Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

New layout design....Need some suggestions!

2524 views
64 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    October 2019
  • 140 posts
New layout design....Need some suggestions!
Posted by Trainzman2435 on Thursday, December 5, 2019 10:58 PM

Well, after thinking hard about my new N scale layout i finally began designing what i kind of see with what space i have to use. As many of you know my layout is a walk in style shelf type layout with possibly a second lever eventually. My era is the 1970's through the 1980's and based in the appalachian area. The picture i have attached is my first attempt with Anyrail wich i just purchased and am trying to get used to. The track plan is in NO WAY finished or complete but rather just me trying to get an idea of what i could do in the space i have. Please make any suggestions and comments, i really need them. I have inclused the radius's i plan to use but i am open to any and all suggestions. Also, as this is my first attempt at designing a track plan i am not familiar with a lot of the prototypical stuff that goes along with designing a functional and practical track plan so please be asy on me, i still need ideas on a small yard and i will have industries to service on the plan. Another one of my big dilemas is where and how much double track and single track to include in my plan. I like to see trains run continuously but i also want to switch out industry. My track will be attached to either 1" or 2" foam board ontop of 1/2" plywood so i plan on having elevations and raised scenery. Again, please give me your thoughts and suggestions...Also, if you use Anyrail and would like to modify my file please feel free, i can use all the help i can get...Thanks again!

  • Member since
    May 2010
  • 6,294 posts
Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, December 6, 2019 7:20 AM

I usually don't participate in many track plan threads, but where the tracks cross each other, are those grade level crossings? or will one track go over the other, with the use of elevated scenery? (tunnels, hills, mountains, etc).

I think adding industries would be hard to do, and look right, without hiding part of the long runs along the wall, and using the rail at the isles to access industries.

Just my first thoughts.  I've never used a track plan software, so I have nothing to offer as far methods or techniques on using any program.

Mike.

  • Member since
    January 2010
  • 2,298 posts
Posted by peahrens on Friday, December 6, 2019 7:40 AM

Perhaps consider reversing loops at each end (or one in the middle), plus at least one decent length passing track.  

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: In the heart of Georgia
  • 3,470 posts
Posted by Doughless on Friday, December 6, 2019 7:46 AM

A part of the single track along the east wall will be difficult to access if you don't plan for a hatch at the base of the peninsula or some other solution.  The easiest thing would be to make the base of the peninsula a bit narrower and adjust the track work accordingly.

- Douglas

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • 4,470 posts
Posted by RR_Mel on Friday, December 6, 2019 7:57 AM

I agree with Paul, I have a reversing loop, it’s nice to have the ability to run in both directions.  You could easily put one in either end or the peninsula.
 
Don’t forget to have several long storage tracks long enough to store a complete train, that was my error.
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
  • Member since
    January 2014
  • 1,039 posts
Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Friday, December 6, 2019 9:07 AM

Looking at the right side of the layout where the two long legs join the short cross bar end section . . .

You have the front (aisle) tracks turning the corner and going to the rear. That's good. Instead of two short-radius curves and a straight 45-degree run, put a single sweeping large-radius curve at each corner instead.

Just my opinion, of course.

Robert 

LINK to SNSR Blog


  • Member since
    June 2007
  • From: Grew up in Calif, left in 84, now in Virginia
  • 7,290 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, December 6, 2019 9:16 AM

The middle section is way too short and wastes a lot of good space in the middle.  If it were me, I would extend that middle section as far to the left as you can while leaving a comfortable walkway around the inside of the layout.  It looks like you can comfortably extend the middle 6 feet further to the left.  Thats what I would do.

Otherwise, the basic track plan looks pretty good.  Of course you could flesh out more detail like sidings, yard, industry, storage tracks etc. but the basic plan is a good start - just extend the middle section as far as you can, that way you get much more running length for trains to operate.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    January 2014
  • 1,039 posts
Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Friday, December 6, 2019 9:27 AM

riogrande5761

The middle section is way too short and wastes a lot of good space in the middle.  If it were me, I would extend that middle section as far to the left as you can while leaving a comfortable walkway around the inside of the layout.  It looks like you can comfortably extend the middle 6 feet further to the left.  Thats what I would do.

