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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Bought a hangar along with the two airplanes inside (sold already). But the previous owner had two hanging shelves that really interfered with stuffing airplanes inside. Finally got around to removing them last night when the clue bird landed. Train tables!

I need suggestions for a Lionel Fastrack 4x16 switching puzzle layout. I considering the TimeSaver with some expansions. I have 6 or 7 (plus 2 manual) working turnouts.
Rectangle Slope Triangle Plot Font

In the past, we have done destination puzzles. Shuffle the deck and place the cards face down on various sidings. But we are also interested in assembling a consist in order, which is why I started with the TimeSaver. The other limiting factor is my freight. I only have 12 (reliable) freight cars. I also only have 4 uncoupling tracks, but the switcher has electro-couplers and 4 of the freight cars have electro-couplers on one end.

Thanks for your inputs. And our Christmas celebrations start this afternoon, so here's wishing you a fun holiday season.
-Jack

New Tables with plenty of primed lumber for legs and braces.
Hood Automotive design Bumper Trunk Wood
 

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I love switching operations...especially using the 'card' system
you mention. But the layout in your
drawing seems rather spare...could you consider more
spurs and a yard that would offer more of a challenge.
More cars also add to the switching enjoyment.
Used train cars are very inexpensive, from 4.00 up. You
might check what is available on Craigslist Toys and Games
or Collectibles.

Don
 

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Gosh, I half-remember an O scale layout on the cover of MR that is perfect for you.
Maybe someone can assist my memory and we can scrounge up an issue # for you.
It was O scale, autumn urban setting, I want to say 3 or 4 by about 12 feet. A dingy red GP7 was the power, Lehigh Valley IF memory serves, possibly Boston & Maine. Pretty sure it was featured on the cover but maybe not. I want to say published circa 2003-2006 time frame, give or take. Real museum quality looking too.
Hopefully that’ll jog someone’s memory & be able to provide more info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I love switching operations...especially using the 'card' system
you mention. But the layout in your
drawing seems rather spare...could you consider more
spurs and a yard that would offer more of a challenge.
More cars also add to the switching enjoyment.
Used train cars are very inexpensive, from 4.00 up. You
might check what is available on Craigslist Toys and Games
or Collectibles.

Don
Thanks... I tend to agree with you.

Last year's layout (see below) seemed pretty complicated, but we were rookies. I think the option to use the reversing loops created some interesting moves.
On the other hand we had fewer cars. We only had 8.

I found more track, so I could put a U turn at one end and add more sidings. We scaled down the Christmas layout, but it still eats up 4 turnouts and most of my O36 curves.

This was last year's Christmas layout with the yard and sidings added.
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Last year's puzzle.
 

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This is an idea I had that I built and ran on for a couple months. Combines an Englenook with a Timesaver with the ability to move 3 cars between the 2 switching puzzles. For me the most fun was random position assignments across the whole layout. It was also fun to build consist on the Englenook for delivery to the Timesaver in a specific order to make it easier to spot the cars in their random places on the Timesaver. Note the "Interchange track" in grey.
Slope Rectangle Line Font Parallel


You could add a spur off the yard ladder to go to an engine service area and extend the interchange track to the right to be your mainline to take advantage of a couple of the ideas you showed on your drawing.

Want a real challenge, put 8 cars on the Englenook (the standard configuration) and 7 on the time saver with an ops rule that you cannot spot any cars on the mainline.

To anyone that has ever done a Timesaver but not with more than the typical 5 cars. Put 7 cars out and randomly generate where they need to be moved to using specific spots on each of the spurs (e.g. for a 2 car spur there would be 2 spots, #1 closest to the turnout and #2 at the end of the spur. Typically takes me 45-60 moves to complete.
 

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Hi jackpresley. I know this is an old post but I wanted to say your idea for the runaround reversing loop is fascinating. Never even thought of a configuration like that. I'm in the design process for my next switching layout/puzzle and I'm going to have to set this up and play around with it! My layout is going to be L shaped and the idea of putting this in the corner of the L is interesting. This will also be my first switching puzzle layout that includes a mainline with a complete circuit. having the reversing loop in the corner and not taking up room in the switching areas means more switching chaos.


Thanks... I tend to agree with you.

Last year's layout (see below) seemed pretty complicated, but we were rookies. I think the option to use the reversing loops created some interesting moves.
On the other hand we had fewer cars. We only had 8.

I found more track, so I could put a U turn at one end and add more sidings. We scaled down the Christmas layout, but it still eats up 4 turnouts and most of my O36 curves.

This was last year's Christmas layout with the yard and sidings added.
View attachment 573182
Last year's puzzle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This is an idea I had that I built and ran on for a couple months. Combines an Englenook with a Timesaver with the ability to move 3 cars between the 2 switching puzzles. For me the most fun was random position assignments across the whole layout. It was also fun to build consist on the Englenook for delivery to the Timesaver in a specific order to make it easier to spot the cars in their random places on the Timesaver. Note the "Interchange track" in grey.
View attachment 580256

You could add a spur off the yard ladder to go to an engine service area and extend the interchange track to the right to be your mainline to take advantage of a couple of the ideas you showed on your drawing.

Want a real challenge, put 8 cars on the Englenook (the standard configuration) and 7 on the time saver with an ops rule that you cannot spot any cars on the mainline.

To anyone that has ever done a Timesaver but not with more than the typical 5 cars. Put 7 cars out and randomly generate where they need to be moved to using specific spots on each of the spurs (e.g. for a 2 car spur there would be 2 spots, #1 closest to the turnout and #2 at the end of the spur. Typically takes me 45-60 moves to complete.
This looks great. What turnouts is this planned with? 72?
 
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