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Planning a micro-shunting layout - 4mm.


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Hello everybody,

 

I am looking for help/suggestions/ideas regarding my planned extra small shunting layout in 00, brought on by my purchase of a Model Rail Sentinel shunting loco which looks rather daft going round my main loft layout which is all about long trains out in the country.

 

The space I have available for this layout is very specific - 30.75" x 22.5". More on why it's that another day perhaps! I want to be able to have fun shunting in that space without the need for an extra fiddle yard although I do want to have the capacity to add a fiddle yard at one end in the future.

 

If anyone can provide any suggestions, places I can look for inspiration etc., that would be greatly appreciated. You literally have a blank canvas to play with, I've no specific needs/wants/must haves, beyond it being able to occupy me!

 

Cheers, Jamie

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Question.

Is the space you have available th size of a board on hand, or the area you have free for the layout.

 

How much operation do you want? What era are you going for? What kind of stock would you be using? And do you want more scenic with a train, or train with some scenic.

Id see heavy industrial a good setting ti hide corners and edges, but you could go a little more open. Maybe a quayside, or a warehouse, or even a rail connected business.

Though you do have a good space for possibly some absolutely minimum curves. Ive heard of people pushing 4 wheeled stock around 10" radius curves. The sentinel may just cope with that as well in OO.

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Have a spin through the Boxfiles and Micro Layouts section of this Forum. Plenty of ideas there. http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/forum/151-boxfiles-micro-layouts-dioramas/

 

There are also good books on micro layout design by such as Paul A Lunn - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Building-Micro-Layouts-Design-Techniques-Project/dp/1907094202/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1450038399&sr=1-1&keywords=micro+layouts

 

steve

Edited by steve1
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Thanks for the rapid responses.

 

Trevor, the space quoted is the space I have for a board, not a pre-existing board. Era c.1930-50, four wheel goods stock exclusively, so the largest vehicles would be 0-6-0Ts and longer wheelbase brake vans. I don't want an over-busy board of just track, but I want enough shunting potential to keep me occupied. I'm not against the idea of tight curves so long as they can be applied prototypically. My vague thoughts are for some sort of wharf/business yard in a heavily built-up area hence the limited space available, but I'm not at all dedicated to that idea if a more interesting one is presented.

 

Steve, perfect! Thanks for these suggestions, I shall have a peruse.

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Also try http://www.carendt.com/for a whole raft of ideas on all kinds of "small" layouts in different gauges and scales.

 

Other books are "Layouts for limited spaces" and "More layouts for limited spaces" by Nigel Adams (as editor) from Silverlink Publications.  Good as they are all (as I remember it) UK outline and all were built - plenty of inspiring photos.

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It actually seems a bit much.

Youre not going to find much enjoyment if its meaningless shunting.

Thats why inglenooks work so well. Its a puzzle with a desired outcome. Same with prototypical-ish movements, they appear to be doing work.

You seem to want just shuffling wagons around, and thats fine. But in the long run that tends to not satisfy many people.

Id suggest first setting a scene. That way, you know just how much scenery you need.

For example, a quay needs the water, and a place for vehicles or storage.

A goods yard needs space for buildings and room for carts to pull up next to wagons.

A less urban setting needs grass, trees, bushes, a bit of wild cut off by fences or walls.

From there. You know if you want track to move behind some things, whether that thing is a building, a loading dock, some trees, or some sort of tower.

 

For your plan as it is now, id scrap the entire loco shed area. The shuffle back and forth seems pointless and just makes it even less useful for actual movements. The headshunt for the runaround is tiny, barely holding a loco alone by the looks of it.

And what will be at the end of all the sidings? Just buffer stops? Storage tracks?

 

While I think you have a great space available for a minimum space shunting layout, the key in any good layout is a balance between track and scenery, the track is the useful bits, but the scenery makes it realistic, it makes it useful, validates the track even being there.

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Thank you for the continued assistance and suggestions. I've spent an hour wandering around carendt.com and got some great ideas, thanks imt. There was a post from David but it seems to have disappeared. Thanks for the ideas David, it hadn't occurred to me just how much could be fitted into the space I've got! Thank you Trevor for the continued advice, I've been having a look at the inglenook concept and am quite taken with it so will be pursuing that further. I'm going to download anyrail onto my computer when I'm home and see just what I can fit onto the space available sticking to the inglenook principle (although I am going to try and fit a run-round in).

Edited by guard_jamie
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I use it all the time, and AnyRail is great if you use Setrack pieces (and if you want to you can use Streamline points) as a way of getting a feel for what you want.  It is not easy to use flexitrack in an ad-hoc way.  You probably are not worried about flowing curves in any case. You can overlap Setrack pieces to get a rough shape and when you have got an idea of how you want things you can experiment with filling things in with flexitrack.  At least that's how I managed to make it work for me.  Good luck.

