# You guys were right, and now i need to plan. :)

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by fuzzyloggin, Nov 1, 2006.

1. ### fuzzylogginMember

hi guys,
im back but this time no hanging layouts , i took all your advice and i scrapped my hanging layout before i went too far. i've now freed up some available space in the garage.
The only problem is that im pulling my hair out trying to work out the best way to use it, I figured if i showed you what i have to work with i could probably get some help to try and utilise the area the best. ill post a dodgy sketch to get the ball rolling and please ask what details you guys need if you ge interested, ps i got my timber and the lot so this really is killing me as im raring to go.

anyway heres a start,

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2. ### fuzzylogginMember

just some info about what i want to do with this space,

dcc controlled

using flextrack

want to have at least one loop on the track at 22" radius curves otherwise probably 20" even possibly 18" radius for the rest.

I want elevation across the layout also i was hoping for mountainous scenery and multi level track, bridges and tunnels.

small to medium yard more for storing unused trains i guess but would also be nice to be able to run a little diesel shunter around rearanging trains abit too.

continuous running is a must as i have a two year old boy who loves to watch the trains go round.

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3. ### JAyersMember

A "G" or "C" shaped layout seems to speak to me for that space. Do you have John Armstrong's book on Operations? In it he describes what shape of layout fits in what size and shape of space, given your scale and druthers. I'd think about a walk in "G" shape, with it being wider towards the upper right, as you can access both sides of the board easily.
4. ### Russ BellinisActive Member

The maximum that you can reach into a layout for rerailing trains is probably a little more than the length of your arm, if the layout is at a low level. If it isd shoulder high, you can probably reach a little less than the length of your arm. That would mean that you ar going to have to have center access to any layout you build in that space. The "C" or "G" shaped open type layout mentioned would work. If you want an enclosd design, you can build a moveable bridge section like a draw bridge or swing bridge to allow you to walk in. You could do a duck under to an access hatch, but if the layout is build low enough for a 2 year old to view it, it will be too low to even crawl under. Also as we get older, the duck unders seem to get lower; and we have difficulty getting down and back up again!

One possibility that would give you a nice long mainline continuous run would be to do a sort of egg shaped "Q" with the tail at the water heater. The draw bridge could go in the span where it is marked on the drawing as 4ft 9". You could put a small industrial facility in that peninsula at the water heater and a continuous run arond the main part of the space.
5. ### kitsuneMember

Schematically, I'd make a large loop with a center operating pit.

As far as radius, you've got room enough to go far wider than 18". IMO, make them as big as you can get. 30" would easily fit. You will never regret making your curves broader. Especially since you plan to run this in loops for your kid to watch, trains just look better and operate better on broader curves.

Then I'd stick two "towns" where you can do things on the layout. One would be up front along the front side, the other back against the back wall. These are the longest legs you have to work with so it makes sense to put the towns there. A siding, some industries, whichever you like; it'll give you something to do when you get bored with running in loops.

To make use of the funny peninsula near the water heater, make a branchline. Start it on the righthand side and curve it around and have it run along the back long wall, and end in a stub set of tracks serving some industry. A coal mine, a lumber mill, something. If you provide no runaround up there, you have a convenenient excuse to continue to use cabooses -- the shove up the hill would need one for protection.
6. ### fuzzylogginMember

interesting ideas, wish i could see someting tho any chance of a sketch or two?

8. ### fuzzylogginMember

i found this layout and love it, i just wish i could adapt it to my space i think i could probably squeeze out some more room in the garage ,what do you guys think?
could it be done?

Martins Fork Branch, KY--9'x19' Track Plan
Scale: HO

Minimum Aisle Width: 27"

The Martins Fork Branch, despite its name, was actually a mainline on the L&N's Cumberland Valley Division. The line extends from Loyall, KY to Smiley, VA where it goes through the Hagans switchback to meet up with the old CV main. As a mainline, it handled most of the coal traffic from Loyall bound for the Southern, Clinchfield, and N&W. In addition to being a mainline, it was also home to several loaders and other, smaller coal branches, including the Crummies Creek Branch with its Lick Branch Spur which came off the mainline at Popeville, KY.
This layout was designed to get a lot of mainline action into a little space. Minimum radius and aisle width were dropped from 30 to 27" to accommodate the space, but if you have an extra foot or two, this could easily be expanded. Another compromise was the omission of a lot of mainline between Chevrolet and Popeville, mainly the passing siding and wye at Glidden.
Operations on this layout would be simple. The majority of operations would consist of running coal drags from Loyall (staging) to Norton (staging). There was also a merchandise fast freight in each direction daily well into the 1970s. The remaining operations would be two mine runs, the Martins Fork Mine Run and the Crummies Creek Mine Run which would work all the tipples. Because staging is limited, the coal drags would have to be recycled and act as more than one train in a session.

- Decent amount of mainline and mine run operation in a small space

Things I Don't Like About this Plan: - Relatively tight radius curves (could be mitigated if running an early to mid 1960s session because 6-axles didn't come to this area until around 1967)
- Not enough staging
- Staging is tough to access

9. ### fuzzylogginMember

either way i think this one is cool and would love to make some mods to it to fit it in, maybe i could pinch the aisle AT THE BOTTOM AND MAKE IT JUST A HOLE IN THE MIDDLE AND JUST GET ACCESS FROM AROUND THE OUTSIDE FOR THE REST, ANYWAIGOTTA GO TO WORK. CYAS LATER
SORRY FOR CAPS TOO LATE TO FIX ,,
10. ### JAyersMember

The picture doesn't appear to be working. However, sounds like a lot of interest. I wouldn't knock the radii, 27" ain't bad and is a fair sight bigger than a lot of folks' layouts.
11. ### kitsuneMember

27" is okay. As for staging, from what I can see, that's plenty of staging. People always seem to overestiamte the amount they'll need, assuming they need a massive hidden classification yard for a rather medium to small sized layout. 6 train length tracks would be more than enough for this layout.

