New plan - opinions?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by TrainNut, Aug 21, 2006.

  1. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Okay, so I got the go ahead to claim some sacred space in the house as mine and this is what I came up with. We're talking an N scale L. The bottom leg is 9 feet long and the top leg is 7 feet with the width of both legs at 2'4. The minimum radius is 9-3/4". I'm not much into operations but do like to piddle around every once in a while and so do not have a lot of industries but I have space for future industry additions. The layout will be capable of running two trains independently with one mainline staying at table level while the other mainline will be a folded dog bone. While I have never attempted this before, I plan on going DCC. There will be a large canyon on the upper leg with lots of steel truss and girder bridges. My era... hmmm..... let's just say early diesel on. I always see other plans on here and see them get great criticism and so thought I would give it a go. Wha'cha think?
    Oh, I forgot to mention that the height of the main level will be 36" due to a window in the room and the highest track level will be at 44".
    Thanks all.

    Attached Files:

  2. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    I'm not an N scale operator, so you may want to consider what others have to say. I'm concerned about your minimum radius for what is basically a train watching plan. Foremost is to increase your minimum radius - especially if you are going to operate passenger cars or large diesels - up to 13". This will require you to simplify the plan to fit in the space available, but this will allow you to make the run that remains even more scenic.

    my thoughts, your choices
  3. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    If you just want to watch trains run I think you've got a pretty good concept there.

    Though one thing I read in Model Railroader Magazine ages ago was the idea of not having the same train run through the same scene on its way to a 'destination'. I think this was aimed primarily at point-to-point style layouts. If I'm seeing your diagram correctly, the same train crosses both the double track bridges twice going opposite direction each time. The question, "Are they lost?" comes to mind ;)

    But like I said, if your goal is to just sit'n'watch'em run, you've got a good concept of how to accomplish that.
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    As a layout for train watching, there still seems to be a lot of "operational" components - what are all the runaround tracks for? The steep siding that runs up to the top of the hill at the lower right?

    It is difficult (for me ;) ) to follow how the tracks work, but it seems that the train immediately doubles back on itself at one point (maybe more). This does bring up LoudMusic's question of "are they lost?", or at least "why would the railway build that?".

    I think also that hiding all the track in one area (the tunnels at each end) and exposing the track in the other area will make this feel smaller. Try and mix up the hidden and exposed trackage a bit more. Try a tunnel in the corner, rather than at the end. You can also use screening (in the form of a landscape or buildings) to partly hide the train. This adds variety that will make the layout appear bigger.

    I really like the single track that comes out of the tunnel and crosses the river underneath the double main. I think this will be a prime "railfan" spot! ;) :D

  5. Mrplow123

    Mrplow123 Member

    I think it looks great at first glance. I am having a hard time following all the tracks. What program did you use to draw that? Can you send me the file so I can zoom in on it and make more sense of it? At this point I think it will be a fun layout, but you really do need to increase those radius's or you will be very limited on what you can run. I have a set of Walthers articulated intermodal cars that I used to not be able to run in my yard until I redid it with 11" minimum turns. That's why on my next layout I will be doing mostly 13.5" with 11" on the inside turns. Keep us posted on revisions.
  6. DavidB-AU

    DavidB-AU Member

    There would be no problem running F or GP units andshort trains of 40' cars around that radius. Just don't try running SD70s and 89' Autoracks.

  7. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Okay all... this is a doozy but I thank you for your feedback and I gave each point some thought.
    Point taken. I modified all of the 9-3/4" radii to 10.5 or better.
    Yeh, I know... I thought the same thing but for the plan I have, I see no way around it without getting into things I was trying to stay away from (helix, long hidden return...).
    Okay, .... lessee... I've got some passenger trains that I like to park on sidings and leave them there for ready running at a later time. The other runaround track is how I can interchange from the mountain line to the table top line. The steep siding up the back is an afterthought but I have decided to place an old mine up there to utilize the space inside the loops. I tried to make the track plan a little clearer by lightening up the hidden tunnel lines and adding letters for better readability. Yes it does double back on itself but I'm okay with that. By increasing some of my minimum radii, I have created more hidden track (something I was trying to stay away from) that will need to be accessed and cleaned many times to come. I did however think about your idea of adding some sort of tunnel in the corner. It has been depicted on the plan but I am still thinking about how not to make it look... toy like.
    I used AutoCAD to draw this. Let me know what kind of file you would like and I can probably convert it.
    I'm not too worried about whether it can or not but rather how goofy it will look. I don't have any triple axle diesels. I only have two trains that would look goofy on the smaller radii - a bullet train and an Amtrak train. The engineer will just have to take it slow and easy around those tighter corners and request a different detour route next time that avalanche shuts down the normal main line.
    Here is another plan. It did not change much. I still need to look at some other plans for more ideas and due to the bigger radii on the top leg, I lost my ability to place a switch on the mainline and run a spur out to a possible small town. gotta work on that. I'm also not entirely happy with my yard but will have to wait until "inspiration strikes."

