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Spaced69

Layout help required

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Starting layout in loft...just laid base boards down using loft boards

Approx 8x4 at either end of loft  and single boards in length to join the two 8x4's

Now im stuck on best way to design a layout...i know i want multi level...tunnels etc.

Ive bought tons of track points etc

Spent most of last year buying locos rolling stock etc and modified almost all to dcc and lighting etc....so now need to get an awesome layout designed but have no idea where to start.

If anyone is near wolverhampton and could pass buy to give ideas...that would be good

Or any advice would be great...i do have design programs...but no idea where to start...lol

20200112_213909.jpg

20200112_213920.jpg

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14 minutes ago, Spaced69 said:

Starting layout in loft...just laid base boards down using loft boards

Approx 8x4 at either end of loft  and single boards in length to join the two 8x4's

Now im stuck on best way to design a layout...i know i want multi level...tunnels etc.

Ive bought tons of track points etc

Spent most of last year buying locos rolling stock etc and modified almost all to dcc and lighting etc....so now need to get an awesome layout designed but have no idea where to start.

If anyone is near wolverhampton and could pass buy to give ideas...that would be good

Or any advice would be great...i do have design programs...but no idea where to start...lol

20200112_213909.jpg

20200112_213920.jpg

 

I'd go for a twin track dog bone layout. 

 

I'm guessing that you want this to be a "run anything" rather than something prototype?

 

Just some food for thought, is there anything else you want in particular?

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I currently threw together im guessing a dog bone loop and can twin it....i do want tunnels bridges etc...dunno if i can do it but was thinkin of a line running on top of tunnel with outer loop incling to go over tunnel and declining...then the second loop entering the tunnel...ive worked out at a push there just enough room to run 4 lines down the long straight.  I was planning to have a kind of big terminus at one end on the 8x4 to run to the main lines and no idea on other end yet...i rekon ive got about 10 dmu's about 6 125's about 20 other diesels class 31 47 etc about 15 steam type locos (some with tenders) and over 40 intercity carriages all lit..small carriages for steam locos all lit and way too many wagons to count (dam ebay job lots..lol)

Would like a few stations in there as eventually i want to run automated via laptop with some operator use

Big plans with no dam idea on starting..im more technical (hence all mods done to locos and carriages) and design and creativity im useless at

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Is there any reason why you can't have a long board down the opposite side to the present one, so that you can have an ordinary roundy-roundy layout? Think about having storage loops behind or underneath scenery so that trains seem to arrive from somewhere and then go somewhere. I always think that if you can see all of the trains all of the time, it doesn't look very realistic (assuming that you want to achieve a fair degree of realism).

 

Robert

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I did think to run down other side but it would obstruct loft ladder and to be honest...what i have so far is fairly big...realism to an extent that i have stations and scenery...but not looking to replicate any current lines...just be good to have as many trains operating at one time...so looking at levels so can get runs goin over.others or as said over a long tunnel....im sure some layout expert would be able to advise on maximising the space ive allocated...i may jump in loft layer and take measurents and see what u layout gurus can come up with

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You have an enviable space for creating a great realistic main line wayside station, but not a lot of opportunity for running lots of trains simultaneously.

The 4ft would give room for four parallel tracks round the dumb bell, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 2ft radius.  which would mean you could store 1 train clear of the running line at each end.  I suppose you could squeeze in a 4 track main line but with the dumb bell shape that means you would lose the storage loop. Realistically some form of computer control would be necessary to run 4 trains at once.  Lines down the other side of the loft would make things a lot easier for multiple tracks. Proper 4 track main line, but still you would need some storage.

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Your problem with inclines is the ability of trains to handle them.

 

If you want to run a loco with 2-3 coaches you should largely be fine. If you want longer trains you may find some (particularly steam prototypes) will struggle.

 

How long is the run between the two 8 by 4s?

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How do you reach the rear of the 4ft wide boards? :scratchhead::dontknow:  You're going to need to reach any track you lay to clean it, & possibly deal with derailments.

 

Anyway, besides that - open rafters, no insulation(?), bare block walls - your loft looks like a lot of trouble waiting to happen for any layout you build in there to me (& my layout is in my loft too).

