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A couple of comments. First of all, you only need to build your modules to a standard if you're going to interface with modules built by someone else. If it's your own layout, you can use whatever layout you want, since you will control where the tracks join on all of your modules.

In the upper layout, you could build the yard as two modules (2x2 and 2x3), a short bridge with the feed track to the yard, and the rest as a 4x4 (you might have to shorten the side to side dimension slightly).

My advice would be to forget about grades in a space that small. In order to make the elevation change significant enough to be noticeable, you would have to incorporate a slope of i,possible steepness. Evan at 3%, which is steep enough to be problematic for HO models, in a foot of horizontal distance, you can change the elevation by 0.36", or under 3/8 of an inch. That's hardly worth the headaches a grade could cause.

I will say, though, that both of those plans have issues. The bottom one has a kinked curve in block 5 (by your numbering system), and looks like it's done using 15" curves, which are trouble for all but the shortest locos and rolling stock.

The top one appears to use Anyrail, so I'm familiar with the conventions. He has an overly sharp kink leaving the turnout at the bottom of the loop (see the short red line in the center of the track?), and 3 joints aren't actually connected (see the joints that have arrows instead of circles?), which means there may be more kinks than the software shows.

I also need to remember that you and I have different definitions when it comes to "operating potential". You use the term to refer to trains in motion. For me, it refers to trains behaving more or less like the real thing: going places and either picking up or dropping off cargos and empties.
 

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"I also need to remember that you and I have different definitions when it comes to "operating potential". You use the term to refer to trains in motion. For me, it refers to trains behaving more or less like the real thing: going places and either picking up or dropping off cargos and empties."

Yes, a useful distinction, that. Perhaps it could be divided into "rolling operations," in where two or more trains are kept in constant forward motion, passing at sidings, stopping at crossings, and "fixed based operations" where cars are picked up, dropped off, classified, and made into trains.

And then of course, there is good old fashioned caboose chasing.

I've done both, and being able to combine the two facets of operations at once is an engaging challenge. Kadee couplers favor hands off fixed based operations, but as I am a simple modeler, I find that uncoupling horn hooks with a small screw driver good enough for me.

I dropped two videos into the video section regarding switching operations with horn hook couplers, as well as a test of the original Tyco horn hook uncoupler.
 

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Really struggling on a track plan

Hey everyone,

I wanted to reach out to other members to see if anyone on here designs layouts based on what I want on it? Does anyone design them free? Simply because they love that aspect of the hobby or does anyone design for a low cost flat fee?

This is my first true layout and I can not for the life of me find or decide how this layout should go. That’s the only thing holding me up on progress. I have looked online, offline, track plan magazines etc.

My train room bench work figures are. Right wall is 14’ 2” long 3’ 4” wide, the rear wall is
8’ 10” long X 3’ 6” wide, left wall is 14’ 2 1/2 “ long, 2’ 10 1/2” wide. From this point the benchwork takes a right coming out in the middle of the floor and it’s 7’ 8” long then the benchwork makes another right turn onto a peninsula and it’s 4’ 2” long and 2’ 4” wide.

I know it’s a big layout but I am just sure someone on here can help me with drawing this thing. I grew up in a small mining town so I want to do a couple three mining sites, I want a lake or 4 on it, a creek or 2 on it, I would like a tunnel or 5 on it, a downtown area, some industry, a bridge or 5 on it. Lots of Forrest here and there, I have about 100 switches, TONs of rolling stock and of course a yard or train facility for all my engines to set around here and there. A couple yards with at least one with turn table space
I want a 70,s, 80’s and 90’s era on the layout.

So I don’t ask for much right? :laugh: I have 4 boxes coming of new 3’ foot long track code 100 with 25 of them per box. I’m sure I will need more no doubt. However I have a ton track already with all shapes, short or tall, big and small. I have everything I need to begin building scenery and mountains.

If any of you offer this service please contact me. Thanks for reading and I hope this route pays off so I can begin the work on the layout.
 

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You have room for a very nice layout and a pretty good idea of what you want.
I for one would suggest you get some track planning software. Anyrail or Scarm.
For the money they are worth it. You'll end up with a much better layout.

It doesn't take much to get your bench work laid out and than you can see what the limits are.
You are looking at the 70s to the 90s era. That's big and long locos and rolling stock.
These need larger radius curves and I don't see an area large enough to make an 180°
turn. You'll need at least 24 inch radius curves and even bigger would be better.

To start with just use Atlas sectional track to get an idea of what is possible.
It's the easiest to work with an get ideas, once you do that you can start
on a more real plan using flex track and your turnouts (switches)
This will give you a more realistic idea what is possible.

If you haven't seen it here is a link to some excellent information from traction fan.
https://www.modeltrainforum.com/showpost.php?p=2378592&postcount=4

Start a thread in HO or My Layout forums and you'll get plenty of help.

Magic
 

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You have room for a very nice layout and a pretty good idea of what you want.
I for one would suggest you get some track planning software. Anyrail or Scarm.
For the money they are worth it. You'll end up with a much better layout.