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I pulled my post bas it was a sketch and would have required an excessive amount of point trimming for the average enthusiast.  However  I re jigged it in Anyrail and apart from one kink which should be fixable with a bit of flexi track  I squeezed this lot into the area. As you can lop well over an inch off set track points this should work quite well in a 30X 22 area.   It is sized for an 08 Gronk as the largest, loco  a Jinty is too big, a pug ok and can take around 16 wagons and 6 locos, 2 Hornby Peckets and 4 Heljan GWR 136X 0-6-0s would be good, or maybe half a dozen Kernow Beatties, anyway you could build and stock this for £1000 and still have enough left to buy a pint or two. 

 

The headshunts are short but are for running the loco round.  Loads of meaningless shunting pleasure just like Inglenook except you could do every possible move in an hour instead of in 3 minutes and it gives somewhere to show off your collection of locos even if most of them are non powered Dapol Kits   You could even have a sector plate in the warehouse to a kickback siding or simply use it as a fiddle yard one wagon at a time.  

 

I know the two bottom headshunts conflict, it is designed for one engine in steam, (though you need two to get a wagon in and out of the coal siding above the loco shack I have since realised) most late steam age industrial and class 14 era layouts need at least a half a dozen dead locos for every live one.

 

Designed for 9ft wheelbase wagons, Peco magni simplex, Kadee or N gauge couplers would be good as lots uncoupling called for.   Loads of grime, cobbles, piles of rubbish, smoke units belching out smoke, I'm almost tempted to make one myself.  One bogie wagon might be ok but forget brake vans and coaches except very short ones

post-21665-0-51777800-1450332300_thumb.jpg

Edited by DavidCBroad
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David's plan is exactly what I meant.  You can test out what goes in and see whether it fits what you want very easily using Setrack pieces and proprietary point outlines.  You can overlap things and decide whether to "adjust" points or whatever.  This is a start, now you need to put your personality/requirements into it.

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I pulled my post bas it was a sketch and would have required an excessive amount of point trimming for the average enthusiast. However I re jigged it in Anyrail and apart from one kink which should be fixable with a bit of flexi track I squeezed this lot into the area. As you can lop well over an inch off set track points this should work quite well in a 30X 22 area. It is sized for an 08 Gronk as the largest, loco a Jinty is too big, a pug ok and can take around 16 wagons and 6 locos, 2 Hornby Peckets and 4 Heljan GWR 136X 0-6-0s would be good, or maybe half a dozen Kernow Beatties, anyway you could build and stock this for £1000 and still have enough left to buy a pint or two.

 

The headshunts are short but are for running the loco round. Loads of meaningless shunting pleasure just like Inglenook except you could do every possible move in an hour instead of in 3 minutes and it gives somewhere to show off your collection of locos even if most of them are non powered Dapol Kits You could even have a sector plate in the warehouse to a kickback siding or simply use it as a fiddle yard one wagon at a time.

 

I know the two bottom headshunts conflict, it is designed for one engine in steam, (though you need two to get a wagon in and out of the coal siding above the loco shack I have since realised) most late steam age industrial and class 14 era layouts need at least a half a dozen dead locos for every live one.

 

Designed for 9ft wheelbase wagons, Peco magni simplex, Kadee or N gauge couplers would be good as lots uncoupling called for. Loads of grime, cobbles, piles of rubbish, smoke units belching out smoke, I'm almost tempted to make one myself. One bogie wagon might be ok but forget brake vans and coaches except very short ones

Is there any reason for the second runaround?

My original point was a micro layout isnt fitting as much trackwork onto a plank of wood as you can, but setting a scene which justifies trackwork.

 

My idea would be a runaround with an inglenook off the side of it, plus one or two sidings on the other side. Long headshunt, and a sense that the goods coming in and out are in some way being handled. The rest of the space would be filled with industrial buildings, maybe infilled trackwork for road vehicles, or a quay.

Also a great addition would be wagon turntables. From there, you can easily redirect wagons wherever you wish.

If you want, i can have a play with scarm for a while and see what I can come up with.

Edited by Spitfire2865
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Hello everybody,

 

I am looking for help/suggestions/ideas regarding my planned extra small shunting layout in 00, brought on by my purchase of a Model Rail Sentinel shunting loco which looks rather daft going round my main loft layout which is all about long trains out in the country.

 

The space I have available for this layout is very specific - 30.75" x 22.5". More on why it's that another day perhaps! I want to be able to have fun shunting in that space without the need for an extra fiddle yard although I do want to have the capacity to add a fiddle yard at one end in the future.

 

If anyone can provide any suggestions, places I can look for inspiration etc., that would be greatly appreciated. You literally have a blank canvas to play with, I've no specific needs/wants/must haves, beyond it being able to occupy me!