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Im gonna put insulation up...last few times up there.. have come down blue...lol

There about 20ft between the two 8x4 sections

The 20ft run is 13inch wide

So basically 8x4 20' x 13" then 8x4

Currently just layed down a huge loop from one side to the other temporarily till i get some form of plan....then il buy all materials req and start on it properly

 

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I think that you should have done the insulation work before starting to build the layout. You are going to find it very difficult to do it with those boards in place. In fact it would probably be easier to dismantle them, do the insulation, and then re-assemble them. Also most people work out their plan first and then build boards to accommodate it.

 

Robert

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Just a few thoughts.

 

I would get the insulation fitted first.

 

I would go for a traditional roundy roundy, as it makes access to all areas easier. Where abouts is the loft hatch in relationship to the layout, if it's towards one end it may be possible to have the storage roads on that side, with a narrowing of the baseboards in the area of the access hatch and then widening out again. All of which is non scenic, so long as there's an edging strip to stop stock taking the plunge. A sketch of the loft with a few dimensions and the location of obstacles such as the loft hatch, would make planning a bit easier.

 

 

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Thoughts:

 

5 minutes ago, Siberian Snooper said:

 

I would go for a traditional roundy roundy, as it makes access to all areas easier. Where abouts is the loft hatch in relationship to the layout, if it's towards one end it may be possible to have the storage roads on that side, with a narrowing of the baseboards in the area of the access hatch and then widening out again. All of which is non scenic, so long as there's an edging strip to stop stock taking the plunge. A sketch of the loft with a few dimensions and the location of obstacles such as the loft hatch, would make planning a bit easier.

 

 

 

This +1.  Can you squeeze a line round the back, to make it a roundy-roundy even if it is just non-scenic and just 1-2 tracks wide?  You just need an inch or so for each track.  They can go one above the other if it fits better.

 

18 hours ago, DavidCBroad said:

You have an enviable space for creating a great realistic main line wayside station, but not a lot of opportunity for running lots of trains simultaneously.

The 4ft would give room for four parallel tracks round the dumb bell, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 2ft radius.  which would mean you could store 1 train clear of the running line at each end.  I suppose you could squeeze in a 4 track main line but with the dumb bell shape that means you would lose the storage loop. Realistically some form of computer control would be necessary to run 4 trains at once.  Lines down the other side of the loft would make things a lot easier for multiple tracks. Proper 4 track main line, but still you would need some storage.

 

But I would limit the run to 2 tracks.  Less is often more.

 

22 hours ago, Spaced69 said:

i do want tunnels bridges etc...

 

 

40 minutes ago, Robert Stokes said:

 Also most people work out their plan first and then build boards to accommodate it.

 

Robert

 

This too.  If you want your track to go over bridges, then it needs to be raised above the level of the baseboard, which requires some forethought.

 

 

16 hours ago, F-UnitMad said:

How do you reach the rear of the 4ft wide boards? :scratchhead::dontknow:  You're going to need to reach any track you lay to clean it, & possibly deal with derailments.

 

Accessing a 4' wide baseboard should be OK as long as (1) the board is study enough to support the weight of a person and (2) you leave a place where you can put your hand whilst you lean over and use your other one.

 

 

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On 21/01/2020 at 15:02, Spaced69 said:

I currently threw together im guessing a dog bone loop and can twin it....i do want tunnels bridges etc...dunno if i can do it but was thinkin of a line running on top of tunnel with outer loop incling to go over tunnel and declining...then the second loop entering the tunnel...ive worked out at a push there just enough room to run 4 lines down the long straight.  I was planning to have a kind of big terminus at one end on the 8x4 to run to the main lines and no idea on other end yet...i rekon ive got about 10 dmu's about 6 125's about 20 other diesels class 31 47 etc about 15 steam type locos (some with tenders) and over 40 intercity carriages all lit..small carriages for steam locos all lit and way too many wagons to count (dam ebay job lots..lol)

Would like a few stations in there as eventually i want to run automated via laptop with some operator use

Big plans with no dam idea on starting..im more technical (hence all mods done to locos and carriages) and design and creativity im useless at

 

Hmmm …. "40 intercity carriages" implies long trains implies long platforms (6 feet or so for 6 carriages).  This doesn't fit well with "a few stations".  A "big terminus at one end on the 8 x 4" is tricky too - you need about 10 feet in a straight line for the platforms and the throat pointwork.  Possibly diagonally across the 8 x 4 with most of the pointwork round the bend at the start of the 20' run which would otherwise be open country …… and return loops (maybe on two levels if you're feeling brave) at the other end.  Goods yard or a loco shed in the triangle in front of the terminus platforms …...

