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1st Layout after 20 year break


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Hi Guys,

 

Im new to the forum, although i have been lurking here reading threads and getting inspiration.  I have decided its time to get back into things after no touching my railway for a long time.  Now i've never really had a proper layout in the past, aside from as a kid, using my Dads Hornby railway, inspired by the infamous 1980 catalogue track layout.  The closest we came was having some 8x4 chipboard to lay the track on instead of the carpet.  I still have his old locos from back then and i am hoping with a bit of love they will run again. 

 

Anyway, moving forward to now, i have convinced the wife to let me take over the spare room as its only really used as an office.  The room is just under 8'x9' (95"x107").  I have been messing around with SCARM and have created a couple of layouts.  For me at this stage, i am happy to admit for now, that i want more of a train-set than a model railway.  I say this, because i have a 4 year old son i want to get into the hobby, as well as watching trains go round.  Also, i know i will eventually be kicked out of this room and will have to convert some of my garage space for future layouts, where i will have time and space to get more involved in the modelling and scenery side of things.

 

So the designs

67213893_SPAREROOMEFFORT1PECO.jpg.b5bcf4015bc0eba0ba9092f6021ad487.jpg

 

This one is a rather optimistic multi level layout, with 2 roundy lines and a raised station area.

 

I then moved onto another multi layer design, with and upper and lower terminus.  this isn't the easiest to see in this picture

 

767589411_DoubleTerminus9x8.jpg.2370fb748482772f4b5b01183ff36cd2.jpg

 

The downside with this is it is tricky to get the gradient line to drop down below the upper terminus.

 

At this point i decided to simplify things, keeping it on 1 level for this layout.  I saw another layout design, i think a 12x8 layout, that i liked the look of, so i have tweaked it to fit my space.  overall i am quite happy with how this has turned out.  I know its very busy, but like i said, i want to see trains running around with some playability.  Now i know in the space i have i am not going to be able to run long rakes of coaches, i am looking at 3-4 coach trains.  so i have a double runaround, with a station that also has a 2 lane terminus.  i also have an inner goods line, running from a yard that can access both runarounds.

 

1380779694_trial39x8.jpg.63620cabb595550fb78164e825fb4902.jpg

 

Can anyone with a bit more know how see any fundamental flaws with this layout or any suggestions of things i might tweak.

 

I have started to purchase bits towards this, and i will start baseboard construction in the next couple of weeks

 

Well that's enough of an introduction for now, i look forward to some feedback

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They all look a bit OTT for a 4 year old

You need a double track main line with both tracks parallel to keep 4 year olds interested, that way Percy can race Thomas.  

I would stick with one level to begin with and just get some solid baseboards built and a load of random set track and let the little chap design his own layout or copy the Hornby plans book

Or build a fine scale layout for yourself with parallel double track where Flying Scotsman can race  Mallard when you're not operating to a timetable which is pretty much what my father in law did for my son

 

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Despite the impression some may give there is nothing wrong with preferring to just have trains go around in circles - this hobby allows for a wide variety of approaches and at the end of the day it is what provides the most enjoyment to you.

 

In a way you are starting out with an advantage - you are up front acknowledging that this is a temporary layout and thus it will hopefully be easier to approach this as a learning experience so that your next layout can be approached with both better skills and a better knowledge of what you like and don't like.

 

One point of view would be this - keep it simple.  2 tracks going around the room, maybe a small yard (ie. 2 tracks) and if you really want a turntable.  Two reasons for this suggestion, first track can get expensive quick and secondly this allows something operational to be made reasonably quickly, even if you have a 4 year old helping to build it (if that takes his interest).

 

Once you have that up and running reliably and get some experience you can then consider adding a bit more track if you feel it is necessary, but you will then have a better idea of what you want based on experience.

 

 

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Thanks for your replies.  As yet in not sure how interested my son will be, but I'm hoping seeing them running will spark his imagination.  I am also under no illusions that it's just for him!

 

My plan so far is to get the boards built in the room over the next few weeks. I have ordered track and points to build the outter track as drawn above plus a second inner line. I will get these wired up and able to play with. Once they are running I will draw out the rest of the track on the baseboard to make sure I'm happy before buying anymore track.

 

I do have all our old Hornby track, but most of it is late 70s 80s track, so plain steel and currently unknown condition, so I decided to just go with new peco track, set-track curves with streamline ef points. I do have some later Hornby nickel plated track, but I'll probably just use this for setup and development 

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What I remember being important when I used to play with my trainset with my brother whilst our ages were single figures was races and crashes. I suppose all kids are different so yours might be into shunting (it's not unheard of), but steer clear of complications as much as possible, and remember that points are expensive...

 

I'd do 2 tracks round the room, at least 2 sidings to park trains that are not presently in use, and a separate goods yard to shunt (that doesn't use the main). If there's space then a place to park engines will also be good.

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4 hours ago, mdvle said:

Despite the impression some may give there is nothing wrong with preferring to just have trains go around in circles - this hobby allows for a wide variety of approaches and at the end of the day it is what provides the most enjoyment to you.

 

In a way you are starting out with an advantage - you are up front acknowledging that this is a temporary layout and thus it will hopefully be easier to approach this as a learning experience so that your next layout can be approached with both better skills and a better knowledge of what you like and don't like.

