Small Layout

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by roryglasgow, Mar 26, 2002.

  1. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    We're moving next week, and unfortunately the house may not have enough room for my present layout. The funny thing is that the house is actually bigger, but the way the space is laid out, I don't think that I can make it fit where it won't be in the way.

    So, I've been tinkering with very small layout plans for the past week. The one that sticks in my mind the most was created by Mike Fischer. Click on his name to view the track plans. The one I'm talking about is the first one in his list. This plan is similar to the Rock Ridge layout published in MR recently.

    I've come up with the track plan below. It's a continous loop with a branch line that runs up to the top of a mesa or hill/mountain. The general idea is that there is a mine at the top of the branch, and trains of ore cars are brought down to the interchange track located by the small town. The spur that runs off to the top of the plan (on the right) would run to a hidden staging area located on a narrow shelf behind the couch.

    The whole layout is 50" wide by 26" deep. The picture below shows it within a 50"x24" area, but I added on some more space for a safety margin. If I left out the track to staging, I could probably cram it all into a 2'x4' area.

    I'm trying to come up with ideas, though, to make it a little more interesting. Given the very small size, there's not a whole lot that can be squeezed in; but I thought it might be nice to have some interchangable sections. For example, maybe the town could be lifted out and exchanged with an ore smelting facility. Or perhaps the mine could be exchanged with some other industry.

    I created a scale model of the layout using card stock. From my previous experience and from what I can see on the model, the clearances seem to work. On the diagram below, the green areas are the lowest elevation, dark brown is the incline (approx. 2.8%), and the light brown area is the top of the plateau (3" above the green area).

    Any ideas? Input? Suggestions?

    Also, anybody got any N-scale track plans that would fit about a 2'x4' area?

    Thanks!

    -Rory

    Attached Files:

  2. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Rory,
    I know the frustration of limited space and finding a layout that could fit in what's available.

    Consider this 2 ft x 4 ft N module which folds away into standing room only :) . Better still, just put your own design into the space.

    Forget the "through (mainline) tracks and use the space for your own scheme!

    Errol

    Attached Files:

  3. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Awesome idea, Errol! I really think that's the way I should go! Thanks!

    -Rory
  4. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Rory,
    Think about this 5' by 2'-6" in N-scale, it is three level and is a logging layout also. Maybe you just like main line stuff, dunno.

    Shamus
    [​IMG]

    Attached Files:

  5. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Actually, Shamus, that's exactly the sort of layout I'm thinking of: branchline that runs up into the hills from a mainline loop.

    I've got a bookshelf that might serve as a storage cabinet for the layout, if I can figure out a mechanism for folding it up.

    -Rory
  6. billk

    billk Active Member

    It would be neat if part of the layout stayed flat when the rest was folded up and there was enough track on the flat part to park all of your rolling stock. Then you wouldn't have to be taking your rolling stock on and off the layout all the time.
  7. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    I'd jump in here with my 2 cents worth, but since it took me 2 years to come up with my track plan I'll shut up leave it to more talented people. :eek: By the way I thought your plan Rory was excellent. As one who likes operation the track to hidden staging is a must for me.
  8. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Yeah, I like the operations side of the hobby, too. But 2x4 is a really tight space to have both switching and a long mainline run. I thought that little plan was kind of nice compromise, as long as I could have the offline staging.

    Another stipulation to any new plan is that it must use my existing track and equipment as much as possible. I don't want to buy much (if any) extra pieces to make it work. The track plan I attached earlier contains 100% recycled track from my old layout (already been torn down). The turnouts are the big ticket items...

    -Rory
  9. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Well with a 2x4 size you don't have to use remote switches you can throw them by hand (I do on my layout) and that will save a lot of $$$$$$$. It is also more realistic and gives you more to do on a small layout.
  10. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    I was thinking of keeping it manual. Does anyone have any recommendations for ground throws? If it doesn't cost too much, I'd like to go that route...

