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Hello,

 

I enter this with some trepidation.  Having tried, and failed, not without some marvellous help from people here, in tracking (!) down the design of a layout I once had I have gone forth and developed something of my own.  It's ultimately a desire to move on from a series of sterile loops and squeezing the widest radius onto a 6x4 space but knowing that a) I won't be living permanently in once place for more than 2 - 3 years for the foreseeable, BUT b) taking advantage of now having space for 8x5.

 

It has taken many attempts to get to here and hours of playing around, which in itself has been hugely satisfactory (and I think a good learning experience in itself).  The main aim has been to have an elevated station / element whilst also having some kind of loop with goods sidings etc.  For some, it will be like dragging finger nails down a blackboard and very unsatisfactory but am constrained by circumstances and a desire to have something that has trains moving for an extended period, not just a short end to end.

 

What has "gone":

  • a 3rd internal loop
  • changing the base loops back to ovals from an egg shape
  • addition of the sidings at the bottom and the top of the loop (for a goods yard) not having them cut into the middle

 

Why all the middle space?  Well, there is room for more track but I like a town scene and enjoy the build of that. And also, I realised how 'busy' it can get with lots of track and not so much point to it in this type of set up (less seems to be more?)

 

A few other points

  • this is designed with Peco streamline code 100 with the odd exception of set track points
  • this will be Southern region stuff - moving some of what already have; buying for the future but nothing is more than 4 carriages. Freight also.
  • straight sections are 50mm centre to centre, pushing out to 55mm for curves (which in tests provides ample passing space on Maunsell coaches) and in reality will be more
  • the board here is just under 8x5 and the marked edge is 50mm (plan smaller, room for error)
  • the gradient is 3.9%, 0mm to 100mm
  • minimum radius is 457mm, so Tracksetta 18inch radius
  • it'll be non DCC to begin with, but that will come
  • access under the raised section will be possible from the side
  • buildings are generally Scalescenes. more to be added but there are terraced houses, cottages, (plus a 3DK terrace) and the warehouse, plus the engine shed
  • I was going to do something with the SC station for the raised one. I already use and will repurpose the smaller station buildings
  • there will be (currently 5 year old) who will always be interested

 

The keen eyed may notice an amalgam of two layouts in Peco's compendium, no's 11 and 40, plus an old Hornby layout.  

 

Some working thoughts (and then I am done)

  • the cattle dock and warehouse: lose the points that turning it into a passing loop as well.  Add another siding and a goods shed?
  • take the bottom siding and continue under the raised section and connect back to the outer loop?
  • lose the head shunt / siding on the gradient?
  • scrap it and start again?

 

It's not mind blowing, but then have not found anything that is on this size. But is there something clever(er) to be done?  If RMWeb didn't exist I'd be broadly happy with this but looking at the blank middle with an eye to doing more.

 

Many thanks for any thoughts or tips.

 

BT

Test Layout 20_08_05.jpg

Test Layout No RS 20_08_05.jpg

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Personally, I'd add a crossover in the lower station, so that a train from your elevated terminus can cross over into the inner (anti-clockwise) circuit, otherwise your trains from the branch will be running in the wrong direction on the outer track.  The same is true for a train from the bay platform / loco shed at the lower station - you don't have a crossover to get to the inner circuit, albeit this is slightly less obvious as that part of the layout is hidden.

 

Whether or not you have enough siding space depends on what stock you have, but there is not a lot of non running lines to stable stock, so I'd think you're probably limiting yourself to three or four trains.  Try thinking through your operating sequence to ascertain whether the proposed plan will provide you with what you're looking for. 

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From what I have seen, you will get literally deluged in advice fairly shortly. Most folk only get to build a few layouts in a lifetime so no-one passes on the chance to put someone else's on Anyrail and play with it. I would say this is a pretty good start, but both the lower station and its passing loop opposite can be improved. Can you get a 4-car set in the top station without fouling the points?

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My first layout on return after a 40 year gap resulted in being too optimistic about gradient at 3%, in a not too dissimilar space. This resulted in a complete restart , expanding the layout size , to get a 2% incline. My need for an incline was exactly as yours - to get to a higher level station. And your plan has points and a headshunt, presumably on that incline. How will that work?

