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JohnR

Layout for youngster

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I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions/advice for a layout design that would be suitable for my 7 year old?

 

Michael has recently got a GWR green 153, and has expressed a desire to acquire further modern GWR stock after having a bit of an eclectic mix the last few years.  He's now expressed a desire for a layout of his own after running his trains on mine.

 

I realise it could be as simple as a SLT with a halt, but I'd really think he's prefer something which offered some shunting as well. I'm struggling to come up with something suitable, as this is way past my era.  He shares his room with his younger brother, so a "roundy-roundy" is probably out of the question due to space restrictions, and I was wondering if something based on the size of those layouts in a christmas tree box might be better?

 

Just some help with some inspiration would be good!

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An unusual 7 year old to have refined his choices so much.

 

Difficult for us to answer without a bit more guidance about the space available. But search for Melangoose on here if you think a terminus plus goods might do the business.

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A roundy-roundy  may not be impossible even in a restricted space. Could you attach it to the wall in such a way that it folds up against the wall when not in use? You would have to devise a very good system to lock it upright so that there was no danger of it falling on someone's head. Of course it would mean taking off all rolling stock at the end of a running session and storing it for next time.

 

Robert

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If there is room for a fiddle yard at both ends, a passing loop station with a siding for a rail-served industry, and another for departmental use, provides the ability to pass trains, hold one so that another can pass it in the same direction, or terminate trains from either direction, involving running around in the case of traffic delivered to the private industry siding.  This can provide a little variety in itself, and if the normal practice is for a loco to arrive with traffic and clear the outbound traffic on the same trip, you may need a layby siding as well.  Alternatively, it can turn up light engine and clear outbound traffic, or deliver inbound traffic and leave light engine.

 

Nothing to prevent through freight traffic of different types for industries further up or down the line!  The main limiting factor is the size of the fiddle yards.  If you cannot manage a through station, a small terminus for the dmus can be made more interesting with a run around loop where freight traffic for a branch accessed by a kickback junction, but now closed to passenger traffic, reverses; this requires two fiddle yard entrances, or, if you're really limited for space, a junction signal to suggest the presence of the junction 'off stage' the other side of the scenic break.

 

I was about 12 or 13 before I realised that the world was not all always about roundyrounds, and that you can fit a layout of this 'shelf' sort into domestic accommodation much more easily.  Your lad is a lot cleverer than I was!

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50 minutes ago, Robert Stokes said:

A roundy-roundy  may not be impossible even in a restricted space. Could you attach it to the wall in such a way that it folds up against the wall when not in use? You would have to devise a very good system to lock it upright so that there was no danger of it falling on someone's head. Of course it would mean taking off all rolling stock at the end of a running session and storing it for next time.

 

Robert

I have to say I really don't like this idea in anything larger than 2mm because of the sheer bulk of the board that has to be folded up against the wall; a 7 year old is going to need a system of counterweights and pulleys to be able to manage it.  Even in 2mm, the chore of removing the stock after each running session will sap anyone's enthusiasm; if a 7 year old has had the perspicacity to realise the benefits of end to end layouts, he should be encouraged IMHO.

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A BLT operated by a 153 with a rail served industry isn't hard to imagineer. 

1 hour ago, The Johnster said:

If there is room for a fiddle yard at both ends, a passing loop station with a siding for a rail-served industry, and another for departmental use, provides the ability to pass trains, hold one so that another can pass it in the same direction, or terminate trains from either direction, involving running around in the case of traffic delivered to the private industry siding.  This can provide a little variety in itself, and if the normal practice is for a loco to arrive with traffic and clear the outbound traffic on the same trip, you may need a layby siding as well.  Alternatively, it can turn up light engine and clear outbound traffic, or deliver inbound traffic and leave light engine.

 

Doesn't necessarily need a passing loop. Melksham had a couple of sidings before it became a glorified bus stop. It could only be shunted by trains operating in (I think) the Down direction.

 

A branch line terminus plus oil depot would make a nice shelf layout. Might only need one loco plus a couple of TTA tank wagons to kick around in addition to the 153.

 

Or possibly something loosely based on Fowey with a 153 shuttle and some modern china clay traffic.

 

Cheers

David

 

 

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Two other ideas spring to mind.

- Something based on Marlow with some sort of rail-served industry at the end of the station approach. 

- Something based on Coombe Junction with cement or similar traffic.

 

Cheers

David

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Sounds like 00 gauge, I only know of the Hornby 153 in GW livery.   My son had a double track oval with loop , turntable and sidings in about  5X3 in 00 which involved 1st radius curves and was lots of fun.  Bekra modes Newton Abbott have one about 6X2 in 00 but they have to modify the stock to get round the curves, they had a class 47 running when I was there last.  If you go for a roundy roundy I would keep the board light, as in an internal door with thin ply skins sandwiching a cardboard honeycomb. I found these to make very useful lightweight baseboard sections.   6X 3  18mm ply braced with 2X1 would make a substantial dent in junior's head if it fell on him.

An end to end elongated shunting plank sounds like the other possibility.    Ever thought about the garden, garden shed as a layout location? CJ Freezer in 60 plans for small layouts has some very good ideas for garden shed size layouts.

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Maybe my first idea was a non-starter. (I had envisaged it being raised and lowered by an adult each time.)

 

An alternative could be something kept under the bed on rollers. I don't think a young child would mind operating something not far above floor level.

 

Robert

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Thanks all.

