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Finally Building My First Layout

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  • Member since
    October, 2017
  • 11 posts
Finally Building My First Layout
Posted by Future4oo0 on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 8:51 PM

Good evening all!

I have been browsing the forum for sometime reading some of your tips and tricks. I finally purchased a house and have space to build my first layout. I have hopefully followed the directions correctly to post photos to the thread. I have included a drawing (not to scale of the space). I may be able to expand on the other side of the support polls if waranted. 

The space is in the basement, so far there does not seem to be any mositure issues. The only water I have seen leaks in under an exterior door which is soon to be replaced. 

I am looking for ideas for layouts that would fit in the space in the photos. Here are some of things I personally like: 

  • Scenery Design
  • Yard Switching 
  • Mutliple Industires 
  • A town or two 
  • A roundhouse if possible 
  • A mix of steam and diesel 

Thanks for your help! 

- Andrew :) 

Layout Not to Scale

Basement 3

Basement 2

Basement 1

 

  • Member since
    October, 2017
  • 11 posts
Posted by Future4oo0 on Thursday, October 12, 2017 9:05 AM

Should have been a little clearer. HO layout utilizing DCC

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 23,102 posts
Posted by rrinker on Thursday, October 12, 2017 1:21 PM

 So reconciling the photos of the room with the drawing - your drawing is only goign as far as that door I see in the picture and does not include space to the left of there or into the alcove where the furnace is?

 Is this an imposed restriction, you aren't allowed by "management" to go past there, or past the lally columns? What about under the stairs? The extra little bit of space there can come in quite handy. If there's an issue of storage ( I've been through this part TWICE), let it be known that 40 of 50 linear feet of layout at 4' height can store an awful lot of those plastic totes out of sight. Take the initiative and put labels on them if you don;t already do that, and make a map. SO you knwo that under the town of Rockville is where the Christmas decorations are, etc. Even with my minimal organizational skills, I've pulled that one off (plus it was fun playign with the label maker). I'm still planning my basement layout and the "powers that be" are skeptical of this storage space but I will prevail Laugh

 If you can't go past the door, I'd then probably ignore that 3 foot space there and leave that as an aisle. I can see a spiral (reverse G shape) starting at the stairs (with the under stair space a good palce for a roundhouse and turntable if you do steam), going down to the bottom wall, across there, up just inside the 3' space to within 3' or so of the top wall (this will also be an aisle), across there to within 3' or so of the benchwork going down along the stairs, turnign down - a clockwise spiral until you get to where you have a blob big enough for a turnback curve with sufficient ailse space. The opposite end turnback cab ne part of the under stair area. If there is a center divider along most or all of the benchwork, you have a lot of run distance without going through the same scene twice, and lots of opportunites for scenery building. A dogbone sort of design would give you continuous runnign when you want it, but the loop at one end or the other could be considered out of service for operations purposes. 

                               --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Southern California
  • 977 posts
Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Thursday, October 12, 2017 1:26 PM

    You have a pretty nice blank canvas to work with. Get a drafting set of compasses and a scale ruler if you are going to design it the old school way on paper or get track design software. In the mean time just start doodling on paper and see where that leads you. To some people designing the track plan is the most enjoyable part of building a layout. Instead of just asking for a track plan you might be better served to start with a preliminary design and ask for comments.
    Do your room prep first. Paint the walls sky blue and paint the floor to seal it if it is not already painted. It will help keep the layout clean. Plan on adding some more lights but wait until you have a track plan to install them so they can match your plan.
   Think about things like layout height. Some people like them table height while others like myself like them closer to eye level. Put some models on the storage shelves you have in there and see how high you like looking at the models. As for width, remember that two feet is about as far as most people can comfortably reach and anything beyond that will need access holes. At some places the layout can be as narrow as the actual track. There are no set rules that it has to always be the same width.
    One good thing about your space is the stairs are in the middle so you can have the layout go around the walls with a peninsula or two in the middle. Draw the support columns on your track plan because you need to design around them. They usually are best to have in the middle of peninsulas than blocking a narrow aisle.
        Plan for continuous running but operate it as point to point. Have one town near the yard and the other somewhere in the middle. Plan it so that it is self staging so through trains restage themselves at the end of their run.

Modeling a fictional version of California set in the 1990s Lone Wolf and Santa Fe Railroad
  • Member since
    December, 2016
  • 52 posts
Posted by speedybee on Thursday, October 12, 2017 2:40 PM

What a magnificent space. But before you go designing and constructing a huge layout there, I would advise starting with a small 2x8 ish switching layout. Building a layout is a time consuming process and you get much better at it with a little practice.

 

If you start with something like:

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/b9/3d/92/b93d9285d8b3856522f0985ff99e8c2c.jpg (not sure who the authour is, I just googled "ho 2x8 layout" and grabbed a result at random)

You can practise laying roadbed, track, switches, and actually be able to get some trains running in a relatively short time. Then when you approach the rest of the basement you'll have bit of hands-on experience under your belt and it'll be easier. And you can incorporate the 2x8 layout you built into the final design. 

