well guys, i think this is about it........

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by trainsteve2435, Jul 4, 2004.

  1. hello everyone, sorry for the negative attitude im posting, but i think i have had it with trying to draw a track plan that operates, not just runs in circles. over the past 8 - 9 months, i have spent literally thousands of dollars on lumber, track, switches, rolling stock, and locomotives. i have spent many countless hours up into the wee hours of the night trying to come up with a track plan to fit my already assembled bench work. so far, i have nothing more than i had months ago. my wife is tired of me getting frustrated and has even threatened to leave me if i dont come up with something after all the money i have spent. i have asked many questions on this forum, some pretty dumb, and you have all helped me. i just have no talent to design a feasable track plan to fit my bench work. i know its desperate, but i have even offered to pay someone to design me a track plan, but now i dont really have the money to pay for such a service, i have been unemployed for around three months or so. i just dont know what to do, i cant design, i have bought every book that has ever been recomended, but i still cant grasp the concept of design. if anyone has any words of advice, nows the time because i am really at my witts end. thanks for all the help in the past.:confused:
  2. Jon Grant

    Jon Grant Member

    If in doubt, copy someone else's.

    You don't have to invent the perfect layout trackplan at the first attempt, but building a layout using a published trackplan will get you started, and you will soon be modifying it to your own needs and likes.

    My advice to you would be to start laying track, but don't glue it down, because you will soon modify it.

  3. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    I agree with Jon, in all due respect you got afraidtomakemistaketh. The cure is to put down some track and do a little running and scenicing. It's part of the process to do it over again and again. There isn't a perfect layout, never ever will be. I'll stand by that statement. Even the prototypes can't get it right, they all used different routes to get to the Pacific. Don't be afraid to do it over. Fred
  4. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    Hi Steve
    I can understand your frustration. :confused: :mad: I have been designing and redesigning my layout (actually two layouts) for more than three years. :rolleyes: Fortunately I enjoy the challenge. Why don't you either email me or better yet, post, the dimensions of your room and what type of setting (era, location, prototype or fantasy, etc) you are thinking of. Be sure to include accureate dimensions, placement of windows, doors, obsticals. both movable such as a book case that could be moved but you would rather not and immovable, water heaters, duct work etc.
    I can't promise anything, I'm not a pro, but due to my circumstances my layout had to be planned down to the last detail before I layed a foot of track. I'm sure that even if I can't come up with something, someone else will.
    Be patient. This is a hobby to be enjoyed, not a job that you have to do like it or not. :) :) :) :)
  5. Chessie1973

    Chessie1973 Member

    This is exactly why I used AMI Instant roadbed to lay my track with.

    That way I can change things as I go along without hqaving to unglue and reglue things numerous times.

    I waws having the same problem as you in designing a trackplan. I finally just went and bought some flextrack and the roadbed and just started putting down tack and seeing how it looked on the layout. After a while I started to get ideas for things and changed how I had it positioned. Once I decided on a sort of "close enough" position for the track I put down the roadbed and track and ballasted the main loop. I am still deciding on things like sidings and industries and most likely I wil be adding more to my layout over time to make it more interesting.
  6. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

    Allow me to help

    TrainSteve. Sounds like your in a pickle. Allow me to help. I will put a track plan together for you. I just need the specifics of your room and benchwork dimensions, and any specific preferences you would like.

    I would hate to see you just lay out a bunch of track just to become frustrated with the inadequacy that could ensue. I have done this before for other guys who were lost in a sea of track. I know how unappealing it can be to copy someone else and not have the proud feeling of your layout being special and unique.

    I work with 3rd PlanIt, so you will have 3D images of what it will look like, as well as the scale plans to build from.

    No charge. I just get a kick out of solving problems and creating new ideas to fit. It can become somewhat less of a challenge when the track plan can be any size or shape. I got lots of those odd ball designs as I exercised all the "what if" probabilities I could think of. My own plan took me a long time to work out, and guys think I'm nuts for trying to fit 107 feet of track in a 5' x 7.5' layout. But I did. And I'm happy with the plan and can't wait to get to building it. Right now I'm experimenting with hand laying track/turnouts just to see if I want to lay the track by hand.

    But I won't make your plan as intricate as mine, but I promise something you can seriously consider.

    TrainClown :wave:
  7. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    Dont give up!!!!

    I takes time my friend, We all over think at first, I am on my 5th L/O.
    And still not happy,, do you no why !! because I have learnt so much more about modeling then when I first nailed track down. I know I can do better on my next L/O :p :D :thumb:
    And that`s what it`s all about, It never gets finished, thank God what would I do with new game plans :wave:
    So As others have already said ,, start with a small section and stay with that just like diarama, it will get better and easyer :wave:
  8. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Steve,Here is my approach..I just lay the track in place and then move it around till
    I like what I see..I then draw a center line and nail my cork roadbed in place,lay that section of track and move to the next section.This may sound hard but it rather easy to do. :D
  9. ok guys, here it goes.... i am includeing pictures of my benchwork, a scaled drawing of my benchwork, and a picture of sorta what im trying to do. i will also include some of the things i would like in a track plan. if this information isnt sufficient enough, just e mail me or let me know. here we go...........

    the era im trying to accomplish is around the 1965's to present. the region is the eastern mountains of west virginia, maryland. the equipment im planning on useing is a little bit of everything actually. i wasnt sure what radius to use but i have room for up to 36" or 38" curves, but like i said you guys know more than me so its open. ok, here goes some of the things i want to have in a track plan, so please bear with me....

