Tracks parallel to edge?

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Gary S., Dec 25, 2006.

  1. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    For a large shelf layout - I have read that it looks better to minimize the number of tracks that run parallel to the edge of the layout. How important is this in your opinion? Should I strive for nothing parallel to the edge?
  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Running them parallel to the edge takes away the sense of distance and realism. Putting scenic items between the viewer and the trains from time to time adds to the realism as it mimics what we see in reality. At least in theory...I've always enjoyed doing it that way:thumb: :D
  3. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Running the track parallel to the edge also tends to make the layout look toy-like. In addition to view blocks, running the track at small angles to the edge can make the layout seem like the minature world is dictating the track layout instead of the layout edge. The angles also give you opportunities to use protoypical-looking broad and sweeping curves to generate said angles.

    Iain Rice goes after this effect differently. In his layout designs, he draws sweeping curves in the benchwork edge. The track is now parallel to a curving benchwork, which again reduces the artifical man-made look. I have never tried Rice's method so I can't comment on how it works in real life.

    just my thoughts, your choices
  4. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Thanks for the thoughts. I'll try to incorporate some angles into my layout.

    I was thinking about this today. Unfortunately my shelves are already built. But this shouldn't be too much of a drawback.
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Even if the shelf is already built, you can add 1/4" ply to extend it (or something suitable for supporting whatever scenes you have planned). A curving facia can also be added...

  6. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Too bad I'm not going to practice what I preach...sorta...:oops: My layout I'm designing simply has no room for anything but parallel trackage as it's going to be narrow (24") and portable. My requirements, a turntable, transfer table, roundhouse, diesel shop, 32" minimum radius and bascule bridge munch any available space. I'll still be looking to work in some scenic barriers to place some separation between spectator and trains.:thumb:
  7. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Doh! I didn't think of that. It would be real easy to add on some curves. But now you just threw one more variable into my track planning! :cry:
  8. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Don't worry, that not a bad thing, it adds alot of possibility that will benefit you in the long run, just make sure, if you overhang 1/4" plywood more than 8-10 inches, make sure you support it from the bottom with small dimensional lumber! :thumb:
  9. zedob

    zedob Member

    I don't have much of a choice concerning the layout's straight edges because it's the only way it will work in my situation. On the other hand, there is very little tangent track in the whole plan (layout not started, yet) with most of my track being either curved track or spiral easments. I've always tried to keep some slight angles between the edge of the LO and the closest track because it does help with the illusion.

    Speaking of Iian Rice's layouts, has anyone seen one that HE has built? I haven't, but I sure would like a link to at least one. I like his ideas, but I'd also like to see what the "preacher" has done.
  10. hminky

    hminky Member

    The parallel to the edge trackage myth is overrated. Your layout will be realistic or it won't. Most trackage in real life is parallel to a road or manmade edge as a border. My track is only an inch from the edge and is parallel. I can't imagine how track being at an angle would change the "realism" or lack there of.


    Just a thought
  11. zedob

    zedob Member

    I can. I feel it helps with the ultimate illusion, but you are right about it being over-rated and that shouldn't be considered the main objective for realism. Sometimes, we have no choice, too. I have seen plenty of beautiful layouts with parallel to the edge trackage and since it is only the edge of the layout, this issue usually gets pushed aside, which is the whole idea, to get sucked into the layout.

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