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N scale door layout plans

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N scale door layout plans
Posted by BerkshireSteam on Saturday, November 06, 2010 2:22 AM

Is there a book out there (ex. 101 Track Plans) that has N scale track plans concerning door layouts? I am finally getting to the poitn of making a model train layout a reality, and am purely focused on N scale. I am interested in smaller layouts since I live in an apartment. I am looking at a table-top style layout, no bigger than 3 x 8 feet. I would like to have a fun layout to run, and something that is fun to build. Since I have limited space I am concentrating more on a switching style layout, but I prefers things to be more prototypical. It's okay if a few things here and there are made more model like, but I do not want a spaghetti bowl of track with only a few buildings in place. A small shelf style layout may also be optional, but at the moment that is a lesser option since the wife and I plan to move out of our current apartment for due reasons.

I have not chosen to model a prototype or free-lance, but I am not too worried about this. I also collect N scale locomotives and rolling stock, so even if I did pick a particular prototypical railroad to model, I may not neccesarily run a locomotive from that RR. I do know that I would like to model the upper-Midwest, since that is the region I live in.

This will be my first layout, but I have been heavily interested in the hobby for about three years now. I have done some investigating and research, but not as to specific railroads to model and such.

Thanks for any help.

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Posted by Sir Madog on Saturday, November 06, 2010 2:31 AM

I don´t know about a specific book about small N scale layouts, but in the web you will find a lot of information.

Try your luck here.

There is still Dave Vollmer´s excellent hollow core door layout - take a look here

Also, the December 2010 issue of MR has a nice feature on a 3` by 7´ N scale layout and, last, but not least, Marty McGuirk´s book on "N Scale Railroading - Getting started in the Hobby" (Kalmbach - may be out of print).

Cheers!

Ulrich

People in Hamburg don´t tan, they rust!

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Posted by BerkshireSteam on Sunday, November 07, 2010 12:29 AM

I have seen David Vollmer's layout and it is an excellent looking layout. I have also caught a look at the fore mentioned layout in new MR issue. It looks like a fun build, but I am worried about operations. I have a concern about operating sessions not lasting long enough to keep interest. I am almost thinking I should try to design a small shelf. It is starting to get cold for winter so I would not be moving untill spring. I'm not going to trudge a King sized matress through 2 feet of snow in 10 degree weather. So for now this means I have a spare room to build in.

More to think about.

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Posted by steinjr on Sunday, November 07, 2010 12:52 AM

 Hi --

 I saw a small 3x7 foot N scale Hollow Core Door plan by forum poster Paulus Jas in another forum that might give you some ideas:

3x7 might be a little big for a HCD (Hollow Core Door) - which is - umm - 32 x 80" ? 

But it is a good illustration of using a viewblock down the spine of a table layout to split it into two scenes, using the "peanut shape" mainline along the top to give it some variety, instead of running track parallel to the edge of the layout and not the least - adding some staging to a small layout - both cassette staging and some hidden staging along backdrop/viewblock on the top half.

 Not a given that it will work for you exactly as drawn, but it might give you some ideas.

 Btw - the N scale loop on HCD format gives you the ability to do continuous run with reasonably wide curves, but if you want to do a two scene layout with a central divider, you need to be able to access both sides of the table.

 Btw2 - since you mentioned not being able to make a shelf layout because you were planning to move - it is not a given that shelf style layout (ie long and narrow) has to be fastened to the wall.  You can easily build a long and narrow layout that is standing on legs, possibly even making it in sections to make it easy to move or store.

 Smile,
 Stein, getting ready to go wake up my youngest kid for his ninth birthday - how did that happen so fast?

 

 

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Posted by Sir Madog on Sunday, November 07, 2010 1:21 AM

If you are more into operation than just letting trains run, a shelf layout might be a good idea, as it is also much easier to move, should that be a necessity.

Here is an idea I have developed some time ago:

Just as a source for inspiration.

Cheers!

Ulrich

People in Hamburg don´t tan, they rust!

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Posted by leighant on Sunday, November 07, 2010 9:06 AM

Here are some plans for N somewhat SMALLER than hollow core door.  You can always stretch them out--

A scenic divide down the middle gives you two distinct "places" and a sense of "going someplace" within a small space.

 

 An L-shaped plan which includes what MIGHT a hollow-core door plan by itself- I haven't measured it for such.  This was for someone who wanted a southwest desert scene AND a town AND an interchange.  He didn't ask for it but I noticed astronomy was his other hobby and his webname included "Hawk" so I found a place for a Hawk Mountain astronomical observatory.

A small loads out- empties in layout featuring coal hauling.

