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Starting a new ho and n scale layout and I need help

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Starting a new ho and n scale layout and I need help
Posted by the old train man on Friday, April 19, 2019 11:40 AM

 Well I finally got moved into my new house. Good news is it has no stairs to climb,bad news is I only have a 10ft by 11ft room for the train layout.I have the benchwork up for a ho dogbone with 22 inch curves. The problem is where am I gona put the n scale? Please dont tell me to trade it for more ho stuff. I have 20 engines in n scale all with dcc and some with sound. I cant figure out how to put both ho and n scale in this room and for it to look right. I once put a n shelf layout above the ho but it seemed to take away  something from the ho.I love both scales and would like to keep both. Might be ill have to bite thr bullit and sell off my n scale but I have had some of these items since 1968. Ive had ho longer than that. Any suggestions would be appreciated,thanks for your time.Confused

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, April 19, 2019 11:51 AM

I guess your going to have to pick your scale. 

With the room you have, and all of the N scale equipment, why didn't you just go with N scale?

You'd get a lot more lay out with the space you have, and wouldn't need to worry about 22" radius, and limiting the equipment you can run.

Put on a shelf above the HO lay out.

Mike.

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Friday, April 19, 2019 1:21 PM

Perhaps you don’t have to get rid of either scale just move one out of you room.

Here’s what I mean, you could build in one scale a permanent layout in your train room, and build modules in the other scale that you can set up at shows, in your garage, or wherever you have space, and put them in storage (say under your permanent layout) when not in use.

There are many different standards to build modules to, Ntrak, T-trak, Freemo, to name a few, and each has different advantages and disadvantages. As for make the choice of which scale to go modular with, first you want to see what other modelers in your area do, the whole point of a module is to join it to others to make a layout.

Based on what you’ve described of you situation, I would make your layout N scale, 22’ is just not enough to run a lot of cars, it’s hardly more than the HO “minimum” of 18’. I model both N and HO and I have N running in a loop and HO configured for switching. That seems to be how the things each scale is best suited for. Remember 10’ by 11’ is four times as much N scale real estate!

If you do chose HO for your permanent layout I recommend you abandon your continuous run dog bone for a point to point switching layout. This seems to be increasing common in HO nowadays.

Finally If modules aren’t for you, join a permanent club and model that scale there, while modeling the other at home. Since HO is much more common you’ll probably end up with N at home if you take this route.

Hope this was helpful, and remember, in the end it’s your railroad!

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

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Posted by dstarr on Friday, April 19, 2019 1:24 PM

That's a toughie.  10 by 11 feet isn't much.  Any way to get more room, another  room, garage, attic, back porch, laundry room, anything?.  My layout is a narrow around the walls style running around the walls of a guest bedroom.  The room still works as a guest bedroom, the layout is only 6 inches wide running down one wall.  Other than obtaining another room, all I can think of is a double decker layout with one deck for N and one deck for HO.  You would save building a helix to get trains from one deck to another. 

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Posted by the old train man on Friday, April 19, 2019 1:25 PM

Thanks for the ideas,

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Posted by the old train man on Friday, April 19, 2019 6:33 PM

Well I guess I could do as you suggest but I have 20 ho scale dcc engines with sound ....a big investment thanks for input

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Posted by emdmike on Friday, April 19, 2019 6:47 PM

My train room is only 9 foot by 9 foot.  I squeezed a 4x8 along one side of the room with a narrow center portion to allow access to my shelves to the rear.  I wanted to do a shelf type around the room, but that did not meet with approval from "she who must be obeyed".  So this was my solution.  I duck under the bridge section and pop up in the control area to run my trains and switch the industries at the rear.  I am doing a dual prototype set up in HO scale, as N is to small for me.  One is a small grain hauling shortline using an ex BN GP20 and the other is the Utica branch of the Susquehanna with a pair of Alco C430's.   Some areas of that branch do not look all that different than parts of Indiana where I live.  Mike the Aspie

Silly NT's, I have Asperger's Syndrome

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, April 19, 2019 7:40 PM

the old train man
Well I guess I could do as you suggest but I have 20 ho scale dcc engines with sound ....a big investment thanks for input

So when you started collecting both scales, did you always just figure you'd have a place to set up two complete lay outs?  

