Ok, here goes..........

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by hiscopilot, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. hiscopilot

    hiscopilot Member

    For my grand plan of the Isle of Sodor, obviously an HO layout on a 4x8 will have to be limited. I decided to look for someone's pre-made track plan so I dont have to figure out how to make it all work.
    I love this layout:

    I don't know what other permissions/ credits I need to give, so if there's something more, please let me know... I will do it.

    I have adapted that one and made it into my own. I have not modified any of the track except to add one more switch track, a roundhouse, and a turntable. I have changed and expanded the mountain to divide the train yard from a farm/ school area. I have added a road, but not sure about it yet... how wide is an HO road? The creek will end in a pond at a farmhouse and the school will be nearby.

    I will build some sort of trestle bridge for the short bridge, and the famous "arched viaduct" for the long bridge.

    Input? Its a lot of trackwork and a bunch of modeling for a "pretend" layout but it also gives lots of room for trial in our first layout.

    Here's my questions:
    like I asked above- how wide is an HO roadway?
    is there an alternative greenery ground cover to the woodland scenics stuff that is cheap?

    oh man, I had more questions, but my hubby just asked for the computer and I forgot them... oh well, I'll ask later when I remember.

    Here's my plan:
  2. 65GASSER

    65GASSER Member

    That sounds like a great plan. As for alterative ground greenery, you can get a roll of that grass mat stuff. It doesn't look bad.
  3. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    On road width... Typical road lanes are 10 feet wide if I remember right.. So one lane would translate to 35mm wide for HO (3.5mm = 1 HO-scale foot).

    On cheap ground cover... I remember someone on the Gauge had posted an article in the Academy section for shredding up bedding foam (the yellow foam found in mattresses or something) in a juice blender, dyeing it various shades of green and using that. Another low-ball alternative would be to get some sawdust (you can scoop up bags of that stuff for free at your local lumber yard), dye it dark green, and use that.

    Hope this helps a little. :thumb:
  4. hiscopilot

    hiscopilot Member

    Cool, thanks for the info and suggestions... I'll keep them in mind.

    I am hoping we'll have enough $$$ to start the table (I guess thats what you guys call benchwork??? :) )
  5. hiscopilot

    hiscopilot Member

    oh oh oh, I just remembered one of my questions...

    How far apart would I lay the tracks that run parallel???

  6. hiscopilot

    hiscopilot Member

    oh oh oh, I just remembered one of my questions...

    How far apart would I lay the tracks that run parallel???

  7. hiscopilot

    hiscopilot Member

    and another

    if I use flextrack around a curve, wouldnt one end be longer than the other? Whats the remedy for that?
  8. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Tom's suggestion about using a blender to chop up foam works very well. I worked in a commercial model shop for awhile and we used an old blender to shred upholstry foam scraps which were then dyed various shades of green with food coloring. Don't let your wife catch you with foam in the blender.
  9. hiscopilot

    hiscopilot Member

    hehe, I am the wife! ;)

    And my husband would KILL me if I stuck foam in his blender! But maybe my food processor???
  10. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Oops! Definitely don't tell the house husband. Actually, maybe you should look for an old blender at the Goodwill store or a garage sale. Sometimes people get rid of them because the blade gets dull and they can be resharpened if you have a grinding wheel. The food processor would definitely make lots of ground foam.
  11. holdenburg

    holdenburg Member

    Now What?!

    After reading this I have one question. How do you explain to her about the missing bed? sign1

  12. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    You have to cut the longer rail.. That's easy to do though. You can use either a saw of some sort (razor saw or hacksaw), a cutting disk in a dremel rotary tool, or (my favorite) Xuron rail nippers. :thumb:
  13. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    On sharp curves like these, the old axiom is 2.5" center-to-center. On straight track, you can do 2", but I don't think that will save much space here.
  14. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Looks great, you've even got Gordon's Hill:thumb:

    As for scenery, don't forget to use the same things the makers of Thomas use---dyed sawdust, clipped green/brown/tan carpet fibers for shrubs and foliage, sifted/demagnetized dirt, sisal twine cut to length for weeds...etc.
  15. hiscopilot

    hiscopilot Member

    Thanks you guys! Thats all so great! I think this is gonna be fun if I can make it work!

    I will have a zillion more questions as time goes on. I just cant wait til MOnday to see what remains of our dessimated bank account to see if I can get the materials for the table... Meanwhile, I have my husband (who works for Best Buy) searching for remnant old plastic signs I can build some buildings from. Mainly the roundhouse. I am gonna need lots of time for trial and error.

    And yes, Gordons Hill and Henry's Tunnel were 2 very important factors in choosing this layout! :) Thanks for noticing. I appreciate the reminder of the things they use. I have had to watch those doggone shows for soooooooo long that I dont pay attention anymore. I usually sit next to him with the laptop... but now he plays with his trains while he "watches" so I get other stuff done. Will have to revisit it!
  16. hiscopilot

    hiscopilot Member

    oh, here's one I didnt think about until 3am last night/ this morning.

    When I do my roundhouse, how do I power each track? I am using dc not dcc and obviously will need to control each track seperately...

  17. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    That's easy, assuming you will be running just one train...

    You will want to wire each roundhouse track off a main power bus wire (coming from the power pack). Just splice a simple on-off switch to the feeder wires coming off the main power bus wire to each roundhouse track. That way you can select which roundhouse track receives power.

    Now if you want to run more than one train, just go DCC and you won't have to deal with the wiring nightmare. :D
  18. hiscopilot

    hiscopilot Member

    I will be running more than one train and I can't afford to switch to dcc besides I am running Thomas on this first layout...

    but just saying that about the power to each track makes sense enough to me that I can wire it up just fine. Not to say I will actually remember that when the time finally comes that I can wire it. hmph Mommy brain!
  19. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    How you power the roundhouse tracks will depend on which turntable you use. There are some that do their own powering while others need separate power. I use a rotary switch with mine -- if I keep it under 12 tracks.
    one niggle: upper right corner you have a tunnel entrance, but no exit.
    If you're doing Henry's tunnel, you could have an extra tunnel mouth (I think the book shows 3 tracks) with a bit of travk in front of it and the bricks across the tunnel. Then any cheap steam locomotive that doesn't work could be Henry. You don't have to model the other end.
  20. hiscopilot

    hiscopilot Member

    oh that tunnel entrance isnt supposed to be there, I meant to erase it. Thats still all in question though because I dont know how high that will be. I wont be able to do all of the tracks, I am just going to simulate it I guess. 4x8 isnt enough to do all of it I think!

    I am using the 9" 21 track 15 degree atlas turntable, I dont think anything beyond the turntable is powered judging by the looks of it.


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