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Sketching with squares

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Sketching with squares
Posted by Outsailing86 on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 9:20 AM

Always thinking about the next layout, where I want to run Autoracks and Intermodal. It's going to be freestanding in a basement, around a 10'x12' footprint. Possibly think Wildcat Central, but it just seems a HO scale layout in 120 sq feet is dominated by curves. Don't really want to go to N scale...

Seems like most published plans are 1950 era. Why no modern era love? 

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 10:04 AM

Beats me.  I'm a modern age modeler too.  I think designing a layout plan for modern era is probably less complicated?  Back in the day, the goal was to get as much mainline run as possible, so packing a space full of track took some innovation.  Shorter cars and locomotives made that easier too since you could work with sharper curves.

When faced with 70 foot and longer cars pulled by modern locos, its tougher to come up with a lot of different ways to fill a 10x12 space, IMO.  

Its probably going to result in something like the Heart of Georgia basic plan simply altered a bit to fit the room.

Model Railroad Planning 2000 had an interesting bedroom sized plan, the Y2K railroad, but I don't have a link or ability to show the plan electronically.

If you meant free-standing like in the middle of the 10 x 12 room, the footprint of that layout would be quite small.

Having said that, you could adapt many plans to the modern era by changing the structures and rolling stock.  The Virginian project layout comes to mind.  Its defined by sharp curves, but changing the theme to aggregate, cement, or even corn syrup would allow it to be dominated by shorter cars.

- Douglas

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Posted by Outsailing86 on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 10:52 AM

My current layout is a Heart of Georgia. I'm thinking my next one will be the Wildcat Central. Lack of staging on the HoG gets pretty tough after a while. I also want to run Intermodal and Autoracks but the room just isn't there with the HoG. 

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 11:02 AM

Outsailing86

Always thinking about the next layout, where I want to run Autoracks and Intermodal. It's going to be freestanding in a basement, around a 10'x12' footprint. Possibly think Wildcat Central, but it just seems a HO scale layout in 120 sq feet is dominated by curves. Don't really want to go to N scale...

Seems like most published plans are 1950 era. Why no modern era love? 

That's the dilemma if you want any kind of continuous running in a fairly small room.  Curves.  Especially if you need decent curve radii for modern longer rolling stock.

My last layout was in a slightly larger 10x18' room and I did an around the walls large oval format to get 32" minimum radius.

It doesn't hurt to look at a lot of track plans to get idea's and design your own.

Ultimately 10x12 isn't really big enough to run auto racks and intermodal.  Space is often a real limiting factor - sucks.

 

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Posted by cuyama on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 11:06 AM

Broader HO radii in that space will be a challenge. You've had a few different layout concepts posted on this and other forums, so I'm not sure where you are now focused.

Because of the (generally) larger rolling stock, modern-era modeling is more challenging in mid-sized and smaller spaces.

Thomas Klimoski's Georga Northeastern in Great Model Railroads 2020 is modern-era HO in a 9' 2" x 10' 6" space (plus a small staging shelf in an adjacent room), but is limited to a 24" minimum radius. He's chosen industries that mostly call for shorter rolling stock. MR magazine subscribers may view the trackplan here:
http://mrr.trains.com/how-to/track-plan-database/2019/10/ho-scale-georgia-northeastern

The Y2K railroad from MRP 2000 referenced earlier in the thread was a fairly tight terminal-switching shelf layout drawn with 24” radius curves and #4 turnouts, so it might not be a great fit to your needs.

There have been a number of plans published in MRP for more-modern era layouts, but unfortunately the MRP layouts are generally not in the on-line database. (I don’t know why that is.) Often these are for larger spaces than you have available. For example, my own plan for an HO modern-era layout with an intermodal yard in MRP 2015 was for a roughly 14’X23’ space.

You may have posted a dimensioned sketch of your space here earlier, I don’t recall. Posting that again in this thread along with your current concept might invite folks to suggest ideas.

As I have probably mentioned in your earlier threads, overlapping elements such as staging, main lines, and industry tracks makes the most of any space. And using the inside, outside, and back side (against the walls) for a donut-style layout often works well.

Good luck with your layout.

