Layout Ideas

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Trainiac77, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

    I had to tear down my layout prior to the summer because we thought we were moving. :cry: Anyway with the crappy economy I guess we're not, considering we didn't have a single showing.

    The good news is I get to build a new layout. Going to take it slow this time as I want to at least build my own turnouts. So here is a measured drawing of the train room. I need help. I would like to model something in the early to mid 50's, mostly early diesel and perhaps a steam engine or two for nostalgia. Most of my equipment is Santa Fe, F3, F7, GP7, GP9's, SW1200, mostly smaller stuff. I do have a good mix of passenger and freight engines/cars. I have done multilayers in the past but not with any great success.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Attached Files:

    • room.jpg
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      128.5 KB
  2. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I will second the module recommendation. I'd plan out the whole room in modules, get the shape of the mainline how you want it, then start by building 2-3 of them.

    My reasoning? Sounds like you aren't likely to stay in the same place for more than 5 years. From my experience, 5 years is about how long it takes for me to just get the trackwork and basic scenery done! If you build just a few modules, and then have to move, you can take them with you.
  3. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    OR, build it as small as you can to include the bare minimum of operation you can live with. If it's going to a be a glorified roundy-roundy (nothing wrong with that) then size is only limited by the longest train you'd want to run. If it's more operations centered then can you be happy with a switching layout?

    Another option is what Iain Rice suggested in a planning mag a while back, to make major sections that can be moved but can be configured in a new setting by adjusting the linking bits between them. Then when you move you don't have to start over, nor are you bound by any limitations modular construction may bring. I'd think sectional vs. modular unless you're into David Barrow's domino construction.
  4. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

    Gentlemen, Thanks for the insight! :thumb: I never thought of doing modules. Actually that makes perfect sense. I think I have a book on module building. I'll Check it out.

    Meanwhile keep the ideas coming!:thumb:
  5. Roger Hensley

    Roger Hensley Member

    Or you could use ready-made frames to build your layout. That way they are removable by unbolting each section from one another.

    Check out Benchridge Benchwork as an example.
  6. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

    Benchridge makes nice looking stuff, however if I built it myself, that would be a good excuss to by a new tool. :mrgreen: Afterall I would have to have some sort of drilling jig so I could make to bolt holes in same locations. Ok now the wheels are turning.
  7. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Or, if you can use a handsaw and a powerdrill without hurting yourself, and can tie your own shoes, you could do it yourself and save a bundle.

    Construction grade pine runs about $0.70 per linear foot for 1x4 here. To make a 2x6' module, you'd need about $18 worth of 1x4 for the frame, and cross-braces, and maybe another $5 in 2x2 and 1x2 for the legs. Add another $10 for screws, t-nuts and bolts (for leveling) and you're up to $35 in materials tops, plus an hour of your time to build it.

    Build it from 1x3 for a little less weight and a little less money.
  8. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

    Have you used 1x3's? I used them once. But because I'm not the smallest person in the world it really didn't hold my weight when I was leaning on it. Maybe I didn't use enough x-bracing.
  9. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    I have used 1x3's for modules. I try not to lean on modules, since they tend to be made light, and not for armrests.

    I've built layouts with traditional 1x4 + 1x2 L-girders and 1x4 joists that you could walk on.
  10. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    I agree. I used 2x3 construction for all my bench work which were actually left over 2x8's, 6's and 4's from previous home projects. I ripped them to the 3" width using a table saw. Mainly to use up some perfectly good wood I had laying around and it really helped keep the start up cost down. By the time I was done, I was crawling my 210 fat arse on top of my structure with nary a peep from it.

    Two of the larger sections 2x8 foot each were built so that the layout "floats" on top of the shelves I built underneath them. If I really had to, with a bit of doing, I could separate the sections for transporting.
  11. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

    Has anyone ever used hollow-core doors for modules? There are so many sizes and foam could be glued down to the top very easily. Pros? Cons?
  12. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    Trainiac, sorry for the brief interruption, but this caught my eye. I'm also planning a new layout and have not considered, not am I very familiar with the module concept (beyond what I've seen at train shows).

    Any good links someone can point me to?

    Back to your regular program...

  13. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member


    This is from NMRA.ORG

    That's where you can info on the standard modules, then there's free-mo

    Take your pick. However I think as I decide what to do that I will probably come up with my own version of free-mo. Afterall it has to fit in my room, and I don't need more than 24" radius curves for what I like to run. Tomorrow I hope to get out to Home Depot or Lowes and do some pricing on materials. Then I have to clean up the mess that's currently in my room before construction begins :cry:
  14. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I guess that means you're not too concerned with steam, as the main Santa Fe steam remaining in your time frame were 4-8-4s and 2-10-4s, both very large designs that probably wouldn't like 24".
  15. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

    My railroad is not prototypical by any means. I don't own big steam anymore so 24" is OK. I enjoy running F3 or F7 in A-B-A configurations and also RS1 & #'s mu'd. I like Santa Fe equipment running through New England countryside. Weird I know, but enjoyable definitely. In my book that's all that matters!
  16. sgtcarl

    sgtcarl Member

    hollow victory (and doors)

    Trainiac77: Funny thing you should mention hollow core doors. I suggested them to someone else, quite some time ago. That's what I plan on using. You don't even have to buy new ones. I go to my (sort of) local Habitat For Humanity Store, and purchase used ones. Since it doesn't matter, I don't care if they are skinned up a bit, or have holes in them. They are available in a variety of sizes. I even have some bi-fold closet doors I will be using.
  17. HO King

    HO King Member


    Hi felles . I'm chimming in a little late on this one but I just got here .
    I guess a very very slow freight but I agree with the masses . Small
    modules is the best way to go .And in one of my issues of Model railroader
    and Ill look it up for ya, there is a design of modules especially for here
    today gone tomorrow.
    And good deal about doin your own turnouts . There not very hard to do
    and they are a lot of fun .
  18. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

    I never thought of the Habitat Store. My friend is actually an area director for Habitat. I'll have to ask him when I see him tomorrow.
    Thanks for ideas:thumb:
  19. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

    If you could let me know the what the issues are, I probably have them. Thanks!
  20. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

    OK so I'm going to go modular. There isn't enough room to use standard modules so I'll use my own design. The picture has some of the basic module shapes that I'm going to build. I will be using 1"x4" pine and 1/2" OSB. I'm still debating over blue foam or just cork on top of the OSB.

    Sections 11 and 14 will be become one unit to be used as a lift or swing bridge. I would like to try to make a double main with some sort of variation so I don't get dizzy watching the trains go round and round and round.:cry:...... I'll have to add some triangles to the corners to make the curves work as well.

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

    Attached Files:

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