What is a good size small N layout ?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by gregbva123, Apr 2, 2006.

  1. txstars15

    txstars15 New Member

    Old Newbie Seeking Layout/Stock Advice!

    Hey All,
    Ran AM. Flyer as a kid with the Plasticville buildings. A blast back in the day. Today's offerings blow me away. I'm torn between HO or N scale, but am leaning toward N to get a larger layout in the same space. Suggestions here?

    I'd like to end up with a mountain/wilderness/river sort of layout and would like to know where I can get info on what engines and cars typically ran through those environments. I don't want to end up with a mix of odd rolling stock that was from different decades. Suggestions? I'm talking a freight train here.

    Would love maybe a mountain rise on one end, tunnel, bridge. I'm sure everyone has seen this sort of look in the mags. Given my wild ideas, any hints as to a general size requirement to get all that in?

    Hate to ask all the mundane newbie questions, but I like to do my research before the spending begins! Thanks much for any advice. Also, Will, you mentioned your website but I didn't see the URL!

    Greg in Dallas
  2. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    txstars15: It pretty much depends what era you want to model. Are you interested in steam, diesel or the transition era, where both were running on the same railroad? Modern era railroads still run through and around mountains. As for the size of layout; how much room do you have? You can definitely get more railroad into a given space with N scale.
  3. txstars15

    txstars15 New Member

    Hi Jim,
    Want to run diesel only. I could manage a 4x8 sheet of ply as a max size. I know N is about half the size of HO, my only concern was not having the scenery overwhelm the train!
    So where do you think I can get info on the types of locos and rolling stock that would have been seen together as somewhat modern setup?
  4. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    I agree 100 %,it looks like the perfect size for starting in N scale.
    KATY's layout is the perfect proof about that statement.
  5. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    txstars15: You shouldn't have much problem with the scenery overwhelming the trains unless you get carried away with trying to make mountains that are clear up to the ceiling. The 4X8 layout on a sheet of plywood has been the old standby for 50 years or more.With N scale you would have a good size layout. There are some considerations with the 4 foot width. Primarily access to the back side of the table for rerailing runaway locos and cars. Most of the major MR'ing magazines have project layouts that fit the size you are talking about. I believe Model Railroader Magazine had an article recently on the door size layout in N scale. Try your local hobby shop for back issues or maybe a local library has Model Railroader or Railroad Model Craftsman magazines. There is also a N scale magazine available. A 4X8 layout will give you lots of options for yards and wider radius curves if you want to run large, modern diesels and long cars. Narrower layouts will restrict the size of the equipment that you can use. For info on the types of equipment that operates together, try some of the railfan magazines or pick a local railroad and go do some firsthand looking. Don't dress like an Arab while doing it; however. :D
  6. txstars15

    txstars15 New Member

    I'm LOL at the Arab quip. That's a visual just too good to pass up. You're right about the 4x8 sheet. I think it is the defacto hobby standard for about anything one gets into! Was also reading with interest the posts about the 36x80" door layout. I don't want to get bored with a too simple layout that just kinda goes around and back. Guess I'll start a little online research on rail lines and see what I get. Thanks for the input. If I go trolling the yards, I'll dress like a hobo!!

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