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New HO garage 13x9 Layout

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New HO garage 13x9 Layout
Posted by Proctous on Thursday, November 28, 2013 5:28 PM

I wanted to give credit another member in this fourm for the great idea. I've been looking for a more interesting layout than my double mainline oval. Good thing i only layed track so far on old layout. Layout

Any Ideas for suggestions would be great. I plan on using modern Loco's and mostly UP. Reason I used 5x10 and not 4x8 (though thats was what i started with) was because I wanted larger turns for SD70ace, 22in radi is the smallest turns. Will be all DCC with NCE.

My 13x9 L Shape Garage Layout build

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/225242.aspx

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Posted by HObbyguy on Monday, December 2, 2013 6:51 AM

This post has just been hanging without a response (but has 200 hits).  I think the reason may be that nobody wants to be the bearer of bad news?

A figure 8 design in HO is a real challenge.  I tried this with my first 4x8 layout many years ago and was not at all successful.  It looked pretty good but operationally it was a mess.  Grades were too steep and on tight curves, vertical easements were too short, turnouts on grades were problematic, tracks at different levels were too close together, and throw in some S-curves... it was all but un-usable.  A few months ago there was a post by a member here with a similar design already built, with exactly the same problems.  After a lot of discussion how to make it work he decided to start over.

In theory going with a 5x10 should help a bit, but since much of the extra width on the proposed design is taken up by the yard the gains are minimimal.  And the extra width makes it much harder to reach into the center to work on the critical track there.

Not saying its impossible, but more than I am willing to try (been there, done that.)  If you really want an over/under crossing in HO I suggest you think about an around the wall style layout instead of an island.  That gives better opportunity to lay track long enough for reasonable grades.  Here are some general guidelines based on my experience- both back then and now. 

  • Keep grades well below 3% especially on the mainline (2% is a good max target)
  • Keep grades away from tight curves (anything less than 26" or so will make them act significantly steeper)
  • Allow for vertical easements in the design (transitions from grades to level track are needed to keep cars coupled)
  • Provide enough room between tracks at different elevations to enable building a hill, rock face, or some sort of wall between them
  • Avoid putting turnouts on steep grades

All of the above is especially recommended if planning to go with modern locos and rolling stock, since they tend to be longer than the old stuff and that just compounds the problems.

Hope this helps.  May not be what you want to hear, but better than jumping in blindly like I did back then.

Huntington Junction - Freelance based on the B&O and C&O in coal country before the merger...  doing it my way.  Now working on phase 3.      - Walt

For photos and more:  http://www.wkhobbies.com/model-railroad/

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Posted by Proctous on Monday, December 2, 2013 4:54 PM

Yeah i was wondering why im getting so many hits but no replies. So yeah I dont like Point to Point operation. I like to just let them go and take it in or take pictures. I really liek operations and doing stuff like moving cargo from one area to an other. the Area I have to work with, (rather allowed) by Wife is garage :-). so I started with 4x8 but started to get 6 axel locos and wanted larger turns, so I went with 22 and 24 inch turns and increased my area to 10x5, you can keeo the turns on the outsides and have 26-28 turns. problems is that ovals are boring and thats why i went with with set up. I been playing around with an lumber area in the right side mountains using 15in turns ( short switchers and short 1-2 cars. I know 15inch is doable.

So yeah, If someone can lead me to a better Idea Im all for it. But Space is limited me. I can add maybe 2 more feet at end of table and have 5x12, If a dogbone design was doable in 5 feet lenght that would be cool, but i dont think it would fit right.

My 13x9 L Shape Garage Layout build

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/225242.aspx

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Posted by Annonymous on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 12:58 PM

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Posted by zstripe on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 2:29 PM

Svein,

Excellant advice! Forgot about Byron's work.

Cheers, Drinks

Frank

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Posted by HObbyguy on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 7:35 PM

I agree completely, Byron's site is an excellent place to get ideas.  And since you know how to use design software you should be able to come up with a really nice, interesting track plan if you are willing to move away from the island concept and put some time into it.