 

Or, if you just want to watch the trains go by, without too much "operating" (i.e. shunting freight, reversing passenger trains etc), storage loops on both 8 x 4s and a fairly simple through station on the 20' section (and you could widen out from 13" between the rafters for non-railway scenic stuff, like the main station building).

 

Or you could have a meandering single track branch line with a small terminus and maybe two other stations …. which wouldn't suit any of the stock you've got …..

 

But, if you want anyone to even attempt an actual track plan for such a  comparatively huge space, you need to give us a much clearer idea of what you really want to achieve, given that it would take hours to produce even rough design ideas, which might not be anywhere near something you would like.

 

Impressed by your ambition, though :O

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Well started all this as when a lad my father bought a cool 8x4 which had a long tunnel on one side made from chicken wire/papermache

It had to ovals running through the tunnel and a further inside kinda loop worked its way to top of tunnel where it teminated....i did my chores and once in blue moon i was rewarded with a loco or carriages...then i reached the age where girls seemed more important and moved out at a stupid young age...my family then all moved to cheshire from london and my father put all my model railway in the skip.

Im now at the tender age of just 50 and in my 2nd childhood...lol

Went ebay crazy buyng all sorts especially locos and carriages...i then spent months putting dcc chips and lighting in almost everything as im  a dab hand at electronics and with a soldrring iron.

Now ive seen some awesome layouts online and very envious.  I would love to have the best railway i can fit in my loft and love the idea of tunnels and bridges with trains crossing over and maximising space with levels...regretfully as said before... my creativity and design skills are useless...give me a plan and guidance i can get to work...connect...wire...solder etc...im extremely versative at anything diy or electrical....by the way ive been sitting on the 8x4...totally sturdy...the base is 18mm thick and reinforced with 2x1 for support and to ensure no sagging...i threw together a big dogbone loop from one 8x4 to the other and have had a cpl locos running around it as im too impatient...nothing is secured down and running off 2 thin wires from the Hornby elite....i wanna get cracking and start a good layout but besides a loop ive no idea where to go from here

Edited by Spaced69
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1 hour ago, Spaced69 said:

i wanna get cracking and start a good layout but besides a loop ive no idea where to go from here

 

The first step in a good layout, and this gets said by most people in the hobby, is to get the area the layout is in ready first.  This means insulated, sealing up the insulation, lighting, etc.

 

The people who don't do this only have regrets later - either they don't enjoy the layout due to temperature variations, the layout becomes unreliable as materials expand/shrink in the temperature extremes, dust becomes an issue, etc.  And then there is the issue of the damage to the layout attempting to finish the space after the fact.

 

As for the layout itself, there is nothing wrong in failing to come up with a design yourself and asking for help.  But anyone attempting to help you will need certain things answered:

  • an accurate diagram/description of the available space - this means accurate measurements, locations of obstacles (doors, windows, trap doors, etc.)
  • a better idea of what your interests are - do you want urban scenery or countryside, a mixture of passenger and goods or passenger only, do you want only to run trains around in circles or are you interesting in a goods facility with shunting, etc.
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Well il have it all insulated in xt few days and foresee no issues.  There is adequate lighting as this i did 1st.

