what type of layout do you prefer

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by wickman, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. wickman

    wickman Member

    What would be the differences in differnet types of benchwork and plan other than the obvious an island layout is an island type where as a shelf layout is a shelf. Can you get better operations on one type of layout compared to another or can you lay more track on each different type more scenery ? Why would someone go with one type compared to another ? :D Can you have a busier layout with movement of the trains going from industry to industry? Why would you choose the layout type that you have ? :D Now this is just a general discussion for different fews one view not being any better or worse than anothers[​IMG]
  2. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    There are several criteria for what kind of layout one chooses:
    • Available space
    • Enviroment (basement, attic, spare bedroom...)
    • Accesses and blockages (doors, windows, furnace, stairwell...)
    • Access, or how do you reach everything on the layout?
    • Ingenuity, or how clever the builder is at making use of all the above things
    My layout was built on a hollow-core door and was built on casters because it was in a garage/workshop because it didn't have a permanent home. When we moved, I took a separate room and redid the base without casters. I recently added an "L" shaped extension giving me a "U" configuration and about doubled the size. It's that way because it fits and I can get in and out of the room, there's still space for a workbench and shelves and it doesn't get in the way of the window. It's held to the wall with a few screws and can be moved in two sections if need be since each section has their own legs. Since we have no plans to expand the family, I feel safe that I have that room as long as I want. :D :D
  3. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    I am in the process of building a point to point shelf layout around my garage. Some of my reasons I chose the shelf layout are:

    1. To me, the point-to-point scheme feels more operationally realistic as compared to continuous running loops.
    2. I will have around 70 feet of mainline stretched around the outer walls.
    3. The shelves around the walls leave the middle of the area available for other use. My shelves contain about 120 square feet, about 4 sheets of 4x8 plywood, yet the room is essentially open.
    4. The area under the shelves can be used for storage.
    5. The shelves are essentially "modular" so they could be easily moved if the need ever arose.
  4. Dragon

    Dragon Member

    I chose a shelf layout primarily because it left the center of the room free for other furniture (I have a rather LARGE computer desk in there).
    It is also easier to build in and still leave the room essentially a bedroom if we ever decide to have a child.
    It is built in manageable sections which, while requiring a moving truck to haul, will at least be saveable if/when we move.
    And, for the limited space I have, the shelf layout maximizes the amount of trackage I can have running.
  5. webmaster

    webmaster Member

    It is definitely a 'what room is available' thing. I would personally have a layout as large as I could, but at all times, keeping the tracks within arms length. It's OK having a base board 5' deep up against a wall, but if you can't reach the track for cleaning, stuck loco, derailment etc.. then it will be more frustrating than enjoyable.
  6. zedob

    zedob Member

    What Gary says...
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Same again (as Gary, Zedob), except that I have planned mine to be "true" modular - transportable, not just movable, and to an interchangeable standard that others follow.

    I had a 4x8 for a while that I could just not finish. After I switched to the modular plans, I am much more happy. Real railways are long and narrow, and combining many modules at the local club gives a real railway feel...

    Also, since I do not currently have a "dedicated" train room, modular makes sense from a storage and construction point of view too.

  8. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Add to that: . How often do you expect to move?
    Aside from Military, there are many corporate jobs that require "relocations". Here, modular becomes the way to build a layout.
  9. wickman

    wickman Member

    well for me I don't intend to move but if I have to I had enuff scence to make sure turnouts and track joints are on the benchwork joints and for the scenery well a big saw I guess .:)
  10. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    "All of life's little problems can be solved with a chainsaw"- annonymous.:D :D :D

    I brought up the modular because I had to deal with "lowest bidder movers" while I was on active duty. Every three years, whether I liked it or not!wall1 hamr :sleeping:
  11. wickman

    wickman Member

    Well guys I do have a layout on the go here's the plan I've been
    working with

    By the way I can walk all the way around this but it is kinda narrow 18" or so.

    Here is pics if you haven't already viewed them
    I made the mistake of not including a staging area as well as I'm wandering if this layout is going to become boring and turn into a dust collector down the road. As you can see from the link to my progress I have come a long way. But as I look at it in the train room the only thing I can see having to replace $$$ wise is the cork roadbed ...well and the 3 x 50lb bags of plaster of paris . On the layout I have plans for campbells ayer's chairs industry, campbells barrel factory, fsm 170 super sawmill, and some dpm kits including harlee and sons kit and several others I also have the mine as you can see. Problem is I have my doubts that the moving around of trains from indusrty to industry will keep me from becomeing bored. Don't get me wrong I love doing scenery and love the idea of scratch building and all the other fun stuff that I've been involved with but what do you do when you get it all done (except for the fine detail stuff of course ) to continue running the trains. So as far as I've gotten I'm wandering what is a decent type of layout that will keep me busy all the way down the road. The problem started when I realized I needed a staging yrd and was going to be very dificult to acquire as well as is the rail design I have setup going to be busy enuff? I've thought of many ways of gaining access to the under table area for staging as well as I'm looked and looked at my rail design.
    Have you fine modelers ever had your doubts about the layout you were working on ?
  12. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    One downside of the storage underneath the shelves (this one is for you Andrew):