Dont forget that there will be ‘things’ under that upper board, ie bracing, point motors, wiring etc. Plus you may need access for hands fatter than the gap, in case of derailments etc.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Dungrange said:

Personally, I'd add a crossover in the lower station, so that a train from your elevated terminus can cross over into the inner (anti-clockwise) circuit, otherwise your trains from the branch will be running in the wrong direction on the outer track.  The same is true for a train from the bay platform / loco shed at the lower station - you don't have a crossover to get to the inner circuit, albeit this is slightly less obvious as that part of the layout is hidden.

 

Had wondered about this.  There is the cross over in the top, but it's a long  way. Mentally I was trying to avoid 'point overload'; it has been previously too easy just to keep adding and it's  suddenly  all points...will have a look (and this is  exactly the type of feedback and point outs I was after). In both instances, the trains unintentionally run counter to the direction of the outer loop.

 

13 hours ago, Dungrange said:

Whether or not you have enough siding space depends on what stock you have, but there is not a lot of non running lines to stable stock, so I'd think you're probably limiting yourself to three or four trains.  Try thinking through your operating sequence to ascertain whether the proposed plan will provide you with what you're looking for. 

 

I'm certainly not after hundreds of trains, but, whilst I like the passenger stock, freight stock is in good supply. That needs a look at.

 

Thank you - this is great, simple, obvious but missed stuff.

 

Edited by Shanghai Diver
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13 hours ago, RobinofLoxley said:

From what I have seen, you will get literally deluged in advice fairly shortly. Most folk only get to build a few layouts in a lifetime so no-one passes on the chance to put someone else's on Anyrail and play with it. I would say this is a pretty good start, but both the lower station and its passing loop opposite can be improved.

 

Bloomin' Mac user here so its Railmodeller!  I could upload a file but if people want to play they are very welcome but I don;t want to be too indulgent of others. 

 

I am assuming your thinking is similar to Dungrange? I had thought about linking line on the lower station...probably need to.

 

13 hours ago, RobinofLoxley said:

Can you get a 4-car set in the top station without fouling the points?

 

No, or not satisfactorily and that has been something I have been toying with.  Do I make it a sweeping curve station?  It's a thought (previous versions have had it at 90 degrees). Am not keen on an angle across the board.

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11 hours ago, ITG said:

My first layout on return after a 40 year gap resulted in being too optimistic about gradient at 3%, in a not too dissimilar space. This resulted in a complete restart , expanding the layout size , to get a 2% incline. My need for an incline was exactly as yours - to get to a higher level station.

 

My last incline was 30+ years ago...and that was the Hornby piers type (which worked fine, but those locos won't be on it, well, not much). Much of what I have read is keep it under 4% but your experience is well received!

 

11 hours ago, ITG said:

And your plan has points and a headshunt, presumably on that incline. How will that work?

That's something I have stolen directly from Peco...it's come and gone and come again to be honest. I am trying to determine how it wouldn't work.

 

11 hours ago, ITG said:

Don't forget that there will be ‘things’ under that upper board, ie bracing, point motors, wiring etc. Plus you may need access for hands fatter than the gap, in case of derailments etc.

 

Bracing was considered.  Motors not.  The reach for the track is only 20cm and had intended to keep the whole side open excepting bracing.

 

All very useful, thank you.

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You need to cut your gradients, your proposed gradient of 1 in 25 is very steep for model railways. A way of doing this would be to make the lower tracks drop down whilst the uppers rise.

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My first layout on return after a 40 year gap resulted in being too optimistic about gradient at 3%, in a not too dissimilar space. This resulted in a complete restart , expanding the layout size , to get a 2% incline. My need for an incline was exactly as yours - to get to a higher level station.

 

My last incline was 30+ years ago...and that was the Hornby piers type (which worked fine, but those locos won't be on it, well, not much). Much of what I have read is keep it under 4% but your experience is well received!

 

From what I read, modern locos don’t have the traction power of older ones, although of course, your results will depend on train length. And drag is significantly increased on bends on inclines - your plan starts incline on a bend!  Comment about points on incline was based on the need to ensure a flat base. Although not on an (intended!)  incline, poor woodwork resulted in an undulation on which points were very troublesome.

