L-Shaped N-Scale Track plans

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Agatheron, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Hey all,

    I hope that the season of business and buying hasn't got everybody in a grumbly mood. I wanted some track planning advice that includes even benchwork possibilities. This is purely speculation on my part, given the area of the downstairs family room that I am seeking to negotiate for a layout.

    The background of this is that my original plans for doing a layout on a 36"x80" door is actually going to take up a larger footprint in the downstairs in terms of overall floorspace. This is my personal concern rather than my wife's... she's not aware of the logistical problem yet. I don't want to take up a great deal of space in the middle of the room, but a door layout would do precisely that... especially if you need to give the layout a 24" clearance around it. Best guess is that it would occupy a block that would be about 7'x 11' including all clearances. 77 square feet.


    If I were to move the layout up against the wall, I could get a potentially larger L-shaped shelf layout that would occupy less floor space in terms of the room. I am looking at an L-Shaped corner of the room, that is a maximum of 55" on the west wall, and up to 144" on the north wall. Even if I were to use all of this space, with a 2" shelf plus room for decent turnaround radii, I would be taking up less overall usable floorspace.

    Realistically, I would be looking at a trackplan that would use 48" on the west wall, and no more than 132" on the north wall. Average shelf depth would be about 24", but I could go narrower... as long as there is room to turn around at both ends. I'm not looking to have a peninsula as a part of this space, because I don't want too much jutting out into the rest of the room. As it stands, even with clearances, this would take up less space at 45-50 square feet of floor space as it is up against two walls.

    So, with these parameters in mind, any suggestions for 1. Benchwork development, and 2. Things to watch out for in track planning.

    As I've mentioned on my other drafts for the door, auto industry, cement, and agriculture are the dominant businesses in the area (southwestern Ontario), so those will have some use on the layout. I'm also hoping to include a yard for switching as well.
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I'm building a 7'x9' "L" shaped shelf layout in ho scale. It will be a switching layout with no turn back curves. I bought the "Ivar" unfinished pine modular bookshelf system from IKEA to use as bench work. I'm using the 48" high shelves all the way around which will put my layout height at @ 50-52". It has the advantage of providing space under the layout for bookshelves, and entertainment center, etc. You can get it with shelves 18 inches wide, 24 inches wide, or 30 inches wide, with transition pieces to go from one width to the other. there are also corner sections. You could use 24 inch for most of the layout, and go to 30"x30" for the ends. In addition, there is no reason why you can't let the front edge of the layout hang over a few inches if needed.
  3. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    I had considered using Ikea's Ivar system, given that I already have it... Although I found I couldn't make the plan work and still be able to turn the trains around while keeping it slightly modular... I may give it a second consideration...
  4. about doors

    Ag: If you're willing to shrink the width of the door from 36 to 30 inches, that can go against a wall just fine without reach problems
  5. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Which is true... Although I do have a concern regarding turning radius, as well as what I'm able to represent on the table... Also... the wider table allows me to do two scenes, where pushing it up against the wall and shrinking to 30" actually cuts my room for both track and scenery down by half. My wife isn't totally opposed to the idea of an L-Shaped layout, but I really only want to do it if I can make a workable trackplan in such a space.

    Since it's N-Scale, I could get away with 11" turning radii... I have 1 SD40-2 locomotive, but there will be some 85' passenger cars... and possibly auto-racks... which I understand won't work with anything less than a 13.5" radius... Which might limit my options...
  6. 13.5

    13.5 fits around a 30" space with room to spare.

    and who says 'against the wall' means you only get one scene? My own track has 2 scenes: a small city, with an industry area on the right, and a large mountain on the left.

    Still two scenes

    take 2 30x80 doors and you get an L with 50" by 110" with a 30" depth, with a 13.5" loop, and 3 or 4 good scene areas
  7. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Hey... now that's not a bad idea...

    Hrm... Although how do you figure 50"x110"? Would it not be closer to 80"x110" with 50" along the front?

    The kicker in the space I have is that the L-Shaped corner ends at a door to the laundry room. I can't block this, and I should give it about 8-12" clearance... Which leaves me with a benchwork length on the short wall of around 48"...
  8. how I figure

    well, I was picturing 2 80x30 doors laid in an L
       ^   ____________________________ 
       |    |--------------------------|  ^
       |    |<-30"---->----------------|  30"
       |    |--------------------------|   V
        |   |___________________________|
       |    |=========| ^<----50"----->
    110"    |---------| |
       |    |---------| |
       |    |---------|80"
       |    |---------| |
       |    |---------| |
       V   |---------| V
    very rough ASCII picture
  9. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    OKay... that's what I thought... Niice idea... Although I'd have to do some negotiation for that one :)
  10. Bama Red

    Bama Red New Member

    Agatheron -

    I'm in the process of building an L-shaped layout myself and it is hard to reach the back of the layout (the part against the walls) with anything over 30" wide. The two legs at the upper right of the plan will go thru an industrial park (not shown) and then connect to the "down leg" of the ell (also not shown).
    Here is my trackplan:
    And here is a pic of my progress to date (test-fitting track):

    Good luck negotiating your space!!
  11. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    For an L shaped N scale layout with a continuous loop, I would consider using the Fredaville Terminal in the corner.

    You could take the main line (bottom left) and loop it around to meet the branchline, extending the main/branch as needed to fill real estate at hand.

    Then take the branch where it joins the main by the general office, and either cross over the main, or just turn and run parallel to the main. Then extend the main and branch to fill and join them together in a loop. Of course you can add sidings along the way.

    If the track in the bottom left is reshaped to turn straight down just below the turntable, the turntable would then fill the corner nicely.
  12. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If you have a door that requires access in the corner, run a door down each wall, and put a removable section, draw bridge, or swing out track section in front of the door. That way you get an even longer mainline run, and you wife gets full access to the laundry area.

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