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Looking For Real Examples Of A "Cross Shaped," Layout.

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Looking For Real Examples Of A "Cross Shaped," Layout.
Posted by Engi1487 on Saturday, January 2, 2021 10:24 PM

In the model railroading design program I use, being Rail Modeller Pro (I use a Mac, so I cant use the great model railroading layout design programs like Scram. Its still a good program, but unlike the microsoft ones it lacks the full 3D aspect.), you have the option of adding in various shapes of benchwork, and customize the various dimensions as need be.

I noticed one shape of benchwork/baseboard that stood out was this cross shaped one. I have to ask if this is a common or niche shape of benchwork? If there are any photos, trackplans or real layouts that have been built this way and shown in Model Railroader magazine, or other publications I would love to know.


 

 

 

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Posted by cv_acr on Saturday, January 2, 2021 11:25 PM

I mean, you could do that, but that's probably the worst possible effective use of space in a room...

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, January 3, 2021 12:42 AM

It is an island type layout, which as stated above, is a terrible use of available space.

It might be OK for a train show display layout, but that is all I can think of.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, January 3, 2021 12:46 AM

 John Armstrong and others have shown that a G shape tends to get the most layout in a given room size.

 A rectangular island is quite inefficient if you actually allow for access - using the same amount of wood but making a donut gets a larger layout area then the rectangle. And you cna only go so big with the rectangle unless you cut access hatches in it.

 The cross shape - pretty much combines the worst of this. Unless you are modelling a specific junction in the middle, there will be far too great a ratio of curves to straights, and access to the middle will be limited.

                              --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by ndbprr on Sunday, January 3, 2021 5:46 AM

It depends on how wide the legs are. In the 70s or 80s MR had a plan for a layout that they thought had promise.  As I recall they called it a trefoil not a cross. The rendering of the layout was very interesting as 4 seperate scenes were possible

 

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Posted by dknelson on Sunday, January 3, 2021 2:43 PM

The trefoil - sort of like a 3 leaf clover -- was something Bill Schopp wrote about in his old Layout Doctor column in Railroad Model Craftsman.  Someone asked about it and his response was that he thought it was a bad idea and a terrible waste of space, not to mention some complex woodworking challenges, but then admitted that he was haunted by the idea that he might have just rejected the best idea ever, so in a later issue he did publish a number of trefoil layout plans.  And having done so, Schopp still admitted he didn't think they were a great idea.

What I recall in MR, or in GMR or MRP, is an article on junctions and crossing and how difficult it is to model a major crossing given the needs for access.  A "cross" sort of track plan, although perhaps not using the footprint in the drawing provided above, could be the way to model a major crossing or junction and still retain good practical access to the crossing itself.  

Some crossings are at or near 90 degree angles, such as State Line between Illinois and Indiana, Rondout in northern Illinois, or Duplainville here in south east Wisconsin; others have a softer angle, Rochelle IL being one good and popular example which has been used in a couple of layouts.  It is a track planning challenge to do a good job on the crossing and almost by definition you are looking at a middle of the room layout.  

Dave Nelson

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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, January 3, 2021 3:28 PM

I do seem to remember one in the defunk mag Model Railroading.

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Posted by groundeffects on Monday, January 4, 2021 10:31 PM

Model Railroader covered this.  Check the July 1974 issue, pages 45-47.  Robert Wegner had a track plan called the "Double Crossing RR".  The color illustration on pages 46-47 alone is worth checking out this article.  The track plan was designed with HO in mind, but N scale would look best.  Yep, perhaps this layout shape might be a waste of space, but the chance to create a credible N scale version of Mt. Hood or similar mountain in a layout room might be a fair tradeoff.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 7:48 AM

groundeffects
Check the July 1974 issue, pages 45-47.  Robert Wegner had a track plan called the "Double Crossing RR".  The color illustration on pages 46-47 alone is worth checking out this article. 

Sure enough!  Thanks!  

N scale would be the best for this.  In HO, each section would have to be a minimum of 4'x4', all connected in the middle to a 4'x4' center section, so in order to get around this monster, you'd need at least a 16'x16' room, which would give you 2' on each end to sneak through. Surprise

I'd post the illustration on pages 46 & 47, but I'd get my rear in trouble with the management! Smile, Wink & Grin

Mike.

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Posted by snjroy on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 2:29 PM

What an interesting conversation piece... Could it be for four yards/industries, with a circle of track in the middle to connect them? How about dividers to do something in maybe three seasons??  I think that the concept is interesting from a reach perspective. If for some reason the shelf layout is not feasible, like an unfinished garage or shed, this could be an interesting alternative. Thanks for sharing the concept.

Simon

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Posted by kasskaboose on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 2:34 PM

Based on the design, it seems you'll have trouble with this layout.  For one is reaching anything in the middle.  Anything beyond 2' is too difficult to touch for many without using a ladder or significant reach (IMHO).  The layout also seems too narrow for longer cars.

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Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 11:45 AM

I agree that the layout would be narrow for longer cars. Passenger service would not be appropriate. On the other hand, if each square equals one foot, the layout should be accessible within a 24" reach, if users can access it from any of the sides.

Simon

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Posted by Engi1487 on Friday, January 8, 2021 4:21 PM

snjroy

What an interesting conversation piece... Could it be for four yards/industries, with a circle of track in the middle to connect them? How about dividers to do something in maybe three seasons??  I think that the concept is interesting from a reach perspective. If for some reason the shelf layout is not feasible, like an unfinished garage or shed, this could be an interesting alternative. Thanks for sharing the concept.

Simon

 



Hey thanks Simon, I appriciate it. I wonder why the developers of the Rail Modeller Pro included this baseboard shape. I should come up with trackplan with the suggestions and ideas you mentioned in your comment.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, January 9, 2021 9:05 AM

The center area, inside the loop of track, would have to be nothing but scenery you never have to work with, has it would be out of reach, unless you design a lift-out area.

The squares on your drawing are 24", so the area needed for this would be a minimum of 20' x 20'.

Just imagine the shelf-around the room-type layout you could build in a 20' x20' room!  

Oh well, it's all just make-believe anyway.

Mike.

 

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Posted by snjroy on Saturday, January 9, 2021 3:52 PM

I thought they were 12" per square.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, January 9, 2021 8:20 PM

I had to go back and click on his drawing.  I think your right! Dunce

Mike.

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