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  1. Keith's idea has the great advantage of not having any pointwork on an incline. Rough calculations as follows: The minimum clearance height (lower baseboard top to upper (unframed) baseboard/trackbed bottom is around 55mm (Hornby Jinty sitting on Code 100 track with no underlay). Say 6mm for the trackbed, giving an absolute minimum rise from B to D of 61mm (the woodworking would need to be very accurate to get away with that). Average radius of outer curve B-C say 550mm, so length B-C is ~1300mm (3/4 PI x Radius), and C-D is ~920mm. Average grade from B-D therefore 1 in 36, of which just over half needs to be at the gentler angle. No allowance has been made for the transition from flat to inclined. D-E is ~1080mm, making the average grade from C-E 1 in 32, with just about half at the gentler angle at this side. Giving adequately braced support to the upper terminus baseboard would take careful planning. A conventional 2" x 1" frame adds 50mm to the required clearance and would clearly make things impossible. Though from distant memory, Tri-ang's risers used to gain about half an inch over a 7 inch Series 3 straight, so 1 in 14 (!), and a 3 coach Flying Scotsman would romp up it - but fings ain't wot they used to be traction-wise ...... Best of luck ....
  2. Mmm ... think that's a new trick this old dog may have to pass on. I'm trying to nerve myself up to think DCC (but please don't anyone bother trying to convince me, there are already more than enough threads on that issue elsewhere ).
  3. Well, it's nice to generate a debate ..... I've done lots of more conventional plans, this was indeed an attempt to do something different, sparked by a couple of ideas that have come up recently. I didn't know if it would work, and am quite pleased with the way it came out. It ticks my "musts" and a lot of the "druthers". My manual dexterity is pants, always was, ain't going to change, so I really do struggle getting bogies properly on the rails, even using Code 100. I therefore lean strongly towards the use of cassettes in some form, as what I have in mind is going to include quite a bit of remarshalling passenger rakes (the 8 car rake just has to be the 5 car rake with temporary additions). The "scenic cassette" idea means I don't have to write off one long side of the layout to a fiddle yard, as that "rural" side should still look presentable when I'm trainspotting in between fiddles. And I do like the idea of two apparently unconnected railway areas, rural and urban. Whatever, like all its predecessors it'll probably never get built, but it was fun in the planning.
  4. Thanks for asking .... No, although it will all be Code 100 and the hidden curves will mostly be set-track (R3 and R4), I wouldn't use set-track points - they turn too sharply (<18" radius) and diverge too much (22.5 degrees v 12 for Streamline). And I'm happy with the length of the loops anyway (as much as you can ever be happy with the length of anything in this game). Not planning for multiple trains in a single loop, and the idea is that I can see over the backscene when I need to, which will usually be when I'm parking something. But you've made me realise I'm going to have to make sure I can clearly see the nearest loop line, so I may come back to my original thought of no backscene there, just a 4"-ish high railway boundary wall. So special thanks for that thought. Flipping was something @Harlequin suggested. But it makes it impossible to get from the storage loops to the scenic cassette for fiddling purposes without running through the station, unless I run a single hidden line round behind the station. I might just try that, to see how much it impacts on other things I like. 10 mins later - not really a goer!! The 4 spurs into the corners were a bit of an afterthought. The ones at the top might be fanned for loco storage, the ones at the bottom look DMU-length at first glance ...
  5. Simon, even putting a simple curve on an incline includes a certain amount of distortion of the track. To see what I mean, put together 180 degrees of set-track curves, lift one end 3 inches, and see how much the ends of the curve are canted. Introducing points magnifies the problem, and a double junction on an incline would be a nightmare. On a 1 in 100 you might get away with it, but on a 1 in 20? Not to mention that set-track curved points have a dubious reputation for derailing (I don't have any personal experience), and people frequently remark that they must be laid perfectly flat ...... Sorry, but I'm afraid it won't fly in that space. Chris
  6. Thanks folks, all input is much appreciated ... Thanks, I can see the bottom storage loop is too close to the backscene . I am aiming for two distinctly different scenic areas, not linked by railway. Goods yard tweaks, absolutely, thanks, especially the headshunt . Why didn't I do that? Loops at the bottom? Can't remember if I tried that ...... might give it a go, especially as access is currently by ducking under the station board. Whether I could actually make the cutting trick work visually I don't know - I was wondering about a sliver of mirror at the end. I'm trying something similar with the placing of the buildings opposite the station forecourt. As Phil has realised, I definitely don't want to see the junctions, although I know a double junction looks good - and anyway handbuilt track is way beyond me and my ten thumbs . The top platform is actually the start of the branchline ...... The cassette enables me to fiddle without reaching over the backscene to the storage loops, or ducking under to get at the loops from the outside. Scenic so it's not an eyesore when I'm trainspotting on that side of the layout. Ta muchly, everyone. No show-stoppers yet, anyway (except planning permission) ..... Chris
  7. Well it sort of fits using second and third radius curves, but the crippler is only having at best 5 feet for the incline. The double reversing loop is a no-no (I've left the diamond in but the inner loop can't connect). And I don't think the think the third upper right loop is possible, even with first radius curves .......
