I know it's small but should it bend like that?

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by chip, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. chip

    chip New Member


    i have been trawling these forums for the last couple of days after deciding that i should build a small N gauge layout as entertainment through the winter months.

    The following is ideally what i would like to include.

    A continuos loop would be nice, but no essential.

    Water... i want to try my skills at modelling water and would like this to be the inustry for the railway ie dockside, canal wharf etc. oh... and i'm hopingto build an openening bridge.

    and various swithcing options to keep it interesting.

    also i only intend to use short wagons, locos.. 0-6-0 and probably coal type wagons so corners could be tight. (i think)

    lastly i would like this to be as small as possible anything under 2'x3' is great.

    now, i found a plan on a website i cant remember, but i don't think it's to scale. i'll try and attach the image.

    i would be very interesed to hear some views form experienced builders on this layout and any suggestions would be great! to be honest i'm struggling to stop myself going out and buying loads of stuff before i know what i need.



    Attached Files:

  2. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Welcome to the gauge. That looks fine if you want a mini layout. I have seen much smaller layouts in N gauge. That one has lots of operational potential. Fred
  3. chip

    chip New Member


    thanks for the superquick response.

    what worries me is the plan quotes 6" radius curves!
    is this going to look bad or will it be ok with short wheelbase rolling stock?
  4. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Yes, you will need small rolling stock and lokeys. That's the downside to all micro-layouts. It should look acceptable keeping in mind the small size and the need for the small radi to get all the points in the space you have. Could you go bigger, say 2 by 4? Fred
  5. 2slim

    2slim Member

  6. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    Nice thread topic! [​IMG]

    I agree with dash10. I think I'd try to go with a 2x4 layout or look for something with a minimum radius of 9 3/4".
  7. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    Over the past couple of years i have seen some great looking layouts that were 2x4 or bigger here on the internet and The-Gauge. I would go with the 2x4 layout. With N Scale you will be able to fit alot more scenery, track, buildings, or whatever else you feel like placing on the layout.

    :wave: Welcome Aboard The-Gauge :wave:
  8. chip

    chip New Member


    thank you for the welcome and all the tips... and the link 2slim, there are some great boats there.

    i think i'm going to try and do a proper track plan with 9 3/4 curves etc for the layout to see how big it ends up an then see if i can squish it down as one curve is within the building so it could be tighter.

    can anyone recommend any good (hopefully free) software to do this?

    I do see the advantage of 2'x4' and there are lots of good layouts around, but I really am short on space.

    thanks again,

  9. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    Atlas Right Track is good software to use to make track plans. I have used it and i a couple of members on here use it as well. Here is the link for the software, it is free, just have to sign up. Altlas Right Track Software
  10. Heres a simple 2x3 using 9-3/4s curves, actually 30"x21":


    and a very tight plan in 2x3


    these come from Mike's Small Trackplans website:
  11. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    I'm really intrigued by this plan. The river, barge, industrail trackage, and buildings will suggest a congested urban scene that will help the viewer forget its in such a small space. I hope you can squeeze in the extra foot to make it 2X4 because I'd selfishly love to see this layout completed! :)
  12. seanm

    seanm Member

    I like the plan myself, but I am not sure the turnouts will fit as they are drawn. Maybe, but they sure look like a steep angle at the frog. Maybe have to hand lay the track and turnouts to get it to work.
  13. chip

    chip New Member


    ok... things are geting interesting... thanks for the software link. it's very good.. and easy to use.

    i've tried to make a layout from the original design, but as others have thought not everything will fit so it's currently just under the 2x4 size.

    there is still room for the boats etc and an oppotunity for an oppening bridge on the top right curve.

    what do you all think?

    I'm going to keep playing and see what else i can come up with. it would be great if any of you know if there is a peco track library for RTS? this track is readily available to me and also there are curved swithces available which don't seem to be in the atlas selection (maybe i'm missing them somehwere.)

    Attached Files:

  14. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    No, last I looked Atlas doesn't make them. Peco does, but Atlas doesn't want you to buy Peco so they don't include it in their software. :D That's a good question about adding a peco library to Atlas software. Any hacks out there know of or want to tackle such a project? Fred
  15. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    Chip asked - can anyone recommend any good (hopefully free) software to do this
    <Http://www.sillub.com - XTrkCad has just become freeware - good track libraries included
    Shortliner(Jack) away up here in the Highlands
  16. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    Chip - you might also take a look at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/small-layout-design/ in the files, fourth one down you'll find 1pbline.jpg ( Petite Belt Line) which is 2x4 in HO. Might help with your trackplan
    Shortliner(Jack) away up here in the Highlands
  17. seanm

    seanm Member


    This is an great tool... but like all tools, it takes some learning. Give yourself a couple of days and it will do wonderful things for you.
  18. tillsbury

    tillsbury Member

    According to Raily, this can be done in Peco 55 with three curved turnouts and four small ones, with a radius of 200mm (8"), which is probably as small as you want to go. The number of turnouts determines the length of the plan, which has ended up in this example as 18" x 34", but it's still a neat layout... If you were determined to reduce the size still further, you could probably trim each turnout very slightly...



    Attached Files:

  19. tillsbury

    tillsbury Member

    Oh, and while I'm here, just go for it. Get some ply or foamboard or whatever, some foam or cork underlay (there's 4.9m of track on that plan), and the appropriate turnouts (2xleft small, 2xright small, 2xright curved, 1x left curved) and about 4 pieces of flextrack and just do it! What's the worst that can happen? It all goes pear-shaped and you're out by the wood and the flex track (you'll be able to re-use the turnouts almost certainly).

  20. chip

    chip New Member

    thanks tillsbury, that looks great.

    I've been spending some (probably far too much) time with xtrkcad so i'll try and put your design in. it does does a while to get the hang of it, but it does indeed do great things.

    i shall be trying out some real track soon. i already have a baseboard (i'm a set builder so that bit was easy) and have some turnouts coming soon that i bought online. so when it's all here i'll do as you suggest and just stick it all together!

    and as you mentioned it... what is the reason for cork or foam underlay? do i need it? and will i be able to pin the track securely to it?

    thanks everyone!


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