HO in a spare bedroom

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by MichaelT, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. MichaelT

    MichaelT New Member

    Good day,

    I think this is my first post here, so hello to everyone here! I'm a multi scale model railroader; have an outdoor large scale layout, and indoors I've modeled both N and HO scale via some small modules, but to my question.

    My current stock of HO models are 4 axle engines, GP35's, GP38-2, F7A's, and a 2-8-0 steam engine. I mainly have 40-60ft freight stock.

    My dilemna is this; I have a spare bedroom that is roughly 11x10ft, with 2ft extra available via closet space, making it roughly 13x10ft. Below is about how the room looks in 12" squares:

    Sorry, don't know how to post a picture on here obviously, I'll figure it out...

    Anyway, what I'd like to get some opinions on.....in this space, would it be possible to build a continuous run HO layout with an adequate amount of operational functions, i.e. switching, that would be interesting enough to operate, or would it be too small and would become uninteresting in time?

    I can go either N or HO, I know I could do more in N scale, but I'd really like to tackle an HO project and see how it would look...

    just looking for some ideas, tips, suggestions, etc.....

    I'd like to stay at 24-28" radii curves as minimums...don't like the sharper curves. Possibly two towns, not large towns, and a number of industries along the railroad to work a local and some through freights.

    If I could find space to separate and run a staging area underneath, that would be good too, but helix's scare me...

    So what would some of you think??

  2. Kanawha

    Kanawha Member

    You could do an awful lot in HO scale in that amount of space. If ducking under to enter is not a problem I would suggest a layout that is built on a shelf about 1-2 feet wide around the perimeter of the room, with a peninsula extending into the center. I've done a few trackplans and measurements before for a standard bedroom, this seems to give the most mainline run length for the space, but leaves isles an average person can walk in and access to all points of the track without reaching over too far. I'll try to make a quick diagram.
  3. Kanawha

    Kanawha Member

    Here is a quick drawing, sorry for the crudeness. sign1 The isles are about 2-2.5 feet wide, and the over/underpass leading to the peninsula gives a bit of variety and gives a nice large radius curve, despite the smallness of the space. Plenty of room for a decent sized yard, a couple of towns with passing sidings and industries, etc. Minimum radius at least 24", probably more. Blue would be the mainline, red the edge of the benchwork roughly.

  4. MichaelT

    MichaelT New Member

    Thanks for the thoughts Alex,

    If you look at the picture of the room diagram, you'll notice that the bedroom door and the closet door are rather close to each other in the corner. I'm not sure I want to have a duck under, and will probably try to stay away from that one corner as far as the continuous idea...
  5. Kanawha

    Kanawha Member

    Thats cool. Keep us posted with how it goes! :)
  6. stuart_canada

    stuart_canada Member

    i would look at makng a shelf around the room 12 to 24 inches around the room, in front of the window i would go even more narrow. at each end of the shelf in the area near the door i owuld go much wider to make a loop back and around .
    keep the floor area clear to walk around. the area near the two doors i would leave empty and put ina desk or table to work at so you have an area to do projects and so on.
    the back wall i owuld make the shelf area wider to put in the yard and storage tracks.
    i am sure if you look in various plan books you could find something suitable to do and use up the space to your benefit. good luck
  7. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    In a room this size in HO, if you can't have a duckunder or at least a swing/lift bridge, your options are severely limited. With those radii, turnback curves will take up most of your space. With a door in the corner, all you can manage is an L along two walls. And then you have to deal with access in 5' deep corners.
  8. Kanawha

    Kanawha Member

    I knew someone reversed the direction a bedroom door opened so he could go all the way up to the corner with his benchwork.
  9. MichaelT

    MichaelT New Member

    Might have an alternative answer

    Good day,

    Thank you all for your thoughts and opinions concerning this; I've been drawing some doodles and ideas, and after consulting with some friends and other MRR'ers, what looks the most feasible right now is the following;

    1. Build the main layout in this room in N scale, which would give me ample curve radius for good looks, and would give me quite a bit of layout space available with three walls and a closet to work with; The base height of the layout will sit at 60-64" from the floor, closer in line with eye level, but still enough room to work and switch during ops.

    2. Build an HO shelf layout around three walls, with the base height at 40-44" from the floor. This will allow me to work some switching on a point to point layout, enough space between the layouts to have decent sized buildings on the HO layout, and will give me plenty of storage space for my small amount of HO equipment. The HO being PTP won't have continuous run, but having that continuous run on the N scale layout will be more than sufficient for me.

    3. An added extra will be an around the ceiling loop of track where I'll put a small large scale train to run around when I desire to. I have a small diesel and a small mogul and a few 20ft cars that will take 4-5' curves with ease.

    So for now that is the current plan for this room. I'm in the process of cleaning the room out, getting all the clutter boxed up and into the storage shed. Once that is complete I can start reworking the closet to store parts and bins, and to lay frame work for the staging area for the N scale layout at 60". I probably won't go into the closet with the HO shelf layout, as that would hinder space for storage underneath, and I need all the storage space I can muster.

    Thanks again for everyone's comments, and if anything else comes to mind, please feel free to post it here.

    Michael :thumb:
  10. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    If you can accept that (moving most of your initial demands to the N layout), this should work. With curves in the 18" range, you can run basically anything in N, and they'll fit much easier.

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