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Hi all,

 

I’m attempting to plan a new OO scale layout to fit my limited space. I’ve got 4’x2’ to work with, but anything more will likely require many negotiations and compromises. I’ve got Peco Setrack to work with too. 
 

The two major limitations with planning the track layout are:

 

1. For power provisions, I only have a Hornby power track and remote. This means that I cannot have any sidings where the track is not served forward of the unit. Say, for example, I had a point and one of the tracks had a power unit on it - I would not be able to give power to the other track.

 

2. My fleet is largely comprised of large  locomotives and stock, Including but not limited to:

• Bachmann G2A 0-8-0

• Hornby Class 90

• Hornby Teak Coaches (x3)

• Oxford Rail ICI Hopper (x2)

• Heljan Beilhack Snowplough

• Hornby Class 395 EMU

 

Can anybody provide me with assistance in planning a layout? Your help is much obliged.

 

SRF.

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If you can solder, and have an iron, track feeds can go anywhere appropriate. you don’t need a track feed rail, just two bits of wire, one to each rail. If you haven’t got one then this is arguably the first tool you need even before a means to trim the track to bespoke lengths. Easy enough to cut the plug off the Hornby track connector plug to free the ends of the wire up.

 

If you do it is worth leaving an inch or so of wire still connected to the plug so that it can easily be re-attached later if so desired.

 

Edited by john new
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Thanks for your suggestion John - unfortunately I don’t possess the knowledge or equipment to do such a thing. However, since my last post some testing at home has revealed that I could place my spare example on the opposite side of the layout and operate each when necessary.
 

Of course, your suggestion could certainly work when I have greater expertise on the matter. Thanks very much! 
 

SRF.

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An alternative to the power track is fishplates/rail joiners with wires soldered to them. You can get packs of them off Ebay. IRC one pack will do for about 5 feed points. I've used them successfully on my own little layout. Very easy to use and unobtrusive when installed.

 

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Thanks for your suggestions, both of you - These are both sound ideas that will certainly help.


Now, electrics aside, is anybody able to help with the design of the layout? I need something that can fit my large stock - my ‘Javelin’ especially - while still being compact and having operational potential for each type of goods. Coal services could be catered for with a coal dock of sorts, and a yard crane would work for other goods. A good sized station would be nice too, catering for my large passenger coaches and units. Any ideas? Thanks.

 

SRF.

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2 hours ago, ScottishRailFanatic said:

I need something that can fit my large stock - my ‘Javelin’ especially - while still being compact and having operational potential for each type of goods. Coal services could be catered for with a coal dock of sorts, and a yard crane would work for other goods. A good sized station would be nice too, catering for my large passenger coaches and units. 

 

Unfortunately, your lack of space and desire for large stock means that you simply can't have something that has operating potential.  Your Hornby Class 395 'Javelin' is almost four foot long.  If the available length for your layout is only four feet, then it is impossible to build anything other than a diorama, as there is simply nowhere to drive the 'Javelin' to.

 

It is possible to build a layout with some operating potential on a four foot by two foot baseboard, but the operating potential comes from using short stock - eg a class 08 shunter or 0-4-0 or 0-6-0 tank locomotive or similar with short wheelbase four wheel wagons.  I'm thinking about the Inglenook concept.

 

Once you move to wanting larger stock, you need to build a longer layout or forego any operational interest.  Is there any possibility of splitting the space you have available to create a layout that is eight foot in length, but only one foot wide?  If you hinged this, it could then fold to four foot by two foot for storage but would be opened out into a longer thinner baseboard for operation. 

 

Ultimately, if you want operational interest, you need a space where the length of the layout is at least twice the length of the trains that you want to run.

 

As others have said, your first limiting point isn't really a limiting point either by soldering directly to the rail or using pre-wired rail joiners to ensure that you have power everywhere you need it.

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A great suggestion

17 minutes ago, Dungrange said:

 

Unfortunately, your lack of space and desire for large stock means that you simply can't have something that has operating potential.  Your Hornby Class 395 'Javelin' is almost four foot long.  If the available length for your layout is only four feet, then it is impossible to build anything other than a diorama, as there is simply nowhere to drive the 'Javelin' to.

 

It is possible to build a layout with some operating potential on a four foot by two foot baseboard, but the operating potential comes from using short stock - eg a class 08 shunter or 0-4-0 or 0-6-0 tank locomotive or similar with short wheelbase four wheel wagons.  I'm thinking about the Inglenook concept.

