Subway layout

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by tverskaya, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. tverskaya

    tverskaya Member

    Trackplan - first version.

    The layout comprises a two-level metro station, using Jack's biased turnout idea, assuming that it's best to have the biased direction to be straight ahead (hence the funny curves on the lower level part)

    Some explanation if you can see the tiny numbers on the image:

    1: escalators
    2: corridors with shops
    3: staircases to street level
    4: station platforms
    5: ticketing areas

    And some more if you aren't colourblind:

    Grey lines depict the stations.
    Red lines are the underground corridors and so on.
    Green lines are areas which will be cut out - which will be clearly visible to the viewer. (so some parts - mainly the escalator shafts - can only be seen at a certain angle, so the viewer can 'explore' parts of the layout)

    The layout is based on the use of minitrix tracks, though it's probably doable with any standard tracks. Will try to look at the second-hand market for what's available.

    Haven't planned a street level yet - including that might be interesting, though modeling it would be at least half the effort (so it'd become something like a Moscow city scene with moving subway cars).

    I'll try to sketch a more three-dimensional picture tomorrow to give a better idea of the planned layout and the cut-out sections.

    Attached Files:

  2. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    Vee hev to zay - "Ferry goot, Tovaritch! Vee shell be kippen a verrry glose hye on dis vun!" Mockba Zhtate Trainspoort Ko-odinator
  3. tverskaya

    tverskaya Member

    A rough sketch, the numbers correspond with the layout map for orientation.

    This should also make it clearer which parts of the layout will be visible to the viewer. Only a small portion of the actual tracks will be visible - in a few places, such as the far side of the lower level, the train will only barely be visible as the viewer sees it through the columns separating the main hall of the station with the track-side.

    I found some maps of some actual stations on the web for inspiration on how the different parts correlate to each other. With the modeling part in mind, I'm not sure yet whether I'll model actual stations (the architecture varies quite a bit) or just use the prototype as general inspiration.

    Any ideas, whether practical or inspirational would be appreciated.

    Attached Files:

  4. coaster

    coaster Member

    If you haven't already done so, might I suggest that you contact Chris White at . He was profiled in a recent issue of Model Railroader magazine (my apologies if I'm telling you things that have already been long obvious to you) with his Soviet railway-inspired layout. He remarked that most Russian railway-modelers he knew don't bother with the broad gauge, finding it easier to sacrifice complete accuracy for ease of construction. If, however, you think you might be doing commercial castings, you'd probably want to tap his thinking on the best way to go as regards scale.

    PS With all the other headaches you're likely to have brought yourself with this project, I suspect that the scale issue's going to be relatively minor[​IMG] in the end. Good luck!
  5. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    I've just picked up the Feb 2006 issue of Peco's "Continental Modeller" magazine. There is an 8-page article called "Setagaya", a Japanese N gauge layout with city, country and also a subway section, with retail area - and below that a subway, all visible through cut-outs in the front It is by a guy called Doug Coster who can be contacted through Several web pages are mentioned being one - but I'll need to read through - all I've done so far is a quick skim - lots of photos - some of the city skyscrapers are superb. Please note that the addresses are quoted directly, and may need www. added after the http://
    Shortliner(Jack)away up here in the Highlands
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

  7. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    David - that is it - looks superb!
    Shortliner(Jack)away up here in the Highlands
  8. tverskaya

    tverskaya Member

    Yep, I've seen the redstarrailways website, nice stuff there. Might contact Chris eventually. And that Japanese layout looks awesome. Will certainly look for that magazine article.
  9. tverskaya

    tverskaya Member

    Well, I've been busy aquiring some of the basic material needed, such as tracks and so on. Even laid my hands on an unsightly Piko loco to cannibalize for parts. Construction will start shortly.

    In the meantime, may I present the latest version of the trackplan: (The top and bottom level are interchangeable. Depends a bit on where I want the sidings.
    As I have some spare switches and there's some empty room on the layout, I decided to build in a few sidings to store any spare trains in and maybe even play the Inglenook puzzle.