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In terms of easing the gradient, you could run the branch into the third platform at the station, though you may have to move the Engine shed. Could you shift the cross overs closer to your high level terminus? Do you need the loco release crossover? How about having a short siding for a station pilot to shunt the stock into an adjacent platform?

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Another thought occurring based on my own experience (ie mistakes!), I found I didn’t have enough storage space - both hidden and visible sidings and yards. Whatever volume of rolling stock one has, significantly more storage space is needed than the length of that stock. Otherwise, it looks overcrowded and it’s difficult to shunt. Just wondering if there’s anyway you could add storage (ie not fiddle) loops under your upper station, to hold complete trains out of sight. That said, I suspect you would need to sacrifice some other element. But I mention it, as I say, because I found that problem a major irritation in my first effort, now addressed in version 2!

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2 hours ago, Kris said:

You need to cut your gradients, your proposed gradient of 1 in 25 is very steep for model railways. A way of doing this would be to make the lower tracks drop down whilst the uppers rise.

 

It won't be running a 10 coach set up it so that consideration isn't there, so I am "cheating" somewhat.  I appreciate modern trains don't have the traction power even an old  Lima Western diesel once had.

 

I won't be able to drop the lower tracks because of the site although it is a very nice idea.  It would also add some interest if it were possible.

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2 hours ago, JohnR said:

In terms of easing the gradient, you could run the branch into the third platform at the station, though you may have to move the Engine shed. Could you shift the cross overs closer to your high level terminus? Do you need the loco release crossover? How about having a short siding for a station pilot to shunt the stock into an adjacent platform?

 

That's nice.  Needs  some thought.  I'm not wedded  to the engine shed there.  The station shunt idea I have had half an eye on so will investigate.

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2 hours ago, ITG said:

Another thought occurring based on my own experience (ie mistakes!), I found I didn’t have enough storage space - both hidden and visible sidings and yards. Whatever volume of rolling stock one has, significantly more storage space is needed than the length of that stock. Otherwise, it looks overcrowded and it’s difficult to shunt. Just wondering if there’s anyway you could add storage (ie not fiddle) loops under your upper station, to hold complete trains out of sight. That said, I suspect you would need to sacrifice some other element. But I mention it, as I say, because I found that problem a major irritation in my first effort, now addressed in version 2!

 

I had wondered about creating something modular.  (As I type, it might solve some other issues).  Thought had been to have a 18" by 4', or like that at 90 degrees for a fiddle yard that would feed into the main layout under the loops. OK, 4'is not hugely long,  but better than ought.  You can see where that leads...moving the station and reducing the incline rate. Station could be longer, but not that much so no set length creep.   But if designed in the right way, would be  easy to disattach (?) for moving.

 

Would kill a few birds with one stone. 

 

I know...inclines on bends. The only other I had WAS on bend. I may have taken too much stock in what our friends in Devon have suggested as possible.

 

I('m not going to show  you my son's little layout with a point across two boards...!!  Get, the, er, point).

Edited by Shanghai Diver
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Some sketchy ideas, drawing on others' contributions and with apologies for my non-existent Paint skills ...

 

Shanghai2.jpg.af80dfb3b88a407270f671ad837188d7.jpg

Top to bottom:

 

Crossover in terminus approach moved right a bit, to enable the descent to start after the point but as soon as possible (though this will shorten the run-round loop so might not work for you).  The assumption is that the long siding stays at the high level rather than dropping with the main line.

 

Crossover on top section of roundy-roundy deleted - don't see the point of it.

 

Trailing crossover added to left of low-level station, to allow train on inner circuit to reverse and return (eventually) to terminus.

 

Line from terminus rerouted via what was the bay platform (@JohnR's idea).  Ideally this area might be adjusted so the island platform serves the roundy-roundy lines and the single platform the line to the terminus, on the first bit of the incline.  This would give a few more valuable feet of incline, but might look a bit odd .....

 

Engine shed chopped a bit (force majeure)

 

And (picture below)

 

Trailing crossover added on the curve under the terminus, firstly allowing trains from the terminus to reach the (correct) inner circuit and secondly enabling a loco to run round a train parked in the lower station.

