New design... comments welcome

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by MickeyHoldem, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. MickeyHoldem

    MickeyHoldem New Member

    I'm designing a new layout for a new house that will be built sometime in the next year... so this gives me lots of time to get it right!!!... and buy more stuff!!!

    Design features
    Scale: N
    Size: 20 x 16 feet
    Era: 1980's
    Layout Style: Walk-around double peninsula
    Length of mainline: 170 feet
    Layout height: 42" to 60"
    Track: atlas code 55
    Minimum radius: 18" (13" on mining branch)

    I would welcome suggestion on anything that comes to mind. location of passing siding, industr locations, anything at all. This will be an operating layout... hopefully accommidating 4-8 people.

    Entry into the room will likely be on the right side, into the staging area... a duck under will be needed to get to the inside. Likely about 46" - watch your head.

    There's still lots of track missing from the diagram, and what is there is not set in stone... but I think I made a good start.

    -- Mike

    Attached Files:

  2. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    Link isnt working Mike???
    At least not for me.
    Are you a member of the Layout Design or Op sigs??
    For the size layout you are contemplating i would invest the 15.00 in joining.Getting some input from guys like Bill Jewett and others may be very helpful.You may even get to become part of thier nationwide rail system.How cool would that be?? :)

    Thats a big layout and will require quite a few operators for formal sessions.
    Also we are talking alot of

    If you are up for it,great!! :)

    So are we doing prototype,freelanced or Freelanced but based on a prototype?
    Location? Era? you know,all the fun details :D
  3. MickeyHoldem

    MickeyHoldem New Member

    OK... fixed the link problem... OK.... I didn't really fix it... I just attached the file instead! :D
    Mostly modern stuff... 80's up... Most of my stuff is Southern Pacific power and rolling stock, but I want to have atleast 2 roads, the plan allows for shared trackage through the first city (A) to and from the main yard with lots of staging capacity. Lots of opportunity for interchange with other railroads.
  4. 2slim

    2slim Member

    Good sized room

    You got the makings of a nice layout there!

  5. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Wow, 20x16, what a guy could do in N with that size a room. :cool:

    Looks like you have a good plan started there Mike.

    Besides the mine and the two towns, what other industries or geographic wonders did you plan?
  6. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    I Agree with Will, this is a nice plan with the general overview i see.
    Its hard to tell just exactly what tracks you have in the yard for example but it appears you have simple ellegance here.
    Good mainline run,Good off layout staging opportunity(giving you that interchange option ;) )
    Here are a couple of thoughts to consider from an operations standpoint:
    1- Division point Yard (you have staging but you need a place to bring the interchange to)
    A division point yard will give you a place to handle your locals and your off layout freight.Use your staging area as (the rest of the world) use the division point yard as your Main (on stage) area for directing your world.It appears as if you could add a division point yard in the layout area on the same wall as your staging.Engine service facilities are nice to have but less important than an area to make up and break up those incoming trains.Southern Pacific covers a huge area.If you are Proto-Lancing(free lance based on a prototype) you could for example pick a division that was formerly another road that SP sucked up to give you some basis in reality and a general guideline.This will help give plausability to your road.
    If you are going to stay prototype,Picking an SP division will really help to set the stage as you can find out who SP interchanged with, where,what kind of traffic etc.
    This also gives the opportunity to add operators(up to 3 easily for a division point yard)
    Yard boss,eastbound switching and west bound .
    Look over the SP,check out thier differant divisions(and the subdivisions within)If they didnt have mining for example,dont worry about it,thats what Proto -lancing is about.Its a guideline that you can change to suit your interests.That guideline however will really help to develop a truly plausible road.
    2- Design Elements-Double check each area to be certain all your Elements are in place(sidings,runarounds,ease of switching(facing vs trailing points)Length of passing tracks(remember, this will define the maximum length of your longest train as a general rule),Number of passing tracks(this gives you the maximum number of trains you can have on the main as a general rule)
    3-You mentioned you wanted 2 roads. Consider the 2nd road as perhaps a branch. take that mining area for example.Perhaps a small local road running 1st or 2nd generation diesels a bit rough looking perhaps but affordable for a small road with a regional flavor.(up here i think of North Shore Mining RR as as example) It is a shortline that hauled ore from LTV mining to Silver Bays Reserve mining plant.It also could interchange with the DM&IR for ore to be shipped through a differant Port.
    You can do a fair Job with 2 class 1 railroads but in doing so you will lose alot of scenery space,increase your expense dramatically and have a hard time fitting in a 2nd division point yard meaning operations of that 2nd class 1 would suffer.If you want to run engines from another class 1 consider them as Pool power or leased units.Do a good job with 1 class 1 road and 1 regional road(whose yard requirements would be minimal.
    This is all my opinion of course .I hope you find something in my ramblings useful and worthwhile to you :)

    I'm jelous,you really have opportunity to do a fabulous operations oriented layout with this kind of room.One that will be fun to operate alone or with 8 -12 friends.
    I hope you will have some help building this.Keep in mind, N scale is half the size of HO but doesnt take 1/2 the time.If you have built an HO layout in the past consider this,it will take as long to build this as it would to build an HO layout in a 40 x 32 room ( thats an entire basement in a modest ranch home)
    Having help would be very nice.
    If you dont, i would build a small layout just to have something to run trains on when you get the urge because this monster is going to take awhile,a very long while.A lifetime for me LOL
  7. MickeyHoldem

