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Hi all,

 

After taking some time to really consider what I wanted this is the my third attempt at designing a track plan. I'm modelling a fictitious modern image location in OO which will live in the garage. I'm using mostly code 75 rail with some code 100 set track for sharper curves with peco SL-113 pieces to transition between them both.

 

Boards have already built and the space is 14ft x 5ft total with a top section which is 3ft deep and a bottom section 20cm deep with a 40cm operating well in the middle, the plan below will hopefully illustrate it better than I can describe it. In hindsight I'd go back and make the boards 2ft deep on both sides but I'd settled on a track plan before building the boards and then changed my mind, I really need to settle on something and stick with it rather than procrastinating over the plan!

 

The whole layout is designed to be scenic with no fiddle yard and I'm happy to live with that compromise.

 

There are a few things I'd really quite like:

 

  • A TMD to house my diesel fleet
  • In lieu of a fiddle yard sidings to house the freight and passenger coaches
  • A three road station with one terminus platform

 

And there are a few things I'm happy to compromise on:

 

  • Lack of fiddle yard
  • I don't mind sharper curves although 4th radius would be the minimum for visible curves

 

I've attached a proposed layout below. The right hand most 2ft will be covered over with a town scene, hiding the sharp R2 and R3 curves, these will be set track rather than flex track. In my initial binned design I had the depot entrance coming off the main lines between the two sets of points at the top left, I'm still up in the air about that.

 

Any opinions and feedback would be appreciated.

 

Capture.PNG.7ac9969104094c248994241c5098c6cd.PNG

 

Thanks,

Andy

 

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1 hour ago, AndyMac7 said:

In lieu of a fiddle yard sidings to house the freight and passenger coaches

 

I like this approach, but you probably need more siding space, especially if you want to run goods.  A couple of quick thoughts:

 

- could you continue the sidings branch round to rejoin the main at the station throat?

 

- you could probably lengthen the platforms a little, but even so they will be rather short for the trains the layout can accommodate; the part-station dodge would work well here, using the right hand curve to hide stationary trains. 

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9 minutes ago, Zomboid said:

When you say "modern image", do you mean circa 2020? How long do you want your DMUs to be?

 

Do you want to run freight at all?

 

Hi Zomboid,

 

I'd say anything from 2000 onwards but for passenger service primarily Scotrail Saltire livery and onwards which is 2008. I have a ScotRail 3 car 170 DMU and an Inter7Cities HST which is two power cars and four Mark3 coaches, that HST will be the longest passenger service I intend to run, it won't quite fit into the longer platforms but the ends will vanish under the town scene so it should be ok.

 

Freight wise yes absolutely. I've got 12 Accurascale PCA cement waggons and the same number of PFA's and I think that'll  be the longest I'd run.

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10 minutes ago, Flying Pig said:

 

I like this approach, but you probably need more siding space, especially if you want to run goods.  A couple of quick thoughts:

 

- could you continue the sidings branch round to rejoin the main at the station throat?

 

- you could probably lengthen the platforms a little, but even so they will be rather short for the trains the layout can accommodate; the part-station dodge would work well here, using the right hand curve to hide stationary trains. 

 

Hi Simon,

 

Thanks for the feedback, I was indeed looking at the part-station dodge using the raised town scene to hide the trains in the right hand curves!

 

A re-join of the main line at the station throat is a great idea and adds a little more operational interest, I'll see what I can mock up for that. I agree on the siding space as well but every time I try to add some more it starts to look really cluttered, definitely something to play around with though. 

 

Cheers,
Andy

 

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I think you'd do well to look at Ipswich. With a bit of cutting and squashing you could have the loco and unit sidings adjacent to the station, and a bunch of loops on the opposite side (where traction changes can take place). You need to be able to terminate passenger trains in both directions at the station, so I'd have a loop rather than a bay. The HST will be about 6' long so actually that's quite long... Having the power cars overhanging the platforms is OK (they used to at Bath Spa for one), but you need a siding for it too.

 

Though if you can't put the hole in the board more centrally then it might be tricky.

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OK, so here (in 14x5, which I think is about what your size is) is "Ipsw-ish". I haven't bothered to draw loco sidings, and I'm sure you could fit another unit siding in as well. Crossovers are provided for bi-directional running though most of the scene, the Anticlockwise goods loop also serves as the headshunt for the unit sidings... you can probably work most of it out.

