Ok, so, I have a converted garage measuring 16’4” x 7’3” in which there currently resides a OO gauge four-track roundy layout which goes all round the room.
This is great, and I really enjoy it, but I know at some point I’m going to have to move up to O gauge, for a number of reasons:
1. I’ve already completed a layout in N gauge, and then had to move up to OO as I couldn’t manage the details anymore; I can see the move to O being a ‘dexterity and eyesight’ move as much as anything...
2. Although I love ‘watching the trains go by’ and enjoy seeing large express locos and long lines of coaches, there’s something very appealing about realistic, detailed locos shunting wagons in a yard and travelling through beautiful scenery with a two-coach local service. This is fuelled by my love of Llangollen, my local heritage railway. I would employ DCC sound if I moved to O gauge; currently it’s all DC...
3. There seems to be an ever-increasing supply of really good O gauge locos and rolling stock from the likes of Dapol, Heljan and so on, which look the part and aren’t too unreasonable in price.
4. O gauge would give me more opportunity to make things, and do kit-building and so on, which I enjoyed doing in N gauge but have skipped in OO, using proprietary infrastructure instead.
5. There’s a chap lives just around the corner from me who handbuilds some exquisite 7mm wagons and I’d love to justify getting hold of some!
So, the question hovers over all of this: will O gauge in a garage really work, or am I delusional...?!
I downloaded a free version of Anyrail and started fiddling about with Peco bullhead 124 track pieces etc, eventually coming up with the plan below. As I have usually built models based on real locations I have no experience of creating branch line plans from scratch (I don’t think there’s a prototype this small!) so I have no idea as to whether this plan will work.
In other words, I need to know:
1. Is it realistic in terms of trackplan and size?
2. Are there any glaring errors in the trackplan that need adjusting?
3. Are there sufficient operating possibilities to justify disposing with the OO and building it at some point in the future? In which case, what sort of movements could happen in a typical running session?
4. What kind of stock would be suitable?
As far as the plan goes, the bottom right corner does currently have a lift-up flap which means the layout could go all round the room, but I didn’t think another curve could be included in that end – you may think differently...
I have been through a number of plan-books, including the O Gauge Guild ‘Layouts for small spaces’ publication but nothing leapt out; hence this cry for help!
All input/criticisms/advice would be very welcome!