Time to get started.......

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Frogman Bob, Sep 4, 2002.

  1. Frogman Bob

    Frogman Bob New Member

    I was born in August of 1942 so this birthday was the big six oh. Over the years I have been buying HO stuff just waiting for the right time to build "my" railroad and I think that time is now but I am unsure of what to do first. Space is not a problem so is it ok to let the RR design itself or should I have a plan in mind before starting to build?
    Thanks for any ideas or suggestions.
    Frogman Bob
  2. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    Hello and welcome

    Welcome to the Gauge Bob.
    It's always good to have a plan before starting any project. :D
    Thats not to say you can't change it some in the process though.

    In my case space is an issue so getting all the big idea's that are in my head to fit in a relatively small space required a fairly accurate track plan on paper so the bench work will be right. I know I'll make changes but having something to go by lets me make them, knowing everything will go together smoothly... or smoother anyway. ;)

    What kind of railroading are you doing?

    again welcome.

  3. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    Btw, Happy 60th! :p :D

  4. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Happy six-oh. I agree it's a good idea to have a rough plan; without one, too often we always think we can fit more into a given space than we can (especially when it comes to curves and turnouts).

    This could involve just sitting down with some paper and drawing sketches for a couple of hours. The other thing I found indubitably handy is to have some sort of "theme" in mind - in terms of era and geography.
  5. marty w.

    marty w. Member

    Welcome Bob,
    My I suggest that you get a copy of "Track Planning for Realistic Operation" by John Armstrong.
    I have used this book time and time again on planning my layout.
  6. msh

    msh Member

    Hi Bob - Welcome to the Gauge.

    Listen to these guys and think ahead. They're right. My biggest mistake was to not plan the layout first.... it's more than fitting the track into a space. These guys will be able to help you do just that and a whole lot more.
  7. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Bob welcome to the Gauge and happy 60th! :D I agree with most of what has already been said. RIMike said to have a theme in mind and I couldn't agree more. It's hard to know what you want the layout to look like until you settle on a time and place. Once that is done you will then have a handle on the requirements. For example if it is steam era you will need roundhouse or houses, coaling towers etc. and turntables, roundhouses and wyes require a lot of planning to fit and look right. Bless you on space not being a problem, not many of us are that lucky! :D
  8. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Welcome to the gauge! Happy 60th! What took you so long!!
    :D :D :D :D

    Having a plan never hurts, but before you do anything, what do you want your trains to do?
    Go from one end to the other, picking up and dropping off?
    Run a continuous loop, through spectacular scenery?
    Mostly passenger runs?
    Mostly freight?
    Do you want to run one long train?
    Do you want multiple short trains?
    Are you going to operate this layout alone?

    My point is, once you know what your trains should do, then it's easier to figure out where to put the track so they can do it, and you're going to enjoy your layout that much more.
    Oh yeah, less, can be more, K.I.S.S., and, most important, have FUN !
  9. pcentral

    pcentral Member

    Hi Bob,
    Welcome and Happy B-Day! I think Sumpter is on the right track(he he). I have helped design several layouts and before I go over to help, I always tell the owner to make a list of what they want to incorporate into the layout such as mountains, industries, accessories and the like. Next make a list of the equipment you want to run, this helps to establish minimum curves, etc. Once you have these lists, then you can decide what will fit and look good and design a track plan that makes sense.
  10. NYCentral

    NYCentral Member

    Hi Bob, and welcome.

    Happy B'day also.

    I would recommend designing your RR before you lay any track. Use a program like Atlas's RightTrack freeware, here is the website: http://www.atlasrr.com/software/welcome.asp
  11. CarlFidy

    CarlFidy Member

    Plan first!!!

    I joined this forum after looking through the Track Planning for the Future section and watching roryglasgow's design evolve from one form at the beginning of his planning to something very different but much better thoughtout and designed with input from the fine folks here on The Gauge. My suggestion would be to take sometime designing and posting to the forum to get feedback from the members here.

    I'm also with marty w. on recommending "Track Planning for Realistic Operation". Very good information!!!

    Speaking of which, I promised some more drawings of my concept about a month ago. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: Back to the drawing board.......

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