Track plan

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by davidstrains, Aug 30, 2002.

  1. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    Hi to all,

    I am returning to the hobby after a 30+ years and found this group as a result of Gavin Millers post in Rec.mod. railroads of his "cloud building" technique. His and all of the photos that i have seen are great. I have begun to build a 10 X 17 layout. I seem to be doing things backwards as I designed my own trackplan after reading MR for years. But I have never had anyone look at the plan and give it a good critique. I woyld like to post it here but can't seem to get it below the threshhold for attachments. I could mail it offline if you would like to see it (241K file). I originally developed it for running trains, 2-3, 4 staging tracks for some variety, and a little switching in the yard and a timesaver on the branch line - but is that practicle? When I started to critique it myself I found that there doesn't appear to be a start point or "where are you going" point.

    I have begun to put track down on the branch to test my old (70's) engines (Roco, Atlas, Bachmann Steam) and to renew some of the skills that have become way too rusty.

    I look forward to your comments.
  2. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    Welcome back...

    Davidstrains, I've been out of the hobby for 20ish years myself. I'd love to see your track plan ideas. I will send you a PM with my e-mail addy and you can send me a copy.

    If I had a computer and this forum 20 years ago, I don't think that I would have left for so long.

    At the time, I was operating in a vaccuum. None of my friends were into model trains, and the nearest club was miles away.

    The interaction that we get here and on the Bachmann Message Board "Ask the Bachmann" has helped me to rekindle the flame.

    Another great place was the Forum. It was only up for a short time, but it has been a strong influence for me.

    Through my teen years, I got into FRP's like Dungeons & Dragons. That's what all my friends were doing instead of model railroading.

    Now, as I am starting to plan a layout, I want to integrate the two passtimes.

    The Lead Figures that I collected and painted up for D&D are about right for O scale. Although all of my old train stuff is HO, I am being drawn into the On30.
    The NMRA convention is in Toronto, Ontario Canada next summer and I want to build an On30 Module to bring to the show.
    On the Forum, I had been urging the other members to build On30 modules for the Toronto NMRA Convention as well.
  3. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Hey TinGoat, a fellow Gen-Xer and DND-er I see. I still play weekly, actually. A fighter/cleric right now.

    Do you remember Schoolhouse Rocks ??? They have a DVD out now, but nobody else remembers these little segways . . . . .

    David if you wanna email me your trackplan I should be able to compress it. There's another one I wanna post from a fella who I've been emailing back and forth the last couple of days, but that file's at home of course. He asked me to critique his and I did, but others on this board are wiser than me . . . . .
  4. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    Conjunction Junction, what's your function....

    Conjunction Junction, what's your function...

    You bet I do! ;) Circa 1976... Lot's of bi-centenial stuff on the Saturday morning cartoons too...

    I work at a major Urban Public Library as the Shipping & Receiving Stupidvisor. Toronto Public Library, North York Central Branch. I've seen the DVD around.

    I moved on from D&D to other FRP's. Was involved in play testing for Steve Jackson Games through a friend. "The Edge" Based on William S. Bourrough's surrealist novels like The Naked Lunch . "Pandimonium" and another called "Planet Peckin-Paw" too.

    I'm a big Roger Zelazny fan and am into the Amber Role Playing Game.
  5. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    Michael and Ron

    Thanks for your responses. I will email the plan as soon as I get off this forum. I find this to be an excellent group, much like other model railroad forums such as the Digitrax group and the ndcc group. Everyone seems to be helpful and friendly - not super critical or "know-it all". Must be in the hobby that makes good people.

  6. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    David's track plan..............

    Attached Files:

  7. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Hi David and welcome to the Gauge! :) For running trains the layout looks great, if you want to get into operation I guess I would look at getting some more sidings somehow. Maybe eliminate the black trackage as it has no sidings and would leave room for adding a siding or two to the red track and/or give you more room for scenery. However if you just want to run trains I think I would leave it as it is. Good luck and keep us posted! :D
  8. marty w.

    marty w. Member

    Hi David,
    What scale? HO?
  9. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member


    Excuse me - forgot to say. I am in N-scale.
  10. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi David and welcome to the gauge, thats a very nice track plan. Like the idea of the staging yards on the left, and the roundhouse area will look great.

  11. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    Working on assumptions....

    Hi David,

    I am assuming that the operator will be standing in the middle of the layout and that there is no access to the layout from around the outside.

    That would mean to me that you have a double mainline. The Red Line is Eastbound and the Black Line is Westbound. This is assuming that you are driving on the righthand side of the road, so to speak.

    After the innitial "Wow" factor wore off I did some doodles and figgured out two things that I would change.

    The first is to put the double mainline behind the roundhouse and yard.

