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Track Plans for North American Layouts

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I say you chaps, there's a lot of 'cheating' going on with all this notching and wall removal! He's already got a gargantuan basement, stop trying to make it bigger! :D

 

For me, single level Barrow equals cheap and quick to complete, double deck or mushroom curvy Fugate equals expense and complexity.

 

The driver should be the real railroad's location. For example, I could build a pike in the California mountains and it would be tight curves and steep grades, or a dead flat tangent railroad set in Arizona - they'd both be SP.

 

I recall one of the reasons Tony Koester originally modelled the Appalachians was that it would legitimise the curvy twisty nature of a model railroad crammed into a smallish space and look believable. Now of course he's gone all tangent and flat and had to knock lumps out of his basement to accommodate the 'look' of the NKP.

 

The other question is what do you want to achieve with the railroad, are you into prototype ops, want spectacular scenery etc.These might seem esoteric questions while we're all bandying about track plans, but I think the more you plan what you want the rr to achieve, the more likely you are to achieve it. I re-read some of Great Northern's ruminations on the rebuilding of his Peterborough layout, and he stated quite clearly right from the start that he wanted to replicate the experience of hanging over the fence or standing on the end of the platform and watching the passing parade of mostly steam hauled passenger trains on the ECML in the late fifties. Everything subsequently is driven by that desire, and its succeeded beautifully. Given the same space, would I build his layout? Absolutely not, as my desire would be for a totally different scenario.

 

I suppose my somewhat rambly point is, what's your desire behind wanting to build a model railroad?

 

150 words, on my desk by Monday please. :O

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If you fancied a switching road, something like this could be persuaded into that area with little difficulty, perhaps with the E-shape the other way around so the upper part fits into the "notch", or as it is, with the top area turning back on itself within "the notch" holding an oil dealer. Itwould also work with a "mindheim spur" switching area

 

http://www.shenware.com/layouts/trackplan.html

Edited by shortliner

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Continued great stuff. I'm loving it...and there's things I'm seeing I simply had not considered. When I get it running you're all invited over to play. Not sure where you'll all sleep though...

 

Trevor - thanks for the photos. That's packed in good and dense. Wish I'd known you when I was visiting Eastbourne a couple of times a year a dozen years ago.

 

A note on my 'footprint - the 6.5', 28' and 11.5' sides are hard - up against walls. No cheating on them. The 7' and 5' cut-out sides, I'm trying to preserve to keep it easy to access my house's mechanical space. I am willing to cheat a little on the 21' length but there a couple of floor support posts along the 21' side I have to deal with...but I am willing to put a staging yard under there that can be accessed from the 'outside' to keep the aisles inside clear.

 

Perhaps these photos will help a bit...taken when the house was still under renovation before we moved in. There's all sort of detritus from upstairs including old kitchen cabinets and other stuff.

 

First, geography!

post-751-0-46366000-1329580977.jpg

Looking northeast...you can see the door to the mechanical space.

post-751-0-00835200-1329581037_thumb.jpg

Looking southeast...

post-751-0-26511600-1329581085_thumb.jpg

 

The general space is beyond the far set of posts. Those posts are supporting steel beams that support the floor above...

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Yup ...nice space .....it is a good sign when the first boxes in, have freight stock in them .....always prioritize !!!!

 

Craig ..hope the photos help to gauge what can,if wanted, be fitted in an area ...and yes it is packed in ....will look better later when I get around to scenicing and building some staging tracks under ....

 

Re.. visits to Eastbourne ....just goes to show what a small world it is really ....

 

regards Trevor ... :sungum:

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Further thought suggests that if a gradient is involved you'ld have two reverse loops stacked above each other, but that would do away with the "roundy-roundy" option

 

Stack them plus provide a linking chord?

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Re-drawn with more space for aisles, and under-layout storage, accessed from outside layout along 21 foot side - the operators don't see what they're getting

 

post-6688-0-68605200-1329587080.jpg

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Jack, my hair has gone grey at the thought of wiring up the "Double Acting Hidden Loop" with two Y's attached..........and don't tell me it would be simple - not for me, just getting my head around it...

 

Best, Pete.

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Piece of cake with DCC, Pete! Even DC wouldn't be that bad. The portions requiring polarity reversers would be at 4 o'clock and 10 o'clock.