The baseboards as said is an 8x4 at one end then 20' run x 13" down 1 side to the other 8x4 so overall length is 28'

Im hoping to have mostly passenger and some goods with 90% passenger which i will eventually attempt to automate using laptop. As for city country im not too fussed but did hope to have some kind of large terminus and one end so as many trains can pull into platforms at one side. Adding levels would be really nice and can always add baseboards or watever.  Id have thought i could do a lot with the space ive created ive just no idea how to go about utilising it...as said currently have one large dogbone loop and with my basic knowledge i could easily create another imside dogbone loop which would then have four tracks running on the 20' run...but that would be boring

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2 hours ago, Spaced69 said:

The baseboards as said is an 8x4 at one end then 20' run x 13" down 1 side to the other 8x4 so overall length is 28'

Im hoping to have mostly passenger and some goods with 90% passenger which i will eventually attempt to automate using laptop. As for city country im not too fussed but did hope to have some kind of large terminus and one end so as many trains can pull into platforms at one side. Adding levels would be really nice and can always add baseboards or watever.  Id have thought i could do a lot with the space ive created ive just no idea how to go about utilising it...as said currently have one large dogbone loop and with my basic knowledge i could easily create another imside dogbone loop which would then have four tracks running on the 20' run...but that would be boring

 

You have an amount of space that will allow for a lot of possibilities, a lot more space than many/most in the hobby have.

 

Your problem, which has sort of been hinted at, is that 4x8 is problematic when you only have access from one side.  Yes, it's a nice big space that allows for return loops and even a fiddle yard.  But as part of the layout itself (ie. the scenic portion) you run into an inherent problem of accessing the far 12 to 24 inches.  If anything happens back there - derailment, dead section, maintenance required - you have to attempt to work over your scenery/structures and in the process likely damage them.

 

This is why there have been several hints about using the opposite side of the loft - because then you can eliminate the need for the 4' width to loop the trains and go with a more manageable 2' to maybe 3', which can be part of the scenic portion (and perhaps have your large terminus).

 

So a suggestion, the next time you are in the loft consider how far you can reach - without sitting on / stepping on the baseboards - and consider what happens beneath your body as you or your clothing bump into or brush up against buildings, fences, people, vehicles, trees, etc. and you try and get at a stopped train at the back of any portion of your baseboards.

 

Another alternative (which again comes down to wanting to know the room dimensions) is to leave the 4x8 sections as plain wood and instead widen a portion of your 20' section to give you a big station - but we can't know how feasible a suggestion that would be without knowing the room dimensions and what obstacles need to be worked around.

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On 21/01/2020 at 12:41, Spaced69 said:

Starting layout in loft...just laid base boards down using loft boards

Approx 8x4 at either end of loft  and single boards in length to join the two 8x4's

Now im stuck on best way to design a layout...i know i want multi level...tunnels etc.

Ive bought tons of track points etc

Spent most of last year buying locos rolling stock etc and modified almost all to dcc and lighting etc....so now need to get an awesome layout designed but have no idea where to start.

If anyone is near wolverhampton and could pass buy to give ideas...that would be good

Or any advice would be great...i do have design programs...but no idea where to start...lol

20200112_213909.jpg

20200112_213920.jpg

 

I have not read through all the thread yet, so excuse me if others have already made some of the points that I will.

 

I am rather concerned that someone has cut some struts that are critical to the roof structure. And, while model railway layouts are not that heavy, you should not add extra weight to the roof structure as you have.

 

And while you would expect 22mm chipboard to be very rigid, it will sag in time if unsupported as yours seems to be.

 

So, as someone else said, get the loft insulated first and then reconstruct the boards. As it is going to be a fixed layout and you want multi-level, I would suggest L-girder.

 

As to the 8' x 4' spaces, no definitely not a solid board in these circumstances. Assuming that you are still supple enough to crawl under the boards, leave an access hole.

 

What height above the floor are you at? I think that it might all work better if you go a bit higher. Overall layout width will be reduced but the boards can be a bit wider.

 

I do get up to the Wolverhampton area from time to time and could visit.

 

PS:

 

Just seen that you have got some 2 x 1 under the chipboard. But, still looks questionable. For the sort of scenics you want an open top baseboard is going to give more options.

 

Assuming that your loft hatch is around the middle of your 28' length, as I would expect, the best solution could be a terminus leading to a continuous run with "dogbones" leading to storage sidings (or a second terminus). Try to design something which is easy to begin with and lets you run some trains before extending to complete the layout. A layout this size can be rather daunting if you don't break it down into easy bits.