Otherwise, the basic track plan looks pretty good.  Of course you could flesh out more detail like sidings, yard, industry, storage tracks etc. but the basic plan is a good start - just extend the middle section as far as you can, that way you get much more running length for trains to operate.

I agree. The middle peninsula can have a narrow width for most of its length with a 48" diameter bulb at the end (about where that big red square is). Allows a little more elbow room in the aisles.

LINK to SNSR Blog


  • Member since
    July 2009
  • From: somerset, nj
  • 2,811 posts
Posted by gregc on Friday, December 6, 2019 9:35 AM

i hope you've read the other "new layout" and "layout design"  threads

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

  • Member since
    May 2010
  • 6,294 posts
Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, December 6, 2019 9:36 AM

riogrande5761
The middle section is way too short and wastes a lot of good space in the middle.  If it were me, I would extend that middle section as far to the left as you can while leaving a comfortable walkway around the inside of the layout.  It looks like you can comfortably extend the middle 6 feet further to the left.  Thats what I would do.

I agree.  With the use of a sceneic devider, that extended penninsula could open up more switching posibilities, along with extending the main line run.

Mike.

  • Member since
    April 2018
  • From: 53° 33′ N, 10° 0′ E
  • 1,913 posts
Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Friday, December 6, 2019 9:45 AM

Without some basic knowledge of prototype operations, the OP will not be in a position to develop a functional track plan, nor will he be in a position to judge any track plan presented to him. He needs to do some homework, before he jumps into planning a layout, which otherwise ends up of just space filled with lots of track.

My advice is to get a copy of Armstrong´s famous "Track Planning For Realistic Operation" and tom start from there.

I remember the OP stating that he is fairly new to the hobby. He started out building the Salt Lake Route, a very nice MR project layout, which had only one major design flaw - the lack of staging facilities. The OP had came quite far in building it, so why give the project up? Why not add staging and complete the layout to hone the own skills? Just because there is a nice space available, doesn´mean it has to be filled with a layout, even more so when it is the first ever built one!

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

  • Member since
    August 2013
  • From: Richmond, VA
  • 1,790 posts
Posted by carl425 on Friday, December 6, 2019 11:48 AM

I think a G shape works better than an E shape in most cases.  I'd do it like this:

I'd also hide the return lap and use it to create staging.

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • 140 posts
Posted by Trainzman2435 on Friday, December 6, 2019 11:57 AM

Tinplate Toddler

Without some basic knowledge of prototype operations, the OP will not be in a position to develop a functional track plan, nor will he be in a position to judge any track plan presented to him. He needs to do some homework, before he jumps into planning a layout, which otherwise ends up of just space filled with los of track.

My advice is to get a copy of Armstrong´s famous "Track Planning For Realistic Operation" and tom start from there.

I remember the OP stating that he is fairly new to the hobby. He started out building the Salt Lake Route, a very nice MR project layout, which had only one major design flaw - the lack of staging facilities. The OP had came quite far in building it, so why give the project up? Why not add staging and complete the layout to hone the own skills? Just because there is a nice space available, doesn´mean it has to be filled with a layout, even more so when it is the first ever built one!

 

 

Tinplate Toddler, i understand what you are saying and appreciate the advice. If i said i was new to the hobby i didnt mean to. What i meant is that i had been out of the hobby for the last 10 years or so but have been messing with model railroads ever since i was old enough to remember although i have never had a "complete" layout i have had many attempts. I am now 52 and decided to get back into the hobby to both fullfill my childhood dream of having a functional model railroad as well as to spend time with my 2 younger sons. As far as finishing up the "Salt Lake Route" layout that i had started, after closer observation it was just going to be a whole lot of work to try and repair all the damnage from setting over the years in a non climate controlled area so i decided instead to move forward and just start a new layout in my new location. As for John Armstrongs book, i agree with you. I actually had a copy of it many years ago but have since lost it during the moves etc. Again, i appreciate your valuable input and suggestions, i just wanted to explain why i was doing what i am.

