Is 4' by 8' large enough?

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by WalterJ, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. WalterJ

    WalterJ Member

    I'll work on another layout idea at lunch today. Maybe without the door and use of the closet space I can make it more interesting. Thanks for the 'visual'!
  2. ukon30fan

    ukon30fan 0n30 Rail Baron of Leeds

    And just how is one supposed to get to the backside of that? Those are long reaches by any standard

  3. WalterJ

    WalterJ Member

    Yes David, that would be a problem. I had envisioned water of some kind (perhaps a lake or two) that could be released from beneath so as to gain access to the 'far reaches' of this orginal layout. I have scrapped it and am working on one in my head that i'll do at lunchtime today and post early this afternoon. I figure little by little the designs will improve......

  4. WalterJ

    WalterJ Member

    New layout (No 2) plus mystery Structure Kit

    Here it is in rough form. I would have to have a few cutouts in order to reach corners, but using Andrew's idea of expanding into the closet, it may be possible.

    I also attached a Jpg of the kit I did years ago that my wife bought me at a Timonium MD Train show. Does anyone recognize the Kit and who created it? I don't remember (never saved all the sheets of instructions). I changed the name of it too!

    Thanks again for all the help and Info, it's greatly appreciated.


    Attached Files:

  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Much better plan. I take it that continuous running is important to you? I would eliminate the alternate loops though - unless you have a specific plan for them, they don't add much. (The scene I described above did not have continuous running, at least, not the way I imagined it!)

    I would shift the sidings to the near edge of the loops. You also might consider eliminating the loops (ie. follow the same shape, but don't hook up the loops as loops). Then you can add staging (if desired) along the left and top sides of the plan. The action can be near the edge (aisle) for easy access, while the track near the wall can be hidden, or simply run through some scenery.

    For the record, the kit seems familiar, but I cannot remember what it is. Bar Mills, or FSM perhaps? Is that your version?

  6. WalterJ

    WalterJ Member

    Andrew ...
    I would like some continuous loops, but that said, I can envision less loops and a great deal more sidings and some staging. I will keep working on it. somehow I want to work a small village and the longest straight mainline track into this layout if possible. As this will be a scene from the Hudson River Valley around the village of Cold Spring NY, the cliffs and mountains start close to the tracks, so some of my rail closest to the walls willhave to be tunneled and bridged.

    Yes that jpeg is a photo of my version of the Brewery. It took me almost a year to finish, as I couldn't devote that much time per week. I researched the kit a little and am pretty sure it's not a FSM. I did break the first base early on and had to contact the creator of the kit for a replacement base which he kindly sent me, and I kind of remember he was located somewhere in Ohio or Indiana.
  7. Dansco

    Dansco Member

    You might consider continuous loop but not everything on the loop. Say for example, a somewhat modified continuous oval in the lower end of the room, using the closet to hide parts of it, then a long spur off the loop that runs allows a shelf layout around the left, top, and right walls. This line takes you to the other side of the room for point to point, switching, etc. This gives lots of track length for grades. With DCC and multiple locos, you could start a train running the oval, while some other train heads down the point to point track and does some thing cool down there.. I have something like that, I have a loop, that a train just runs around, while I build up other trains in my little yard. I find this pretty satisfying.. I can be in the middle of switching cars, and stop and enjoy the view..
  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Walter, in your first post on this thread you mentioned collecting brass models of NYC locomotives, and I think passenger trains. If that is what you want to run on your layout, I think you need to build it with broad radius curves, at least 30 inches. I think a lot of the responses you've received are overlooking what I call the "brass factor." I don't have any brass locomotives or rolling stock; but in the modular club I belong to, we have had people run brass. Most brass locomotives are built as precisely scale as possible and they frequently do not compromise precision for operation. We have run brass U.P. Challengers on the outside main with 36" radius because if run on the inside main the front of the smoke box would hang over the outside of the outside main on the curves. I think before you start layout planning, you should get a sheet of plywood and lay out some curves of various radii with flex track and see how tight your equipment needs for a minimum radius.
  9. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Walter: Is the section of NYC you're thinking of double track (or more)? You might find the scenic bit more appealing if you run a length of double track instead of the reverse loops.
    And I second the idea of trying out the locos on various radii before doing much more designing. I posted an idea for a spiral to test locos -- see how sharp the curve would go before they fall off -- but it was limited to about a 24" radius.
    Also, see if you can locate one of John Armstrong's books where he talks about his "squares" method of design. Briefly, a "square" is about radius+track spacing, assuming your radius is appropriate to your locos, etc. You divide the area of your layout by the area of the square to see how many it contains. He provides a little table to tell you what features can be accommodated in that many squares. Then you start eliminating all the goodies you planned to include.
  10. WalterJ

    WalterJ Member

    Thanks Dansco, Russ and David.