I am not a point-to-point guy either.  I would describe myself as a modeller more than anything else, and like to be able to watch the trains run hands-off.  My new design is an around-the-wall dogbone and yes it has elevation changes and a crossover, but all the grades are 2% or under, and my min radius is 24".  The total plan fits in 13x14 ft space.

I am still waiting for someone to post an operating HO figure 8 layout that is truly successful- just to prove that it is possible.  But I haven't seen one yet.  Closest is the Virginian since it has some of the same elements and looks like a fun build, but the design is not a true figure 8.

Huntington Junction - Freelance based on the B&O and C&O in coal country before the merger...  doing it my way.  Now working on phase 3.      - Walt

For photos and more:  http://www.wkhobbies.com/model-railroad/

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Posted by Proctous on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 8:12 PM

I thought I made this clear but maybe not, the Layout is in a garage. one side of the garage is a wifes car and other side is shelves for storage, so train table in in between that wall of storage and the car. I bearly have walking distance around the layout as it is now, but its usable and workable. I know of the pages and sites that show how 4x8 is bad idea and the usable stuff on outside could be used. I read all about that stuff. but when your really stuck to that Small of an area, you have to use what you got. Like other posters said once you start your always craving more area! I have a Club layout i can us efor my Long Train runs with 40+ cars if i want. I thinking for at home just 6-8 cars max, maybe small local freight. I will post a new layout design when I get home, just made some changes. my max elv change is 3%. everything i read says its possible. all my turns are 22 or 24 turns. My trains are pretty heavy  (MTH) and i did a test with 8 cars with one GP 35 (MTH) and it pull up with a much higher than 4%. I been searchign all over the interwebs for a better 4x8 or 5x10 layout, very hard to find.. Also I will mostly run boxcars, coal, wood hoppers, local frieght, not really intermodal stuff or passager cars. my locos are 2 GP60s, 1 GP 35, 2 SD70ace, 1 Alco S4.

My 13x9 L Shape Garage Layout build

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/225242.aspx

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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 8:24 PM

Unless Im reading your drawing incorrectly you have less than 3 in of separation between railheads (I see 2 31/32).  Thats not going to work out very well for HO scale.  You need at a minimum 3in of separation.  With 22" curves you would need approximately 2.1% grade over 12 linear feet of track (one direction), less since you are going steeper 3% is 8ft of track. These of course are approximate numbers obtained from John Armstrong's book.  You will probably need more than 3in of clearance for running certain modern equipment. 

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Posted by cowman on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 9:36 PM

If you are limited to a table top, a scenic divider can break up the round and round illusion, as the train disappears and reappears.  I have only a 4'x6' in HO, but with the divider I can have a little yard on one side and could have one on the other, but for now I only have a passing siding.  You can easily have one train slowly loop while you do some switching in a yard.  When your incoming train gets to the yard, it can either drop off its cars and pick up a new group or the other loco can pull out with its train and the incoming loco can switch what it brought in.  With the passing siding, I can have one train disappear, then another appear from the same direction the other one left.  It can drop off/pick up cars then be on it's way.  The other reappears and does its thing at the yard.  Simple, but has continuous running when I want and limited operation when I feel like doing it.

My divider is neither centered nor parallel to the sides of the layout, breaks up the straight lines of a small table layout.  It comes within a few inches of the end of the table, but with a larger table you could move it in a little.  To disguise the ends a tunnel, buildings, trees, bridge or as I did on one end, a deep rock cut, make the trains disappearance less noticable.

An around the room shelf gives you more options, especially for your larger locos, but a table can give you some fun too.