    MickeyHoldem New Member

    Wow Tileguy... nice post... thank you for taking the time to reply in such a detailed fashion... over the weekend I'm going to work on the plan a little more, and use some of your suggestions... I'll post some more detailed pics by Monday. FYI, the main yard tracks weren't drawn in the plan I posted.
    Well I currently have a small, 12x8 layout... no scenery at all... construction was halted due to the new build/move. I have a layout on a 36x80 door that will keep me entertained... plus... I work pretty quick... I was the gen. contrator, electrician, plumber, finish carpenter, and flooring installer for the current house we live in, and we moved in in 4 months :D
  8. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    OK,I'm impressed.Ive seen fulltime generals that cant seem to manage that :)

    Still, it is very large.I think it was last year MRP had an article on large layouts.cost maintenance time frame etc.If i can find it i'll quote some of the figures to give you a guideline as to what you may be taking on.Its only a guideline of course but forewarned is forearmed so to speak.
    I just added to my own plan although i dont have all the details completely worked out yet.I will be adding a Lower level for a large division yard and engine servicing facility along with additional hidden staging(i already have a 4 track hidden staging area) I will also add track to my existing Upper canopy which right now has my lighting and intnded valance for the main level.This upper level will become my small regional line(ore hauler) and will interchange with my Class 1. Both will be accomplished with a helix going both up and down(this is the one detail i have to work out yet,i'm trying to save my workbench or at least part of it).

    Anyways, I look forward to seeing the detailed Pics as they become available.I'll be out of town all next week but will check first thing when i get back Friday night if you dont get them posted by Monday early morning :)
  9. MickeyHoldem

    MickeyHoldem New Member

    Here's an updated layout plan.... It's very large and shows a good deal of detail... main yard tracks, passing sidings, etc...

    Most of the tweaks have been from Tileguy's suggestions... still looking for more!!!

    This will represent a fictional subdivsion for SP originating from the city of Madison (named after my daughter). The SP mainline runs east-west through Madison, to and from separate staging. The sub will run south from Madison to Taylor, a large industrial city, continuing south to Davidson, a small town. The line continues south, off to another staging area representing points farther south. Just south of Davidson the line interchanges with a small mining line that serves a small community and large mining operation.

    A local switcher will run into Madison out of the yard to service most of the industries here. There are no industries shown yet (just the mine)... I drew the ind park in Taylor just to fill the space in...

    I have plans for some truss bridges and other interesting scenic ideas along the staging area wall, so I've kept the track simple here.

    Link to detailed layout plan
  10. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    It Looks good, I would consider moving the engine house in the yard back further as it will inhibit switching,coupling uncoupling etc.Function over form etc ;)

    Now for some figures that will make you think.This is from MRP 2004
    Avg cost of a Model railroad for all wood benchwork,track,scenery,wiring,control system Motive power,freight cars,buildings and scenery items.150.00 per square foot.This does not include specialty items such as signal systems etc.Costs go down with salvaged wood,inexpesive rather than moderately priced motive power,cars etc.Matt thompson planned a new 18x21 HO layout featuring a long mainline run and extensive scenery.he compiled a chart (shown below)He is using flextrack, typically works alone and figures he can spend 10 hours per week(1 hour per weekday and 5 hours each weekend) on the layout.about 500 hours per year.
    Benchwork-legs joists,backdrop and subroadbed............................100 hours

    Track-Plot route,lay radbed and track,wire & Paint..........................600 hours

    Turnouts-Locate lay roadbed and turnouts .....................................150 hours
    Install switch machine wire and paint

    Scenery-Shape mask install rocks trees,ground work,paint..............600 hours
    This amounts to about 2 hours per s/f

    Structures-Assemble ,detail,paint,weather,install.............................2050 hours

    Total.............................................................................................................3,400 hours
    2 years to get RR running,4 years to complete all track and wiring and 13 years to complete the project based on available time of 500 hours per year.

    Maintaining a large railroad is another issue all together.Be sure you dont create a maintenance frankenstein.Pay attention to details and make everything accessible.

    This is not meant to discourage you.On the contrary,this is to make sure you are going into this with your eyes wide open as to the commitment it will take to get a railroad of this magnitutude finished.

    Now that you have an idea what kind of commitment it will take are you still ready to proceed Mickey??
    Somehow i knew you would say Yes, Besides, 500 Hours a year??? To many constraints on his time.1200 hours a year for the truly committed is very possible.12 hours each weekend is 624 hours alone,18 hours(9 hours per day is close to 1000 hours just working weekends)Structure can be built in the evening while watching the tube as can tree making and weathering painting etc.heck you could get 2-3 hours per night easy.This of course assumes you dont have a wife in the way LOL :)
  11. Sir_Prize

    Sir_Prize Member

    Don't forget people width in the aisles,
    and access that don't whack your head,or your back.

    Looks like plenty of sightseeing and places for lots of fiddling/switching.
  12. CalFlash

    CalFlash Member

    It's a personal thing with me, but it looks like trains run around (and thru each area) twice which destroys some of the going somewhere atmosphere. With this much room esp in N-scale I would think that could be eliminated keeping the layout "scenically pure" and not creating a round and round feeling. Perhaps putting staging at the ends of a basically point to point layout (thereby creating a loop to loop design) esp if you hide the staging loops or incorporate them into major towns.

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