 

Michael is a bit single minded - he likes the livery, and he's more into the modern scene, however he did suggest that his layout could incorporate a heritage operation so my trains could visit!

 

There isnt enough wall space for a hinged layout or similar - in some ways the kids bedroom is good in having lots of built in wardrobes for storage, but it does reduce the available wall space - which is why a small portable layout would be better. The garden shed is ear-marked for my layout!

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There's a layout in the more recent edition of 60 Plans that consists of a very small roundy on a 4'x3' board, which is operable in isolation, with a branch to a very small 2 road terminus on an L shaped extension. The whole thing is 6 x 4 in total. If you were able to find the space to keep the 4 x 3 erected, the layout offers quite a bit of scope for terminus to terminus operation, two person operation, freight operations, and, of course, the continuous run. I have to confess that I find myself tempted every time I look at it, because, although about as far from finescale as you could get, it offers a lot of purposeful operation in a tiny package. 

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11 hours ago, The Johnster said:

I have to say I really don't like this idea in anything larger than 2mm because of the sheer bulk of the board that has to be folded up against the wall; a 7 year old is going to need a system of counterweights and pulleys to be able to manage it.  Even in 2mm, the chore of removing the stock after each running session will sap anyone's enthusiasm; if a 7 year old has had the perspicacity to realise the benefits of end to end layouts, he should be encouraged IMHO.

 

My father built me a 4ft by 7ft baseboard, hinged onto the wall with fold down legs, lift/drop assisted by a single car tailgate hydraulic ram.  At age 7, I couldn't quite pull the layout down and push it back up by myself, but it wasn't long before I could, and it survived many years.  It was 1/2" chipboard, with 3x1" framing, and the droplegs were 1" square, and all linked to drop as one.  I was pretty light, I used to climb up on the thing to lay track, so it was pretty sturdy, even though it doesn't sound it from the numbers!

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42 minutes ago, PatB said:

There's a layout in the more recent edition of 60 Plans that consists of a very small roundy on a 4'x3' board, which is operable in isolation, with a branch to a very small 2 road terminus on an L shaped extension. The whole thing is 6 x 4 in total. If you were able to find the space to keep the 4 x 3 erected, the layout offers quite a bit of scope for terminus to terminus operation, two person operation, freight operations, and, of course, the continuous run. I have to confess that I find myself tempted every time I look at it, because, although about as far from finescale as you could get, it offers a lot of purposeful operation in a tiny package. 

 

Hi Pat,

Is this the one you mean?

 

image.png.a2bc9343b58ac903752d9ca51c2301d1.png

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That's a very impressive plan. which I dismissed on first viewing but it grew on me!  It's the classic box room layout size, and the removal of the the viaduct makes it an end to end, and as you say has huge operating potential; my instinct is that the roundy station's platform clearances would need to be very carefully monitored, especially for the OP's lad's 70' 153.  For current scene operation you could dispense with the loco shed and use the goods yards as private industry facilities.

 

But we don't yet know the OP's lad's bedroom's (don't think I've ever used 3 apostrophes in a row before, and I'm 68 in a couple weeks; shows even old codgers like me can still have exiting new experiences) (all right, I need to get out more) size or shape, or what the available wall space will allow.  The above plan can be used in a corner, either with the branch being portable or the roundy being portable, and it might be possible to leave the branch permanently erected without the bedroom space being too compromised.  

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The min radius in Plan SP6 is smaller than R2, the smallest radius for SetTrack turnouts. So the circuit would probably require a creative combination of SetTrack parts to fit in that space.

It's clearly a very old plan. (Surely a CJF original?)

 

You could maybe make a slightly bigger version of it that comes to bits and is stored under the bed when not in use? Say, three identical boards, each 2ft by 5ft. Two join side by side to form a circuit and the other connects at a right angle to give a terminus. Any suitable floorspace would do for operating sessions.

 

That still leaves the question of a reason for shunting in the modern era...

 

Edited by Harlequin
Bigger boards!

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1 hour ago, JohnR said:

 

Hi Pat,

Is this the one you mean?

 

image.png.a2bc9343b58ac903752d9ca51c2301d1.png

Yep. That's the one. As has already been pointed out, it would need a little massaging to use current set track geometry, but I've played with it in SCARM and reckon it could still be done in a very compact space. A version appears in the Encyclopedia of Model Railways which, at a quick eyeball, has been redrawn for R2 points, and it's still pretty small. 

 

Edit: I've actually seriously contemplated building it in American O27, for which R1 (effectively) points are readily available. I might still do so if finances ever allow. 

Edited by PatB

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There is a lot to be said for starting with a layout based on a Hornby trackmat. I built a small shelf next to my son's bed which allows for the layout to be slid under the bed. 

 

This is a link to the thread I started about it about a year ago. 

 

 

Edited by Kris
Link added.
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17 hours ago, Harlequin said:

 

That still leaves the question of a reason for shunting in the modern era...

 

 One set of sidings as an engineering depot and the other as a ballast dump, with a modern liveried 08 shuttling wagons between them? 

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Current era shunting, on a frequent daily timetabled basis as opposed to once a week or even less often for a departmental siding; oil depot, steel delivery to engineering works, scrap yard, and of course scrap delivery to a steelworks that recycles it, military, wagon building or repair, even 'Railfreight' type delivery and collection.  No reason not to include a departmental siding or ballast dump as well, to ring the changes.  How about a fuelling point in place of the loco shed.

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Had a play around with it in AnyRail....

 

All curves R2+

 

 

Layout 1d.jpg

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