HO logging railroad need design help

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by bellybomber3, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. bellybomber3

    bellybomber3 New Member

    I am new to model railroading in general and need some help designing a layout for the entire famliy to enjoy. I have a table that is 5' by 8' and would like to use that for my layout. Here is what I would like incorporated into the layout:
    1. Two individual tracks with a mountain/ tunnels. I would like for both tracks to go through the tunnel and to have an over/ under design. I would like the outside track to run around the perimeter of the layout and to connect to the inner track so I could switch up the train's path.
    2. I would like the layout to have areas where I could place cars and the kids could back the train up and couple to them and pull off. I want this to center around a logging industry with a sawmill and a possible lumber yard.
    3. I definately want it to be expandable with some ideas for expansion.

    I plan to use flex track and DCC
    Thanks in advance for any feedback,
  2. bellybomber3

    bellybomber3 New Member

  3. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi and Welcome, Tom! :wave: That seems like a good plan; what are the elevations/grades?
    The only thing it lacks is a wye or other way to turn your loco, if that's an issue for you.
  4. bellybomber3

    bellybomber3 New Member

    Help me out here:
    Where would I place a wye in the layout? I was planning to have a sawmill in the open area with a pond/ lake the location and or number of sidings might change to allow for this. On the far left is where the mountain/ tunnels were going to be placed the track on the left will be higher and I was planning on 3" clearances under the bridges is that enough? I don't forsee where the grades would be excessive but what is the maximum I should try to avoid?
    Thanks again,
  5. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Just to illustrate the concept- It won't work exactly as shown because
    of elevations, but you get the idea...

    Attached Files:

  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Are you limited to the 5x8, or can you do something different in the room?

    If you stick with that track plan, one other thing it could use (even more than a wye, in my opinion) is a runaround track to move the loco from one end of the train to the other.

    Do you know what parts of a logging operation you'd like to represent? There are a couple of different possibilities - from the landing in the woods where the trees are loaded, to a transfer point somwhere where the loggin line gives over the logs to a standard railroad who ships them to a mill, to the mill itself, and then on to a lumber company for retail sale.

    3" of clearance from the top of the rail to the bottom of the overhead bridge/tunnel is probably the absolute minimum I would use for HO. Don't foget in tunnels and so on, you might want to be able to get your hand in - just in case.

    As for grades, some logging roads were know for exceptionally steep runs - up to 10% or so. Much more than that, and you need a cog railway to make it...! ;) For modelling purposes, I would stick to 4% to represent the steepest logging rails, and no more than 2% or so where you have "conventional" equipment.

    Anyway, welcome to The Gauge! and post more about what you'd like to do with this layout. You are sure to get some good help here... ;) :D

  7. bellybomber3

    bellybomber3 New Member

    Thanks for the replies,

    I am not really limited to a 5x8 I just found this design and thought it would work. I built a table and have 1/2" plywood and 1/2" foam on top of it and was trying to layout the track design on it last night. I know that the design is Terrain for Train's and was trying to use it for a guideline so the track that I was laying out wasn't going to exactly look like the plan, but close. I liked the over under design I want at least one tunnel in the layout and this is for my family where I have two young children (3 & 6). I am building this in my garage then was going to move it to my parents house until we buy our next house and then move it to there for a permanent home. I want to expand it once we get it moved, but am not opposed to leaving this at M&D's and building a new layout more fitted to the room we have it in. I have bought 4 right remote turnouts, 4 left remote turnouts, and 3 warren truss bridges due to that was listed as parts necessary to the layout.
    Hope this helps to explain my intentions better,
  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The weakness in this layout, as has been mentioned, is that you don't have anyway to turn the train around or to run around the train with the locomotive to facilitate switching the sidings you have on the layout. However, you mentioned that your children are age 3 and 6. Young kids usually like to run trains around a layout more than switching. That plan has definite scenic possibilities. Breaking up the run with bridges and tunnels to hide the trains will definately make it more interresting. It won't look like the train is just running in circles. It will give you a layout to practice various aspects of model railroading on, and then when you move into your final house, you can design a layout to fit the space you have available. Generally table type layouts are not as satisfying as around the walls shelf type layouts with walk around controls. One more thing I forgot to mention is that the general rule is "the smaller the hands, the bigger the trains." Ho is usually too small for little ones to handle. You may need to start with Lionel or LGB until the kids are bigger. Playmobile used to offer a train set in the same scale as LGB with trains built on LGB mechanisms with fewer details so that they are sturdier than LGB for little ones to play with.
  9. bellybomber3

    bellybomber3 New Member

    Ok, I have scrapped the idea of using this layout. I am back to square one sign1 . I would like some ideas: if I was to build a modular style shelf layout what would be some options for 2 30" by 72" units? I would still like to have a runaround design with a mountain/ tunnel. I would like to limit the length to 72" due to my truck having a 72" bed.


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