Tanglewood County

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by mabelair, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. mabelair

    mabelair New Member

    Well, here it is, my promised post regarding my very first layout, in this crazy foray into model railroading. I opted to go with a completely freelance, from my own mind layout, using stuff that I like. Thus, Tanglewood County was born, Tanglewood being the name of the development in which I live. Original, eh?

    I opted to go 4'x8' (yes, I can already hear the groans from all the pros!), and a variation on the loop-in-a-loop layouts I've seen while providing options for expanding the layout in the future. Consider this Phase 1 - Tanglewood Junction.

    I've attached the track plan here to show what I've come up with. I'm always open to feedback and constructive criticism, with the following limitations:

    1 - No comments on the 4'x8' layout. I've read a lot of them, and despite everything, I've opted to go ahead with this configuration.
    2 - I'm of the mindset that I'm doing this for fun, for myself and am being entirely selfish about this. Additionally, I'm a bit of a learn-from-your-own-mistakes kind of guy. While I try to learn from others' mistakes, the lessons that really last are the ones I learn myself. :)

    So, without any further ado, have at it! I'd be pleased to answer any questions or address any concerns you might have.


    Attached Files:

  2. ozzman

    ozzman New Member

    Hi MAB and welcome. Model railroading is supposed to be a hobby, and each person's layout should be the realisation of their own personal vision, so you stick to yours! As far as I'm concerned there's far too much "cultural correctness" about in the hobby.

    The only comment I have is that your two runaround tracks look rather short - which means that if you want to use them for your locos to go around the trains to get to the other end then you can only have a few cars in each train. Did all that make sense?

    Would I be right in assuming that this is meantto be N Scale?

    Either make them longer, or go for European protoypes, which are much shorter.
  3. stdguage

    stdguage Member

    Welcome to the Gauge MAB! Ozzman is right to be concerned about the passing siding lengths. Also, a passing siding for the sidings 1/2 way to the summit.

    First - era? setting? industries to be modeled (freight, coal, hardrock mining, lumber, etc.)

    Great start. Good luck! Keep us posted.

  4. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    Looking good for a first layout.
  5. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    MAB doe the inside loop get connected back to the outside loop at the top middle? I dont see a switch to get back to the outside so will you have to back out of the inner loop?
  6. mabelair

    mabelair New Member

    Thanks everyone for the comments so far. Allow me to try and address a few of them now:

    1 - The era that I've chosen is modern (95-presentish). I just bought my first locomotive which is a Kato AC4400CW in CPR livery, which will serve as the basis for the industrial portion of the train.
    2 - As I will likely only be operating one train on this layout, which is really just a bit of a test layout, I haven't taken much consideration with respect to passing sidings. Additionally, I'll be moving within two years, and don't intend to bring the layout with me (I'll be dismantling it and taking all the bits with me), so I'm keeping that in mind as I build.
    3 - The inside loop does seem problematic as it doesn't connect up with the outer loop, so trains would have to back out. Will revisit this tonight or tomorrow.
    4 - The outer loop and expansion on the right of the layout is intended for a high-speed passenger train service, one train on the line running back and forth (was thinking of a small Acela train).
    5 - I had thought to model a logging industry and maybe a pulp and paper mill in the two middle sections. It would fit with the CPR's mandate, and likely be centred in the North Eastern US, but again, I'm not going for realism of prototype.

    Hope that didn't come off as too defensive. ;-)

  7. SD90

    SD90 Active Member

    Hello mabelair, and welcome to the Gauge! You plan looks good, however I too thought the 2 runarounds look a bit short, you could easily make them a bit longer with out changing very much at all. But again, it's your layout, if it works for you I saw go for it! I too learn from my own mistakes the best, I think it's one of the ways we all learn in this hobby!
    Keep us updated!
  8. mabelair

    mabelair New Member

    Thanks for the information. I'm gonna look at the two runarounds and see how to tweak those a little bit to ensure for expandability if I decide to run more than one train at a time.

    By the way, on an unrelated matter, I must say I am really impressed by your work. You've done some really amazing stuff!

  9. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    mabelair: There's nothing wrong with a 4X8. Now that I think of it, theres a good subject for a survey question.
  10. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    There was a classic MR article The case for the non-branching branch, which was reprinted in one of their books.
    Basic line was a lighter line paralleling the main, but attaching to all the sidings, much like yours. You could have it go to a slightly higher elevation and have darker ballast so that it looks separate from the main line.
    I agree that the runarounds look inadequate. However, "deficiencies" can add to the interest of operating. (Compare it to playing golf where every green has a big trough leading to the hole.)
  11. mabelair

    mabelair New Member

    All right. Well, after spending a few hours reworking the layout tonight (still getting used to the software, since I have 0 drawing skills!), I've come up with a revision of Tanglewood Junction with which I'm quite pleased. I think it comes provides a solution for the problems with runarounds and passing sidings. My only concern is that it looks a bit too symmetrical right now, but that's not really a huge issue for me. Also, I've attached a picture of the benchwork that my dad and I finished putting together (I lured him and Mom over with the promise of a delicious home cooked meal care of moi), as well as a picture of an Acela locomotive. I took the picture using my Canon Powershot A570IS in macro mode, with no flash. Kind of a bleak pink and green landscape right now, but more to come!

    As always, feedback is welcome.


    Attached Files:

  12. mcbane666

    mcbane666 Member

    I like the new one
  13. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    In N, it's not nearly as inefficient as in HO. You can still get broad curves.

    I like the new plan.
    Try squashing the lower mainlines inward in the middle, sort of a bean shape.
  14. mabelair

    mabelair New Member

    Thanks again everyone for all the encouragement and comments. It's been very helpful. I've decided to finalize the plan that I pasted last, and have printed it out to scale and laid it out on the table in order to start doing the track laying. I'm going to be scoring the foam with a hobby knife to indicate where the centreline of the track is, and then starting to lay down some cork roadbed. I'll likely begin scoring the track sometime this week and commence the laying of the cork over the weekend.

  15. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Good luck and keep us posted. Were always interested in seeing new layouts start, and progress.

  16. mabelair

    mabelair New Member

    So, slowly making more progress. I've printed out the layout in 1:1, and have laid it down on the table and pinned it in place. Here's what it looks like so far:


    Attached Files:

  17. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Good start:thumb:
    I have heard of using a tracing wheel (used in sewing) run down the center of the track and it transfers the track plan right to the foam.

  18. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Looking good MAB:thumb::thumb:
  19. jmurphy148

    jmurphy148 Member

    The tracing wheel is called a pounce wheel and works great. I just used one to transfer my 1:1 printout to foam. I got mine from Micro-Mark.

  20. mabelair

    mabelair New Member

    I've made a bit more progress today. Last week, I ended up going into the local hobby shop to pick up some n-scale cork roadbed and a few pieces of flex track to play around with. Having never really seen what it was like, I thought a bit of time to fool around with it and some pieces to practice on before the real thing. Anyway, I went through the layout and scored the styrene where the track centrelines were to run.

    I then removed the paper to make sure everything looked good (seemed okay to my eyes!) and then decided to try playing around with the cork roadbed, laying a strip along a curve, to see how it went. I found that putting it in with push pins kept it in place well, so I figure that when I glue it down, I'll push pin it in to keep it in place until it dries.

    Which leads me to a question: Favourite glue to keep cork roadbed down on styrene?

    Two more pictures:

    Attached Files:

Share This Page