  8. Very quick thoughts too late at night - if the gradient is not too steep, and the terminus throat and various junctions fit as you've sketched them, operationally that looks pretty good fun - max 3 coach trains probably?
  9. Having been making a few suggestions regarding other people’s plans recently, one of which was taken up in its entirety (and I do hope @halsey will forgive me if it doesn’t work out the way I hoped), I thought I might offer a possible contender for my last great project to your tender mercies. The inspiration came from two recent discussions regarding fiddle yards – one which simply put storage loops behind a wall, which you could see over when you needed too, but blocked the view of them otherwise, and the other which introduced the idea of a scenic cassette, which looks OK when not being used for fiddling. So I thought I might combine the two – have the storage loops in occasional sight but out of reach for fiddling purposes, plus a scenic cassette to enable fiddling and loco exchange when necessary. Basically, standard rakes of coaches would live in the loops, with access to up and down lines, but could be brought round to the cassette area to change or reverse the loco, or add a couple of coaches (RB and FO, say) to strengthen the rake. Or a complete shortish train could be dropped in for a brief appearance … the trick being the fiddling could be done without the stock appearing in the main scenic area. Here’s the result ….. Otherwise, the thing is my usual concoction of a junction station on a secondary main line with a small goods yard served by trip freights from the inner circuit only, plus a daily trip freight up the branch. Maybe some industries up the branchline requiring specialist trains (e.g. cement presflos) for freight variety. Branch passenger trains can terminate and run round (not easily) or go on. Main line trains in either direction can terminate and reverse (probably rarely). And I can shunt the yard while trains trundle unattended round the two main lines. For what it’s worth, the time is early 60s and the region London Midland, so I’m on an embankment somewhere, trainspotting aged about 13. The line might be Blackburn-Hellifield, but with rather more traffic than was actually the case at the time. The green line is the line of the backscene. The idea is that any hidden points can be reached in emergency by reaching over (and before you all shout at me, the storage loops are accessible from outside the layout). The grey is a road, at track datum plus 3 to 4 inches everywhere except where it drops down into the goods yard. The station building is above the platforms. Other brown rectangles are ideas at view-blocking buildings, and the unconnected tracks bottom right are in a tree-lined cutting, an attempt to fool a viewer into thinking the route doesn’t turn left 90 degrees under the bridge. Basically, the bottom of the layout is for watching the trains go by, with the cassette track masquerading as a lie-by siding or something similar when fiddling is not required. And the top is for “proper operation”, to a timetabled sequence of services. Comments welcome .....
  10. I can barely see Z scale models, let alone do anything with them, and don't use SCARM, so any contribution from me comes from a weak position, but surely if the track is already laid, the track plan doesn't need to be accurate, as it's just going to be a schematic to help you get the wiring right? Fwiw, X-Track-CAD, which I do use, does appear to have parameter files for Marklin Z track - and it's free ..... Best of luck, Chris
  11. Yes, that's what I had in mind ..... as you say, the inner leg of the curved point diverges 20.25 degrees against the 12 of all the straight points, the outer leg 9.
  12. Or a double and a single R2 would give you 67.5 degrees, closer to Phil's "around 60" and probably still largely hidden by his scenic dodges .... choices, choices ....
  13. Alternatively, use the curve of the point for the last 12 degrees of the 90 ......
  14. My other excuse for allowing tailchasing is that if it is a bit of a fiddle setting up a train that makes an occasional star turn appearance (say, adding a couple of catering coaches in the middle of a regular rake, plus an extra full brake on one end) I may want to watch it for a bit, see it passing other trains in different places on the layout, etc, before having to reverse the fiddle process. Whereas the local DMU which makes regular appearances and lives permanently in the shortest storage loop will only make one pass each time it's scheduled.
  15. Oval, so I can leave trains circulating in the background while I puzzle-shunt a goods yard - but featuring a station where passenger trains can terminate, split, reverse etc, and is also a junction for a branch line giving still more interesting operational possibilities. And a double-ended fiddle yard so trains only go round more than once when I want them to - as when puzzle-shunting as above .... So I agree with virtually everything @The Johnster said, and still vote the other way
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