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Is a continuous run possible?


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Hello all, hope everyone is doing as well as we all can be at the moment.

 

About this time last year I started to design my first ever layout and I posted a thread here and received some excellent feedback. I've made some good progress and learned a ton of lessons about track laying and wiring but at the time the layout was designed to be put up and taken down each time it was being worked on.  

 

I've now managed to negotiate a more permanent installation with the wife. The layout will be an L shape with the main length being 18ft x 3ft and the L portion 8ft x 2ft (possible 3ft if I can wangle it). I've made a very very crude representation below:

 

layout.png.2dd1a23912213847c67077d047736577.png

 

It's a great space and my head is bursting with ideas but the main reason I'm posting at the moment is to see if anyone thinks it's possible to make a continuous run layout in this space? I think I could fit a loop using second radius curves onto the 18ft x 3ft board with the curves being fully hidden inside a tunnel and the track on the top 18ft section hidden behind a back scene. Instinctively it feels like this would be forced and would look strange but I'm really not sure.

 

Overall from the layout I'd like to have some kind of station, probably terminus on the right hand side, a TMD and possible some kind freight terminal but I've got some many ideas that my novice head is full!

 

I'm going to start the woodworking this week and then track design shortly afterwards.

 

Many thanks,

Andy

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I assume you're modelling in OO gauge.

 

1st radius curves aren't always friendly to some of the newer locos so I'd aim for 2nd radius if you can. Unfortunately they need a stated 37 inches diameter - 1st radius diameter is 31 inches. Don't forget you'll need another 6 inches if you want a double track - using 2nd & 3rd radius curves.

 

Could you have a hinged down section where the curves are at their widest and just have the hinged section horizontal when the layout is in use.

 

I'd suggest that you really should have at least a rough idea of the intended track layout before you start making the baseboards to make sure that you don't have points over baseboard joins and if you plan to motorise your points that the baseboard supports aren't where you want to put a point motor.

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4 minutes ago, Ray H said:

I assume you're modelling in OO gauge.

 

1st radius curves aren't always friendly to some of the newer locos so I'd aim for 2nd radius if you can. Unfortunately they need a stated 37 inches diameter - 1st radius diameter is 31 inches. Don't forget you'll need another 6 inches if you want a double track - using 2nd & 3rd radius curves.

 

Could you have a hinged down section where the curves are at their widest and just have the hinged section horizontal when the layout is in use.

 

I'd suggest that you really should have at least a rough idea of the intended track layout before you start making the baseboards to make sure that you don't have points over baseboard joins and if you plan to motorise your points that the baseboard supports aren't where you want to put a point motor.

 

Yes OO, can't believe i forgot to put that, sorry! It would be a single track in the continuous run loop rather than a double but at 37in it sounds like it's maybe not going to be doable at all.

 

I'm not adverse to hinges but I'm more than happy with an end to end layout rather if continuous run is going to provide too many complication or compromised.

 

Great points on the boards as well, thank you I appreciate the advice.

 

Thanks,

Andy

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Another point that may be worth remembering, if the longer edges are along a wall, you probably would be at the limit of stretching over objects at the front of the layout if anything should fall off at the back, with your 3ft width, especially in the corner. It'll depend a little on your personal height say if you're 6'3" unlike me at 5'7" (and a 1/2" on a good day) or the working height of your model.

 

There's a 'nudge' thread elsewhere on RMweb - quite lighthearted.

 

Cheers,

 

Philip

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Thanks Philip,

 

There would be enough room (if I breath in) to get around the back of the layout.

 

I'll have a look at the nudge thread, thanks.

 

Cheers,

Andy

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3 hours ago, Ray H said:

I assume you're modelling in OO gauge.

 

1st radius curves aren't always friendly to some of the newer locos so I'd aim for 2nd radius if you can. Unfortunately they need a stated 37 inches diameter - 1st radius diameter is 31 inches. Don't forget you'll need another 6 inches if you want a double track - using 2nd & 3rd radius curves.

 

 

Second radius is 438mm so a circle is 876mm or 34 1/2 inches.

 

Second radius is *just* possible to get round in 3ft

 

Andi

 

 

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Sounds do able.  Bekra models in Newton Abbott have a continuous run in OO only 2ft wide.   I am in theory doing one he same width during the "Lock Down" except I seem tom have been busier than usual with the sun and garden to reclaim from nature.

Trade off is only short wheelbase locos can get round 1ft radius curves without surgery, but that class 47 was running quite happily when I was there.  

