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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After seeing and being inspired by DonR's thread to collect finished layouts (Here: http://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?t=66578) I decided to make a thread for track plans to be posted to make it easier for beginners or veterans alike to find ideas. I will try to make sure all of my own plans are ones that are free from inherent flaws (clearances, reach etc.)

These are for unbuilt, untested plans. As with Don's thread I will ask that everyone please refrain from commenting here and instead send pm's if you have questions or comments. Also, after you upload pictures of your plans, please click the paperclip and choose insert all so that your pictures appear in thread like mine do. It will make viewing easier for everybody.

So without further ado, everybody post your track plans, tell us any additional info on it (min radius, dimensions etc.)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
This is an HO layout I designed for a member based of the MRR Virginian project. It is a 6'x10' so there will be needs for trap door/access hatches. The minimum radius on the mainline and the spur is 28" and the max grade is 2.5%. This plan uses Peco code 83 Flex track with peco turnouts, #6 on mainlines and #4 on sidings. Curved turnouts are Shinohara #7.5

LFB Virginian Flex.jpg

LFB Virginian Flex 3D.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Up Next is an N scale layout built upon a 36"x80" hollow core door. This one used Peco code 55 Flex flex with a minimum radius of 13" and I used Peco small radius turnouts on sidings and spurs as well as the yard and Peco medium radius on the the main. Crossings are Atlas code 55, 90° and 22.5°. This layout incorporates a reversing section and therefore DCC is highly recommended.

Sleepy Hollow.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Last one for today is a recently designed N scale layout to be built upon a 32"x80" hollow core door and is to be supported on the ends by two 36" tall book cases from Wal-Mart.com This one is once again built with Peco code 55 flex and uses all Peco medium radius turnouts on the mainline with small radius in the yard. There is one Peco WYE turnout in the yard as well. Max grade here is 2.1% and minimum radius is 14" on the main and 12" in one spur. This layout incorporates a reversing section therefore DCC is recommended

N Scale Shelf Layout.jpg

N Scale Shelf Layout 3D.jpg

N Scale Shelf Layout 3D-2.jpg
 

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Western Maryland

This is a basic figure 8 in HO scale that I designed for a beginner who just wanted to "railfan". 18" Radius curves, some flextrack, #6.5 curved turnouts.

His desire was to create realistic mountain scenery, with a small train running around to showcase it. He did not have me add structures -- the top area would be filled with a small village, and some miscellaneous structures elsewhere, for flavor.

The layout is 5' wide, which means the center would be barely reachable for most of us. It also requires for very steep 3% grades, which was fine for the short trains the client wanted.

West MD.jpg
 

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N Scale Western USA

Here is a layout plan based on a cut down version of the Model Railroader Inyo and White Mountain track plan, shortened by 2' in the vertical dimension (on the page). Because of this, the lower right area is severely cramped. Even though the client had the room available, he insisted on the shortened version, which really doesn't do justice to the original design.

The layout is 10' x 8', Grades are 2%, curves mostly 18" radius, with a few sharper ones, and an odd variety of Peco N-Line turnouts, as well as an Atlas 90 degree crossing which had to be cut down to fit (a result of the shortening of the layout). I would urge anyone interested in this design to consult the original (available in the MR Online layout database).

Bfink Version 1.2.jpg
 

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HO Southwestern Desert

Designed for a client to use approximately half of a large outbuilding (layout dimensions are 13'x15'), this layout was also for a client who was primarily interested in just watching trains run. He wanted large, modern equipment, so the layout uses 24" curves, #8 turnouts, and no elevation changes. Unusually, the client insisted on the use of two double crossovers, whereas the original design had two single crossovers in those locations. While it does make switching the mine in the lower left easier, it adds complexity and expense.

Note that there is no way to turn trains on the layout (other than the HOG). Direction of operation is counterclockwise. A Y or reversing loop could be added with a minor redesign of the lower right corner.

Denny Sample #1.jpg
 

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NW USA Logging Layout

This one was a collaborative effort between me and the client. The final plan is his, much of the way it came together is mine.