Byron

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 11:59 AM

Tom Klimoski's Georgia Northeastern layout is excellent.  I continually forget to mention it.

He also is a MR contributor and has a website and Youtube videos.  Google search his name and it pops up quickly.  

Again, sharp curves and short-ish cars, generally, but modern era.

- Douglas

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Posted by Outsailing86 on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 2:52 PM

My layout area is approx 14 feet x 20 feet in my basement, with access on the 14 feet side. My basement is unfinished, so I haven't been looking at double deck layouts (too much). 

modern era, Chicago railroading with a Class 1. I've kicked around commuter plans or a freight route, single town or multi town. Just struggling to decide what I like the most. 

currently I have a Heart if Georgia with a add-on single sided entry staging yard, with three tracks. 

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 7:26 PM

 Have to agree, 10x12 just won't cut it. If you use 30" radius curves, you end up with less than 5 feet of straight track on the 10' side, and less than 7 feet on the 12' side. If you add turnouts and make say a 3 track intermodal yard on the 12' side, your short track probbaly won't even hold a single 3 unit well or spine car.

14x20, getting better, but still those curves needed for modern autoracks and intermodal, plus the 6 axle power to pull it, is going to eat up the length. Can probbaly get away with #6 turnouts, but they too will eat space like crazy.

                                       --Randy

 


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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 8:03 PM

Outsailing86

My layout area is approx 14 feet x 20 feet in my basement, with access on the 14 feet side. My basement is unfinished, so I haven't been looking at double deck layouts (too much). 

modern era, Chicago railroading with a Class 1. I've kicked around commuter plans or a freight route, single town or multi town. Just struggling to decide what I like the most. 

currently I have a Heart if Georgia with a add-on single sided entry staging yard, with three tracks. 

 

Why would you not simply go around the walls of the 14 x 20 space?

That would be a 70' mainline that would easily allow 36" radius curves?

Or, if you can stand a few tight aisles, you could add a peninsula and add about 30' more. 30" radius might make that idea more comfortable.

And, you can make it a twice around, hide the second lap, and add thru staging to that.

Yes, it would need a duck under/lift out...........

Model only one town, with a yard and industial area, there you have it.

I model 1954 and will not settle for less than 36" radius, but admittedly, I have 1600 sq ft. The last layout was in 1000' sq ft.

But even in 1600 sq ft, I am only modeling one town, in a scheme similar to what I described above, with three peninsula's out into the room.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 8:39 PM

One more thought.

14 x 20 is not big enough for a double deck layout. A helix will use too much room and the around the room run would be hard pressed to provide enough separation.

I built a double deck layout, hated it before it was complete.

I did have one other double deck scheme I never built. Instead of the usual two narrow shelves, I had this idea to build a traditional layout similar to what I described in my first post, but build the benchwork fairly high, about 54", and 30" or 36" deep. And also have a peninsula. 

Under the end of the peninsula, a helix goes down to a lower level, which is just a 12" deep "shadow box" layout below the main layout at about 32" off the floor.

No operation down there, just a long mainline run.

Decided against this idea for my new layout for several reasons. 

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 9:10 PM

14x20 is just enough space to do a nolix double deck with 18" or so between decks and not have a crazy grade (under 2.5%). Of course that would leave very little flat space, although a tiwce around on each deck approach with the one lap that's on the grade being hidden or semi-hidden behind the other one for most of the run would do it. Or a combination of lesser deck separation and/or steeper grades.

                                  --Randy


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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 9:19 PM

rrinker

14x20 is just enough space to do a nolix double deck with 18" or so between decks and not have a crazy grade (under 2.5%). Of course that would leave very little flat space, although a tiwce around on each deck approach with the one lap that's on the grade being hidden or semi-hidden behind the other one for most of the run would do it. Or a combination of lesser deck separation and/or steeper grades.

                                  --Randy

 

Yes, agreed, just barely.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 7:58 AM

Duplicate post due to forum lag.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 7:59 AM

rrinker

14x20 is just enough space to do a nolix double deck with 18" or so between decks and not have a crazy grade (under 2.5%). Of course that would leave very little flat space, although a tiwce around on each deck approach with the one lap that's on the grade being hidden or semi-hidden behind the other one for most of the run would do it. Or a combination of lesser deck separation and/or steeper grades.