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The simplest loop reverser is the Prof Klyzlr system - but I'll leave the Prof to explain how it works - the best bit is the non-moving turnouts (yes, REALLY!). The first time you watch a train go through a set that YOU know haven't moved because you soldered them solid, you won't believe it, either! - but that wouldn't work in this particular case

Edited by shortliner

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I presume the double acting reversing loop works by send trains entering at each end in opposite directions, i.e. clockwise and widdershins. You might need some sort of interlocking (in the uk sense) to prevent head on crashes but it is a very neat solution

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Yes - it has the advantage of not . only being a reversing loop, but a run-through path for the roundy-roundy too - The interlocking would need to be worked out if the idea was going to be developed further - for example some thought would need to be given to the workings if the system were to be doupble tracked - it is just posted as a basic suggestion for further development if needed, which would include things like towns and yards, possibly passenger stations, interchange spurs etc. I enjoy working out a concept and seeing if it willfit into spomeones requirements

Edited by shortliner

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I appreciate the ideas. Not sure I want to do a loop with two wyes in it...the reverses would go crazy!

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Craig - yep, keep it simple. There is a tendency to cram masses of track and use tricky configurations to get 'a longer run' into a space. I'm a big fan of 'relaxed' plans - as little track as you can get away with, no hidden bits, no helices and blobs...

 

I would suggest before you plan any track, you think about what 'role' you want to have when you're operating... do you want to be a railfan, gazing at the passing trains in the scenery, the dispatcher, guiding trains past each other at an interlocking, or an engineer running against the timetable and signals, or a footboard yard master riding the freight car into the industry tracks? Decide what you want to do then design a railroad that fulfils that purpose.

 

For example, Tony Koesters rr is designed to support an engineers role - running fast trains against timetable and train orders, David Barrows most recent CMSF was a footboard yardmaster, Great Northern's Peterborough is a railfan pike.

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Good Doctor, I'm an operator...I like to switch, run a local wayfreight. There's a local layout here where I operate - when I'm not a yardmaster in one of the two terminal yards, I run locals. For my railroad, the continuous loop will be for moving scenery when I want to go brainless or run in a new model.

 

The layout where I operate is pretty Old School in its configuration - dense trackwork. There's a switching district at the end of a short branchline that's a maze of switchbacks...with a short run around. If not done in a very specific order it's unworkable. And I don't enjoy that job. But the road freights, yep...those are my trains.

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Has anyone got some ideas for a track Plans in a North american scene just for shunting .. I've only got small board ..8' X 2' I purchased Peco 75 electrofrog 2 Medium radius 2 short 2 curved 1 3-way turnout and I have one double slip too..10 lengths of fleitrack some years back but never got round to doing anything ... any help advice would be wonderful. I just need a push to get started I'm kinda scared if I fix track to a baseboard and find out it wont really work or does not look right, it will be money down the drain ..

 

Thanks in Advance

Craig

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Craig - Put it down initially with track-pins - If you don't like it then it can come up again - some of mine (a serial layout builder) has been up and down like.... (I won't complete the similie on here!) Lots of ideas on Carls site http://www.carendt.us/ [1500+ at the last count} and a load more on the old forum - locked for postings - http://www.rmweb.co....hp?f=66&t=24472 If that doesn't work I'll put my track planning hat on! What you could do is download XTrkCad, Anyrail or SCARM - all free, and play with ideas - XTrkCad will let you run trains in 2D

 

The other thing we need to know - which directions are each of your turnouts and is the 3-way the symetrical or the assymetric one

 

One that you could look at on Carls site is Box Street (Click on Micro Layout Design Gallery, click on Linked Index on the left side and go down the index to Box Street Yard - You can always add another siding or two, if you wanted) and use a turnout in place of the sector plate - it will fit on your board length with no trouble, and the width will allow some scenery/ industry without looking overcrowded

Edited by shortliner

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Craig, I got up to 13 shunting plans in this thread alone before I gave up! Go back to page 1 and read through. you may find one you like.

 

Best, Pete.

