Small apartment sized Layout Idea.

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

  1. Tudor

    Tudor New Member


    I have had this layout idea for several years. I am finally working on it, and it really looks like it is going to work out great. For my first real N-Scale layout, I wanted to make a small one to use for a learning tool for different scenery ideas, and pretty much a benchmark type of layout to try some things on. That way, it's not a huge layout, with an awefull lot of money invested. When it's done, Im gonna build a larger layout using some of the things I have learned with the small one, and then use the small one as a test layout.

    Anyway.. Anybody that might be interested in a small layout. I think I have designed a small layout, that takes up very little space, but it is a fun layout with several turnouts. You can make it kinda busy which makes it fun. And it has many different facets so it is not boring. It takes up only 12 square foot of space, and needs a 4'X4' corner of your apartment or room.

    The layout. Is a half sheet of 1/2" ply. It has a notch cut out for the operator to sit. So basically, it is L shaped with a 2' end, and at 90 degree another 2' end. It has two loops and one one end gives you an area to put mountains and tunnels if you want to go that route, and on the other end an area for a small village. The corner of it, I used for a small train yard/industial area. I have a small 9.75" radious loop that I have a trolly that runs around the village, and under a tressel over to the industial area. In the train yard, it has a 1"per foot grade up to the main loop which is raised 2" over the village, and circles around, and loops over through the mountain area. I have some design pics that I will post soon, but that is the jest of it. I need to take some pictures of the actual work, but at this stage it is kinda boring pics because it is basically just the foundation of the layout. But will be taking pics as I progress. If anybody is interested in the BOM, or has the Atlas freeware track design program and wants the file to see it that way, just email me... It is a fun layout, and small for limited space.

  2. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi Tudor,
    Why don't you post a pic if you can? We are most of us tinkerers and
    like to see the guts of stuff like benchwork, it's part of the hobby!! :oops:
    The layout sounds great! I'd be a little worried about your 8% grade.:eek:
    Have you tried your train on that steep a hill yet? You might want to
    just make a test grade, just a piece of track on a board, to see what
    you can get away with!! (Just a suggestion:D ) And yeah, send the
    RTS file.:)
  3. Tudor

    Tudor New Member


    Yeah, I was a little worried about the grade myself. Actually, how do you calculate the grade in percent? I know it is 1 inch in a foot, but not sure how to translate that to a percentage.

    Anyway, I tried it with my Atlas RS11, and it does fine, although that was only pulling one car. I also tried my bachmann 4-4-0, and to be honest, it did very well. I was expecting that one not to make it. I tried my bachmann 0-6-0, and it was having some issues with traction. I kinda expected to have some issues with that, but with such a small layout, not much room to stretch out if ya know what I mean. basically, the grade is from the train yard up into the loop. I dont expect to get scale proformance pulling out of the yard, and I just ight have to get my scale Godly finger in there for a "divine intervention", lol... I have'nt tried any of my good locos on it yet. Actually, not sure if im gonna run any of the good ones on this layout. I will try and post some topographic drawings for now to get the idea...

    Thanks for the tips, and Im not done yet, because some of the engineering is being tweeked as I go, so I may try and find a way to bring the grade down some, but to be honest, I am doubtfull I get get much more gracefull than the 8%.
  4. Tudor

    Tudor New Member

    12 Sq Foot

    Here is an image of the layout plan. There is a little spur in the mountain area that I forgot to mention. This is a small line that will go into a small tunnel that will be a coal mine shaft. I will park a couple coal carts there. If I want to, I can back into it, and pick up the coal carts and tote them around.

    Also, under the plywood at the operator station, I have a pullout keyboard drawer mounted under there that will hold 2 tranformers (1 for the trolly line, and 1 for the main line) and turnout switches.

    The trolly line is at ground level with the village. The main line is elevated 2", and the village sits in a "bowl" of landscape. At the closest corner will be a waterfall feeding a small snaky river running up to the other corner of that side. There will also be a spring fed lake in the rural area. Like I said, it will be a busy little layout. I am trying several things on a small scale with this layout. it will have a wide variety of activity to tinker with.

    Attached Files:

  5. tverskaya

    tverskaya Member

    Small apartment sized. Whoa..that's a lot of space then. Oh, wait. :)

    Calculating percentage: horizontally you move 100 units. Percentage is the number of units you go up/down within that same distance. Probably a little bit more straightforward to do with the metric system. Example: over a stretch of 60cm the track rises 3cm. The percentage is 5%, because 100/60*3 = 5. <---corrected. My math knowledge is quite basic.

    Layout looks interesting enough - multiple loops and a switching playground. Maybe just make the bowl a bit shallower in order not to have such a steep grade, and if it's only the access point to the trolley line, it probably won't see that much traffic to be a huge annoyance in operations. (Different story if it'd be a part of the main line)
  6. Tudor

    Tudor New Member

    Yeah, I think I am going to lower the ridge a little. But, the only problem with that, is the loop coming around the mountian side and goes straight through bypassing the village had a tressel and at that point, it has to be high enough to clear the rolling stock passing under it to and from the switch yard. In that small of space, I have to be low enough to give a more gracefull rise from the yard, but high enough not to have such a high grade comming around the mountain area. Not sure if that makes any sense, but, anyway.. I still need to tinker with it, because you guys are right, I think I need to lower that grade some more..
  7. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    But we know what you meant.:D :D :D That metric math is a booger
  8. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    That's more than 8%! :eek: I'd never use more than half of that except with geared steam.

    Edit: I see that's been pointed out already.

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