Need Layout Advice

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Hoss, Nov 10, 2003.

  1. Hoss

    Hoss Member

    Need Layout Advice - REVISED - PLEASE LOOK AGAIN!!


    For reasons that I won't waste your time with here, I just recently dismantled my garage layout and am planning to build a new layout indoors.

    Shown below is my first trial run at the track plan and I'm looking for honest opinions on changes or improvements that can be made.

    Here's a few particulars to help you out...

    - This is an N scale layout.
    - Will be modeling current day BNSF.
    - The grid lines are 12" spacing, so the overall dimenions are 10'x12'.
    - The stub end yard at the top of the layout will be hidden staging behind a backdrop of some sort.
    - I want to be able to have some switching action but still be able to just turn a train loose to run continuously if I get in the mood to just sit back and watch.
    - This will mostly just be one operator, but on occasion there may be one or two others.
    - I'm planning for more of a rural look on the bottom leg (kind of Montana looking) and some city/town on the top leg.
    - The layout will be DCC.

    I think that's about it for now. You're not going to hurt my feelings with anything so if you see something that is just flat out bad design or that you don't like feel free to tell me.

    Thanks in advance. it is....


    Here is the same layout with what I kind of picture in my head for scenery and industry and such. Nothing is labeled because nothing is really set in stone as to what is what. Forgive me for my lack of computer graphics skills....


    Any help/suggestions/comments are welcome.
  2. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Hoss! Welcome aboard! I like the way your plan allows for continuous running AND and out and back scheme. Looks good to me. Only thing I'd suggest is taking a look at the track connection I circled. I followed your routes with my eye and I think you can have the same out and back run without this additional reverse loop. It would save you money on turnouts and maybe make room for more structures or scenary. Maybe you have it in for other operational purposes? In any case, best wishes with the layout and welcome again!

    Attached Files:

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  3. Clerk

    Clerk Active Member

    Hi Hoss...Welcome to the Gauge.

    I like the layout except for one possible problem. Will you be using DCC? ...I am looking at the reverse loop next to the staging area...If you are using block system there will be a direct short unless you plan to use DPDT switches to change the polarity of the track current...

    There are several modelers on here that can give you excellent ideas on how to avoid this. Even with pictures.
  4. Hoss

    Hoss Member

    Ralph, thanks for the welcome and thanks for the suggestion. The reason for the additional reversing loop was that it allowed me to turn an entire train around no matter which direction it was going on the mainline. Turnouts are no big deal as I already have WAY more than I'll need for this layout (I had already completed benchwork and was beginning to lay track on a larger layout in the garage when I decided to start over and bring it all inside).

    Did that make sense??

    Thanks again. :)
  5. Hoss

    Hoss Member

    Hi Clerk. Thanks for your response. :)

    I will definitely be using DCC. As I stated in my post to Ralph, I actually already had a layout in the works when I decided to scrap it and move inside. Along with lots of track, turnouts, roadbed, WS subterrain, locos, decoders and rolling stock, I have also already purchased my DCC system (Lenz Set 100). I will need to purchase two of the little reversing module thingamajiggies (I forget what they're called), but with those I should be good to go. No block system for me!!! :D

    Thanks again. :)
  6. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Hello Hoss and welcome to the-gauge! Love that name!

    I like the layout, honest. :D The only thing I might change would be the yard at the top. This is just a personal pref., but I would break up the perfectly even symetrical parallelisms of that yard. Like to see some gnarly trackwork with slips and crossovers.

    Also might consider running a single main, unless having two trains running unattended is a goal.

    Now, I would lik eyou to go ahead and waste time with those reasons :D :D :D Were there environmental problems out in the garage, or do you just need it out of there? I would like to know, because right now that's the best space I have for a layout and I am concerned somewhat about the wild temperature swings Indiana will inflict upon such a layout. If you had troubles, could you share what they were?
  7. Urban

    Urban New Member

    I think you might want to reconsider this solution. Seems like some people think this is a good idea during the planning and building stage, but when the layout nears completion and reach the operating phase they find that spending time backing trains out of the staging yard, turning them and backing them in again takes time away from operating the layout properly.
  8. Hoss

    Hoss Member

    Thanks for the suggestion. I share your preference when it comes to yard, however I was really only intending for this yard to be hidden staging. I had planned to hide it behind some scenery or a backdrop. I'm even considering moving it below to another deck just for the purpose of staging, but haven't decided for sure on that yet. I'll keep your suggestion in mind though as several other people have suggested integrating the yard into the layout instead of having it hidden. :)

    I actually intended for it to be a single main, but by the time I got the long yard lead / passing siding on the "north" end and the long passing siding on the "south end"...along with the little interchange yard on the south end....well, it kind of lost it's single main appearance. :(

    Several reasons. First of all, I wanted my garage parking space back. :D Second, in Texas it gets very hot in there in the summer and pretty chilly in the winter. Not only does it make it uncomfortable to work on and operate, but I was afraid I would have problems with kinks and gaps from track expansion and contraction. I like the idea of having it inside for climate control reasons and because I believe it will be easier to keep clean inside.

