Initial Draft of N-Scale Layout

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Bikerdad, Oct 29, 2003.

  1. Bikerdad

    Bikerdad Member

    I'm attaching an initial draft of my proposed layout. The size is approximately 3' x 8'.

    The long double track across the front will be on a 4' arch bridge crossing a gorge that will be anywhere from 1 to 2 feet deep.

    The "waist" section will be crossing a dam.

    On the left, the spur that loops around will be climbing up to a frontier town.

    On the right, the double mainline, the "front" line will be climbing, while the rear line will dive for the crossover. It will then proceed into a "tunnel" and under the lake created by the dam. Outta sight, outta mind, but making a loop. It will re-appear just below the frontier town.

    Suggestions, warnings, etc, would all be appreciated. I plan on using Atlas C55, as well as any necessary turnouts/wyes from other manufacturers in Code 55. Of particular interest to me would be any suggestions for using Wyes, which, unfortunately, Atlas doesn't appear to make in N Scale, and hence, are not included in the libraries with RTS.

    Muchos gracias. BTW, for the short term, this layout will only be running 1 train. Once I am set to run more than one, then it will be DCC.
  2. Bikerdad

    Bikerdad Member

    try this attachment again!

    Let's see if it will take this time!

    Attached Files:

  3. billk

    billk Active Member

    A quick check at the Walther's site shows 2 mfrs. of Code 55 wyes. One is BK Enterprises, I'm not familiar with their product.
    The other is Peco, whose Code 55 is really Code 80 with the bottom .025' embedded in the tie strip. I imagine there's some way to transition between the two, but not sure how.

    RE: the RTS problem - I haven't used RTS for awhile, but could you maybe put two regular switches, a LH and a RH, on top of each other? Wouldn't look that great, but it just a drawing, right?

    PS: The plan looks like it has reversing loops all over the place. You should probably give a lot of thought to how it will be wired and check to see if there are any problem areas.
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Looks interesting, with lots of opportunity for different industries, towns, yards, whatever. Have you decided what to do with the yard area? Is it an engine facility and yard...?

    The only thing I wonder about is if the double main goes with the frontier town idea. It took quite a while for double mains to appear in the real west. What is the "era" for this layout?

  5. Bikerdad

    Bikerdad Member

    Era and Reversing loops

    This is going to be the QTRyNN Railroad, which is a pure freelance. A stressed concrete 500+ foot single span arch bridge isn't circa 1880s either, but it is necessary to bridge the minor tributary of the River which my engineers must cross, and circumstances are such that they make do with whatever rolling stock and locos they can get, and go wherever the demand takes them.

    Regarding those reversing loops, some more wisdom on the subject would be appreciated. I find myself, especially with the control promise of DCC, waging an ongoing battle against prototypical motive mentality, i.e. "you lay your track, you fuel your loco, and you go. Wires, we don't need no stinking wiring!" Hence, I am at great risk of "stepping in it." Concrete guidance on the subject of avoiding metaphorical cow-patties would be greatly appreciated.

    FYI, I'm going to try to post a better image.
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Re: Era and Reversing loops

    Cool... sounds like CalvinBall from Calvin and Hobbes. Just make up the rules as you go along...

    Sorry, can't help you with the DCC, but I'd be interested in the answers...!

  7. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    It looks nice, BD! Two thots at first glance, can you reach it from all sides? 3 ft can be done from one side but it will be a reach. From two sides no prob. If you can only reach from one side, you might consider a removable section in the center, at least during construction phase. Then again you probably got some strong arms from holdin' onto them handlebars :D

    The other thot is, your probably OK with code 55, esp. if you have new stuff. But it might be a good idea to get a code 55 flex track and roll your loco and rollin' stock back and forth on it and make sure bounce along the ties. I do HOn30 with N scale mechys, and they bounce on the ties with code 55. It happens.

    Look forward to seeing it come to life!
  8. Bikerdad

    Bikerdad Member

    Thanks for the advice Jon. I've got some Atlas C55 flex, and I was just looking at the "test track" in MR 2003 Layouts (or whatever that was). Seems like a really good idea that will a) allow me to test my gear, and b) allow me to make a "mini-layout" as a skill builder.

    One of the somewhat frustrating things right now is getting a handle on the whole trucks and couplers issue. Which couplers are compatible with what other couplers?

    I'd go to my LHS, but MRR isn't their thing, and I haven't managed to hook up with the local club(s) yet.

    I don't think that the depth is going to be a problem. It certainly won't in the benchwork construction stage, and may not later, as I'm initially going to be putting this in the dining room. (Which, btw, has never had a dining room table in it.) Currently, the room has a stout gov't surplus library table against one wall serving as computerland, and that's it. The 'puters will stay, so...
  9. Arlaghan

    Arlaghan Member

    I love tunnels! Just be sure to have access to every inch of the track. Murphy's law applies here - if you can't reach it, you WILL derail there.

    I have one layout using Atlas Code 55 and another using Atlas Code 80. I've also seen the Peco Code 55 stuff. In my opinion it doesn't really go well with the Atlas Code 55. The ties are huge (like the code 80 stuff) and the rails are incompatible. (While the atlas rail profile is that of an upside down "T" the Peco rail is like a cross of a "T" with a "t" if you get my meaning. You would have to get some sort of adapter joiners.

    If you are set on using the Wyes, Slips, etc... you may want to consider using Code 80... I think there are more track selections available here, and in that case, the Peco and Atlas tracks are very compatible.

    While I haven't yet used my DCC set, I have read most of the "Big Book of DCC" made by Digitrax

    Things to consider:
    1) You will need an auto-reverser for each reversing section your layout has. The command station included with most (Digitrax) starter is capable of this, but you cannot use it as both a Command station and a Reversing section - no idea why. You can get a power district card that can control up to for different districts, and these have the auto-reversing feature, I believe.

    2) Atlas code 55 turnouts have a powered frog. You will need to power route it. Atlas code 80 turnouts have an insulated frog, no power routing, but you have a small "dead spot" that could cause problems. Peco has their stuff available as either insulated or power routed... I'm not that familiar with their stuff.

    3) As a general rule: If you wire for DC, and it works fine, then you should have no problems running DCC. Wiring for DCC is much easier than complicated layouts using DC.

    4) Metal wheelsets could trigger the auto-reversing feature in DCC sets. (When a gap between districts with different polarities is hit, a short circuit is generated. DCC senses this and reverses the polarity... you don't even notice it happening. But, if your train is too long, and you have a caboose at the end that triggers the polarity, you could have problems. But this is a problem in DC as well.

    Ok... I think I've rambled on long enough! :D

    Legal Disclaimer: I'm by no means an expert in these or any matters! LOL

    P.S. Nice layout! You will have plenty of fun building it. :)
  10. Arlaghan

    Arlaghan Member



    As far as I know here are the different couplers:

    Rapido - the old bulky ones - only work with other Rapidos
    Accumate - Atlas knuckle - works with other knuckles
    Micro-Train Knuckle - The N scale standard
    MDC Knuckle - Junk... throw away.. use Micro Trains
    Kato Knuckle - So-So. Compatible with other knuckles, but sometimes I have trouble linking to non-kato knuckles - it won't grab on.

    Another Disclaimer: I'm relatively new in the hobby, so if someone else responds they are probably right and I am wrong :p

    Thanks and Enjoy!
  11. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    You don't need the LHS when ya got the-gauge!

    I went to the search page, entered *couplers* and selected "N scale forum" and got this:

    These guys really know there stuff. About a billion years combined N scale experiance I 'spect :D :D :D If you don't see what you need there, you might just start a new thread and ask.

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