I'm needing help to start my layout

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Ricardo Correia, Oct 20, 2003.

  1. I'm in a trouble that needs some help and more than one single head thinking.
    I'm (re)starting the works in my layout, Since I have AC e DC locomotives, I'm going to have two separated circuits, of course. Now, my idea is to recriate a portuguese scenery with DC, since I only have portuguese locos and the german scenery with the AC, since there i only have german things.
    My doubt is: how to do a layout like this? I thought, for instance, to have a level 0 for DC, with the portuguese scenario and then the AC layout in the levels 1 and 2... but this is just a wild guess... what ideas could you give me to solve this problem?
  2. I forgot just one thing. I have a space with 3.5 meters per 3.20 metres. I want to build my layout just like an U figure or somewhat close to this, since I have a pillar in the midlle of this distance.

    My main idea is if you look to the front you have the pillar in the middle. Behind that pillar will start the layout. It will start going to the right, then front, turns left... covers all the 3.5 metres ant then turn towards me to end before the pillar about 2.8 metres after coming from the far wall to your direction.
  3. hmm

    I presume since you mentioned AC that you are using O-gauge 3-rail track?

    Are you O-27? O-31? or O-54/72?

    this will determine what kind of turns you can handle
  4. I forgot to mention it.

    My AC layout is currently H0 Marklin 3-rail from the 50's... that metal ballasted line (M track)... the standard curve is 360 mm...

    I must see the entire catalogue about the turnouts and the rest of the curves.

    I have a small idea of what I want but I want some more ideas...
  5. 360 mm curve

    360 mm = 14.7" Thats a really sharp curve for HO! :eek:

    I'm going to presume that your 1950s-era AC-powered track from the '50s is all you have, and there isn't any more of it. how much stuff do you have for it?

    the 3.5m x 3.2 meter space is pretty large:
    (roughly 12' 6" by 10'6"), a U-shaped track (perhaps with a couple penninsulas for wide turnaround loops) should offer plenty of action.
  6. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    would you be willing to do a quick sketch of the room with the U shaped layout roughly drawn in? It sounds like you wish to build two layouts in one. Different levels sound a like a good idea. I was also wondering if you might be able to design a two sided layout with Portuguese scenary on one and German on the other?
  7. That's right. As I said this is the standard curve for Marklin M layouts. I'm not using only this track, since I also have the wider radius of curve.

    The radius are R1 = 360 mm; R2 = 474,4 mm (what a strange measure, but...) I don't have curves any wider.

    The straight lines are almost all based in multiples of 180 mm. So straight track is almost all as follows:
    S1=180 mm; S2=90 mm; S3=70mm; S4=45mm; and I guess I have too those small pieces to make fitting well...

    This is the standards for Marklin M. Since, as I said, I want to make a part in AC another in DC, I may use flex-track for this purpose. I'm inclined for Peco... but don't know yet.

    I have about enough for a layout this type... if I have to increase the number of items... there are lots of people selling their Marklin M track and changing for the new Marklin C (similar to E-Z Track) and so I can have always lots of items... in there, no problem...

    I've done a sketch with AutoCAD and I roughly think this would give it a chance. I have the idea, for this benchwork, more or less like this... In the right part of the layout, I have a building pillar that I can't take :D (it's supporting the roof :D) So, I thought using this pillar as "support" for scenery. To the right of the pillar I would place the "portuguese feeling layout" in DC with the scenery cutting view from the rest of the layout. The line would come out of a tunnel (upper right) and would go around again in a simple oval... the same tunnel would let the AC track go and pass here too... I want to have there a station building made by myself based in the one which existed near my house. Then, we would turn inside... and there I don't know how to continue... or where to place the station with the staging yard and depot and the containers terminal. I don't have a turntable... so... no problem... I guess...

    The wall in the left will have my display case for models... the roof is inclined ... the higher point is above the pillar I mentioned and it goes down from "up and "down" in the drawing...

    Sorry, I guess I extended too long my text... but, from now, thanks for the help... :) :)

    Only one thing more: this sketch of benchwork would have 4 meters in the horizontal, 3.5 in the vertical (the larger dimensions)

    Attached Files:

  8. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

    Hi Ricardo:
    Thought 1: Have you considered just changing which section of your layout gets AC and DC by switching the power to the active block at the CAB? Do you plan to use DCC or some other "modern" form of control or will you be using traditional CAB control?

    Thought 2: you don't have to separate the AC and DC by levels. The tracks don't care where they are as long as they aren't electrically connected. So i'd figure out how i want my trains to operate and that will dictate level changes etc. You can intermingle two electrically seperate loops so the viewing "public" never knows they don't run on the same tracks. For instance, in one area you could bring the two loops together for what appears to be a two track main, one is AC and the other DC. They go into a tunnel and go their separate ways.

    Thought 3: The above 2 ideas might allow you to form an interchange yard. Simulated, if you are not using CAB control, and an actual interchange yard if you are using CAB. You could also just use CAB in the interchange yard, so you can bring goods and people from Portugal to the yard, switch engines, and then take them on the rest of the journey to Germany.

    That's all the thoughts i'm good for at this time of the morning. They may or may not be fully coherent.

  9. Thank you for your ideas TR,

    The idea of having different levels was decorating one part just like our Portugal is, i.e. only one main line, few houses, some trees... things like those. That would allow having a staging yard in one of the deeper levels, or something like that...

    About the control, I'll be using the traditional command with the Marklin transformers I have and the switches from the old Marklin line... this for the AC current. For DC I'll be using also the traditional style transformer... or so I think...

    I registred your ideas... I may use some of them, since I'm still making the design for the layout...
  10. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    OK Ricardo, I think I see what you have in mind. The Portuguese part will be an oval based on the right side around the pillar and the German part which will share a little bit of running rights with the Portuguese side will occupy most of the remaining space. Since they will be completely independent of each other you plan to elevate one line over the other. Is the red line in your drawing an indication of the scenic divide separating the layouts? Seems like a workable idea. As for the placement of stations, yards, container terminals etc., I'll leave that to your creativity. It appears you have room to include most if not all of those things. My final track configurations are more a result of experimental fitting and trial and error than actual written plans so I won't propose any for you! :D
    Best wishes on a very interesting layout!
  11. Yes, the red line was thought to be a support for scenery, dividing just the things between Portugal and Germany... yes I know... I studied geography and we don't have borders... but imagine so...

    I think the oval at the right would be really the portuguese part... and then I would have portuguese and german models side by side only in one small part of the layout... the rest would be tunnels and bridges and german decoration...

  12. Well... after I took some time, I managed to start building my layout. It started somewhat like the drawings I placed before, but I had to make a few changes... the first of these changes, was in the place I was thinking for the station yard, since I had to move it, because of my case-display. Only in one of the walls (the one on the left part of the drawing, I could place the case, since it's the only vertical one (the others are small, since this is an attic) and I came out with some ideas, I wish to share and to hear thoughts. I made a rough design with RTS, and I only marked the areas where things will be... I already started laying track, only in the "upper part" and the "right part" of the drawing where Portugal and Germany will share a border:D

    Now, for the drawing... and let those opinions come!

    Attached Files:

  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Have you allowed for tunnel access in that long tunnel on the top in case of a derailment in the tunnel?
  14. Yes, I thought lot about it before starting to think about that long tunnel. I have the top part of that place moveable and I'll also have some access from behind. That line will help hiding he train for some time, in order to gain attention on other details from the layout...

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