Edited by Joseph_Pestell
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I think part of the problem you're having here is that you've created a lot of space, but not necessarily the right shape space, or in the right place. The two 8x4 sections will never be long enough for any decent terminus, by the time you've added in curves and pointwork and left room for a loop of track to go around the end to keep the dumbell shape. Having the layout run down both sides, even if it's just a six inch wide section with little more than two tracks, ballast and a lineside fence, where it goes past the loft hatch, would open up much more possibilities for you, such as running the main line around the back of the 8x4 between the two sides, and building some for of depot or smaller station (you'll never fit anything big enough to hold a HST, but a 3-car DMU should be OK) towards the front of the board. 

 

As others have said, reaching across the 8x4 boards will be difficult at best. At one point mine is 3' wide, and that is a stretch to reach the rear foot of the board, so anything more would be impossible once there is scenery in front. I'd seriously consider either reducing the width to 3' by taking 1' from the front, or cutting a thin opening in the centre, so that tracks can run right at the back (say around 8' wide) for the loop, then an opening for access (around 16 inches), then use the front 2' for something scenic. Also remember, to reach the back corner of the 4' board, you will need to reach diagonally, so around 5' from front to back, across the top of whatever you build.

 

That long thin stretch would be ideal as countryside scenery, with a two- or four-track main line, to watch trains go past. If you're wanting any level of realism, countryside scenes suit most eras fairly well, whereas trying to build a terminus it will always look like a train set (which of course is fine if that's what you are aiming at) but will always look odd with an eclectic mix of eras of trains, buildings, people, signs, vehicles, whatever.

 

 

 

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On 22/01/2020 at 13:11, Robert Stokes said:

Also most people work out their plan first and then build boards to accommodate it.

 

 

That's how it should happen but I rather think it less usual than you think.

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There is a thread with a plan and photos of simple double track line going over a loft hatch.

 

https://www.newrailwaymodellers.co.uk/Forums/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=54997&sid=6af0c2d1fcdd8b4ecbe42faa388d77a4

 

Now I wouldn't advocate filling the space with track and leaving no space for anything else as she has done, but it does illustrate how you should  be able to go over the hatch with little difficulty.

 

You could look at youtube and see some videos by Mouldy raspberry https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPb9_WPXrSj96rxxfciOTog who shows the sort of thing scenically that's possible within the space you have with a litle planning.

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2 hours ago, TonyMay said:

Now I wouldn't advocate filling the space with track and leaving no space for anything else

Oh I don't know. Watching trains whizz in and out of tunnels, & over and under each other seems to be what the OP here equates with an "awesome" layout. 

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You can get 6 tracks side by side in 12 ", with Peco Streamline spacing (2") so you can manage 4 plus two 2.5" platforms which isn't a lot for your requirements.

You really need a 4" board down the other side to get double track or double deck 4 tracks down the far side.   With the sloped sides to the baseboards you might get some scenery such as cutting sides or a retaining wall with a street above if you squeeze it a bit.   But see my pics as to what 13" with track looks like as really I can't see you fitting in all your requirements without a radical rethink.  One is of a layout I visited, the other a fan of OO sorting sidings I built on a 12" board

 

DSCN5240.JPG

DSCN5013.JPG

Edited by DavidCBroad

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21 hours ago, TonyMay said:

There is a thread with a plan and photos of simple double track line going over a loft hatch.

 

https://www.newrailwaymodellers.co.uk/Forums/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=54997&sid=6af0c2d1fcdd8b4ecbe42faa388d77a4

 

Now I wouldn't advocate filling the space with track and leaving no space for anything else as she has done, but it does illustrate how you should  be able to go over the hatch with little difficulty.

 

You could look at youtube and see some videos by Mouldy raspberry https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPb9_WPXrSj96rxxfciOTog who shows the sort of thing scenically that's possible within the space you have with a litle planning.

 

That's a good find. That design could certainly be adapted for use in this case..

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Thanks joseph for your visit and great advice :)

 

I have almost completed the insulation and will be adding a cpl more boards for a terminus as suggested

hope i can maximise the space i am using

stupidly went browsing on sphock and ended up spending over 100 on yet more stuff...lol

but got loads more track....8 BN curve points about another 6 points...few more platforms...more buidings...fencing and a lot of scatter material...and yes a few more. Locos and rolling stock

 

really cant wait to get cracking on layout

really hope joseph comes through or other members can help also

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