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About Harlequin

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  • Location
     West Devon
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    Professional programmer; amateur designer, gardener, self-builder, railway modeller.

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  1. Just to see what might be possible, here's a rough version of CJF's design, "Coldean", from the "PSL book of model railway track plans": There are lots of things that need to be checked and tweaked, including an annoying disconnection in the main station run round loop. It would only support trains of the "tank loco, 2 coaches and a van" type - if I've scaled everything correctly. I haven't thought about how the baseboards might work. An interesting feature of this design is the Maurice Dean fiddle yard, making it great for two operators and quickly ringing the changes when putting on a show.
  2. Bread and butter is a great way to put it. I'm just suggesting this thread doesn't drift too far away from that staple diet - er, doesn't start talking about avocados on toast, to extend the simile... Here, here!
  3. Here's my first sketch suggestion: I'm aware that this plan is the simple, obvious solution - and it's similar to others that I've drawn recently. Nothing very clever but that does mean it would be easy to get up and running quickly and it would be very easy to live with because of the comfortably sized operating well and room for a workbench. Less is more! Key points: I decided to avoid going through the cupboard! The structure of the stairs inside will probably prevent it. I'm suggesting that since you've got to bridge across in front of the cupboard, you could model it as a bridge with large buildings like warehouses perhaps behind. One large building would wrap around the corner of the cupboard to disguise it. The alcove to the right of the cupboard is a neat space for a goods yard and the alcove below it is used for the tight radius turn between the scenic section and the fiddle yard, which maximises the length of both. I think that to make operations interesting you need a fiddle yard - a real fiddle yard, not just a set of storage loops. So I've shown one along the bottom of the plan next to the lifting flap. That whole side of the room is non-scenic with a workbench below. Two through lines run around the outside of the loops with minimal turnouts in their paths. The 4 loops in the middle have between 4ft6in and 5ft usable storage length. The loops are spaced at 67mm between track centres for easy handling of stock. The turnout ladders give exit routes onto the normal running line in both directions and facing crossovers at the entry ends allow full storage flexibility with no on-scene wrong-road running. If you didn't want a fiddle yard the lower side of the layout could just be open countryside with the double track main line gently curving through it. The lifting flap is hinged on the left side, has perpendicular track joints at both ends and can be operated from the entrance even though it prevents the door being fully opened when it's down. The goods yard can be accessed from either Down or Up main lines and the headshunt allows it to be shunted without affecting trains running on the main lines. It can be used as a shunting puzzle. The station platforms are gently curved and long enough for a loco and 4 coaches, same as the fiddle yard. Countryside can be modelled in front of the station and around to the lifting flap. (The track could be moved away from the wall on the right but that means shortening the lifting flap and the platforms and possibly tightening the curves.) Industry could be modelled behind and to the left of the goods yard.
  4. Do tracks have to cross baseboard joints at right angles? What is the minimum spacing between track centres in straight sections and in curves? What angle of divergence do the 22" turnouts achieve?
  5. If you intended to do any shunting in the station you'd want it to be level. That limits the length of track available for gradients. And the lifting gate would also need to be level. I assumed that the storage loops would also be level but since they are completely inaccessible I guess you'd never disconnect a loco from any vehicles stood in there so maybe gradients wouldn't be a problem - in which case yes, it might be do-able in Dave's space. There are practical problems of cleaning the track and dealing with derailments in these hidden storage loops, though, and they don't simulate "the rest of the world" very well. All you can do is drive trains in, stack them up and drive them out again, unchanged, still travelling in the same direction.
  6. OK, now we're getting somewhere! Assuming that you are happy to build sectional baseboards (modular baseboards are slightly different things) why not build around the outside of the 15 * 8 space, with a decent sized hole, the "operating well", in the middle? That way you could have longer runs, longer stations and sidings and wider curves (more realistic) and you wouldn't have to squeeze into a small hole or sidle around the outside with the risk of damaging things as you do. (Do other people need to cross that 15*8 space or is it off to one side?)
  7. Hi, You mentioned realism and advanced track plans in your OP but that track plan you got from Pinterest doesn't seem to be either of those things. So what is it about that track plan that you like? Edit: If we know what you like about that plan maybe we can suggest more advanced, more realistic ways to do it. (I know virtually nothing about OHLE but I suspect that it doesn't work well with very small radius curves, BTW.) About the size of the layout: How much space is available to you in the garage? Ignore baseboard sizes and shapes for now.
  8. Hi Trainnoob, 5ft width with a sensible hole right in the middle (2ft6in) only leaves 15inches of baseboard either side, which will be difficult to make work scenically. You could offset the hole to make one side have enough room for a useful trackplan and the other side just a sort of connecting section. The thin connecting section would also be easier to duck-under. A bit like this 10ft * 5ft design: If the layout was made in sections like everyone here is suggesting then you could perhaps use the garage just as a workshop and then move it somewhere bigger when you want to run it? Maybe even taking over the whole garage temporarily. But bear in mind what Zomboid said about the garage not being the ideal place to keep it permanently. Is there a bigger space where you would be allowed to set up your layout for a few days at a time? There are various different ways of joining sections together so that they always line up properly. Electrical connections are usually done separately from the joining method using plugs, sockets and flying leads.
  9. If the exchange sidings were aligned with, and closer to, the sorting sidings there would be more room for a passing station further to the left. Something like this: (Maybe not quite that far left and a bit deeper into the baseboard.) That has the advantage of the station not being directly in front of the colliery. One signal box could serve both the passing station and the scissors junction. It also makes the colliery look a bit more "organised", if I can put it that way. I haven't shown a new position for the brake van siding but I'm sure it could be found a home. Would the levels and gradients still work?
  10. This is a "folded figure of eight" and it relies on the large room size to achieve the crossover height separation within sensible gradients. I don't think it's practical in your space and your chosen scale, I'm afraid. I suggest the best fit for you at the moment would be a simple, around-the-room, single track roundy-round crossing the doorway on a lifting flap, with only one side of the room scenic at first. That way you can leave a train running but there's more scope for the scenery and the buildings, which are probably of more interest to you. And you can really commit to doing the scenery on one side only while you learn what you really want/like and decide what to do with the other side and whether or not you want a fiddle yard... (A non-scenic fiddle yard is a Good Thing (TM) in my book. It provides the necessary backstage mechanisms that make the on stage magic happen.) You could do double-track, but do you really need two trains running at once while you meditate? You don't have to have a passenger station to have passenger trains passing through your scene... BTW: If the door has to open inwards and it conflicts with the lifting flap then the door must be able to open enough to operate the lifting flap from the outside, in case of emergency.
  11. Thanks. I see the problem with the cupboard now - it's not so much the cupboard as the stairs themselves getting in the way!
  12. Hi again Dave, Can I push a little bit more on the cupboard? You say it is floor to ceiling but why does that mean it can't be taken out? Removing it would make a huge difference to what you can do with the space. What's your feeling about fiddle yards? I.e. "somewhere else" outside your modelled scene that you can send trains to and from. BTW: Your room dimensions don't add up (unless the room isn't square): The left end is 2420 and the right end is given as 2360 but with a 120mm step in. 2360-120 != 2440.
  13. You could use a "shuttle module" that will run a train back and forth automatically between terminals. That gives the same end result as a roundy-round, trains moving while you do something else, but in a simpler plan.
  14. I subscribed to old-maps for a while to get access to the higher zoom levels but the service became very flaky, the place name database seemed to stop working and it was obvious that no development was being done on the site. They responded to tech support queries slowly and dismissively. The writing was in the wall and I cancelled my subscription.
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