinking was a regular train running on the main loop and the work trains having access to the main loop as well. So, tear it apart and tell me what all is wrong with this... I can handle the Oh, and from the previous post, I am looking into extending the 13' section to a full 15'. Thanks for the cool idea. So, here it is.

    Attached Files:

  9. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    3duvalls, welcome to The Gauge:wave: . I noticed you have extended into the gray area you show. Can you use all of it?

  10. 3duvalls

    3duvalls New Member

    Hi Loren, I just noticed that I changed the orientation of the image file by 90 deg when I uploaded the last image. Oops. I just re-upload it. Sorry about that. Thanks for your help. I love this forum.
  11. 3duvalls

    3duvalls New Member

    Okay, This is addictive... I have modified the drawing and the attachment has my changes. Here is what I am dreaming about now.

    The outer red line is a faster passenger train line with a side track into town.

    There is one inner colored both red and green line that runs from the coal fields and log woods down and around a smaller loop through the rural farm land out to a freight yard where everything harvested can be stockpiled. The two tracks run through cascaded tunnels cut into a hill side.

    The lines are shared at numerous places to allow both trains access to the maintenance / turntable area as well as to enter town. The main switch between the two lines is near the trestle.

    The coal mines is underground and is visible along the edge of the table as a cutaway view.

    I intend to use long turns everywhere possible. I believe most of the radius measurements are 22". The inner work loop is slower but obviously smaller than 22".

    Well, I have no idea if this is really functional. Please tell me what you think. As always thanks for all of your help!!!

    Attached Files:

  12. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    How about going on the other wall? I've never been to that part of Kentucky, but I'm envisioning rolling hills and valleys, with the railroad winding its way around through it.

    I set this up with #6 turnouts on the main, and 22" minimum mainline radius with easements. It was just a quickie, but I had some time to kill.... :D

    Attached Files:

  13. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Sounds like Missouri Pacific.
    I didn't mean road numbers, but model designations (SD40, GP38-2, F9, etc.)
    I don't think of 22" as a broad curve.
  14. 3duvalls

    3duvalls New Member

    Are the model designations on the locomotives or do I need to do a visual comparison to figure out what units I have?

    Thanks for the model suggestion. Very cool. Never thought of putting it on that side of the room. How do you make the software model look so nice? I am playing around with XtrkCad but my drawings look like a three year old used a crayon to draw them...

    Well, lots to do. You guys are the best. Thanks for your help.
  15. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Once you start track planning, you start to add bits here and there.

    I note that you have a lot of your switches along the back wall. Switches are the piece of track that will give you problems, so you might consider finding a way to bring them to the front. that back corner will require a major reach, and automatic switches requires you to work on the top and bottom of the layout at the same time.
    Do you have a plan of operation? You'll be pulling coal loads out of the mine, but do they just go to the yard?
  16. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    3D... thanks. T'ain't no big thang.... :D

    Actually, that was about 15 minutes of doodling. What you want to do is go through all the Demos (under the help menu), they'll get you started laying tracks a little more easily. Once you spend some time with it, it'll take no time at all.

    I think what you're going to find (and what I found) is that your door placement is a huge pain in the :curse:. The space on the left as you come in is really too narrow to turn around in, and while the one on the right is a good size, having to bend around that corner makes the layout pretty deep.

    Any chance you can move the doorway? sign1
  17. 3duvalls

    3duvalls New Member

    Thanks so much for your reply. This is the kinda response I need to make me think. It is my first time and I don't want to make the kinda mistakes that frustrate me too much. I wanna make it function correctly and have lots of fun too.

    The operatin as best I can envision is:
    The coal mine will bring coal to the surface. It will then be loaded onto the train cars via the coal tipple. It is then transported to the stock pile at the freight yard.

    The logging will work the same and on the same track but thinking it might get pulled by a different engine on a different schedule. I want to have a sawmill somewhere along the way to transfer to lumber to take on to the freight yard. Haven't thought much on this yet.

    The passenger train makes stops at the small town once in a while at the depot. Maybe every 3 turns. Other than that it just circles.

    I want to have some working trains movement around the farm and the roundhouse as well.

    Just my train model dreams. Hope this sounds reasonable. Thanks for the switch pointers. That is the kinda thing that would frustrate a new builder for sure. I never knew that switches could be that difficult. I do appreciate your advice on these. Thanks for the help.
  18. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Many modern railroads do have the model designation in tiny print on the cab, but you'll probably have to use visual comparison. Anyway, the concern is how large and "stiff" the locos are.

    Anyway, all that figuring is probably unnecessary. For passenger cars, you'll want fairly broad curves regardless of locomotive. 30" radius is preferable, but I don't think it'll be practical in your space. In general, remember that #4 or 18" radius turnouts will be tight. Expect to need #6s, where a turnout is a foot long.
  19. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    While long equipment like 6-axle locos and passenger cars look funny operating on 22" radius curves, if you add easements to them, they look a little better, and the equipment operates much more reliably.

    #4 turnouts should really only be used for industrial switching areas, where you're going to be moving short cuts of cars with short switcher locos. #5's are a better compromise between space, looks and operations.
  20. 3duvalls

    3duvalls New Member

    Thanks you guys, I really appreciate your help.

    I spent a while last night with the XtrkCad tutorials / demos. I am gonna try to use it effectively and to incorporate all of the things you guys are teaching me into an improved layout drawing. I have a software question; Is there a place where I can get a set of correct diminsions for the turnouts? I have been winging this quite a bit the past few days and feel that there should be a resource that will have somethiing in a table format with all necessary info. Do you know of such a source? Thanks as always...

Share This Page