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For My First Layout

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  • Member since
    October 2003
  • From: Southern Minnesota now
  • 956 posts
For My First Layout
Posted by Hawks05 on Sunday, November 2, 2003 12:31 AM
i'm planning on building my first layout in the next couple weeks here and i'd like some input on what to do. i will be using HO scale locos and rolling stock.it will be a 4x8 foot layout. i would like to have 1 outer line for sure. but i'd like to have a kind of yard to to do some switching all while trying to add some scenery to what we have in town here. i live in a little western wisconsin town with a farmers co-op. we don't have any trains that get loaded here. just pass through. i'd like to add the grain towers that we have but i would like to have a yard on my layout. i bought a book today on how to make a layout but i don't want to use the layout the guy has in it. it was the cheapest book so i figured i'd get it but its just some guys layout that is from new england.

ok here's the beef of the thread. i'd like to have 1 main line that runs alon the outside. i'd also like to have a 2nd line to that comes out of the yard. and if possible some how input a turnout into the layout all while having some buildings or at least 2 main manufacturers like a steel plant and a grainery place. one more thing would be to have a few houses and a couple roads or something.

what can i do to have this on there. if you have any input that would be great.

i really appreciate any help you have.
  • Member since
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  • From: US
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Posted by vw-bug on Sunday, November 2, 2003 2:01 AM
4x8 uh? I think you you be happier with a few siding rather than a yard per say. Siding are the tracks that lead to different industries, like you grain towers. A yard would be pretty tough to get into a 4x8. I would say go back to the hobby shop. Look through the books but don't buy them unless they will be useful to you. Most 4x8 layout seem to have a few typical elements.

1. Main loop
2. Passing siding
3. 3-4 industry sidings

I'm just stating to learn some of the mastery techniques that make a layout really great.
First is that your main loop need to try and come in and out of the foreground. Sidings, buildings and good scenery will help you do this.
Secondly, changing elevations will help you make more of an impact of what is close and what is seemingly distant.
Next. make sure your passing siding are long enough for your longest train, and that your industry sidings have enough room for 2-3 cars.
Another often over looked concept is the physical height of the layout. The "high above" helicoper look really makes a layout look more toy-ish. Mount your layout so that you are can just barely look over the height of the tallest part. This somehow gives the layout a great sense of reality.
Lastly, nothing is set in stone. I always take steps slowly. Once I have a layout I let it sit for a few days then come back to it to see if I still like it. Then I lay just the track with a little bit of hot glue. That way I can test running a few trains on it. If I still like it. Pull it all up and lay it back down with roadbed, elevations and what not. I do the same for building and several other things.

The greatest hing about the hobby is that you are incharge and get to say what is right and what is wrong.
Horly! Jason
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Culpeper, Va
  • 8,199 posts
Posted by IRONROOSTER on Sunday, November 2, 2003 8:00 AM
A couple of books to look at would be "101 Track Plans" and "Track Planning for Realistic Operation". These may be in your local library. They have been around a long time and you may be able to get used copies. The first book is just plans, grouped by size. Look at the plans for track arrangement, you can do any scenery and industries you want. You can expand any of the plans smaller than 4x8 up to 4x8. You can also omit parts you don't want, such as a turntable. The second book covers planning and contains several track plans for 4x8 layouts.
Enjoy
Paul
If you're having fun, you're doing it the right way.
  • Member since
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  • From: Southern Minnesota now
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Posted by Hawks05 on Sunday, November 2, 2003 11:55 AM
thanks for the responses. so instead of having a yard just have like an industry then have tracks go through there that hook up with one of the main lines?

i really need to start drawing up some plans and get this show on the road.

if you have anymore tips that'd be great.
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    April 2003
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, November 2, 2003 12:05 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Hawks05

thanks for the responses. so instead of having a yard just have like an industry then have tracks go through there that hook up with one of the main lines?

i really need to start drawing up some plans and get this show on the road.

if you have anymore tips that'd be great.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, November 2, 2003 1:55 PM
If you are looking for information on line try the Gateway Division NMRA site.
http://www.gatewaynmra.org/

There are some neat ideas from their Convention demo layouts....