 

Once you move to wanting larger stock, you need to build a longer layout or forego any operational interest.  Is there any possibility of splitting the space you have available to create a layout that is eight foot in length, but only one foot wide?  If you hinged this, it could then fold to four foot by two foot for storage but would be opened out into a longer thinner baseboard for operation. 

 

 

These are great suggestions - a folding layout could be the way to go (so long as I can find the space to operate the full layout) as that would allow for more operational possibilities. Yes, I’m aware of the massive length of my ‘Javelin’ - at one point I resorted to running only the end units which, while looking a bit odd, shortened it to around 2’. Another thing that helps is that due to my wide variety of stock, the layout would be an ‘anything goes’ sort of thing, therefore meaning that I could run what I wish without being historically accurate.
 

As for my big stock, when I was a little bit younger, around 10, and had no real knowledge of railways, I had a bit of a ‘big engines’ policy (which led to the horrible and gruesome demise of my first engine, Flying Scotsman!). This has led to many large locomotives and stock items being in my possession.

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As a guide @ScottishRailFanatic my little layout is 5ft 6 by 1ft with a bolt-on 4ft fiddle yard. It can just about cope with a loco and 2 carriages or a 2-car DMU. I've been told that a good rule of thumb is that your maximum passenger train length is 1/3rd the length of the layout so for your 395 you're looking at 10-12 feet so you may be looking at a 3-board layout.

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I sympathise with the problems of liking large stock.  I've often considered the idea of building a small inglenook type shunting layout.  The standard format comprises three sidings that are capable of holding, three, three and five wagons, with a head-shunt that can accommodate a locomotive and three wagons - see http://www.wymann.info/ShuntingPuzzles/Inglenook/inglenook-trackplan.html if you're not aware of the Inglenook track plan.

 

The problem is that most of my stock is from the post privatisation era and is fairly large - I like large bogie wagons.  I'm also not keen on the sharpness of set-track point work, preferring the geometry of larger radius points.  However, to operate a standard Inglenook with say a Bachmann Class 66, a number of Heljan Cargowaggons along with Peco large radius points and I'd need at least ten feet, which means that it's no longer a small layout.   It's certainly no-where near the four or five foot long version that modellers from earlier eras can manage.

 

11 minutes ago, PaulaDoesTrains said:

I've been told that a good rule of thumb is that your maximum passenger train length is 1/3rd the length of the layout.

 

I'd agree with that.  Basically, you have wherever the train starts off (the fiddle yard), a trains length of point work that forms a station throat and the length where the train will finish up (ie at a platform).  The middle third could be made shorter (ie effectively down to the length of a single point), but the more you shorten the central section, the less operational interest there will be.

 

Ultimately, I think you either need to find more space, or lose the bigger stock and focus on buying stock that would suit a  small layout.

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You could consider a heritage railway scenario.

 

For example the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre has the equivalent of a test track that runs along sheds and sidings containing the collection.  

 

The sheds would be easy to model either as half or low relief structures, with stock placed  half in half out of the shed or just as "flats" and used as a backscene. 

 

Operating would be shunting to prepare for open days or operating open day shuttles.

 

Now if you wanted to stretch the imagination and set the layout 30 years in the future you could then display the Javelin.

 

 

https://www.bucksrailcentre.org

 

 

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1 hour ago, d&h said:

You could consider a heritage railway scenario.

 

For example the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre has the equivalent of a test track that runs along sheds and sidings containing the collection.  

 

The sheds would be easy to model either as half or low relief structures, with stock placed  half in half out of the shed or just as "flats" and used as a backscene. 

 

Operating would be shunting to prepare for open days or operating open day shuttles.

 

Now if you wanted to stretch the imagination and set the layout 30 years in the future you could then display the Javelin.

 

 

https://www.bucksrailcentre.org

 

 

Thanks for the suggestion and information - this will prove very useful! I happen to be located a stone's throw away from Alton station in Hampshire, which is a prime example of a network/heritage crossover station. This gives me something to work from along the lines of your idea. 

 

Also, thanks to everybody who's sharing their ideas to help me out. You're all talented people, and I'm truly grateful for your help.

 

SRF.

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If you want to fit large locomotives into a space only 4ft long the solution is to model the shortest trains possible, ie just the locomotive. In other words model a TMD or locoshed. You would be justified then in using your Javelin without intermediate coaches. You could be really radical and use no points at all, have a traverser in front of the shed, certainly it is unusual in the UK but not without precedent. Another idea would be to have the scenic area comprise only the inside of a shed and access through the shed door to a sector plate with a line behind the shed to store the locos off scene.  Choose modern image so the shed can be higher than a typical steam shed, thus increasing the size of aperture through which you are viewing the scenic section. This latter idea is something I am contemplating in O gauge or perhaps even Gauge 1, where admittedly the increased size will work better.

