New member looking for experienced opinions.

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by kdgeorge, Oct 25, 2006.

  1. kdgeorge

    kdgeorge New Member

    Hey all

    I am new to the forum and fairly new to the hobby. I got interested years ago, did lots of reading but never got a layout started. I am revisiting it now and really plan to go this time. I would like some advice on my layout, but it takes some explaining.

    Obviously, this is a freelance of a mythical "amusement" park. (Think Stone Mountain in Georgia, not Six Flags) My layout will consist of a scenic excursion train around the park (the outer loop on the layout) and a trolley that serves transportation around the areas of the park (the two inner loops). The park idea began as a college project years ago and has stuck with me. N scale will allow me a way to live it out until I win the lottery.


    Anyway, here are is the layout as done with Atlas' Free program, I know it's not best, but for now it works. The two inner loops are for the trolley, the outer loop is the scenic line. I also will run a switcher and a couple of freight cars to service the park "after hours" just for fun. The spur on the upper left will have a two stall engine house. the spur that goes under the outer loop in the top right will be a small freight depot and a connection to the mythical mainline that brings in freight.

    I plan to raise the middle loop on at least the left hand side, possibly both sides. If you recognize the layout, I adapted it from one found at the All Gauge Model Railroading page and I do plan on a lake in the center of the inner loop with a river that goes to the right from the center.

    Anyway, thoughts and ideas are welcome, criticisms as well, but be gentle!
  2. BNSFtheLeader

    BNSFtheLeader Member

    Well! it sound's as though you are prety set on your layout plan. I've got to say as I picture it it's going to be great I'd stick with the plan if I where you.
  3. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    If each square is one square foot, Your underpass on the right side where the mythical main line ties in is going to be a steep grade (4% or more... I'll explain in a second...) to achieve the needed clearance (2" more or less) for your under/over. Looking at the squares, it looks as if you have less than two feet to accomplish this. Here's where I explain - a 4% grade will climb 1" in 2'. You need something in the vicinity of 2"'s. So, that results in one 8% grade (and please somebody else check me on this!) or you can split the difference and raise the outer loop 4% and lower the underpass 4%. Even that is going to be tight in the space you have allotted. I have lots of 4% grades on my layout. Others are appalled at grades over 2%. So, is that clear as mud or did I just confuse the issue?
  4. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    I really like your concept, I can almost visualize it myself! The kids and I recently visited the zoo, and took the scenic train, and what you're planning is definitely doable and realistic.

    As for you track plan, again, I like the concept. However, I have to ask if you're limited to the size shown here (is it 3x7?). Because if you are, the scenic excursion isn't going to be very scenic. There is very little room between rails, and no room at the edges.

    Also, your freight depot location is a little confusing. If this is the space you have available, it would make more sense to make the entire scenic route the length of your table, and put the depot inside the loop.
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I would try to put the freight spur coming off the top of the loop and then going parallel to the right hand edge. You might then be able to lengthen the loops a bit and get more park inside the loop.
  6. kdgeorge

    kdgeorge New Member

    This is what I was wondering about!

    TrainNut, thanks, this was an area of concern. Although, since I am new to the Atlas software, I have struggled to see in print if that is what the scale is (one square=one foot) Can anyone verify this?

    As far as space, my original thought, to ease construction for a first attempt, was 3" foam on a 36" wide door. To help with the grade, I had also considered the freight spur being recessed as well as the outside loop being elevated. I see what you say that that would still be fairly steep.

    2-8-2, I like the idea of lengthening the outer loop, but also should point out that the true end of the track to the left is not going to be as close to the edge as the drawing shows, I am still getting used to the software and should have moved it off. As far as moving the freight depot inside the loop, I kept it outside in the Walt Disney spirit of hiding the staff from the guests.

    And I think 60103 might have a great idea if I understand if correctly, you are suggesting extending the outer loop some, bringing the freight spur straight off the "northernmost" straight away and then making a 90 degree turn and putting the freight depot parrallel to the east edge of the layout? I think I will combine all of these and rework the layout and repost it for more comments.

    Thanks a lot folks, this is a big help. Now if anyone knows of "n scale" bleachers for the stage area. . . .


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