cheers [:)][:D][:D][:D][8D]
  • Member since
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  • From: along the B&O in INDIANA
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Posted by yellowducky on Sunday, November 2, 2003 2:25 PM
I find that you can't beat the old 5-step. [:)]1.Picture in your mind what you think you want. 2.Look at other's work (pictures, drawings/plans, in person and up close). 3.Lay YOUR track on the size area available/allowable to build on. 4. Think it over before nailing it down, and repeat any or all steps until you FANCY (like) what you come up with. 5.Start building, you can always change it later! Yellowduck
FDM TRAIN up a child in the way he should go...Proverbs22:6 Garrett, home of The Garrett Railroaders, and other crazy people. The 5 basic food groups are: candy, poptarts, chocolate, pie, and filled donuts !
  • Member since
    October 2003
  • From: Southern Minnesota now
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Posted by Hawks05 on Sunday, November 2, 2003 6:34 PM
my friend gave me 4 books on layouts. well 2 on layouts, 1 on wiring, and 1 on beginning like how to pick cars and what kind to start with.

i found 2 layouts that are really cool and a third i may try to use i don't know if it will fit and i'd need a lot of rolling stock for that one as it has a 4 track yard off to a side. but i think i found 2-3 that i really like and i'll see what he would think would be best. he said he'll help me plan and make the layout as long as i made the bench.

keep the ideas coming though.
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, November 2, 2003 11:14 PM
Instead of a full-blown "yard", you might have just a passing siding (turnouts on both ends) and a single set-out track, for three parallel tracks total, with an industry spur or two branching away from this. You'd be representing a small town which needs to be switched by an "extra" local freight, along a main line that needs to be kept clear for the scheduled higher-priority trains. Hide the back half of the loop, and use it as a staging area; from time to time, a good-looking passenger train pops out, runs past the town, and then disappears again. In the meanwhile, you've been juggling the cars for the local industries by using the "yard", and keeping on your little passing siding when the hotshot comes through.

At the corners of the layout are the natural spots for industry sidings, but you could also have one of these tangential spurs just run right off the table edge, letting it represent a connection to the larger railroad network (an interchange). The set-out track would then primarily be for cars dropped off by this connecting railroad, and those cars could be anything you want. Again, having an industry spur or two to deliver them to makes it more interesting; swap the empties for loads or whatever the case may be, then return the swapped cars to the set-out track to complete the session (you'd just pretend that the other railroad's train came along from somewhere off of your 4x8, and picked them up, when in reality you've just removed them with your 0-5-0 switcher - four fingers and an opposable thumb, that is).

There are plenty of recent Model Railroader 4x8 track plans that feature this kind of operating scheme. If a train show is coming to your area, sometimes you can find dealers selling old issues on the cheap, so just keep your eyes peeled.
  • Member since
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  • From: Midtown Sacramento
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Posted by Jetrock on Monday, November 3, 2003 1:53 AM
One thing to think about is the purpose of the layout--what do all these trains do? It's nice to set up a flow of operations--from point A to point B. Perhaps if you're interested in midwestern lines shipping grain, having a grain silo or two on one end, and a grain mill in a town on the other, might be worth looking into. You don't necessarily need a yard for a small layout unless you really want to model yard operations--a passing track or two and some sidings will provide room for storing cars and switching.

There are 4x8 plans that feature yards in the middle with a mainline running around it--a lot depends on what part of model railroading catches your fancy the most, and what you want the purpose of your layout to be.
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  • From: along the B&O in INDIANA
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Posted by yellowducky on Monday, November 3, 2003 4:12 AM
Ah purpose. Do you want your R.R. to be a slice of a bigger world, or to be its own Shangri-La?
FDM TRAIN up a child in the way he should go...Proverbs22:6 Garrett, home of The Garrett Railroaders, and other crazy people. The 5 basic food groups are: candy, poptarts, chocolate, pie, and filled donuts !
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, November 3, 2003 7:49 AM
I would second the recommendation of www.gatewaynmra.org . It is a really good site. The layout based on "red Wing" gets good reviews for its track plan.

If you don't like that, there are lots of other layouts on the site, plus how-to articles, pictures of buildings, construction, wiring, etc...

