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HO Scale bedroom track plan

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  • Member since
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HO Scale bedroom track plan
Posted by Outsailing86 on Saturday, March 30, 2019 8:41 AM

Hi all: 

As someone who models Modern era, most room size HO Scale track plans are difficult to come up with. Furthermore, being a Chicago area resident, I’d like my layout to model somewhere in Chicago in a proto-freelance activity. 

My room space is being built right now as I finish my basement, but the space is approximately 12 feet x 12 feet with the door 1 foot from the end wall. 

I’ve given some thought to the C&O Loup Creek plan http://mrr.trains.com/how-to/track-plan-database/2007/08/loup-creek-branch

with the following changes:

Second Deck:

Coal Mine #4 will be a two track Metra end terminal, with two stations long the Spur route (One at the end, the other near the curve). I would run 3 car plus Loco in push/pull service. Additionally, there will be a online industry for switching. Possibly Propane? 

The other side of the second deck will be an industrial area, inspired by the Model Railroader Troy Branch industries (April 2008) 

The second deck would get a road switcher daily to work industries, requiring to hold for Metra on either end of the Helix. 

First Deck:

coming out of the Helix would be a control point siding, with a lumber yard coming off the one side. Over the bridge, would be a yard for building the road switcher and the mainline tracks would be a loop back into staging. 

A few inspiring pictures for the layout:

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/146362/

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/108220/

What at are your thoughts on this? Unfortunately I don’t have a layout track design program, so I am only working on sketches.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, March 30, 2019 9:26 AM

I just took a look at the Loup Creek plan.  Point to point, and a helix to get between levels.  No continuous running.

Point to point is fine, if that's what you want.  What I question about the plan is the 22" radius, and 18" radius in yards and staging.

You won't be happy with that, with the trains you want to run.  You a need a bare min. of 24", and even that will be somewhat of a challange with commutor cars, especially Walthers cars.  Bachmann's handle it a little better.  My experience.

You'll probably need even a bigger radius with the helix, probably more like 30".

There is a ton of info out there on track planning, from computer programs to books and downloads.  Look around.

Good luck!.

Mike.

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Posted by cuyama on Saturday, March 30, 2019 11:36 AM

A 22" radius HO multi-turn helix will be a challenge for long modern passenger equipment, especially in push/pull mode. As Mike noted, many experienced modelers would choose a much broader radius. (22" radius alone might be a challenge with some commuter equipment.)

The nominal grade would be closer to 3.3% than the stated 3% for sufficient turn-to-turn clearance. The effective grade* added by the 22" radius is an additional 1.45%, for a total effective grade of nearly 5%. Pretty stout for shoving long passenger cars.

It’s a shame that MR publishes some of these speculative track plans without comment or caution.

An interesting alternative in that space would be unconnected decks with different scenes above and below. Perhaps METRA with continuous-run below and a switching line above.

Good luck with your layout.

Byron

*The rule-of-thumb calculation for HO is 32/R, R being the curve radius

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Posted by cuyama on Saturday, March 30, 2019 11:49 AM

By the way, depending on which way the door swings, a multi-pass layout on multiple tiers but a single deck might work well.

I mentioned this idea in your earlier thread
http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/270172.aspx

cuyama
I used a twice-around design for a model of the C&NW Chicago commute in Model Railroad Planning 2014 that might offer some ideas.

Unfortunately, most MRP plans are not in the Kalmbach database for some reason.

 

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Posted by Outsailing86 on Saturday, March 30, 2019 2:32 PM

I picked up that MRP with the Oak Park plan. How would I move it around for a 13’ x 12’ space? 

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Posted by cuyama on Saturday, March 30, 2019 4:31 PM

Outsailing86
I picked up that MRP with the Oak Park plan. How would I move it around for a 13’ x 12’ space? 

That's a significant difference in available space, so you'd have to restart from scratch. The subterranean staging, in particular, might be trickier. But the stub-end passenger terminal in Chicago would be a good place to start -- and then wind around as much layout into the space as reasonably fits.

With the wider and shorter room, you might also consider a peninsula into the center of the space. It might be too tight for a turnback curve of 24” R or broader, but it might be a good spot for the stub-end downtown terminal and whatever suburban passenger station that you choose for the end of the line, sharing the peninsula on either side of a backdrop.

The best footprint somewhat depends on the door swing and would take some experimentation. If you draw to-scale from the beginning, you’ll avoid disappointment later. Either paper-and-pencil or CAD can work.

Good luck!

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Posted by xboxtravis7992 on Saturday, March 30, 2019 4:40 PM

If you want a looping layout; you can take a look at some medium sized set ups like Pelle Soelberg's Daneburg Subdivsion. The key with that style was minimalism. Just a short stretch of road in Daveville itself, with two industries. The rest of the layout being just open 'green space'.

If I were to take a similar design method into an urban area this is what I would do with that idea:

  • Double track mainline with some form of hidden staging to feed trains in and out of it. Concrete ties on the main with wood ties on spurs.
  • Backdrop with urban scenery, perhaps in a specific area of Chicago I wanted to model. 
  • Maybe one big industry, or a station platform to run Amtrak and Metra trains.
  • An overpass, some hill terrain, a tunnel or maybe an 'industrial canyon' (like a bunch of buildings surrounding the track) to serve as a view block. While it would be impossible to hide a train looping around, the small view block were the train disapeers partially from view will give the illusion its going somewhere some credence. 

A point to point switching layout would be another option. In that case just focus on a good switching set up with some decent action so you can spend an hour or two working the industries you build there when you run it. 

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Posted by Outsailing86 on Saturday, March 30, 2019 11:50 PM

Thanks! I like the idea of using the UP line with the right hand turn Coming out of the Peninsula.

Now off to Google Earth to find some industries. Never thought I’d be researching a UP layout concept

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Posted by cuyama on Friday, April 05, 2019 6:42 PM

Sorry I missed your PM earlier, I don't always receive a notice from the site. Images are a little tricky on this forum, but not too onerous.

The photo must be hosted on another site, such as Railimages, Imgur, or Flickr (Or your own web page or blog) Then it’s a matter of posting a link to that site here.

The first couple of posts on this thread explain it.

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/249194.aspx

Stick with it and folks will be happy to help.

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Posted by Outsailing86 on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 7:54 PM
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Posted by cuyama on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 8:23 PM

Right-click on your image, select "copy image address", left-click on the "Insert/edit Image" icon in the post window on this page (looks like a landscape), paste the link, click "OK".

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Posted by cuyama on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 4:20 PM

I posted this on the Layout Design SIG Facebook Group and will repeat it here for those who didn't see it there.

I think the basic concept is workable. Personally, I like active, visible yards and often suggest to clients that they be included. But in this case, I wonder if it would be more interesting to assume the yard is in staging and use some of the space for additional industries. You would still want a passing siding/runaround track.

Also note that you will need transitions from level-to-grade and back, so that may take away some of the running length of the grade and thus increase the percentage a bit. For the short push/pull commuter trains, likely not an issue.

As we discussed above, your concept is similar to my design in Model Railroad Planning 2014, which is under construction by the builder now.

Good luck with your layout.

  • Member since
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Posted by Thunder1212 on Thursday, April 18, 2019 10:44 AM

If I could suggest the southwest service, for your layout. It’s a Metra line more on par with a smaller layout. 

 

up could do junctions with the Harbor, CN, BRC , and a number of other lines along there. 

 

Plus the NS job that runs to Manhattan to switch the propellant plant.  

 

The speed by timetable may say 79, but the schedule is more to a 30 mph railroad in spots.

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