  • Member since
    October, 2017
  • 11 posts
Posted by Future4oo0 on Thursday, October 12, 2017 4:40 PM
Some clarifications/Answers to your questions: This is not my first layout, just my first larger layout. I have built smaller ones with my grandfather when I was younger, and built a small switching layout that would fit in my dorm.
Also some notes:
HO Layout
DCC Electric
Size of the Layout:
Q) Is this an imposed restriction, you aren't allowed by "management" to go past there?
My wife said she didn’t care how much space if I took as long as I didn’t take the space on the right side of the stairs (facing them going up). I can have under the stairs though. She wanted to finish some of the space with the windows if we can. I will upload more photos of the entire basement minus the two extra rooms. One has the two oil tanks and shelves and the other one has the well and water meter. 
Q) If there's an issue of storage?
No issue with storage 
Q) Layout Idea, Randy could you draw this for me in my drawing by any chance? I think I understand and can attempt it but any drawing would be helpful?
I can see a spiral (reverse G shape) starting at the stairs (with the under stair space a good palce for a roundhouse and turntable if you do steam), going down to the bottom wall, across there, up just inside the 3' space to within 3' or so of the top wall (this will also be an aisle), across there to within 3' or so of the benchwork going down along the stairs, turnign down - a clockwise spiral until you get to where you have a blob big enough for a turnback curve with sufficient ailse space. 
Q) Track Design Software
I have Rail Modeler Pro, as I have a mac. If there is a better alternative let me know 
Q) For some people designing the track plan is the most enjoyable part of building a layout. Instead of just asking for a track plan you might be better served to start with a preliminary design and ask for comments. 
I will try to come up with something preliminary tonight and post a new thread for feedback if necessary.
Q) Do your room prep first. Paint the walls sky blue and paint the floor to seal it if it is not already painted. It will help keep the layout clean. 
Floor is painted, need to paint the walls. They have recently been spray painted white.
Q) Plan for continuous running but operate it as point to point

Thanks this makes sense, would love to have it be able to be a continuous run.
 
  • Member since
    February, 2009
  • 370 posts
Posted by railandsail on Friday, October 13, 2017 4:39 PM

Future4oo0

Good evening all!

I have been browsing the forum for sometime reading some of your tips and tricks. I finally purchased a house and have space to build my first layout. I have hopefully followed the directions correctly to post photos to the thread. I have included a drawing (not to scale of the space). I may be able to expand on the other side of the support polls if waranted. 

The space is in the basement, so far there does not seem to be any mositure issues. The only water I have seen leaks in under an exterior door which is soon to be replaced. 

I am looking for ideas for layouts that would fit in the space in the photos. Here are some of things I personally like: 

  • Scenery Design
  • Yard Switching 
  • Mutliple Industires 
  • A town or two 
  • A roundhouse if possible 
  • A mix of steam and diesel 

Thanks for your help! 

- Andrew :) 

Layout Not to Scale

 

 

 

 

 

Don't understand one of your dimemsions. It appears that you have one end of the room labed 12 + 5, and the other end 9 + 5 ??

  • Member since
    October, 2017
  • 11 posts
Posted by Future4oo0 on Friday, October 13, 2017 5:00 PM
It is not drawn to scale so that may be way it is confusing. I will try and upload a better scale picture with some measurements. The 9 feet on the right is the length of the staircase essentially. It would be 12 feet to the support pole. The left side is correct, needed to leave room for the door to open. It would be 17 on the left and 17 on the right. Hopefully that helps!
  • Member since
    December, 2008
  • From: In the heart of Georgia
  • 2,287 posts
Posted by Doughless on Friday, October 13, 2017 6:44 PM

Just looking at the entire basement.  It looks like the ceiling height is lowest along the other side of the lally columns, where the HVAC supply and returns are run along the ceiling.  For whole house satisfaction, I'd want to finish the part of the basement that has the highest unobstructed ceilings and reserve the part with the low ceiling for storage and the layout.  Also, that low ceiling section seems to be long and narrow, which, IMO, is a nice shape for a layout.

The space may already be settled.  It's just an observation.

- Douglas

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 23,102 posts
Posted by rrinker on Friday, October 13, 2017 10:29 PM

 How high is the ceiling under the HVAC ducts? High enough to install a drop ceiling (only has to be a few inched below the HVAC ducts), or is it already at head-bumping level?

 SO it sounds like you can have the whole basement from the stairs to the left, rest needs to be neatly finished for SWBO. Not a bad deal. I'm build a wall enclosing the right side of the stairs, and then another at the foot of the stairs on the left side back to that wall. Foot of the stairs and right side would be the finished area, a door in the wall would enter the train room.

 What's the blocked out part next to what appears to be the furnace on the far left wall? Also it looks like there are some doors on the left wall under the lower section?

 Maybe a revised drawing showing the entire space, including where all dooors and windows are - yes even the space you are not allowed to build into. Even though no part of the layout will go into that space, proper access to the doors and stairs needs to be maintained so it would help to have the 'big picture' and then just suggest ideas that leave the right side clear.

                            --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    October, 2017
  • 11 posts
Posted by Future4oo0 on Saturday, October 14, 2017 8:28 PM

Randy, 


The Ceiling under the HVAC Ducts is 6ft 1 and 1/2 inches. The wood beam with the supports before the duct is 6ft 3inches. I am 5'10 and my wife is 5'5 so no bumping our heads. The ceiling in the other areas of the basements are higher that is the lowest point. 

 

Below is a photo with some new measurements, hopefulyl that helps all better understand the space. 

Basement New Measurements

This is a photo of the upstairs space. The areas in organge are not included in the basement drawing, but we have access to them via the basement. The area highlited in red does not have the basement underneath them, hopefully that helps to answer what is below those rooms. One is a well and the other is where the oil tanks are and some storage shelves. 

First Floor

 

  • Member since
    October, 2017
  • 11 posts
Posted by Future4oo0 on Thursday, October 19, 2017 4:22 PM

Added a new drawing with meausrements for review. Hopefully that helps! Let me know if you have any further questions. 

Thanks, 

Andrew 

  • Member since
    October, 2017
  • 11 posts
Posted by Future4oo0 on Thursday, October 19, 2017 4:22 PM
Added a new drawing with meausrements for review. Hopefully that helps! Let me know if you have any further questions. Thanks, Andrew

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