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operations on a 4x8

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operations on a 4x8
Posted by railroaderSTL on Monday, October 8, 2007 6:06 PM
i have a 4x8 rectangle and no i can't make it in to another shape or and bigger. I just want to do a mine and and an steel mill, power plant or some industy that needs coal. i don't just want to do a loop, would there anytrack plan that would be mainly a loop, like the loop wouldn't be the main thing, it's kinda hard to explain, ask questions for more info
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Posted by dinwitty on Monday, October 8, 2007 6:31 PM

My layout is going to have a small loop for track testing locomotives and make a return loop for a long continuous run. Takes careful planning. If you work it right, you can have a LOT of operation on a 4x8. I would try multi-leveling it and twist the mainline around, but try to stay away from the obvious figure 8. Obviously your going to have 18" radius curves or you limit operationability.

I will use a PUT/TAKE method of coal mine and steel mill, one scenic side is the coal mine, the other scenic side is the steel mill, coal cars come out of the mine loaded and run to the steel mill, and guess what, the hidden division places the loaded cars back at the coal mine. All trickery, and empties come out of the steel mill and run to the coal mine, and the cars go thru the hidden tunnel back to the steel mill empty.

Doing this on a 4x8, some form of scenic devider, mill on one side, mine the other, hidden track between the 2, then if doing it like I am with N&W, run the mains out from there, twist them around the 4x8 up and downhill mountainsides etc.

an exposed track between the scenic division or maybe a tunnel would give the "loop" if you wanted to run like that, but it essentially makes a point to point with a cheat loop.

 

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Posted by Guilford Guy on Monday, October 8, 2007 6:35 PM

The industry on the spur above the main on the bottom half of the layout could be alltered intoa coal mine scene. You don't have to have the loop and can just cut out the switch to the mine but it is easier for switching and easier to do some laps with it there.

Alex

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Posted by GraniteRailroader on Monday, October 8, 2007 6:38 PM

Can you access all four sides of the 4x8 area?

What scale do you model in? 4x8 in N scale is an EMPIRE!

 

 

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, October 8, 2007 6:43 PM

This is my layout on 4 X 8 table HO.  It provides me with good operation senarios as well as switching fun.

Happy MRRing

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, October 8, 2007 6:43 PM

Any 4 x8 plan split down the middle with a scenic divider can be a great operational layout. You create two scenes and each scene is staging for the other.

One side can be an interchange track or a small yard and the other could be a small town or industry. There are lots of possiblities.

Byron did a Web Clinic on it a while back.

Starting Ops on a 4 X 8

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by GTX765 on Monday, October 8, 2007 7:21 PM
I made my 4x8 into a 5x9 and made it real nice with larger turns and more space. Very nice and it seems to let me run bigger steam.
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Posted by dinwitty on Monday, October 8, 2007 7:28 PM

You've got my brain challenged to try a 4x8 and avoid the obvious loop. The concept of having the loop is you make up a train, then run it around the loop a few times to simulate train distance, then head off to the next switching scenario. For me I have been thru the simple loop layout to  know I need a change from that. If your going to keep it flat, the examples shown already give it a go. The challenge is to make it more interesting.

I may pull up my track planner and try something. 

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Posted by GraniteRailroader on Monday, October 8, 2007 9:07 PM

Uhhh guys, before we can plan a layout, or suggest ideas... We need to know a few things..

Does he (or she) have access to all four sides?

Does he (or she) have a scale chosen yet?

Does he (or she) have any preference on motive power? It's going to be hard to run a BigBoy on 18" radius and make it perform as well as it would on a 24" or 30" radius, plus it will look HORRIBLE.

What type of "base" is going to be used? If foam, it'll be easier for a 'new guy" to work on multiple levels. Plywood? A little more challenging but doable.

Does the original poster want to focus on operations, or more of the "watch trains with the option of doing a little bit of operations?

 

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Posted by Gandy Dancer on Monday, October 8, 2007 11:29 PM

Yeah, as the others have said. What scale are we talking about here - Z, N, HO, On3, ???

What era?  From your avitar it looks modern which means big, which means even harder in 4x8.

Any one of the industries you mentioned could easily fill a 4x8 even in N-scale all by itself.   Steel mills are enormous and often have a railroad all their own.  A modern power plant will consume an entire coal train in just a few days.  There is one being built by Excel Energy that will consume one train a day.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Tuesday, October 9, 2007 12:40 AM
 Gandy Dancer wrote:

A modern power plant will consume an entire coal train in just a few days.  There is one being built by Excel Energy that will consume one train a day.

The B&P just got a contract to supply the Homer City Power Plant with 100 Million Tons a year.

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by cudaken on Tuesday, October 9, 2007 12:48 AM

 RailraoderSTL here is a plain I am working with.

 Something like this will be on my new section but will be 5X9.5. Main problem is I am wanting grade and 2% does not come easy on the new section I bulit. There are other issues that I wont get into but as a whole it looks pretty sweet for a smaller sizes.

 I may give up on the grade and just make it flat, I will know in the next few days.

 I think I have asked you this before but with STL do you live in St Louis? If so drop by sometime and have a cup of Coal or Diesel.

