My layout rules. OK!!

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Woodie, Aug 19, 2004.

  1. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Just thought I'd let you know some of MY rules for Garahbara Mk II. Mostly learnt from lessons during Garahbara Mk I.

    Scale is HO.

    1. Absolutely NO radius under 700 mm. No exception. If just a single radius is less than that, then you might as well have the whole thing at the lesser radius.
    2. Graduated curves entering and leaving curves.
    3. Large radius turnouts ONLY. No exceptions.
    4. No part of the mainline is to utilise the curved leg of a turnout. Mainline traffic only to use the straight leg.. Curved leg used for entry/exit to sidings, switch yards, and passing loops only.
    5. No incline over 2% whatsoever.
    6. No reversing onto mainline for entry/exit into sidings or switch yards.
    7. No going up the down line or down the up line. Turnouts & switching structures designed accordingly.
    8. NO double slips. Too difficult to get the switching right for correct entry/exit without derailments.
    9. Turnout motors attached DIRECTLY to turnouts, and not mounted under the base board. Turnout motors to be accessible for replacement.
    10. No "S bends" without intervening straight section.
    11. make up some more rules as I go along. :D

    Garahbara MK I (which was originally intended as a "practice" layout had one of just about everything on it. For practice. And boy, did I practice and learn. :)

    As for wiring? Well............ that has taken many many hours of thought and drawing and redrawing and then sit down and think about it all again. Block control, initially, from 4 controllers, with the ability to then replace one controller with DCC (and turn all blocks on for that "controller") when using DCC.

    Pretty tight and heavy rules, but I'm not gunna tolerate the problems I had with Garahbara MK I. :curse:
  2. NWP-fan

    NWP-fan New Member

    Is the rule about mainline always using the straight leg of a turnout an aesthetic thing, is it confusion-related, or were you having problems with derailments? On a related note, is the large turnout rule also aesthetic, or is it an operational issue?

    Also, about the no S-curve rule: At model RR clubs I've seen long stretches of track with a gentle S-bend in them, but at such a radius that I'd doubt the train would "notice." Do you (or anyone else) have any ideas about the radius at which S-curves become less important (that is, unnoticeable to the train?)

    Just wondering. On the whole those look like pretty good rules, assuming one has the space to follow them.
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    One of the modules owned by a member of the ho modular club I belong to is one long "S" curve. Our minimum radius is 36", but I think the "S" curve is 72" with easements at both ends and in the center transition. We can even run passenger trains with full length 85' cars through it at scale passenger train speeds.
  4. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    The "no mainline on a curved turnout" is a combo of prototypical, and aesthetics. You never see a passenger expresses wizzin' through the curved legs of turnouts like that. Switching tracks, arrival/departures, yeah, at a much more appropriate speed, but if I'm to have express freight and/or passenger trains trundling along as THRU trains. (i.e. non-stop) then they don't wizz through curved turnouts at THRU speeds.

    As for the radius. Yep. Aesthetics again, as I'm more of a passenger person, with long cars. Also operational, when it comes to body mounted Kadees on long passenger and frieght cars.

    As for S-curves, I'm referring to radiusus similar to turnouts. Again, aesthetics when it comes to long passenger cars. I'm prepared to tolerate one or two S-curves, say, when switching (opposite facing turnouts on parrellel track) but ONLY with large radius turnouts, or entry/exit to/from passing loops, because, (a) it is prototypical, and (b) I have no choice. But again, ONLY large radius turnouts.
  5. SD90

    SD90 Active Member

    Sounds like it will be a great layout! I agree with the large radius curves, keep us all posted!
  6. SD90

    SD90 Active Member

    Sounds like it will be a great layout! I agree with the large radius curves, keep us all posted!
  7. SD90

    SD90 Active Member

    Sounds like it will be a great layout! I agree with the large radius curves, keep us all posted!
  8. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Well, Woodie, I think I've violated every one of those rules except #1 on the Perth and Exeter. (wait till I convert 700 micrometers to English.) My new continuous run goes through the curved part of 2 switches and one has a Scurve on it.
  9. Urban

    Urban New Member

    Well, there are high speed turnouts. But with lengths in the area of 100+ m it's not something you're likely to see on most layouts.
  10. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Gee there Woodie I am thinking I broken some of them there rules of your'n on my industrial switching layout to gain room but,still kept up with the prototype.
    I have 2 of them there "S" curves coming off switches so I could get to two industries-like the prototype has to in some cases.
    Now at some junctions you would find high speed switches that could be taken at regular track speed even on the diverging route and through high speed crossovers again at normal track speed as there was no need to slow down through these switches.

