New track plan for a 4x8 in HO/HOn3

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Model Railroading' started by nachoman, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    As promised, here is a very crude trackplan for my proposed new layout. It's a 4x8 with both standard and narrow gauge track. The lower oval is standard and dual-gauge. A narrow gauge branch makes a loop and a half before reaching the mining town at the summit. All curves are 18" radius. For the length/type of equipment I am running, this should pose no problems. I plan on handlaying most of the track.

    My goals for this trackplan were to depict the Morenci Southern railroad about 1917-1920. The prototype was very steep and winding with many trestles and bridges. The prototype ran between Morenci and Duncan, Arizona.

    Here is the plan, I will write more of my ideas later.


    Attached Files:

    • MRR.jpg
      File size:
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  2. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    I like that track plan. There's a lot going on in a small area.:thumb:
    Do you actually plan on tunneling all the curves and just have the center open? Interesting idea.

  3. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Now that's a layout it looks like my mudhen could visit!
  4. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Yes, all the ends will be in tunnels, and the center town will be on top of the "mountain".

    My philosophy is this: I want a railroad that looks like it goes somewhere, but I have limited space and an around-the-walls layout is not practical in the room that I have because of windows and doors. With this trackplan, I am representing the entire narrow gauge line as it climbs from the standard gauge interchange to the mining camp that it services. I also wanted a standard gauge loop that allows me to run the standard gauge equipment that I have. It would be fun to have a train running around the loop while I switch the upper town.

    Since this is a crude drawing, I'm not sure if the track arrangement in the town is feasable. I plan on fooling around with some track planning software - except I have a Mac and all the free stuff only works on a PC :(

  5. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member

    That is a really cool plan. I love the tight curves, and all the opportunities for tunnels, bridges and the like. Just wondering if you have left enough room for buildings...looks like it from here. Also wondering how sharp your narrow gauge curves are, as it would be great if you could run one of those new Blackstone (MMI) K-27s on the NG line.
  6. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Here are a few pics of the prototype I am trying to represent:



    Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the photos. These photos came from a webshots album that has dozens of old morenci photos:

    Old Morenci - Remember When... pictures from history photos on webshots

    As you can see, the town was very cluttered and steep, with buildings built wherever they could. In fact, there werent many streets - many places had to be accessed only by footpath or by mule. I would like my town to have a similar feel to it - so finding places for buildings is not an issue. i will squeeze them in wherever they will fit! I would like to find room for some kind of smelter, but I don't know how I could do that given my available space.

    The curves are all 18" minimum. I am told that the Blackstone K-27 has no issues with curves of that size or #4 turnouts. In fact, that is why I set my minimum at 18".

  7. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    That is going to look pretty sweet when you are done. On a 4 x 8 table its also going to look really busy. Is this the one you are going to handlay?
  8. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    A very nice plan and concept. If you can find a couple of extra inches, I would add a "hidden" passing siding for a staging track on the standard gauge - perhaps on one of the ends. That way you could stage a standard gauge train in each direction, or one passenger and one freight.

    I had a similar concept for a 46" x 60" layout I had developed. The oval was standard gauge with a passing/staging siding on the back side. In the front was a single standard gauge spur leading to the freight transfer platform.

    The narrow gauge (HOn3) line had a small terminal (2 tracks) plus a spur to the other side of the freight transfer platform, and an engine house. The narrow gauge climbed inside the standard gauge around one end with a 15" radius to a switchback, whose tail crossed over the standard gauge at the far diagonal corner. The switchback led into a small "town" with several spurs and a runaround.

    Motive power was planned to be 2 Shays or 1 Shay and 1 Climax.

    May still build it yet, expanding to 4.5 x 7 ft.

    Anxiously waiting to see your progress. I am impressed.
  9. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    The stated radius of 18" should work. I have a brass K-27 that runs well on the 18" curves of the modules.
    I still like the track planning "software" that requires only a sharp pencil, a compass, a ruler, and as much paper as is needed. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
    Looks like this could be an interesting journey in creativity, hope all goes well!
  10. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I'm curious why your dual gauge ends without completing a a full loop. If I was you, I'd finish it up so that I could run either standard or narrow gauge trains continuously around the loop.

    I love the basic design concept of an interchange and NG climbing a mountain.
  11. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

  12. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I like the separation of the dual gauge/std gauge track. Seeing it end at an "interchange" gives a definite feeling that the narrow gauge branch is self-contained. The standard trackage goes off to the "rest of the world", leaving the narrow gauge line to itself...

  13. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member


    nice idea for a HO/HOn3 track plan and good pictures for raelization. Wish succes and hope for more pictures in progress.

  14. WVM_Nut

    WVM_Nut New Member

    Definitely will be an expensive little fella with all that dual gauge. Nice little plan though.
  15. RobL

    RobL New Member

    I use an iMac and just purchased "Empire Express" version 2.0 ... so far so good... if you haven't checked it out, a demo version can be downloaded from Empire Express 2.0 is now available | Haddon Software, it costs $34.99 to register it (demo version doesn't save or print).


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