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Looking for a long and straight HO shelf plan for my new basement

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  • Member since
    June, 2018
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Looking for a long and straight HO shelf plan for my new basement
Posted by SabaTrain on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 3:42 PM

I’ve decided to finish the basement. I have a long straight run (28’) along an outside wall and I’d like to build a shelf layout in HO. Not deeper than 2’, 1950’s early diesel,  DCC. I’m looking for layout suggestions. Would you please share your shelf track plan with me if it will fit my space? Many thanks for your ideas. 

  • Member since
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  • From: In the heart of Georgia
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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 5:15 PM

Welcome to the forum. As you know a 2 foot wide shelf layout in HO scale will have to take the theme of a switching layout or possibly a point to point operation, since 2 feet is not deep enough for a loop back.

You'll have difficulty finding a published plan for a 28 x 2 layout.  Most are smaller, so you may want to cobble together ideas from several plans for inspiration and features that you like.

One of my favorite shelf plans is this, which I believe a variation thereof was built by a late forum member, Wolfgang Dudler (you can google his past works).  28 feet is a generous space for this layout, and I wouldn't use the entire length just for this, but the extra feet can be used to spread it out a bit and reduce the grade if you wanted.  Plans for the rest of the space could follow.

I'm sorry, I dont know the author, so I can't give credit.

Image result for narrow ho scale track plans

 This one is an oldie, and can use some width.  Extra length should help to reduce the grades.  (I would also thin out a few spurs...too crowded for my tastes). Again, original author unknown.

Image result for narrow shelf layout plan

 

 

Also, Model Railroader has been building a layout, the Winston Salem Southbound, which can also benefit from some extra length.  

 

- Douglas

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Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 5:43 PM

With 28' available, there's enough length to actually go from here to there.

For example, one end can be a small town.  The other end is a junction with the mainline.  The mainline is mostly a staging yard.

You could also do the same thing with a logging or mining operation, with a sawmill at the junction end.  

Let's suppose you have 8' for the "town", 8' for the "junction" and a run through the woods of 12'.  The staging yard would be in the rear, where it would be very inconvenient, thus inspiring you to do very good trackwork.

 

Ed

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  • From: Northern CA Bay Area
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Posted by cuyama on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 6:49 PM

Doughless
I'm sorry, I dont know the author, so I can't give credit.

The first layout is by Bill Baumann from Model Railroader November 1985 (also reprinted in one of the Kalmbach track plan books). The grades make it pretty difficult to be built and operated as drawn.

Doughless
Again, original author unknown.

The second layout is from the book 101 Track Plans. The “LHW” initials in the perspective drawing indicate this is a Linn Westcott plan. Could not be built in the given space with pre-fab turnouts and very gimmicky (in my view) with the switchback movements.

In the enviable space at the disposal of the Original Poster, he could probably do better than either of those plans. Personally, I like combining an interchange yard with industry spurs. Like this HO 2X9 switching layout, but of course expanded to offer more room in the Original Poster’s space.

 

Or something like this HO 4X8 switching layout, unfolded and expanded.

 

 

Best of luck.

Byron

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Posted by xboxtravis7992 on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 7:20 PM

I'd take a look at some shortlines & branchlines from the era; here are a few from my local area (Utah) that I would consider as a possible prototype for your layout:

Tooele Valley: My hometown railroad, and one I hope to model myself someday. With some compression, I think the segment from the Broadway station to the International Smelting facility could be modeled in your space. About 6' to 8' of track at the station area itself, 8' to 10' of heavily compressed facilities at the end to represent the lead smelter and engine shops for the line; and the remaining space in-between used as open land to represent the uphill crawl from the city to the smelter. Online industries other than the lead operation would include a team track at the downtown station, and fuel depot or two along the route. Power would be a group of 2-8-0's and a SW1200; with maybe the chance to throw in a Western Pacific RDC car or a Baldwin locomotive diesel demonstrator into the roster too: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1tLsBl5wkw-HoJeimxmv9GvG59HI&ll=40.53994424113251%2C-112.25209964999999&z=13

