Can someone please HELP ME figure out approx how much track to order for this layout? - Page 4 - Model Train Forum - the complete model train resource
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Old 03-28-2019, 10:02 PM   #31
lajrmdlr's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Santa Fe Springs CA
Posts: 500
Scales Modeled: HO
That plan is 9' x 16' but how big is the room? If you can't walk all around that layout there are some VERY LONG reaches for both building it & running trains much less fix1ng derailments, etc. Think about going around all four walls and maybe a peninsular down the middle. Since you just want to run two trains around, you must be thinking of using just DC. Look into a DCC system. There's plenty of info on the internet. Plus check your LHS, local clubs & home layouts that use DCC. Some people say it's too expensive, but it takes a whole lot less wiring & make running trains a whole lot easier & simple!
But if you have to go with this, it's a sectional track plan. Just count all the sections (both curves & straights) & multiply by 9". That will give the total length of the tracks needed. But definitely recommend using flextrack. They are 36" long so equal four sectionals. There's plenty of literature on sectional track plus all the info on the internet.
Andy Jackson
Santa Fe Springs CA
ATSF & LAJ Fan & Modeler

Last edited by lajrmdlr; 03-28-2019 at 10:29 PM.. Reason: additional info
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Old 04-05-2019, 11:05 AM   #32
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Posts: 182
Scales Modeled: HO, N

Hi newls1,
Think you are gonna really enjoy this hobby!! So many facets...
A couple of which you are already battling!!
My 0.15 rmb is that you need a better idea of what you want to do before purchasing track! You might change your mind several times before deciding what you would really like!!
I'm not sure if you have spent much time on the "givens and druthers" yet. Maybe you should put a loop of track on a 4x8 and run a train, just to satisfy your sweet tooth!!!
Then decide if you will depict a real area, a specific era, if you want your layout to run continuously or do a lot of switching, etc., etc., etc. Think about "around the walls" vs tabletop! (like Andy said!!) Industries, cityscape, mountains, tunnels, water, all possibilities affecting you plan!
It just seems to me that buying a slew of code 100 track at this point is somewhat premature. but it's your railroad, so your rules!!
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Old 04-29-2019, 06:25 AM   #33
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Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Lübeck
Posts: 163
It is a nice big layout.
Well if you connot going around your layout from all sides how you will reaching derailed trains in areas who are more far away of the front?

The Arm length is important. It is 4 Inches shorter than 1 Yard in most causes.

On european model railroad layouts the modellers using a fiddle yard below the main board base to store their trains inside it..."shaddow station".

Steep grades are on model layouts the same problem like by the prototype operation...the steeper the grade...the shorter the trains and the more motive power is needed to a train.

Some model train manufactures of europe using traction tires to their models like Maerklin or Trix, so the trains could run onto steepest grades you never had been seen before.

The lower the steep grade the better. Ideal will be a percentage between 0 % and 1.5 % but up to 2.4 % it is acceptable onto hobby layouts.
The middle range of 2.5 % and 3.9 % is well OK for Engines using traction tires but not well onto layouts.
An absolutely No Go are steep grades of 4 % up to 7 % except your choosen prototype used the same.
By more than 7 % and up to 35 % you need additional Chainwheel driven locos like from Fleischmann as example.

Plan your layout by not having steeper grades of more than 1.5 %.

1.5 % means that a train is climbing 1.5 cm or 15 mm on a distance of 1 m or 100 cm or 1000 mm.

You will need around 11 m or 14 yards of model railway track for a well low steep grade to across other railway track.

Most of my own Locomotives does not have traction tires so my maximum steep grade to be used is 1.5 % or lower.
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Old 04-29-2019, 06:54 AM   #34
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Southern Illinois
Posts: 2,073
Scales Modeled: HO
So far, all of the European models I have purchased have traction tires. ACME, Roco, TRIX, etc. The mountain grade on my ÖBB branch line is over 5% down and over 4% up.

Grades on the mainlines are 2.5% to almost 3% effective grade. Those traction tires make easy work of these grades and the locomotives have no problem pulling the grades with a string of passenger carriages.

I have more of an issue with coupler arms returning to center due to the car weight close to the locomotive after coming out of a curve on the grades than actually pulling the grades.
Deutsche-Bahn Eisenbahn modeling Upper Bayern, western Austria, and northern Switzerland.
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Old 04-29-2019, 12:59 PM   #35
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Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Lübeck
Posts: 163
Hi Michael,
About the Coupler Arms here are named as KKK (Kurz Kupplung Kulissenmechanik --> Short Coupling Arm Mechanics)
The KKK does not well with the NEM 362 Kadee Couplers.
Better you will use NEM 362 Knuckle Couplers from Bachman or Accurail.
The KKK is requiring a rigid connection between two cars.
The Kadee NEM 362 Knuckle Couplers have a joint between Coupler and Shaft, so if you will use these kind of couplers to european cars than you need fixing the centering arm to its middle position.
Use working spring buffers in addition for running through curves. The couplers now working like body mounted couplers.

For using NEM Shafts with centering arms you need to use couplers without joints better are all kind of rigid couplers like from Roco or Fleischmann (GFN).

Ya Ingo
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