    -----> i have all open grid bench work, so i would like to have one line cross over another.
    -----> i want some nice mountains and rock cliffs to travel around
    -----> i would like a half way descent yard for switching operations
    -----> i would like some water to cross over somewhere.
    -----> i would love a crossing point even if it had to be static.
    -----> i just want a prototypical, funtctioning, as realistic railroad as i can get into my availiable space.

    as far as industries, i want to have a coal mine, a cannery, fuel depot, service facility, and some other smaller industries to add life to it. i already have the cannery, coal mine, fuel depot, and disel service facility with sand towers and such. i also plan on adding a few more as i can. at this point im not in the position to be real picky and i appreciate all the help i can get. i just want a nice realistic layout and im planning on spending extensive time to accomplish this. right now, anything is better than nothing. now i will post my pictures so you guys know what im talking about. thanks again and if i have left some information out, just e mail me or post it here, i check this forum every little bit. thanks again for those of you that are willing to take your time and efforts to help me out.:)
  10. heres some of the pictures!

    Attached Files:

  11. heres the rest of my pics!;)

    Attached Files:

  12. NYC-BKO

    NYC-BKO Member

    Steve, sit down and take a deep breath.:confused:

    Now start laying roadbed, do not glue it use track nails. Get something around that bench work and lay some track. Run some trains. Using nails it will be easy to remove and change later, but right now get something done, you will be amazed after you do this what ideas will come into your head on how to improve your track, but you need to run some trains. Remember Rome wasn't built in a day, but they had a road!!!:thumb: LOL
  13. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    Steve, My first suggestion would be the same as brakie and NYC-BKO's. Get your mainline track down, temporarily at first, until it looks like you want it. As you are doing that imagine where a mountain or a river might go. You might want to get some foam down before you fix the track down permenantly as it makes rivers, gullies, ditches easier to create (do a search for threads pertaining to this), but for now get a mainline down and as per everyone else, don't worry about it being right. From there it gets easier. ;) ;) :) :)
  14. DT1967

    DT1967 New Member

    I will add one suggestion to the better ones above. Use cardboard to layout the footprint of the buildings and towns you want. Of course there are those that would actually build the things out cardboard.

    I think your problem is translating paper to benchwork. The advice is to use your benchwork as your doodlepad.

    Also they've suggested starting small. But most importantly to run trains.

    Off the wall suggestions:

    Do some prototype research for your area.

    See what inexpensive materials are laying around your house and area for scenicking(sp?)

    You've said that you're going to dedicate extensive time to this so pratice a little first.

    Just so you know my creditials on this... I'm playing with a 4'x8' layout to learn what will work for me and my situation. I need to take in account Hotwheels rolling on the layout since my helpers love them so much. My sons (ages 5,4,3) are why I'm back to the hobby.

    If all else fails take a week or two off from the hobby and do something else until you recharge your batteries.
  15. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

    Nice train room. I see alot of possabilities. Good thing you snapped chalk lines as it helped me work out the missing measurements.

    I'll post something when I have it. Should take a few days to work it out. So relax. Your layout is in the hands of a clown. ;) (relax...........if you can............he he hee)

    That's a clown gag son :)

    In the meantime.............................TrainClown is thinking.


  16. thanks TrainClown, and all of you guys, your suggestions and sympathy have helped me to gain a different view on all of this stuff. im familiar with 4' x 8' layouts, but this is the first time i ever tackled something this big, kinda over whelmed me i guess. anyways, TrainClown, i look forward to seeing what you come up with, and to the rest of you guys, THANKS!:wave:
  17. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    You have to approach building a layout of this size the same way you eat an elephant, one bite at a time. :D :D
  18. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    Good advice, start small and work up. See if your local library has a copy of the John Allen book about his Gorre and Daphetid railroad. In it tells how he started small and it grew from a 4X8 layout, IIRC. For some train action, try making a small switching layout, with a run around track and a couple of tracks to spot cars. Once you get that running add some track and go around a corner to either another switching area or a yard to stage your trains that work your first switching layout. Build from there and soon either you will have a layout that is fun or you will have the experience to draw what you can really put down on bench work. My early layouts always had more track and switches than could actually be accommodated on a real layout.

    But by all means, don't give up and I for one am anxious to see what TrainClown will come with.

  19. Jon Grant

    Jon Grant Member

  20. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    I have just changed my "yard" on my 4x8... I was convinced that my previous design was great, and then a friend gave me a turntable... So I ripped out some stuff, and bought a bit more flex track to make it work...

    Don't worry about it... These things change - heck the real railroads change stuff all the time...! Try putting some track down and see what appeals to you.

    Two other things that I found really useful -

    1) Do a mock-up of the layout. Print out your proposed track plan, and glue it to a cereal box. Cut around it in the shape of your benchwork. Get some Palydough or clay from the Dollar store and make your mountains, etc - even buildings. It does not have to be beautiful, but it will give you an idea of what the finished layout will (eventually) look like.

    2) Do some little dioramas. I make a campsite on a 2x5 inch scrap of extruded foam. In this little space, I tried - a tree, 3 or 4 types of ground cover, making "canvas" (a tent) from aluminum foil, a fire pit, a stack of logs, a dirt path, and figure painting.

    As Clark said - one bite at a time... ;)


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