Is There a Contest for World's Worst Track Plan?

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Quinn222, Dec 17, 2006.

  1. Quinn222

    Quinn222 Member

    If so I think I have a good shot at winning it.

    I'm having an awful time coming up with a plan. I've tried the various track planning software but can't get any of them to work for me. I finally drew this up in PhotoShop but it's terrible. Red is elevated, pink is tunnel, green is bench level. I have weird crossing tracks, boring running and pretty much a mess.

    What I'm trying to get is a small yard at the far end of the 2foot bench. A simple main line with a second line that has some elevation (hill, not mountains). Need at least one tunnel and one bridge. Also need a waterfront (maybe a lot of waterfront.) Some passing sidings and spurs for a few industries. There also needs to be some continous running. If I could figure out where to move that tunnel I would. I sort of had the corner where I have it earmarked as a fishing village. I'd rather have the village on the curve of the peninsula but I can't figure out how to get any elevation without using that area.

  2. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Hey thats a lot better than anything I have been able to come up with!

  3. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    Scale? Era? Locale? Should've too hard to fit all those in there for you.
  4. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    I'm not one of them :) but we have a lot of members who are adept at drawing up track plans. I'll bet you'll get some good advice soon!

    COMBAT Member

    Hey, I will be happy to help you if you'd like.

    Take a look at this thread. It is my design. :D

    I would like to know what scale you are modeling?
    What era is this?
    Where in the world is it located?
    What do you want on your layout? Industry ect.
    What things are a must?
    What would you like if you could have it all?
    What is the size of the room you are using and where are the doors ect?
    Are you using DCC, or DC for the layout?
    Do you want any water features?
    What is the minimum track radius you want/need?

    I think thats it, for now. :)
  6. Quinn222

    Quinn222 Member

    Thanks for the interest.
    HO scale, 1940s-50s
    Haven't settled on exact locale but it's probably Maryland/Delaware/PA area.
    I'm building FOS Scale ltd.'s Dept. of Docks so want a waterfront. I also want a dairy farm and my dad wants some sort of coaling industry. A sawmill would be great if it can be fit in as my uncle built FSm Sawmill for me. A small town (fishing village?) a station or depot and a small switching yard.
    The plan I posted is 1 foot to the square. It's half the garage. The upper wall along the bench is the only area against a wall.
    Min track radius I'd say 24, I'd like some 30. My dad wants to run some full length passenger cars. We also want room for scenery. I build craftsman kits as do other members of the family and we want room for them!

    COMBAT Member

    Thats a tall order.sign1 What is the room size? Should I go by your picture you posted? :D
  8. Quinn222

    Quinn222 Member

    What I posted is exactly to scale and the benchwork is not negotiable, that's the benchwork. Now I just have to fit something on it. A single track most of the way is fine with me but I do have to have passing sidings, some spurs and that elevation of somesort. I appreciate your input.

    COMBAT Member

    Well, with out knowing the size of the buildings you want to use or some other info about your layout what about something like this:


    :D OR :oops: depending on if you like it that is.

    Almost all of the radius is 22". If you want 30" that is going to be tuff on that size of a layout. :thumb:

    Let me know what you think!
  10. Quinn222

    Quinn222 Member

    It looks good but I think we need less track and more open space. Also my dad is 80 and frail, a duck under or lift out are both not options. As a matter of fact I am seriously considering a low height so he can use it seated. The area you asked about is going to have a divider. There can be a hill up to it. No mountains, some elevation but no rockies! I don't want any track to be more than 20 inches from the front of the layout if I can help it, that's why it's sort of greyed out in the middle.
  11. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    With those new rules you have a good plan already on your photo shop. I can completely understand what you are saying and why you need those rules, however it is really limiting what you can do because of it. I like what you did. If you need any other help, PLEASE let me know! :)
  12. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    That definitely needs less track. I'm not even going to venture a guess as to what all that track in the yard is supposed to do. How about an oval around the bottom and a branch terminating at a much simpler terminal at the top? You should be able to hide that open center in the oval with a backdrop which will help to break up the 'round-and-'round effect nicely. A second branch could climb along the center of the oval next to the backdrop to a yet smaller terminal and have some semblance of point-to-point operation if desired.
  13. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member


    Well, thats an opinion. We all know what people say about opinions, dont we?
  14. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    No, I don't. Please tell me.
  15. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    *gets some popcorn*

  16. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    Your kidding right... you dont know?????????

    OK, well I will tell you.

