What do you prefer?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by prodigy2k7, Dec 24, 2006.

  1. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    I wanted to do a poll but it doesnt seem I can.

    What do you prefer?
    How many mainlines do you like?
    (for average size layouts; like 4x8 size layouts)

    I prefer two mainlines (my idea is one for passenger and 1 for freight, this is my dream layout:
    This one I believe will suit me perfectly.

    What do you guys like?
  2. 91rioja

    91rioja Member

    Ther number of mainlines is going to depend on a number of factors; the prototype, the era, the size of equipment. If you are looking at a 4x8, then at most the outer line would be 22" radius. In order to make an inner line, you would have to use 18" radius curves.

    Depending on the type of equipment you are planning on running, some of it may not work on 18" radius curves (I have a 4-8-4 steamer that will not run on 18" radius curves). Larger equipment won't work on the inner, but if you are running smaller equipment and 4 axel diesels, you should be fine.

    On my current layout, I have two passing sidings only; a single main. It is a branchline, which is small enough that it doesn't need 2 mainlines.

    Hope this helps.
  3. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    im not asking for help, heh... Just wondering what everyone likes
  4. CRed

    CRed Member

    I'm with you,I am going to have two mainlines also for the same reason.I don't have a track plan setup yet,but I have my engines.

    I have a BLI DM&IR RSD-15 for my frieght line and a PCM Santa Fe F3 A/B set in the War Bonnet scheme for my passenger line,both with DCC and sound.

    i know they don't exactly match,but the DM&IR is my favorite line and I have always found the Santa Fe War Bonnet scheme very attractive.Besides,i'm not a rivet counter,just want to have fun with my son.

  5. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    I prefer a double track main with a gauntlet somewhere---an operational challenge of some sort that require two tracks to narrow down to one. We had several on the club layout and it made for some interesting moves between long opposing trains.
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Unless I had a large basement or railroad room to model a really large mainline, I wouldn't have a mainline at all. My model railroad in my spare bedroom, once the remodel is done on our house will be a 7' x 9' "L" shaped switching layout. It will be depicting the Los Angeles Junction Railway, and won't have any mainline.
  7. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    I prefer two mainlines, not necessarily 'double tracked'. I want them to be separate from each other but be near each other. Then include a way to crossover them making one large mainline. It's good for just letting trains runs in multiple configurations.

    I'm quite positive that I'll be in my train room 99.99999% of the time by myself, but those occasions where there are visitors I'm sure they'd prefer to watch trains go around irregular loops. It also makes it easier to talk about the layout while it's operating than having to pay attention to the trains and carry on a conversation about them at the same time [if they were running point to point].
  8. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    The problem with your concept is that full-scale passenger cars don't do well on 18" radius (or even 22" radius) curves typical on 4x8s. You can get around this issue by using "shorty" passenger cars (like Athearn), or older-era passenger equpment that is not so long.

    The plus side of double track is that you can run longer trains than on single track because siding length is no longer the train length determining factor.

    The down side of double track is that it doesn't look as long, and it may/may not be prototypical for your situation. In my particular case, late 19th century in the coastal mountains of Oregon, there wasn't any double track.

    my thoughts, your choices
  9. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    On my layout (15X7') I have a single main with a passing siding. Makes for more intresting operation. since I'm the only operator. The layout is also suposed to represent a branchline (small sub-division) so a dual main doesn't fit.
  10. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I really don't like this idea. It's not how real double-track lines operate. The conventional way is one line for eastbounds and one for westbounds, whatever their type or speed. Division of passenger and freight lines usually only occurred on 4-track lines. Nowadays, double-track lines are often run with both tracks two-way.

    I wouldn't try to run passenger service at all on a 4x8. Aside from the main issue (curves), there's also the simple matter of square footage. You have to prioritize what you want to include; you can't put very many things on a 4x8.

    The mainline around a 4x8 isn't really long enough to operate two trains using single track with passing sidings. They'll have to meet or pass every few seconds. It's probably best to treat a 4x8 as a one-train layout. (An independent engine working as a switcher is feasible.)
  11. CRed

    CRed Member

    My layout when it's done is going to be around 6'x12' and will have atleast 26" radius curves so I think that's large enough to run passenger cars.

    I know alot of people mention a layout and trains being "prototypical" and that's cool,but I'm just doing it to have fun with the kids so I'm not worried about the minor details like whether or not my Santa Fe F3 A/B set will look funny running along side my DM&IR SD-15.

    I have to admit though,you guys do some incredible stuff with trains and layouts on here.I'm just not that artistically inclined or want to pay that much attention to detail.

  12. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I have, in the past, had 1 mainline with a passing siding...one main with a yards...2 mainlines independent of each other...2 mains independent with a yards...2 mainlines plus a branch and a trio of yards.

    I prefer having a single main, a branch, and a few large & small yards.

    Btw, I've always used 22" radius will full length passenger cars...frequently with 4-8-4s, and I despise the shorty cars...few things look worse to me than a PA-1 or a ten wheeler that is longer than the passenger cars it is supposed to be shorter than.


    I share the same sentiment, the average person who just wants to pop in and see your layout is most likely going to be stunned by the scenery and more interested with a train continually running as opposed to you sitting there doing a lot of switching, so at least one continous mainline is a must in my eyes
  14. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    prodigy2k7:wave:, i like two mainlines, and heres why: while running a train on the outside track continuous, you can do switching operations on the inside track, and vice versa, if your layout is set up for that. makes the layout busy with lots of train traffic:thumb:. just my thoughts;). :D -Deano
  15. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    It also makes it easier to communicate with them while the trains are running.

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