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • 140 posts
Posted by Trainzman2435 on Friday, December 6, 2019 12:00 PM

gregc

i hope you've read the other "new layout" and "layout design"  threads

 

gregc, No sir i have not as of yet but i will be sure to now that you have mentioned it. In all honesty i have not been a member on here very long and between being sick and trying to work i just have not had enough time to read everything that i need to....Thanks for the suggestion sir!

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • 140 posts
Posted by Trainzman2435 on Friday, December 6, 2019 12:01 PM

mbinsewi

I usually don't participate in many track plan threads, but where the tracks cross each other, are those grade level crossings? or will one track go over the other, with the use of elevated scenery? (tunnels, hills, mountains, etc).

I think adding industries would be hard to do, and look right, without hiding part of the long runs along the wall, and using the rail at the isles to access industries.

Just my first thoughts.  I've never used a track plan software, so I have nothing to offer as far methods or techniques on using any program.

Mike.

 

 

Thanks for your input mbinsewi, i appreciate it. Yes sir, i was planning to cross the other track with an elevation of some kind!

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • 140 posts
Posted by Trainzman2435 on Friday, December 6, 2019 12:02 PM

peahrens

Perhaps consider reversing loops at each end (or one in the middle), plus at least one decent length passing track.  

 

 

peahrens, thanks for your input and good idea....I appreciate your time!

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • 140 posts
Posted by Trainzman2435 on Friday, December 6, 2019 12:05 PM

RR_Mel

I agree with Paul, I have a reversing loop, it’s nice to have the ability to run in both directions.  You could easily put one in either end or the peninsula.
 
Don’t forget to have several long storage tracks long enough to store a complete train, that was my error.
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
 

 

Mel, i also agree with you both and really appreciate the idea and suggestion...I just had never considered it due to being overwhelmed with trying to get something up and running lol....I will see what i can come up with based on your alls suggestions....Many thanks!

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • 140 posts
Posted by Trainzman2435 on Friday, December 6, 2019 12:06 PM

ROBERT PETRICK

Looking at the right side of the layout where the two long legs join the short cross bar end section . . .

You have the front (aisle) tracks turning the corner and going to the rear. That's good. Instead of two short-radius curves and a straight 45-degree run, put a single sweeping large-radius curve at each corner instead.

Just my opinion, of course.

Robert 

 

Thanks Robert, i will see what i can come up with!

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • 140 posts
Posted by Trainzman2435 on Friday, December 6, 2019 12:09 PM

riogrande5761

The middle section is way too short and wastes a lot of good space in the middle.  If it were me, I would extend that middle section as far to the left as you can while leaving a comfortable walkway around the inside of the layout.  It looks like you can comfortably extend the middle 6 feet further to the left.  Thats what I would do.

Otherwise, the basic track plan looks pretty good.  Of course you could flesh out more detail like sidings, yard, industry, storage tracks etc. but the basic plan is a good start - just extend the middle section as far as you can, that way you get much more running length for trains to operate.

 

riogrande5761, im trying to understand what exactly you mean when you say move the center isle to the left as far as i can....Anyway you could possibly mock up a sketch what you mean sir? Thank you very much and i appreciate your input!

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • 140 posts
Posted by Trainzman2435 on Friday, December 6, 2019 12:11 PM

carl425

I think a G shape works better than an E shape in most cases.  I'd do it like this:

I'd also hide the return lap and use it to create staging.

 

 

carl425, i really like your idea there sir...It makes a world of difference just from an appearence point of view alone. Maybe some of the other guys here can provide some input on your idea here as to maybe this is what they are trying to suggest to me...Thanks again sir, i really like your idea!

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • 140 posts
Posted by Trainzman2435 on Friday, December 6, 2019 12:21 PM

carl425

I think a G shape works better than an E shape in most cases.  I'd do it like this:

I'd also hide the return lap and use it to create staging.

 

carl, would it be possible for you to add what the radius's are on your plan there, it would really help me out! Thank you sir!

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • From: Grew up in Calif, left in 84, now in Virginia
  • 7,290 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, December 6, 2019 12:23 PM

gregc

i hope you've read the other "new layout" and "layout design"  threads 

 

The OP seems to be starting a new thread with every new sub-idea so things are getting scattered and hard to follow.

