Layout Critique

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by 91rioja, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. 91rioja

    91rioja Member

    Hi all! Just found this place today. I'm getting back into the hobbie after about 20+ years. I have spent many an hour working on a track plan that a) fits the room I have, and b) works for me until I get a bigger room.

    What I have come up with is a 9 x 5 with a a 2 x 3 extension in the bottom right corner. The 2 x 3 has my coal mine, and the 9 x 5 is for running. No hills and valleys yet, just flat. I would appreciate any comments on the plan. It uses #4 and #6 Custom Line Switches and all 22" radius turns.

    I'll be running my N&W J, my N&W GP-9, and my N&W GP-35.

    Rip it to shreads, ya'll!


    Attached Files:

  2. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    :wave: welcome to the gauge Chris :wave: looks like it might work you going DCC or DC ?
  3. 91rioja

    91rioja Member

    right now, I am just DC. DCC is in my future, though.

    my biggest problem right now is the lack of space, and the last time I checked, the coal fields of WVa weren't on flat land. The size I can work with doesn't lend well to much up and down.
  4. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    seems liek a lot of complicated back and forth switching. it can get on your nerves after a while. you might want to change some of those idustrial spurrs you have there.
  5. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    That 5' width is quite a bit if you should ever have to rerail cars on the far tracks. If you have access on all sides you are okay.
  6. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Welcome to The Gauge, Chris:wave:

    The maintenance headache you'd be heading for with those switches to the right on the back of the loop make for quite a reach when (not optimist here:D ) derailments occur. The same would be a problem towards the back as well, a 5' reach to those switches might have you heading face first into your countryside:oops:
  7. zedob

    zedob Member

    Was Murphy a model railroader?
  8. 91rioja

    91rioja Member

    I've got a 10 x 11 room, so I should have enough all around.

    Anyone got any ideas on height? I'd like to go up and down on this one.

  9. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    If you have a 10x11 room, you can go around the walls and use space more efficiently. Where's the door? Or is there something that prevents you from running along the walls?
  10. 91rioja

    91rioja Member

    The room has a window down one of the 10' sides, and the door is at an angle in a corner; it opens inward and is a double French door. The room was designed for a study. Really the only two usable walls are the parallel 11' walls.
  11. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Can you post a diagram of the room? Show windows, doors (and where they swing). I am sure that we can help figure somethign out. Round the walls is a much better use of space, and will allow a more "prototypical" railroad (assuming of course that is what you want - it is yours after all...).

  12. 91rioja

    91rioja Member

    Mason and others:

    Here is the room I have to work with.


    Attached Files:

    • Room.jpg
      File size:
      22.9 KB
  13. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi Chris,
    Here's a real rough idea for using the walls without a duck-under. It probably has
    some tighter curves, but could have a continuous run double tracked main, and room
    for the yard on the left. Just something to ponder/play with. :thumb: :thumb:
    I also don't know how agreeable you are to crossing the window. :)

    Attached Files:

  14. 91rioja

    91rioja Member

    Crossing the window is not an issue; it has blinds and as long as I keep the track level above the sill, I can still open it if I wish. The only thing I do not want is a duck under at the door. I can't have one anyway since the doors open to the inside.

  15. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    An improvement to Cid's plan would be to put a lift bridge or gate between the 2 lobes. this would give a doughnut main shape with the branch down the left wall.

    As drawn, the Cid's turnback lobes don't have enough aisle space between them. And to compress them would sacrifice your 22" radius - every 2 inch increase in radius subtracts 8" from your aisle.

    The 3 most practical shapes for continuous running I can see are something along the lines of Cid's drawing, the mentioned doughnut with a branch, and something similar to your shape of a table with a branch.

    If you don't need a continuous run, the possibilities expand.

    Your givens/druthers now come into play as the options get narrowed down.

    You mentioned the locomotives you have. What other locos do you anticipate or wish for?

    How long a train would do you envision running - the longest practical by my rule of thumb would be 6ft given 22" radius curves. That's equivalent to an engine, 9 40ft cars, and a caboose. Is that acceptable? Are fewer cars acceptable?

    Will you be running passenger cars? How important is the 22" radius?

    How many operators do you normally anticipate? How many trains to be running simultaneously? DC or DCC?

    How important is cost? Do you have time to build an around-the-walls layout? Are you confident you can build a working lift bridge or gate for a doughnut configuration?

    yours in planning
  16. 91rioja

    91rioja Member

    I would like to have a continuous run loop for one train to run, and an out and back to run a second train independent of the one on the loop.

    What I have mentioned will most likely be what I run. I do have the J Series Streamliner and three passenger cars which may see a few rounds on the track, but it is not my main focus. I will more than likely run older 4 axel geeps, but I do not want to limit my trackage; if I find a larger diesel, I would like to have the radius available to run it without issues.

    I am not looking for long coal drags, so somewhere between 2 and 9 is acceptable.

    Yes I will be running my three passengers, though not the main focus

    Just me. Maybe my wife will watch. DC right now, maybe DCC in future. My J is the only one with DCC built in.

    I don't want to go to the poor house just yet. I see this more as a work in progress, a few pieces at a time. The most important part is the benchwork, of which I already have a 4 x 8 table built at 40" high. So, building things is not an issue.

    It is looking like an around the walls is going to be the way to go.

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