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Ok, Version 4. 

 

Table accurately measured, and accurately drawn on AnyRail 6 (not as hard as I thought once I'd watched a YouTube on it!) scissors changed, station moved, loop added (although not actually a return loop).

 

Sidings area within the loop could have more sidings for small goods wagons.

 

I've also marked on where a possible 22" square  access hole could be.

 

Clive

 

Layout4.1.JPG

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OK.  This is getting better, IMHO. 

Things you may now want to consider. The station has 4 platform faces for essentially a single track railway. You might want to consider making one of the platforms

dedicated to goods or parcels.

The platforms are essentially a fiddle yard for the rest of the layout so you can operate a number of trains in sequence.

Could the 3 sidings in the centre be some kind of industry? 

Finally, would it be possible to connect the return loop to the end of the 4th platform to give you a continuous run?

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I agree that this looks better.  My main concern now is how close your track centre line seems to be to the edge of your baseboard.  You'll need an absolute minimum of 1" from centre line to edge of the baseboard but I'd try to work with about 1 1/2" as a minimum and 2" would be better.  Looking at the plan, it appears that the edge of the sleepers are on the baseboard edge.

 

I also agree with the point above about creating a non-passenger platform in your station.  At the moment, it's clear that a passenger train can depart from any of your four platforms, traverse your circuit of track in either direction and arrive back at the station.  You'll then need to use another locomotive to shunt the coaches to another platform to release the locomotive that has just arrived.  That is prototypical enough.

 

However, it's less clear how you would operate the freight trains from the sidings in the middle of the layout as a departing freight train would pass through your tunnel and arrive in what is currently just a passenger station.  If you have a non-passenger siding at this location, then you have somewhere for your freight train to go.  Again, the goods engine would have to be shunt released.

Edited by Dungrange
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4 hours ago, Newbie2020 said:

Can you clarify the difference between a scissors crossing and conventional crossovers?

No problem.  A conventional crossover consists of a pair of ordinary points on a double track enabling trains to pass between them.  They may be 'facing', meaning that the train can pass between the tracks in the direction it is travelling in, or 'trailing', meaning that the train must reverse over them, trailing being greatly preferred in traditional era 3 and 4 practice because facing points on passenger lines incur the added cost of point locks for safe operation.

 

A scissors, which is what your plan shows, is a pair of conventional crossovers, one facing and one trailing, positioned close enough to require the crossovers to cross each other by means of a diamond crossing.  They were common on the prototype at the approaches to stations and half way along longer platforms, enabling a train to pass another already standing at the platform and stop further along the same platform, while the train already standing at the platform can leave and pass the train that has just pulled up ahead of it.  

 

A diamond crossing is simply where one track crosses another on the level, the check rails at the centre of this forming a diamond shape unless the tracks are at 90 degrees to each other.

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3 hours ago, Newbie2020 said:

Ok, Version 4. 

 

Table accurately measured, and accurately drawn on AnyRail 6 (not as hard as I thought once I'd watched a YouTube on it!) scissors changed, station moved, loop added (although not actually a return loop).

 

Sidings area within the loop could have more sidings for small goods wagons.

 

I've also marked on where a possible 22" square  access hole could be.

 

Clive

 

Layout4.1.JPG

The exit road from the bottom platform and the return loop of the main line come very close to each other and will, I reckon, certainly result in stock not have sufficient clearance to avoid collisions at this location.  My suggestion would be to abandon the bottom platform road and join the return loop to the road that approaches it from the two crossovers, creating a continuous run as well as the return loop.  There's an opportunity to do something similar at the bottom edge of the main board where the return loop comes close to the track feeding it; a further crossover connection here would give all sorts of potential routings and operating interest.  

 

The sidings contained inside the return loop would be better accessed from a point positioned as far to the right of it's current position as clearances will allow; this will allow them to be longer and at a less sharp angle to the edge of the baseboard.  The bottom platform can be replaced with a basic goods yard; all but the smallest stations had them during your suggested timeframe.

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I think I would add a link to provide a continuous run and even out the platforms. A siding would allow a pilot loco to lurk and a turntable would be handy. There is also room for a storage/ passing loop.

Screenshot (419).png

Edited by DavidCBroad
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Given the space you have available, and what you appear to be aiming to achieve, I'd strongly recommend getting hold of as many editions of 60 Plans for Small Railways (latterly 60 Plans for Small Locations) and Track Plans as you can find, all by the master of this sort of design, the late Cyril Freezer.

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Can I be a bit controversial for a moment and propose to make the baseboards smaller? 

You mention that this is your first trackplan and we all instinctively look at the space on offer and feel the need to fill it. In doing so we then try to figure out how to reach the inaccessible bits, etc etc.

