Opinions on a 4x8 roundy rounder

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by markjf, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. markjf

    markjf New Member

    Hi everybody, I'm about to build this layout and would like some comments[​IMG][​IMG]
  2. markjf

    markjf New Member

    This is my first time on a forum so bear with me. the track plan and terrain are basically a stretched Scenic Ridge. The yellow section will have auto reversing like a trolley on a 6% incline to go on top of mountain. The blue is just a loop but follows the terrain or inclines of the green section. The tan section is sidings and engine maintinance area. The red is a reversing section because if I wire the turntable and its sidings the same polarity as the green section it creates a wye. I know that 6% inclines are steep but on my bench test my first run shay pushed 5 micro trains log cars up an 8% incline on a straight run, but I only plan on pushing 3, the 2% less incline and 2 less cars should make up for the tight curves. Its funny how the first run shay is my best engine and the second run shay is my worst
  3. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Do you have dimensions for the room or better yet can you draw a picture of the room with doors windows other things in the room? Thanks
  4. markjf

    markjf New Member

    I only have room for a 4x8, thats already talking the wife up from 3x6
  5. markjf

    markjf New Member

    WOW quick reply I was editing 2nd post when you replied
  6. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Can you walk around the whole 4 x8 board.
  7. markjf

    markjf New Member

    Only front and back, it will be light enough to move,the frame is 1x3 pine with adjustable height slides on the table legs and 2 inch foam as the base.
  8. Wiredup

    Wiredup Member

    I was going to do a 4x8 myself as well...but after much thought I decided a longer wall sized layout would work better. if you gotta have it up against the wall, it might be a better move for you as well. I think were' in the same boat in terms of space tho.
  9. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member

    Is the roundhouse an absolute MUST?
  10. markjf

    markjf New Member

    The round house isn't a must but other layouts build threads I have seen namely Bearcat rr and spookshow's scenic ridge have city or towns in this area and I was trying to avoid that. I was thinking of that area as engine and car service area buy using a roundhouse,water tower, coaling tower, ash pit and conveyor, car repair shop, and oil facility. I also thought i could store mow equipment there also. I don't know thats what i had visioned
  11. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member

    There was an MR article- POOP...

    ..if, pardon the language- I can't recall the name of the layout but I think it was a 4 X 8 and it went roundy-round, based on the Clinchfield- yeah- that's it- and it was a real tumbler to get thru but it didn't look like a roundy. I may be disappointed if I looked it up and it didn't make my head happy- but it was a really great concept with real operating potential plus you could just let trains roll thru endlessly.

    I didn't want to end my run-on sentence but I was "thinking" about that darn MR article.

    Anyone? Remember?

    Mark sign1
  12. ILCEN

    ILCEN Member

    Was that the one from '79 (I think) where the operators crawled under and stood in the middle of the layout. It was titled something like "Modeling the Clinchfield in N Scale".
  13. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member

    Yeah and it's...

    ...Gordon Odegard's Modeling the Clinchfield- but I saw it's application in almost anyones respectas as to available space because of the operations.

  14. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    The MR Clinchfield layout was quite large - 6' x 13', IIRC. And while it had a long mainline and lapped itself, it wasn't a roundy-round like the one proposed here.

    Mark, you're falling into the trap of many new planners - trying to fill up the available space with track. It's a bad plan, both specifically and generally.

    The Spaghetti Western style layout inevitably becomes a maintenance headache, and less enjoyable to operate over time, because all you see is track and trains. And, if it gets jammed up against a wall, you wind up not being able to access all that stuff up against the wall easily. It leads to frustration, and no enjoyment of the railroad.

    Of course my opinion is based on my tastes in model railroads - I don't like the toy-train setups, I like model railroads. If you're happy with the trainset style layout, then ignore everything I've said.

    You've got the opportunity for a fairly good-sized N-scale layout that will give you a good balance between scenery, running and operation. Take a step back, think about what you really want (maybe you do want lots of track and no scenery), worry less about getting lots of track in, and more about how you can fit a decent run in with reasonable curves and siding lengths.
  15. ILCEN

    ILCEN Member

    Yes, I have the booklet right here (64 pages), it was 6x13 and portable. If you took out the middle maybe the plan would work in a 4 x 8?
  16. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Maybe in Z scale... sign1
  17. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member

    That's what I'm...


  18. platypus1217

    platypus1217 Member

    I agree. Recently I actually removed some tracks from my layout to make room for more scenery, and am much happier since I didn't really use the extra track anyway.

    You mentioned Shays in your earlier post, are you doing a logging layout? Maybe make the whole layout the side of a mountain, placing a logging camp at the top and a saw mill at the bottom. Then design the tracks as a way to get between the two, maybe using switchbacks instead of loops. But then again that all depends on what you want to do with the layout.

    I look forward to seeing any updated plans you have regardless.
  19. ozzman

    ozzman New Member

    If you take out the middle you reduce the lengths of the sides, and hence the train capacity of the sidings etc. However, having said that, you might still be able to preserve the "essence" of the layout (which I recall being a good concept).
  20. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member


    Take a look at this concept (The HOG Heart of Georgia Beginner's Layout) and see what you think. Although in HO, it could be a lot better done in N. While there is nothing wrong with the 4x8, it does have many limitations, most of which are addressed by something like the Heart of Georgia.

    Another very useful site to me is: Space Mouse Rail Systems. A quick read which pushes you to understand what you want from your layout. With that knowledge, you can design your own layout, or modify a published design to much better suit you. The vision of what scenes you want to see, and what operations you want to perform is really key to having a layout that is more than a learning experience.

    yours in planning

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