HO Layout Ideas Please.....

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by DahlELama, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. DahlELama

    DahlELama New Member

    I have twin 5yr old boys who looovvvee trains. So I took them down to a Model Railroad convention that was in town this weekend just so they could see some cool layouts. We went on a tour that included a big layout downtown, and some others. The boys of course loved every minute of it. At one of the tour stops there was a box marked 'HO Train Stuff... Make Offer for it all'. So I said to one of the model RR guys... how bout $25 bucks?"

    Next thing I know... I'm building a rain table in one of the bonus room dormers. I think this could get dangerous. ;) My wife already gave me that 'you better stay off eBay' look.

    The boys told me now I need to make some mountains... and a tunnel and a lake and an army base.... and and and... I think I need to add a bank with a tiny ATM machine.

    Anyone have any layout ideas that would work with this space? I'd like to have two trains running. Need to utilize a bridge and a mountain for sure. Definately will want some elevation changes.



    Left side is 7' long and 3' wide.
    The back side by the window is 7' long and 4' wide.
    I think I'll need to use that 15" radius turn rails that I've read about.

    Thanks in advance for any replies!
  2. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member


    Seems to me that it would be advantageous to have a crossing in the middle, like a bent figure 8. On the ourside rail there on the left, gradually curve to the window side, then turn right and back to a crossing before coming back up the left. That takes away the sharp curves necessary to go the way you started. Hope that helps.

    How old are the boys?

  3. Santa Fe Jack

    Santa Fe Jack Member

    I believe your track is getting awfully close to the edge, there. Too close for comfort, IMO.

    May I suggest putting a piece or two of foam board on top? That way, you can experiment with pinning down track in many different ways. I'd spend a lot of time experimenting, to see what you can do in that space.

    You also need to be realistic. Grades (to achieve that elevation change) need to be gradual, like 2 percent. You might be able to get a single up-and-over in the space you have, but it will be tight.

    Nevertheless - welcome to a great and time-consuming and money-consuming hobby! Loads of fun for you and the kids. Your spouse will just have to deal with it. :)
  4. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Hello:wave:. Have you looked at this web site? There are lots of track plans you can look at and use, and a ton of cardstock buildings you can print up and let the boys build, which is great since right now there is not much for them to help with. Scroll down to the ho section.

    All-Gauge Model Railroading Page

  5. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Is this just for the kids? Or for you too? How serious are you? Do you just want some trains going in circles or do you want to move cars around and spot them at industries, make pick-ups, like a real railroad?

    What is the size of the room? Doors? Seems to me you are not making best use of the space. The 3-foot side section is going to be tough on the curve over there as mentioned above.
  6. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    And reaching to the wall will be almost impossible.

    Waaait a minute... is that a couch or something spanning the full width of the room in the first photo? How do you get in?
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    That won't stop 5 year-old boys...! Although it may be designed to discourage them from getting in without dad.

    I agree on the "reach" point though. Also, a different shelf or "round the walls" design may allow you to access the window as well.

  8. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Andrew, that's what I was thinking also. An around-the-room shelf may be the way to go.
  9. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Welcome! Glad you could join us. Lots of suggestions here that I hope you take in the constructive criticism attitude they were intended. You'll be happier in the long run if you are aware of certain issues of clearance, reach, and track close to the table edge. Trains will run more relaibly, easier to reach if they derail, and the hobby will be more fun. Believe me, most of us learned these things the hard way! :)

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