Track Plan Advice

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Jasong, May 25, 2007.

  1. Jasong

    Jasong New Member

    That is my track plan.

    The question is will that work on a 4x8 island Layout? HO scale.

    Right now rolling stock is limited so I have no idea what stock I will run or add not wanting a long train so I know I am not going to run a loco with more than 4 cars.

    I have two locos both DCC.

    Goal is to run them both most of the time single train operation but with the chance to run both on the layout simultaneously but not necessary.

    1st Loco and 2 Passenger Cars
    2nd Loco and 2-4 Freight Cars

    I am not sure what information you may need but I will gladly answer any question you might have that will help me with fitting this layout on a 4x8 area. I used Right Track program. Thank you for your time and patience with me.

    Since all the shops in my area arent worth a plugged nickel for help only good for wares.
    I am turning to you guys and gals here on the gauge since that is all I have so far everyone that has replied has been great so looking forward to what replies I may get good or bad.
  2. Go Big1

    Go Big1 Member


    I took a look at your track plan, and have a couple questions:

    1) Does 1 or 2 lines represent each track? Rather, am I looking at an outer oval with an inner oval or something else?

    2) If it is indeed an outer oval with an inner oval, your turning radiuses are most likely around 18 degrees on the outer and 15 on the inner. That inner oval might be tight turning-wise for passenger cars, as they are typically longer than freight cars.

    3) It looks like your track is set up to go clockwise, but a question would be how are you going to get your train from the inner loop back to the outer loop (aside from backing it out of the inner loop)?

    4) Your spur in the middle should probably go the other way. If you are going to use it for freight type operations, you would want to back your freight cars down the spur.

    Overall I think you can get a lot more fun and imaginative with a 4 x 8 layout than what you have. Take a look at some of the trackplanning books to get some better ideas. I have been working on and contemplating and dreaming up my trackplan for over 5 months now. I feel it is a critical step, and is something that you should spend a lot of time mulling over, because once you start laying that track and building that scenery, it will be hard to unwind it if you decide your layout is too boring, generic, etc.

    My advice - take time to listen to what some of the more knowledgeable Gauge folks have to say (by the way, I'm not one of them - I am a noob to this hobby!). Reflect on it, and then revise your plan accordingly.
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Jason, how big is each square? If each square is 12" you have your table at about 3.5' x 6.5'. Your post says you want 4 x 8 ?

  4. BigJim

    BigJim Member

    If you are looking to "run" trains with two loops & full reversing I would try something like this. 22" outside & 18" inside, 60 degree crossing. Spur turnouts are #4, others #5. Double crossover is #6.
  5. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Check Mike's Small Trackplans Page It's N scale, but "The 2x4 plans should easily fit on a 4x8 in HO scale." Some are generic, some extremely specialized, but they show the range of options available.
  6. Jasong

    Jasong New Member

    Ok since it seems I am not good at track planning or using right track software or maybe I just suck at figuring out radii I could again use some assistance. I am trying to see exactly what track I need for Big Jim's Layout alone I cannot figure it out exactly. So I thought maybe his is over my head so I tried to Go to Mike's Small Track plans Page and still trying to get an exact figure on what track I need I was trying to replicate one of the plans there and still nothing I get different angles and my track doesn't meet up so I am confused as all get out maybe MR is not my forte but I want a layout bad so If Someone could translate Big Jim's Layout or Photo Sharing by :: MyPhotoAlbum :: Misc Pics :: Put this in Right Track software so I can get an exact inventory of every piece of track I need. Maybe its me or the software but as soon as I stick a turnout in I can get track A to meet with Track B. So PLEASE help me.
  7. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    Some folks helped me out w/ a 4x8 that looks similar to what you want to do:

    I've attached the .ral file from right track, i've asked permission and the Gauger who drew it up for me said it was o.k. to share.

    Attached Files:

  8. Jasong

    Jasong New Member

    Thank You YmeBP after reading through your post I realized it may not be me but the software. But than again its probably me but I like that plan I am going to switch some straight track around for expansion for I have a huge room to work with but this layout is gonna be a test for me so maybe one day I can expand this 4x8 layout. And again I am greatful to everyone on here for all they info they have given me and posted for me to read even though I may have one heck of time finding it. Thank again all if anyone is willing to take the two plans I posted earlier and put them in Right Track and or give me a track list I will glady attempt one of those too. Thanks.
  9. BigJim

    BigJim Member


    Sorry I didn't mention that the plan I posted wasnot made with sectional track but with flex track.

    No reason you couldn't use a combination. The outside loop is 22" radius with exactly 180 degrees of turn on each sideso sectional would be fine. The inside loop is about 19" radius. Youcould do most of this in sectional track and "tweek" with flex track. Don't be worried about using flex track - it is not hard. You can also cut sectional track to have less than the stock turn distance.

    I have the plan in XtrkCAD (free track layout software - see top sticky thread) if you want a copy.
  10. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    As I said, those plans are N scale, but this problem can occur within a scale. Every brand of sectional track has a different geometry. Even if you use flextrack, different brands of turnouts have different dimensions.
  11. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    As Triplex says above, this is a problem due to the differing geometry in the available track components within a scale, not to mention between scales.

    You should look at Mike's track plans (or any others, like Micro/Small Layouts for Model Railroads) as inspiration for your layout. Use Right Track or XTrkCAD to create something similar, if not an exact duplicate. Besides, there will be final adjustments as you transistion from paper/computer to the real thing anyway.


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