Need Help Modeling a High Traffic Passenger service in 8x2.5 ft. in N Scale

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Zallion, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. Zallion

    Zallion New Member

    Well this is my first post on the Gauge, and I am really glad that I found this site. I am just starting to get back into the hobby after being gone for about 3 years. I am currently renting a room in a house as I am still in college. I recently picked up a portable table that measures 30"x96" or 2.5x8 Ft. depending on how you want to look at it. Anyways I plan on using Kato Unitrack for its easy of set up and also its reliability. All of my track and rolling stock are in Arizona at this time with my parents so it is kind of hard to fiddle around with the track arrangement with it being there. I love passenger trains, and I would like my layout to focus on the operations of a station. A typical train set up would be roughly a Pa1 and a Pb1 pulling about 7 cars. I plan on trying to model the Santa Fe around the year of 1952 in N-scale.

    Now to the layout, I have been trying to draw up some plans using XtrkCad to see how my layout plan would work. So far I have come up with the plan drawn below. I would like to try and run the layout as a Point to point track plan. I was thinking of having four spurs at the bottom as shown to back the trains into the station. The loop that comes off of the top spur is only there to provide a continuous loop when I just want to see my trains run. To the viewer I plan to try and make it look like it is just another spur, and conceal the loop by having a backdrop and a building there. At the top of the layout I was thinking of having about four tracks so I could stage the trains. I also plan on using a minimum radius of 11" so that way the passenger cars do not look so toy like.

    What does everyone think of this idea? Do you think it would be feasible to model a train station with the set up that I have now. I am taking some inspiration from the sept. 2005 Model Railroader, in the article about passenger operation. Any help or feed back is greatly appreciated. If you can think of a better way to model a station please share it with me. Pictures or drawings of plans would be a plus. Also for those that may ask, I will be running mainly atlas and Kato engines, with Kato’s new Superchief passenger cars. I also plan on switching over to DCC if that matters any.

    Attached Files:

  2. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    Your trackplan isn't coming up at the moment, so I can't comment - but you could take a look here
    There are several high intensity passenger layout on there
    Shortliner(Jack)away up here in the Highlands
  3. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    Can't see it, so i can't say much. I would say that with that radius and the cars you will be running you'd really like to hide the loops as much as possible. That radius is really tight for those passenger cars. The other possibility might be to try to add on to the table at the ends to cheat another few inches into the loop. Your idea of hiding them is still good though.

  4. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I'll get up on my soapbox and say that you should use 15" curves on a small N layout designed for passenger service. Unfortunately, your table isn't quite wide enough. Still, go wider than 11" - maybe 13-1/2".
    With 3x8, your task would be much easier. Can you build a larger layout to rest on the table?

    That's 4'9" long by my guess. That length will govern the design.

    That site seems to be mostly HO switching layouts.

    And no, I can't see the plan either.

    Since I can't see it, I can't tell. But, if you're planning to operate the station as a terminal, you'll have to make a lot of allowances for turning trains.
  5. Zallion

    Zallion New Member

    Thank you very much everyone for your imput. Seeing as how I can not see my track plan either, would someone mind making up one that they think might work? I will try to post the track plan later on today.
  6. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I can see the plan now.
    If it's being run as a point-to-point, won't the trains have to head in? As I said, that'll require engine-escape tracks and a much more complicated terminal. I don't know if it's practical to operate that way on a layout this size. And I only see three spurs.

    Stub staging is really inconvenient. Most modellers go for through staging, often on a lower level.

    Where is the table located? I need to know if it's at all possible to make the layout bigger than the table. That's the only way I can see to get what you want. I know some good plans, but they're bigger. Some of my favorite island-type plans:
    -The Carlsbad, East Portal & Zenith in John Armstrong's 18 Tailor-Made Model Railroad Track Plans. 4'x8' passenger-focused layout with loop-to-loop main and staging.
    -The Union Terminal, also in John Armstrong's 18 Tailor-Made Model Railroad Track Plans. HO plan, reduces to 3'10"x5'+1'1"x1'10" in N. Not an island, but it would be in N. Features a major terminal. Staging tracks have tight curves suitable only for freight.
    -The Jamaica & Kingsway Short Line, plan 77 in Linn Westcott's 101 Track Plans for Model Railroaders (out of print, I believe). HO plan, reduces to 3'x10' in N. Another loop-to-loop with a useful mainline arrangement. No staging, unfortunately, for it was designed 50 years ago.
    Unfortunately, none of these captures the spaciousness of Arizona, having been planned for other regions.
  7. Zallion

    Zallion New Member

    I guess I could possibly just use the table as a stand, and put a 4x8 sheet of plywood on top of it. The layout actual straddles my bed at the moment by the way. Also I have the 101 track plans, but I do not have John Armstrong’s book. Is there anyway that someone could post both of the other plans mentioned by Triplex so I could take a look at them. Thank you.
  8. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Oh! I wasn't thinking. The Carlsbad, East Portal & Zenith can't be built as a flat-top. It's normal for plans with lower-level staging to require open-grid construction. But, most importantly, it can't rest on a table, for it needs access to that staging, which can only come from underneath.
  9. GeorgeHO

    GeorgeHO Member

    One of the modules I am going to build for my layout (in HO) is similar to your N scheme, and it is also primarily for passenger operation. Maybe it can give you some ideas. I am going to have the passenger station (Pennsy/union) in the front with 4 tracks set up like yours. The four tracks also go into 2 on the curves. In the back is a staging area of 4 tracks which mirrors the front. The right side of the layout is similar to the left side, so the tracks form an inner loop and outer loop each with a passing sidings on the straight tracks - front and rear. The middle of the layout will be entirely raised - you could use 2" foam - which for me will be my urban freight switching area. The back tracks will be hidden for staging and having the passenger trains "disappear" for a while - you could use a backdrop in front of the tracks. I am modeling Baltimore which has tunnels under the city - including the NE corridor along the Jones Falls River, which lends itself to this type of layout.

    Good luck with your layout.

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