    I know I've just started scatching the surface of possible layouts for this room but I really appreciate any and all the expert advice you guys along with Andrew, Roger and others have shared with me so far.

    First of all, I am pretty sure I won't be using too many of my Brass Locomotives on my layout as a lot of the older ones are not great 'runners' and with the newest ones costing me, in some cases in the $1000's, I wouldn't want to wear them down. Since Broadway Limited to mention only one company, is building very detailed 'Hybrids' that run well (and cost a lot less than brass), my thought was to use their Hudsons, Mohawks and then pick up a few Pacifics, Atlantics, Mikados and maybe even a Ten-wheeler from other companys. I would possibly use one of my older brass pieces in the foreground that would be stationary...too early to tell......

    My layout #2 right now uses a 24" minimum radius (closet radius is 28.5")

    The section I would really enjoy detailing (Cold Spring/Breakback Mountain was a 4-Track Mailline section that ran just in from the Hudson River past Cold Spring and then though Breakback mountain. Meanwhile, straight across the Hudson at Cold Spring, running up and down the river and tunneled under West Point Mititary Academy and at the base of Storm King mountain ran a main Freight line!

    I always envisioned my layout to incorporate thes two main train elements with the river being where I would stand and others would view. Given the extreme small size of this room, I will have to compromise...a bit, But David's point about the multiple track is still the most important.

    I am attaching some simple reference shot of the general area i want to model.....

    As far as my layout #2 is concerned, It's back to the drawing board........

    Attached Files:

  11. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    That structure..."Mainline & Siding" manufacturer perhaps?

    Nice inspiration shots...good luck with the planning!

    Also, you may not have to compromise much if you switched (Gasp!) to N-scale. I'm perfectly content in HO and it sounds like you are too, so that may not even be a consideration, but I thought I'd mention it all the same...
  12. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Walter: Consider building a 4-track section with 2 or 3 of the tracks merely "scenic". Put a red signal at one end and you have a display spot for your brass.
  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Those are beautiful pictures! Are you planning to do fall scenery on the layout?

    With a folded dogbone that follows the same route between the ends, you "instantly" get the appearance of a double main. If you add a long passing siding, and perhaps a dummy track as suggested by David 60103 for display, you have the appearance of a quad-main.

  14. WalterJ

    WalterJ Member

    Galen, David and Andrew,

    At this point in planning --

    It will have to be HO scale. I did buy a number of years ago a completed 'table top' finished N scale layout for my Dad who was in ill health at the time. My mother told me it was the greatest gift he had ever received as he would run those trains all day and evening! (actually had me work on some of the structures that he felt didn't make sense in his layout!!).
    But for me, it will have to be HO.

    That's a good idea David and does make it possible to 'show off' some of my brass (especially the 'Hudsons').

    I am working this week on trying to incorporate a 4 track section (window side). I looked at the orientation of the room and realized that if this idea could work at all, I had to reverse the direction of the 'rail'. North is the closet/door -east side of Hudson River is by the window so the shorter section becomes (west side of the Hudson river) the Freight line.

    I have been thinking of early fall scenery, as it might work very well with the steep hills surrounding the track, but that's a thought for after track planning.......I can see this will take some time, but will payoff in the end.
  15. WalterJ

    WalterJ Member

    layout No4

    Well, here is a preliminary 4-track layout. Obviously, all you gentlemen will realize quickly if this can really work or not, but as I have the time until after my daughter's wedding to get this locked in, I don't mind at all if you all consider this another 'NG' attempt. Your expertise will save me untold wasted hours........

    I don't know if it's at all possible on such a small space, but I would really like to add a turntable to one end of this layout...possibly on the right side ('west side freight'). If possible, how much room would I need to devote to this section and does it make sense even if it would fit?

    I have attached my new layout 34 here for your review. - WalterJ

    Attached Files:

  16. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    Whats in the room beside this one ? You could be sneaky and just build with plans to ask the wife next year about expansion through wall.
  17. WalterJ

    WalterJ Member

    The room adjoining this one (to the right) is larger, but not possible, as it is our guest room and is off limits!! This space is what I have.

  18. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Walter: are all those crossings level or do you plan to have part of it elevated? If they're going to cross over above, you may need more length to rise. The crossings may be a bit of complication.
  19. WalterJ

    WalterJ Member



    I had hoped to elevate the curved crossing at the top (south wall). What is the needed track length to raise one track over another? Is it pssible as I have it on layout #4?

  20. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Walter a 2% grade, which is a good safe grade goes up 1/4 of a inch per foot. You need 4" raise to go over another track in HO. thats 16 feet total run of track.

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