    Attached Files:

  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Thanks for the clarifications - both the new plan, and the use of the sidings... If you are using the sidings for "storing" trains, are you interested in adding some hidden staging? That would allow you to have stuff ready to go, but not visible all the time. You might be able to hide a few tracks under tunnel D which would connect inside tunnel H...?

    One other thing you might want to consider is a reverse loop. You might be able to do this by connecting the two sections of track in the middle of the bottom part of the "L" - where they are labelled "36", just above tunnel E.

    To avoid the look of running trains through the same scene, you could look at Don Jeanes' work. He was in GMR or MRP a few years ago. He has a New England based "three-times around", but the train passes at slightly different elevations, at slightly different angles, and is sometimes partly hidden by buildings, scenery or so on. Very effective.

    Hope that helps...

  9. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    That idea is interesting but it seems like more track that I have to clean that I can't get to.
    After considering these ideas, I made some very subtle changes and incorporated a lot of these ideas. I changed a lot of the angles, elevatons, separated some of the double mainline (up and back), and ran several tracks into tunnels much sooner than before.
    Here is my updated track plan showing the changes. The benchwork is well underway and I have mounted the whole thing on wheels so that once the three pieces (main leg, lower shorter leg, and the canyon piece) are screwed together, I can roll it out away from the wall to access all of the hidden track along the back. Thanks for the input... while I did not incorporate all of the ideas, I did incorporate quite a few and it made a big difference. I also completely reworked the yard and added a turntable in the middle of the top leg.

    Attached Files:

  10. GlacierBill

    GlacierBill New Member

    Love it

    I love your layout, I would love to build on like it, would you mind?
  11. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    That would be really cool if you wanted to. My plan has changed a little along the way and you can see some of the changes in the thread in my signature. For instance, the yard area has changed a little to make more room for scenery in the rear and the mine area now has a reverse loop in behind it. I have also gotten the go ahead from my wife to claim three more feet along the right side. I don't have time to post it now, but will show you how that will affect the overall plan later. check back!
  12. woodone

    woodone Member

    Hi TrainNut,:wave:
    I have a space very much like the one you have. My layout has 15" min radius. The max grade is 2%. All I can tell you is that when you try to get up and over track with a 2% max grade it eats up a lots of track. :cry: I got the mains down and am looking how to work in the sidings. Plans drawn up the old fashion way ( by hand).
    BTW are you going to the train show on the 24th?
  13. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    I am pretty sure I have other obligations at this point as far as the show is concerned. We have some friends that are moving and desperately need some help. I'll have to see.... maybe I can come to the show early and leave early. Seeing all this talk about this show is making me wish I did not have to help.
    Yes, as I mentioned, I plan on adding three feet in the middle of my layout just to the left of the canyon section. By doing this, I will help alleviate most of my 4% grades down to 2%. I still have not had a chance to post the corrected plan. Be patient with me.
  14. woodone

    woodone Member

    WOW!! you have other obligations other that model railroading. sign1 I can relate to the moving. Hope I can get some help when I make a move.
    You need to get as much railroad room as you can beg, barrow or steal! You can never have too much.:thumb:
    Hope you could squeeze in some time to go to the show. It would be nice to meet you.
    But sometimes it just won't work.
  15. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Expanded plan

    Allright, it's been so long since I posted a picture here, who knows if I can remember how but let's give this a shot.
    Attached, is the new expanded plan showing the proposed extra feet below the canyon section and the bottom leg. What this will accomplish is allowing me to get rid of all but a few of my 4% grades. Sorry if it is a little crude but I don't have the time right now to sit down and make it pretty.

    Attached Files:

  16. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    looks like a great layout too me.although i would have kept the roundhouse.great plan otherwise.
  17. woodone

    woodone Member

    What is the 320% circle at the right lower corner? Seam like a lots of hidden track- got access? With 9 3/4 raduis I would think some of the hidden track might give some problems. Need to keep the rouldhouse!:thumb:
  18. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    in another post he said it was bumped up to 13R i think ill go back to the ones before this and check,and im not the only one who liked the roundhouse!LOL--josh
  19. woodone

    woodone Member

    Sorry I missed the bumped radi. But I think it was to 10.5R. Still sharp IMOP.
    Yes! keep the rouldhouse:thumb:
  20. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Allright, I said it was a crude drawing. But, if your going to call me on it, then I better fix it up a little. The big circle down in the bottom right is my new reverse loop in behind the mine. It looks more like this...
    Also, yes there is a lot of hidden track but it is all accessible.
    By the way, don't mind the Amtrak coach parked under the mine. Obviously, things are not operational yet and things tend to get stuck where they get stuck for now!

    Attached Files:

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