                                  --Randy

I did a nolix in a 10x18' room with 32" minimum curves but the separation for decks (right side) was 8.5 inches, 7.5 above the rails on the bottom level.  This was tight but servicable but not great but kept my grade to 2.9% climbing from staging to the top level.  I think if I could add 4 inches to provide a foot of clearance, that would be decent for a staging yard.  A scenic'd lower deck would benefit from more clearance.

In a 14x20' room, an around the walls design with a center lob would give the longest possible run.

At the cross section where the center turn-back lobe is, you could have 2' wide benchwork on the outsides, 2 26" inch aisle at the pinch points on either side of the lobe, and the lobe itself being 68 inches to comfortably allow 32" minimum curves.

You could even put a helix where the lobe is to double deck.  The only difficulty would be where the lift out is you would have at top and bottom lift out if there are two decks.

Ultimately a 14x20' space would allow a pretty decent layout in HO and you could run long cars as well.

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 10:19 AM

I'm confused.  Is the layout going to be a 10x12 footprint in a 14x20 room?

Why do you need to have an "island" layout?

- Douglas

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 10:24 AM

riogrande5761

 

 
rrinker

14x20 is just enough space to do a nolix double deck with 18" or so between decks and not have a crazy grade (under 2.5%). Of course that would leave very little flat space, although a tiwce around on each deck approach with the one lap that's on the grade being hidden or semi-hidden behind the other one for most of the run would do it. Or a combination of lesser deck separation and/or steeper grades.

                                  --Randy

 

I did a nolix in a 10x18' room with 32" minimum curves but the separation for decks (right side) was 8.5 inches, 7.5 above the rails on the bottom level.  This was tight but servicable but not great but kept my grade to 2.9% climbing from staging to the top level.  I think if I could add 4 inches to provide a foot of clearance, that would be decent for a staging yard.  A scenic'd lower deck would benefit from more clearance.

In a 14x20' room, an around the walls design with a center lob would give the longest possible run.

At the cross section where the center turn-back lobe is, you could have 2' wide benchwork on the outsides, 2 26" inch aisle at the pinch points on either side of the lobe, and the lobe itself being 68 inches to comfortably allow 32" minimum curves.

You could even put a helix where the lobe is to double deck.  The only difficulty would be where the lift out is you would have at top and bottom lift out if there are two decks.

Ultimately a 14x20' space would allow a pretty decent layout in HO and you could run long cars as well.

 

Going down 8 or 10 inches for staging is in my mind not multi deck, we have done that for decades before anyone had two scenic levels.

On my new layout, all the staging will be behind and/or below other trackage or scenery and be accessible from a series of hatches, or rear aisles covered by lift outs or under layout access. Most being the first two means.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 11:46 AM

Outsailing86
Seems like most published plans are 1950 era. Why no modern era love?

Partly because of the problem you're asking about - space. A c.1950 layout with four-axle diesels and small to medium steam engines moving around 40' and 50' freight cars can take sharper curves and so fit into a smaller space than a layout designed to run 89' autoracks and SD-90 diesels.

One thing you may want to consider is that if you do an around-the-walls layout, you'll be inside of the curves. That means the curves will seem more broad than they would on a free-standing layout where you're looking at the other side of the curve. You may find in that situation that a layout with say 24-26" R curves might work well and still look good. You may need to do some testing, trial-and-error, with actual track and cars to see what looks acceptable to you.

Stix
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 12:31 PM

When considering curve radii, the MRH article in Jan 2009 offers some helpful info.  It discusses the effects of curve radii vs. length of rolling stock.  For example, an 80' passenger car at 2.0x radius would be 23" radius in HO, which could have issues tracking even with no underbody details in the way.  It appears Walthers passenger cars were used in the examples.  2.5x radius for the same length car would be 29" radius, which cars of that length can be coupled and track reasonably well, but look unrealistic.  3.0x for the 80' passenger cars would be 35" radius - cars roll freely, no tracking probems but still excessive overhang.

