Track plan help

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Joepomp, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. Joepomp

    Joepomp Member


    This the table layout I have. The left side (the yards) are more or less complete.
    I am thinking of going with the right side to start then add on to it later. If anyone has any thoughts they would like to share, I would love to here them.

    I have the room, but I am kind of planning as I go. If you see any problems with this plan please let me know.

    I am trying to make an HO layout with DCC and computrt control. The idea is have a reversing loop at each end of the main so I can let some trains loop around (I know boring), then hang some industries off that.

    Attached Files:

  2. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    If I'm reading right the curves on the loops are going to be very (probably too) tight, especially the one under the stairs. I don't quite see the point of the two loops at the right end, but perhaps I'm missing something. I'll look some more later.....

  3. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    The two loops at the top look like they're about 18" radius. They could be made bigger if they overlapped. Why do there have to be two anyway? Anyway, a bigger radius there wouldn't be much use as long as the other end loop stays under the stairs. In the 2'9" wide space, it can't be more than 15" radius. If it were moved left, under the yard, it could be bigger. But is it already built? What equipment do you expect to run/are you running?
  4. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

    I'll give yer track plan a try, if you give the dimentions of the bench work/space involved.

    TrainClown ;)
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If you ran a double track main, you could do the loops as a folded dogbone and eliminate reverse loops.
  6. Joepomp

    Joepomp Member

    More measurments


    This is a quick Acad drawing. I did not get out the measuring tape, but the numbers are close. I added some more dimentions.

    The curve under the stairs is not exactly the size of the landing it is wider. I drew it
    wrong. that curve is about a 23" R. The two other curves can be about 18" R. I am not maried to the two curves on the right an could live with one. I think my longest car is 12" long (a pasanger Super Liner.) since it will be under the table I don't care how it looks going around the curve as long as it makes it. :eek:

    Thanks for the help.

    Attached Files:

  7. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I once read a rule of thumb: make your curve radius at least twice the length of your longest engine or car, and preferably 2-1/2 times. Obviously, individual equipment will require different figures. Superliners are long - slightly longer than steam-era passenger cars. I've never heard they could run on less than 24". What size of turnouts are you using?
    From the standpoint of "operation", or of "just running trains", what do those two loops offer that one couldn't? Since they're hidden, they're clearly not for looks. :D
  8. tillsbury

    tillsbury Member

    The two loops can be one inside the other (with a crossover if you really want), or just a single loop, in which case you have most of the 5 feet available.

    On the other end, you have a staircase. Is that going downwards? Can't you go under some of the steps? In which case you may be able to drop the line under the turntable and have another 5' or so diameter circle available to loop around with a decent radius.


    PS What's the problem TrainClown? You have the dimensions given to a ten-thousandth of an inch -- do you want more accuracy? :D
  9. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    My 2 cents - do what you want, it's your layout. Advice is often worth what you paid to get it.

    I concur with doing away with one of the hidden return loops at the top. With a crossover in front, all the functions of the 2 loops, except for possible staging, can be combined into one. Hidden track must be bullet-proof or you will regret the day you ever covered it. This means curves well above equipment minimum radius, and modest grades, among other things. Even with bullet-proof trackwork, you must provide at least some under-the-table access to all parts of the hidden trackage.

    Second, unless there is a reason not to, you might consider reversing the relative location of the 2 branches at the town on the left. This would put the town scene up front, and the direct line to the hidden reverse loop at a lower level in the back - draws focus to the town and disguises/hides the reverse loop somewhat - could even be temporary holding/staging location.

    Third, consider ditching the 2-3 shortest yard tracks. They appear too short to be very functional for the amount of clutter added. The longest yard track needs a crossover to the adjoining track about 12-15 inches from the stub end for an engine escape route for an arriving train. Is it possible to add about 6 inches (one car length) to each yard track by extending it under the stairs? Is there a double slip switch at the yard throat? If there is, I question its accessibility for what will likely become a critical derailment point for at least one path. If there is no double slip switch, some turnout arrangement is needed to make the yard switching lead functional. Otherwise, the yard switcher prevents any arriving train from using the yard until it is finished and out of the way.

    The best way to analyze plans like this is to picture typical train operations at each location. Then check things like maximum train length supported by the siding, and the like, and make sure those are satisfactory. Remember hidden track is inherently difficult to access, but without access to every part of the hidden track it becomes useless.

    My advice, but what your heart tells you is much more important.

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