Layout Critique - Part 2

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by 91rioja, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. 91rioja

    91rioja Member

    Hello again all! This is a continuation of the following thread, I felt it more appropriate to
    post here. After taking into consideration all the input I got back, here is the
    latest plan. I have decided to go around the walls afer all. What I have to work
    with is a 10' 10" X 9' 10" room, with a 36" door in the bottom left corner (the
    door is on a 45 degree angle in the corner and is made into two inward opening
    French doors); it is not the best room, but it is the only room the wife would let
    me have.

    The shape of the benchwork would be triangular, no more than 24" deep, so I can
    push it back against the walls. The layout contains only 6 18" radius curves on
    the interior branchline, with the exterior loop being 22" or better. On the right
    hand side, there is an interchange between the New River Valley shortline and the
    NS mainline.

    The operations pit will be in the center of the layout; I don't mind the duck
    under, and there will only be one operator. Points of interest will be:
    A - Mountain of some sort and double track tunnel.
    B - New River Valley Coal Company
    c - Yet to be determined industrial area
    D - Yet to be determined industrial area
    E - Bridge going across New River

    It is all going to be mostly flat, with maybe a 1" - 2" rise somewhere.

    The only thing that is really lacking is a passenger terminal; I would like to run
    my N&W J Streamliner instead of letting it sit on a shelf.

    I'll be mostly running 4 axel diesels, but I do have a couple of 6 axel ones.

    I'll probably run no more than 9 cars to a consist, with the largest being a 50'

    Any more gotchas on this layout?


    Attached Files:

  2. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

    It looks like you only have a foot between the layout and the wall. I believe I would rethink this before I went any further. From what I see, the rest appears pretty good. What is your age? I had a duck under to get to the center and it got real old REAL fast.

    Without drawing it out, FWIW, I'd try for an around the wall with a four foot turnaround at each end.

  3. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Chris,The layout looks fairly good as it is..If it was my layout I would add a power plant.
    I would add a hill or small mountain and so I could have a loads in/empties out operation for the coal mine and power plant..The mountain/hill would hide the track connecting the mine and power pant that would be located on each end of the mountain.:thumb:
    As far as the duck under being a problem that would really depend on the height of your layout and physical condition..I've seen guys in their 70s slide under a layout to get to the operators pit while some younger guys would have problems.:oops:
    Lynn,As for me I favor the operators pit because I like being surrounded by trains and how everything is in easy reach.:thumb: You'll not read that in any layout book or a layout article by a "expert" layout designer..:D So,Like "S" curves a duck under isn't a evil thing either.:thumb:
    You see the "evil" in layout designs is base on what one chooses to believe without any prior first hand knowledge and that knowledge can only come by first hand experience through personal use and not by books,magazine articles or what so called "experts" say..:D After all what "experts" say is usually base on their likes,dislikes,personal beliefs or what other "experts"have said in times past and may not be the best answer for you or me in our layout designs base solely on OUR givens and druthers and not the givens and druthers of others.
    Sorry..Didn't mean to preach..:oops:
  4. 91rioja

    91rioja Member

    Right now, 40" is the height of my benchwork for my old 4x8; I'll be cutting that bench in half to form 2 2'x8' sections, and adding some more benchwork for this plan. Im in the "between 30 and 40" club, so I think I'll be in good enough shape to tackle the under the bench to the pit thing.

    I liked the power plant idea, but where does one find a coal fired plant kit? Tried looking, but came up empty handed. My dad worked for American Electric Power, and I am trying to remember just what those plants in WVa looked like (this was about 20+ years ago).

  5. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

    Hey Brakie, sermon well preached and soundly recieved. Since he is in the "30-40" club, the pit is a fine idea. At 75 and 3 back surgeries, :cry: I gave up the idea and tore it down. I now have a walk-around. My duck under was good for a year or so, that's all.

    I just tossed the idea out there to see if it bounced. It did, 'cause you dribbled it, and a fine job you did, indeed. sign1

  6. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member


    Drive up past Pearisburg, VA on 460 (the old VGN r.o.w. along the New River) to Glen Lyn and check out the power plant there. When last I was there they were very kind about letting me walk around, escorted of course, and take pictures. This was pre-9/11 so things may have really changed since.

    I agree with what's been said so far, but I think you could have something much more interesting that may fit your criteria better in that space. My preference is either an island (another 'old' idea that gets poo poo-ed sometimes) or around the walls with turnback curves. I'm also an N&W/VGN fan myself. Let me think about your space a bit and get back to you.

  7. 91rioja

    91rioja Member


    You have read my mind! Before I moved to North Carolina, I used to live in Roanoke, Va. Like I said before, my dad used to work for American Electric Power, so he would run 460 to WVa for business and during the summers, he would take me with him. I have seen that plant so many times before (as a matter of fact, I would request to be awakened before we passed the plant). I love that area, and now you see where all of this is going; Glen Lyn and the New River Valley, N&W, Virginian. My folks are from Blacksburg, and my grandfather used to work for the Virginian.

    Thanks a bunch, and I'm open to any suggestions.

  8. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi Chris,
    I like that! I'm not sure what purpose keeping 1 foot off the wall serves, since it prevents
    having a scenic backdrop in those areas, I think, but you probably have something else in mind there.

