My secend try

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by UPJunkie, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. UPJunkie

    UPJunkie Member

  2. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    I really hate being negative.

    If I remember correctly, this is HO in a 12x12 room. Need to know how the door location corresponds to the aisles. Also, the location of any other doors or windows need to be known.

    I strongly suggest drawing the space to scale, with door and window accesses marked, on either graph paper, or on the computer using one of the track planning programs. Then attempt to draw your layout with your selected minimum radius. I think you are going to find that the plan won't even come close to fitting in that space in HO.

    In the current drawing - assuming it is roughly to scale - the minium radius curve is well under 18 inches. I cannot see wanting to limit your equipment selection that much to use this plan. Your minimum radius is going to be determined by the equipment you want to use, and how good you want it to look on the curves.

    The aisle at the upper right appears too narrow to use.

    The reversing loop at the lower left - if built with an 18 inch minimum radius - will have the back track approximately 44 inches from the benchwork edge. This is too far to reach for construction, maintenance and re-railing unless you have access at the end or behind, or provide an access hatch in the center of the loop.

    Bottom line: you seem to have settled on a track plan without deciding what is you are trying to achieve. I personally like the track plan, but don't believe it can be made to fit in your space without simplifying it to the point where it loses its character. But I don't know what you are trying to accomplish; I don't understand your vision for YOUR model railroad.

    There are a bunch of questions you need to answer before you can select or design a plan that will be satisfying in the long term. John Armstrong had what he called "givens and druthers". Others might call it planning assumptions. Bascially, you need to understand what your priorities are for your layout and what the constraints are.

    What is the exact dimensions of the space available, and what are the access constraints?

    How big a layout will your time, money, and space support? Complexity is appropriately measured in the number of turnouts a layout has. How many turnouts do you have time to install and maintain, money to buy, etc.? Did you include time and cost to wire, install switch machines, build and install control panels, etc.?

    What era and region are you modeling (if any)? What type of equipment do you intend to acquire or have? What is a suitable minimum curve radius for that equipment?

    What kind of operation do you prefer? Switching or watching them roll? Do you intend to do dispatching and car forwarding? What operating scheme will you use? How many people will normally be operating the layout?

    Are access hatches and duck-unders acceptable? Must the layout be movable? How much time are you willing to spend in construction before the layout is operable? How long do you intend to have the same space available?

    Think about these issues, then try to draw a plan to scale in the space available. Post it for comment along with your druthers and givens, and we can better help you achieve your dream.

    yours in planning
  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I agree with Fred that we need more information. I looked at your geocities site, and you mention logging, coal, and freight in the 1950s (?).

    Fantastic drawing by the way; as drawn it might work in Nscale.

    Give us some more info, and let's work on it. There are a number of threads here that show ideas being thrown back and forth, and multiple revisions before finally coming to a good plan that is workable.

  4. UPJunkie

    UPJunkie Member

    I realy like to do something like this. What i want out of a layout is to not get board with it. When i was younger, I build a layout and spend alot of time on it, got it done, Then got board with it.

    What i want is to have like 2-3 trains on the layout Switching, Running on the mainline, Where i can do stuff. I will sit down tomorrow and try something eles with the plan. I mostly want is logging and coal runs. I will look for John armstrong and read what he has to say

    Thanks guys for the feedback i just want this to look good :thumb:
  5. UPJunkie

    UPJunkie Member

    Here is the room size that i have to work with. The windows will not be opening and the closet and doorway is already measured in. This is to scale of the room


    And this is with some redoing to the layout to make it fit

    Layout With Room Size

    hope this helps
  6. tverskaya

    tverskaya Member

    If it's built in N-gauge, then it might fit, (assuming the measurements are feet, that is...) though even then large locos might have some problems here and there - the turntable is, what, 5"?
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Thanks for the updated room plan. It does indeed look like it might work in N, with the majority of the shelves being 6" to 1 foot wide. I like the fact that you seem to have room for wide aisles. The closet position/size is odd - does it really stick out from the middle of one wall?

    What else do you have to get in the room? Is this "the train room", so you'll want some storage and a work area? Or does it have to function as a bedroom or office or something else?

    If you want logging and coal, I assume that you are thinking north/eastern railroads in the steam era?

