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New HO layout advice needed.

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  • Member since
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  • From: Maryland
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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 7:03 PM

Colorado Ray

 

 
MurBall

 

 
Colorado Ray

I contemplated a similar arrangement (laps around the room to avoid a helix) to get down to a staging yard with sufficient vertical clearnace between the staging and layout above (i.e. greater than five to six inches).  When I was planning the benchwork in 3rd Planit, I discovered that supporting the ramps without interferring with the main benchwork was going to be tedious.  I also simulated some train running and discovered my trains would be out of site for nearly 2/3s of their run.  I scrapped the whole idea. 

My current plan will have accessable open top staging with only two staging turnouts on one end of the five-track through staging yard under scenery (six inches) but accessable from the layout edge.  This is roughly a twice around plan with only one loop visible.  Trains will still be out of site for nearly 1/2 the time, but visible for one complete trip around the room. 

Ray

 

 

 

Hi Colorado Ray, your 2nd plan sounds interesting, could you post a track plan of it?

 

Also in your 1st plan what was so tedious about supporting the gradient ramps? Was it because you had 2 gradients, one up and one down? In my proposed plan I am trying to avoid that and have only 1 gradient 

 

 

 

Since what goes up, must come down.  My orignal plan had ramps from staging up and from the main level down to staging.  This required that there were up and down ramps on each side of the room (two laps remember).  Where the ramps "crossed" each other (actually side by side but looking from the edge they "crossed". 

Here's the track plan for the main level and staging.  This plan is to fit in a standard 20ft container and has 30 inch minimum radius curves.  The ramps aren't shown in the plan views, but you can see them in the 3D picture.  I hadn't even figured out how to support the ramps yet - hence no risers.

I'm not quite ready to upload the new plan since I'll start a seperate thread about that as construction gets closer.  It's much less complex and has eased 32 inch minimum radius curves.

Ray

 

Very similar to what I suggested.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Colorado Ray on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 7:59 PM

Sheldon, what is the minimum railhead to railhead height that you will have over your hidden staging yard turnouts?

Ray

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Posted by santafejeff on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 8:30 PM

In the 3d drawing, your ramps appear to be over your staging yard but I cant tell if its close to the wall or over the yard a bit off the wall. If its against the wall, simple metal L brackets of your choice will do the trick. If not, you could cut some brackets out of plywood, attach from the isle side and run them under your ramps for support. This will visually impair the view of the yard where you place the brackets but, not so much to be a huge hinderance. 

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Posted by MurBall on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 1:47 AM

Thanks for sharing Colorado Ray. It looks like a great layout but having trains out of sight for 2/3 of the time is annoying so I can see why you've moved away from it . Also the supporting the 2 ramps while do able is an added complexity.

I opted for only one ramp to avoid a little complexity. But then the reverse loop in staging is needed to turn trains for returning up that one ramp. It's all about trade offs.

In my plan trains will also have to do about 2 laps of the room to reach the sceniced level however once there they will spend a far higher proportion of their time in view. Once around the double mainline level and once around the last gradient,( which will be partially visible and sceniced) and then once around the Highline. And this is not including any loops for simulated travel. Some people would probably hate seeing their train traveling through scenery twice though. It's all about preferences and trade offs I guess.

  • Member since
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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 6:13 AM

Well, again, my proposed concept would/could have all track visible until each end heads down to the staging level, and would take the trains thru every scene twice.

I suggested running the mainline hidden behind the freight yard because that would allow the industries to be in front of other trackage and not have to cross the main. But that is not a requirement. And even if the main is behind the yard, it could likely remain visible.

And, if you noticed on my track plan, there is a cutoff that bypasses the staging completely, keeping trains in view all the time. This could be done here as well.

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by MurBall on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 7:41 AM

Absolutely Sheldon

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Posted by MurBall on Thursday, August 4, 2022 6:15 AM

Here is my revised track plan. I've removed many turnouts and sidings to reduce the maintenance burden and reduce the crowded feel. As time goes on I can add more industries if wanted. Minimum radius is now 24". 

 

 

 

Some compromises I'll have to live with are:

1. The reverse loop in staging jutting out into the room. The alternative of two ramps to staging is a little daunting for me. Another alternative is a much simpler plan with open staging on the main level but I don't want to lose that much scenic space.

2. The turnouts in staging being at the back against the wall. This isn't so bad as they are still only a 40cm/15" reach away and there is about 10 inches clearance over staging.

3. I'll restrict myself to shorter passenger cars and sometimes use longer couplers, bogie mounted couplers etc where necessary.

 

What I like about it is:

I'll be able to railfan all my collection and run functional freight and passenger ops in diesel and steam.

Trains will spend a most of their time on the visible layout.

Trains passing above and below each other on bridges etc.

Gradients in the visible mainline area are kept to a minimum. My trains won't always be short. 

 

What I'm doing now is starting again with 30" curves but that will mean increasing the size of my turnouts as well and its hard to fit in all that I want to.

Am I right in presuming that if I'm aiming for 30"minimum curves then there is no point using turnouts smaller than an atlas #6 turnout on mainlines and maybe #5 in yards?

or in PECO terms :

SL - 95 and 96 Medium  914mm radius and PECO SL86 curved turnout Radius: Outer: 1524mm Inner: 762mm 

  

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Posted by MurBall on Friday, August 5, 2022 4:51 PM

OK Here is the same plan but with 30" minimum curves. I never thought I'd be able to fit it all.

I've had to lose the passing siding on the highline which would have been fun. And I've have to move the main double line to the rear but its probably worth it to be confident that I'll be able to run a lot more rolling stock and locos.

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Posted by hjQi on Friday, August 5, 2022 10:32 PM

wjstix
may be too sharp for many brands of full-size passenger cars

Indeed, 22.5" might be too tight for passenger cars. Although most manufacturers suggest a  minimum radius of 24" in HO, most people use 30" or more for more realistic operations. In your case, if you just want to run passenger cas, you may change the couplers by using long shank couplers to alleviate this problem. I didn't do this. So just a guess. You can buy a few Atlas 22" curved track to try before you finalize your tack design....

Jerry

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Posted by MurBall on Saturday, August 6, 2022 12:54 AM

hjQi

 

 
wjstix
may be too sharp for many brands of full-size passenger cars

 

Indeed, 22.5" might be too tight for passenger cars. Although most manufacturers suggest a  minimum radius of 24" in HO, most people use 30" or more for more realistic operations. In your case, if you just want to run passenger cas, you may change the couplers by using long shank couplers to alleviate this problem. I didn't do this. So just a guess. You can buy a few Atlas 22" curved track to try before you finalize your tack design....

Jerry

 

Thanks Jerry. I'm up to 30" now so I should be fine.

 

Ray 

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