Cheers

David

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I can't remember the details but there was a layout where a line of coaches formed the bottom of ""the backscene". You could do the same with your Javelin, possibly behind a wire link fence to suggest it's on the "real railway's" sidings but it would take up one tracks worth of the width. Then have an operational preservation era yard in front of it. 

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For a truly tiny TMD you could look at Tony Wood's Barbers Bridge which is just 36ins x 8ins in total in EM gauge.with a 22inch long scenic section. 

737597152_BarbersBridge1DEMUday2010.jpg.1ae281387ece7e5af0189d1534e8e147.jpg

1487800664_BarbersBridgeDEMUday2010-2.jpg.ac3950ccfa8a280e0c5c2b401dc5c758.jpg454181643_BarbersBridgeDEMUday2010-4.jpg.4998bf3a111a81dfc42009020b7147eb.jpg

My photos, taken at a DEMU event near Reading ten years ago, aren't great but should illustrate the principle. 

En route to one show Tony operated Barbers Bridge on board a train using the 13A socket under his seat for something more interesting than powering a laptop.

 

Another solution which may offer a bit more operation than an MPD is the bitsa station where you model just the buffer end of a terminus or possibly the "country" end of a through station where the long distance trains all terminate.  You model just the first coach of each train and that never gets beyond a scenic break such as an overall roof or a road bridge. You do need space "off-stage" for the loco and coach to appear from plus whatever pointwork you need for the loco to run round etc.

There was an example of this at the same DEMU show but I can't remember its name.

710414618_DEMUday2010bitsa1.jpg.92357a4235f7041bd16a2a0643fc9e09.jpg

 

It's possibly a bit longer than 4ft but the principle should hold

 

 

 

Edited by Pacific231G
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On 26/09/2020 at 22:00, ScottishRailFanatic said:

A great suggestion

These are great suggestions - a folding layout could be the way to go (so long as I can find the space to operate the full layout) as that would allow for more operational possibilities. Yes, I’m aware of the massive length of my ‘Javelin’ - at one point I resorted to running only the end units which, while looking a bit odd, shortened it to around 2’. Another thing that helps is that due to my wide variety of stock, the layout would be an ‘anything goes’ sort of thing, therefore meaning that I could run what I wish without being historically accurate.
 

 

Having built a couple of them, I'm not so sure about folding layouts unless you've got the space to have them up most of the time both to work on and operate and just fold them for storage. The folded layout (my first foldover layout was on two four by one foot boards) can also be quite a heavy and and awkward object. A useful alternative might be to put all the pointwork on a single board and have a simple "fiddle stick" extension that bolts on to it for operating sessions. I'd be inclined to slice 6 inches off the side of the 4ft x 2ft board and use that for a four foot (or whatever you need) extension.

I'm sort of envisaging an Inglenook type arrangement with a running line behind it for the Javelin etc. that can just come and go and two tracks on the extension one of them the headshunt for the Inglenook and the other the off stage storage siding for the Javelin etc.

1962528890_FiddlestickInglenook.jpg.5a0be5409526a17e33602d05a61d2e5a.jpg

 

This is a very rough plan and you wouldn't want such straight lines on the scenic section. You'd also need a scenic break at the end of the main board to differentiate the layout proper from the off stage fiddle stick.

The points are a Peco medium for the left hand and a large between the two shorter sidings. For a 5-3-3 Inglenook, using a large turnout shouldn't take up two wagon lengths but a medium would serve just as well. 

The two short sidings are both 26 inches long so about 23-24 inches clear of the points so should be long enough for three even quite long wagons. the longer siding is 36 inches so about 33-34 inches clear of the points.

An Inglenook won't be anyone's lifetime layout but it's a simple scheme to get some experience with and play the shunting puzzle and it only needs one electrical feed (plus another with a switch to choose between between them for the separate "mainline")

 

 

Unless you're into non railway scenery or buildings four foot by two foot is quite a wide shape for a layout given that railways are long and thin. It's also quite an awkward thing to cart around. I once built a 4x2 009 layout based on one of Cyril Freezer's plans and though the plan was effective I could never find anywhere to store it as cupboards are rarely that deep.

Edited by Pacific231G
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