I need help...

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by iis612, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Other than the yard, there is TONS of room for all that you have listed, including the cement plant and the interchange.

    Have you tried planning from the point of view of the various industries' needs as I suggested above? That might turn on some other lightbulbs, so to speak ;) (You note in your other thread that the restrictions of the benchwork are stifling the trackplan - so stop worrying about the benchwork and see what happens! :))

    In order to accomodate the yard, you could move the helix to the corner, and enlarge the central penninsula.

    But perhaps you need to think more about what the yard means to you (i.e. why you want to include it, and what the KEY features are), and also what having a huge yard like that would mean to the layout.

    There are some layouts that are based almost entirely on a yard, and their operation, so that is a real possibility, given the room you happen to have. But at that point, you may be trading off between the yard and the other industries, not something you necessarily wanted, given your preferences in the first post...

  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    One other though that occurs to me is to eliminate the helix, and transition to the lower level with a really long, shallow (<2%) grade. Since you have designs on the whole room ;) you could take a long run to transition down to storage/staging without the need for a helix.

    You could also employ "surround staging" as described by Mike Hamer in MRP and GMR a few years back.

  3. iis612

    iis612 Member


    Thank you. Your advice and insight have been beyond valuable.
    I like the idea of the gradual slope as apposed to the helix. I doubt my ability to build a decent helix, and buying a prefab helix is not my style.
    I am working on different elements, as per your advice. I am not good with Xtrk, so it is slow going. When I have something worth showing, I will post it.

  4. iis612

    iis612 Member

    I am not familiar with the concept. Are you refering to moving staging behind the backdrop?

    Also, I have an 8'x3' area for staging off of the main level, it is located along the south side just below the unreadable text :oops: on the last benchwork diagram.
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    You've hit the nail on the head...! Mike's "surround staging" is exactly that - moving the staging onto two or three parallel tracks that are hidden between the backdrop and the wall. There are pros and cons to this, but overall I think it is worth considering because it 1) can require fewer turnouts, 2) does not require grades, and 3) gives a better interface between the backdrop/flats or whatever is the last model element, and the room's wall(s).

    The cons include 1) difficult access in case of derailment, 2) limited views (can be corrected with closed circuit TV, automated staging operation, or simply strategically placed mirrors), and 3) requires bombproof trackwork and rolling stock. (Mike has opted for mirrors, and tested his track and rolling stock rigorously before "hiding" the staging.)

    Here's a link to Mike Hamer's B&M Railroad, an overview of the layout at Ottawa Valley Associated Railroaders -> Mike. There are some additional pictures throughout the Friday Night Group blog as well.

    I have operated at Mike's place on several occasions, and must say that this concept works beautifully.

  6. iis612

    iis612 Member


    I like that concept. I had considered it before, but was unsure how to implement it, and hide the transition trackage.
    I had thought about some sort of scene break, like an overpass and some strategically placed trees, or passing track behind a bunch of false front structures giving the impression of an unseen industrial spur.
    Once I get Xtrk working again, I will work on that as well as other suggestions.
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Mike's track plan is basically a twice around, with three transitions to/from hidden trackage. The diamond is hidden along with the staging tracks. There is one tunnel entrance, another "hidden" tunnel, and an overpass involved with hiding the transitions.

    If you look at the track diagram in the link labelled "Mike" above, you will see another transition - from staging to the layout - visible from the doorway. Mike has now scenicked this as well, and uses a combination of trees and an interlocking tower to screen the transition.

  8. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    Duck unders are hard to stay happy with. i'd suggest strongly to try a C or E typy layout for easy access to the center of your empire.

    Shelving under a permanent layout is perfect for storage.

    Also if you are having problems with the track plan layout your building mockups (footprint boxes) in xtrkcad. Then start laying track start with main lin then sidings for industries.
  9. iis612

    iis612 Member


    Thanks for the links. That is a really nice looking layout. I like the twice around design. It adds alot of unseen elements that I could use to support heavier freight traffic then the few industries I have selected to model. Not to mention the increased running time on the mainline.
    Xtrk is a bust. I have not gotten a response on the yahoo group page, so I have an HO template and a drafting set. I think my scanner is working, so I will break out the pencils.

    Despite the benchwork diagram's apparent lack of it, I plan to employ a lift/drop section to facilitate entry/exit.
    Xtrk is no longer running on my pc, so I am going to create some footprint templates in scale with my 1" to 1' scale, so I can go to the drawing board.
    I had not really considered using the footprints to create the trackplan, I was going to work the footprint around the track. In retrospect, that seems like a strange way to do things, somewhat like dangling the carrot behind the mule. I will certainly employ the opposite method, as you suggested.

  10. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    This is taken from Armstrong's list, which defined "long" as 20+ freight cars (presumably 40') or 8-12 passenger cars.
    Armstrong's list doesn't have a spot for "specific prototype scene that must be duplicated", though he mentions in one of his books that this is sometimes a requirement.
    I don't think that hidden track would satisfy a scene-duplication requirement.
  11. iis612

    iis612 Member

    There will be a paper plan coming soon. I have been busy with Dr. appointments, so I have not had time to work on anything. I do have some doodles, but I need to put them into scale to see if they are feasible.
    Can someone tell me what the equation is to determine grade?
    My idea is to eliminate the helix and use a long run, behind the backdrop to transition to the second level.
    I need to try to keep the grade at 2% or lower.

  12. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    1/4 inch per foot is 2% grade (pretty close)
  13. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Or 2/100= .02
  14. iis612

    iis612 Member

    Thank you Roger:thumb:
  15. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Matt i bought the woodland scenic incline sets. look on this page for the 2% inclines sets 2' each (8 )
    Woodland Scenics Model Trains Scenery Foam That will give you 4" rise over 16 feet. That is good for HO. you could build your own which I thought about doing but at 11.59 why. They flex so you can bend to your curves. Just my thoughts. Thanks
  16. iis612

    iis612 Member


    Thanks for the suggestion. I had thought about using that very item, but it would be less expensive for me to build the transition out of plywood, or other methods.
    I need the transition to span 15" as it is a transition between levels.
    I might have to steepen the grade a little bit, so I can cover that 15" in 49'.

  17. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    thats still only 2.5% grade not to bad

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