Provo Canyon Branch: Another Utah based option. Starting in Provo, the line would run up through the city up into Provo Canyon before terminating at the end of track in Heber City. The industries at Provo, the canyon scenery between the two ends of the layout, and the final destination at Heber would be the focus of the layout. A few stock pens, fuel depots, a lumber yard, and coal hoppers for the power plant at the mouth of the canyon could provide online traffic. Period accurate power would be early DRGW diesel locomotives, such as GP7's or GP9's, with the occasional F-Unit thrown in for good measure. With minimal modification, the layout can also be ran representing the early years of the tourist railroad there with a Union Pacific 2-8-0 and some excursion cars. https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1999mhMt_SEe85RU6FAJuas-BZG8&ll=40.36802109374761%2C-111.543117&z=11

OSL/UP Cache Valley Branch: Another possible prototype from my area I would look to. This line would have served multiple agricultural industries in the area, running from the junction at the mainline, up into Preston, Idaho. Era power would be UP's 2-8-0's, GP units, and ALCO diesel switchers. The big industry will be a cannery operation, which will provide plenty of inbound and outbound traffic: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1wcPfP3gevbZRAIm0jNGNiJHNNVY&ll=41.73341971984523%2C-111.72450066538243&z=11

Now those are just three railroads from my area I would be tempted to try and represent using the shelf space you described. I recommend you look for similar shortlines or branches in the place you live, or places you have visited. Find the parts that are most appealing to you, and compress it to your layout; trimming out the side clutter and focusing on the key aspects of the line's operation.

 

  • Member since
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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 8:02 PM

7j43k

With 28' available, there's enough length to actually go from here to there.

For example, one end can be a small town.  The other end is a junction with the mainline.  The mainline is mostly a staging yard.

You could also do the same thing with a logging or mining operation, with a sawmill at the junction end.  

Let's suppose you have 8' for the "town", 8' for the "junction" and a run through the woods of 12'.  The staging yard would be in the rear, where it would be very inconvenient, thus inspiring you to do very good trackwork.

 

Ed

 

Agreed.  OP has enough length to work with to have a point to point.  Interchange and small yard to a switching district at the other end with some space in between.

I got the impression OP is looking for published plans and not designing his own from conscepts.

I think MR's Winston Salem Southbound, slightly lengthened, could make a nice switching district/destination for a point to point. 

- Douglas

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Posted by Pennsy_I1 on Friday, June 15, 2018 8:25 PM

I would consider the Burlington's West Chicago Branch. There aren't too many sharp curves, and only a few industries, so it would look realistic. It runs from Hill Yard in Aurora, IL to the C&NW crossing in West Chicago, IL. Power could be a GP7 or GP9, an F-unit, SW9, etc. On the prototype, engines operate around their trains before heading back. Train length was 15 cars max in the 1950s, and about 5-7 today. There also were quite a few interesting structures along the line, such as the Chicago Aurora and Elgin Railway power plant, and old stations. This can be a one-man operation. You could also take some liberty and have a mixed or passenger train operating here as well. I would model as far as the current end of track at Norris Avenue, West Chicago. I would also model a little bit of Hill Yard, just to service your engines and store the cars and caboose between trips.

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Posted by bearman on Saturday, June 16, 2018 7:47 AM

Another layout could be the Walla Walla Valley, which is in the MRR track plan data base.  It is a 10' X 11' U shaped walk-in with staging on either end which looks like it could be easily adapted by removing one of the sides, straightening it out to 28 feet and modifiying the staging tracks.

Bear "It's all about having fun."

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Posted by BRAKIE on Saturday, June 16, 2018 10:19 AM

You might want to start here.

https://lancemindheim.com/book-store/

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.

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