Layout Choice - Good? or find a better one?
Well I found this HO layout on line and I really like it. http://tysmodelrailroad.blogspot.com...-planning.html I am a "continous run" kind of guy, but will most likely add on a 2'x4' yard in the future. Since I have only a 10' x 15' room for my layout, this 4'x8' one fits the bill for me. Before I start to purchase lots of stuff, I wanted to put this question out there. Good choice? Has anyone built this besides TY? Please feel free to comment or offer any advice or opinion. I can take it. :)
It's much more sophisticated than the heavy majority of first time layouts, but it's doable, and interesting.
There are better configurations than an oval or a figure 'eight' layout track plan, certainly better than what would fit on Ye Olde Plywoode Pacifique 4X8. I mean, if you're strapped for resources, including space and money, that's an excellent first kick at the cat. You could learn a lot building a decent example of that track plan with your own personal twists to it. But, if you have some room to spare, or to beg, you might want to look at something that isn't so congested with tracks. Railroads are congested with rolling stock on single track mains, but not with a lot of expensive trackage. Do you really need that second main, even it has a gee whiz complexity? Remember, your layout has to depict something approximating a real place. Yes, a first effort may not be terribly 'good' or realistic when it is deemed to be done and a new idea is coming. But if you'd like to get a solid year's worth of fun out of your creation, try to do with less trackage, more interesting switching, and more terrain, trees, a bridge, a tunnel maybe, a small stub-end switching yard...some houses, a church. You can't cram much into a 4X8, but it'll get crowded if it's too cluttered with turnouts and tracks between them.
Just be aware that if you go with a turntable, the entire left side will be taken up with stuff; roundhouse, diesel fueling facilities, maintenance office building, sanding tower, water facility (diesel) water tower (steam), coal tower, ash pit.
A roundhouse is rarely a stand alone structure.
Are you going with DCC?
Hi again Dennis, I agree that a turntable is not stand alone and therefore I was looking to fit a small yard in its place. Anyway, I don't think a turntable is required unless you are running some steam locos. As for DCC... YES! most definately I will be going with DCC. I have been doing a lot of reading on the DCC systems available for a beginner and my LHS proprietor suggests I go with the NCE Power Cab.
Mensenteria... Thanks for the reply and your input. Can you suggest any of the "better configurations than an oval or a figure 'eight' layout track plan, certainly better than what would fit on Ye Olde Plywoode Pacifique 4X8". I am constricted by size.. i.e. 4'x8', but without sounding too much like I have a money tree in the back yard, I'm not too strapped for $$$. So let me know if you come across a good looking 4x8 layout that will have some up and down mountians with continous run and maybe a bridge and tunnel. Thanks... JOHN
A 4 X 8 sheet is a very minimum for HO. It permits
a 22" radius but barely. Simply adding a foot or two
at each end would improve the situation.
The reason radius is important, you cannot run the large
6 wheel truck locos and many steamers on curves with
a smaller radius. The figure 8 in your posted layout
would be nearly impossible and could accomodate only
small 4 wheel locos due to the radically small radius.
Since you are going in with DCC, I would also agree that
you should consider a single track main. You know you can
run two trains on the same track at the same time with
train A going clockwise and train B going counter
clockwise. This does require 2 or more passing sidings
so one train can park as the other passes. This makes for
more interesting operating. Another reason for going
with single track main is again the curve radius problem.
The inner of a 2 track main would have much sharper
radius and again limit the type of locos that could run on it.
Now you could add to your continuous running interest
by creating a figure eight by using 4 turnouts
to connect the crossing with your end curves. This,
however would create 2 reverse loops that would
require 2 reverse loop controllers.
If you haven't already done so, by all means check the
various layouts in our layout design forum. You'll find
two large threads crammed with the layouts of our
members and other layouts that are yet to be built.
You can see certain aspects that you like in one layout, and
other aspects in other layouts. Then see how you can
fit these together to fit your space.
Is a 9x5 an option? If you're a fan of running loops, the larger curves allowed by a 9x5 (pong pong table side)can really pay dividends. A26+ outer loop an 22 or 23 inner with more for inside activity.
Even if you stick with the original track plan, being able to space things out a bit will make for a better looking layout.
Don, Thanks so much for the additional info. I have not checked out the layout design forum because I did not know it existed! So thank you very much for that. Now I will be up all night checking it out. I can expand the layout if I move it from my "Hobby Room" to the main area of the basement. I had a 6x12 slot car layout in there but there is no heat and the temp in that room goes down to 55 degrees. IT put a "chill" on my enjoyment and therefore I didn't do much with it. My hobby room is 10x15 and its all mine! heated too! So maybe I can find something that will work for me with a few modifications.I really do want to run the six wheel locos......
Eilif... The 5x9 just might be an option for me. It will fit in the heated room and perhaps work out for the better. I have not yet gone beyond the design stage yet, soooooo Let me take a look arournd on the design forum that Don just told me about...
I think there real value to keeping all your curves at around 22". 22" is not large but it will handle almost anything except the largest steam locos. On the other hand there's allot of modern equipment that just won't on run on 18".
I've only got one loop and a couple turnouts down but the only 18"curves on my plan is a hidden siding that only hoppers and the occasional stitcher will use.
Lastly if you check Craigslist you may be able to find an old plywood ping pong table and save yourself a bunch of time and money on bench work construction.
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