Ok size???

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by tonphil1960, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. tonphil1960

    tonphil1960 Member

    Hi all,
    I have what is my workbench now, 52"x33". can I do a decent N layout in this space?? I would want it to be totally portable not to use the bench but to move if I ever had to.
    I am really leaning towards the Erie-Lackawanna anytime during their short history since it was a local road here in NJ. I would like to have a good sized yar also. I like the colors and have seen a few pretty cool layout of this road. I guess I could go freelance and just run these colors too?

    Thanks Tony
  2. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    Hi Tony, welcome to the Gauge. :wave:
    After seeing of photos some of the amazingly small layouts I have little doubt that you could do something very nice. The real question is, what are you going to do about having a work bench??? :D :D
    Click on the "Model Railroad" link in my signature and going to the "How To" page and look at the "Layouts and Layout Planning" section. You will find links to all sorts of sites that feature small layouts.
  3. tonphil1960

    tonphil1960 Member

    Yeah I hope I can do a decent layout in this space. If I want to do the Erie lackawanna I would think to do it right I would have to follow their trackplan somewhat though?? The room I use now for modeling is nothing more than a large closet, which works great as no one goes in it except me. Plenty of room for my bench and some shelves behind me.
    I could just move the workbench to where the shelves are, it would be smaller but I guess I can't have it all. I was thinking about building a skeleton ontop of the bench to make it higher and build the layout ontop of that, and it would also be movable.

    thanks for the link, I added it to the many railroad links I still have to pour over!!!

    Thanks Tony
  4. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Tony: your size is equivalent to about 5 feet by 8 feet in HO. A lot of layouts have been built in 4x8 for HO, so you should be able to adapt something. You won't get a lot in, but you should be able to fit in a few features.
  6. tonphil1960

    tonphil1960 Member


    Thanks guys, Thanks for the link too Tyson some pretty cool small stuff there.
    Yeah, I am going to go with the HO to N reduction at 60%. I hope I can get a good layout going.

    Thanks Tony
  7. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Your welcome :)
  8. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    In this space, you probably can't aim for accurately modelling a track arrangement. You'll just have to go for the "feel" of the region.
  9. tonphil1960

    tonphil1960 Member


    Yes I know what you mean, I am confused about scaling the road itself. Is the road scaled at 1/160th also. It's a small space so I can't see how in such a small space I can get any real run in..?

    Thanks Tony
  10. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Tony: if you work it out, you'll find you have a space equivalent to one or two city blocks. It's been a problem since we started with toy trains.
    Story about one of the early model locomotive builders: One of his customers had had a problem and the builder dropped in on him one day. Customer was in the barn; a train was belting around the loop and the customer called out, "Only twenty more laps and we'll get to Doncaster!"
  11. tonphil1960

    tonphil1960 Member


    Thanks Dave, I see what you mean.... Is there a formula for scaling this stuff in N scale??

  12. FiveFlat

    FiveFlat Member

    divide by 160. So a typical 12' wide road would come out to .9 inches or just over 7/8th of an inch.
    12 divided by 160 = .075(feet) .075*12= .9(inches) .9 = 9/10 = 7.2/8ths of an inch

    So if you wanted to accurately model a couple cites around 25 miles apart, you would have to have a layout 825 feet long!
  13. tonphil1960

    tonphil1960 Member

    Thanks for the info Fiver, I better buy alot of track HUH,, 825 feet, gonna take a long time to lay ^_^

  14. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    To work in the other direction, your 52" by 33" comes out to 693' by 440'. That's 11 40 foot lots along the short side.
    Welcome to the world of "selective compression", where the Pathenon is modelled as 3 pillars by 4 pillars.
    I think there's a model railway club in Epsom that's using the corridors of a surplus hospital.
  15. tonphil1960

    tonphil1960 Member


    Yeah I know what you mean. I am going to go with 24x48 and a 12"widex24"long yard running off the left side outer loop. In the back of the outer track turnout and run it down to staging and back up again. I don't really need the staging since I will have the yard but.. I can't keep things simple!! I am drawing up some layouts now, just have to really commit to a road and what kind of scene I am going to model. I am rethinking the city scene I wanted to do. In a perfect world I would have enough room to go from the country to the city but? Not this time around

  16. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    "Scaling" of the actual track arrangement is not a hard-and-fast ratio. An exact model of a real railroad is usually very difficult or impossible.

    There are a couple of approaches--one is called the use of "Layout Design Elements" where one attempts to model the most interesting and significant portions of the railroad at something closer to scale, while skipping over relatively uninteresting portions of the railroad in between those points.

    The process of letting one's train run laps around a loop is a method used to simulate operation--by letting a train run X number of laps, one uses up time that would be required, in the real world, to get from Point A to Point B. Let's assume that Point A is a small yard on one side of your layout, and Point B is an industrial area on the other side of your layout. Now, in the real world they are right next to each other, but you want to simulate great distance between them. You leave Point A and run around the loop a few times, pretty much just to burn off time, then stop at Point B to do your switching.

    The space in between can also be simulated by putting a backdrop down the middle of the layout. Now your two "adjacent" points are now as far apart as you would like them to be--finish making up your train at A, then saunter over to the other side of the backdrop to B, fire up the throttle, and watch the train come around the mountain at whatever time you decide it is. For a country/city type of plan, just make one side of the backdrop urban and the other side rural.
  17. tonphil1960

    tonphil1960 Member

    I'm gettin it, really Tony
  18. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    And, of course, you won't be able to run scale-length trains anyway, so your siding and yard track capacities can be much less than the real thing...

    At this size, you can't be too concerned with modelling real scenes - the best idea is often to look at other small layouts, imagine how they'd operate, then decide how you want yours to function.

    This assumes the layout is being designed for function as much as for looks...
  19. tonphil1960

    tonphil1960 Member

    Thanks Triplex, Yes the layout must operate too> I am still drawingup layouts and trying to resist the temptation to put too much trackage down. It's just that in such a small space I do want to build as realistic as possible.

  20. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    There are a lot of techniques for modelling a real site in a small space, that don't involve matching every lump of ballast.
    You could pick a significant icon of the area and model it and let the trackwork drop to one siding. A recognisable building backdrop an inch thick would work.

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