Andrew
  • Member since
    October 2012
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Posted by eastcoast on Monday, November 3, 2003 8:45 AM
Hawks05,
I remember answering another forum question you posted. The absolute BEST thing you can do is to build a library of HOW-TO books for your own reference when you do get in a jam. Read and study how the author does it and try until you are happy with your own results. Go slow with the projects and enjoy just learning about new ways to create things. Test everything before you move on to the next step though ,that will hopefully minimize a problem for you down the road. Keep in touch here ,alot of great people are here to help you on your journey.
ken_ecr
  • Member since
    October 2003
  • From: Southern Minnesota now
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Posted by Hawks05 on Monday, November 3, 2003 7:58 PM
i'm creating my own little town so to speak, Loneview (named after a Green Day song. it was like 11:00 last night and i was trying to think of a town name. i saw the song title Long View, just switched the g to an e and connnected the words.) the town will have a Grain Mill, Longview Grain, a brewing company, Croix Brewing, and a possible shipping plant. kind of like wal-mart or fedex. something like one of those 2. or a steel plant with bulk tanks for milk, and other liquids. i found a layout in "Atlas Layouts HO Scale Railroads" from like 1968. i may add a little 2 track yard that is by Croix Brewing. the layout will have actual railroads on it with the made up industries cars on some of the trains. otherwise i'll use actual railroads cars and locos for sure.
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, November 3, 2003 9:46 PM
Greetings,

HO-25 Great Eastern Trunk - Try looking up this one on Atlasrr.com

This is a pretty cool layout.

Mark in Texas


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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 4, 2003 9:32 PM
Hawks05-

I LIKE the name "Loneview"! It is such a melancholy cowboy-west name, you could concoct all kinds of tall tales around a place like that. It does suggest, however, that you'll be concentrating on scenery, to create a sample of the magical vista that inspired such a name. Imagine that the town is somehow perched on a prairie-grass rise overlooking a lot of wilderness, maybe with mountains in the distance, and where the railroad passes through town it has to be in a deep cut because of this topography. The little depot might straddle the side of this cut, being a two or three-story structure with a lot of steps down to the platform. Industries might be set in amongst a lot of stone retaining walls, where the loading area has to get down to track level. Why is the town perched on a hill? Maybe it began life as a remote military outpost, with a historic wooden fort that is now a preserved landmark (and also a rather unique model to include on your layout)...

All this from a rather evocative town name. Excellent choice.
  • Member since
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  • From: Southern Minnesota now
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Posted by Hawks05 on Tuesday, November 4, 2003 10:15 PM
man. i never even thought of anything like that. i was going to come up with some stupid stuff but that sounds good. i'll modify it a bit but that is good. i like the military outpost idea. but i don't know how many hills and what not i can put in it.
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, November 6, 2003 7:51 PM
Hawks-

You don't need to put any more than one hill into it; in fact, I was envisioning just one major rise, that fills the center of the layout. It would hide the back side of the loop, since the town sits up above the track level. Because of the name "LONE-view", it should come across as though it is the only big topographic feature in the vicinity. You can put up a backdrop on one edge that shows an expanse of prairie and a big American sky, and if you're really good you could make it be a vivid sunset for more melancholy-points; you might make such a backdrop as a removable attachment, so that you can move it to any side of the layout, depending on your mood. For normal operation, maybe it'd reside on one of the short 4' sides, or it could even hang on the wall. Or, be bold and paint a prairie mural on all the walls of your train room!

Just thoughts. There's all kinds of room for creativity in this hobby, right?
  • Member since
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  • From: along the B&O in INDIANA
  • 211 posts
Posted by yellowducky on Thursday, November 6, 2003 8:22 PM
Hey, I might use some of this Loneview ideas on my church's kidsclub HO layout. We are starting with a used/donated 4x4 piece of flat plywood with a flat-toped mountain covering one corner. Instead of expanding toward the front or sides like I was trying to figure out, we could use the mountain as a scene divider. I've got a couple of trolleys that could run around the top if we expand it back. This might be just the angle I need. FDM
FDM TRAIN up a child in the way he should go...Proverbs22:6 Garrett, home of The Garrett Railroaders, and other crazy people. The 5 basic food groups are: candy, poptarts, chocolate, pie, and filled donuts !

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