    I've had the shelves up for about 4 weeks now, with bookcases underneath for storage, and I've only banged my head on the layout twice so far...
  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Due to the temporary nature of any set up in my current house, I would not have shelves. But once I get to the new place and put brackets up, I think I would align the bookcases with the outside edge of the layout to avoid this problem. PLus I am pretty sure that my four-year-old would think the space behind the bookcases under the layout would make a great "fort".

  14. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I have been thinking about the same things... For me it boils down to this:

    around the walls- positives: room for larger curves and longer mainline in the same size room. negatives - usually need a lift out bridge or duckunder, and layout may block windows and needs to work around closet doors, etc. Another negative is the backdrop - making a good backdrop thhat looks realistic and does ot have shadows cast upon it is tricky.

    island - positives: you can run a mountain down the center to use as a scenic divider, and a backdrop is unnecissary. No need for duckunders and you can center it in a room and not block windows and doors. negatives - kinda difficult to get larger than about 24" radius curves. Shorter mainline, fewer staging and operational possibilities...

  15. wickman

    wickman Member

    Well that was very informative and well taken thankyou
    looking at the pros and cons you list yes your right 24" radius at most for me , I'm fortunate enuff to have my basement windows over 60 " above floor , main line on mine does go entire erimeter but I'm quiclky learning the shelf type only needs big ends for a larger radius curve turnaround , my staging problem is becoming apparent unless I can figure a way down to under the bench, I'm just not quite sure about the fewer operational possibilities on the island compared to shelf ...but I'm sure willing to listen and learn:)
  16. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    My shelf layout has the negatives you mention. A lift-out section in front of a door and a couple of other places where the shelf will occasionally have to be moved, requiring those sections to be "modular." Also, my florescent lighting is unevenly lighting my backdrop.

    Still, the "around-the-room" layout was my best option. The benchwork was relatively easy although the shelf brackets were expensive.
  17. LNEFAN

    LNEFAN New Member

    I have just begun a new layout and opted for around the walls shelf type. Yes, it will require a liftout and I will have to address a window issue. But I like the wider radius curves possible, and longer runs available since my dedicated room is only 8 x 10. I'm also looking forward to having everything at arms reach and "follw the trains" type DCC operation. The shelf will be 20" wide so there's not a huge amount of room for scenery but plenty to keep me going for quite some time. I also will enjoy being able to easily move about in the center. My work table/bench will conveniently fill a corner beneath the shelf which will be in the 12" - 15" range in that area. The backdrop will be painted directly on the walls. I must say though that there is something appealing about looking upon a wide vista in miniature-as other style layouts provide. However for my situation, the shelf option seems to be best. It will be my first foray into this type of construction and, being now retired, no doubt my last. And yes, I just purchased all the brackets and etc. and they are quite costly!
  18. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Choose one of the "big ends", and install a helix to a lower level for the staging yard.
  19. wickman

    wickman Member

    So I'm still fishing here but at the same time starting a new design.
    And so far shelf layout seems the most practical I know myself I'm already tired of doing the sidestep to go way around the other side of my layout( only about 20" walkaround room)
    Is it possible to have one single continuous as well as switching for industries on a loop to loop shelf layout having 4 foot square ends for the loops and say 32- 36" shelfs in between the 2 loops and still have great scenery ? Kinda like having the best of both worlds this way kids don't become bored ( some day grand kids ) and adults still get to play operations games with Car Card . I think question is more has it been done with the size of space I'm using?
  20. max diyer

    max diyer New Member

    I don't like using up wall space and I like to walk around my entire layout. I use manual throws only. I want to interact with my road as much as possible, not sit in one spot and run it by remote. IMO wall layouts are 1 dimension, you can only view it from one side. On a walk-around, you can view scenery/structures from the back side, too. This adds to the realism.

    My layout is a 8 x 12, basically a 4 x 8, a 4 x 3 and another 4 x 8. So everything is less than a 3 foot reach, from somewhere on the layout. The 3 sections are bolted together, so if I want to move it or add another section, it will be easy.

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