My layout thread

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by pooka2hot4u, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. pooka2hot4u

    pooka2hot4u Member

    Hi all! You may remember me from the "electrical blocks question" thread

    Well now that i have the whole wiring problem figured out im ready to start my own layout :D
    Heres some basic info to get you guys started:

    Name: Undecided
    Scale: N
    Size: 3' x 6'
    Track: Atlas code 80 Snap Track with remote turnouts.
    Curves: Minimum 9.75". Mostly 11". Some 19" leading out of turnouts and leading to the warehouse area. #4 Turnouts
    Power: MRC Tech 4 model 260 power pack running on DC but planning to convert to DCC in the distant future.
    Industries: Interchange (upper left corner of the loop)
    Team Track (upper right corner of loop)
    Maybe a small furniture factory (lower left corner of the loop)
    Large Warehouse (the timesaver on the right)
    Time Period: 1970s
    Location: North-Eastern U.S.
    Season: Fall

    I understand that the track plan is not too detailed but i really have no idea exactly where things will go. But im thinking of having the tracks that lead to the warehouse from the loop cross a small river just so i can have an excuse to scratch build a bridge :rolleyes:. The different colored sections of track represent electrical blocks.

    The construction has not really started just yet since i have no glue to attach the foamboard to the plywood base, and still not quite done getting all the track pieces. All i need are 10 more switches and i can start, but at $15 a pop im getting bogged down with those. So if you have any suggestions on changing the plan a bit, the plan is not set in stone yet so speak now or forever hold your peace.

    I have not even bought any locos yet but planning on an Atlas GP40-2 in Conrail, CSX, or NYC colors. For now i will run only 1 loco so i wont even have to use the blocks. But later i plan on buying a switcher for the timesaver.

    Some question:

    1. Will my GP40 be able to navigate the 9.75" curves and #4 turnouts? Its ok if it looks a bit odd just as long as it gets through.
    2. How long of a car can i run on those curves?
    3. Are the Atlas GP40s any good? I cant seem to find reviews but i heard Atlas makes good locos.
    4. Should I use a separate power pack for the switches or do you think the MRC Tech 4 can handle it all by itself?

    Well thats it for now. Sorry but no pictures for now since the base isnt even started yet and the camera is on vacation out of town. But i will post pics as soon as there is atleast something to take pictures of.

    Any comments, positive or critical welcome and needed. Being an artist I always like to improve things.
  2. pooka2hot4u

    pooka2hot4u Member

    Come on guys, 55 views and no feed back?
    My birthday is coming up in a week and im gona be getting alot of money that i will use to buy the loco and a couple of cars:D:D. So i really need to be sure that they will run on my curves.

    Or is my plan that empty and bleak?:oops::rolleyes:
  3. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Let's see, here goes...

    1. Don't know, I am into steam. My minimum is 11", I have on GP38 I was given and it works on the 11" radius.

    2. My layout is set in 1880-1900, so I have short rolling stock 36'-50', They work fine on the 11" radius. I do have 4 passenger cars that are 80' They will go around the 11" curve, but they do not look pretty doing it and I bet is the curve was tighter, they would not make it.

    3. Not sure, s I said, I am a steam guy.

    4. with only 12 switches, it should work. If you wanted, you could pick up a separate small transformer, a 9-12v at 500mA should be able to power the 12 turnouts you have.

    My advice would be to keep the curves as large as you can. As I said, most of my curves are 11", but with the older era and the fact the longest car to ever run on the layout will be 50' I am OK. But, if I were running modern equipment I would have keep my minimum to 19" just so it looks better.
  4. pooka2hot4u

    pooka2hot4u Member

    Hi guys! Yesterday i glued the foam to the plywood base so i can start building this thing. When i get back from school today i will trace the track-plan to the layout and start laying roadbed and track, but it will just be nailed on until this weekend when i get money and can buy my engine to make sure it will take the curves.
    I will post pics some time over the weekend.
  5. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Any 4-axle diesel should, and I don't think they look wrong doing it.
  6. pooka2hot4u