 

Shanghai1.jpg.6835e9e91be0881ab4907229c7a155d2.jpg

 

These are just tweaks to your basic idea. Like others, I'm nervous about the gradient, and I don't really see what you're going to be able to do with what I assume is a factory siding on the top section of the roundy, given there's nowhere else to put a freight train once it leaves there.

 

As to what to do with the middle - most people would cut it out and use it as an operating well!  Sharp curves look better viewed from the inside of the bend :).

 

All the best

 

Chris

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On 07/08/2020 at 23:41, Chimer said:

Some sketchy ideas, drawing on others' contributions and with apologies for my non-existent Paint skills ...

 

 

Quickly - thank you very much.  Digesting...been moving house hence the hiatus! 

 

If only it was owned... got about 15x15 but not going to happen here :(

 

Back in a week or so I hope!Sketching and fiddling in the meantime...

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  • 3 months later...

A week is a long time in this part of the world.

 

The feedback above was very useful and made me step back and think about what I wanted including how I wanted and could use the space.  For a long time, there was still trying to do everything above (including files aptly name "Chimer"), before proving to myself (head vs heart) that a raised terminus was not going to be satisfactory in the space.  Then, with further prodding, I dropped everything to one level, but it was not coming up as satisfactory.  Trains going round a tight loop without disappearing...wasn't working.

 

So I went back to the drawing board, and started reading again.  The old books, here, and exploring others layouts.  Where this took me was "What can you do with 8x4 that is more than 8x4?"

 

For a start, I found I could get a 10' run by using 4x 4x2'.  Also that what I wanted was a station, some kind of goods yard and something that would be interesting to move trains about in.  And something to learn from, so I need to at least (start) designing the thing myself..

 

This has taken me into BLT territory, which was surprising and challenging.  I could lift from a CJ Freezer book or from another layout, and largely, I have.  But part of the process here, is trying to make sure I learn its I go which has meant working to build my own solution.  

 

The attached is probably not great - even though I have tried to include what is "correct".  But it has ended up (and I have been around the houses the last few weeks) still somewhat busy.  

 

What I have tried to include / wanted to do:

- Have something that was going to be interesting - but not frustrating (this came from a comment above on the factory / goods terminus)

- Passenger traffic and freight.  I like both a lot

- be able to turn around a loco - hence the TT, although, it feels hugely dominant

- a double engine shed on a BLT - I know, not likely - but there is a desire to explore

- a station that can take a 3 carriage train easily (and I want to be able to use my incorrect Schools Class and other Southern locos, pre BR)

- A fiddle yard - time to do this

- I like scenery, and quote honestly, I am FAR better at building than layout design so wanted some space for that, hence I have kept some space at the top for that (may be kidding myself)

 

I am broadly happy with the lower side - basically a CJF (he put the goods yard south of the station and then other goods activity north of it for complexity) with an added siding at the goods shed.  Have been mulling a dairy type solution but can't get a story for the kick back tail.  Will probably go and the board narrowed.  The upper side, and I want a cattle dock, feels "hmmm".  The TT feels too far to do the job of turning an engine at a terminus.  I did link it back in (manly why the inspection pit is there as but that came back onto the mainline. A warehouse approach at the top may be too much, but creates a reason for an extended siding.

 

So, if people would indulge this

- where are the big "fatal" errors here? No prizes for counting the most!

- what could be done to make the goods sidings more interesting?  Wagons are pretty and would rather have them "around" as much as hidden in a fiddle yard

- I may be able to add 30cm to the LHS, but won't be able to create 'U'

 

Lifting set track designs all these years has been good - but not helped the design head! Fixed radii have been somehow easy as A must eventually fit Z!  Hats off to all for whom this comes naturally.  The buildings, the painting and the modelling, much more so for me, but I am keen to get something that fits that. 

 

Ben

SR BLT 20_11_14.jpg

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I think you have a good basis for a layout there and no doubt plenty of ideas will be forthcoming.  However, can I suggest that you have a look through this part of RMweb for similar layouts as they seem to crop up quite often and many of the issues will be the same.