  8. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    I really hate being the naysayer. As Andrew and Tverskaya have pointed out, the suggested plan will not fit in what becomes essentially a 9ft x 12ft room due to the location of the closet and door. Even if it could be shoe-horned in, it doesn't meet your own criteria very well. It's much more of a short line plan with short passing sidings and sharp curves, set up for short trains and small engines, and limited ability to run more than one train continuously unattended. Your handle suggests you are a UP fan, and you mentioned modeling the '50s. To come up with a design that might work for your criteria of continuous running of 2-3 trains and logging and mining, the minimum acceptable radius needs to be determined.

    Are you going with the early '50s with big UP steam such as a Challenger or Big Boy, and decent length trains - 20+ cars? Or will this all be 1st generation diesels? Will you have passenger trains? Getting real, the length of a train with 20 40ft freight cars, a large steam engine, and caboose is right at 12ft - the length of your longest wall. A passenger train with 10 cars is the same length. So if you are going to run 2 trains this size, you need double track becasue you can't squeeze in 2 passing sidings long enough. Your minimum radius for the full length passenger cars and large steam engines has to be at least 24 inches, and they would look much better on bigger.

    This is why the type of equipment you intend to use and the train lengths you intend to run are so critical.

    The space you have is really quite small for main line HO modeling. The best you can hope for is an around-the-walls layout with a "scene" on each wall, for a total of 4 scenes. Even if you are able to fit a small peninsula into the middle or extension into the one of the lower corners, these will be very small scenes. So you have to tell us what the 4-6 scenes should be.

    You mentioned you wanted to run 2-3 trains continuously as well as switching a mining and logging run. How many friends are going to be helping you operate all this simutaneously? Or do you plan to have 2 trains "orbiting" unattended while you do the switching yourself? These questions are critical also because 2 trains of any significant length orbiting unattended is going to require 2 separate loops.

    You mentioned you got bored with your previous layout as soon as it was built. What was boring about it? This is really key because it tells you (and us) what you don't like. If layout construction is what really suits your fancy, and you don't really care about operation after it's built (you would not be the first MR who leans that direction), then that leads to using very flexible and reusable materials and construction techniques.

    It is because MRs are so diverse in their tastes and desires that there is no "one size fits all" track plan. If you don't understand what you want the final outcome to look like, then we can't help you achieve that goal. Reality it that this size layout is likely going to take several years to build and at least hundreds of $$. I would not want you to make that investment without something that is likely to satisfy you to show for it. Try answering John Armstrong' questions or mine, and post the results of what you think you want. Then we can help you design a way to get to your goal within the constraints you have.
  9. UPJunkie

    UPJunkie Member

  10. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    You simply cannot adapt this plan. Even in N, it would have to have a lot removed and the rest compacted. In HO, it's infeasible. You have to use a different starting point.

    Let's start with questions; some good ones have already been posed.
  11. UPJunkie

    UPJunkie Member

    I am going with something diffrent

    I will post my new layout soon
  12. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member


    Thanks for the update on your space. As you have discovered, it's a lot more limited than you first thought. However, it's enough for a fine layout, if you can help us help you with the design. But in order to provide you with advice, we need some idea of what YOU want from YOUR layout.

    What kind of walls are there in the door and closet area, and where are they located?

    I know you had a great attachment to the what I'll call the Coyote Creek plan. What in particular appealed to you about that plan? Perhaps those special points can be incorporated into the new plan.

    If you can access a copy, I strongly recommend you take a look at "Small, Smart & Practical Track Plans" by Iain Rice, and "48 Top-notch Track Plans" published by Kalmbach. Both feature several designs for spaces not too different from yours. In particular, I'd be very interested in your reactions to the following plans:

    Peace River RR from 48 Top-notch Track Plans
    Waterside Yard from Iain Rice's book
    N&W's Abingdon Branch from Iain Rice's book

    If you can look these plans up, I'd like to know specifically what you like and don't like about each one. That will give you (and us) a better idea of what type of layout might appeal to you.

    If you have thought about some of the questions I asked earlier, especially about types of equipment you want to run, and number of people who will be operating, that would be very helpful, too.

    yours in planning - it ain't as easy as it looks!
  13. UPJunkie

    UPJunkie Member

    I went to the hobby shop today and looked for 48 Top-notch Track Plans
    Iain Rice's book and had no luck. Tried to look them up on the web and that's all that came up is where I can order the book.

    I know that I am limited to my space, and can't do that much in the space. I went to "MY ROOM" (HEHE) and sat down, started to think about what you guys said. Before the end of this week or next week I will be posting a new layout
  14. Putt

    Putt New Member


    I'm another guy in search of the "perfect fit" track plan. I ordered mine from - $12.89. I've had real good luck with them before. Good luck.

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