PatB has mentioned plan books by CJF and he is right to do so as there are some very entertaining plans to be looked at. 

How about a plan that focuses on the terminus and it's operation with a simple reverse loop at the RHS and sidings in the middle of the loop? You'd have two tunnel mouths as well to disguise the loop.

That way you could reduce the size of the main board by roughly 50% to an approximate triangle. There are plenty of brownie points to be had if you don't fill the space offered. 

 

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Without prejudice to above comments, Version 3 ......

 

417151534_NewbieAjpg.jpg.4777d6c357f115de33c32457f63251b7.jpg

 

This includes the changes needed to enable a continuous run, shown in pink.  These do put constraints on the goods arrangements, so inclusion is a bit of a toss-up.  Same is true of the multiple return loops, but I do think two are necessary and three preferable.  You still haven't told us the true size of the extra area top left, so I've left it as 2' x 1'.  I do hope it's actually longer .....

 

I've used Streamline small radius and short Y points throughout the station area instead of Set-track.  This reduces track spacing, which makes things look better and gives a bit more space, despite the points being larger radius.

 

The manhole is 2' in diameter.  Could be 2'4" .......  and it could be sceniced provided it can still be lifted or popped out from above or below.  Given there is access from the right of the layout, I think everything critical is in reach.

 

I've added a siding for a loco waiting to take the next passenger train out, and a loco shed area with a turntable, a la DCB's suggestions.  An engine release crossover is just about possible if preferred, but would significantly shorten train length.

 

Note on goods ops: short train (probably max 6 wagons) arrives in one of goods loops.  Train engine shunts yard using the headshunt, dispersing arrived trucks to appropriate places in the yard (coal wagons to staithes, vans to goods shed etc) and assembling train for departure in other loop.  Things are pretty tight, so if played as a shunting puzzle with chance dictating the makeup of the outgoing train, this could be good playable fun (if you like this sort of thing).  Last move will be to stick the brake van (last man standing in the arrival road) on the back of the outgoing train before loco runs round using the now empty arrival road.  This locates the goods sidings firmly as part of the station area, rather than in some random spot off the main line.

 

Finally, with your recent plan you said "loop added, although not actually a return loop".  But you do still have a return loop, electrically if not visually, so if you were hoping to remove the return loop short circuit complication, you haven't.:)

 

Hope this helps, and isn't "too much information"!

 

Cheers, Chris

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32 minutes ago, Chimer said:

Without prejudice to above comments, Version 3 ......

 

417151534_NewbieAjpg.jpg.4777d6c357f115de33c32457f63251b7.jpg

 

 

 

Could I suggest in this version, rather than having the awkward pink connection crossing the goods sidings, connecting the outer part of the reversing loop into the headshunt? Not only would it look better visually, but it would also mean goods trains could traverse the layout in an anticlockwise direction. Incidentally the headshunt could also be diverted slightly to run along the bottom side of the platform (and maybe connected directly to the main lines to double as an extra platform.

 

Also, maybe consider a direct link to the turntable across the goods lines: 

 

image.png.700efd57f5616d67be63ed7f3e26a2ee.png

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I like all of those ideas, apart perhaps from the direct link to the turntable.  Will explore geometries if the OP is interested in taking this further.

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Or for something different, a variation of a plan I dig out from time to time:

 

image.png.8f9bd70614b7f9290c64e71902f5f90d.png

 

I realise that the bottom line is too close to the edge, but that's only because I used a standard Hornby platform. Using homemade platforms would allow the bottom line to be moved away from the edge.

 

Sidings in the bottom left corner are loco sidings. 

 

The reversing loop can be split over two controllers (inner loop and outer loop) simplifying the electrics.

 

If you want a tunnel, that can go on the right hand end. There is plenty of space for access holes in the middle.

 

 

 

Operating pattern - one train in inner loop, one on outer loop, one in bottom platform, one or more in goods yard.

 

Train on inner loop crosses over to the reversing loop and stays there.

 

Train from bay platform (or goods yard) runs out on to inner loop and stops in station.

 

Train from inner loop crosses to outer and runs to the bottom platform (or goods yard).

 

Train on reversing loop crosses to inner loop. 

 

Trains circulate while a new loco is attached to the train in the bay platform, or a new goods train is made up.

 

Any locos requiring turning take a trip round the reversing loop.

image.png

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5 hours ago, Chimer said:

Without prejudice to above comments, Version 3 ......

 

417151534_NewbieAjpg.jpg.4777d6c357f115de33c32457f63251b7.jpg

 

This includes the changes needed to enable a continuous run, shown in pink.  These do put constraints on the goods arrangements, so inclusion is a bit of a toss-up.  Same is true of the multiple return loops, but I do think two are necessary and three preferable.  You still haven't told us the true size of the extra area top left, so I've left it as 2' x 1'.  I do hope it's actually longer .....

