Possible Coffee table Layout

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by jkinosh, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. jkinosh

    jkinosh Member

    I am thinking about building a Coffee Table Layout for my next layout.

    I am thinking about making it 26" x 50" which is about the size of our current coffee table.

    Attached is what I am thinking about using. I got the Track Plan from "Mike's Small Trackplans", it is his 2x40007 plan that I modifies slightly to remove what I believe looked like the freight yard.

    After looking at this plan I believe that I should be able to make it no taller than 6" at the top of the Mountain on the Right.

    I think I may also send Mike an e-mail and see if he has any of the elevations for what he had originally designed, ad I do not believe that the Downloaded trackplan had any elevations in it.

    Please let me know what anyone thinks, does this look doable, or should I try looking at it in a different way. If there something that I am missing?

    I appreciate any help I can get from the great members of this site.

    Jacob train97

    Attached Files:

  2. sputnik

    sputnik Member

    While it's something that can be worked around, the grade on the inner track on the left side might be pretty severe. The lower you can make that bridge in the center of the layout, the less severe that grade will be.

    Make sure that you allow some kind of access to every tunnel.

  3. jkinosh

    jkinosh Member

    Right now I am thinking that the Bridge in the center will only need to be about 2.5 inches High, and I believe that would only make the grade between 3% and 4%, but I am not sure on that.

    Suggestions are always appreciated.

  4. johnny b

    johnny b Member

    That is a similar plan to what I am curentlly doing. I don't think I was even that high with the bridge . It was like 1 7/8" or something . You can restrict yourself to trains that aren't very tall which looks better on a small layout anyway. The grade is a little steep but the engine climbs it at slow speeds with no problem. I do have some pictures of it posted in hear if you're interested.
  5. jkinosh

    jkinosh Member

    Thanks for the tip. I'll take a look and see if I can find your pictures.

  6. johnny b

    johnny b Member

    There a few pages back by now I'm sure. I think they were titled "first pics of my layout . My layout is just a little bigger , 58 x 32 and I have 2 sepperate tracks . One is just a loop around the outside and one similar to what you're doin without the sidetracks .
  7. sputnik

    sputnik Member

    That's quite high. Unless you are going for a certain effect with a higher bridge, I would start at 2", and work down from there. I've been able to go to a 1 5/8" height (my tallest is a trailer on flat-car). If I simply had normal 40' boxcars, tanks, etc., I could have gotten away with 1 1/2". The reason why I tried to get things as low as possible, is to decrease the grade as much as possible (so engines work better, and the layout looks less toylike), and so that the depth of the layout would be as shallow as possible (the shallower, the better it will normally work in a coffee table).

    I see that you have a spot where a track in a tunnel will pass under another. While my subroadbed was 1/2" homasote, I was able to create clearance in such a situation by "bridging" the track below with thin material like brass sheet. This allowed me to lower my elevation by almost 1/2" right there. I did run into a problem in that I used balsa wood. Unfortunately, that material didn't stand up too well when it got wet (when ballasting, and performing other "wet" scenicking tasks), but if you go with brass sheet, it should be as strong, and able to withstand the water. Remember, unless you are using code 40 rail, for that short of a span, the track will support itself. You just need something under it to hold up the scenic material.


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