| SpaceMouse wrote:|
You are all pretty much on the same page, but I was thinking like this.
A straight loop of O with a loading platform in the front.
Next N scale, again straight loop with a long coal drag to show off the long train big scenery.
IN the top center I plan a HO switching layout with a really cool sound switcher like a P2K 0-6-0 or a Broadway NW2. To save him some bucks at the start I might bring in my Atlas GP-38 which sounds pretty good.
I plan to have at least one of the Atlas top mount switches, a Tortoise, and maybe a ground throw, to show the different types of switches.
At one point, I was looking to do a 3 rail O/On30 layout, preferably in 4x8. The outer loop would be 3 rail - I was planning on using Atlas O36 track. On one side, there was a passing/staging track, and on the other was a single parallel spur to serve the freight transfer platform. The passing/staging track allowed 2 3 rail trains on the layout - 1 passenger and 1 freight. The freight would be set up so set outs on the transfer spur were trailing point, and passenger traffic in the reverse direction.
According to calculations, if the On30 were to use 18" radius, the table really needed to be more than 4ft wide - 5ft would have been comfortable.
Whether just a switching plan for the HO portion is sufficient depends on what the layout is actually going to be used for. If the layout is going to be used to demonstrate/test locomotives - even as a secondary purpose - then a continuous run is needed for all 3 scales, and you will want the extra width. Both the HO and N portions will also want loops with at least one passing track and one spur.
Just as a comparison point, Reed's Hobby shop in San Diego has separate layouts for 3 rail O, HO, and N. The HO and N layouts are duplicates of MR project layouts. There is also a separate HO switching layout based on the Gum Stump & Snowshoe. At one time, there was an O scale (2 rail) shelf switcher. Another point of interest - I have never seen an HO or N train running on the layouts, but I have seen both O layouts with trains running on a regular basis.
my thoughts, your choices