Need help with track plan.

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by chiak47, Mar 6, 2003.

  1. chiak47

    chiak47 New Member

    My nephew and I are building a n-scale 2'x12' with a L that is 2'x4' in his room.Benchwork is complete.We are messing around on a scrap piece of plywood with styrofoam and plaster for mountains.

    Anyways-We want two towns-one on each side of the benchwork.We also want some sort of yard that is big enough for a turntable.

    It's going to be set in the 30's as a logging route.

    Any help or track plans would be appreciated.
  2. billk

    billk Active Member

    Welcome Eric!

    I can think of at least three ways a 2X12 with a 2X4 "L" could look like (see Fig). Which one?

    The problem with a 2ft wide layout is you can hardly turn around, but it's doable if you limit yourself to equipment that can tolerate 10-11" radius curves. I'd recommend doing a lot of planning on paper ahead of time.

    Since there's not much wiggle room, your plan needs to be as accurate as possible. You can download tracking planning software at the Atlas site for free, or if you're familiar with and have access to any CAD software you can use that. At any rate, it's a lot less painful to find out that things won't fit on paper than for real!
  3. chiak47

    chiak47 New Member

    billk thanks for the welcome-The second one on the top is what I went with.I built the benchwork in 2'x4' tables bolted together.

    I'm going to use small engines's and rolling stock.The longest train we expect to run will be around 3-4 cars.We really like shay style engines.We have bought several book and I searched the net high and far for idea's.We scratchbuilt some real nice buildings and I bought a bunch of flextrack and cork.I holding off on the laying of track till we are 100% sure what we want.
    Thats where I'm hung up.I am not ready to make that leap yet.
    I looked through the forums and I found several great looking 2x4' layouts thats why I went with that.

    My nephew has had a rough 11 years.He moved in with my wife son and I and now he is on the honor roll after years of barely passing by before.
    We are trying to sway him away from t.v and video games even though I love video games myself.
    Anyways he is a good kid and I think that building this layout will make him proud of his goals that he completed.

    I recently got a job with the UP.I am 4th generation rail.My great grandad and grandpa retired from CNW.My dad worked CNW now he is with the UP.He's been on the rails for 30 years now.
  4. billk

    billk Active Member

    Eric -

    Not to be a party pooper, but have you tried to find Shays or the like in N scale? If such an animal exists (at any price approaching reasonable) let me know, I'll be next in line!

    Sounds like you're doing the noble thing with your nephew. MRRing should give more of a sense of accomplishment than beating the high score on a video game.

    Where are you located? My brother-in-law retired from the UP several years ago.
  5. chiak47

    chiak47 New Member

    I'm in Chicago.I used to live in Marshalltown IA.My dad worked at the yard there before we moved here to IL.
    I also have been looking for n scale shay's.No luck.
  6. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Welcome aboard! Hey! Marshalltown!! I lived there between 1981-82! I loved visiting that yard. There were two bridges over the tracks, a highway viaduct and a spindly black iron one that both afforded great views of the action. There was always something happening! The diesel house was right near a street as I recall, and easy to observe. Loved watching those Chicago Northwestern units hook up to a train and roll out! Thanks for the memories! :)
  7. chiak47

    chiak47 New Member

    They also had a working turntable there.I also lived there in the early 80's.I was 4-5 then But I remember it like yesterday.
    My dad used to let me drive a locomotive in the yard on Saturdays.Can't get away with that now.
    I really miss the small towns.Big city life sucks.
  8. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Maybe I saw you roll by! :)
  9. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    47 the only n-scale shay I know of was a import (brass I think). As I recall it was not a good runner and the rods on the side didn't actually work. I saw one go on e-bay once for $1,100! :( But if you want a logging line Lifelike's SW9/12 is a excellent runner and can be had for $35 or so. Any of the 4 axle unit's from Atlas or Kato will also be top performers and can also handle the sharp curves. As far as steam goes I don't know any I would recomend with curves that sharp except for maybe the Bachman Spectrum 2-8-0. Good luck and when you get far enough along post some pics! :)

    And welcome to the Gauge!
  10. chiak47

    chiak47 New Member

  11. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    I'm not famaliar with Green Max so don't know if it's a good runner or not! That said if you want a Shay it probably is the way to go.
  12. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    With a railroad on a shelf that narrow, you can get a nice long run for point to point operation. I would put a turntable at each end, or perhaps a turntable at one end with a wye at the other, and just turn the engine while breaking down or making up a train at each end. That way you don't have to run extremely tight radius curves to make a turn around. Since it is a logging road, you can run it up and down mountains with switchbacks to get an even longer run. Of course, I don't know your nephew's age, and most kids like trains that go around in circles more than switching.
  13. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

    Mabie you could add a 1"x6" board along the wall side of your bench work. You could do this with corner blocks made from 2"x4" or "L" brackets. This would make the surface wider and make your turns easy. You could add a 1"x2" to the front edge by predrilling pilot holes and securing them with glue and 2" dry wall screws. Put a 1"x2" down each side of your tables and you make it 3" wider. (1"x2" is realy 3/4"x1.5" because it is what they call "dressed")

    You might consider a helix in the corner to change the elevation. The helix would run through a mountain of course and this would give you an oppertunity to have tunnels and bridges.

    Remember to keep your grades under 3%. (I've heard that 2.5% grade is better for N gauge)

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