Layout Update

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by kchronister, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Thanks to all who offered feedback on the layout I posted a while back. Here is an update and latest plans:

    1) Facilities: Fully finishing the basement where the train will be located has been found infeasible. Despite the oft-offered advice to finish the room first, it's come down to funding: Finishing the space would be about $25,000 to pay someone, or about $10,000 in materials plus many hours I've not got to do it myself... So "finish first" would delay start of the layout, probably by a few years. It's a sacrifice (the time, I mean) I'm not willing to make. I've had 3 prior layouts all in fully unfinished basements, and it never really bugged me. But we can do some things to improve the space without the expense of drywalling, flooring, drop-ceiling, etc... So here's what we'll be working with:

    a) room IS climate controlled,
    b) sufficient power and lighting (well, outlets for lighting) have been installed,
    c) concrete walls and floor along with ceiling have all been painted dark grey to have them "fade back" as much as possible,
    d) rolls of "runner" carpet have been kindly donated by a pal and will be installed in aisleways post-initial-construction to ease the feet.

    2) Layout

    After considering a lot of feedback I got right here, the layout has been notably modified. Some highlights:

    a) Main line remains double-tracked, minimum visible radius 36", minimum non-visible radius 30". All rolling stock and locos have been tested on 22" radius and run nicely, so this should be very adequate.
    b) logging area has been redone as a switchback operation with a sawmill at the base of the hill
    c) the "industrial area" is as-yet undetermined. I'm thinking it might well be a 1940's oil refinery a la the latest issue of MR... Generally would like to use this nice-sized-but-too-narrow-to-turn-a-loop piece of real estate (12' x 3') to do a comprehensive industrial area rather than a bunch of very limited ones. Something along the lines of a refinery with multiple RR functions involved. Other options might be a steel mill or a great lakes dock.
    d) Hidden staging has been added at the lower left side. Double-ended staging can feed trains to mainline in either direction.
    e) baseline height of layout will be 55"

    Happy to hear any questions/comments...


    Attached Files:

  2. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Oh yeah, it's HO scale and each square on the grid is 1' x 1'
  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Where does that door at lower left go? It's always a challenge to duck under a yard...!

    You mention that one penninsula is too narrow for a return loop. Why not move the loggin area here - link it to the rest of the layout via a "wye".

    I assume that the upper level is the one with the logging section - what is the plan for the rest of it? Will the upper deck benchwork be exactly the same as the lower level? If yes, what is the separation?

  4. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    There's no "upper deck" per se. It's all one deck with logging line on a higher elevation.

    The 'primary' entrance is the door at lower right, and yes that would be via duckunder or (maybe eventually) a lift-bridge. Setting the layout height at 55" plus should minimize the pain of that (it's an easy-enough duckunder for me, and just barely a nod-under for my wife). I actually strongly considered setting the layout height at 62" (about chin level for me), but that would basically be at the expense of anyone under 6' high having to use a platform to see it. I also considered setting the entire thing at 72" (making the duckunder a walkunder for most folks), but that would then entail platforming the entire aisleways to make the relative viewing height reasonable, and it sounds like a lot of work just for the sake of not 'ducking'... if I were talking about a 48" or less duckunder, I'd take more drastic steps to deal with/eliminate it.

    To answer your specific question: The door at lower left goes into an open area behind the staging yard. It's there to prevent the necessity of duckunder. You CAN duckunder the yard from the main room to get into staging, but you can also enter via that door if you wish. This area is also where the 'equipment rack' will likely go with the computer, command station, etc.

    I haven't shown the rest of the basement, stairs or utilities, but basically there's no way to do this without a duckunder (at least not that works for me, considering a strong desire for a continuous-run option). Yeah, I'd love to arrange the layout so the stairs descend into the middle (a la John Armstrong), but that's simply not possible with the configuration of my basement.

    I've tried variations with logging on the narrower peninsula, but none worked for me. Nevertheless, since you're the third-or-so person to mention this, I will definitely revisit it and try again. Thanks for the response - getting other perspectives is very, very helpful.


  5. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    To clarify one thing: Both doors go into/out of the train area from the "rest of the basement" area. That's where the stairs, furnace, electric panel, water heater and workbench all live... In other words you can go in/out one door and can walk over and go in/out the other -- they go to the same place (just opposite sides of that room).
  6. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Okay, last post for now - This shows the "rest" of the basement and may clarify.

    Attached Files:

  7. Elite Lancer

    Elite Lancer Member

    Wow, that's impressive. But then again I think all huge layouts are impressive. Keep up the good work. I'd be cool if you posted some pictures of your work on it so far. :)
  8. Grant B

    Grant B Member

    $10k seems too high for material for a basement. I spent less when I gutted my kitchen and dining room built all new cabinets and laid a maple HW floor.
    You might take a look again...I am not disputing your figures but coming from someone who gutted his entire house room by room and used the 'best' materials; unless there is a very high ticket item you might recheck and find you have more $ for the fun stuff.
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I would suggest you spend some funds to buy really good, thick, rubber carpet padding to put under the donated carpet runners. It will be a lot easier on feet and legs, and the padding is relatively cheap.

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