The "take away" from the article seems to be two major points.  1) Shoot for a bare minimum of 2.5x radius for your longest rolling stock and, 2) Use the largest curve radius you can manage with your "givens and druthers".

I am going with a minimum of 32" with my layout design (givens and druthers) so I'll be just between 2.5x  radius and 3.0x radius with 89' flat cars.  Using the principle of squeezing out the largest radius possible I have managed to design in some larger curves for much of the mainline at 33, 34, 36 and 42 inches.

With curves and limited space, unfortunately we are faced with compromises on fitting a fairly long run as much as possible and operable curves.

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Posted by Outsailing86 on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 1:14 PM

My basement walls are unfinishe, so you still see the concrete and insulatio. I've thought about finishing it but not looking to open that can of worms (Live in Illinois, property taxes,etc...) 

the max room space is 14'x20'. my current and previous layouts have been smaller, 8'x8' L shape waterwings now 8'x9' donut. 

im considering the Wildcat Central from Jan 2001 Morel Railroader. but when I look at it I don't see much in terms of operation. I'm also looking at the Koester NKP Wingate, IN track plan as a U shape with staging yards and modules. i operate by myself and seems a session lasts around 30 minutes/hr. 

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 2:21 PM

 You can go around the walls and make it freestanding - with the layout supporting a backdrop to hide the unfinished walls.
 If you go all the way around the perimeter, if you didn't need to do continuous run, you actually have enough room for a spiral - down one 20' wall, across the 14'. back up the other 20' side, then a peninsula most of the way down the middle. You can easily have 4' wide aisles throughout this spiral. A lift out or drop down would allow for a continuous loop around the outer perimeter plus the peninsula.

                                  --Randy

 


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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 2:44 PM

Outsailing86

My basement walls are unfinishe, so you still see the concrete and insulatio. I've thought about finishing it but not looking to open that can of worms (Live in Illinois, property taxes,etc...) 

the max room space is 14'x20'. my current and previous layouts have been smaller, 8'x8' L shape waterwings now 8'x9' donut. 

im considering the Wildcat Central from Jan 2001 Morel Railroader. but when I look at it I don't see much in terms of operation. I'm also looking at the Koester NKP Wingate, IN track plan as a U shape with staging yards and modules. i operate by myself and seems a session lasts around 30 minutes/hr. 

 

I don't think you and the forum are on the same page here, a slight communication breakdown.  

We need to be clear about the size of the ROOM, and the desired size of the LAYOUT.

Are you saying that you want a small layout in a 14x20 ROOM?  Your first post mentioned a 10x12 LAYOUT.

Why can't you build freestanding, say, 2' x 4' tables (modules) and string them together around the room (securing them together of course), making the dimensions of the layout essentially 14x20? 

Why do you want or need a layout that's significantly smaller than the room size?

- Douglas

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Posted by kasskaboose on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 4:49 PM

Smart to minimize cures to avoid derailments and other issues.  Foam is far easier to apply squares than I thought.  Once I designed a layout on a software tool, going to foam was shockingly easy.

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Posted by Outsailing86 on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 6:21 PM

I'm thinking about making some 2' x 8' modules to go around the room. 26" curves would work. But even then, I feel like staging would then take up the one side. So does making a 14x20 layout make a difference compared to a 10 x 12 layout? Does the larger layout just becoming too much to operate by one person? 

And keeping a layout 10x12 while doing the same goals of a 14x20 means the boss doesn't freak out as much! Haha!!! 

I'm also thinking the Wingate, IN trackplan is neat, but I'd prefer to make it with Unitrack. I'm just not sure if I could make it modern era or even a 1990's Conrail. 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 7:15 PM

Outsailing86

I'm thinking about making some 2' x 8' modules to go around the room. 26" curves would work. But even then, I feel like staging would then take up the one side. So does making a 14x20 layout make a difference compared to a 10 x 12 layout? Does the larger layout just becoming too much to operate by one person? 

And keeping a layout 10x12 while doing the same goals of a 14x20 means the boss doesn't freak out as much! Haha!!! 