    Three things:
    You may want a runaround track for the yard, seems like you have room. Might save
    having to back in all the time.
    You may want a wye, loop, or turntable to reverse loco direction. (especially with steam)
    If you put a double crossover at the top in place of the single, you can traverse both
    mainlines in a continuous run without throwing any switches, for whatever
    that's worth to you.
    It's a great space and looks like you've put in a lot of thought already!
  9. 91rioja

    91rioja Member


    It's really not a foot, it's only 10". The actual size of that room is 10'10" x 9'10"; I just enlarged it a bit for a visual. Thanks for the advice about the runaround track; I was just thinking about that today. And the wife wants a turntable (not sure why, because its not her railroad), but I'm not too sure if I have any more room for it.

    And as for the thought put into this, I'm now on trackplan number 35 since then end of January. But, I do have an oval to run on now.

  10. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    spouse suggestions


    I'll see if I can dig up my old photos of the loco shop at Glen Lyn and post them somewhere. It's a long single stall cinder block building with an old GE 44 tonner stashed inside. Pretty cool place.

    As for the wife's desire for a turntable...hmmm...I seek my wife's constructive criticism occasionally. Recently, when I was sketching layout plans, she told me she has an aversion to 'walls' on a model railroad. That is, backdrops dividing a peninsula or such scenario where the 'edge of the sky' is visible. She'd rather see an island-style layout or scenic division somehow, like a ridge or buildings to separate the scene, with a backdrop around the room, or no backdrop at all!

    I was really taken back that she'd challenge what has become such a popular trend in the layout planning sector, until I began limiting myself to designing plans without a 'wall' of sky. Really forced me to be even more creative and opened up my mind to a whole new batch of scenic possibilities for a peninsula or other setting where the tempation would be to put up a wall and get two scenes for the price of one. Well, that one large scene may be a whole lot more interesting than the two shallow scenes, if it's done well. But, to each his/her own.

    I'll sit down with some graph paper and sketch out a couple ideas for your space tonight after I get offline. If there's anything good maybe I'll post tonight. We'll see.

  11. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    a couple possibilities


    Went back and read the initial thread you linked to in your first message. Interesting to see how the plans have evolved, and to see that big window in one wall...after I'd drawn out a potential sketch. It may still work. Not going to post tonight...going to sleep now. But I'll hit it again tomorrow on my day off and hopefully have something up for you sometime in the afternoon (pacific time).

    How would you feel about a large bridge to duck actual bridge at a higher elevation? Wanting to salvage the old 4x8 is a noble idea, especially for the budget challenged (speaking from experience). But don't let that stand in the way. As it's been said before, benchwork is cheap compared to the latest BLI could probably build all the benchwork to fill this room and another for the price of your J.

    Also, would you prefer strictly a mine run, OR something more akin a branch line with other online industries (e.g. pulpwood loading, furniture factory, etc. like the NC Branch to Galax [my home town btw] or Abingdon Branch)?

  12. 91rioja

    91rioja Member

    A room picture for reference. I am standing inside the French Doors in the corner.


    Attached Files:

  13. 91rioja

    91rioja Member


    Thanks for the kind words on the "evolution" of the track plan. It's been fun. :D

    As for the bridge, that is what I was thinking of doing at some point on the diagonal piece that crosses in front of the door. It would be a great feature to see just as you enter the room.

    The bench work is a standard 4 x 8 frame with 16" center crossbeams, so if I pried off the top, it could be still used as an open frame design.

    The only reason I have been thinking of the mine is that I am building the kit. But, since I have varied rolling stock (hoppers, tankers, gondolas, box cars, etc.) I would like to have some other industries, if I have the room. The lack of size on that room is the only sticking point to this whole plan, but its all I have right now.

    By the way, has some great information and pics of the NS Southern District lines from Roanoke to WVa.

    Can't wait to see what you can come up with. I've seen what you've done for others.

    Thanks a bunch


    Just in case it was not mentioned before, I do not mind going across the window. It has blinds on it to keep the sun out, and if I keep with a shelf style layout, I can still get to it.

    End edit
  14. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Keeping the layout away from the wall only 10" seems a bit strange, but would provide two advantages, if you want to call it that...

    1) Emergency access, which really only seems necessary in the lower right corner. I think everything else is pretty much within reach.

    2) It eliminates the "wall of sky" backdrop problem. With the hills/trees/buildings ending before they encounter the wall, the layout will seem larger.

  15. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member


    Do you have the dimensions for the NRM tracks and their placement under the loaders? If it came with the kit perhaps you could take a picture and post it or scan it if you have that capability. I have Atlas RTS with the Walthers Cornerstone Templates, but it only shows the line outlines of the structure...haven't figured out much more than that yet.

    OR, before you get too far, would you consider kitbashing it into two smaller mines? Two smaller mine locations might be more interesting than one large one. Really is a question of preference.

  16. 91rioja

    91rioja Member


    I may end up using the extra 10"; they are there as kind of a buffer zone.


    The coal loading building is a triple track loader, on 2.5" centers for each track. There is also a single track slack loading building that can be either part of the whole setup or placed separately. I have considered placing the two pieces in different locations and am ok with it. The dimensions on the main building are 12.5" x 9" x 9". Nothing is carved in stone at this point.

    Hope this helps

  17. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member


    I have sketched out a plan, but am unable to ftp it to my website (and it's too large for the compress will be to lose too much detail). I have emailed the tech help at trainweb and hopefully will know more soon. Although, I'm not all that happy with it so there may be two by the time the problem is resolved.

  18. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    10" isn't really enough for even emergency access.
  19. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder


    There was a time when I could get through an 18" diameter porthole.......these days it would have to be 18 feet!!!!! Hey! I like food!:D :D :D
  20. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Not just an emergency, but an emergency, as in "I have abosolutely no other recourse than to send my 4-year-old under the layout over there to retrieve ____ (fill in the blank)." :D

    OK, it's a bit of a stretch... ;)


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