Ipswish.jpg.abb45175d81682ee2c33944fa8f43cad.jpg

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7 hours ago, AndyMac7 said:

Boards have already built and the space is 14ft x 5ft total with a top section which is 3ft deep and a bottom section 20cm deep with a 40cm operating well in the middle, the plan below will hopefully illustrate it better than I can describe it. In hindsight I'd go back and make the boards 2ft deep on both sides but I'd settled on a track plan before building the boards and then changed my mind, I really need to settle on something and stick with it rather than procrastinating over the plan!

 

Sticking with it certainly has advantages, particular when the alternative is to do nothing.

 

But, one also shouldn't be afraid of changing things as you proceed and learn what works/doesn't work or what you don't like - there is no point in building a layout for the sake of being able to say "I built a layout" if you end up disliking what you have built, or worse actively hating it.  It is one thing to keep going on a 1x4 shelf layout that is minimal cost, another entirely on a 14x5 layout.

 

In particular I see 2 things that would concern me, so it is up to you to decide if they are issues for you.

 

First, 40cm (15.7") is to me far too narrow for an operator - to me it would be far too unpleasant for both working on the layout and operating it.  Consider that in the inherent conflict between space and the amount of layout one wants, you also need to be comfortable spending hours in the space - does that narrow opening look like it would still be inviting an hour into running trains?

 

Second, does the 3' wide section have access from both sides or only from the well?  3' is a long reach for most of us, and a serious risk of damaging scenery / structures / rolling stock if one ends up needing to reach a train (or anything else) at the deepest part of the layout.

 

Personally, in the space I would look at a 2' deep top section, a 2' wide well, and a 9" to 12" bottom section at a compromise between having a human comfortable space and still getting as much layout as possible.

 

 

Edited by mdvle
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3 hours ago, Zomboid said:

OK, so here (in 14x5, which I think is about what your size is) is "Ipsw-ish". I haven't bothered to draw loco sidings, and I'm sure you could fit another unit siding in as well. Crossovers are provided for bi-directional running though most of the scene, the Anticlockwise goods loop also serves as the headshunt for the unit sidings... you can probably work most of it out.

Ipswish.jpg.abb45175d81682ee2c33944fa8f43cad.jpg

 

I've always liked Ipswich as a prototype, though how appropriate it is for a Scottish layout is for the OP to decide!  However, the double slip really needs to be a ladder of plain points for a modern formation (it doesn't matter that these will extend between the platforms).  There may also be problems coupling to freight trains on the tight curves, depending on couplers used.

 

The rh pointwork of the station could easily be moved offscene round the corner, gaining some platform length at the expense of fidelity to the particular prototype.

 

I agree with @mdvle about the baseboard arrangement but if they are already built it may not be easy to alter them - that's really up to the OP.  Ideally planning should precede building but that isn't always possible.

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25 minutes ago, Flying Pig said:

However, the double slip really needs to be a ladder of plain points for a modern formation (it doesn't matter that these will extend between the platforms). 

I know, I didn't want to put points in the platforms, and as it is that pesky HST can't use the bottom platform without some kind of unrealistic novelty signalling, and didn't want to restrict it even further, so I resorted to the slip. But if a crossover between platforms is ok then yes, make that change every time.

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1 hour ago, mdvle said:

 

Sticking with it certainly has advantages, particular when the alternative is to do nothing.

 

But, one also shouldn't be afraid of changing things as you proceed and learn what works/doesn't work or what you don't like - there is no point in building a layout for the sake of being able to say "I built a layout" if you end up disliking what you have built, or worse actively hating it.  It is one thing to keep going on a 1x4 shelf layout that is minimal cost, another entirely on a 14x5 layout.

 

In particular I see 2 things that would concern me, so it is up to you to decide if they are issues for you.

 

First, 40cm (15.7") is to me far too narrow for an operator - to me it would be far too unpleasant for both working on the layout and operating it.  Consider that in the inherent conflict between space and the amount of layout one wants, you also need to be comfortable spending hours in the space - does that narrow opening look like it would still be inviting an hour into running trains?

