New here, Needing some help.

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Chessie1973, Nov 24, 2003.

  1. Chessie1973

    Chessie1973 Member

    Hello everyone,

    I am new here as you know and I was hoping I could get some input on a fairly simple 4x8 HO scale layout I hope to do in the future.

    My plans are to have a coal mine that services a power plant on my layout for my switching and operations with a possible spur that leads off stage to a possible future expansion on one end.

    My idea was to have a mountain along the back of the layout and grades climbing the two ends of the layout in a classic wide loop setup. Inside the mountain I would like to have a hidded staging area that includes switchign for the coal mine and Power plant areas in order to facilitate switching empty cars and full cars. At least at the power plant. The mine isn't quite as important to do this with as the work train can return with empties and park them on a possible siding at the mine and pick up a loaded train there to return to the power plant with.

    I have the RTS program by atlas and I have tinkered with it but I am terrible at designing good looking track plans.

    I am not looking for a hugely complex switching setup just one or two simple sidings for trains of cars perhaps 6 4 bay hoppers long plus caboose. I am thinking of going flex track when the time comes to make this layout but I'm debating due to the expense of roadbed and ballasting and such. I currently run on a loop of EZ Track on the floor to enjoy my trains so anything is better than nothing I suppose.

    Hoping for ideas or improvements to the idea from the more experienced designers here.
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I'm presuming you are talking about ho scale? I was looking at 101 Track Plans For Model Railroads by Lynn Wescott published by Kalmbach. There are a bunch of 4x6 & 4x8 track plans there that might work for you. In ho scale any track plan is going to have a maximum radius of 22" so you need to restrict yourself to small steam or 4 axle diesels. Six axle units will operate on those tight radius's, but will overhang a lot, and may derail the car right behind them.
  3. Chessie1973

    Chessie1973 Member

    I have a bit of EZ Track with an 18" radius already.

    I long ago realised the limit on the Loco's to 4 axels, as well as no longer than 50 foot rolling stock.

    I have a few plans I have cooked up that can actually use all 18" radius track if I have to including a few dounble loop setups with a mountain.

    I am just wondering what others out there have cooked up.
  4. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Hi Chessie,

    I've been mulling over ideas ever since you posted. I'm not an expert track planner by any means and my art work is done in Pen 2.0 as you can see below. :) Its a 4X 8 with mostly 18 inch radius curves.

    This is a point to point layout with room for expansion at either end. The plan allows for trains in two hidden staging tracks to come "on layout" to serve the power plant and mine. I'm imagining a short loco coming on scene from staging to pick up empties at the power plant. It pulls them into the staging tunnel and then backs onto the main for the steep grade ride up to the mine. Once there they push the hoppers under the mine tipple. There may be cars on that short siding by the mine to pick up and take back down the hill, either to locate at the power plant or to take off layout into staging.

    Hope this prompts some more planners to come up with ideas for you!

    Attached Files:

  5. A sample plan

    This is a 4x7 plan made from 8 turnouts and 2 Lifelike trainsets

    (4 Left, 4 right turnouts, 24 18" curve sections, and 12 9" straights)

    Its a simple track plan. Note that all the sidings are at different angles


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