Same applies with 3ft wide.  Its tight for 2nd radius.  My layout has 1st radius reduced from 14" to 12" radius by cutting between the sleeper webs as per flexi and gently easing the rails to the tighter curve,  With 2nd radius you should be able to get down to 16.5" radius, you might even get away without alteration especially if you widen the baseboard locally.  Many locos are OK on 2nd radius but my Hattons 14XX and Bachmann 64XX,  for example don't get round 2nd radius nor do the old Romford wheeled Triang 0-6-0T chassis with flanges on the centre wheels but models of most things can be sourced which either get round 2nd radius or can be persuaded to do so.

The 2ft end can only be useful for sidings or a terminus station .  

DSCN6804.JPG

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Proof of concept squggle, Anyrail for tight bits rest freehand in FastStone image viewer. 

Min Radius 2nd radius 17" Min point radius 2ft. Max gradient 1 in 40. 3" in 120"

 

 

Screenshot (280b.png

Edited by DavidCBroad
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Plan of Bekra Models layout, from their site.  Do you have some flex?  Build a 3 foot wide oval, run some trains and see how it goes.  For me, the 2 foot leg could be filled with yard tracks and a turntable with the loco collection.

Bekra Models shop layout.png

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Could you renegotiate so that for the 3' at each end you get another 6" of depth in exchange for losing the short leg of the L? Then have a dumbbell shaped board which will give you a bit breathing room around the curves at the end. The short bit doesn't really help a lot if a continuous run is what you want.

 

Failing that DavidCBroad's plan is a good starting place.

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A tight curve would also cause stock to overhang a fair distance, so don't plan track too close to the wall.

 

Choosing whether you want a loop or an end to end will leave you with a very different layout.

With 18x3, you could make a very interesting station, or goods/loco depot.

 

I was chatting to somebody last night & we remarked that the hobby is very personal. One person's paradise can quite often be of no interest to another modeller at all.

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Trying to cram a continuous circuit into that space is just too near the limits, IMHO. And it seems like a strange choice anyway if you already have a terminus in mind for the right hand side of the layout...

 

It's an excellent space for an end-to-end layout, more than most people have available.

 

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hi,

 

 Personally i would run a single line round the the perimeter of the 18ft section with perhaps a few storage loops at the rear, its always nice to just let a train wander round on its own, first thing that comes to mind is a weymouth style station, terminus at the right hand end then a dock branch at the front, ( this would be the continuous run ).

 

Then perhaps a branch to the L shape section rising over the mainline with a cement or aggregate terminal? an excuse for trip workings, and maybe a small station? 

 

Graham. 

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Why do you need 75mm minimum clearance for a bridge? That's 18' 9". Cut it down and reduce the steepness of that incline.

I'd cut that down by 10mm, mine are less than that, even allowing for overscale 14' high trains you only need clearance of 56mm plus a bit.

This link from Martin's Templot Gallery:

2_040306_490000000.png

 

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It's for electrification clearances...

 

The track has to rise by more than the clearance, as the track and whatever supports it has a thickness. And if it'll work with 75mm, then it'll be easier with 65mm.

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If you are considering the loop, together with the 'squeezable' space behind, don't forget to put some protection measures to prevent derailed vehicles from leaving the layout and connecting with the floor. Speed and very tight radii make for bad friends.

 

There was a thread on this very point quite recently - ranging from plywood to Perspex strips.

 

Cheers,

 

Philip

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1 hour ago, melmerby said:

Why do you need 75mm minimum clearance for a bridge? That's 18' 9". Cut it down and reduce the steepness of that incline.

I'd cut that down by 10mm, mine are less than that, even allowing for overscale 14' high trains you only need clearance of 56mm plus a bit.

 

 

 

You would need more headroom for a tunnel. Most were built with steam locos in mind & needed the headroom to allow smoke to clear. When lines are being electrified, raising bridges is a major part of the project but tunnels never get a mention, because the headroom is already there.

There are the exceptions like Primrose Hill & Kensal Green on the Euston-Watford DC lines, because they were built with DC Electric traction in mind.

 

Bridges are slightly different because the smoke can be blasted out from either side.

 

It would be very frustrating to give the bridge a tight clearance then find you have an overscale loco which will not fit underneath.

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Posted (edited)

Here is the proposed baseboard setup drawn to scale with a 305mm grid on top (and a possible fillet to ease the corner):

1309143590_AndyMacSeven1.png.40cf7c8b730e089a1f3b7500b64a505f.png

 

How does it relate to the room? What are the restrictions on the size? (If this size is fixed how come you've got room to squeeze behind?)

 

Simpler solution to reaching the back: Make the baseboards a bit thinner! Then you can safely push it up against the wall and that would be a much more efficient use of the space.

 

Edited by Harlequin
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1 hour ago, melmerby said:

Why do you need 75mm minimum clearance for a bridge? That's 18' 9". Cut it down and reduce the steepness of that incline.

