Will this be enough room?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by ho_scale_rail, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. Wabash Banks

    Wabash Banks Member

    Sounds like the smart budget approach! Although, with an additional power pack you could run two trains...it works much the same way with the panel...

    Here is a good site for some ideas

    Give those a go to start with. They should give you a basic idea. You should be able to find a track plan book at Hobby Lobby for a reasonable price. Once you commit to an area and era you can take the basic plan and and tweak it.
    The NMRA page is an excellent suggestion as well.
  2. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

    what did you mean when you said
  3. Wabash Banks

    Wabash Banks Member

    You basically wire the route to be able to both power packs by isolating rail. I think I will allow those who have done it to answer better.
  4. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

    I have another problem,lol. I would like to use some scenery but if i brace the bottom of a 1/2" sheet of plywood with 2"x4's, nothing on the layout will be able to be higher that 4.5 inches since i am storing it under my bed? Is there any buildings or anything that will fit?
  5. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

    I have decided to lift my bed up so i can have a better layout, i am going to raise it up to where the bottom will be at 16" so i will have 1' of clearence on top of the layout for building and scenery. I would also like to have some elevation chage if possible, would that be possible.
  6. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    2x4's are going to be a bit more than you'll need for this. Yeah, they'll give you good support, but they'll also add unnecessary weight and hight. 2x4's also have a tendency to warp. Use kiln dried 1x3's on edge and you'll have good support.

    Oh yeah, raising the bed is a good idea, just don't forget where you are when you get out of bed.
  7. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

    I'm gonna go to lowes this weekend to get all my lumber. Should they have the dried 1x3s?
  8. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Yes, most 1" lumber is kiln dried. A lot of 2x4's and other dimentional lumber is not and the term is "green lumber". You can tell by the feel and weight. Your 1x3's should be straight so you may have to pick through what they have until you find enough pieces. Get enough to frame the four sides, and two or three more to act as stiffeners in the center.

    Good luck...
  9. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

    thanks for the info, About the trackplan, should i plan it out on paper or just buy some track and play with it until i find what i like?
  10. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Start off with it on paper, but you are going to be better off looking at the NMRA site first and even downloading a few layouts for the RTS software. Better yet, go to your local hobby or train store and you should find several books with track plans ranging from very simple to fairly complex. I bought a couple when I started. Kalmbach has quite a few, among them are:

    N Scale Model Railroad That Grows
    N Scale Primer

    Another from Atlas:

    Nine N scale Railroads
  11. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

    That sounds like a good idea with the books except i kind of want to build it out of my imagination instead of copy it from another layout. In my opinion that would take some of the fun out of building it.
  12. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Not really, use the books to give you some ideas, start with a layout that you know works, then add/change as you see fit. That's what I did when I started, took a layout from that Atlas book and adapted it to fit my needs. I see no difference in that than asking folks here for ideas. Start with what you see there, then add to it as you get more experience at what you're doing.
  13. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

    Yeah i think i might try the books, how much are they?
  14. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    The Atlas book is about $6, the Kalbach books are all in the $15 to $20 range. You can do better on line. The Atlas book is thinner, but has a lot of tips on wiring and setting up your layout in addition to some different sized layouts. I'd spend money on a book or two before I'd start buying material for the layout.

    Good luck, and keep asking questions, you'll get help as you need it, but you won't find anyone that's going to do the work for you. Unless you can talk your dad into it...:D
  15. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Someone gave me an Atlas track plan book.
    He picked out one of the plans he liked, then added sidings, passing tracks, and other routes and added them in pencil. There were also a lot of eraser marks also.
    Just an idea.
  16. theBear

    theBear Member


    Here are a couple of links to some trackplans. Snoop around on the net a bit and you'll find all kinds of information to start with or get some ideas.



    I have a version of the compact plan from the first
    site just to play with the two switching puzzles.

    At this momment there is a 14 car 3 loco train going
    around the loop.

    I am also about a year into planning a larger layout.
  17. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

    i'm not asking for you guys to build my layout i just need ideas. I've been drawing it out on paper and so far i have a mainline track that will run around the very outer edge of the layout and a small yard with 4 sidings. and i quit becuase i was kind of stumped on what to do next.
  18. theBear

    theBear Member

    I don't think anyone here would even attempt to build your layout, most of us have all we can do to find time to work on our own.

    You could look into structures, roads, etc., the non railroad things that get things to and from the railroad for more ideas.

    Some of those links have information on general design and operation possibilities.

    Have you thought about "when in time" this layout exists?

    For another idea generator use one of the online imaging systems to follow the road bed of a real railroad.

    While it isn't as much fun as being there it is a lot safer and legal.

    It takes time, some folks find it is more fun in doing the design than in building (it's certainly a lot cheaper to do the design than build)

    I settled on a general time, and then decided on a railroad to model.

    After that a bit of reading about the railroad put the rest of the plan in motion.

    I started cleaning up the basement, collecting parts and stuff last fall, it will be at least another 6 months to a year before that layout gets started.

    Meanwhile I set up a small switching puzzle, that just got replaced with the layout I mentioned and is my den/computer room/office. I like to run them.

    Oh and here is the link I was looking for earlier:


    Section C might be of interest to you,

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