    Opinions are like ..... everyone got one. :D

    Careful where you repeat that, not everyone understands it. :thumb:
  17. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Wal, thanks very much fer that information, Combat, I'm sure we needed updating on that!! 'Specially the younger folks... :oops: :oops:

    Really, though, you might consider what Brian pointed out. That layout presents a good opportunity for both point-to-point and continuous running. :thumb: And maybe there is a tad overkill in the yard area!! :D Sometimes less is more...
    (just my -dare I say it? - opinion)
  18. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    Hey Cid, the great thing about your opinion is you did it with tact and respect. I think that was truly my point. As far as the switching area I like to be able to build my trains in the yard. All of those switches make what I like easy and fun to do. Hey, thats just my opinion! :)
  19. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Starting with the plan you started, I would make the very end of the permanent bench the harbor/fishing village area. Don't forget to locate a building along the docks there where refrigerated cars are loaded with fresh caught fish. If your modeling 40's-50's, you'll be running ice reefers, so put a second siding to the rear of the bench by the harbor with an icing dock. Also since you are hauling fish in your reefers, you want them kept colder than produce, so there should be bags of salt at the icing dock to salt the ice bunker to make the reefer colder. Because it is going to be a relatively small layout, you will be limited to fairly short trains. It might be interesting to make all of the fresh fish shipments in express reefers at the head end of your passenger trains. That would add the challenge of having the fish loaded and the cars iced in time to be cut into the head end of the passenger train before it leaves the station. We are probably talking about only 2-3 reefers total. That means you could bring the reefers down to the dock with a small switch engine or small steamer like a 2-6-0 mogul with a working coupler on the pilot. That means we get to the fish dock pulling our train in and we need to uncouple and run around behind the caboose to push the reefers into the fish brokers facility. Once loaded, you need to back the train out of the fish dock and push it into the icing dock to ice the bunkers. The total train length we are talking about here is a smallsteam loco, a tender (this could also be a great place to use a docksider type saddle tank locomotive eliminating the tender) 2-3 40 or 50 foot express reefers and a caboose. I'm visualising a train no longer than a typical computer keyboard. All of this could take place in the last 2-21/2 feet of the permanent bench.

    Now I would model the passenger terminal as a flat along the wall adjacent to the fishing port. I think with your layout size I would run a 4-6-0 for passenger power with the aformentioned express reefers, a baggage car, mail car, a couple of coaches and an observation car. An 18 car passenger train pulled by a 4-8-4 or an ABBA set of f7's would chase it's tail around the layout. I think the passenger station should be condensed to about 2 tracks that are stubb ended. We'll operate the passenger station like Union Station in Los Angeles where the trains pulled into stubb ended sidings to offload/load paeesengers. Then when the train left, it backed out onto the wye and turned to head back out. We'll get to the "wye" later We have now used the back 8-12 inches of the next 8-10 feet of the permanent bench on the wall. In the area immediately in front of the terminal, will be the mainline/branch line going to the harbor. Put a runaround right in front of the terminal tracks to allow the reefers to be cut into the front of the passenger train. We have now used the first 10 or 12 feet of the permanent benchwork. There is a little bit of room left in the front for scenery and structures.

    Now we get to the "wye." I would eliminat the crossover in the plan you drew completely, and put in a "wye". I think there is room for a "wye" with #6 turnouts and a 30 inch radius between the oval you drew and the permanent bench. That is where the passenger train will turn when it is backed out of the terminal.

    The other thing to keep in mind is that even though you need a 30 inch radius for the passenger train, if you use small freight steam like 2-8-2 mikados for freight power and 40-50 foot freight cars, you can negotiate 18 inch radius curves without a problem. If you are using 18 inch radius, you have room to bring a siding to the inside fo the wye to a lumber yard and coal dealer. I think there is space to fit a run around track in the area in front of the wye to allow you to move the engine behind th train and push the cars into the lumber yard and coal dealer.

    Now for your "red" branch line. Your branch line can be tighter radius than the mainline, so bring it off the inside of the mainline where you have the switch that leads to the crossover. Now you can have that branch wind its way up a hill toward the central backdrop, and around the back drop. On one side of the backdrop at the top of the hill put a part of a small logging operation. Most of it would be flats on the backdrop with just a little 2 or 3 track yard where log emptys can be dropped and log loads picked up. Around the other side of the backdrop you put your coal tipple with a couple of loading tracks, and a run around to an Atlas turntable where the locomotive can be turned, and the caboose put on the other end of the train. Now it can head back down the mountain with loads of coal, stop at the logging camp on the way back and pick up loaded log cars then head on down the branch. When the train gets back to the mainline, it continues around the mainline to the other side of the central backdrop. Put your sawmill between the mainline and the branch on the far side of the central backdrop between mainline and the branchline. You can then use a couple of sidings to create a "loads in-loads out" industry. In this case you would have loads of logs coming in and loads of lumber going out.

    I'm afraid I'm not good with drawing, but I think I can draw a "word picture" that someone else could pick up and run with.
  20. Quinn222

    Quinn222 Member

    I'm having a hard time picturing it but it sounds good Russ, thanks! The only thing I see as an issue is the village at the end of the bench. I had planned that to be pretty plain in that area because the electrical panel is above there (shown on the plan) and I have visions of people reaching over the layout to get to the panel and a craftsman structure getting squashed. There is also a window above there in the back wall, which isn't a huge issue since I'm not planning a lot of elevation but it's there.

    Where is the Wye? In the area where I ended up with that odd crossover?

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