  11. Of course. not many model railroad switches are the #20 high speed switch :)
  12. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    True SS,but,a size 8 or 10 switch should look about right for a high speed switch. :D Of course one could hand lay a much larger switch.. But,now we are getting into the luxury of having a basement size layout and not a 4x8 or industrial switching layout.Savvy?
  13. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Well Guys, this is what them Rules is about. Just did the switching part at one end of the layout this weekend. They are all peco large radius turnouts.

    The pic is looking toward the station area. Platforms will go in the gap in the middle, and the gap to the left. Teh railcar is in the "dead end" out'n'back platform. The two tracks off the bottom left of the pic loop round and rejoin the two tracks on the right, dog bone type setup. (i.e. far left joins up to far right, and inner left joins up to inner right).

    Attached Files:

  14. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Interesting arrangement of track you have there Woodie.Looks good! :thumb:
  15. Woodie, great rules to live by, nice picture also. I have been building my current layout and trying to live by similar rules, but I found that I have compromised in some places. One of my goals was large Peco turnouts only on the mainline, but I ended up having to put in one medium, so be it. Another rule was a minimum of 24" radius (Metric conversion??????) curves on the mainline, I haven't given up on that yet, but in one place it may have to be reduced.

    I have found that we sometimes try to impose our own standards as rules for others to follow, I may have no intention of using 18" radius curves and #4 turnouts, but it may be all that another can use in order to have a layout and enjoy this great hobby.

    Again Woodie, good rules and it is great that you were able not to compromise, I hope this keeps any operating frustrations to a minimum.
  16. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Well said Woodie. These rules will provide a very satisfying running layout. Experience is a great teacher, isn't it.
  17. I thought of this post today, as I was laying some track I was going to compromise on a curve so that I could fit in a turnout. I was not happy with myself, and kept saying there has to be another way. I decided to relocate the turnout to another location and maintain the 24" radius curve for the mainline. I feel much better now that I stuck to my own rule of a mainline curve radius of 24" min.
  18. Muddy Creek

    Muddy Creek Member

    Muddy Creek RR Company rules:

    1. Rivet counters will refrain from entering RR property.

    2. Nitpickers will likewise pick their nits elsewhere.

    3. Close enough is more than is expected.

    4. Meal and beverage stops are at the pleasure of the conductor, unless the engineer decides first.

    Simple & easy. Hopefully it will allow the LPB's to get some work done without undue labor strife.

  19. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    C&HV Rules:
    1.Do what is necessity but keep it workable.
    2.Rivet counters will be shot on sight.
    3.Nit pickers will be drawn and quarter then skinned.
    4.Use your experience dummy-you was the valedictorian of your class in the school of hard knocks and lesions learned.
    5.KISS dummy KISS.
    6.If all else fails forget the stinking rules..Just do it if it works.
  20. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Well, there goes that rule down the gurgler!! **bloop bloop bloop, shove shove and turns on insinkerator!!**

    Relaid one curve 3 times on the weekend. Trying to get a good "graduated curve", and it still looked like the TOOT passenger express was pullin' 3 Gs as it rounded the bend onto the main straight!! :eek:

    So I extended the layout!! (and vilolated my other rule of having at least a 1 metre access gap around the entire layout, between it and the wall) That curve radius is now 930mm. (about 36") :eek:, and the gap (for about 1.5 metres) between the layout and the wall, is 400 mm.

    Why is the space for a layout, like kitchen cupboards!! Never enough room!! :curse: :cry: :D hehehehe

    Why didn't I just shift the start of the straight a bit further up? Cause that bit's already laid, with 10 turnouts, turnout motors, wired up, holes in baseboard for the turnout motors etc, and roadbed. Besides, my benchmark for the length of the straight (passenger platform etc) is the length of my 7 car Countrylink XPT passenger express (1.9 metres long) (yep, Bob, the one you rode on when here last year), and it must fit along the passenger platform, between the turnouts at either end. That, (plus turnouts) allowed me rooom for 700mm radius curves at each end. (well it was planned that way anyway!)

    Oh the joys. :):):) hehehehehehe

    But I'm glad I did it. The improved aesthetic look goes up markedly by just adding that little bit extra on the radius. :)

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