It might be helpful for a moderator to combine several of these topics into one.  Idea

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    August 2013
  • From: Richmond, VA
  • 1,790 posts
Posted by carl425 on Friday, December 6, 2019 12:26 PM

Trainzman2435
would it be possible for you to add what the radius's are on your plan

Everything is 18"

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • 140 posts
Posted by Trainzman2435 on Friday, December 6, 2019 12:34 PM
Carl, thank you sir!
  • Member since
    October 2019
  • 140 posts
Posted by Trainzman2435 on Friday, December 6, 2019 12:36 PM

riogrande5761

 

 
gregc

i hope you've read the other "new layout" and "layout design"  threads 

 

 

 

The OP seems to be starting a new thread with every new sub-idea so things are getting scattered and hard to follow.

It might be helpful for a moderator to combine several of these topics into one.  Idea

 

 

riogrande5761, i apologize for all the confusion i am causing here and will keep track of my posts from now on. Also, could you guide me to the links mentioned above, i have looked but cant seem to find them.....Thanks again!

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • 140 posts
Posted by Trainzman2435 on Friday, December 6, 2019 12:41 PM

mbinsewi

 

 
riogrande5761
The middle section is way too short and wastes a lot of good space in the middle.  If it were me, I would extend that middle section as far to the left as you can while leaving a comfortable walkway around the inside of the layout.  It looks like you can comfortably extend the middle 6 feet further to the left.  Thats what I would do.

 

I agree.  With the use of a sceneic devider, that extended penninsula could open up more switching posibilities, along with extending the main line run.

Mike.

 

 

Mike, i also like the idea and appreciate your input sir! Thanks.

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • From: Grew up in Calif, left in 84, now in Virginia
  • 7,290 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, December 6, 2019 2:08 PM

Trainzman2435

riogrande5761, i apologize for all the confusion i am causing here and will keep track of my posts from now on. Also, could you guide me to the links mentioned above, i have looked but cant seem to find them.....Thanks again!

I count 5 topics on the first page of the Layouts and layout building section of the forums all related to Trainzman2435 layout questions and help.

I've asked the moderators to take a look and hopefully when they have time, they will combine them all into one single topic, as it's all pretty much related to the request for layout help by the same member.  Cheers.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • 140 posts
Posted by Trainzman2435 on Friday, December 6, 2019 6:22 PM

riogrande5761
riogrande5761

 

riogrande5761, thank you sir!

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • 140 posts
Posted by Trainzman2435 on Saturday, December 7, 2019 11:02 PM

Here is my latest attempt at a track design. After much thought i think i have decided to just go with a center peninsula rather than the "G" shape suggested only due to my carpentry skills and not feeling comfortable taking a chance on messing it up. I planned my grade begenning on the center peninsula and wrapping around coming down the other side. It will be about 16' at a 2% grade reaching 4". I am thinking of making the entire center peninsula a mountainous scene with bridges and water falls and or lakes/rivers. Anyways, i know my yards leave a lot to be desired but i am working at it. The north part of the layout i knew i did want a diesel service facility with turn table as well as a cement and gravel plant to service it. The south portion of the layout is still in planning so i just built a small double ended ladder yard for now even though it is rather long for what i plan to run as far as consists. Anyways, please give me your suggestions and ideas....Thanks!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 10,680 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, December 7, 2019 11:23 PM

Hi Trainzman2435,

My suggestion would be to do a mock up of the narrow spots on the aisles. If you are a skinny guy, 24" might be all right. I'm afraid I would get stuck!Embarrassed Even if you are okay with the narrow aisles, give some thought to how close the track and other items can be to the edge of the layout before things start to get knocked about by errant elbows and sleeves.

I visited a friend's layout last week. He is very slender so he is fine with his narrow aisles. I could barely get through them and it felt claustrophobic. We were discussing the locations for his signals and I suggested that he mount them where they are less likely to get knocked as opposed to where they probably should be. Same with trees, telephone poles or structures.

By the way, I have to comment on how polite and appreciative you are. Very nice to see! I'll bet your kids are polite too!

Dave

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!