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Are These Planning Books Any Good?

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Are these layout planning and design books any good? They're $15 NZD each (around 8 pound/quid) and they look alright. I'm buying from a online retailer in New Zealand

 

 

N Gauge Track Plans by C. J. Freezer

 

60 Plans for Small Locations by C. J. Freezer

 

Track Plans For Various Locations by C. J. Freezer

 

Layout Planning and Design by Railway Modeller, part of the 'Show You How' Series

 

A Compendium of Track Plans To Suit All Locations by Peco Modeller's Library

 

Setrack N Gauge Planbook by Peco

 

The Hornby Book of Model Railways by Chris Ellis.

 

Cheers.

 

 

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I would certainly recommend the second and thirs books in the list as a starting point, Iain Rice's books are well worth a read as well

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All the books you list are more or less useful, and anything else by CJ Freezer is always good to at least leaf through. His ideas are now considered somewhat dated but, IMHO, are still well worth considering for anyone wanting to run trains rather than paint 3D pictures :D.

 

It's also worth hunting down older editions of Freezer's plan books as they were regularly updated, losing or modifying some plans whilst gaining others. I've seen at least 3 versions of 60 Plans, for example (although earlier ones were titled 60 Plans for Small Railways).

 

A word of warning though. If attempting to copy a Freezer plan, particularly a really old one, try drawing it out in something like XtrackCAD to make sure it's actually buildable in the space available. CJF was sometimes a bit optimistic about what would fit, or drew plans using the train-set geometry of the time from Hornby-Dublo or Triang.

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I'd suggest that a Freezer plan for 6x4 needs at least 7x5, more if you have it. The Settrack plans ought to work and some of Paul Lunn's designs look intriguing.

 

Ed

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Any book by CJF is worth looking at.  BUT as has been said before, most plans are for track units that are no longer available - so you need to re-do them in your chosen scale/track type.  Also his inclines are too heavy for many modern locos with long trains.

 

You do need to get your hands on a track design package.  SCARM which shows up in these pages has some good reviews and is also free.  AnyRail is about £20 and is good but does not have all the features of SCARM.  It is unlikely that any design by somebody else is going to fit what you want, but they do provide excellent starting points. CJFs plans are "railwaylike" in most cases and provide a good starting point. Playing with some designs yourself will help you visualise what you are aiming for.

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Having struggled with my own designs.... which I thought were good but lacked any operational potential and all had bottlenecks etc... I would highly commend CJF's plans especially minories :)

 

I have Manyvother planning books but would say the CJF's are very good and can be expanded easily if you have space to make the curves more gentle

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I would certainly recommend the second and thirs books in the list as a starting point, Iain Rice's books are well worth a read as well

CJF if you are using set track, Iain Rice if you are prepared to do your own track work. That said, with the new and improved track now coming out from Peco, Rice is more accessible and, IMO, more satisfying.

 

HTH

 

David

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Yes, I do enjoy the little books from CJ Freezer, but my favourites are the ones I have written by Iain Rice, as his plans are a lot more realistic and more interesting.

 

Sam

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A lot depends on what sort of layout you want to build. If you are after the traditional roundy round style then they have their place but do bear in mind the caveats mentioned above. You could also look at Paul A Lunn's book "Making Tracks: Railway Modelling By Design".

 

If you want to be more adventurous then Paul and Steve Flint's Model Railway Planning And Design Handbook is definitely worth a read. The Iain Rice ones are, I concur, also worth consulting.

 

steve

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Flex track I mean lol, also try to make any curves as gentle as you can.  On my layout even 30 inch radius looks tight, Ideally my minimum would have been 42 inch radius but that would have led into next doors basement!

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Are these layout planning and design books any good? They're $15 NZD each (around 8 pound/quid) and they look alright. I'm buying from a online retailer in New Zealand

 

 

N Gauge Track Plans by C. J. Freezer

 

60 Plans for Small Locations by C. J. Freezer

 

Track Plans For Various Locations by C. J. Freezer

 

Layout Planning and Design by Railway Modeller, part of the 'Show You How' Series

 

A Compendium of Track Plans To Suit All Locations by Peco Modeller's Library

 

Setrack N Gauge Planbook by Peco

 

The Hornby Book of Model Railways by Chris Ellis.

 

Cheers.

4 wouldn't be worth $NZ15. It comes free with Railway Modeller around every year or 18 months.

 

Some of your selections are for OO only, or N gauge only.

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All very good and worth having.

 

But I certainly wouldn't pay £8 each for them. Seems a bit extortionate even considering your location.

 

 

 

Jason

Have you tried eBay for them - I have picked up quite a few very cheaply: admittedly postage might be an issue, but the CJF ones are quite thin 'booklets'

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Freezer and Rice are both mentioned above, but in a kind of either/or way ......... personally, I would get a good book of plans by each of them.

 

They are very different, but both model railway geniuses, and it is possible to take a Freezer idea and Rice-ify it, and vice-versa.

 

My Desert Island Railway Books would include the two well-used volumes below. Mr Freezer's one has most of the classics from 60 Plans, plus a lot more, and Mr Rice's is the best introduction to his style and approach.

 

The other thing to do is to study the prototype, which the two authors depart from in different directions, Mr Freezer usually by squashing things up, and Mr Rice by leaving a lot to happen backstage.

 

How much space have you got, by the way? I think we're all assuming typical U.K. domestic confines, but you might be the lucky chap with a spare barn to fill!

 

Kevin

post-26817-0-98419100-1480456577_thumb.jpg

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I am a big fan of CJ Freezer's plans.   I have several 40 odd years old 60 plans fot small layouts, Track plans and plans for larger layout books. He states the plans are mainly for Peco Streamline points but they have got bigger since the 1960's which can cause issues

CJF used a curved diamond for some junctions which I have never managed to source but apart from that one piece of track I have never found a CJF plan which can't be built using streamline track or the track mentioned in the accompanying text.  

