Scale & Space dilemma

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by custom1106, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. custom1106

    custom1106 Member

    I am limited to a max of about 2x9 for a layout. I currently have an HO layout this size, continuous loop with a decent sized yard, and running about an 11" radius that only 50' rolling stock and Lifelike F7's will negotiate just fine.

    My question is...Should I keep going with this plan...or move down to N scale? I already have about 65% of the HO layout completed...but now I'm realizing that I might want to downsize for more "running room".

    I chose HO scale because of what I had on hand already (rolling stock,motive power) and the great availability of HO stuff.

    What should I do...keep plugging along in HO scale or jump ship and go to N? Remember I'm in an apartment, so 2x9 is the limit. I'm also a fan of continuous running layouts, I just like to watch the trains run.

    I really don't want to spend any more money without getting this dilemma figured out.

    Thanks for the advice,
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I like ho; but, if you are that limited in space and want continuous runnning, I think you should consider n scale.
  3. tillsbury

    tillsbury Member

    Yikes! 2 feet is extremely tight in N, never mind HO!! But on the other hand, 9 feet is lots and lots of room for lovely scenery, yards, even the odd bit of switching if you want something else to do while the other trains go round...
  4. gcodori

    gcodori Member

    We need to know what you like to do...operations or train running. If you are into operations, I suggest you build two 2x4' HO modules (switching) and seek out a club or Fremo group where you can set up your modules for operating sessions. When at home, you use your modules as switching layouts.

    Modules are nice because they are quickly built, and you can always wipe one out and start fresh when you feel like it.

    If you really want some kind of loop, you might want to look at Carl Arendt's Micro layout design web page...lots of really nice idea in under 4 square feet (mostly switchers, but some runners, too).

  5. custom1106

    custom1106 Member

    Most of the time I just run trains...sometimes I do enjoy some switching activity though. Another thing is that It's hard to find shorter passenger rolling stock, I want to bring passenger service to my layout, but I don't think the radius will permit that.

    Any other words of wisdom?
  6. gcodori

    gcodori Member

    In HO and larger you will be hard pressed to get a loop going in a space 2 feet wide.

    Might I suggest the following - you should still consider going with a module concept (two feet wide by whatever length) and utilize a reverse loop at each end (to make a "dog-bone" shape). This way, your modules can be packed up for shows and club running, and the return loops allow you have both continuous running and switching. The end loops could be made larger and incorporate storage for other consists.

    You can grow your empire by adding additional modules between the two end loops. Or you can ditch the end loops (they don't even need to have scenic details) and incorporate your modules into a more permanant layout.

    This can be done in any scale, and be sure to follow any club or group standards if you do decide run your modules with others.

    Above all, do what you want, as it is YOUR railroad. And have fun, and send lots of photos!
  7. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    You could build a nice layout in N scale with 2' X 9' to work with, and, in HO, Life Like isn't the top end (with the exception of proto 2000). If you are going to be in that apartment for an extended period of time, N scale would probably be the best.
  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    If you want to see what can be done with the modular concept, check out my local modular club at . You can see additional pictures of our January meet here: rally/modular_rally.htm

    Most of the modules are 2x4, but some are wider (up to 30") and some are longer (I think currently the longest is 6', but there may have been 8-footers in the past).

  9. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Why not build a shelf layout? 2x9 is plenty for a good shelf layout with lots of operation potential, and it can always become a portion of a larger layout if you find a larger layout space later.

    The other option is to build a trolley layout: 11" is fairly generous for trolleys.

    Heck, you could do both!! Imagine a small urban layout with an industrial district, and a loop of trolley track around the outer edge...
  10. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    2'x9' is large by N Scale standards :D In HO that would be approximately 4'x18'.

    I had an 11.5'x6.5' alocve to work with and gave up on HO, I could not get what I wanted with it. I switched to N Scale and am very happy I did. Actually, so is my father, he got my (his) HO Scale stuff back. :D
  11. custom1106

    custom1106 Member

    I'm not really into the whole trolly thing, mostly into the desolate stretch of road on route 66 type thing. I think it's time to make the switch...thanks for the advice!
  12. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    What sort of locomotives do you want to run? What era? If 2 feet is tight for the n scale equipment you want to run could you " cheat" with a few extra inches of width at each end? If you could go 2' 6" at each end for say 3' you could get in some decent radius turn back loops that I think would handle just about any model you would want to run in n scale.

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