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Longest Run for an HO Mainline Track on a 5 X 10 foot Open Grid.

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Longest Run for an HO Mainline Track on a 5 X 10 foot Open Grid.
Posted by Big Boy Forever on Saturday, July 10, 2010 3:38 PM

I have several track design books, but I was wondering if someone knew, maybe from experience what the best mainline track configuration would be for the longest mainline train run on a layout this size?

I'm designing two separated levels of mainline, (one elevated), some hidden in hills and mountains on each end of the table and the 10 ft. length rear. The front 10 ft. length is open to the operator.

I'm using 22" minimum radius, and the table is open grid construction. No long wheel configuration on the Locos, like a Big Boy or any Large Loco of that size is used.

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Posted by Hamltnblue on Saturday, July 10, 2010 4:20 PM

There are dozens of ways to configure a layout that size.  It all depends on how you're going to use it and what kind of industries will be on it.  A couple of people here have beginning guides to help and I'm sure they'll chime in.  There are also books offered on this site about track plans.

Springfield PA

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Posted by Big Boy Forever on Saturday, July 10, 2010 5:00 PM

Thanks!

Actually, like I said, I have some books, (many Kalmbachs) on track plans, I was hoping someone might have actually constructed one and used it. Track plan books-to-reality don't always translate accurately. Experience is the best teacher.

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Posted by Hamltnblue on Saturday, July 10, 2010 5:50 PM

What type of layout are you interested in.  Industrial, country, mountain, desert?

Springfield PA

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Posted by tomikawaTT on Saturday, July 10, 2010 6:37 PM

It's always a temptation to try to cram as much spaghetti into the bowl as is physically possible, but in my personal experience it isn't really worth it.  You may get more out of a layout with several hidden layover sidings, where a couple of trains can be held out of sight for minutes (or hours) while other kinds of operation are taking place out in the sunshine.Cool

OTOH, if the purpose of that long main line is to use it to run a train where the front coupler of the lead locomotive is within millimeters of the rear end device (or caboose, if you still run one) all bets are off.Shock

It is theoretically possible to build a DNA-style double helix of as many turns as you can stand, and thereby cram a couple of hundred feet of first main track onto your benchwork.  Would it be a good idea???Whistling

Chuck (Modeling Central Japan in September, 1964 - to an un-crowded plan with lots of hidden track)

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Posted by Doughless on Saturday, July 10, 2010 7:15 PM

A folded dogbone will likely give you the longest main line run.  Lots of looping, likely best through mountain scenery, with little space left over for industries.  Just to run trains round and round, that's probably the longest main line configuration.  Maybe do a search on various sites for folded dogbone plans. 

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Posted by fwright on Saturday, July 10, 2010 8:36 PM

Doughless

A folded dogbone will likely give you the longest main line run.  Lots of looping, likely best through mountain scenery, with little space left over for industries.  Just to run trains round and round, that's probably the longest main line configuration.  Maybe do a search on various sites for folded dogbone plans. 

 

To follow on, take a 4x8 plan you like, and expand it by 25% in both directions.  The 18" radius curves automatically become 22" radius, with an extra 1/2" offset for easements.  Passing sidings and yard tracks are 25% longer.  Uncramping a 4x8 plan will give a better result than trying to cram the most possible into a 5x10, IMHO.

my thoughts, your choices

Fred W

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Posted by steinjr on Saturday, July 10, 2010 8:41 PM

Model RR is Good

I'm designing two separated levels of mainline, (one elevated), some hidden in hills and mountains on each end of the table and the 10 ft. length rear.  The front 10 ft. length is open to the operator.

 

Just curious - I did not understand the paragraph above. Can you clarify a little?

How is your 5 x 10 foot layout located in the room you are building your layout in? As an island/table In the middle of the floor with adequate aisles at least 24" wide all around the table, or up against one or more walls?

 If you want your track plan to cross through the same scene several times at different elevations, how do you picture your elevations? Sheer clifts between the tracks at different elevations or gentle hillsides?

 For a continuous run plan, don't forget that it will takes 100" (about 8 feet) of run length to get one track up 3" (for a minimum  over/under pass) at 3% grade, and another 8 feet to get down to the initial height again.

 Stein, just curious

 

 

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Posted by Big Boy Forever on Saturday, July 10, 2010 10:22 PM

Replies:

1) hmltnblue--Country & Mountain

2)tomikawa--I've never built a helix, but read about it.

3)doughless--"folded dogbone--thanks

4)fwright---4 X 8 expanded 25%  good idea.

5)stienir--stand alone table for now, maybe extended later in garage on both ends.

             --granite cliffs and bridge over gorge.

             -I currently have one 8 ft X 3% grade going up the left end 22" radius rising on the back 10 ft.It will come around the right end 22" radius and diagonal through the center of  layout with bridge over gorge, dropping 3% as it goes back to left side. Have'nt figured it all through yet.

 

Thanks to all.              . 

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Posted by Texas Zepher on Saturday, July 10, 2010 11:06 PM

Doughless
A folded dogbone will likely give you the longest main line run.

Yup, I agree.   If you can round up an April 1957 of Model Railroader there is a 5x8 plan using 18" radius curves.  That could be expanded into your 5x10 and 22" curves.   A similar plan is in Atlas Custom Line Layouts for HO scale Railroads plan #19.   This is plan # HO-10023 on their web site www.atlasrr.com

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