New Layout Design Challenge --Help!

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Agatheron, Nov 15, 2003.

  1. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Well... it seems like I will be able to build a layout in the downstairs. This is good news, although the original plan that I had developed needs to be tossed out the window. My plans were originally for a 30-36"x80" door divided down the middle with a scenery block.

    Space, unfortunately, is a premium at our house, so taking the extra room even for something the size of a door probably wouldn't work. However, as I mentioned in another thread (Weird Benchwork), I do have an Ikea Ivar shelving unit. When I asked my wife about converting one of the shelf levels into a layout, she actually seemed pretty keen on the idea. I will have to make some additions, such as the purchase of two corner units. However, it won't take up any more floorspace than it already does. The advantage is also that it could be 10-13' in length... with possibly some room for a small but workable staging area.

    The challenge is that the original 36"x80" track plan will simply not fit on this set-up. I need ot come up with a decent track plan that also takes into account the somewhat modular nature of an Ivar shelving unit. I'm not planning on doing full-blown inter-connectable modular. Neither oNetrak or Ntrak standards can really apply to Ivar Shelving Units.

    Turning radii will also be a challenge. The regular shelves are 19 3/4" deep by about 30" wide. The corner units are larger, being 30"x30" with a 10"x10" triangle bite out of one corner. Assuming I wish to turn trains around in this space, the largest radius I can probably manage is about 13.5"

    I'll try to post a preliminary track plan soon. In the meantime, here's a rough sketch of the size I am looking at from the other thread:


    The lines around the track plan show two corner units on either side of two shelving units. I can add one more shelving unit either to the middle for length, or off one of the corner areas for a staging areas...

  2. Cinnibar

    Cinnibar Member

    You Are Set!


    There may not seem like a lot of difference between 10" radius and 13.5" but I have found it to be night and day. With 13.5" you should be able to run the longest equipment out there. Your 85 footers will look a lot better on the 13.5" than the10". Congratulations on your excellent Real Estate negotiation skills. I can already see an SD-90 passing your VIA!
  3. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    It's more like negotiating for the space I already occupy :)

    Good to know that a 13.5" will make a nice difference. I'm hoping to do a double track in a dogbone pattern... In theory there will also be a reversing loop to give some variety to direction. I will try to keep one track to the back and hide it with scenery... Although I'll probably put some rerailers back there to make sure I don't have problems! :)

    I will have to rethink things like a design for the Yard and the like given the new space shape. Perhaps putting industrial related stuff at either end and a yard in the middle... Hrm...

    Input is always welcome! Kind of exciting that this is getting more potential. Now to work on that budget thing :D
  4. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    I should also add, as far as I know CN doesn't run any SD90's... :( They do, however, run Dash-9's and SD75Is... The trouble is finding them in N-Scale AND with CN markings... :cool:
  5. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Okay... here's a really really rough first draft. The lines surrounding the trackplan denote the pieces of Ikea shelf. This is one possiblity that would see a staging area off of one corner. The staging track would dip below the curves on the left hand side. However, the drawback here, is that at the moment it's a 6.8 grade(!!!) So I'll need to do some adjustments... As you can see, I've lifted a yard from another plan I drew up, but haven't found a real place for it yet. There are also not enough crossovers to make it work.

    Plus, there will be a reversing loop set up in this through the three "mainline" tracks that run close to each other in the middle. The track at the back would likely be hidden from view.

    Anyway, any suggestions? I'm pretty open, including throwing the whole thing out! :)

    Attached Files:

  6. rksstl

    rksstl Member

    Heres one that I had worked on to go up against a wall in a spare room. I would have been built on 4 2'x4' modules. Now I confined to the laundry room with Mr. lennox and Mr. whirlpool on 36" x 80".:( Something is better than nothing though.
  7. rksstl

    rksstl Member

    Sorry I forgot to add the image:D

    Attached Files:

  8. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    What are your turn radii on that layout? I've been trying to keep above 12" with what I've been doing. That's not to say I couldn't try it using smaller... Nice layout though...
  9. rksstl

    rksstl Member

    I think it was 11'
  10. Urban

    Urban New Member

    I've got sort of a general advice for situations like this, and it's: Concentrate on the elements you think are important and leave out some others.

    If it's a yard you want, then start with it and make it as large as you want and then fit in as much mainline there's room for. If it's mainline running which is important, then maybe leave out the yard.
  11. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    I think the adage "learn to walk before running" is also important for me here. I do have some voices in my head saying that I should do a really basic 2'x4' layout before tackling something like this. The only thing is, I also want to make sure that I keep it interesting to sustain me to always look for something new to do. ;)

    I'm interested in basically modelling after prototype... doing something that represents the local CN/Via transport corridor that runs near my home. It's a parallel track mainline run. As a result, that seems to be the direction my priorities are pulling me. There is also the auto industry that provides some operational potential, and a modest switching yard about 4-5km down the rail from where I live... So it's all bouncing together in this brain of mine as to what is best to model. As a result, here are the priorities:

    1. Mainline running. Something for those trains to look like they're transporting back-and-forth along a reasonably busy corridor. This includes passenger service (Via).

    2. Switching in some capacity. Trains related to the auto industry, as well as cement, chemical, some feed grains seem to be prevalent around here. I have to do some more train watching. At least some of the trains that come through are intermodal...

    3. The actual industries in the area. There's a few cement plants east of where I live that have spurs leading right to them... There's a large Ford Auto plant also nearby.

    With these priorities, I'll have to do some thinking about what I should put in this layout without making it too busy. I am worried about that even now...

    Oh yeah, and one extra design consideration. I can't really have a piece of turning track crossing any one of the black lines represented on the drawing. Since this will be semi-modular, I'll need to be able to pull it apart in these places...
  12. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    Perhaps you need to consider possibly doing an N scale Model railroad that grows kind of thing.Get a plan that you can build in 4 or 5 stages. take each stage from beginning to the time you get to the last section,you'll be so good you will want to redo the first one.Nice thing about this is you get to see progress every step of the way.If you go DCC each module could be a seperate power district so in the event of a short circuit your entire railroad doesnt shut down.Plan for the entire thing but plan in logical break points for each section.By the time you have finished the first section you will have done
    control panel building
    structure building
    And perhaps even some lighting and special effects :)
    Heres my yard design.Perhaps you can find something useful in it.Good Luck

    Attached Files:

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