 

Cheers, Jamie

Hi Jamie, Should be at BRM Doncaster show after Christmas, if you're not sorted by then and can get there, come and have a layout planning session and I'll do the best to help.  Kind regards Paul (Lunn)

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You have to realise just how small this thing is,  The two run rounds sort of evoluted when doodling.

 

The loco fits the headshunts but there is either barely or simply not enough room for a wagon.  So to get wagon(s) from S1 to H4 you pull it back into H1, take the upper route to H3 leave the wagon(s) in H3, Loco to H2 and back the lower route pull the wagons clear of the points on the lower route, run round the wagons with the loco at the H3 end, propel1 wagon into H4 and any others into S6. then push the wagon in H4 tight against the buffers, change the point and pull it to LH and back into LSS or L1/L2 while you swap empties in LSS for Fulls. 

If using a big loco like a gronk you will need a second loco to get wagons from H4 to the sheds

Its supposed to be fun.  Ok you get bored within half an hour but that is three times as long as inglenook and hopefully by then Corrie is over, tea is ready or wifey has had her bath (delete as applicable)

post-21665-0-47197600-1450371446.png

Edited by DavidCBroad
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Thanks all for the continued suggestions and assistance, David, I'm pleased that I've given you some fun doodling time!

 

I shall probably aim for something halfway between the above trackfest and a classic inglenook, I do want there to be some conceivable purpose to the operation and my budget is not too high. It won't really be a place to show off stock as I'm not short of space for long trains, I just have nowhere to shunt currently and have this lovely new Sentinel which looks ridiculous sat in a goods loop designed for a 30 wagon freight with a shunters truck, conflat and brake van behind it. I don't envisage ever having more than two locos 'on scene' at any given time - the deliverer/collector of the trip freight (Pannier, small Prairie at the largest), and the resident Sentinel. One thing that is important to me as a signalman by trade is signalling - the only manifestation of which will be a yard exit signal (with appropriate ring on the arm), so that will be prominent and demands there to be a single exit.

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I forgot to ask, do you mind if there is a cassette type headshunt which goes off the board? Or can you work around that? Because I had some good ideas from yesterdays doodling but the best required off stage headshunts.

I was pushing full inglenook plus a bit more.

What is your opinion on things like capstan shunting, wagon turntables, or infilled track?

 

My designs may not fill your space completely, but it will give some sort of purpose which you want.

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Remember that POINTS TAKE UP SPACE! you can achieve the same thing in less space using a sector plate or a traverser - This is one of the PRIME rules of the small space designer.

TBH my first thought on seeing your question was a standard gauge light railway - something on the lines of a yard on the Wisbech & Upwell, or the Wantage tramway, using tiny locos and 9' or 10' wheelbase wagons, possibly as an Inglenook (or Lessana Yard on Carls site) which should work if laid in your space diagonally - I think the original was in a way back SMT and called Balls Pond Yard - it fit into a tool box about 24" long AFAIR. I built Lessana yard to take a 44-tonner and 40' cars so it should shrink quite a bit. I can try to find the original article and scan it if that would help - let me have your email by PM if you'd like it

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G-J

 

While I was clearing out to do some decorating today, I found my large cutting mat, which happens to be pretty much the size of your space, and some Peco 0-16.5 points ..........

 

Photo below shows basic idea for "yard track" level, the key being the sector-plate in top-left, which I think will hold the Sentinel and a single wagon, maybe two.

 

The "fiddle track", lives below an embankment, on which is a single track for a four-wheel rail us to shuttle up and down on. At one end it hides behind the premises of 'The Empire and National Flange Packing Company' (or whatever it is), and at the other, over the top of the sector-plate, is 'Flange Works Halt', which is inspired by this wonderful piece of anti-architecture http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/a/acrow_halt/ .

 

Hope it provides food for thought.

 

Kevin

post-26817-0-30601100-1450563296_thumb.jpg

post-26817-0-49631100-1450563324_thumb.jpg

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Thank you all so much for the continuing ideas and inspiration. Trevor, a cassette style headshunt is perfectly acceptable, so long as it is on the left hand side of the board as you look at it and no less than 4" from the back (all will become clear).

 

Dennis, at the moment I'm open to suggestions on industry. I'd quite like a purely railway-owned yard, perhaps an early road-rail interchange on a cramped site somewhere in West London, but I'm very ready to be persuaded. I'm not averse to a busy or quite plain scene layout-wise so long as there is interest to be had in shunting.

 

Jack, I'm certainly keen to get all the advice I can get. You should have a PM now.

 

Kevin - haven't we met before? :) That's a lovely little design, I shall bear it in mind.

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I look forward to seeing your suggestions Trevor. I'm thinking a diagonal inglenook entering from a cassette at front left, with the back left space open as a yard rail/road interchange, with a couple of lorries and scammell three wheelers parked up, but open to completely different ideas and keen to use some I've seen on here.

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