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Old 04-19-2017, 10:46 PM   #1
pilot2fly
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First layout - need constructive feedback

Hi guys,

I'm building a 4x8 layout since it's all I have space for. I want to do a sort of 80's style/modern day diesel freight layout. I am using a couple of CSX SD40-2's to haul freight and I wanted some feedback on my initial design (rough draft).

I have a design here with a small yard that can do things like coal and warehouses/industry for box cars. I also have a siding for fuel and water for the loco's, and a siding where full cars are ready to be picked up. I want some more ideas on how to make it more realistic. I want to do "realistic operations" where the loco's move slowly and in a realistic way.

Any and all feedback would be appreciated. Thanks guys!

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Old 04-20-2017, 07:48 AM   #2
Dreadnought
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One big way to make a 4x8 more realistic is to have a scenic divider in the middle; a backdrop of some sort. This will make it less obvious that the train is running around in an oval when its on the mainline.

You could try and have a scenic divider at a ~45 degree angle alongside your industry tracks. I would also add a passing siding starting from the turnout to your industry tracks, so you can have more than one train pass each other. After you add the scenic divider, you can add some more industries to the area around the locomotive housing. Perhaps give your products from the industrial area somewhere to go, like a freight transfer terminal or something like this.

You can go a long way towards making a 4x8 more believable. You'll just have to be careful with the minimum radius of the tracks since you're using SD40-2s.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:47 AM   #3
Brakeman Jake
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Do you mind letting us know what is your available space?There are numerous ideas on this forum that can help you design a much more interesting trackplan than a 4 X 8,wich notoriously make poor use of space.May be that a little more work would give you a more satisfying design,but then may be you don't have a choice.
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:22 AM   #4
DonR
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You might move the turnout to the locomotive housing
to the left, then add another spur track or two that
could be the loco service area which would free the
yard track for another purpose.

It's always important to have a passing siding on
a switching layout. There are many times that a loco
must get on the 'other' side of a car. You might see
where you could add that to your layout.

Have you gone through the Layout Design Forum?
The two sticky threads have some very interesting
layout ideas. While you may not want to build any
certain layout you can find small sections that may
work on your tracks.

Don
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:16 PM   #5
CTValleyRR
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Take your circular saw and cut that piece of plywood down the center and form the two pieces into an L.

Make a point to point layout, which will give you much more operational possibilities than you can ever hope to achieve on a small rectangle. For an example, see the "collection of track plans" thread and you'll see what i mean.
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:44 PM   #6
pilot2fly
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So I took some of you guys' advice. I unfortunately can't do a L layout because of space. I am confined to 4x8 for now.

I added some passing sidings and moved the water and fuel to the loco housing area.

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Old 04-21-2017, 02:49 PM   #7
robz
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First, I like your 2nd layout, looks good.
Second, I only started a few months ago so please take with a grain of salt. I would look closely at the area circled. Is there enough room to maneuver the SD40 and still be able to operate the turnout? I have to allow at least 7" on my 4x8 layout in these areas for the switcher locomotive. I use an S-2 switcher that is 6.5" long.
Also are all sides of the layout accessible or does it lay against a wall or 2 walls? How will the turnouts be operated, manual or with a machine?
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Old 04-21-2017, 02:55 PM   #8
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These are manual switches (EZ Track nickel silver). I was worried about the space too. I might try to add in an extra inch or two and that should give me enough room. The entire layout will be accessible from all sides.
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Old 04-21-2017, 03:54 PM   #9
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I see two flaws in this design...sorry...adding a few inches passed the turnouts will indeed give more room for larger locos but will at the same time shorten the storage track.And to be useable,this "runaround" design means that one of the tracks leading to it has to remain clear at all times,thus reducing your storage yard by half.Worthed the effort?Your decision...
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Old 04-21-2017, 06:06 PM   #10
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Is there a way to make the yard more efficient? I'm welcome to ideas!
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