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6x12 Track Plan Help

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  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Culpeper, Va
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Posted by IRONROOSTER on Sunday, February 9, 2020 12:44 AM

Take a look at plan 56 (Dayton & Northern RR) in 101 Track Plans by Linn Westcott.  I to appears to have most of your requirements (no staging though).  It also has a 14" turntable and round house which could be replaced with something else.

Good luck


If you're having fun, you're doing it the right way.
  • Member since
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  • From: Grew up in Calif, left in 84, now in Virginia
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, February 6, 2020 8:23 AM

I agree with Mike, around the walls will net you considerably more layout with longer runs and wider curves.  I'm not a pro track designer but have digested a lot of layout design literature and done my own scale drawing old school on graph paper and built them to full size.

If the layout is 6x12 island, the I'd guess there is considerably more room available as there would have to be access around at least 3 sides, possible all 4.  That being the case, there may be in reality, conservatively, 10x16 space which would really increase possiblities and is a folded water wings configuration is possible, even a lift out might be avoided.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, February 6, 2020 8:20 AM

If you will be operating from the opening, obviously each long side has to be narrow.  But if the opening needs to be used for access only to the back side for derailments, then there are more options for depth.

If the latter, conceptually, you would want most of the action on the front side of the layout and maybe the backside to be scenery only, one straight through track for example, in order to minimize the derailments and the need to get into the pit.

The front side could be quite deep too, since you would have the ability to build scenery and structures, and correct the ocasional derailment, from the pit if needed.

A big yard and industries up front and along the sides...then a single track with rural scenery in the back?  A river with a brige?  A canyon with a tall trestle? Just a thought.

- Douglas

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Thursday, February 6, 2020 7:10 AM

A 6 by 12 layout with an operating pit in the center is quite a challenge. Unless you are a very skinny person, it is quite an impractical thing to do.

The late Stein Rypern from Norway, known as steinjr in this parish, once designed and built a layout about 7 by 12 ft., with the access to the "pit" via a lift bridge. if you have a chance to get that extra foot in depth, well then Stein´s design can certainly be adapted to incorporate your wants.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

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

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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, February 6, 2020 6:47 AM

Any reason that it needs to be an island, and not along the walls of the room?

There is a resident professional layout designer that post in here, Byron, his handle in here is Cuyama, I'm sure he'll see this and chime in.


  • Member since
    March 2019
  • From: Bethlehem, PA
  • 49 posts
6x12 Track Plan Help
Posted by HO Hobbyist on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 9:08 PM

Hi all, 

I've got some track planning software and am having some difficulty making myself a layout plan. The software is easy enough (SCARM) and I've got a good idea of what I want. I'm curious if anyone has any help for a track plan.

My requirements are a bit odd. 

  • 6x12 Island layout, but open on the inside. One of the long sides will be against a wall.
  • 2 mainlines for continuous operations of mainline trains.
  • 1 main yard with a few tracks and a yard lead. 
  • 1 secondary "yard" - This represents the LVRR's Florence Yard in Bethlehem, PA. It served as an interchange between the LV and the Bethlehemel-owned PBNE. I'll also have some steel buildings here.
  • 2 passenger stations (not long. Just enough for a duo of RDCs.) 
  • A few small industries.
  • And Bonus: A few hidden tracks for parking to represent the outside world beyond my layout. I don't need to switch this area nor does the main need to go through this.

If anyone knows any plans that could be modified slightly to fit, that's great. If anyone is interested in actually designing one, that'd be amazing but I'm not going to ask you to.

Modeler of the Lehigh Valley Railroad in Bethlehem PA, 1971 and railfan of Norfolk Southern's Lehigh and Reading Lines of the modern day.

"When railroading time comes you can railroad...but not before."

- Robert A. Heinlein

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