The bigger problem with that plan is it involves a helix -- doable but not easy! -- and two turnback "blobs" as JA called them. That makes it really hard to shorten down to 15'. You might be able to build a similar style of layout using a non-walk-in design though.
12. ### TriplexActive Member

You're the first person I've ever heard to say that. Most, including myself, recommend overestimating staging capacity. A staging yard is not a classification yard.
13. ### pgandwActive Member

I'm with Kitsune. To me, staging should be just enough to fit the number of trains that originate or terminate off layout (staging) during a normal operating session. Staging, in my mind, is a terrible place to use for storage of excess locomotives and rolling stock. Your mileage may vary.

14. ### ocalicreekMember

Yep. Ditto.

Only my two year old has his own layout...battery operated magnet coupler trains on wooden track on an 8 sided table with trees, mountains, a station, and much more. He loves setting up the track and is still learning some early-on lessons about keeping his trains coupled and on the track, how to make a loop on his own, etc. Daddy sets it up and starts the train going and he adds cars when it comes around. Hours of entertainment for both of us.

NOW Daddy's trains are another story...in boxes in the garage. Check out my thread:

You can see my own mental machinations and struggles with finding the right plan to fit the space. Our givens and druthers are very similar...perhaps we can collaborate across continents?

Galen
15. ### kitsuneMember

I know. It's counter to conventional wisdom.

I look at it like this. Unless you have a club sized layout, fleeting mainline trains around is going to get boring fast. They just have too short a run. The most value of "play time" for given track is a train that has more "work", more switching, setouts, and pickups. One train like that is worth ten through trains.

As for storage, you don't *have* to have your storage be accessible from the layout. many fine layouts use shelves or drawers underneath to store cars not currently in use, and then swap them later between sessions. This British style use of "fiddle yards" isntead of "staging yards" is way more space and cost efficient.

Turn it on it's head and look at it another way. There are four tipples on this design. Now you could have four crews with four trains, one for each tipple. Each job would take about 15 real minutes to do, plus interference time from the other crews in the way. Inside of 30 minutes, operations would be complete, and you'd need to start more trains, needing more staging to originate them.

Or, you could have two trains. One would run all the way up the branch just to serve that tipple. The other sould sort cars for each of the three reamining tipples, then serve each one. That second train would only have one crew but it would be busy for 60-90 real minutes. The first coal job might get done first -- though that branch may just need a slow order! If the first job gets done before 30 minutes are out, they could run a mixed train from staging to the town, switch around there, and then run up the branch for passengers and return. While you're only supporting two crews, you're keeping them busy for far longer, increasing the quality of their experience. And you could do all that with just three staging tracks, not the six seen here.

Especially with mid to small sized layouts, train *quality* should come higher than train *quantity*.
16. ### fuzzylogginMember

thanks for the replies guys, lovin the input , tommorow i will be swapping the internal garqage door around to swing in to make some more room once thats done im onto the benchwork ,probably looking at starting next weekend.
17. ### ocalicreekMember

Benchwork? Do you have a plan yet?

Galen
18. ### fuzzylogginMember

well the door is changed so now i can fit my car on the other side and my layout space is available, that means i can start benchwork this weekend coming only problem is "the plan" is no where near complete

galen i have ideas but nothing concrete yet ,im debating whether or not to start by building a 3ft bench rectangle strip along the 15ft run which is along the wall right up to the garage doors, im pretty keen on a horshoe design with a continous loop and im kinda figuring i can adjust the wall strip making it fatter where needs be and bolting on the other L shape part once i have a final plan. maybe im jumping the gun aand should wait for the final plan first but im so keen to get going, what do you guys think??
the thing is i want to make the underneath of the layout storage and if i get that strip done i can put stuff under there to make more rrom for more building, im just not sure anyway im off to spend some time with the missus i guess i have this week to work out how to start , any more input you guys have on my progression is much appreciated
cya soon
19. ### kitsuneMember

If you need to build the under-layout storage, go ahead and do that. Try to plan it so you won't block possible supports for the layout itself. But as far as building the layout benchwork, I'd be hesistant to do that until you know your design. If you made a simple loop setup all on the level, sure, you can just put in supports and plywood. But what if you decide to build something with a decent grade? Then you'd want open grid, and may have to go back and rework the benchwork a lot.
20. ### ocalicreekMember

Ditto, what he said. I've got some shelving from a few years back that we no longer have a place for in the house, so it's either relegated to the train room or for sale/donation. I've decided to use it along one wall. Only catch is, it's 48" tall so that's a determining factor for the layout.

Right now I don't have a plan I'm totally satisfied with so benchwork is on hold until that comes along. I'm shooting for a plan with growth potential so if all I ever get done is the first 'phase' or 'stage' then I can be happy with that and not rely on a bigger, more complex plan in order to operate and enjoy the trains sooner.

My current scheme is this - to develop an 'island' style layout that will eventually be connected to something along the walls. The configuration I've got for a layout could be a 'U' or some other open letter or perhaps a 'Q' with a good sized tail that would contain a return loop or blob at the end. It may be helpful for you to use that sketch you've got of the space and see what sort of 'letters' fit.

The chief question I've had so far has been do I plan for continuous running and/or point to point...Operationally I think I'd be most happy with some sort of combo, but only if the point to point seemed long enough between points. We'll see. Good luck.

Galen