Throwing down the gauntlet for a small plan.....

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by webmaster, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. webmaster

    webmaster Member

    I know allot of you guys have very good track planning skills & I wonder if any of you are up for the challenge.

    I'm looking to buy a new coffee table from Ikea for the living room, the dimensions are Length: 114cm Width: 70cm. And would like to build an On30 layout inside it.

    I do not mind what type of industry, logging/mining/docks/whatever

    Tight turns are not a problem as I will be using shorties, but I don't lay my own track so will have to be using Peco O:16.5 switches which are 20cm long.

    Can anyone come up with a micro layout plan to fill this space?

    Can anyone come up with a micro layout plan to fill this space & build tight turnouts? (The turnouts would be paid for of course)
  2. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Do you want a continuous run or a shelf switcher? Continuous run with 11" (28cm) radius is certainly doable, but you will be limited to critters and Porters for locomotives, and cars will need to be 22ft prototypes or less. Structures are going to be the real space issue, regardless of track configuration. So you really need to specify up front what particular structures you have in mind, and whether or not the track can go through the structure. Last issue is height. Many micro layouts have several levels. Is this an option? How high can the layout be, from bottom to top (also affects structure choice)?

    Not trying to be harsh but...

    I'm not really interested in you building MY idea of a perfect On30 coffee table layout in YOUR house. If I were, I'd demand veto rights in both planning and construction to make sure it came out the way I wanted it to be. I'd much rather help YOU design the On30 layout that will satisfy YOU. If some of my ideas get incorporated, great. If not, also great, it's your layout. To do what I'm suggesting is a collaborative effort - you have to supply information and communicate with the designers. We (I) have to understand your vision of what you want your layout to look like.

    yours in planning assistance, not showing off my skills (or lack of) in a public contest
  3. webmaster

    webmaster Member

    I'm all for supply information and communicating with the designers Fred. :thumb:

    Continuous runs, back switching anything goes really. I imagine height may be a problem. I say may because I have a particular table in mind, however, if a plan dictates that the layout is higher than the table, then I guess I'll just have to choose a different table. :D
    Again with buildings, this is a scratch project so anything goes. The only criteria it must have is some interesting operating possibilities.

    This is the table that I had in mind.
    I haven't been to Ikea yet to measure the height, but I don't imagine it will be much over 10cm for this particular table.

    Attached Files:

  4. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    The 10cm height limitation is huge. It will basically allow track on a flat base with small loco and small cars, and that's it. No scenery above the train height. No structures or trees going above 10 cm, which is less than 16ft in O scale. You can do some loading platforms and maybe dry washes on a desert or open plains or fields theme. Or a simple track only switching puzzle. is probably your best bet for inspiration and ideas. Good luck!
  5. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    what about just playing with trains?

    No, really, here's what I mean. What if the table were simply a storage space for the componants such as track sections, structures and rolling stock? Looks like each side of the table lifts out to reveal the access inside, correct? So lift out each side and remove the contents, put the top back on and set up a layout. You may need to fabricate clips to fasten at the joints between tracks, or have a steady supply of fresh rail joiners in a container handy. A car routing system like John Allen's tab on car system with a few generic industries such as a freight shed, platform, aggregate transfer (gravel, sand, etc. by hand shovel from hopper or gon to trucks) could provide a switching puzzle scenario.

    (Back in high school a buddy and I would dump out a big cardboard box of Atlas (and others, I imagine) snap track and set up something on his laundry room floor then run the trains (tyco, primarily, with some athearn thrown in). Every now and then we'd pick up another box of track from a local yard sale since his folks went out every Saturday morning. We'd stay up late on a Friday night running the trains. The next day we'd rearrange the track and run a while longer. No Kadees, no roadbed, just track on the floor and here's hoping the trains stay on the rails. No switching games, really, just running trains however we wanted.)

    You could do something much more refined, I'm sure, but the premise is there. It'd be a chance to exercise some out-of-the-box (or is it 'out-of-the-table'?) creativity. Who knows, perhaps some new timesaver-esque puzzle will emerge. And are you married to On30? What about 009, or HOe?

  6. webmaster

    webmaster Member

    I see what your saying Galen, but I really want something a bit more permanent than that.

    I did think to possibly switching back to 009, but then I decided against it. I'm going to stick with On30 & HO & I figure with being able to use much tighter turns in On30 running critters & shorties.

    Yes Fred 10cm is a challenge. Like I said in my previous post, this is the table I had in mind, but the table can be changed. The thing I like about this table is the fact that you can still see through it even with the top closed.
  7. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    "stick to On30 & HO"?

    Why not use shorty HO/OO equipment? The main limiting factor for this layout is HEIGHT, not length or width. 10cm is too short for a one-story house in O scale, but you can easily put an HO or OO single-story structure, including small industries and train stations, plus some short trees, in that height. Using a four-wheeled HO locomotive, like an 0-4-0 steamer or a four-wheel "critter" type switcher, and short European-pattern wagons, you should be able to handle a loop with 25-30cm radius with little trouble. Plus you can use Peco "Setrack" turnouts that are about the shortest switches you can find... then just pull up for some track plan inspiration.

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