Some help needed.. please!

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by andywyeth07, Aug 13, 2006.

  1. andywyeth07

    andywyeth07 Member

    I am setting up a model railroad in my basement. The room is about 21x16 and i have 3 tables already built. Two 4x8's and a 4x6. I have alot of HO Scale Atlas Code 100 track and switches. I plan on putting down 1 or 2 inch foam on the benchwork. I just need some help on making a layout ive tryed so hard trying to make something work but it just doesnt look good. So if anyone could come up w/ a track plan for me that would be great.

    Some things I would like to include are:
    1. Turn table and a round house
    2. Lumber Company
    3. Oil Refinary
    4.Elevations, mountains and rivers!
    5. A train Yard
    6. And any other ideas you would have!!

    The line behind the tables is the wall so i have plenty of room to get back there and work..

    If you have any questions to ask please ask and ill get back w/ you!


    Attached Files:

  2. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Is there some way you can make the middle section 1 foot and 3 inches longer? If so i can fit a really good yard in. I can shorten the yard, but then it might not be able to hold as many cars.
  3. andywyeth07

    andywyeth07 Member

    yeah i could probably add 1 foot 3 inches to it. i have to ask my dad about it, but i think he will be cool w/ it. If you can show me what the shortened yard looks like also.

    Thanks alot
  4. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Its not so much that the shape of the shortened yard is different, as it is the capacity to operate a "full" train would be greatly diminished. In real life, train yards have Arrival and departure tracks. The idea is you have a small yard switcher (lets just say an SW1500) that sorts out the cars into "trains" and sets them on the departure track, from which a larger road switcher (maybe an GP38-2) goes and picks up this train, and delivers it to your oil refinery, or your lumber yard.

    what will happen is if i have to shorten the track plan so that it fits the existing space, The size trains you can have will be smaller, and the yard won't have the capacity to send out trains to the different industries you wanted.

    for example, from the modern lumberyards i've seen, they usually have a few centerbeam flats or bulkhead flats with wood. the centerbeam flats are around a scale 72' long. In addition to that, there are usually some 50' boxcars as well. so lets say we have 3 centerbeam flats and 2 boxcars (thats a pretty common delivery in real life). that train would need to be able to fit on the smallest arrival/departure track.

    that train needs about 45inches of yard track, so the shortest track needs to be alittle longer than that, so that longer locomotives (say, like a SD70MAC, or a C44-9W) and even some shorter ones (B40-8, GP38-2s) can straighten out and are able to couple together and uncouple. so the shortest track there needs to be able to handle the lumber train, wich would need 54" of track space in all.

    Oil refinerys are also pretty big business and they need lots of cars (of the 23,000 gallon variety, which are alittle more than a scale 50').

    If i needed to shorten it by a foot you'd only get stuck with smaller, 3-4 car trains, which won't look nice behind a GP38-2. The extra foot would definitely help. not to mention its one extra foot for extra scenery.
  5. andywyeth07

    andywyeth07 Member

    i talked to my dad this morning and he said it was ok to make alittle longer!
  6. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    This shows the problem with your current configuration. You can't fit more than 22" radius - a bare minimum for larger 6-axle power on the 4' wide tables, and that won't allow a second track around turnback curves, seriously limiting the track plan. 4' wide tables, despite their commonness, are far from optimal for HO model railroads. But since your tables are already built...

    Is this meant to be a diesel-era plan, or steam-era?
  7. andywyeth07

    andywyeth07 Member

    there already built but they can be moved and put together to make them wider. This is going to be a diesel-era

    I could move them like this

    Attached Files:

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  8. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    You know, i just made a dog bone plan, and i'm sure it will work. There is only 2 places where i used a 1/3 18"radius curves, one in the oil refiner, and three at the lumber yard. Considering these are spurrs, i'm sure it won't hurt. Everything else is 22" or better.

    the yard is on the back, and its seperated scenicly by mountains, and a backdrop (the thick blue line). the trains can go through to their respective industries and drop off cars, come back, and pick up another train. The big road switchers don't really do the switching work anyway. this layout is better suyited for the GPs and smaller GE and SD locomotives.

  9. andywyeth07

    andywyeth07 Member

    GEC.. I really like the looks of this layout!! Thanks for taking the time to make it for me! So all the curves are 22" radius besides the 1/3 18" radius?
  10. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    all of them except for one spart where i used flex track. You'll notice it a long piece on the left hand side of the layout with no connection circles. there wasn't a good piece that would fill that area, but flex track shouldn't be hard to install.

    Most of the switches are #6 switchs, and a few of them are #4s. All switches in the yard are #6 except for the Yard Lead, or that random track in the top right that curles around the round house but dead ends.

    On the other side, most of the switches are #4 switches except for the ones on the mainline and passing tracks

    I'll be sure to give you a list of pieces in a minute
  11. andywyeth07

    andywyeth07 Member

    yeah a list of pieces would help out alot to see what i still have to order
  12. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    You will need:

    • atleast 2 lengths of flex track
    • 122- 9" straight sections
    • 42- 22" radius curve sections
    • 1 wye switch
    • 5 customline #4 switches, Left
    • 3 Customline #4 switches, Right
    • 5 Customline #6 switches, Left
    • 5 customline #6 switches, Right
    • 1 turntable
    • two 1 1/4" straight sections
    • three 2" straight section
    • four 1/3 18" radius pieces
    • one 1 1/2" straight section
  13. andywyeth07

    andywyeth07 Member

    Does atlas make a #6 turnout that is a automatic like the #4 snap switches? if not can some one point me to where i can get time!
  14. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    The snap switches aren't #4s, they are their own configuration. the snap switch diverges in a curve, but the numbered switches only have a slight bend, and the diverging track is more or less strait once past the Frog. They are a different shape, and you can't use the snap switches in place of a #4. However, on your industrial spurrs, you can substitute the #4s for snap switches if you want to use what you have, just make sure anything that branchs off the mainline is a numbered switch. Besides, #4 switches look better than the snap switch, and apperently work better to.

    while it is true the custom line switches aren't "automatic", they can be made to operate on their own, or even more cheaply, you can buy ground throws, which i reccomend for industrial spurs. Mainline switches should be of the remote control type.

    If you want to make them remote controlled, you just need to buy a switch machine for it. Atlas makes them, such as the normal on table way, or an undertable switch (which is more realistic in the end). there are also "tortoise" switch machines, which realisticly slowly change the position of the switch points.

    You can usually find switch machines at any good hobby shop, or you can go to Walthers/Horizon Hobby.
  15. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    I also suggest not buying any additional straight track - just buy flex track (1 flex track = 3-4 straight pieces) and a set of rail nippers (used to cut flex track) instead. Use what straight track you already have, but especially in places where there are multiple straights, replace them with flex track. You will have smoother running track with fewer joints and electrical continuity issues. With flex track, you can also easily introduce very broad sweeping curves instead of boring perfectly straight. Your track looks much better and longer if it doesn't run perfectly parallel to the table edge.

    my thoughts, your choices
  16. andywyeth07

    andywyeth07 Member

    i have actually thought about just using flex track where i can. and i probably will.. thanks for the thoughts pgandw!
  17. andywyeth07

    andywyeth07 Member

    i just want to say thank you guys for all your help. I'm going to try to get started soon on laying the track but i need to order all the stuff first. As soon as I do ill post pictures.. thanks

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