 

One thing that strikes me immediately is that the goods yard at the front is very cramped and you have unused space behind the station.  You could swing the entire station back to run somewhat diagonally (you should be able to just select the track in your planning tool and rotate it a few degrees - 3 to 6 should be enough).   That would allow for a more spacious yard at the front.

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Hi FP,

 

thanks.  I was beginning to think about rotating.  It adds interest after all I think.  Let me have a look.

 

On other layouts: completely agree.  Part of my "problem" I why I eventually shared now is I have perhaps read too much, especially on this set of threads!  I have got to "analysis paralysis".  The number of plans printed and doodled on :(Lots of great ideas (and real life examples) and I have run myself into a standstill.  Not sure if that makes sense?! I'm probably being a little stupid by sometimes thinking "that's their's" but it also becomes shades of grey. Hence retreating to CJF and stealing a little from others.

 

This is the kind of prompt I needed, thank you.

 

Ben

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A sketch illustrating my initial thoughts.  Note the more conventional connections for the siding behind the cattle pens, which avoids shunting via the loco shed lead, and for the loco shed itself.  But these are just more conventional and there were some quite surprising prototypes around.

 

Some questions to ponder:

- why is the loco shed so big?  Do you feel a need to justify that or can you just apply rule 1?  You might be looking at a station which had a heavy holiday traffic with large engines - in which case you might want to include a carriage siding or two.

 

- what is the siding behind the cattle dock for? 

 

- how can you incorporate either of the kickback sidings that I have disconnected? I quite like the one at the back for private industry.

 

 

Studio_20201117_094129.jpg.90b611d816f000fa58132ef97fd7a551.jpg

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I had three thoughts regarding the new plan: the double slips looked a bit unlikely; the engine shed looked a bit big for the station; and the engine shed access would be better coming from a point at the signal box end of the run round loop.  All of which @Flying Pig has dealt with / mentioned in his posts.

 

And the whole thing looks much more do-able than the roundy-roundy uppy-downy that I tried to sell you earlier!!

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It is somewhat conventional, but that's no bad thing, it represents a lot of reality, and there are an awful lot of modellers who are very satisfied with such a thing.

 

I'd try to inject a bit of different character because when I see a tide I always try to swim against it. Maybe a Sidmouth style run round where the connection is "backwards", or a siding accessed via a diamond across the main line.

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You probably need to think where trains are going to and from both on the original plan and the L version.   The 8 X 5 has nowhere except the hand in the sky to reverse trains so they can return to the terminus, my sightly smaller bed layout had a spiral and return loop to return trains to the terminus

The L is essentially one engine in steam, nowhere to put the passenger when the goods shunts and runs round, no big deal for a real 12" ft iteration but a bind for playing trains.

I would angle the platforms and add a connection so the otherwise pretty useless engine shed approach can be used as a goods run round and somewhere to stick wagons when shunting the kick back sidings. see pic

Screenshot (76).png

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There are elements from all of the suggested alterations to the recent plan that I like,

improved access to the loco shed, better run-round facilities, and industry in front of the fiddle yard.

 

I would assume that the larger than normal loco facilities have been provided to cater

for additional locos during the summer season? Bude, Exmouth and Ilfracombe for example could all cater for more than just one loco, (though they each only had a single road shed).

For variety you could operate two types of operating sessions. First a normal weekday passenger service, with freight traffic to the yard, and various industry locations. Then alternately operate a Saturday service, with minimal freight traffic but additional passenger trains, one or more goods sidings would then be used to hold passenger stock.

 

Cheers

 

  

 

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I know some people are keen on having something scenic in front of the fiddle yard but I'm sceptical. It might be OK if the fiddle yard is just for storage of fixed trains but I think it gets in the way when you need to get at the stock to remake trains by hand. Having space in front of the FY to place stock before and after being swapped in and out is very useful when the FY capacity can't hold all your rolling stock.

 

David's suggested extra loop is good. If you rationalise the three lines to run parallel and put the cattle dock on the outside and it would be similar to Launceston (GWR). Launceston even had a turntable and single road engine shed... :smile_mini:

 

The private industry at the back feels like it might be a step too far to me. Better not to fill the plan with track, IMHO. Instead leave some space for scenery to break up the plan shape and help disguise the railway-to-backscene transition.

 

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