         Cuda Ken

I hate Rust

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Posted by xdford on Tuesday, October 9, 2007 2:56 AM

Hi there,

ANY railroad needs imagination for it to be a characiture of a real one. 4X8's need a bit more than most. The Pacific Coast Airline Railroad (www.pacificcoastairlinerr.com) is a fairly good example and my own (www.xdford.digitalzones.com) makes two and I have a bit of an operating scheme listed on my own although not a comprehensive one.

I have an electronic copy of the layout mine was patterned from with multiple operating schemes ... my own scheme is a composite of this article and it suits me! If you like, contact me off list and I will send you same! 

 

Regards from Down Under

 

Trevor  xdford47@yahoo.com.au 

 

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Posted by dinwitty on Tuesday, October 9, 2007 3:31 AM

I am just going to test an HO version, a switch to N wont change the basics, just add radius and longer trains  8-D

 

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Posted by twcenterprises on Tuesday, October 9, 2007 3:44 AM
 luct wrote:

This is my layout on 4 X 8 table HO.  It provides me with good operation senarios as well as switching fun.

I used that trackplan as a start.  In fact, it was the Atlanta Central for the giveaway layout on the 1995 NMRA National Convention, as the club I was a member of built it.  At any rate, the first change I made was to remove the switches and crossing on the lower right of the plan.  The other change was to add a hidden track from either siding on the top and bottom of the plan, so I could add a mine and power plant using the hidden trackage.  BTW, this is sometimes referred to as a "loads in-empties out, empties in-loads out" arrangement.  It can be done with one track, or 2 if you care to do a "drop and hook" without having to do as much switching (though I would think that is sort of counter-productive in the model world).  I'll dig around later and see if I have a picture or 2.

Brad

EMD - Every Model Different

ALCO - Always Leaking Coolant and Oil

CSX - Coal Spilling eXperts

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Posted by riverotter1948 on Thursday, October 11, 2007 4:33 PM

Take a look at the NMRA's Gateway Division: http://www.gatewaynmra.org/project.htm

Their project layouts may give you some ideas you can start with and adapt.

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Posted by wallywalkabout on Thursday, October 11, 2007 6:18 PM
Check out Model Railroader's booklet "5 Easy Track Plans". All five plans are within a 4'X8' area. I had "Kansas City Central" plan set up on a table 41"x77", without the "UP interchange/Geo. Roberts Printing" trackage.
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Posted by Santa Fe Kent on Thursday, October 11, 2007 6:26 PM
I have two loops on my 4x8 layout. The inner loop has switching inside of it. It helps that I run Lionel 027 track! I can fit more in than in HO, plus everything is larger so it's easier on my old eyes. It's amazing what you can do with a 4 by 8!
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Posted by wm3798 on Thursday, October 11, 2007 11:22 PM

If I limited myself to a 4x8 box I'd go crazy.  It's such an impractical size.  If you push it against a wall, you can't reach half of it, and if you don't, it takes up the whole room.

I didn't get what scale you're working in.  If it's HO, your industries will be ridiculously small.  Either that or ridiculously large with room to handle only a couple of cars.  You might have a chance at something decent in N scale, but I'd still cut up that sheet of plywood into a more creative shape.

4x8 is just so.... 1975!

Lee 

Route of the Alpha Jets  www.wmrywesternlines.net

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, October 12, 2007 8:56 AM

 This is one I came up with. The outer loop was simply for testing/break-in and doesn't really contribute a lot to operation. A variation might be to use just the outer loop and connect the sidings there, although witht he outer loop you can run a few laps to gain mileage and stay out of the way of someone sorting the yard. I drew this in 3rd PlanIt so I was able to actually put locos and cars on the track and run them. I spent over an hour switching cars in the yard and delivering them to the sidings on the bottom. Not bad for a simple 4x8 with a 2-track yard.

 

 

 

 

                                                --Randy
 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by DigitalGriffin on Friday, October 12, 2007 10:56 AM

1.  A scenic divider is your best option.

2.  Unless you are doing early early beehive style steel kilns, steel mills don't use coal directly.  Coal gets processed into coke at a coke oven first.  Then it gets sent to the blast furnace.  These kits are huge and a rarity now.  

3.  Walthers offers a coke retort that goes nicely with their gas plant.  This would use coal.  And the powerplant is a favorite that uses coal.

I think you may find this plan useful.  I created it for my first layout.  It uses a scenic divider.  One side is a country town with a coal mine across the river.  It passes through a mountain portal and emerges on the other side which is an yard in a city.  It exits on the left underneath a series of elevated townhomes.  You could easily shove a power plant or gas plant in the middle there.

Don - Specializing in layout DC->DCC conversions

Modeling C&O transition era and steel industries There's Nothing Like Big Steam!

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Posted by Soo Line fan on Friday, October 12, 2007 11:24 AM

Another idea is to put your 4x8 on casters. This will allow you to push it against a wall and still give good access when needed to the backside. A backdrop can be attached to the wall.

Jim

Jim

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Posted by silk8668 on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 11:13 AM

Hello, I seen that split scenery layout before and have been looking for it for awhile. Could you please send me photos if you have them. Thank You ssauder@cheltenham-township.org

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