New Track Plan; any and all Comments wanted and welcomed.

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by grandpacoyote, Apr 21, 2006.

  1. grandpacoyote

    grandpacoyote Member

    Let me start by saying hello to you all and introducing myself. :wave:

    I am a first time poster here at The Guage and still a greenhorn at the hobby. I have been working for several months now on my first trackplan which is for a spare bedroom layout in our home.

    I have arrived at what I think is a ner finished place in terms of the trackplan and I am looking for any and all feedback from as many folks as I can find. I find that the feedback of others helps me more than anything else and I welcome any all comments, critisms or suggestions.

    I have been using 3rd PlanIt to design the layout and after a steep learning curve have found it to be a wonderful tool.

    Here is the Layouts basic information (hope I didn’t miss anything) –

    Locale: Northern Arizona alongside route 66. (Currently in a fictional town I am calling Gila)

    Period: 1954.

    Layout Height: Starting at 50".

    Track: will be Code 83.

    Turnouts: #6 on Mainline #5 on yards and industry spurs #6 ½ Curved on Staging, #7 ½ Curved on corner crossovers and #8 on parallel crossover.

    Curve Radii: 28" outside mainline, 26" inside mainline, general, some curves much broader in other areas.

    Industries: Concrete Plant (2,3-B), Scrap Yard (11-C - 12-D), Misc. Manufacturing (7-C 8-C), Fuel Oil Supplier (11-12-B), Stock pen (11-12-J), and possibly a Mill, Gravel Plant or Asphalt Plant. (12, 13-K&L)


    I apologize for the over large size of the plan. I seem to have had troubles attaching it correctly.

    Thank you all in advance for your comments.

  2. webmaster

    webmaster Member

    Welcome to The Gauge.

    Your plan looks fine to me (although I'm no expert). The only comment that I have is that you might want to think about either a lift-out or swing section to get to the middle (which is where I presume you will be operating from). Although 50" is quite a tall starting height, none of us are getting any younger & there's nothing worse than coming up top early from a duck under & catching your back.
  3. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member


    A couple of things I see (based on the posted plan):

    - lack of crossovers between the two main lines. You will probably want about 4 crossovers total to enable runaround moves, yard and staging entrances and departures. I only see one on the plan.

    - As webmaster said, build the duckunder as a hinge up or swinging gate section. Wire microswitches that cut power to the approaches of the gate or bridge when it is open.

    - round or cut off the 90 degree corners on the yard peninsula. Guarantee you will do it sooner or later. Later comes after you have a nasty self-inflicted wound. Do it sooner and avoid the pain! Don't ask me how I know this.

    Otherwise, it looks like a real nice plan for displaying and operating your Santa Fe trains in an appropriate setting. The double track will help you run longer trains, and 2-3 simultaneously.

    yours in planning
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    A few thoughts --

    - The aisles are relatively narrow for operating with more than one person.
    - You should have a crossover in each direction, minimum. That way you can avoid having to either "wye" the train, or back though the crossover.
    - Your mix of facing and trailing points calls for a few more run-arounds (see the crossover comments).
    - I think you have intended a lift gate at the "two foot" section by the closet doors?
    - If the room is dedicated to the trains, is there any chance you can remove/modify the closet to give a bit more space?
    - What else has to happen in the room (crew lounge, workbench, etc.)?

    Welcome to The Gauge!

  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Has your software let you down a touch? I just read your specs and I think you have crossovers in the middle of the two curves on the left side of the drawing; they seem placed so that trains can move from the central peninsula to the outer track fairly quickly. There's also one along the bottom straight.
    The only other crossover to consider is one from the inner loop to the closet staging yard, but you could use the one in the curve for this.

    I'll echo the comments about aisle space. If you can do it without insulting them, measure any railroading buddies that might be operating with you -- I'm starting to knock things off with a 2 foot aisleway.
    If that is a duckunder, make a mock up of it, put a barrier 2 feet away from it, and see how you fit.

    For a green horn, you've managed to make a layout with no major errors that I can see. (Personal discomfort is not a major error!)
  6. grandpacoyote

    grandpacoyote Member


    Thank you all for your timely and thought provoking comments and questions.

    I must apologize right off the bat. :oops: It seems that last night in a rather sleep deprived move I posted not only one of the previous version of my track plan (version 5c instead of version 5f0 but also posted the version of that layout plan that was made with the Turnout Routing option set to off. This explains why none of my other crossovers are showing properly. So to answer your questions, I do in fact have two further crossovers both on curves at either side of the peninsula yard.
    Also the measured out 2'x9" area is a lift out/swing out section for access to the inside of the layout.

    I apologize for having made such a silly mistake and taken up valuable time on the wrong plan. I include the proper plan below with the lift/swing out area highlighted in yellow.

    Thank you again.


  7. GeorgeHO

    GeorgeHO Member

    Very nice layout. Your staging area in the closet will have to be modified. If the track coming in thru the wall is parallel to the wall, then a 22" radius will go all the way to the wall for a 90degree turn. Your inside curved lead looks to be about a 15" radius (compare it to the arc for the 2' door opening). you could begin the curve on the layout side of the wall which might give you enough room as designed, but I think you would do best with curved switches (peco) radiating inward.
  8. grandpacoyote

    grandpacoyote Member


    Yes, I agree with you 100%. I foolishly posted the wrong pic, but on the new one I have higlighted my lift/swing out area it is c. 2'x9" and allows entrance into the inside of the layout.

