HO Train Layout

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Floyd, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. Floyd

    Floyd Member

    Attached are pictures of my progress in setting up the layout for my grandson (and Me). I am not sure that this is the perminent setup I want so am asking for any suggestions on how you see I can improve the Layout. We have two seperate Throttle Controls and two seperate tracks, each one controlled by its own Throttle Pack. I am not so sure that I like the one track that is on the table like it is since most of it is hidden from view.
    Please disregard the buildings, towers, etc . Also as you can see I am attempting to make foam mountains as part of the background and perhaps include some tunnels at each corner? Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.:thumb:

  2. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    I know this may sound like an incredibly typical question.


    Is there anyway you can lower the outside loop and raise the middle one instead? Looks like you'd have your work cut out for you, however that's what I would do.

    Also, folks may ask for the dimensions and a track plan. There are some incredibly talented and helpful train nuts here who could help you with your layout.
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Floyd, the only alternative I can see (besides what tetters suggested ) is to drop the outside track to the table top also. From what I can see, it looks like the tracks are parallel, not over and under, so that would be fairly easy to do. I hope this is the kind of help you wanted. If not, please let us know.

  4. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member


    I don't know how long the tunnels will be, but unless they are quite short I would definitely suggest a way to get inside. Dirty track and derailments ALWAYS happen inside tunnels. (experience talking)

  5. wkehr

    wkehr New Member

    You might want to mount the high track in front differently. Instead of plywood, how about mounting the track on some sort of trestle that is more bridge like?
  6. Floyd

    Floyd Member

    Loren thanks for the reply/idea. I did want to include a over and under somewhere but could not figure out where it would fit in. I think that would add more interest. I will also lower the front track and try that. Yes, this is the type of help I am looking for. Since everything is temporary I can presently move everything around. In the meantime I am also busy with drywalling the room and getting it ready for painting .:thumb:
  7. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Floyd, if you can post some dimensions of your table or layout area, we can help you make a decent track plan.

  8. Floyd

    Floyd Member

    Lynn the tunnels would be in the corners as shown. I was trying to figure out some way to come up with a removeable tunnel that I could remove by lifting it up and out of the way while I performed track maintenance. I have a cutout section on the righthand side of the center section where I can reach the tunnel there without any problem (I hope). Since the lefthand table is so wide, I have left an isle where we can get to the layout from three sides including the tunnel on that corner.

    Also in the picture that shows the middle section of the layout, I have a trestle that is not very visible in the photo. I wanted to place it higher but thought that I might have trouble with the trains going up the hill and over the trestle. In addition, I want to include a body of water under the the tracks at that location with a river comming from the lake and being flowing to the wider table on the left of the layout. With this in mind, I have gotton some bridges off ebay and will work at placing them where the plywood is. I also wanted to work a road for vehicles to cross from one side of the table to the other. One town to another?? .....Since I am a new commer I am not sure if you would call my layout a freelance layout? Maybe I am trying to do to much for no more space than I have? Appreciat your input.:thumb:
  9. Floyd

    Floyd Member

    Loren...I gave my demension to Spitfire a while back and on his reply to me on 9-22-07 he came up with the following drawing which clearly shows my layout tables that I have to work with.
    My thanks go out to you again Spitfire for the illustration.:thumb:

  10. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Floyd One more question. Can you answer these for questions for us? So we know what you want to do with the layout.
    I know this is getting complicated, but it is the best way we can help you.


  11. Floyd

    Floyd Member

    Loren....As a newbe, I have looked at the form and do not have a clue as to how to answer some of the questions listed. The answers to the questions that I think I do understand are:
    RR Name: Haven't named it
    Scale: HO (Standard I would guess is what we have)
    Prototype: ???
    ERA: None Specific
    Region: Since I live in Colorado I would like mountains and/or plains country with appropriate scinery
    Railroad: ?? I want to have a fairly straightforward type of layout without to many complications. Would like to run two or more trains at one time if possible.
    Space: Outbuilding 12 foot wide x 16 foot long but would not like to have layout much longer that eight feet by perhaps 9-10 feet wide.
    No ceiling restrictions as it has a barn roof type ceiling. Two four tube florescent lights is what I would think to hang from ceiling.
    Relative Emphasis: ??
    Track Operation: Some switching with yard if possible. Mostly just running trains for pleasure.
    Mainline running: ??
    Operation Priorities: Passenger Train Switching
    Mainline passanger Train Operation
    Long freight Train Operations

    Does the above make sence??hamr
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    It sure do.
    What radius turnouts do you have now? 4 or 6 and what brand.
  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    One correction Floyd- Spitfire is not only an excellent modeler, but she is also a lady. I'm not sure she would appreciate being referred to as "he."
  14. Floyd

    Floyd Member

    My apologies to all especially to Spitfire:oops:. I had no Idea that the person was a Lady. Russ thanks for letting me know.
  15. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    No problem at all Floyd!!! :wave:

    Just for the record, I am female, but I ain't no lady!! :D :D :) :)

  16. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    to help you out, I shall elaborate on your question marks.