This 24 x 26 HO scale layout represents a logging scene in the Pacific Northwest (although it could be in any heavily forested area. The upper and lower levels are separated by 9" vertically; the uppermost red track is the sloped track, which joins the levels at a 3% grade (fine for the small steam locos that will work it). The upper area is heavily forested with logging camps and sawmills; the lower area will be more densely populated (towns and industry). The staging yard on the gray peninsula is detachable, and is on a lifting, wheeled platform to drop and roll under the layout when not in use.

Design parameters are min radius 18", min turnout #4.

jimmyperry_00 Plan Ver 3.jpg
 

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Growth of a Layout

This person had a very simple 4x8 HO layout:

MCR Layout.jpg
He wanted some help expanding it, so we added a little strip onto the lower right side, giving him a little more room to create the dramatic mountain scenery he wanted near his coal mine, and another foot on the left to expand his town / industrial area:

MCR Expanded Layout.jpg
Trying to get him to think out of the box, I put together a rough draft of what he could accomplish in the same space by going around the walls instead of sticking to the sheet of plywood. This one has a 2.5% grade (note in the plan that I didn't bother to smooth it) and 28" radius curves and #6 turnouts in the 12x12 space. This design would require a lift out, gate, or duckunder in the upper right corner.

MCR Around the Room Layout #1.jpg
 

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Good Operational Layout

Another collaborative effort, I really like how this one turned out, with a good mix of running and switching squeezed into an irregular 9x23 space. An HO design with a min curve radius of 22", #6 turnouts, and 2% inclines, this is an example of using inclines in BOTH directions (the tunnel tracks in the lower right slope DOWN while the uphill branch slopes up), thus providing the necessary clearance where they cross. The tunnel tracks then slope back up to base height to rejoin the layout on the left side.

My original had a town on the hills in the lower right, which my partner ultimately decided to delete in favor of natural scenery.

Preliminary Design vers 2.jpg
 

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Tommy Boy's Layout

And I almost forgot... my son's layout designs. He's on his second (impressive, at the ripe old age of 12. His first, a 4 x 9 made of HO scale PowerLoc track with 18" curves and PowerLoc switches (basically a Snapswitch), with a piece of flextrack or two to fit things. I put the basic plan together and built the track before Christmas (he was 4-1/2 years old), so he could go right down and play with it:

NH Helensburgh.jpg

When he decided he wanted to do more than watch trains go in a circle, we put this together, using Atlas Code HO TruTrack. The only real drawback to this one is that there is still no way to turn trains, but the 8x12 footprint fits in the part of the basement not consumed by my layout and storage. The control panel is on a hinge, and can be propped up at a 45 degree angle to view the switch map and turnout controls:

Tom's New and Improved Layout Ver 3, Tru Track.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Let's keep it going folks, the more the merrier. :smilie_daumenpos:

Just a reminder though, this thread is for track plans. For pictures and plans of layouts that have been actually built go here: http://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?t=66578

Again, please refrain from commenting here and instead send pm's if you have questions or comments. Also, after you upload pictures of your plans, please click the paperclip and choose insert all so that your pictures appear in thread like mine do. Following these guidelines will make viewing easier for everybody and reduce clutter.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I recently brainstormed a nice little compact plan I affectionately call microland. This would be a good plan to run a small logging layout with short trains and is designed so that standard DC wiring wouldn't be too complex. This is a 3'x4' N scale layout using Peco code 55 flex with small radius switches on the sidings and mediums on the main. Minimum radius on the main and spur is 13" and 12" on the sidings. Max grade is 3.1%

Also note. One might notice the spur ends in a tunnel and it would be very difficult to back a train into the short siding before. An easy way to keep the operator from ramming a locomotive into the end of the tunnel would be to put a small section of track just before the end and use an insulated railjoiner on the positive rail. Wire this short section of track into the spur track and place a 12 volt bulb on the positive lead. This way when a locomotive pulls forward on to the isolated piece of track and begins to draw current, your light bulb will light up alerting you to stop the train.

