Ideas for a simple Swicthing track plan

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Jalcubed, Jun 16, 2004.

  1. Jalcubed

    Jalcubed New Member

    Some may have read posts of requests for info on Colorado at the beginning of the year.
    My ultimate goal is to create a freelance rail company in Colorado in a modular setup. i was basing my ideas and track plan on the Colorado Midland.

    well that is stil my goal, but that is the distant future now. I'm incredibly busy with my study and don't have the time to spend on something complex and big. Also I'm new to model railroading and have never operated a layout.

    So what I would like to do is start out simple and build a small model with a mainline and may switching opportunities, so lots of industries etc. the size I'm looking at is probably like the shelf layouts some of you guys build.
    About a 1ft wide by5 or 6ft (I'm used to using metris, so i hoep that is correct).

    I'm modeling in N scale and would like to stick to the same era I will later on model on my modular layout. the era is early 1900's.

    I saw the perfect track plan on here some time back, but didn't take note of it.

    Can anyone help me, by providing track plans that fit my criteria and that would help me experience switching and all that type of stuff. I currently own a 0-6-0 engine from Life like, I bought myself a kit to get myself started. I also have a Jupiter on layby at the moment - I just love the paint job, okay so its not the right rail company I had thought of, but thats partly why i chose to go Private company after realising Sante fe couldn't fufill all my dreams.

    I only have 3 wagons and 1 caboose at the moment, but I'm slowly building up my rolling stock as money allows.

    So what help you guys could give me, would set me off on the right track. No pun intended.


    Jason Lennie
  2. SAL Comet

    SAL Comet Member

  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Hi Jason,

    In addition to the link from SAL, you can find inspiration for other small layots here:


    You can also go with an old stand-by: John Allen's inaccurately named Time Saver :D We have an HO version of this switching puzzle as an interactive display for our club. In HO it takes up about 2x6 (about 60cm by 2 metres), so should easily adapt to your 1x6 (30cm by 2 metres) space. (Here is Canada, we have "bilingual" measurements ;) I recently saw a roll of tape labelled as 1/5" by 9m :rolleyes: )

    Hope that helps.

  4. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Jason,If you like I can design 2 or 3 switching layouts and post them here for viewing.
  5. Jalcubed

    Jalcubed New Member

    Thank you guys for the links and the suggestions.
    I had a look at the websites and there were great selection of ideas. I need to have a more indepth look over the next couple of weeks. I'm officialy on holiday for the next three weeks but I have assignments due for the next week.
    I'll then make up some layout and post it here.

    I believe I'd surivive in Canada because of the use of metric!
    However since I'm become fascinated with Model Railroads I'm being exposed to the Imperial and am slowly working it out. I still see the logic of 12 as a grouping point, its just weird.

    I'm becomign bi-lingual in Rail terms. We use the British terms here in Kiwiland, so when I first heard people talking of switching and sidings I had no idea what they wrre talking about. Although since then I had forgotten the British term and got used to the USA ones. So when i went to the above site and saw Shunting and Spurs i brought all the initial info I learned about Railways flowing back into my head.

    I'm looking at a point to point layout. Trains that go around in circles just don't realistic to me. Real trains don't go around in circles, well not that I know of.

    Anway when I draw up some layouts I post them. I picked up a 2nd hand turntable, and my local model store has had lots of 2nd hand switches selling quite cheap, so I can actually afford to have lost of switches on my layout!

    Switches are about NZ $30 each, which I believe is US$15, correct?

    The 2nd hand switches are beign sold between $5 and $15 Kiwi dollars.
    I wasn't keen on using 2nd hand switches on a my large layout, but no that I'm makign a test layout it doesn't bother me.

    I'm learning not be a perfectionist, I don't have the time or money to be one!

    Well thanks for the responces...

    ... I 'll be back when I have something to show for myself

    One question, do I need a Controller per train? And another question, do Steam layouts differ in any way from a Disel layout?

  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    You need a controller for each train you intend to operate at the same time. With a pile of switches, you can hook them up to the various sections of track.
    Early diesel layouts just used the steam facilities as is. Later special diesel facilities were built and the steam specific features removed. Track layouts were streamlined from the 70s on: double track was singled; junctions had crossings and slip switches replaced with pairs of switches.
  7. Jalcubed

    Jalcubed New Member

    Thanks for that :)

    60103, you mentioned that double track was singled. Does that mean what is says? My understanding from was that there was often double track used for railways, but then my got rid of one set of tracks? I thought it was the other way round. Although I guessing from countyr to country it differs. In New Zealand we have single tracks, apart from one of our 2 urban rail systems in Wellington, where they often have two track on most routes.

    I was told that is the USA it was more common to have single tracks , these spawled across the great land masses that make of the nation.

    You lost me about the junctions and slip switches,please ecxplain more.

    Since I started studing up on Railroads(ways) since last year I discover there is always so much more to learn.

  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Jason, good to see your posts again. Enjoy The Gauge, there are some great people here.
    Actually the US; is almost like a number of countrys in one land mass. In the East, multi-track mainlines were common. From the early days on the Pennsy had a 4 track mainline. On the other hand, the Western railroads which covered a much larger & more sparsely settled territory, tended to run single track mains with passing sidings to allow traffic to move easily. In the '60s with the building of the interstate highway system, and much freight being lost to trucks, many of the Eastern roads downsized their trackage. The dropping of passenger service in favor of Am Trak further reduced the need for the extra trackage. With modern communication methods for train control, trains can be operated much more densely to make a single track main more efficient.
  9. Jalcubed

    Jalcubed New Member

    Gidday Russ

    Well its good to hear fromy ou again as well.
    The people hear a the Gauge are great, very helpful with what ever the need be.

    My perception of the Western Railroads is correct then. However I didn't know much about the Eastern lines. Did Am Track only run in the East, I have read a bit about them. They have got some great books at my local library on US railroads, so I shall hev to go book hunting again.

    Afterall its the old West with steam engines that gets my excited!

    Where are the majority of the HOLLYWOOD Western's set? California, Utah?

    I was interested in Colorado, ut I love the landscape of Utah etc. I always thougg I could have a line running from Utah through the rockies into Colorado. Anyway i'm gettign sidetracked from my practise layout. The dreaming can come later when I have the time, for now keep it simple.

    when I get my draft layout drawn up I'll post anway.


    Jason Lennie
  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Amtrak runs Coast to Coast. their densest traffic is on what is called the Northeast corridor. The folks from back there know more about it than I do, but I think the Northeast corridor runs from Washington D.C./Baltimore area North to Boston. I think it also runs East out of New York City to Chicago on one line through Philly and Pittsburgh, and another line through Buffalo.

    Most of the old Hollywood westerns (films made in the '30s, '40s, & 50's) were set in whatever Western state the screenwriter selected. Sometimes when the screen play was adapted from a book, the setting was determined by the books author. Most of the locations were places found in Southern California. If they needed a train in the movie, they frequently used the Sierra Railroad in Northern California. Many westerns that needed to be shot in a location with a lot of Boulders, rugged hills, etc, were shot in the Arkansas Hills near Lone Pine on the Eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In fact the Arkansas Hills were used for many of the desolate planet scenes in Star Trek. The "spaghetti westerns" were filmed in Spain, and quite a few westerns in recent years have been filmed in Mexico. The problem with trying to use Southern California today is that you can't get a clear blue sky. The problem is not smog, the air is a lot cleaner now than it used to be. The problem is the number of vapor trails from jet planes. It just doesn't look right if you are trying to make a movie set in the 1870's to have vapor trails through the sky.

    I think either the DRGW or the Colorado Southern ran from Salt Lake City to Denver.

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