 

I have doodled several other small layouts, often featuring places for industry switching that tie in with scenery, setting and structures, and often using the scenic divider.  Two-train continuous running is NOT one of my priorities on a very small pike.

So much for sketches.  Here is a plan-view blimp's eye photo of a 2 x 3 layout I actually built.

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Posted by Sir Madog on Sunday, November 07, 2010 9:45 AM

Just another plan I found in my files - the "Beer Line" in N scale, based on MR´s famous project layout!

Cheers!

Ulrich

People in Hamburg don´t tan, they rust!

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Posted by Dave Vollmer on Sunday, November 07, 2010 10:17 AM

You can also look at HO plans and scale them down.  A 36" x 80" hollow-core door is the equivalent of 6' x 13' or so in HO.  I recommend not skimping on width...  Going the full 36" gives you upwards of a 16" radius curve on the ends to handle virtually all N scale equipment.

HCD (hollow-core door)  layouts can be limiting in that they're not the most efficient use of a spare room.  Cockpit designs are more efficient.  However, HCD layouts shine in portability.  Case in point:  I move every 2-3 years with the military so I never know what size or shape room I'll have at the next assignment.  The HCD can fit in all but the tiniest rooms with little difficulty.  Plus, they're just so darned easy to build and self-contained.

Best of luck!  There are lots of great HCD layouts out there.  Or design your own.  I don't much care for the appearance of Kato Unitrack, but since it's so easy to work with, it may be worth picking some up (if you have the cash to spare) just to mess around with different track configurations before committing to a plan.

For actual track laying, I would recommend trying Atlas' code 55 track.  Here's a comparison.  I laid the main door layout with code 80 Atlas track:

But later, when I extended the layout, I went with the new code 55.  I found it's just as reliable and even easier to work with, but looks much better:

Here's where I connected the two:

Code 80 on the left, code 55 on the right, both from Atlas.

Click here to go to Dave Vollmer's N Scale Pennsy

America's Broad Way of Commerce...The Standard Railroad of the World

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Posted by tgindy on Sunday, November 07, 2010 1:19 PM

As a way to combine some of the neat suggestions above...

102 Realistic Track Plans not only has "modernized" track plans fitting your layout size objective, but; includes many welcome "how-to" articles -- As just one example -- To properly resize HO Scale layouts to N Scale.

One layout design technique is to take portions of say, 2 to 4 layouts, that appeal to you "and connect them" into a larger layout.

In N Scale -- Larger can mean what fits on a door -- With scenic view-blocks (backdrops, mountains, bridges, etc.).  A closer look at Dave Vollmer's N Scale Juniata Division shows how that can be accomplished.

Another idea converts the proven HO Scale Highland Terminal Railroad (switching layout) from HO Scale (72"x12") to N Scale (apx. 40"x7") -- Leaving a lot of real estate on that door layout for a 2-track mainline oval(s) with crossovers -- 2 connected lefthand turnouts + 2 connected righthand turnouts -- Side-by-side -- To allow trains to go in either direction.

Conemaugh Road & Traction circa 1956

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Posted by BerkshireSteam on Sunday, November 07, 2010 11:19 PM

Good to hear you chime in Dave. I forgot you floated around in the forums. HCD size is pretty close. I do believe MaDog and Stein are not in America, so you may or may not have noticed that American measurements may not be exact. It's kind of a bummer. My apartment uses a 36x80 inch HCD for the front door (so it gets kind of noisey). The other doors are 28 x 80 inch HCD's. Now the doors themselves do in fact measure 80 inches tall, but the width is often less. The  28 inch wide bedroom door measured out to 27.25 inch.

I'm looking into door layouts for the continuous running option. I think I mentioned that I also collect N scale loco's, so some of my loco roster wouldn't be used for shunting cars around, but I do like the option available to lash on a 2-8-4 (hint hint) behind an empty train of 50T hoppers, or haul around an intermodal train with a DDA40X.

It also occurred to me last night that a shelf layout could be built with open grid bench work and some plywood set on legs. I didn't think of that until I thought of a yard layout.

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Posted by BerkshireSteam on Monday, November 08, 2010 2:58 AM

steinjr

 Hi --

 I saw a small 3x7 foot N scale Hollow Core Door plan by forum poster Paulus Jas in another forum that might give you some ideas:

http://i989.photobucket.com/albums/af19/Paulus_Jas/7X3SMALLFIRSTPIKEN.jpg

 

I got a chance to really look at this little plan and I think it's quite nice. It may be coincidence or not, but also the labeled industries are a majority of the ones I was researching. I also like the inner loop spur, an easy spot for staging a branchline of the modeled railroad or a connection with a different. This would give me the option of modeling two railroads. Thank you for sharing stein. I still might choose to make it with open-grid bench work with foam board and plywood. I'm not as keen on the hollow core doors (the one's in the apartment are starting to separate). Not to mention, by building my own bench work I could make it a full 7 feet long, gaining an extra 4 inches in length (80"= 6'- 8").