 

You might need the razor saw or Dremell and close the track spacing up but generally although Anyrail says it can't be done in the real world it can.

 

CJFs early plans were designed in an era when many modellers had very few locos, I have quite a few 1960s and 1970s Railway Modeller and Constructor magazines and many layouts had half a dozen or less locos, a dozen was a lot, all carefully listed in the Railway of the Month articles.   Operation was therefore the key, you soon got bored with the same three trains running round a loop but a bit of shunting  shuttling trains up and down a branch line kept things interesting. 

 

Nowadays most of us have vast fleets of locos some of which work and many of which don't, as in actually stay on the track and have a capability to pull trains so we need large loco depots, and for the locos which actually work we need copious storage sidings for their trains which are open to the sky so you can read the loco number in order to identify its DCC  code.

 

Marrying a CJF stations and layout concepts to modern traversers, Helix or other storage is a good compromise.   

 

I have a part complete CJF inspired 78" X 54" layout with added spiral and storage in my spare bedroom.  My son grew up before  I completed it but it would have and may yet be good fun.

 

I would say look on Ebay and at Preserved railways for CJF books in the £4 inc P+P range.   

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With Iain Rice you get more than a set of track plans as he waxes lyrical about the scene he is portraying, I find his books quite satisfying as a read.

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CJF if you are using set track, Iain Rice if you are prepared to do your own track work. That said, with the new and improved track now coming out from Peco, Rice is more accessible and, IMO, more satisfying.

 

HTH

 

David

 

 

Freezer and Rice are both mentioned above, but in a kind of either/or way ......... personally, I would get a good book of plans by each of them.

 

They are very different, but both model railway geniuses, and it is possible to take a Freezer idea and Rice-ify it, and vice-versa.

 

My Desert Island Railway Books would include the two well-used volumes below. Mr Freezer's one has most of the classics from 60 Plans, plus a lot more, and Mr Rice's is the best introduction to his style and approach.

 

The other thing to do is to study the prototype, which the two authors depart from in different directions, Mr Freezer usually by squashing things up, and Mr Rice by leaving a lot to happen backstage.

 

How much space have you got, by the way? I think we're all assuming typical U.K. domestic confines, but you might be the lucky chap with a spare barn to fill!

 

Kevin

 

I have picked out two replies but equally could have added several other excellent replies, whilst it could be said CJF's plans are for RTR track and Iain's for hand built, It has been said that CJF's plans have to be reworked for either Peco Streamline or Set Track. As for Ians plans, they are just sketches and do not use standard turnouts and crossings (I have imported 3 of Iain's plans into Templot and every time I have had to modify the design slightly)

 

Both could actually be used for either RTR or hand built trackwork, by using them as a basis for your own plan, as said Iain's plans do give a higher degree of scenic details. CJF's are a bit more geometric, where as Iain's flow better. I would always adapt either to the space and stock available.

Edited by hayfield

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May I add this to your reading list?

 

Layouts which have actually been built, using present-day ideas, methods and materials. They are therefore clearly buildable in the space specified, and the photos help you visualise what your version might look like -- not easy for a beginner looking at a plan.

 

post-1103-0-86515400-1480513217.png

 

There is also a volume 2: https://www.world-of-railways.co.uk/brm/store/books/the-brm-guide-to-trackplans-and-layout-design-issue-2/

 

See also this topic on Templot Club: http://85a.co.uk/forum/view_topic.php?id=2286&forum_id=1

 

Martin.

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Templot, scarm etc get a few mentions. They might suit you, but don't ignore the traditional tools: paper; pencil; ruler; pair of compasses; Peco templates, which can be downloaded for free; and, masking tape. The two great planners mentioned above both produced great work without modern software.

Edited by Nearholmer

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The problem with compasses is that you tend to end up with straight-bend-straight. Transition curves look SOO much better. On a small layout I'm not even sure that dead straight track has a place.

 

Ed

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Templot, scarm etc get a few mentions. They might suit you, but don't ignore the traditional tools: paper; pencil; ruler; pair of compasses; Peco templates, which can be downloaded for free; and, masking tape. The two great planners mentioned above both produced great work without modern software.

 

 

The rear of old rolls of wallpaper/lining paper are useful with the above mentioned methods to hold plans in place

Edited by hayfield

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Ed

 

The use of compasses doesn't confine one to plain curves, but is jolly useful for setting out minima, if nothing else. I also use a big old French curve and/or one of those bendable rulers, but omitted them from the list, because they aren't essentials.

 

Templates and masking tape alone will suffice for detailed laying out of small layouts - I use the kitchen floor, when SWMBO is out with her pals, to allow working in full scale!

 

Kevin

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Guest nzflyer

I downloaded Scarm but I have absolutely no idea how to use it and if I get a spare evening I'll look up some tutorials. Really I'm just planning on buying some cheap books for railway planning and I've certainly heard of the legend that is C. J. Freezer, while I think to find an Iain Rice publication in New Zealand would be extremely rare. I do like using computer technology and instead of just using a 2D track layout I'd like a 3D programme like Rail Simulator where I can build my own stations etc with appropriate infrastructure. I think this thinks back to me seeing Hornby Virtual Railway in a catalogue around 2005. The prototype doesn't really matter. It's almost always BR steam or modern image....and no I don't have a barn for space. Here in NZ, we call a barn a shed!  :jester:


Can you create your own railway/stations in Rail Simulator? Just out of interest.

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Try this. It's  free, easy to use (well, I can sort of use it so it can't be too hard :)) and, if you're planning to use rtr track, it's got a huge library of templates that will cover pretty much any track system you're likely to choose.

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