Good luck,

Richard

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Posted by Annonymous on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 12:30 PM

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Posted by Proctous on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 11:02 PM

i should take a picture of my garage. hehe i have tall wall lockers and standing 2x8x4 shelves. no chance of moving that stuff. If I make a drawing of my area if anyone could come up with a better design I will look at it. I would be very greatfull. I dont have much train ppl here in hawaii to talk about so this is my only outet for creative ideas. Ill post a picture of what i have to work it. Im 29 yo and only been in this hobby for 1 year, so i wont be at all upset at and remarks like thats a bad design.. It may very well be.

this is the latest changes to my layout ( Still want input or any ideas that i can change) I added 15in track at top of mountain for a logging area, only small locos and 1-2 short cars will be up there.layout 3

My 13x9 L Shape Garage Layout build

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/225242.aspx

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Posted by Proctous on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 11:20 PM

I hope you all can see thisspace

 

This is the space im working with. I do have some space on the Left side to make it longer , maybe 4 feet without getting to close to garage door. If anyone else has something to suggest. Im more than willing to hear you out.

My 13x9 L Shape Garage Layout build

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/225242.aspx

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Posted by Annonymous on Thursday, December 5, 2013 6:56 AM

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, December 5, 2013 9:13 AM

Here is just a thought based on what I'm reading and how you might squeeze a little more size for your 5x9 layout, maybe you can make it a little wider and get away with it.  I realize you said you barely have room to get around the 5x9 on the side of the garage available opposite the spot still used by the car.

If you build the layout on wheels - each of the four legs had large diameter wheels, it will be easy to move it back and forth.  So maybe you can widen it even more.  But since wider means you can't get around on one side now,  when you do need access, you can simply roill the layout back over and go around the other side to work on it, and have access to trains on that side.  The rest of the time you will have access to 3 sides which should be good a lot of the time. 

If you can add even 6 more inches to the layout width, it could make a huge difference on standards, curve radii, yard and operability.  You might be able to get away with even more width like adding on 12-inches if you only need access one one side at a time!  Heck if the sides are the biggest limitation maybe you could go crazy and make it a 6 x 12!  Just install large wheels on the bottom and maybe you can have enough space to make some major improvements to the track design and geometry.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by trwroute on Thursday, December 5, 2013 3:53 PM

Here is what I'm doing.  I built a small room using about a 1/4 of our garage.  My wife parks her car next to it and I park the riding lawn mower in front of it.  The layout itself measures 8'6 x 6'6.  These photos were taken over a year ago.  The room is now completed and I have an operational, but mostly unscenicked layout.  You can see my start on the drop bridge.  Since it is a bit small, I am running only 40' stuff and shorter instead of the 50 footers shown.  I do prefer being in the middle of it and having a train run around me.

 

 

Chuck - Modeling in N, HO scales and anything narrow gauge

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, December 5, 2013 7:16 PM

Do you have more than 1 car.  If so you may want to consider making the layout stowable.  Im not sure how often you guys get typhoons out there but you might want to consider being able to put a hypothetical 2nd car in the garage.  This would also assist in moving it later, if you were to relocate at a later date.  Moving the layout is something new model railroaders often do not consider when building.  Folding or removable legs would go a long way towards this.  Just something else to think about.

You could probably stretch out the layout into a 12x5.  I dont reccommend a 12x6 because you wont be able to reach the middle very well, and would have to be constantly moving it back and forth.  Reaching more than 2.5 feet without a specialized ladder may have bad results for your scenery and rolling stock in the yard.  As well as knocking things off the track when rolling... or the table rolling into the wife's car......

You also need to consider how tall the table will be.  The taller the table the less distance you will be able to reach, but in many cases the taller the table or rather the track height the better the trains will look.  The height of the track from a visual perspective is an opinion, individual results may very.  My girlfriend is a helicopter pilot and likes the top down view of things... I however like to have it closer to eye height.  

I once thought about a N scale layout for a submarine rack on a 688....then decided that was a bad idea.