    -Rory
  11. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Caboose Hobbies has N-Scale ground throws. They are oversized but if they weren't don't guess many people's fingers could work em'. I throw mine with the butt end of my rix pix (uncoupling tool), but would like to find some dummy stands typical of this area. BTW aren't we supposed to be working now instead of surfing the Gauge?:D :D :D All this nose to the grindstone thing has wore me out, think I'll break for lunch! :p
  12. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Rory,
    If you're going to build a walk around style layout, have you thought about constructing a backdrop down the middle? This would greatly increase your scenic options, without costing any more space. Each side of the layout would be its own visually isolated scene. It could be urban/rural, or yard/branchline, or summer/winter, your imagination's the limit!
  13. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Rory, I'd be tempted to attach 20 gauge steel wire through the hole in your (Peco?) turnouts. The wire to be of length to reach a point you can reach and easily camouflage. Where possible the wire should be straight or with very gentle curves possibly guided through small bore tubing (your wife's craft tubular beads?). All that would show would be a short length of vertical wire the 0-5-0 would push or pull. Some sort of small "U" shaped tin would be needed at the 0-5-0 end just to ensure the wire stays vertical.

    Just an idea ! (though not original) :)

    Errol
  14. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Charlie,

    I'm not sure yet exactly where the layout will go. I might be in a corner, so I would probably put the backdrop along one side. The idea of breaking it into mini-scenes, though, is very appealing.


    Errol,

    Are you describing a remote control system using something like push rods? I'm using Atlas turnouts, if that makes a difference...


    Tyson,

    Thanks for the tip on Caboose Hobbies. I've been going through their catalog. It's rather extensive!

    -Rory
  15. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Rory, I had a look at your website layout pics, I thought you had Peco turnouts.

    I just had a look at my Atlas N turnouts, if you remove the Atlas slide mechanism the tie bar has a hole in it just like the Peco turnouts so the pushrod system is just as applicable to Atlas.
    The pushrod can be guided through small bore tubing and laid on the surface of your pike then covered over with scenery.
    I had it in mind to have them manually operated (0-5-0 power :) ).

    I think the beauty of it is that a short vertical piece of wire would be quite unobtrusive (but you would have to remember where you hid them for each turnout! :D )

    Now you have me thinking of mine when I get round to assembling my N pike! I'm thinking of all the wiring this system avoids and not having to reach over to every turnout!

    Sounds better every time I say it :) .

    Errol
  16. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Oh! I think I get it! So you dig a little ditch from the turnout to the edge of the layout, put a pipe in it, and run the wire through the pipe from the edge to the turnout...right?

    How would you handle turnouts located at a higher elevation? The plan I'm thinking of using has a plateau in the middle... Would it still work if I sanked the pipe up the side of the mountain?

    -Rory
  17. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Rory, your humour is so like mine! :) . Put away the router, picks and shovels and settle for tubing about 1/16" (or less) in diameter. The road you made for main street was thicker than 1/16" :)

    I'm chuckling like heck here, ... you mean you will have a whole mountain to hide the operating wire in? Fabulous! you're halfway there already. :) Where the wire exits the mountain, stick it into the tummy of a mountain climber and just push and pull him!!!!
    Voilla !! Simple huh? :D :D :D :D (if you hear him scream "I'm coming down".... ignore him, you need him where he is!)

    Errol
  18. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    I wonder if that's what they did here:

    [​IMG]

    hehehehe

    -Rory
  19. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Need to clarify Rory, I throw the turnouts with the rix pix not the Caboose Ground throws, don't use em' cause of them being oversized. As far as the push rod deal I have one turnout in hidden staging that isn't practical to throw by hand so I use a automotive choke cable, works like a charm, never goes out of adjustment, can't burn out of course, best $2.99 I ever spent.:D
  20. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I can see where the push/pull wire would work with Peco, since the points snap into place, but Atlas points don't and I would think you would need a way to lock the points in position. Any thoughts?

    Gary

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