# Need some help with a trackplan

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by zachary, Jun 8, 2007.

1. ### zacharyMember

Hello everyone i was wondering if some one could help me with a track plan. My space is 8 x 18. I model bnsf csx up. Would like a lot of switching with a continuses loop. dual mainline so i can run my passenger train my grandfather got me around the walls with liftout so thanks in advance zachary flowe:thumb:
2. ### zacharyMember

forgot to put scale the scale is ho
3. ### Russ BellinisActive Member

Is your passenger train full length 85 foot cars or Athearn 72 foot "shortys?" If you do an open shelf around the walls type layout with some sort of lift out access, you can fit a 36" minimum radius curve in a 4' x 4' space meaning that each end could accomodate a broad radius 180 degree curve with 10 feet between curves for industries. If you do a lift out, you should limit it to a couple of tracks. When you get more than 2 tracks on a lift out or draw bridge, you can run into alignment problems with some of the extra tracks very easily. I think I would locate the lift out or draw bridge near one end or the other rather than in the middle of the straight to allow the maximum space for sidings and industries. With your space limitations, I would reccomend keeping the track flat, but you could model hills, cuts, and canyons around the tracks to give the illusion of elevation changes and scenic interest. You could also work in a gentle "S" curve on one side or the other of the layout to make for more interesting viewing.
4. ### zacharyMember

the cars are 85 foot

6. ### zacharyMember

hey zebob can you post your trackplan so i can see it thanks zach
7. ### Russ BellinisActive Member

Sorry zedob, I gues my post was a little bit ambiguous. When I said that you can do a 36 inch radius on a 4 x 4 I was thinking of a 90 degree turn as we do in the modular club. To make a complete return curve of 180 degrees you would need a 4 x 8 or perhaps 4 x 7 minimum.
8. ### zedobMember

Here it is. There's a few things that need to be corrected, but it's close. The tracks on the outside are hidden to create "surround staging", a la, Mike Hammer. I don't have a bunch of industries, but I do have two interchanges and expect a bunch of through traffic to have to deal with while switching out a few cars going and coming from Rockville and other points beyond. I'm more of a scenery guy and like to see trains pass by.

AS you can see, I've tried about everything that Russ had mentioned, except instead of keeping it all one elevation I have the mainline leaving Vernon (notice double to single track bottleneck) rising and passing over the lead into the hidden staging. I didn't have to do it, but I was trying to hide the staging tracks, which will be covered with removable scenery chunks. I may regret it, but I'm leaving the design open-ended for changes. I designed it very conservatively knowing that there might be a slight chance of me making a mistake while designing it.sign1

The strange jog in the upper left corner is a swing-up bridge section that has a few tracks that need to align when dropped into place. The door needs to be reversed to swing out of the room, but I haven't filled out the proper evironmental impact statements yet to proceed. I may just wait until the inspector is out for the day and I can sneak in and suprise her.

Sorry about my lack of terrain mesh manipulating abilities. I use the program just enough to barely remember how to do certain things. wall1

I use 3rd Planit if you were wondering. Cool program, but it takes some hours of playing to get used to.

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9. ### zacharyMember

sweet trackplan man i like it i may copy it but a few changes may be done to get a few more industrys in there zach
10. ### zedobMember

The prototype for Vernon is here: Vernon Railroad Depot, Vernon / Rockville Junction, Vernon Connecticut

I grew up about a mile from that location, but everything was gone except a single track main, one stub siding and the branch to Rockville. I always wanted to model the junction and always thought that it was double tracked at the most, however, due to the internet I found out a lot more after coming across that site.

I've been beating out that plan for the last year. I knew I wouldn't get to start building for some time, so I decided to slow down and pick at it until I was sure. Using the prototype helps, but it can also make you pull your hair out while you try to squeeze as much of the original plan into our miniture worlds.

Palmer happened to be a convienient town that allowed my branch to cross in a prototypical manner. Neither town were big industrial towns, just busy junctions.

The real Palmer, MA

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11. ### zacharyMember

zebob thanks for the history zachary
12. ### zedobMember

You're welcome to copy and slice and dice as you wish. There's a lot of double track in mine, but that's how it was in 1900, the era I model. you could very easily knock it down to a single track and stuff sidings in all over. With a 2 ft wide shelf you'll still have plenty of building's space.

It would be nice to have a couple of reversing loops to simulate the rest of the railroad and terminuses? termini?, but that's not gonna happen here. My office desk is below. It's a long u shaped table/desk making a 3ft walk way down the center and set the limits criteria, so the layout will be an exact outline of the desk. I thought about some protruberances for correct turntable location, but I decided I'd end up regretting even thinking about it.

The mean track height from the floor is 54" ( I like 'em high, plus I needed the room below). My last shelf layout was up high, too. It was actually a great testbed for this layout and it was only 12" deep. The perception of depth is easier to trick the higher you get to your eye level. However, being that high up puts everything between you and the backdrop in danger. In my case, I really didn't have a choice.

Find some pics of switching and mainline scenes that you really like and mix and match, that's what I did. I read over John Armstrong's TRACK PLANS FOR REALISTIC OPERATIONS and MRRer's guide to JUNCTIONS. a gazillion times to help get ideas, plus I learned a lot about operations that I didn't know about.
13. ### BigJimMember

Here is mine. 6.5' x 21'. Hidden loop could be a little smaller and closer since you don't see the cars and 24" seems fine for operation.

Three separate loops that can be combined into one with two of the double crossovers. The other two provide two reversing loops.

Trestle bridge is a curved gantlet track but could be dual track if you don't want to build your own "pointless" gantlet turnout.
14. ### zacharyMember

hello big jim thanks i like your plan also but a little to complicated for me zachary
15. ### Russ BellinisActive Member

Zebob, if you are handy with construction, you might be able to solve the door problem with a sliding pocket door.
16. ### MasonJarIt's not rocket surgery

You don't even have to be that handy - I was in Home Depot last night, and they have pocket doors already framed out that you just insert into the wall and cover with drywall. No more having to build your own frame (which in my experience is one of the harder things to do... hamr).

Great plan by the way! :thumb:

Andrew
17. ### zedobMember

Thanks guys,

For those who worry about not getting thier trackplans right the first time, don't feel bad. It's taken me a year of virtual slicing and dicing to get it to this point and it still gets tweaked everytime I open the program. BTW, the program 3rd Planit has more than paid for itself by allowing me to modify the plan without blowing money on mistakes.:thumb:

AS for the door, it would be easier for me to spin the whole door, although I do like the pocket door idea and it would be a practical solution if the wall would allow it, I'm stuck with the door flipping. Not a big deal.
18. ### KanawhaMember

Remember the first rule of layout planning. Don't put turnouts in inaccessable places. The ones in the tunnels will always break first--- Murphy's law. :cry:

If you plan to have hidden staging or a hidden reverse loop, make sure you have good access to it from underneath, or removable access panels. Good luck!