I'd cut that down by 10mm, mine are less than that, even allowing for overscale 14' high trains you only need clearance of 56mm plus a bit.

This link from Martin's Templot Gallery:

2_040306_490000000.png

 

 

My biggest OO locos are about 60mm high (Triang/ Hornby King and Gaiety Pannier) and 40mm wide (Triang Evening star)  Track is about 4mm from base to rail plus 3mm ply base,  I personally would solder the rail to 2mm thick PCB over the bridge and squeeze it down to  65mm but I think as a proof of concept 75mm and 1 in 40 shows its do able.

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Wow thanks for all of the feedback folks, it's very much appreciated. My personal challenge here is trying to wrestle the part of my brain that wants everything in a finite amount of room! I guess one of the big takeaways is that a continuous run is possible (many thanks to @DavidCBroad for the great track plan) but it'll involve trade-offs and won't look realistic which taking a step back and re-evaluating is really a big goal.

 

 @Harlequin that's pretty much spot on, the layout will be in a garage which is roughly 19ft x 20ft. The majority is filled with usual garage stuff like chairs, garden tools, kids toys and so on but I can build against two of the walls. You're diagram pretty much nails it with the 18ft section being along the 19ft long wall but sitting a few inches off the wall to allow me to get in to a window which is part way along. I could definitely make the boards thinner and shove them up against the wall but my initial feeling was that a 3ft width would give more options for setting out the layout. The fillet to ease the corner looks great and I'd not considered that. 

 

Many many thanks to everyone again.

 

Cheers,

Andy

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4 hours ago, Pete the Elaner said:

I was chatting to somebody last night & we remarked that the hobby is very personal. One person's paradise can quite often be of no interest to another modeller at all.

 

i think that's the beauty of the hobby for me, you can do pretty much anything and as long as you get enjoyment from it that's really all that counts.

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1 minute ago, AndyMac7 said:

 

i think that's the beauty of the hobby for me, you can do pretty much anything and as long as you get enjoyment from it that's really all that counts.

Nail on the head - it's your hobby not someone else's.

 

You can take inspiration from other people but at the end of the day it has to work for you.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, AndyMac7 said:

Wow thanks for all of the feedback folks, it's very much appreciated. My personal challenge here is trying to wrestle the part of my brain that wants everything in a finite amount of room! I guess one of the big takeaways is that a continuous run is possible (many thanks to @DavidCBroad for the great track plan) but it'll involve trade-offs and won't look realistic which taking a step back and re-evaluating is really a big goal.

 

 @Harlequin that's pretty much spot on, the layout will be in a garage which is roughly 19ft x 20ft. The majority is filled with usual garage stuff like chairs, garden tools, kids toys and so on but I can build against two of the walls. You're diagram pretty much nails it with the 18ft section being along the 19ft long wall but sitting a few inches off the wall to allow me to get in to a window which is part way along. I could definitely make the boards thinner and shove them up against the wall but my initial feeling was that a 3ft width would give more options for setting out the layout. The fillet to ease the corner looks great and I'd not considered that. 

 

Many many thanks to everyone again.

 

Cheers,

Andy

 

 

 

Hi Andy,

 

The baseboard arrangement and some of the suggestions above remind me of a design I did a couple of years ago. You have more room than I did so you could make it work better.

 

The long 18ft arm could hold your terminus station on the right hand side. From there the mainline (single or double) runs generally towards the top left. You have the choice to either just let the line meander through countryside or arrange lineside industries or railway facilities alongside.

The mainline turns onto the shorter 8ft arm and hits it perpendicularly near the front, using most of the 3ft width of the 18ft board to make a nice, easy turn.

The reason for hitting the shorter arm perpendicularly is that the shorter arm would actually be a full-train-length traverser. The connection to the traverser at the front of the board maximises the number of roads on the traverser.

 

So far so good, but to make it more interesting, a small branch line also leaves the terminus and starts to climb as it runs to the left. It also turns onto the short arm, crossing the track below, and terminates on a scenic level above the traverser. Again, the purpose of the branch line is entirely up to you: urban, rural, passenger, industrial, TMD, whatever! (There are real-world examples of kick-back branchlines like this.)

 

Normally, the advice would be to avoid covering up your fiddle yard tracks but in this case it works fine because of the traverser. You pull the traverser table out to connect it's roads to the mainline and/or to access rolling stock on it - so there are no serious access problems. And this arrangement also has the great advantage that all your stored rolling stock is protected from dust and damage when the traverser is pushed in and the layout is not in use. Furthermore, all of the L shaped surface area is scenic. The fiddle yard, which would normally take up some of the area, is tucked neatly away.

 

 

Edited by Harlequin
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