 

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, December 5, 2013 8:03 PM

I built a layout in a garage that the nose of the car could fit under one end.  It was a hollow L 16x19' in size with minimum mainline curves of 30-inches, a sizable yard and storage/staging tracks inside the reverse loops at each end that were stacked on top of each other.   Basically it was a reverse loop to single track to yard, to single track to siding and then to then reverse loop at the other end.  All in a 2 car garage that one car could fit in.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by trainluver on Thursday, December 5, 2013 9:51 PM

I did something close to what you are trying to do with your layout.  I am providing my plan so hopefully you can use it along with the ideas that the forum has provided you and create something special.  I have deviated from my original plan.  I started with a 4x8 table, I added a 2x10 extension to one side to accommodate a yard that I really wanted.  I have only two industries instead of the many that you see on the picture.  I have a grain elevator and a corn syrup plant currently.  You can utilize every nook and crany.  I also added a 1x4 extension on the end by the diesel shop to accoommodate a longer yard lead. My current layout still allows me to reach at least to the middle from either long side, however, I am 6'3".  The layout is about 43 inches tall.  I wanted a yard and I wanted to be able to do some switching at industries and wanted to run my trains around and watch too.  

Here is the original track plan:

Original 4x8 trackplan

 

This is a picture of my current layout.  It is really experimental.  

Current Layout

 

Good luck.

 

 

 

http://trainluver.shutterfly.com

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Posted by Proctous on Thursday, December 5, 2013 11:42 PM
do you have any recent pics of the layout?

My 13x9 L Shape Garage Layout build

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/225242.aspx

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Posted by Proctous on Friday, December 6, 2013 12:11 AM

Ok. so I've been in the garage all night thinking.

this is what i currently have in here.now

Bit of a mess, but im a guy. :) so I like the other guys idea of creating a room inside, Would like to see that finished. but I have these white hanging storage things connect to my rafters, so i cant do that. I need to be able to access the stuff up there from time to time. 

Here is a mesurement graph.

graph 1

So i starting to think from the ideas in this post. What if I make some room. Well those 5 storage shelves are not really being used to much, I can seperate them from top and bottom and relocate them. Maybe under the layout! But my current layout is just a tad to short at 3 feet tall. If i raise my layout to something like 43in high i can fit them under. So then I was like maybe I can do this.

v2

So now im looking at possible a L shape layout. I added 3 feet to end also. SO yeah. maybe i can do this. But I need to raise table. one thing about my garage is the slight slant for water runoff. at 10 feet I had to raise the end legs 1.5 Inches. so maybe if someone has an idea for a module table idea. might be easier to make new benchwork. Let me know what you think.

My 13x9 L Shape Garage Layout build

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/225242.aspx

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Posted by HObbyguy on Friday, December 6, 2013 8:16 AM

Back again after a few days out of town.  Glad to see that I at least got some discussion going and you are getting good suggestions on how to best make use of the area available.

You mentioned that you can run your trains at a nearby club and already have done some testing on grades.  Also your design drawings are really good- you obviously have engineering/computer skills.  That puts you way ahead of most of the guys that post these sort of questions.

The question in my mind is still how much track you can get down and whether you have enough room for an over/under crossing.  I still say that an over/under especially in a figure-8 configuration is going to be a real challenge but if you can build as good as you can create drawings then maybe you have a shot at making it work.  Sounds like you are determined, and I actually think it would be pretty cool. Just be sure to go into it with your eyes wide open and be very careful with the design and build.

No doubt a big diesel with 6 wheel drivers should be a great puller.  Also runnining diesel consists (easy to do with today's DCC locos) should enable you to run trains up 3% grades.  But you will still need to include vertical easements, adequate clearances between tracks especially on the tight curves, avoid S-curves, etc.  And the long reach will be troublesome.  Your design has a lot going on in a very tight area so take your time with the build, use good materials, and think through each step carefully.

Huntington Junction - Freelance based on the B&O and C&O in coal country before the merger...  doing it my way.  Now working on phase 3.      - Walt

For photos and more:  http://www.wkhobbies.com/model-railroad/

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Posted by Annonymous on Friday, December 6, 2013 11:03 AM

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Posted by Proctous on Friday, December 6, 2013 4:18 PM
yeah, cant do that. There is hanging tools and other stuff on that side. I already had to (talk) wife into letting tear down the shelves and move them. I was just fiddleing around with the L shape table and trying to lay track down on it. seems i can have really long runs with 2%. having a real had time finding track plan ideas. Also what would Bench would look like for something this size?