    pooka2hot4u Member

    thanks triplex, i guess i will get the GP40 then.
    I started laying the track on to the layout. its coming along nicely so far.
    i was also thinking of placing a small furniture factory on the spur where the small industry should be
  7. pooka2hot4u

    pooka2hot4u Member

    hey guys i got another question.
    how exactly would i model the team track area? how should it look? what should be on it?
    any explanations or even diagrams would help. i understand that its basically a "public" track for use by industries that cant afford or dont have need for their own spur. but thats all i know. should there be cranes or something there for loading cars?
    i dont want to make it too big though. i still want some room in the middle for a lake or something.
  8. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    It depends on your era and on the size of the station.

    A team track is simply a track where LCL (Less than Cargo Loads) can be offloaded into the vehicles of the reciever. In the early days that would be teams of horses pulling freight wagons, then it would be small trucks.

    We have a team track here in town, of course it is not used anymore. Our town is currently 18,000. The team track here is simple a track spaced so that vehicles can approach on each side of it. Originally it was packed earth, and then became gravel, then pavement, now it is mostly cracked pavement and weeds.

    In larger cities, the team track would have a small LCL warehouse and dock adjacent to it. One side of the building was for the trains and the other for the wagons/trucks.
  9. pooka2hot4u

    pooka2hot4u Member

    Well guess what guys. I have this urge to tear the whole thing up now and build a different plan :curse: due to this one being a bit too ....bland...for lack of a better word.
    I guess you guys can think of this as either a good or bad thing. Good thing is that the new plan i designed just now is much better in my opinion with more switching and continuous running capabilities, and a bit more room for scenery, also its cheaper in that i need only 10 switches instead of 12. Bad thing is that just about all the work i did up to now was all for nothing, exept making the base board and buying track...which when you think about it is really all i did :p. I did start laying some track and roadbed but its only fixed in place with thumbtacks so i can easily pull it out.
    The new plan has a reverse loop so i may need some help with that. But alot of things will stay pretty much the same like time period, season and whatnot. I will make a new thread for that layout and this one will pretty much be left to be bumped away to the dark forgotten depths of this forum sign1

    Thanks go out to all who helped me with this plan, and i can assure you that your suggestions were not a waste of time since i have learned alot and will incorporate it into the new layout.
  10. hooknlad

    hooknlad Member

    Pooka - Welcome to the gauge !!!

    Im sorry to hear about your misfortune that your layout is "bland". I realize that you have some "ready cash" available, but as far as rushing into a layout, personally I wouldn't rush.. Not only do I get disgusted with rushing , but i wasted time / money into it as well. By a waste of money, your engine / cars may not "fit in" to the new era your changing into. Yes they will work on your layout , providing the curve radii are correct, but they will look out of place.. For example, If you plan to go with a western theme and you already bought a GG1, sure it will work but look out of place.
    I use to rush into things, now I take too long making the decision to get it started. I guess it comes with age and bloodlines..
    Does anyone agree / disagree?
  11. pooka2hot4u

    pooka2hot4u Member

    Hey hooknlad, thanks for the welcome, even though ive been watching this forum for a couple of months now. Just registered recently.

    Well the good thing is I have not bought anything other thant track roadbed and all the other stuff that applies to just about any layout. Though i am planning to get an engine in the next couple of days. The time frame and location will remain the same so the trains looking out of place shouldnt be a problem. Money has not been wasted since i will still be using all the materials i got for it nd there will be no spares...exept for a few sections of track but those are 40c a piece so no biggie.

    I dont know but i believe my inability to settle on a design is due to me being an artist sort of. If you know an artist you know they are never satisfied and always try to improve something of theirs or personalize and customize something that isnt.
  12. pooka2hot4u

    pooka2hot4u Member

    hey guys just got me a loco and power pack.
    the pack is an MRC Tech4 260 model and the loco is a spectrum 2-8-0 consolidation in UP colors. yea i know, not what i was planning to get but i guess i just couldnt resist the temptation of a steamer. and the UP is because i kind of wanted to model the deserts of the old west.
  13. pooka2hot4u

    pooka2hot4u Member

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