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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

My 2 sons who are young are really into ho trains, so I'm building a layout for them in a basement room. My main concern, other than the layout design itself is that the space I have is for an L shaped layout that will end up being bracketed by walls on both the 2 outside faces of the L as well as the 2 end faces of the L, so only the 2 inside faces of the L will be accesible.

I can build the layout in the center of the room temporarily (in 2 sections) and then when they are done move the sections against the wall. But once it is in it's final resting place it will be hard to reach across the layout, especially in the corner. I could cut a few strategically placed holes in the table so I or the kids could go under the table and pop up. But I'm wondering what your thoughts are on how bad of an idea this could be?

Note, the layout dimensions are 14' x 10' by 4' width.
One main feature of this layout is that it needs to accomadate 2 operaters, so I'm working on a layout that has 2 independent loops that interconnect for 'cross country' trips. I'm attached an image of my very preliminary layout that still needs a lot of revision - so I'm very interested in any comments you have about it!

I'm planning on using dcc for this layout from the beginning and I already have
a good amount of atlas code 100 track - I'm hoping this is ok, especially for switches. I'm also curious about your thoughts on atlas switches verus atlas turnouts - geometrically they appear the same (although the turnount doesn't come with the small radius extension), but how do they differ in suitability for dcc swith control?

Thanks,

 

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Yard Master & Research
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10,652 Posts
Four feet is great if you have extendo arms. You need a three side access for four feet otherwise you are not doing yourself any favors. The larger layouts I have visited wind around with small paths barely passable by two adults. The track was two to three feet deep except fo the turnarounds I guess it adds to realism too. When you are working at turnout you cannot see the other members. Just look at a Model RR mag. It does not have to be big to be enjoyable. Look at the Gino Layout. A couple of loops and fun. A derailed train at four feet is "Dad It happened Again!". Trust me on that one.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the ideas everyone. I like what you did Gino, I think I could adapt my layout to a similiar cutout. The room wont really afford pulling it away from the walls. Although a third option (that I'm not sure about) is to cut people sized holes in three areas, one at each end and one in the corner.

About the layout - I think it needs work, I'm a beginner at this but it seems like I have a bunch of curved sidings which are probably not very effective. It seems like with our temporary track that cars wont couple very well on curves. I like the fact that I have 2 independent loops at each end since my kids only experiment with sharing stuff - they arn't really committed to it!

What they like to do with trains is what they call 'missions' where one kid invents a mission - like you have to get the grain car from this siding and take it to the farm, and then the other kid figures out how to make it happen. Although they're biggest thing right now is 'Can we go to the train store today?!.

On a side note, I need to find a decent dcc dealer in the toronto area or should I just go with internet sales? The 2 train stores I've been to, when asked about dcc have each said almost verbatim that 'we find it kind of intimidating' which I found really strange.

Thanks again.
 
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