I mean, what was your mind set to invest that much in each scale?

Mike.

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Posted by the old train man on Saturday, April 20, 2019 11:54 AM

Mike,I just love both scales and Ive always had room for both layouts up to now. I guess I could just display the n somewhere but I need to see them run.  Remember I started in the hobby in 1968. N was a hot scale then and I didnt have room for an ho scale layout then. As time went by I had room for ho but I hated to give up the n that I had, so I kept both.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, April 20, 2019 12:09 PM

I get that, just wondering. Smile, Wink & Grin

I think putting the N scale on a shelf above the HO would work the best, but that's just my idea.

I don't think it will take anything away from the HO.  Look at all the double deck HO lay outs, it works.  Actually, I guess you don't have much of a choice!

Mike.

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Posted by CNW_4009 on Saturday, April 20, 2019 12:24 PM
You could make a standard gauge Narrow gauge layout. With to different railroads in one layout
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Posted by carl425 on Saturday, April 20, 2019 1:03 PM

mbinsewi
I think putting the N scale on a shelf above the HO would work the best, but that's just my idea.

Me too.

N-scale would benefit more than HO by being put closer to eye level.

Put the N up high so that it would be operated standing, and the HO down where you could operate from a wheeled swivel chair.  Use the upper layout as a lighting valance for the lower.  Position them so that when operating one, you can't see the other.

And... if you decide to build in one scale and display the other, I'd build in N and display the HO.  That way you have more room for the running trains to stretch out and the models with the greater detail are sitting still so you can admire them.

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Saturday, April 20, 2019 1:30 PM

From what you’ve said it sounds like you want a layout for each scale. In that case I agree with what other have said build two decks, one for each scale. My recommendation would be use your existing benchwork for N, as stated previously you don’t want 22” radius curves in HO, and build an HO point to point switching layout above.

I still highly recommend you get involved with others in the hobby, be it a club or not. I you have HO stuff that don’t fit with a switching layout then you can run it at layouts of other modelers or at a club.

I would be nice if you could tell us what kind of stuff you have, meaning what era is it, is it switchers or big mainline power, passenger or not, etc. This will help us give advice on what you want to do with each scale.

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

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Posted by the old train man on Saturday, April 20, 2019 1:35 PM

Mike and carl,I thought about this and I think it might be the most practical solution. I have had n above and ho below and it worked out pretty good. Since I just finished my ho benchwork I guess the best thing to do is start laying track in ho and then start on the n benchwork, above the ho.

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Saturday, April 20, 2019 1:36 PM

Also if you don’t want/can’t fit both layouts in you space, HO is more common so it will provide much more opertunities to run on other layouts. N scale just isn’t as widely used for big layouts that host many people’s trains. HO on the other hand is the most popular scale and is the size of most club layouts and basement empires. In my experience those with large layouts are usually happy to let others  give their own equipment some exercise.

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

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Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, April 20, 2019 2:54 PM

My HO scale layout is partially double-decked, with the lower level operated from a roll-round swivel chair, and the upper level at roughly eye level when standing.
The upper level is as wide, or wider, than the lower level, and has lighting suspended from it to illuminate the lower level....

For your layout, I'd put the HO on the lower level, the N on the upper, and lift-outs for both levels wherever doors are encountered.  If possible, re-mount the doors to swing out, rather than into the room.

Wayne

 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, April 20, 2019 3:44 PM

the old train man
. Since I just finished my ho benchwork I guess the best thing to do is start laying track in ho and then start on the n benchwork, above the ho.

You might want to get the structural part of the upper deck going before you get to carried with the HO, but I guess just the track work would be easy enough to protect.

I know you want to get a train going ASAP!. Laugh

Mike.

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Posted by the old train man on Monday, April 22, 2019 9:17 AM

Thanks to all for the help,I will be using the ideas. I have steam and ho in both scales. The era is from the 1950s to the 90s whatever im in the mood for. I will have mountains on both layouts with a small town atmosphere. I love detail and trying to make the trains look as reralistic as I can. I have had about 8 layouts and I have tried to improve them each time. I consider this forum my club.

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