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layouts plan

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    April 2003
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layouts plan
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, October 25, 2003 12:34 PM
im planning a layout about a single track designed in a u shape( belong 3 walls of the small room allocated for my trackmodel)
i would like to find some layout plan like this to have some idee ( specially the station layout ) the complete dims are 1plate of 90 cm by 200cm+1plate of 90cm by 160cm connected together by a small plate of 50cm by 45cm.
the period covered will be the 50-60 ' era and the company should be santa fe .
i'm new in this hobby this why my questions can seem to be large and unprecise sorry ; i need help to improve.[:)]
rhenin
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  • From: Whitby, ON
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Posted by CP5415 on Saturday, October 25, 2003 12:52 PM
A lot depends on what you want to do with your layout. I've read in magazines where people have taken large pieces of cardboard, cut pieces out, laid them on the floor & drawn their track plan that way. This allows you to see how the size of the table you want to use will fit in the space you have. Start there. After you do this, you can place pieces of track & switches on this to draw out your track plan. Just because a track plan looks good on paper, doesn't mean it will work for you. I found that out the hard way.
I hope this helps.

Gordon

Brought to you by the letters C.P.R. as well as D&H!

 K1a - all the way

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3 Percent Grades
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, October 25, 2003 1:08 PM
What is meant by 3% grade, how do you build this grade
Herb
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  • From: Omaha, NE
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Posted by dehusman on Saturday, October 25, 2003 2:20 PM
The percentage of grade is how many units the track rises in 100 units of run. So if the track rises 1 cm in a meter of track, or 1 in in 100 inches then its a 1% grade.
A rough measure is inches per 8 ft of track (96 inches). Another way is to put a 1/4 in thick shim (or drill bit) under the end of a 24" level. That's about 1% grade. 1/2 shim = 2%. 3/4 in shim = 3%, etc.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by eastcoast on Monday, October 27, 2003 12:04 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by joanherb

What is meant by 3% grade, how do you build this grade
Herb

OK, why go 3% anyway, do you feel this is maybe pushing it a little?
Most models find 2% to be draining power unless you increase your speed.[8D]
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, October 27, 2003 2:54 PM
rhenin...

You can try Atlas' Right Track Software for planning, although I don't know if it handles metric measurements. You can find it here: http://www.atlasrr.com/software/welcome.asp

It is a free download, and will run on older machines with windows. It is a little tricky to use at first (especially the flex track tool) but will help you get an idea of what you want. You can even print your layout full size to help with tracklaying once your benchwork is built.

As for ideas to get you started, Atlas has many (many!) plans on their web site, and there are lots of books published by Kalmbach (the "parent" of this site - trains.com). Check the library, local train shop, or internet book sellers.

Andrew
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 8:18 AM
One other thought I had while reading the dimensions -

If you are intending to put this against the wall, 90 cm (about 3 feet) is probably too deep for the layout. You will not be able to reach to the back to do any rerailing or maintenance (or construction). Your effective reach also decreases significantly as you raise the layout. Most people will keep an "eye-level" layout to 2 feet (about 60 cm) deep or less.

Andrew
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  • From: Corpus Christi, Texas
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Posted by leighant on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 10:39 AM
Looking at your verbal description of dimensions, I assume you mean there will be two "plates" approximately 90cm wide, one 200cm long and the other 160cm long, and the U-shade suggests that these two plates are more or less parallel, separated by the 50cm plate which I will call a "bridge" plate. That means the two main plates are only 50cm apart. Will you be able to stand in the middle. You would have to be awfully skinny, if I understand all these dimensions correctly.

"Masonjar" said the 90cm depth of the plate would be too deep, too far to reach and in general, it is a bit far, especially if you are standing in such a narrow middle space to begin with. However, the plate probably needs to be fairly wide to have a decently wide curve radius, if you are going to have a turnback curve of some sort and not a point-to-point layout stubended on both ends. What to do?

You might want to consider making your main side plates some shape other than rectangular to use your space better. Make the plates 90cm deep on the extreme ends to allow a turnaround curve such as a reverse loop or a dogbone end, but then let the plate get narrower as it approaches the "bottom" of the U. The widest point of the 200cm long plate will hit farther out than the widest point of the 160cm plate allowing a passage-through of slightly more than 50cm. Then your operating point in the middle of the U will be wider than the 50cm plate. Actually, you would probably want to make what you described as the 50cm plate longer, and what you described as the 90cm x 200cm plate would be 90cm at the widest end and 200cm long but shaped a little like a distorted figure "6". I would cut off the top of the "6" at the point where the track straightens out and the make the "bridge" plate that much long all in one straight shoot. Alltogether, this would make a layout with a dogbone shaped loop and some flowing S curves that look more natural than the common rectangular layout.

I don't know the details of your space. My own druthers, I have gotten tired of tight end turnback curves that make of wide "lobes" too deep to reach into. If your situation could stand a duckunder or liftout, I would prefer designing a layout with shelves approximately 40cm to 60cm deep running around three side of the U space, and a removable section only about 10cm to 15cm wide across the 4th side of the space, set in place only when the layout is being operated. This would allow gentle curves and a sense of direction to the run of trains on the layout-- you don't see them go left and then whoosh around right again. I would make the layout a twice-around loop with much of the second time around being hidden staging track behind some kind of low visual barrier- buildings, hills, trees. (I avoid tunnels because they are just not realistic to my prejudiced experience. I live in Texas, a very big big big state, which has never had more than two or three railroad tunnels.)

The narrow removable plate might be single track where the two times around are joined. You then can have several types of operation. You can run a train round and round on the completely visible loop. Or you can have a through train come out from staging, run through your visible scene and keep going back into staging, making two circuits around the layout in the process. Or you can have trains originate in a yard on the visible part of the railroad, and run from their either direction to disappear into staging as if they are going off to someplace distant. I would want the staging to include at least one hidden passing track, so two trains could be stored hidden, or so one track could hold a hidden train while the other allowed through running.
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 5, 2003 4:41 PM
Thanks all for help and advices. I think the best to do is to plan a layout with pieces of paper then to see if all points are reachable and good looking for good operation layout.
rhenin2003
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, November 6, 2003 6:31 PM
You might want to get Iain Rice's book of Small Track Plans for the plans and the philosophy behind the planning. He also has some neat ideas for storing rolling stock. Book is from Kalmbach Publishing.

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