Trackplan suggestions wanted

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by RogerH, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. RogerH

    RogerH New Member

    Hi fellow modelers!

    This is my first message at this forum.

    I plan to reuse the baseboards from my old, and never finished, layout for my new H0 layout. I'm interested in trackplan suggestions that will fit my 'old' baseboards. I hope that someone on this forum can help me.

    The layout is located in my cellar and have walls along the left, top and right side. The overall length is 4 meter, and in the lower right corner (and down) I have space for an extention for about 2 meters.

    I have some few criterias:
    • H0 scale.
    • I don't want a bowl of spaghetti. When it comes to track less is more. It has to be space for scenery as well.
    • I'm interested in terminus operation, but the trackplan must include continuous running so my 3 yrs. old son can play with dads layout and run his electric Thomas the tank and friends, brek new locomotives in, or just simply watch trains running every now and then.
    • It has to offer some operational challenge.
    • No radi less than 43 cm. I prefer 50 cm+.

    I hope someone at this forum is able to help me.

    With kindly regards

    R:) GER
  2. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    Hi Roger,
    Welcome to The Gauge! I don't really think I'm the guy to help you ( I'm doing my first layout) but I do have some questions that I know other, more knowledgeable, people will ask. what era are you looking at modeling? Steam, modern, transition. what industries are you interested in? Logging, mining, or other freight producing venture? Those have a big influence in the layout design process. Any particular locale? Mountains? farmland? Do you want grades? Just somethings to think about. Also, Are you set on having this exact bench top? How can you reach the 2 top corners? Are you open to modifications? Lastly....everyone here is great and they will help you like they helped me. good luck!
  3. RogerH

    RogerH New Member


    I've already mentioned some criterias for the layout, and I didn't want to make to many of them because it could make it "mission impossible" to make a design that will make the best use of the space aviable at my baseboards.

    When this is mentioned, I can tell that I am found of transition era and shortline-/brancheline operation, with industries served by rail aviable. Grades are Ok, as long as they are not steper than 3%. The benchtop can be a little extended in the front (down on the drawing), as I plan to mount a facia with gently curves. To reach the corners, I suppose I'm going to need some form for "manhole".

    I am very open to modifications, due that I post this message with a request for help with the design.

    With kindly regards

    R:) GER
  4. Harpo

    Harpo Member

    Greetings, Roger, and welcome to The Gauge. If my calculations are reasonably correct, your overall length is about 13ft, and width about 4ft. The shape suggests a dogbone loop to me, which opens several interesting possibilities. Iain Rice has a book out, published by Model Railroader, called "Small, Smart & Practical Track Plans." In it are several plans which might possibly adapt to your space. I'm thinking especially of the Abingdon Branch, or possibly the Last Train to Wobegon. You should be able to find this book on or some such location. If not, one of us here might be able to help. (I'm in a very similar situation, with what is developing into a dogbone also, and am working with both those plans I indicated.) Good luck! Let us know how things develop. This is a very good place to be, with lots of experience and ideas available.

  5. RogerH

    RogerH New Member

    Hi again!

    I'm familiar with Iain Rice and his 'work'. I'ts quite genious with his suggestion about jigsaw scenery puzzle, among other great ideas.

    I have Small, smart & practical trackplans in my 'collection', and I've followed your advice and took a second look at the Abingdon Branch and the Last Train to Wobegon. I suppose I could stretch those trackplans out to fit my space aviable. But they both seems to have a benefit, except from the size that I can't include at my layout. Since they both are, more or less, L-shaped, this will work as a scenic devider. The operator can't see the whole layout at once, and must turn around to follow the train all the way. This will make the layout seem larger than it really is. Besides if I'm stretcing out any og those trackplans, I've got a shorter mainline-run, than those.

    As I wrote earlier I can expand my layot for about 2 meters in the lower right corner, but this must be more like a shelf. I can't make it so wide that I can turn the trains around on that one........

    Harpo, I got a little bit curious about your 'dogbone'-project. How large is your layout, and how is the trackplan?

    With kindly regards

    R:) ger
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Hi Roger,

    Welcome to The Gauge.

    I think that the dogbone idea (even with hidden trackage at the "back") is a good idea for this space. I do have concerns that it will be too far to reach into the corners, but access hatches are ok. You can also use open spaces in the corners with a hill or other landscaping to hide the gap...

    I think that you can have you industries inside each loop. Your extension on the right side could be used for an industry or a stub-ended yard. The advantage this could have is the inclusion of a wye to turn trains.

    I have attached a really, really rough sketch of what a dogbone with a wye in the lower right might look like... If you have access to a planning program like XtrkCAD, you will be able to draw it much more accurately... ;)


    Attached Files:

  7. Harpo

    Harpo Member

    Greetings, again, Roger
    Sorry for the present layout is/was door sized, but is being torn apart as the new room in the new house gradually gets set up. I'm toying with several new plans, and the dogbone may be out at this time in favor of some sort of 'L' arrangement. I have to be cruelly self honest and get a little more realistic about the size vs. other hobbies and interests. I like the general idea of what Mason Jar has come up with...the wye to a continuous loop is a neat concept... I'm going to have to work with that myself. I'll post plan sketches as they develop.

  8. wickman

    wickman Member

    or to make it more interesting a folded dogbone
  9. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member


    With the space you specified, the best you can do is using 18" radius curves. There's definitely a good amount of continuous running though, and plenty of space for sidings, industry spurs and yards so lots of possibilities there. I laid out the curves in the below image using XTrkCAD to help you visualize (the curves are 18-inch radius Atlas sectional track).

    Hope this helps.

    Attached Files:

  10. RogerH

    RogerH New Member


    Thanks a lot for, until now, all suggestions!

    There are a lot of ideas here I can use in the continuing planning of the layout. I'll be back a little bit later with my suggestions, but until then; don't hesitate to keep posting your ideas, please.

    With kindly regards

  11. RogerH

    RogerH New Member

    Hi again all!

    I've been drawing on a trackplan suggestion for my baseboards. Blue lines indicates visible track, and the dotted red ones is hidden track.

    Any comments, or suggestions to do it better?


    With kindly regards

    R:) GER
  12. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    For a layout that size, I think it is perfect. I don't see anything you could do better, & I see a good continuous run with plenty of industrial switching. The only issue is that you need to make the hidden track accesible, but that shouldn't be too dificult.

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