Layout Questions from Beginner

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by drev, Oct 4, 2004.

  1. drev

    drev New Member

    Hello!! I am just getting started in HO railroading, so I have some basic questions. I would like to use layout #63 in MR's "101 track Plans" which is the Rio Grande Southern. I like this layout because it will fit nicely into the space I have and I look forward to being able to build some bridges.

    My questions have to do with this layout and basic modelling rules I have picked up in my reading and web work. I understand that turnouts should be at least #6, curves should be at least 30" radius and certainly no less than 24", that all curves should have easements and inclines should be no more than 2%. This layout I am looking at disregards all of these suggestions. The turnouts are #4, the curves are predominantly 18" radius, some of the curves do no appear to have easements and the inclines are generally 3% to 4%.

    What do I do?? Do I disregard the advice that seems to be the norm or do I find another layout?? If I build it as is, what limitations are inherent in doing so??? Also, does anyone know where I could get a more detailed sketch of this layout, possibly with pictures??

    Thanks for helping a newbie.

    Mark Hagy
  2. ddavidv

    ddavidv Member

    Welcome to the Gauge Mark (another Pennsylvania-ite).
    I think it depends more on what you are going to model. The larger the loco, the longer the cars, the longer the train the more you will need to open things up. Those parameters wouldn't bother an SW1500 switcher but may play havoc with a long wheelbase passenger train. Probably should know what you plan to model to help answer that. If you're doing a logging layout, for example, none of it would be an issue.
  3. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    Sounds like you're describing my layout. If you like the layout, I say go for it. As a beginner (like myself), I think it is more important to build something you like, even if it means you may have an occassional operational glitch. Myself, I'm running early steam with limited rolling stock so the tight turns and steep grades aren't a problem. If you want to run the big boys and pull scores of freight, you might want to reconsider.
  4. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Mark,Large curves and long #6 switches is very good advice---if you have the space for a large layout..You see they forgot to mention that minor detail when they told you to go with 30" curves and number 6 switches.
    Now all 4 axle diesel locomotives will go around a 18" curve as will 50 foot cars.Now as far as passenger cars Athearn makes passenger cars that will go around 18" curves as that was what they was design to do.
    Now the good news(if we are talking about a 4'x8' layout) You can use up to 22" curves on a 4x8 which is far better then the 18" curves..Btw there is no law saying you have to use grades on your layout..There are other ways to build a layout besides using unrealistic 4-5% grades. :thumb: :D
  5. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    The Layout you chose is basically designed for old time operation.Small steamers and overton passenger cars along with freight cars no larger than 40'.
    Fun little plan if it fits your ldea of railroading.
    If you want to run more modern equipment however,I would perhaps consider something a bit differant.
    Mountain railroading always seems to appeal to the beginning modeler as it is quite dramatic with its great bridges and chasms.
    If this appeals to you and the scenic aspect is really what drives your desire to be a model RR'er.By all means, get yourself a 2-6-0 Mogul, a 2-8-0 Connie a set of roundhouse Overton passenger cars and some old time Billboard reefers(they look great snaking thier way through mountains ) ;)
    Better yet, How about a Shay or a Heisler and some Logging and gold mining operations.Check out Shamus's stuff for some real inspiration,dang he's good !!
    So, whadya think,Big time Modern or old fashioned Mountain railroading.This decision is the first Biggie in your Givens and Druthers :)

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