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Suggestions for an easy to build HO layout on 4x8?

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  • Member since
    January 2020
  • 94 posts
Posted by Wdodge0912 on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 1:12 AM

We close on the house on the 20th. We are still figuring out rooms and such, since she wants our bunnies to have hard flooring, but yet wants to put them in a room where we would have to rip up the carpet. 

If the trains end up in the second living room, I'll be doing a switching layout on top of a book shelf (like a half height one or so) I'll probably make the bookshelf myself. I also though for the longer passanger cars I have, and want to get a long steam engine for them, I could do a loop around the room, but up towards the ceiling. Not sure if HO would be too small for something like that, but I could do that.

 

If my stuff goes into the master bedroom, I'm going to have to figure it out then. But I was thinking a U or L shape would fit, and I could also put a tunnel or 2 through into the walk in closet. 

  • Member since
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  • From: West Australia
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Posted by John Busby on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 7:18 AM
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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 8:09 AM

Here John, The Virginian build:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/202934.aspx

It's not actually the official MRR build, it's a members version.  Any obscured Photobucket pictures, you can click on to see it.

Mike.

  • Member since
    April 2005
  • From: West Australia
  • 2,145 posts
Posted by John Busby on Thursday, February 6, 2020 8:14 AM

mbinsewi

Here John, The Virginian build:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/202934.aspx

It's not actually the official MRR build, it's a members version.  Any obscured Photobucket pictures, you can click on to see it.

Mike.

 

Hi Mike

I know its not the official build that was in Model Railroader.

Its far more important than that its real people trying to build a project layout and how and what they did any problems they encountered

Far more usefull than the experts articles nice though they where.

regards John

 

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: In the heart of Georgia
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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, February 6, 2020 8:41 AM

Wdodge0912

We close on the house on the 20th. We are still figuring out rooms and such, since she wants our bunnies to have hard flooring, but yet wants to put them in a room where we would have to rip up the carpet. 

If the trains end up in the second living room, I'll be doing a switching layout on top of a book shelf (like a half height one or so) I'll probably make the bookshelf myself. I also though for the longer passanger cars I have, and want to get a long steam engine for them, I could do a loop around the room, but up towards the ceiling. Not sure if HO would be too small for something like that, but I could do that.

 

If my stuff goes into the master bedroom, I'm going to have to figure it out then. But I was thinking a U or L shape would fit, and I could also put a tunnel or 2 through into the walk in closet. 

 

Its best to get settled in your space, choosing what room you can have a layout in before you get too deep into this.

Along that thinking, what do you mean by "bunnies".  Is that an acronym for cute toddlers or do you and your wife  actually have pet rabbits? (Are you saying one room for multiple toddlers or multiple rabbits?)

If its the latter, is there any reason that you couldn't build an around the room layout in their bedroom, say 48 inches high on shelves, then use the floor area as intended.  Seems like that would be the least intrusive way to have both hobbies.

The game table can still go in the living room as intended.

- Douglas

  • Member since
    January 2020
  • 94 posts
Posted by Wdodge0912 on Friday, February 7, 2020 2:03 AM

Pet rabbits. We call them bunnies to differentiate them from outside wildlife rabbits. And I have thought of that, but they are quite destructive and very good at hopping up where they shouldnt be. In our first apartment together we had  a black storage shelf, and I was using their room for a work space on my rc cars I was racing at the time. They managed to jump to the top of it and chew the motor wires on my cars. And they got down from there too safely.

 

So I would put something in there, but I'd probably have to put a lid on it, as they would chew anything that's left out (not just wires, but trains and buildings) they would at least get up on the table for sure and knock stuff around.

 

I think with either room I'm going for a switching layout now though, and then also making a loop around the room, but above the doorways. I know I'll need a ladder, but I will be able to run my passanger train around that, and itll be the only one. I'll probably have sections of plexiglass or something attached so it is boxed in

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  • From: Chicago, IL
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Posted by Eilif on Friday, February 7, 2020 11:16 AM

Wdodge0912

 

 

So I would put something in there, but I'd probably have to put a lid on it, as they would chew anything that's left out (not just wires, but trains and buildings) they would at least get up on the table for sure and knock stuff around.

 

I think with either room I'm going for a switching layout now though, and then also making a loop around the room, but above the doorways. I know I'll need a ladder, but I will be able to run my passanger train around that, and itll be the only one. I'll probably have sections of plexiglass or something attached so it is boxed in

 

A few random suggestions after reading through this thread.

-Get in the space first before making any solid decisions or buying more stuff.

-If you decide to go the standalone table layout and can swing it, go 5x9.  It will allow you to go 27 or 28 on the outer loop, 24" (they make sectional track in 24" which can save you some flex frustration) on the inner and 22" inside that.  Almost everything will run well and look pretty good on those curves.  Also, you may be able to find a used sturdy Ping Pong table (I did) and save yourself time and money on benchwork.

-Don't limit yourself by the track you have now.   Just don't. Swtiches can be pricey, but Code 100 track generally isn't  Buy what you need to get the best result. 

-#4 and #6 switches are a better option than snap-switches.

-Bookshelves under are a pretty good idea, though you may want to think through where your're going to keep trains, kits, tools, supplies etc. 

-Abandon the idea of a combo gaming table and train table.  That's a sure fire way to make comprimises that will ruin both experiences.  If you have to have both, make yourself a fun little layout on a thick piece of 4x8 extruded insulatuion foam that can be laid on top of your game table and leaned up against the wall when not in use. 

As an asside, for a wargame table I've had very good luck for several years using folding closet hollow core doors. I've got 5 of them, each about 1x6.5 feet.  I lay a blanket on the kitchen table and two 5 foot 2x4's on top of that.  Then the 5 panels go on top.  You can use the surface (Mine have a desert sand surface) or roll out a traditional 4x6 wargaming mat and still have room around the edges for gaming materials.  After the game, I wrap the sections in old sheets and stand them up in the corner of the porch where they take up a floor footprint of only about 1 foot square. 

-The Athearn  passenger equipment you have is a very good choice for relatively small curves like these.  I have some longer cars too, but I think the Athearn's look the best on the smaller curves that I have.

Good luck whatever you decide.

 

Visit the Chicago Valley Railroad for Chicago Trainspotting and Budget Model Railroading. 

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