 

Second, does the 3' wide section have access from both sides or only from the well?  3' is a long reach for most of us, and a serious risk of damaging scenery / structures / rolling stock if one ends up needing to reach a train (or anything else) at the deepest part of the layout.

 

Personally, in the space I would look at a 2' deep top section, a 2' wide well, and a 9" to 12" bottom section at a compromise between having a human comfortable space and still getting as much layout as possible.

 

 


While I realise that the OP gives good reasons for sticking with the baseboards already in place, I have to admit my first thought on seeing this thread was with regards to the width of the top baseboard, and the lack of width in the operating well (and how you limbo in and out of it?).  Although it can be a pain to rebuild baseboards - I speak from experience - I wouldn’t underestimate the impact ergonomics has on how much you might enjoy the layout in the long run (something I’ve learned as I’ve got a bit older).

 

One benefit of rebuilding my baseboards this summer - the quality of my woodwork has improved, and the boards I’m now finishing are much better than the ones I started with, even though it is the same wood I’ve used.

 

As for the layout plan - nice long sidings and not overcrowded with track.  I probably would add a second entrance to the sidings from between the crossovers (as suggested in the OP), but the basic concept looks like a good start and gives the trains the chance to stretch their legs - and the shorter Scottish HST’s are the perfect prototype for a model of this size.
 

If you could widen the lower baseboard (moving the operating well up and enlarging it) I’d probably suggest adding another siding or two (or loop) along the bottom for freight, but I ‘d take care not to add too much.  Hope that helps, Keith.

 

 

 

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Thanks for all of the replies folks, some excellent suggestions and I'm about to go and study Ipswich on Google maps. @Zomboid thanks for the track plan and the suggestion I can see some valuable ideas in there that I'm going to try and bring in.

 

Regarding the 40cm operating well I'm actually OK with it. I've spent a fair bit of time in there so far and it's been ok. Despite too much beer & wine during lockdown I'm lucky enough to be on the slight side and still relatively young so getting under the boards isn't an issue. How that might change over time remains to be seen, hopefully in the fullness of time I can get rid of some of the young kids toys in the garage and rebuild the whole of that bottom 20cm section into something wider and better. I might see if I can extend the 20cm board an extra 10cm though to make it a full foot wide, I think that would make all the difference.

 

Many thanks again,

Andy

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Here is even more of Ipswich crammed into 14x5. It's a great prototype because you really don't need to muck around with (hidden) storage sidings, everything is credibly on view. Setting it post 1990 or so allows more bi-di running, which really helps. I think a 2+4 HST would fit in all platforms without fouling everything else, though it's tight. I think it could only park in the upper unit siding, but there's space in the others for a good few 156s, 158s & 170s. The loco sidings could be built long enough to hold 2 locos each, even if I've not shown that exactly.

Could it believably be in Scotland? Not sure I'd want to swear to that in a court of law, but I don't see what's especially Great Eastern about the track layout at least. Might be useful for anyone wanting to model Ipswich in 14x5!Ipswish2.jpg.c50f73ed6d5de0f2906d8db63c94ef37.jpg

Edited by Zomboid
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A couple of general points here.  I too noticed that the oringinally proposed operating well was too narrow.  Try turning round in it..... A lift-out section is always a possibility.

 

Second, with 14 foot of length you have room to have high and low level tracks. Its easier to cater for this when the boards havnt been built, as some track can be at intermediate level. But at its most basic it transforms the possibilities.

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@Zomboid wow that's a great piece of work, thank you. I like the way the unit sidings curve upwards leaving plenty of room for scenic sections below. I also like the freight sidings on the curves, it's a good use of the space. I'm definitely going to incorporate some of this into my plan. Thank you again.

 

I think rule 1 would apply on whether a particular track plan is prototypically Scottish.

 

@RobinofLoxley dual level is something I'd spent quite a bit of time looking into but I couldn't quite get anything I was really happy with. 

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47 minutes ago, AndyMac7 said:

 I also like the freight sidings on the curves

Whilst it allows a clear bottom to the plan for a railway in the landscape scene, if you have the space to make that edge wider I would put them down there. The play value with the freight is really going to be loco changes, and that might not be terribly easy on the corners.

 

I'm pretty happy with the station area though. It's a bit of a shunt to get trains in and out of the sidings, which is entirely plausible.

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