    Prototype- Your prototype is a specific thing you want to model. Perhaps you want to model the Pennsylvania Railroad, or the Union Pacific. You could get even more specific as to certain divisions and regions. With this selected, you can give your railroad direction as to a specific way to detail it. For example, the PRR used Position light signals or other details unique to itself. Details like this can make your layout look the part of a particular setting.

    the questions that followed in the givens/druthers are part of determining your prototype. You've already decided on your region.

    • Era being the time period. do you want steam, streamliners, or modern heavy duty diesels?
    • Railroad: again, its looking for a particular railroad to help you get your layout in order. Since you live in Colorado, Amtrak, DRG&W, the Union Pacific, Southern Pacfic, Santa Fe, or BNSF railway might be a railroad you can pick to fit your region.
    Relative Emphasis-This is asking you how you want to run your railroad.

    • Track Operation/Mainline running go together. Basically, its asking wether or not you want to run freights and things around the layout, switching boxcars and the like, or if you'd rather be running the trains from point to point, which emphasizes running your trains over the mainline.

      It sounds to me like you want to emphasize on mainline running. Therefore, you might build your layout to better accomadate long trains and passing tracks for passenger trains, and not so much with large industrial complexes and other freight switching jobs.
    • Operations Priorities You can use your list of priorities to make a better track plan. You may want to build track so that it has terminals on each end for passenger trains going across the layout. At the same time, since you are running long freights, it may be good to have alteast one large freight yard, and some staging so that you can deliver the larger trains to there destinations, where a smaller train might deliver some of the cars to local industries if you choose to include a local freight.
    there are a few good articles on the web for making Commuter railroads, which can certainly be elongated and expanded into your space to get all the same operation you want.


    while these are all small layouts, they look almost exactly what you are looking for, and should serve as a guide to building your ideal railroad. You just need to add a larger rail yard for your mainline freights, and you'll be happy.

    One final suggestion- try to use large radius curves like 22 inch and 24 inch, since many passenger cars need atleast 22 if you want them to stay on the rails.

  17. Floyd

    Floyd Member

    Nomad...I have several of both #4 and #6 turnouts. Most are Atlas but I have three Lifelike Right Switch Tracks and three Lifelike Left Switch Tracks. These are the Snap Track type that came with my grandsons Train Set. I also have one of each 12-1/2, 25, 30, 45 degree crossings and two 90 degree crossings. All are Atlas except for one which Shinohara. I also have several #4 and #6 Snap switches which are mostly Atlas.
  18. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Floyd, I did this last night. I have not calculated grades or clearances yet. To me it looks kind of toy like, but see what you think. On the left you can see where a yard would be. There could be a another yard in the right hand loop, since you want passenger and freight trains. I think both yards would end up being elevated. The track would start climbing on the right, go over the curve and then start back down. If your interested, I can try to figure in a double track for 2 trains. Curves are 20" radius, the biggest you can get on that width and still stay away from the table edge. Kind of tight for passenger trains. If you don't like it, you won't hurt my feelings, believe me.


    Attached Files:

  19. Floyd

    Floyd Member

    Loren thanks for all of the work you are going through. I really like the idea of a double track operation and it would make things more interesting, but not to challanging I hope. My grandson keeps chomping at the bit to get things going but he understands that we don't want to do just anything to get a train on line. He is going to be eight in December and has always taken a very keen interest in trains. At around the age of three he even had me stop so that he could touch the tracks at an old feedmill side railing.;-) We are patient and your layout idea looks good to me. In the meantime I am about done with the drywalling of the room and soon will be ready to paint and set up the tables/track again. Again your help is really appreciated.:thumb:
  20. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    If you do intend to go with a double main, can I suggest that you don't simply double the route around the layout? Make a more "scenic" route that can be completely isolated from the resot of the trackage so your grnadson and other visitors can run something "round and round" without 1) having to throw turnouts to make it happen, and 2) interfering with whatever other operations are in progress.


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