 

I've used Streamline small radius and short Y points throughout the station area instead of Set-track.  This reduces track spacing, which makes things look better and gives a bit more space, despite the points being larger radius.

 

The manhole is 2' in diameter.  Could be 2'4" .......  and it could be sceniced provided it can still be lifted or popped out from above or below.  Given there is access from the right of the layout, I think everything critical is in reach.

 

I've added a siding for a loco waiting to take the next passenger train out, and a loco shed area with a turntable, a la DCB's suggestions.  An engine release crossover is just about possible if preferred, but would significantly shorten train length.

 

Note on goods ops: short train (probably max 6 wagons) arrives in one of goods loops.  Train engine shunts yard using the headshunt, dispersing arrived trucks to appropriate places in the yard (coal wagons to staithes, vans to goods shed etc) and assembling train for departure in other loop.  Things are pretty tight, so if played as a shunting puzzle with chance dictating the makeup of the outgoing train, this could be good playable fun (if you like this sort of thing).  Last move will be to stick the brake van (last man standing in the arrival road) on the back of the outgoing train before loco runs round using the now empty arrival road.  This locates the goods sidings firmly as part of the station area, rather than in some random spot off the main line.

 

Finally, with your recent plan you said "loop added, although not actually a return loop".  But you do still have a return loop, electrically if not visually, so if you were hoping to remove the return loop short circuit complication, you haven't.:)

 

Hope this helps, and isn't "too much information"!

 

Cheers, Chris

Hi Chris, some brilliant ideas, From everyone else as well!

 

I realised as I lay in bed last night that I hadn't solved the reverse loop short issue! So this leads to another question, How much of an issue is it? As I see it once the loco has travelled the loop and tries to re-enter the original mainline the polarity of the rails will be reversed? How is this got around?

 

I'v used 3rd and 4th radius curves where I can but could reduce that to 2nd and 3rd to reduce the overall width to give more clearance from the board edges.

 

Actual measurements of the board are - mainboard 2430 x 1220 and side board 800 x 500 (mm)

 

Clive

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How you switch polarity rather depends on how you plan to control your trains. There's 2 options: analogue or digital.

With digital  (aka DCC) Gaugemaster sell a small gadget to do this for you. 

It's been a while since I've worked in analogue but from memory you'd use microswitchs to switch the polarity when you change the point. Hopefully someone else can correct / elaborate on that.

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Version 4.2

 

This removes the problem of the return loop wiring. Still has good "playability" but should allow for good modelling too.

 

Still seems close to the board edges though and I think I like @RJS1977 's idea of the station near the front. that way I can "drive in - drive out" as well.

 

Going in the right direction I think but still definitely a WIP!

 

 

Layout4.2.JPG

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Layout 4.3

 

Final go for today. Back to my idea of loco sheds/goods in the extra top left part and station at the front to allow passing through trains. Now has two separate loops with goods sidings for warehouse type scene off the station,

 

And, of course, the obligatory tunnel!

 

Clive

Layout4.3.JPG

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Another question is, I have made use of flexi track in places to compensate for where the geometry isn't quite standard. In reality, how practical is this to achieve good running? AnyRail 6 does warn of any "bad" curves when using the flexitrack and I've made sure all the pieces I've used are ok with AnyRail 6.

 

Clive

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18 minutes ago, Newbie2020 said:

Another question is, I have made use of flexi track in places to compensate for where the geometry isn't quite standard. In reality, how practical is this to achieve good running? AnyRail 6 does warn of any "bad" curves when using the flexitrack and I've made sure all the pieces I've used are ok with AnyRail 6.

 

Clive

 

1.  Peco Code 100 Streamline and Set-track are 100% compatible.  Personally I use a combination of Streamline points, Set-track for radius 4 or tighter curves and flexi for straights and non-standard curves.  Note you can cut set-track curves if you need to, to handle the different geometries (most notably the fact that a Streamline point only curves through 12 degrees, a Set-track point through 22.5).

 

2.  Provided you are prepared to stop trains in the loop, one double-pole double-throw (DPDT) switch is all you need to solve the reverse loop shorting issue.  Switch one way, powers loop from one end, drive in from that end, stop.  Switch other way, loop now powered from other end, drive out the other end (proceeding in the same direction, but turning the control knob the other way).  I could give you a wiring diagram if you wanted, but it looks like you're going another route now anyway.