    Gotta go to work now. Thanks for the comments.
  9. Hoss

    Hoss Member

    Re: Re: Need Layout Advice

    Good I hadn't really thought about. I would like to find a way to incorporate a large yard on the layout itself and use the yard for staging, but I don't feel that I have enough space to make it look right. I could easily put a large yard on there, but then it would seem that the entire layout is yard.

    I'm still trying to work this one out so I'm open to suggestions.
  10. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    My mistake big guy (you are big, right? And wear a ten gallon hat? I sure hope so... I've congured up quite an image from your name :D:D:D ) I missed the fact that the yard is to be hidden.

    IMHO: On the single main, with a large loop, you blend the loops into the scenery, do the dog bone thing, so the main tracks running eaither direction are close together, then it appears, and can be used as, a double mail point to point for ops. See what I mean? Again, my ideas are just personal prefs, there's nothing I see wrong with the plan. (don't want to be chased around by a big guy in a big hat when I visit Texas one day :rolleyes: ).

    Looking forward to seeing it develoup! Hope you can post lots of pics along the way! (jon hums the theme to Ponderosa as he types)
  11. Hoss

    Hoss Member

    Well of course!!! Actually, I don't wear a ten gallon hat, but you can pretend I do so as not to mess up the image you've got of me. :D

    I'm not 100% certain I follow what you're saying, but I THINK you're saying I should run the single main line away and return route together so they look like a double main?? Is that right?

    No worries....I haven't chased anyone around with my big hat in a long time. ;)


    I'll definitely be posting pictures of my progress, but it may be a few weeks as I'm still in the planning stage and the "cleaning out the new layout room" stage. I seriously doubt anyone here wants to see pictures of a big guy in a ten gallon hat cleaning out a room in his boxers. :D ;) :p That do anything for the image you've conjured up?? :eek:
  12. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Yes sir, that is exactly what I meant on the main. Of course, what's more important is making it so you like it :D

    You'll fit right in here, Big Guy :D :D :D
  13. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    Welcome Hoss, glad you got jon on the run

    :D :D :D :D :D :D Love the layout Hoss. and our fellow`s comments:D :D :D :D :D
    Looking forward to some photo`s;)
  14. Hoss

    Hoss Member

    Photos will come in due time fellas. I gotta finish cleaning the room out first and then make a trip to the local Home Depot for lumber. It seems for the most part that nobody sees any major flaws in my track plan, so except for maybe a few minor changes I'll probably go with this one....and after only two tries too....last time I went through about 15 different track plans before finally deciding on one that I liked (only to discover later that I didn't like it).

    Thanks for the warm welcome. I may do some tweaking tonight and post it tomorrow for you guys to review, but I'm thinking this may be it.

    Anyone else?? I haven't pounded the gavel down yet... ;)
  15. Hoss

    Hoss Member


    I have revised the track plan yet again. Please take a look at it and see what you think. I managed to get the mainline minimum radius to 15" instead of 13.75" like it was before.

    For now I'm leaving the staging on top, but I'm still considering moving to a second deck below. I haven't quite figured out how to get it down there yet is the problem.

    I'm open for suggestions here....


    If you want to see the full size (and legible) picture go HERE.
  16. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Lookin' good Hoss, when do we get started? Better be careful, with lumber yards and mines, the next logical progression is logging, then you'll want tight radii :D :D :D
  17. Hoss

    Hoss Member

    Well...I have all of the materials to start the benchwork...which I may do tomorrow night after work. I'm still debating on the the track plan...but the benchwork isn't changing so I can go ahead and build it and start working on a backdrop and such.

    I did have one question today's railroads still use coal tipples like the one seen below or have they all gone to flood loaders? I'm modeling modern day BNSF so I may have to change some things if I can't use one of these.

  18. Hoss

    Hoss Member

    Please go HERE to discuss the latest revision of this layout. Thanks. :)

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