Microland.jpg

Microland 3D.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #14
This one is a variation on the last plan. Everything is the same except that it now uses small radius turnouts with 12" minimum radii on the mainline and 11.25" on sidings.

Durango & Silverton.jpg

Durango & Silverton 3D.jpg
 

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It is too late to edit Post #9 above, but the question came up about the green track in the person's original layout. That was the original owner trying to put another reversing loop into his layout, which would not have fit based on both the slope considerations (would have needed something like a 10% grade in the lower right), and the fact that there is no way to tie it back to the main line because there is already a turnout there, facing in the wrong direction.

If you wanted to build it, you could either run that extension down to staging under the table, or simply terminate it short of the tie in. For elevation, the mine spurs are above the green track.

The other issue with the original plan is that the inner loop was standard 18" curves, while the outer was a freehand 20.5" radius using flextrack to maintain 2.5" track centers. In practice, this probably would not provide enough clearance for two trains to pass, especially if one or both had longer equipment with significant overhang. This is the reason the modified plan bumps the end of the layout out in that direction.
 

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Another collaborative effort, I really like how this one turned out, with a good mix of running and switching squeezed into an irregular 9x23 space. An HO design with a min curve radius of 22", #6 turnouts, and 2% inclines, this is an example of using inclines in BOTH directions (the tunnel tracks in the lower right slope DOWN while the uphill branch slopes up), thus providing the necessary clearance where they cross. The tunnel tracks then slope back up to base height to rejoin the layout on the left side.

My original had a town on the hills in the lower right, which my partner ultimately decided to delete in favor of natural scenery.

View attachment 137602
This one was a collaborative effort between me and the client. The final plan is his, much of the way it came together is mine.

This 24 x 26 HO scale layout represents a logging scene in the Pacific Northwest (although it could be in any heavily forested area. The upper and lower levels are separated by 9" vertically; the uppermost red track is the sloped track, which joins the levels at a 3% grade (fine for the small steam locos that will work it). The upper area is heavily forested with logging camps and sawmills; the lower area will be more densely populated (towns and industry). The staging yard on the gray peninsula is detachable, and is on a lifting, wheeled platform to drop and roll under the layout when not in use.

Design parameters are min radius 18", min turnout #4.

View attachment 137562

The above two are really interesting because they are somewhat close to the amount of space I actually have and i've been fighting with how to design my layout. What program did you use for the layout? Do you have a website for people who need some help w/ getting their layout completed properly and need help?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
This is the layout I plan to build for myself in the coming months. It is HO scale on a 5'x9' ping pong table top. This layout uses Peco code 83 with Peco #6 turnouts and one Shinohara #7.5 curved turnout. Minimum radius is 21.5"

EDIT: The two industrial spurs on the right side use Peco #4 turnouts.

LBS.jpg
 

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wow

thank you both so much . i think im going to go with the tommy boy layout as its closer to my 4 x 10 layout with inclines and bridges . believe me ive searched far and wide for layouts and mostly what ive discovered im not really ready for the more ( what i consider to be more complicated ones ) . like i said in another post im going to crawl before i walk . i still have a lot to learn and have a train hobby notebook ( write little notes ie solder type and others in there so im ready when i start laying track ) , but thanks again to wonderful forum and knowledgeable members . love scarm and how you can look at things in 3d just wish I was smart enough to know how to use .
mike
 

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love scarm and how you can look at things in 3d just wish I was smart enough to know how to use.
mike
Hello Mike,

SCARM is not hard to learn, but needs some practice. The best way to start is to watch the SCARM video tutorials - a set of short movies, describing most important aspects of handling the 2D editor for easy start of the track planning. Hope you will like it ;)

Mixy
 

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Hello Mike,

SCARM is not hard to learn, but needs some practice. The best way to start is to watch the SCARM video tutorials - a set of short movies, describing most important aspects of handling the 2D editor for easy start of the track planning. Hope you will like it ;)

Mixy
I plan on doing that . what bothers me the most about ho is that you can buy a ho engine but you may not be able to run it on your track because of radius restrictions . its kind of not fun . I have 3 ho engines that are 9 inches long . does that mean 18 in radius not big enough ?
 
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