Newbie need 4x10 track plan

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by DJboutit, Jul 1, 2003.

  1. DJboutit

    DJboutit New Member

    I am a newbie to the board but not to model trains and I am looking for a good 4x10 ho track plan of Houston or the Tx area from the 30s to 90s time period. So any plans or ideas would help out.
  2. akrrnut

    akrrnut New Member


    You might do just as well to find a 4x8 trackplan you like, then stretch it by 2 feet. I did just that for a guy for whom I built a railroad about 11 years ago. It was from the Kalmbach book 101 Track Plans. I don't remember which one, though.

    Try some of the track planning books available at your LHS, or some of the websites available. There have been a lot of 4x8 tracks plans printed over the past 40 years, and some of them are pretty good.

    As far as modeling the Houston area, you'd know far better than I what types of building and industry to include, and what the terrain looks like. However, if you're modeling rolling hills, I wouldn't use a plan that incorporates high mountains - it just won't look right. Instead, try a plan that's mostly flat, and add hills to break up the terrain.

    Model Railroader ran a series on building the Turtle Creek Railroad starting in the January 2003 issue. I think they started with a 4x8 plan and stretched it a little. If you read that ariticle, you might pick up a few ideas.

    Good Luck!
  3. mykroft

    mykroft Member

    A nice little trackplan is the Midland, IL Plan in Tony Koester's Realistic Model Railroad Operations. As it builds out to closer to 4'x8.5', you'd only need to add a few 9" straights to get your 4'x10'. A plus is that it's designed to allow operations. With DCC and the optional tracks, it will keep 2-3 operators entertained for a couple of hours.

    To localize it for Texas, you'd want to ditch the Grain Elevator in favour of maybe a stockyard, and the Fertilizer Warehouse for a feed warehouse or Oil Distribution centre, or modify to suit your taste/fleet.
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I don't think a grain elevator is out of place in Texas. We even have a bunch of grain elevators here in Los Angeles.
  5. mykroft

    mykroft Member

    Certainly not out of place, but somewhat atypical. On a 4x8 or 4x10 layout, one would likely want to ensure that your few industries are typical of the area, rather than something a little rarer (Unless you are modeling a certain location, rather than a general area)

    Grain Elevators don't 'look' like Texas, stockyards and bulk oil distributors do.
  6. rcwatkins

    rcwatkins Member

    30's to 90's time period is a bit broad, don't you think?
  7. billk

    billk Active Member

    Time stands still in Texas, doncha know?

    Seriously, it might not be that hard to change the motive power, some of the rolling stock, and maybe a structure or two, to get a real time-travelin' layout, if that's your thang. Methinks it's probably been done somewhere, by someone. Or maybe DJs planning on narrowing it down to somewhere between the 30s and 90s?

    Whan I think of Houston, I think black gold. Nothing agricultural comes to mind at all. If your into tankers, refineries, and like, Houston's a great choice, IMHO.
  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Robert Sleicher did a book titled Building Your Next Model Railroad it is a compilation of articles from Model Railroading magazine and was published in the early 80's I think. I think the book is still available. He shows a number of ho and n scale layouts with a double track time saver switching layout as the center piece. In the book he also shows how to take Thomasville (the timesaver section) and change some structures and details to shift the time from 1925 to 1959 to 1979.

    Regarding Houston, don't forget that Houston is also the largest port on the Gulf Coast.
  9. DJboutit

    DJboutit New Member

    I could get some info from the layout at the Galveston Rail Road Mesume it is mostly a port layout of Galveston island.

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