I'm also thinking the Wingate, IN trackplan is neat, but I'd prefer to make it with Unitrack. I'm just not sure if I could make it modern era or even a 1990's Conrail. 

 

Outsailing, respectfully, do you understand what I and others are suggesting?

That you be inside the layout, not walking around the outside of it?

Guess what, if you build a 10 x 12 layout in the middle of the floor, your longest possible main line loop will be about 40' and you will build 120 sq ft of layout surface.

BUT, if you build a 2' deep around the room layout 14 x 20 your mainline loop will be 65' or more, and guess what, you will still only build 120 sq ft of layout surface.

Call me a layout snob, but I would never build a published track plan.......

And, about curves, why only 26" radius? with the 2' deep around the room design, they could easily be 30" or more.

AND, as others have commented, curves look better from the inside.

I am a radius snob, I would not build a layout to represent a modern railroad with anything less than 36" radius.

You also have me interested in your comments about finishing your space. I know nothing about Illinois, but I know a lot about building.

Generally it is local county or city government who administer building codes, not state government, so check with your local government.

Yes, tax assessments are linked to permits issued and estimated construction costs. But generally in most places, assessments happen only every three years, increases are still gradual and phased in, and a small project, even done with permits and full disclosure to officials, does not generally raise property taxes measurably.

Do you live in Cook County? I do know they have some very tough codes, stricter than most national codes used by most others.

In many places small interior projects require no permits, or only require electric/plumbing permits.

How old is your house?

Insulation on basement walls is a relatively new thing (last 15-20 years) in most places.

Anyway, we are all just trying to help, and don't understand why you are stuck on this idea of an island in the middle of the room?

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 8:19 PM

Outsailing86

So does making a 14x20 layout make a difference compared to a 10 x 12 layout? Does the larger layout just becoming too much to operate by one person? 

And keeping a layout 10x12 while doing the same goals of a 14x20 means the boss doesn't freak out as much! Haha!!! 

I'm also thinking the Wingate, IN trackplan is neat, but I'd prefer to make it with Unitrack. I'm just not sure if I could make it modern era or even a 1990's Conrail. 

 

So does making a 14x20 layout make a difference compared to a 10 x 12 layout?

Yes.  It makes a huge difference.

Does the larger layout just becoming too much to operate by one person?

No.  Complexity makes a layout harder to operate, not size.  For example, your HOG trackplan now is a simple loop.  Keeping it exactly the same, but merely adding longer straight portions in between the 4 curves simply increases the main  line run.  How much harder is it to operate, in this case watch, a train over an extra 25 linear feet?  That extra straight track would make a huge difference in realism, IMO (and just about everybody else's opinion).  And that extra 25 feet of track would cost less than 50 bucks, probably less than 75 bucks including lumber and roadbed.

You could have longer staging tracks too, depending upon where you put them.

If you change the layout concept, which you might, that change will determine how hard it is to operate, not the size.

 And keeping a layout 10x12 while doing the same goals of a 14x20 means the boss doesn't freak out as much! Haha!!! 

Keeping the boss happy is always a consideration, but that 10x12 creates an outer walkway around the layout that makes the space useless.  Around the room tables can be used to store more household items. 

Again, you may be hesitant to expand the layout because the extra size seems more daunting.  In reality, of you keep the concept simple, it won't be any more complex to build a few extra free standing modules and to lay a few extra feet of track.  If the shape is kept to a donut, then you will need to figure a way to access the middle.  Either build the layout high enough to duck under or keep the access point narrow and build a liftout bridge section.  They aren't that hard to do.

And if you introduce an elevated crossover into the layout plan, the extra linear feet will make a huge difference in lessening the severity of the grade, which would probably make it LESS problematic to build and operate.

- Douglas

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Posted by Outsailing86 on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 9:26 PM

I found this interesting chapter in a book, for a single layout town. https://books.google.com/books/about/48_Top_Notch_Track_Plans.html?id=sKUetsS-SpMC&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button

So a lineup of trains going either directions, with a local working the branch line. But it doesn’t really talk about the size. I see how you would operate from the inside. 