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Posted by JoninKrakow on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 2:32 PM

tgindy

Another idea converts the proven HO Scale Highland Terminal Railroad (switching layout) from HO Scale (72"x12") to N Scale (apx. 40"x7") -- Leaving a lot of real estate on that door layout for a 2-track mainline oval(s) with crossovers -- 2 connected lefthand turnouts + 2 connected righthand turnouts -- Side-by-side -- To allow trains to go in either direction.

Just as a head's up to others, while I chose to do this plan, and am currently using it, it has one "flaw" that drives me crazy. I know it's supposed to be a switching puzzle and all, but there is one point where it seems to me it goes too far. If you will look at the plan, at the south yard track. The only way to get from the outer yard track to the rest of the tracks is through a zig-zag through the North track. For some reason, over time, that little "feature" just got under my skin. I can deal with all the other bottlenecks, but having to bring one or two cars at a time through that bottleneck just got under my skin over time. In the end, I've pretty much stopped running this plan with the full 20-car consist, and just use 18 or even 16 cars. (2 hoppers and 3 boxcars, or even 1 hopper and 2 boxcars)

I know it's really hard to beat the compactness of this track plan, and the fact that I can fit it on a 120x28cm Ikea shelf in N-scale is a biig bonus, but that one "feature".... 

 

I like your idea of adding it to a larger railroad. If I were doing that, I'd add a crossover east of T4, which would allow direct running to the east runaround track, and open up the whole yard to more realistic operation (for use on a real railroad). 

Well, I've said more than enough... (And sorry for the late reply. I've been away from the forums for ages)

-Jon

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Posted by tgindy on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 5:26 PM

Just picked up the December 2010 MRR (mentioned above) with the 5-page -- "An N Scale Erie Empire on a door" -- a 3'x7' door -- A start-to-finish layout describing the kind of layout you desire including operations & design rationale.  Check it out at your favorite magazine location.

December MRRs are always "good issues" -- This issue also includes Rod Stewart's 8-page "Three Rivers City" -- Inspired by the Pennsy, George Sellios scenery-style, and Manhattan -- from 75 years ago.

P.S.:  Highland Terminal Railroad originated in Linn Westcott's 101 Trackplans as the title, "Switchman's Nightmare."  Also a nice suggestion for Turnout #4 above.

Conemaugh Road & Traction circa 1956

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Posted by JoninKrakow on Friday, November 12, 2010 3:22 PM

tgindy

P.S.:  Highland Terminal Railroad originated in Linn Westcott's 101 Trackplans as the title, "Switchman's Nightmare."  Also a nice suggestion for Turnout #4 above.

I know everybody says that the Highland Terminal Railroad is based on the Switchman's Nightmare, but honestly, the differences are so strong, that it's hard to even compare them! Let's be honest, Westcott's plan was nothing more than a sketch, but Osterweil took the time and effort to work his plan out to the furthest detail, to the point that I was able to adapt it to 50 and 60ft modern rolling stock, with engines as large as DASH 8-40CW! I have searched, and have had yet to find any model done as a credible copy of Westcott's plan, sadly.

Oh, and I ripped track this evening, and moved the switch to where I suspected it would work better, extending the lead accordingly, and yes, everything works much, much, much smoother now! In fact, it's no longer a puzzle, but a credible, crowded yard. ;-)

-Jon

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Posted by BerkshireSteam on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 5:46 PM

Thanks for all the help and suggestions posters. I've decided to build a shelf leyout instead. It will be intended to be attached to the wall, L-shaped 8 x 10 feet, and 20 inches at the widest. Our tv stand is 20 inches wide and it seems to be a good width to allow room for scenery. Maybe some hills, but nothing like a big mountain or anything. Trains will be around 4 feet long, including loco and waycar, end of a small branchline. Possibly an interchange with another mainline from a rival RR. My LHS currently has 3 or 4 Atlas RS1's in various rr's (I know is M&StL and I do believe another was Reading, at least it looked like the HO Reading RS1 at Hobby Town). that I hope to get all of. In fact, I just came up with the name. Duck Creek & Oneida Ry (DCOR). My wife has some family on the res/town of the same name with Duck Creek running through it. Trains would run on/off the layout using a cassette.

It would also be small enough to take an endeavor into hand laying track. I know I want to hand lay my turnouts, might as well do the rest of the track too. Once I get started on the layout I will be doing updates and the such on MR forums.

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