    The second is to bring more focus to the branch line by "burrying" the mainline on the right hand side of the layout. The mainline Class 1 Railroad would dominate the Lefthand side of the layout where it has an interchange with the branch line. The branchline would dominate the Righthand side of the layout where all of the operations and industry switching would happen. The mainline Class 1 railway would be hidden underneath the layout allongside the staging tracks.

    For operations you will be able to stage the mainline one the right, run it to the yard on the left. Drop outbound cars for the branchline on the interchange track, pick up cars from the branchline and return to staging. There can be some shuffleing of cars in the mainline yard to make up trains Eastbound and Westbound. Even North and South bound. Making the Mainline yard a really busy place.

    The branchline will set out from the branchline yard, pick up cars from the mainline interchange, do a day of switching local industries and bring back a train to the mainline interchange before retiring to the branchline yard for the night.

    This is the same sort of thing that I suggested to Lighthorseman. I just don't think that it makes sense to me to have a mainline and a branchline running parellel to eachother.

    I hope that these suggestions help.
  12. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    Hi Ron,

    Thanks for the review. I have a question about your "bury the Mainline ---". Are you suggesting that the double track on the lower part of the layout should be hidden until it emerges to the peninsula?

    I like you suggestions about emphasis for the different parts of the layout. I will work on that.

    For your information on my basic plan - I had intended for the main track to be visible and accessable around tha whole layout. On the right end I will have Eastern mountain scenery. The track was to be in cuts around the slopes. Small mountains (that would also be removeable) would allow access to the staging tracks on both sides of the peninsula. Playing upon your idea for main line track on the bottom of the page, I could partition it with trees and other scenery up the grade to the curves to the peninsula.

    What do you think
  13. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    Bury the Mainline......

    Hi David,

    Your layout is fantastic. Lots of action and switching around the top, left and bottom side. And mountain railroading on the right and peninsula.

    I have a couple of questions for you.

    1. I was wondering. Are you modelling a specific prototype, or is this strictly freelance?

    2. Also, are you more of an operations oriented modeller, or are you more interested in continuous running and railfanning?

    What I meant to say is my suggestions are aimed more toward operations.

    From about the top middle of the layout, to the bottom middle of the layout, I would run the double mainline behind scenery, through tunnels and across the backside of the staging under the peninsula.

    I would run the Branchline on top of the peninsula.

    For operations, I would have the mainline for long/heavy consists. The trains would come out of staging and around to the yard on the left. The trains would be broken up and reformed in the yard on the left before going back around to the staging.

    The branchline would bring shorter trains out of the yard on the left and switch industries around the layout. Most of the Branchline action would take place on the right side, on top of the peninsula. Shorter consists on the Branchline would be more prototypical for mountain railroading through curvy track and steep grades.

    If I am seeing correctly, you are only allowing for 18" to 24" wide isles. That's very tight. Especially for two or more grown men to pass each other. I'd want to have 24" to 36" isles for comfort. As it is, this is a one man operation. Two at the most. For operating sessions, I would spend one session running the Mainline, then the next session running the Branchline.

    For the sake of comfort, I'd even be inclined to cut the length of the peninsula in half to give the operators more elbow room.

    One other idea, if you are more inclined towards continuous running... If you want to keep the mainline on top of the peninsula. What you could do is from the top middle to the bottom middle of the layout is have the mainline go from double to single trackage. That would also justify having the passing siding on the bottom of the peninsula.

    Speaking of passing sidings.... What prototype railroads often do when they have double trackage and add a passing siding is.... They place the passing siding between the two mainlines. That way both the eastbound and westbound have access to the passing siding. I think this was from an article on the Feather River Canyon layout that was in a recent Model Railroader Magazine.
    Also, if you are going to keep the mainline on top of the peninsula; having the mainline as single trackage would allow both eastbound and westbound trains to do switching along the peninsula.
  14. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    Neat ideas, Ron. I guess I am going to have to think abit about those comments. Like I said at the start - I did this backwards. didn't get the comments and Ideas before starting to build. I will get back to you though. I might have to do a little reworking of the plan to incorporate the branch to the peninsula.

    Thanks again
  15. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Hi David,
    If you aren't too committed to this configuartion I wonder if you'd reconsider the duck-under? I had one to access a large oval and hated it every time I had to under! The best thing I ever did was to re-design that section. If the duck under is pretty important for creating a longer run and a more interesting track plan then be sure to set the bench work height to your comfort so you save your back and head!
    Best wishes!
  16. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all


  17. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    I have thought about that "duck-under" for quite some time and have not got a good alternative. My table top is 44". I have 40" under the table at the d-u point. I don't have much problem getting in and out. I am 5'-11" and bend pretty well. But as has been pointed out before, it could be a problem should I get another operator in, especially a tall or large person.

    If push comes to shove I may need to completely redesign the whole layout. :(

    Got to go think some more. With all those "boxes" from the General forum I need to get remotivated.

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