 

Cheers

 

Chris

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Looking at 4.2 and 4.3:

 

The snag with 4.2 is that once a train has left the terminus, it can't get back again, short of stopping on the main line and reversing it back, or even uncoupling the loco and running round via the main line, neither of which are really prototypical. This is a problem I hit with my boyhood 3'x4' layout (on that, the terminus was inside the circuit, but the same issue applied)*.

 

The snag with 4.3 is that a through station isn't terribly interesting operationally. 

 

However a comination of these two plans, with the terminus from 4.2 and the through station from 4.3 (ideally with a terminating platform) could work quite well.

 

 

On the subject of reversing loops, there are three ways of dealing with them on 2-rail analogue:

 

1) As Chimer has already described, one way is by using a DPDT switch, either worked manually, or connected to a point motor to reverse the polarity.

2) As described on my plan, split the reversing loop over two controllers insulated from each other - one controlling the reversing loop, and the other the rest of the layout (including the reversing loop point. Set both controllers to forwards, run the train on to the reversing loop, change the point and reverse the 'main line' controller to come out. (This can have some problems with certain Lima diesels and some tender drive steam locos where the pick-ups from one side are on one bogie/loco chassis and the pick-ups on the other side are on the other bogie/tender chassis). 

3) If you're only going to use the reversing loop in one direction (again, as per my plan), you can alternatively wire part of the reversing loop through a bridge rectifier, which will mean that whichever way the controller is set, the train in the reversing loop will always go 'forwards' - so all you need to do is change the point and the direction of the controller, without worrying about the switch.

 

 

* The plan I posted is a double track development/enlargement of a plan I came up with as a boy to get round the shortcomings of my then layout - unfortunately it wouldn't quite fit a 3' x 4' board! 

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I agree with everything RJS says about 4.2 and 4.3 .... but regarding reversing loops, I hate passing trains from one controller to another, and would always wire a DC layout with cab control to avoid it.  So option 2 is a no-no for me.

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Hi Newbie2020,

 

Would SWMBO be open to negotiating a new peace plan?

 

Could you get access to the end of the garage if you moved her tool cupboard and explained to her that the space would be used much more efficiently? Maybe offer some new shelving as well?

 

Remember that as you've currently shown it, you will have to stand outside the layout and walk around it to operate it, possibly getting in people's way.

 

If you had the end of the garage then, assuming there are no doors in the way, you could abandon the 8ft by 4ft lump and have 10ft by 5ft (approx guess) with a proper operating well in the middle. You'd be out of her way and using up the same space when you take the space to walk around the 8by4 into account... Then you'd have more flexibility in making your track plan.

 

Edited by Harlequin
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The reversing loop issue also goes away if you use DCC and an auto-reverse unit. Schematically a much simpler wiring system than DC "cab control".

 

I'm not sure if a preference either way has been mentioned, I didn't notice it at least...

Edited by Zomboid
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5 hours ago, Harlequin said:

Hi Newbie2020,

 

Would SWMBO be open to negotiating a new peace plan?

 

Could you get access to the end of the garage if you moved her tool cupboard and explained to her that the space would be used much more efficiently? Maybe offer some new shelving as well?

 

Remember that as you've currently shown it, you will have to stand outside the layout and walk around it to operate it, possibly getting in people's way.

 

If you had the end of the garage then, assuming there are no doors in the way, you could abandon the 8ft by 4ft lump and have 10ft by 5ft (approx guess) with a proper operating well in the middle. You'd be out of her way and using up the same space when you take the space to walk around the 8by4 into account... Then you'd have more flexibility in making your track plan.

 

I think I've pushed as far as I can without buying her a puppy!!!!!!

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2 hours ago, Zomboid said:

The reversing loop issue also goes away if you use DCC and an auto-reverse unit. Schematically a much simpler wiring system than DC "cab control".

 

I'm not sure if a preference either way has been mentioned, I didn't notice it at least...

 

Going DC or DCC was going to be my next question. Is DCC over ambitious for a first timer? Not afraid of a bit of soldering and wiring really, but should I keep it simple to start?

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Which one to use is an eternal debate.

 

Your wiring design will be much simpler in DCC, but the volume of wires may not be less. Some people will tell you to connect a dropper to every piece of rail, which is definitely good practice (for both DC and DCC), but if you're not going to be covering your rails in paint and glue, it's probably not really necessary.

 

It depends what you want from a control system. There's no definitive right or wrong answer to the question.

 

Personally I prefer DCC because I like to hear my Alcos, and I don't want to get involved in the kind of wiring design you need for running multiple locos on the same layout. In all honesty I can't see any advantages to DC other than not needing the chips, but that's just my view and I'm sure someone else will be along presently with the 180* opposite view...

 

You'll find that it's a decision you're likely to be stuck with for as long as you're into this scale, because it's not a cheap business switching between them. So make it carefully.

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