Whats a good benchwork height? I’ve been making mine with 48” legs, but at 6’1” I feel I’m a little tall for the layout

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 9:42 PM

Well, I'am 5'10", and I built my layout at 52".  I get a great view, and easy to reach for switching operations.

Go with the around the room, and not the island.  I did that once, not again.

Mike.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, December 5, 2019 6:40 AM

mbinsewi

Well, I'am 5'10", and I built my layout at 52".  I get a great view, and easy to reach for switching operations.

Go with the around the room, and not the island.  I did that once, not again.

Mike.

Mike and others have the right idea.  Do not build an island layout; you will get much less layout and run distance for the space you have.  Go around the room for sure.  Of course it's your layout but at least you were warned.

As for height, I used to be 6' tall but have shrunk as most do as they get older.  But 50 to 52 inches elevation above the floor is a good range to shoot for

 

As for books, they are useful for getting idea's from but I've never built a layout from a book  or published track plan.  I understand why people might, especially if they don't have the knack for designing their own, or even modifying someone elses plan.  If you don't have much or any layout planning experience then look at lots of track plans and layout articles - they will help you get an idea what is possible in a space.

And speaking of books, I recommend John Armstrongs "Track Planning for Realistic Operation".  It discusses real track elements, minimums and standards, easements, etc.  I found it very accessible and started reading it in my college years.  (About the only concept JA pushed that didn't work for me was his "squares" concept.  But that didn't hold me back.

As for curves, go with the largest you can fit.  As always it's a given vs. druters situation.  I wanted widest possible curves but also a good long mainline run with fairly long sidings.  In the limited space I could afford, it means my curve minimums are 32 inches but I have limited the used of those 32 inch curves and made as many mainline curves larger as I could, ranging from in the 33 to 43 inch category.

This is a recent track plan I drew old school on graph paper to a scale of 1" = 2'.  First I drew the boundaries of the room at the largest scale possible, again 1" = 2'.  Then decided a minimum curve radius I preferred and where those elements would go, and walkways etc.  In this case there is a helix on bottom to go down to staging under the main yard which should be at about 52 inches off the floor.  The mainline will run down grade until it disappears back into staging, which was drawn on a separate sheet.

If you utilize the full potential of the 14x20 foot space, you could have an around the walls with generous 30+ inch curve radii.  A center section could come off of one end with a turn back lobe sticking out about 15' from the back wall and allow for a turnback radius of 32 inches.  You could even use that lobe for a helix to change to a full second level with a separation of decks in the 12-18 inch range, depending on how many turns your helix has.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • From: Grew up in Calif, left in 84, now in Virginia
  • 7,053 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, December 5, 2019 6:58 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

Going down 8 or 10 inches for staging is in my mind not multi deck, we have done that for decades before anyone had two scenic levels.

Sheldon 

Did I say my layout was multi deck?  No.

Here is in fact what I did say:

"I did a nolix in a 10x18' room with 32" minimum curves but the separation for decks (right side) was 8.5 inches, 7.5 above the rails on the bottom level. 

This was tight but servicable but not great but kept my grade to 2.9% climbing from staging to the top level.  I think if I could add 4 inches to provide a foot of clearance, that would be decent for a staging yard.  A scenic'd lower deck would benefit from more clearance."

So unpacking what I did say, a scenic'd lower deck would benefit from a vertical clearance of more than 12 inches.  Cheers.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    April 2018
  • 69 posts
Posted by Outsailing86 on Thursday, December 5, 2019 10:11 AM

So here's where I'm at.... 

I drew the Gauley Jct plan from 48 top notch plans. It appears the turnouts aren't to any sort of scale and when you start drawing curves the layout space is quickly consumed. 

i spaced the outside main 6" from each wall, with 28" radius curves. if I go 14' for the layout length I get 100" of straight track. if I want to add a passing siding I figure I'd lose another 20" for the return curves for an 80" track length. 

I did some tests on my layout last night. A good size train to me is a diesel and 10 cars or a passenger engine and 3 cars for commuter service. 7' for the freight and just under 4' commuter. 

agree with the center operation area/around the walls 2'x8' benchwork module sections. 

I just don't see doing a penninsul plan. Maybe it's time to start tearing down the HoG and start building benchwork. 

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