 

One point of view would be this - keep it simple.  2 tracks going around the room, maybe a small yard (ie. 2 tracks) and if you really want a turntable.  Two reasons for this suggestion, first track can get expensive quick and secondly this allows something operational to be made reasonably quickly, even if you have a 4 year old helping to build it (if that takes his interest).

 

Once you have that up and running reliably and get some experience you can then consider adding a bit more track if you feel it is necessary, but you will then have a better idea of what you want based on experience.

 

 

I agree with every single word of that.

 

As for your old track; use it. Build a simple layout with what you have then decide what you want to do. Peco streamline may look nicer, but it sounds like you would not be too bothered about this at the moment anyway.

Seeing something on your own layout for the first time is hugely satisfying. The more simple you keep things, the quicker you will get there.

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I would make your layout sectional, so that you can remove it easily, then you will have an inclination to acquire a section of garage to rebuild it in.. Otherwise you will not get a replacement made after being kicked out of the room until junior flies the nest..

Edited by TheQ
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I am at least planning on making the baseboards detachable so when it does have to come apart I dont have to rip it all up. I will lay the track complete for now, and cut it as and when I need to break it down. This may not be for a couple of years, were not short of space unless another nipper comes along.

 

My garage on the other hand is a good size, but is currently taken with my other project/hobby, but once I have built that car I'll have some free space if I need it.

 

I have spent a few weeks now working out what I can and can't get away with for this. I know my plan is complicated for a first layout, but I want to try and get as much learning done with this layout. I plan to go DCC with it down the line, so I will wire it accordingly, although for now it will be run dc until I am ready for that step. 

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I started construction of the baseboard this weekend. I've managed the large 3'x9' section across the back, I'll need some more materials for the rest.  What do people reccommend for an underlay? I see a lot of people still use the classic cork option, although more are leaning towards the closed cell foam.  I figure with the amount of track I have covering the board that it will be easier to completely cover the boards and trim back once the track is laid In the areas I want scenic

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On 08/03/2019 at 13:28, BirchwoodPete said:

I am at least planning on making the baseboards detachable so when it does have to come apart I dont have to rip it all up. I will lay the track complete for now, and cut it as and when I need to break it down. This may not be for a couple of years, were not short of space unless another nipper comes along.

 

My garage on the other hand is a good size, but is currently taken with my other project/hobby, but once I have built that car I'll have some free space if I need it.

 

I have spent a few weeks now working out what I can and can't get away with for this. I know my plan is complicated for a first layout, but I want to try and get as much learning done with this layout. I plan to go DCC with it down the line, so I will wire it accordingly, although for now it will be run dc until I am ready for that step. 

 

You will learn just as much from a simple layout, as a more complex one, with the advantage that you will be more likely to complete it and get it working, just as much to your satisfaction, as your son's. Youngster's interest can soon wane, if you don't keep them involved to the extent that they are able at that age. I have been very careful to keep it simple with my grandson (and hope to with his younger sister in time) and that has worked so far. Just leave room to get more complex in stages.

 

Try to remember whether you are building this really for him, or for you. Most likely, you are trying to build it for both of you, which means compromises.

 

 

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I have planned this as if it is for me rather than for my son.  He has a couple of trainsets, including a wooden set, but he is more interested in his hot wheels and lightning McQueen! Hence why I am building this in the hope that he shows an interest, but not solely for him.

 

 I will be building it as the two round the room lines initially to get things running so he and i, can see the trains.  I will build it with the paintwork installed to keep expanding to the plan above in time.  If he really likes it and wants to play, I will build him his own island of sodor on a 4x6 foldout layout in his room. (Mummy doesn't know this plan yet)

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The first two baseboard are complete and in place, the two side boards are still waiting for the glue to dry.  Underlay 5mm closed cell foam is ordered and awaiting delivery.

I decided I'd start having a play with a few sections of track. I've still got to place another order with Hattons for the rest of the points and set track items, but that will have to wait till next week

 

20190313_210934.jpg.4fca134fbcbca3d49333ec8d6732aa43.jpg

 

 

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They are a bit over engineered, as I had planned on using some leftover ply I had in the garage. I assumed it was half inch, but when it came to cutting I realised it's 18mm.  Top is 9mm hardwood ply. This was quite warped when I bought it, but it has flattened out nicely.

 

I couldn't wait till next week, so order placed for the remaining track. This will be with me for the weekend so I can start cutting flexi and putting the station area together

Edited by BirchwoodPete
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More progress this weekend. I got the next two boards finished off and fitted in place after removing the computer desk out of the room. 

 

20190317_150401.jpg.55a967be3d633d5aa8fe6369778dc37c.jpg

 

Little helper checking progress.

 

20190317_163930.jpg.3e319e0a4ac0b1492ce177b774aa2087.jpg

 

Started placing track down for the LH station throat. I have cut a few of the infills from flexi. It's my first time working with it, so I'm taking my time, using a dremmel for the initial cut then tidying with a file.  

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I have the up line running through the station area and the RH throat pretty much complete. The turnouts are in place for the two terminus lines.

20190317_163941.jpg.f3b7ad432584cdd058036af05c60b7ba.jpg

 

Next little job is the last bit of baseboard and the swing bridge to connect the two sides together and fill this gap.20190317_163956.jpg.d84cc3faeb40d45ad05ced4fbf6c3583.jpg

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Hi Pete, Can I suggest you start a thread in Layout Topics to cover the build/blog aspects of your layout development because the last few posts are not really about layout or track design.

(Or maybe ask a Mod to move this thread to save time re-posting stuff.)

 

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