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I'd also suggest looking at http://www.the-gauge...wforum.php?f=46 for more ideas - The other info that would be good is what era you are thinking of (steam/dieselmix/modern) which will affect car lengths and therefore the siding lengths, and what area you want which affects road names and the type of scenery - urban, country, big city, backwoods branch-line, private shortline with interchange to a mainline trhat deops off and collects cars that you switch to customers

Sorry - I don't want to put you off, but there are a lot of choices to be made

I'd also recommend following Petes suggestion and looking at early posts in this threa - the can all be extended by adding a foot to runround loops and to end of sidings/ tail tracks

Edited by shortliner

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Craig

 

I am in process of building my first ever shunting layout, and I would echo the advice not to fix any track down (not even with track pins) until you’re happy with the layout. I took mine up a few times. You can provide temporary power with loose wires attached to crocodile clips. I also think it’s worth doing a few drawn mock-ups and playing around using, say, small boxes or pieces of card as the stock until you’re happy you’ve got the shunting moves you want.

 

Of course, if you keep taking the track up and changing it around you may end up with shorter and shorter pieces...

 

I decided I wanted at least three industries (I managed to squeeze four into a 4ft by 1ft space) with a run-round loop to add interest. I didn’t want any of the industries to be on a run-round spur or in the loop itself, and I ended up with this, for what it’s worth - though there's only room for one car at each industry, and the run-round spurs only just accommodate a loco - but you have more space to play with:

 

post-14205-0-36574900-1330449673_thumb.png

Edited by rodshaw
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Craig - there is another person looking for a similar size US layout to you - with some good suggestions here http://www.rmweb.co....215#entry620215 Stein, who is offering suggestions is a talented designer and some of his suggestions may help you

Edited by shortliner

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This is my O gauge (1/4" scale) model railroad.

 

post-6884-0-14157400-1330450140_thumb.jpg

 

post-6884-0-12301300-1330450579.jpg

 

post-6884-0-40528200-1330450633.jpg

 

post-6884-0-71729100-1330450692.jpg

 

Still lots to do, signals, lights, stock weathering etc. I've been building it since 1980, moved house in 1993 and this layout dates from then. American O gauge was cheap back then !!

 

Brit15

Edited by APOLLO
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I actually rarely need to clean the track, just run a few long trains with metal wheels every week, even in winter. Not done much on this layout for quite a while as during winter I'm up in the loft (insulated) where its warm. The track plan was drawn up and altered quite a bit during construction, the narrow gauge was added just before the scenery started in 2001. It all works quite well, saying I mix course (old Atlas) and scale (Weaver 2 rail) wheels on Peco bullhead track !!!! Couplings are a mix of atlas, kadee & weaver - they do the job OK. Nice to see 3 F units drawing 25 heavy cars grinding round the horseshoe curves & up 3% grades - makes the lights go dim !!.

 

No timetables, car index, dispach operations, etc, etc, I just run trains & swap locos & stock around. I've enough on my plate with 2 x 25 car mainliners running & a narrow gauge train.

 

Brit15

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Craig - Put it down initially with track-pins - If you don't like it then it can come up again - some of mine (a serial layout builder) has been up and down like.... (I won't complete the similie on here!) Lots of ideas on Carls site http://www.carendt.us/ [1500+ at the last count} and a load more on the old forum - locked for postings - http://www.rmweb.co....hp?f=66&t=24472 If that doesn't work I'll put my track planning hat on! What you could do is download XTrkCad, Anyrail or SCARM - all free, and play with ideas - XTrkCad will let you run trains in 2D

 

The other thing we need to know - which directions are each of your turnouts and is the 3-way the symetrical or the assymetric one

 

One that you could look at on Carls site is Box Street (Click on Micro Layout Design Gallery, click on Linked Index on the left side and go down the index to Box Street Yard - You can always add another siding or two, if you wanted) and use a turnout in place of the sector plate - it will fit on your board length with no trouble, and the width will allow some scenery/ industry without looking overcrowded

 

 

Thanks everyone for you responses .. Shortliner asked a few questions ..ill try and answer them ..the Points are HO 3 way point is assymetric i have 3 pairs of long points 3 pairs of short Points and double slip and a short Y turnout... i can get more if needed. As to rolling stock I was thinking of Short box cars to save space. Has anyone any advice on which make of locomotive to purchase ( Atlas, Walthers, Athearn or Bachmann ) I was going to make the layout DCC and use a sound loco :stinker: The location was going to be in a town of city ..with shunting operations.. but I'm open to suggestions

 

Thanks again for all the responses, much appreciated

Edited by craig

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