It doesn't take much to get your bench work laid out and than you can see what the limits are.
You are looking at the 70s to the 90s era. That's big and long locos and rolling stock.
These need larger radius curves and I don't see an area large enough to make an 180°
turn. You'll need at least 24 inch radius curves and even bigger would be better.

To start with just use Atlas sectional track to get an idea of what is possible.
It's the easiest to work with an get ideas, once you do that you can start
on a more real plan using flex track and your turnouts (switches)
This will give you a more realistic idea what is possible.

If you haven't seen it here is a link to some excellent information from traction fan.
https://www.modeltrainforum.com/showpost.php?p=2378592&postcount=4

Start a thread in HO or My Layout forums and you'll get plenty of help.

Magic
Hey Magic,

I have tried Anyrail and I have gotten very rusty at using software such as this one. I have a hard time being able to set up a layout via this software. Also, I think my era is a bit jacked up. It’s hard to explain but maybe it’s better said as a somewhat modern era with that small town feel. I mainly run diesels short and a little longer but nothing extremely long such as the steams you mentioned.

I have actually spotted a layout plan on the forum that sparks my interest. The dimensions are close in size as well as overall shape of of my bench work. I think I am going to use it to get things cooking. I will have to alter it here and there of course but it’s the closest find yet that interests me.

Thanks for responding. I am going to have a look at the link you sent me.
 

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Hey everyone,

I wanted to reach out to other members to see if anyone on here designs layouts based on what I want on it? Does anyone design them free? Simply because they love that aspect of the hobby or does anyone design for a low cost flat fee?

This is my first true layout and I can not for the life of me find or decide how this layout should go. That’s the only thing holding me up on progress. I have looked online, offline, track plan magazines etc.

My train room bench work figures are. Right wall is 14’ 2” long 3’ 4” wide, the rear wall is
8’ 10” long X 3’ 6” wide, left wall is 14’ 2 1/2 “ long, 2’ 10 1/2” wide. From this point the benchwork takes a right coming out in the middle of the floor and it’s 7’ 8” long then the benchwork makes another right turn onto a peninsula and it’s 4’ 2” long and 2’ 4” wide.

I know it’s a big layout but I am just sure someone on here can help me with drawing this thing. I grew up in a small mining town so I want to do a couple three mining sites, I want a lake or 4 on it, a creek or 2 on it, I would like a tunnel or 5 on it, a downtown area, some industry, a bridge or 5 on it. Lots of Forrest here and there, I have about 100 switches, TONs of rolling stock and of course a yard or train facility for all my engines to set around here and there. A couple yards with at least one with turn table space
I want a 70,s, 80’s and 90’s era on the layout.

So I don’t ask for much right?
I have 4 boxes coming of new 3’ foot long track code 100 with 25 of them per box. I’m sure I will need more no doubt. However I have a ton track already with all shapes, short or tall, big and small. I have everything I need to begin building scenery and mountains.

If any of you offer this service please contact me. Thanks for reading and I hope this route pays off so I can begin the work on the layout.
I sent you a PM.
 

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Here is my layout sketch for a layout planned for later this year. Each square is 6"x6". The scale is 2 feet to the inch.

As staging yard is planned for under the main yard and a helix at the bottom to take the main yard down to staging.

Minimum radius is 32". Sidings are 20' Visible track will be code 83 and staging code 100. Planning on Peco turnouts along with a few Walthers DCC friendly or Shinohara curved.

 

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Here is another layout done for one of our members. It's filling a finished room over a garage (basic room outlines are in the pic).

The primary focus of the layout was two independent loops, with a single interconnect, to run trains. I used the top of the yard ladder to create a reversing loop, just in case the operator wanted to reverse the direction of a train. Using the crossovers at the bottom, it could be redirected to either loop.

There is an S curve (red track) and some very narrow passageways. These were judged to be acceptable compromises in the final plan -- they may not be for everyone, although the S curve could be eliminated by using flex track to put a much gentler curve through that area.

There is not a lot of space for scenery on this layout. This was by design -- the primary focus is rail-fanning.
Seth D Layout #1- Mod 1.jpg
 

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This is a roughly 12x25 HO scale double deck with a helix. Not meant to model any prototype (like most of my designs) so industries and detailing is open to user definition. The yellowish square in the corner is the helix with 22" radius curves. The grade would be a little steep for long trains but it also doesnt eat up much floor space. It's assumed the yard is over the helix by a few inches even though I dont have the elevation measurements on the plan.
 

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This is an exhibit or even a club sized layout I made based off a 1953 trackage map of the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Rwy I found online. Since I'm originally from Spokane I thought it would be fun to recreate this fallen flag. I couldnt incorporate everything into the layout, so I just tried to hit the main hubs and a few little stops along the way. It's a 25x50 double deck HO scale point to point with plenty of isle space for multiple ops crews.
 

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Vienna & Carthage

Does anyone have the Vienna & Carthage track plan? Any search I do only comes up with an artist conception drawing and is difficult to make out the details. It's HO 9X15, Thanks, Paul
 
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