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Old 03-08-2010, 02:48 AM   #1
Santa Fe 4-8-4
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HO Rail Yard Layout Question

I’m a rookie HO railroader with a basic Life-Like set from childhood that I have custom tailored to my liking by collecting specific locomotives and specific rail cars that I preferred (Santa Fe, DuPont, ect…). Now I want to focus on expanding the basic oval layout and adding a few accessories.

I desperately need a rail yard. Other than some additional straight lines of track what else do I need in order to add a rail yard on the side of my current oval track? I am working with limited space and I have a total of six locomotives each with their own rail cars and caboose. Rather than have to physically replace the whole train each time I want to change it up, I would like to have some sort of a rail yard on the side where I can park them all on display and then pull them out onto the track when needed.

What’s the most efficient way to do this for a part time model railroader that doesn’t have a permanent spot for his layout and has to disassemble and reassemble often. Any Help will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:52 AM   #2
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Santa Fe, first of all, welcome to the forum! We're glad to have you join us. You'll get responses from the HO people, but I've two basic suggestions. First, if you haven't already done so, find a door or a piece of plywood to attach your basic oval to. That will minimize your setup and teardown time. Second, a trick T-Man shared recently. You know how it looks when you lace your fingers together to give someone a boost over a wall? Add a switch to either end of your oval to make a railyard in the center to park them, lacing them like your fingers. From each, you can add additional switches for spurs, but space the spurs alternately, left-side/right-side. This allows you to use the center for a railyard and fasten all those spurs to the board, too.
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:18 AM   #3
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yard is very space consuming, at least lengthwise. if all the length available makes 1-2 cars on class track, it is really not worth it IMO (space much better used for industry spur, etc)

post your layout and space you working with.
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Old 03-08-2010, 10:18 AM   #4
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Tankist,

What if he uses a Mobius Loop and runs it over/under to increase the length of his track?
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:27 PM   #5
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Once, back in my enthusiastic bachelor days, I visited a Mobius Strip Club for a little action ... I didn't get very far, though

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Old 03-08-2010, 03:01 PM   #6
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*LOL* that's because in a Mobius Strip Club, they never get to the end of the song. It just goes on and on and on....
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:36 PM   #7
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Here are the two original layouts I had in mind. My biggest draw back is that I have to drive a couple hours for a hobby store so most of my pieces and parts will be mail ordered. I just need to make sure I get the rite parts for the job. Plus I need to learn some of the terminology for all the different track pieces if I'm gonna branch out of the oval.

Dead end yard that would require backing down the track in reverse.


Dive through yard.

Which one would be most practical for a plywood sheet set up? Or are either of these layouts even possible in my situation?
Hey Reckers- if you could find a picture or diagram that would be great because I'm still trying to figure your way out in my head.

Last edited by Santa Fe 4-8-4; 03-08-2010 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:51 PM   #8
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i suggest you download anyrail (or any other) track planning software. what seems doable on paper will not be in reality.
your first layout is doable but storage is not as vast as it might seem. the second when you arrange turnout geometry properly you'll find out takes gobs of space in very useless manner. you might need to consider accomplishing it as add-on modules

take a look at layouts in my sig. IMHO the first couple entries in the competition are very nice way to accomplish a lot in very little of space.
also, the model railroader magazine did special booklet on compact layouts. for your consideration one of them is attached
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 6.jpg (224.9 KB, 38 views)

Last edited by tankist; 03-08-2010 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:52 PM   #9
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Hey Reckers check out the picture below (top picture) because I think I finally figured out what you were talking about.

Tankist- thanks for the link to that article. It was very informative.

OK guys I narrowed it down to these two choices. It makes much more sense to have the yard on the inside of the oval. So I have come up with the two new layouts below.
Which one would be the easiest to build and what specific track pieces do I need to start looking for?

Layout #1: I think this is what Reckers was trying to explain to me.


Layout #2: This is the one that I like the most.


Layout #1 looks way to busy and crowded. It also looks like it would be harder to build. Layout #2 is less confusing and it's the one I would prefer to build. But will it work? If so, then I can use all the help I can get composing the correct parts list.

Last edited by Santa Fe 4-8-4; 03-10-2010 at 12:09 AM.
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:06 AM   #10
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#1 is not possible in any kind of reasonable space. trainsdon't turn on a dime (try to lay it out with actual track and you will see) .

#2 is doable but if it is layed out on 4*8 you will find storage spurs not roomy at all. 2-3, 4 cars tops (to clear the ladder)
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