Track Planning Help

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Jasong, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. Jasong

    Jasong New Member

    Photo Sharing by :: MyPhotoAlbum :: Misc Pics ::

    My work area I set on Right Track Software was 48" by 120" I am looking for anyone to critique this and see any flaws in the layout. Something I maybe over looking. The industries are Coal and Lumber which the area I plan to use is the area top right where the Wye Turnout splits. The bottom right there will be a lumber yard and not sure what I want to do with the Coal when I get it down there. There will be 3 passenger stations where the passenger train will get the workers to the area they need to go. The top left is where the main station will be and the second track is housing for spare passenger cars. Era is not important to me. Is there any advice about grades because the loop around the Logging and Coal extraction there is a grade. Please I am looking for any advice positive or negative. Please be nice because I have high hopes for this just looking for any opinions I can get or what I need to change. Thank you all very much for looking.

    Givens and Druthers

    Scale = HO
    Region = Roughly off West Virgina Industries

    Space = Basement Area of 14ft x 26ft x 8ft Nothing in the way No Doors, Windows Nothing.

    1. Passenger Train Switching
    2. Main-Line Passenger Train Operation
    3. Local Freight Operations

    Typical operating Crew: 1 Eye Level (Owner) 60 In.

    Primary track system? sectional and maybe flex

    Couplers/uncoupling system = Yes


    1. Operation of a sceniced layout
    2. Building structures

    Cant wait to see the feedback.

  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I'm presuming that is an island layout. If each square on your drawing is 12", I got a size of approximately 6' by 12'. It will work as an island with access all of the way around. If it is against one or more walls, you won't be able to reach a lot of the track work. It would appear that you are using a mainline radius of 18 inches with a section of 15 inch radius? You haven't mentioned era. If you are running a modern era, you won't be able to run modern 6 axle power on such tight radius. The new Emd and GE power units are so long that most will need 24 inch minimum radius to operate. On 18 inch and 15 inch radius you will be restricted to 4 axle power, and 50-60 foot cars. The other thing to consider is that if you have the full 14 x 26 ft area available for layout, you could get a lot more layout with more room for scenery on 24-30 inch shelves around the area with a peninsula. Leave a 30 inch minimum aisle width, and you would have room for a 26 foot shelf on each side with a space for a 60x60 inch table at the ends with a removable access panel in the center to allow for reaching the back of the turn back curves to rerail trains if needed. If the layout narrows to 24 inches at the throat of the turn back curves, you would have room for a 17 foot peninsula down the middle with a 60 inch "balloon" at the end for a turn back curve. You could eliminate the "bowl of spaghetti look, broaden the curves for longer equipment, and have enough distance to make elevation changes for hills and valleys without needing excessive grades. You would also have room to make your industrial spurs longer. Some of your spurs look to be only long enough for 1 or 2 cars, and I don't see any run around tracks even though you have both facing and trailing point spurs on the track plan.
  3. Jasong

    Jasong New Member


    Thank You for the reply. You information is well taken and appreciated. The radius around the mainline loop is Atlas At-513 which RTS 7.0 is telling me is 22" radius. I do not want to rely 100% on the software so I turned to someone to help me out. So your saying or assumptions was that it is 15" radius. You hit the point I was trying to make you understood what my noobiness couldn't get across. Right now I have these two locos (Picture Link Below). I thought Era would not be as important right now but clearly it is. To me I just want trains running not a replica of a specific railroad so consistency is not important. Era is not so important because I two locos at the moment. I wanting to purchase an Amtrak loco and passenger cars though so now I need something else to worry about is six axle or four axle and my radius :eek:. Can some clarify the amount of axle right now so I am on the same page with you all Please. So my understanding is the six axle can not handle 15" or 18" radius turns even if it is just a bend like this (Picture link below). Russ if you could help me out here on the design layout you are talking about like the area space you are referring to just to get me and you on the same page if is not to troublesome I would greatly appreciate it. I do have the whole area to work with but my wife might not go for it. She is happily supporting me but making the whole basement a layout may take the supportive right outta her. :cool: Plus this is my first layout so I was trying to keep is somewhat small but what seemed interesting enough for me. But this is planning phase for a reason to be changed now, not later if can be avoided. :twisted: Russ Thank you again for taking the time to respond.

    Link for the two locos I currently have: Photo Sharing by :: MyPhotoAlbum :: Train Locos

    Link for the Bend I was talking about (Top is a 15" bend) (Bottom is a 18" Radius): Photo Sharing by :: MyPhotoAlbum :: Misc Pics ::

  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I haven't tried doing track plans because I haven't figured out how to draw on the message board. In fact, I haven't figured out how to draw on the computer so that radius' are correct. I don't draw out track plans before starting a layout, because I can visualize the whole thing in my head before I start. I just make sure that all radius are correct as I put down track.

    I'll try to answer as best I can, and what I've seen happen in this forum is I will make suggestions and others will chime in and sooner or later people start proposing track plans based on your desires and various discussion points.

    First off, you locomotives are both 4 axle diesels, so they will handle radius down to 15 inches. If you want to get more modern diesels like EMD Sd75, they are so long that you will need a 24 inch radius minimum. In fact Atlas Snap Track used to be available in 15, 18, and 22 inch radius sectional curves. Because of the size of newer power, they have come up with either 24 or 26 inch sectional track for the new equipment.

    For the layout and to keep peace with your wife, I would suggest a shelf layout going around the walls in a "U" shape. You could put it on top of a book shelf at a 48 inch height. The layout could be 26 feet on each side and 14 feet across the end. Make it 24 to 30 inches wide with a 5 x 5 at each end for turn back curves. That way the center of the room is available for family use and the book shelves could be used as well. A shelf layout is much less intrusive than a huge island that is in the middle of the room.

    I hope this helps.
  5. robhink

    robhink New Member

    I think that you should look at some sort of shelf layout for the space, I would be concerned about getting to some of those interior tracks to do some uncoupling of the cars. Also with a shelf style layout you can use space below the layout for some storage. I could see a couple stub ended peninsulas off the shelf layout for a major passenger yard/station. I'll see if I can throw together a couple ideas on paper and post them for you.

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