My 13x9 L Shape Garage Layout build

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/225242.aspx

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Posted by Annonymous on Saturday, December 7, 2013 4:53 AM

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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, December 7, 2013 8:32 AM

Hey guys, I've watching this thread, thought I'd toss in an idea, no matter what size or shape you end up with, you could place a "view block" somewhat down the center, giving the feel and appearance of covering more distance, which would pretty much eliminate the problem of trying to reach accross the 5' table.  One hang-up with this would be the throttle, as you would want to be able plug a controller in on each side.

Have fun !

Mike.

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Posted by Proctous on Saturday, December 7, 2013 8:39 PM

So, I've been messing around. this is what i came up with.

layout v3

 

it may appear that some tracks are close, but im going to fix that, I only use flex track, but most the the track i used in here was snap track. I made a inside tunnel reversing loop so i can turn Locos around. I was afraid of using one of these until my club members told me how easy they are to wire. I also made the lumber logging area a bit better.

Let me know what ya think.

My 13x9 L Shape Garage Layout build

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/225242.aspx

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Posted by Proctous on Sunday, December 8, 2013 12:49 AM

just did a speed timed test with trainplayer. at 25MPH took 2min 50 secs to go around the main line. at 55MPH took 1min 20 secs. I really like those times, gives me plently of time to enjoy or use two or three trains.

My 13x9 L Shape Garage Layout build

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/225242.aspx

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Posted by HObbyguy on Sunday, December 8, 2013 1:02 AM

I kind of like the concept.  But then I am kind of partial to long winding mainlines even if they do create a bit of spaghetti bowl effect.  Grades are much more reasonable and for the most part critical track is within reach.  You've got plenty of build challenges in there (curved overpasses on grades, etc.) and it looks like the track will be tight, but nothing jumps off the page that would stop me from developing the plan further.

With all the elevation changes getting the scenery arranged to be believable will take some thought, and then a bunch of time and craftsmanship to get it in place.  And I would plan some popup sections in the center so you can get to everything.  But there's plenty of opportunity for dramatic scenes which I also like.

One downside- with all the complexity it will take a lot of work and a long time before you will have a continuous running loop.  I had the same issue so adjusted my plan with some temporary track sections so that I could run trains while working on the rest of the layout.  You might be able to work that in somehow.

I am not an operations guy so will leave comments on that to others.  I do think that the turnaround is a good idea.

Huntington Junction - Freelance based on the B&O and C&O in coal country before the merger...  doing it my way.  Now working on phase 3.      - Walt

For photos and more:  http://www.wkhobbies.com/model-railroad/

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Posted by Schuylkill and Susquehanna on Sunday, December 8, 2013 10:44 AM

Hi Proctous,

This looks like a great plan for a second layout!  My only concern is your overall placement of the layout.  The diagram you have showing your space and the 13x9 layout shows only a 2 foot isle between the layout and your workbench.  This narrow isle will make layout operations difficult, and will keep you cramped against the workbench when you are trying to work.  The up side is that you don't have far to go between layout and workbench for the inevitable fine-tuning.

I'd suggest widening that isle to 30" to give yourself a little more room.  (Extend the upper left part of the L by 6".)

S&S

 

Modeling the Pennsy and loving it!

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Posted by Proctous on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 12:03 PM

I wish when I posted it would be quicker than 4-5 hours later. So my question is should I keep the current benchwork, or should I start from scatch. then current table is a 4x8 that has two bolted on sections to make 5x10. I could keep bolting on sections to make the L, but that would be like 2 more sections. or would it be better to make new benchwork, how would that look like?

My 13x9 L Shape Garage Layout build

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/225242.aspx

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