old-new-bee where and what to do.

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by BLVDBUZZARD, Dec 31, 2005.


    BLVDBUZZARD New Member

    It has been about 4 years since I have run a train. At that time I had a nice 4'X8' N scale layout. Well times got hard and had to cut back on toys, so I got rid of most of the train stuff.

    I am now almost ready to dive back in. All I have is a hand full of Atlas code 100 switchs in HO and N scale, two Athern GP 35's, 10 freight cars, 5 Atlas code 100 flew tracks, a double track bridge, Atlas round house, round table with motor, all in HO. I just have one Life Like engine and 3 frieght cars in N scale.

    So, for the most part I am starting from the begging. I would like to go HO. I have been looking at track plans for many months and the ones I keep coming back to are the Atlas #10028. The local train shop has this track plan set up and it looks prety good for the size. I would like a place for a bigger yard though.

    I have found a few in the book 101 track plans, the ones I like are # 62, 63, 65, 67, 77. Numbers 63, 67 have sharp curves(18) so I am putting them at the bottom of the list. I am not ruling them out, but the others have conventional curves(24").

    The actual building of the bench work is not a real problem for me. I have been in construction for many years so the tools and tricks of the trade are right here. What I am worried about is the size. Will just one person be able to build and maintian a layout this size?? There is a lot of work just keeping everything running right????

    The layout will be for my enjoyment. There is no one around that I have found that likes model railroading so it will be a one man show. I like to just site back and watch the trains roll by. I wil have one train running around while I build up a new trian in the yard then send the new train out as the old train comes in for me to take apart.

    I would like to run 2 trains at once and maybe have three running if my brother comes by for a family get together, so DCC is the only way to go. I will be building it free standing away from the walls so I can gt good access to all areas. This should be getting under way in about 3 months.

    I guess I am really looking for moral support. I just want to know that I am not nuts for going this big.

    Well enough of my ramblings.


  2. kadidle

    kadidle Member

    Dru, go for it. One nice thing is that if your budget gets tight, you can scratch build some amazing things out of paper board! As far as DCC, now that I've played with it, I'll never go back. Probably would cost more for DC anyway, what with all the switches and stuff. :D

    Do consider downloading Atlas' RTL software. I like Xcad too, but RTL you can jump right into, very intuitive. Anyway, put your plan in there and start really thinking about how you want things layed out. It's a great way to put your thoughts down on paper (so to speak).
  3. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    :wave: welcome to the gauge :wave:
  4. XavierJ123

    XavierJ123 Member

    You might want to consider adding a second level. I am in the process of doing something like that myself. I just like the idea of having a train running around near the top of the mountain while a couple of others are working their way across the gorge down below. John Allen did this on his Gorre & Dephetid Railroad which was built purely for his own enjoyment. :wave:
  5. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Welcome to the Gauge Dru. Not much that I can comment on here since I'm into N scale. But, even at N scale, if I had the room, I wouldn't hesitate to build a 4 x 8 layout. Most people build their benchwork to fit the space they have, sometimes "U" or "L" shaped, but be sure you can reach every spot on the layout easily. Based on a poll here, there's hardly anyone that consideres their layout "finished" and most are only 30% complete, or less.

    Do what you enjoy doing. If you like to run trains, get your track down and working, you can do the scenery as you want. If you enjoy building structures and scenery more, then get enough track down so you can get into that aspect of it.

    Good luck, and keep us posted on your progress.

    BLVDBUZZARD New Member

    I am in a really good position. I am not limited to any size. I am buiulding a 40'X40' garage and that is going to clean out my 2 1/2 car garage that is attached to the house.

    I am just worried that if I start a layout that is 12'X12' I won't be able to maintian it and build it. The 4'X8' N scale layout, the plan was for an HO, so I had really large radius curves so I could run any engine and car. I had about half of it sceniced. I was getting good at coloring rocks to look like what I see outside when I drive to work.

    I am not set on HO, I don't have enough stuff that I can not start with N scale. I really like plan #67 in the book 101 track plans. It was designed for HO with sharp curves, and is 12'X14' feet, and doing it in Nscale so I would have large curves.

    I am just trying to get a plan of action set in my head.

  7. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Hi Dru, welcome aboard! I am a lone wolf modeler who built and maintains an HO 12X 20 foot layout in the basement. Granted, it has taken a few years to near a sense of completion but I don't see it as unmanageable. Pace yourself and have fun! Not sure how to advise you regarding choice of scale but I will admit to liking big curves on the railroad...something I had to compromise a little on in HO.
  8. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I don't have that book, so I can't comment. I started my N scale layout from an Atlas book, modified it to fit on a 34" door and allowed for expansion. I've now got more room so I added an "L" to it. Again, the restriction on the shape of the layout is how far can you reach. If you have the room and can afford gentle turns, go for it. I've got a few minimum radius curves and I know I'll not ever be able to run most of my passenger cars.

    BLVDBUZZARD New Member

    Over on the trainplayer web site, there is a list of all of the 101 track plans. The views are a little small, but will give you an idea of what they look like.


    I am looking at #62 and #67. Yet I like #65 and #77 for a more intence track work. I like them for the maze of track and the ability to work in the yard, yet the main line could have a train running around by itself.

    Well I have come to one simple conclusion. I am going to build a small 4'X8' layout that is just a simple oval on the outside and a small yard in the inside so I can put to use the track I do have and the Atlas round house and turn table. It will also help my figure out what I want to do.

    I can always take up the building and other stuff and move them to the new layout.

    I can already see that you guys are going to be a bad influance on me.:D :D :thumb: But that is alright, I don't need to much proding.

    Ralph, it looks like I will be able to handle a layout that size. I will just have to make sure I do it right the first time.

    Ezdays, my 4'X8' Nscale started life as a 2'X4' under the bed layout. I just kept adding 2'X4' sections and then it was to late, it took over the garage.


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