  9. grandpacoyote

    grandpacoyote Member


    Thank you for the input I appreciate it. I pulled a foolish move and posted the wrong picture.
    I have posted the right one now and as I hope can be seen in it there are a total of three crossovers - one at each of the curves to either side of the peninsula and one longer (#8's) on the lower right hand section of the track. There is also a planned 2'x9" lift/swing out that is now highlighted yellow on the new picture, thank you for the advice about the micro-switches I will put that down in my planning book.

    I will round the corners *nods* good point, one I had totally missed. Thank you Sir for saving me from learning this lesson the hard way. :thumb:

    I appreciate you comments, I am looking forward to building this and also nervous it will be my first.

  10. grandpacoyote

    grandpacoyote Member


    Thank you for your comments. I will try and answer your points as best I can.

    - I am worried about the small stretch of 24" isle between the lift out and the peninsula also. I think the two 34” isles inside the layout and the 26 ½” access isle from the outside to inside will be wide enough as the only operators on the layout (right now at least) will be myself and my OL.
    - The newly posted plan should show all the crossovers I have in the plan the previous picture didn’t show them because I had the Turnout Routing option set to off when I saved the picture.
    - Yes I have intended a lift gate there and have highlighted it in yellow in the new picture so that it can be more easily seen.
    - I would love to remove the closet but I fear that it isn’t possible after negotiations with the OL :)
    - The room will be dedicated solely to the layout, although I may use the high shelves in the closet and space under the layout for the storage of some supplies and train related materials; just don’t have enough room for a Crew Lounge.

    Thanks for the welcome :wave:
  11. grandpacoyote

    grandpacoyote Member


    You got it spot on Sir, I took the picture of the file with the turnout routing set to off so they did not show on the picture. You are 100% correct that is where and why I have crossovers. The crossovers can be seen now on the new picture I have posted as well as the 2’x9” lift/swing out that you sensed in the same area.

    I will look at adding a way to move more efficiently from the inside loop to the closet staging, thank you for the idea.

    Thank you also for the encouraging words. I have been working on and off at this plan and where to put the layout for about a year now. I went from a possible garage layout, which was nixed, to using a spare bedroom, after negotiating with the OL. This plan is the result of a lot of compromise and the help of quite a few good folks without whom I’d never have gotten this far.

    Thanks again
  12. Elite Lancer

    Elite Lancer Member

    I think it looks pretty good. However, it seems a bit plain. You should spice it up a bit. Like having different elevations of track, lakes, waterfalls, mountains, tunnels, ect. The only other thing I can think of it that your yard seems a bit spaced out.

    P.S. you may want to edit the correct layout to your first post so that peolpe will see it first.
  13. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I was looking at your staging area and wondered if there was a way to have the sidings come straight off the entrance turnouts without having the reverse curves. It might be possible if you push the turnouts back around the curve, but this might end up shoving the curve into places you don't want to go.
  14. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Elite Lancer, you have obviously never driven the area that Coyote is modelling. Arizona is all Plains and Desert. Only in the extreme West do you get the foothills, and then again, NO tunnels.
  15. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    how did I get a duplicate?
  16. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    I'm not trying to correct you but being an Arizona native, actually, only about 1/3 of Arizona is desert, the other third is a transition zone and the final third is high plateau. Near Tucson is the furthest south ski slopes in all of the United States. Across much of the middle of the state stretches the Mogollon rim which consists of tall cliffs and expanisve pine forest. I do have to agree for the most part that the route along route 66 is pretty boring across that high plateau however, the region around Flagstaff is very diverse. The railroad passes through some beautiful pine tree forests across some pretty healthy canyons, through lots of rock cuts, and up and down some pretty steep grades. As the area around Flagstaff was very volcanic at one point, from a geologic standpoint, it is fascinating! There are some rail lines that do have tunnels but none along the route 66 corridor that I know of.
  17. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    No problem Train Nut, :wave: I am going from memory. The last time I went through AZ was back in 1974, I was 20. :D 32 years can blur a memory.

    It was the Route66 area I was refering to, as my old memory serves it was as you say "pretty boring".
  18. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    It was while camping up on the mogollon rim, that I broke my ankle. The camping trip was more than worth the inconveneince of the injury. Temps were over 100 degrees F in the valley (Phoenix area), and we needed jackets up on the rim. Sitting around the fire, in the silence of the pine forest, was an experience worth repeating.
  19. Elite Lancer

    Elite Lancer Member

    Yeah, I've been to Arizona. I didn't know that the model was on a plateau. I couldn't find any geological maps that showed route 66 so I had to base my feedback on the vague information that it was in Northern Arizona which is what probably caused the confusion.
  20. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    I felt that I needed some maps to back up what I was talking about and found some. While my fractions are off a little, you can see what I was talking about by the desert (ie. basin & range), transition zone and plateau (Colorado plateau). While route 66 does wander some, for the most part it follows I-40. Hope this helps. I will be visiting the Williams area in the next couple of weeks and can snap off some photos if you like although I have found lots of info on the net containing just such.

    Attached Files:

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