    Also one other change from the earlier plan is the connection between the two levels. Having the track run along the entire back of the layout to the other level, the incline isn't more than 2,5%. I have yet to decide the exact height difference between the two levels, but 5cm or 2" would be enough to fit the lower station under it.

    A minor change is the curve on the two wings - this allows a little bit more train to be stored there.

    The station platforms are designed to hold a four-car subway train, which is not very far from the actual length of the trains - six cars.

    Now to the current design problem (Unless you guys find any other glaring mistakes!):

    I am thinking of running two or three trains on this track by dividing the track into a number of blocks. Given that the traffic on the stations will be driving(?) right, what would be a good block-arrangement for this layout?

  10. tverskaya

    tverskaya Member

    A full six months have passed since the last update but finally the subway has started taking shape.

    A little commentary to the pictures:
    The shelf - this is literally a shelf layout, as above the layout are bookshelves. (Now quite a bit fuller than on the picture...

    Well, this is the final look of the trackplan - got rid of the crazy idea of two levels, as that would have been a nightmare from a maintenance point of view. Now there are still two stations, but train length has been brought back to two units, which should still be plenty for the effect. The yellow dots are isolated track connectors, so as you can see there is room for two trains to run independently, possibly with some level of automation, but that's something for a more advanced stage. First I'll just set up a simple block system.

    Started cutting the foam (thickness is 2 inch). As I'm trying to keep everything in one piece, I'm struggling to neatly cut out the foam from the middle sections. Guess a customized hot wire cutter might be in order here, but I got pretty far already using a knife, so I'll probably try to finish it with that.

    The engine pictured is a very old Czech T449 by Piko. The model is quite incorrect as the length is about 1cm off, and the Piko model doesn't include the platforms on either end (added by me, though length becomes even more incorrect) and the cabin doesn't have exactly the right shape either (added a few bits with putty as well as removed the opaque black windows intending to replace them with clear ones..........and all this for an engine which won't be used on this layout and I planned to just use as a chassis for a subwaycar!) Even planning to add a LED or two (as it lacks these as well)

    It does run adequately though (after oiling and cleaning!) and that brings me to operations: found out that one turnout I was using for the track makes the engine derail 90% of times, didn't find the problem either, so I'll probably have to replace it. As for the other turnouts, I'll probably be able to leave them in one position, as the trains should be able to jump over them and continue in the right direction. The only really functional turnouts need to be on the staging/yard area anyways, as all traffic in the main tunnels runs on the right side. Currently all turnouts are manually operated, which might not be very useful on a tunnel layout. Might have to get at least a few electrical turnouts.

    Still a lot to do to before running is possible...

    Attached Files:

  11. tverskaya

    tverskaya Member


    Finally I finished cutting out the tunnels for the tracks and put in the track to run a train a few times back and forth - Constant derailments! Aaargh! I'm going to scrap everything I've build until now and just opt for a pizza layout with one two-axle engine!

    Allright. Breathing calmly now...

    After a quick analysis I got the following results:

    One coupler of the engine hangs a bit down, apparently the spring is partially damaged or something, as now the tiny knob on the bottom of the coupler sometimes gets stuck when the engine crosses a turnout, sometimes causing derailments. Might repair it eventually, but it doens't have very high priority as the layout is intended only for subway cars. Will have to build another layout for diesel shunters...

    When pushing the train (engine and a four axle carriage) the carriage sometimes jumps off the track. Pushing will be happening half the time during normal operations. Guess that could be fixed by adding some weight to the carriage as the trainlength won't be more than two units anyways.

    The tunnel walls might be a little bit too tight in the curves as both the carriage as the engine bumped into them in a few places. Problem will probably be solved as the subway cars will be narrower and shorter.

    Once finished there will only be one place where there is enough room for hands and enough straight, unobstructed track for rerailing anything. Guess that'll have to be accepted.

    As for the next step - I think a coat of black paint might be in order before attaching the tracks or anything else as everything will get much less accessible very soon...

    Pictures will follow when there's a bit more to see.....

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