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I done a preliminary layout for my attic space of 14'W X 12'D on the SCARM program. The layout is basically a 3 Railroad Lines with convergence in a common yard. I have just done the basics of the mainlines. I did not do sidings/yard detail yet. It is mostly train watching. but with sidings/yard added will have switching capability. Would like any critique or improvement ideas. I labeled what sections envisioned for the completion. The plan size itself is 12"W X 11'D. Max grade is 2%, Min radius 12.4", Clearance bridges/tunnels 2". And though the plan has a lot of KATO track, most will be built as much flex track after I run out of the KATO track I do own. I have included a 3D View, and Track plan below. Thank you in advance for your comments,ideas,or improvements.
 

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Do you plan to add any sidings for switching operations, or is your objective to watch trains cruise through the landscape?
 

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What kind of layout do you want?

As CTValley suggests, your track plan, as is, would be good for running several trains through scenery. It does not seem to have much in the way of switching, which is essential for formal operation vs. just watching them roll through the landscape. This is a choice that each individual modeler encounters early on. There is no "right" or "wrong" involved. It's simply a matter of your personal preference. Your track plan does not bear much resemblance to the "track plan" used by real railroads; a long, thin, and largely straight line. I don't know if that's something you are interested in. or not. Again no right or wrong, just whatever you want to end up with.
If, and only if, you do want to go to a more realistic representation of a real railroad; I have written pdf files on how to do that. They are contained within the first sticky post in the "Beginner's Q & A" section; titled "Help a new modeler to get started."
If, on the other hand, you don't want to switch to that kind of model railroad, you might just add a few sidings in your "coal" "industrial area", lumber, and "port" areas to give your present plan more long term operating potential.

Enjoy whatever you choose;

Traction Fan:smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Thanks all for your input. Like I wrote in the beginning, this as a preliminary layout. I did not add any sidings at that point. Here is the updated plan with sidings. I think I got carried away though. and i not added passing sings yet. So here is the update
 

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I think you're well on your way to an exciting and involving layout there. Some of the track configuration in your yard area with the brown track looks awfully wonky -- maybe see if you can lengthen things and straighten them out and avoid those football-shaped "curves into turnouts" situations, which might cause some operational problems.

Also, it's hard to tell from the drawing and with no obvious scale, but with those wide expanses of table surface, you may some reach issues, especially if you can't get in from all sides.

One other concern: this is a massive undertaking. Is it fair to assume this isn't your first layout?
 

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Please attach your SCARM files so others can view and modify them with suggestions. Unfortunately, your layout is so big that those of us with the free (limited use) version of SCARM will not be able to help very much.

Chuck
 

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Thanks all for your input. Like I wrote in the beginning, this as a preliminary layout. I did not add any sidings at that point. Here is the updated plan with sidings. I think I got carried away though. and i not added passing sings yet. So here is the update
Wow, amazing, I like the 'wonky' as I have seen so much of that in real life in and around the congested rr trackplans in and about NYC.
 

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CTVallley- Yes-I built a L Shape before. I may need to put access in mountain,and city areas. The total layout is 144" W x132" H. It will go in a 14;X12' room. I am sure I will modify this the sidings and yard ore as I progress.

PRR1950- I tried to attach the SCARM file, but it would not upload. How do I do this? I also can break this down into separate sections, to be within the 100 piece max.

Nikola- Yes I grew up in live in the Tri-state area. Saw many configurations you mentioned. It is great to see them standing from a bridge above.

SantaFe Jim-Thanks for the tip. I like keep one though, as I already have that track piece.

Panther - Yes I accounted for that by making the plan smaller than the room size
 

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Agreed on double crossovers looking strange and excessive. The one under the bridge probably can be separated into two discrete crossovers and the one to the right can probably be eliminated altogether, not very sure what it really enables .

As Red section right in front middle - do you have idea how you will be operating it? In prototype we do see strange solutions sometimes but is there a definite reason for such back and forth switchback action here? What is the goal? How is it going to run? If it's an industrial area I'd leave some room for streets too.

On my first layout I think my most regrettable mistake was not to include staging area. Some people go as far as suggesting planning for staging even before you do main layout.

Just my .02 cents worth
Good luck.
 

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Attach Files

BIG NOTE: This forum will not let you upload files with the ".scarm" extension. Therefore, you will have to rename the file with an extension the forum allows, and ".pdf" looks pretty good to me.

To attach files, you now have to use the "Post Reply" button at the end of your thread. (Do NOT use the "Quick Reply" box.) Say something in the box like, "Here are the SCARM files for my track-plan, but if you want to look at them in SCARM, be sure to rename them to xxx.scarm." and then scroll to the end of the box. Under "Additional Options," you will see Manage Attachments.

Click on that button and then click on first Choose File button to select the file you wish to upload. NOTE AGAIN: you must have renamed the SCARM file with an acceptable extension before you get here or this will not work. Close the Manage Attachments box and click on Submit Reply button. Your post with the renamed attachment should appear in the thread.

Chuck
 

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Unlimited budget?

Thanks all for your input. Like I wrote in the beginning, this as a preliminary layout. I did not add any sidings at that point. Here is the updated plan with sidings. I think I got carried away though. and i not added passing sings yet. So here is the update
lend33;

I agree with you that you may have "gotten carried away. The shear number of turnouts shown in your revised plan would be a huge expense. I don't know how much money you have available to put into this layout. A decent quality turnout (Peco, Micro Engineering, or Walthers/Shinohara) costs about $30 for each turnout retail. For such a large layout, you will likely want most/all of the turnouts to be remote controlled. That means buying a commercial switch machine for each turnout. Peco makes twin-coil machines to fit under their turnouts. Many modelers like the Tortoise switch machine sold by Circuitron. They retail for about $18 each. Multiply these prices by the large number 0f turnouts in your plan + those for the passing sidings yet to be added, and you are talking some serious cost! You can find sales and discounts on these items, but it's still going to be a major cash outlay.

There are also alternatives. It's possible to build your own turnouts and you can also build your own switch machines to operate your turnouts. Doing either/ or both of those things will save a lot of money, but take more of your time.
One alternative I suggest you avoid is using the Atlas "Snap Switch" turnouts with their switch machine mounted on the side of each turnout. These are cheaper than the other brands I mentioned earlier. However both the turnout itself, and the attached switch machine, are cheaply made and unreliable. Atlas's "custom Line numbered turnouts (#4, #6, etc.) are better than the "Snap Switch' type, but not as well made and reliable as the other brands mentioned previously. Reliability is something that is important on any model railroad, and even more important on one as large, and complex as the one you are considering. If each turnout needs adjustment/repair/replacement once a year, multiplying that by your large number of turnouts means you will spend a good deal of your time doing this repair work, rather than running trains. The same holds true for switch machines and anything else mechanical on the railroad.
This boils down to the old saying, "keep it simple, stupid." No offense intended, we have all bitten off more than we can chew on occasion.
Have you built other layouts before? Unless you have plenty of model railroad construction experience, and perhaps even if you do; I'd recommend you consider something simpler. I also strongly recommend building your railroad in sections no bigger than 2'x4'. This size will fit on a workbench, or table, which makes construction, wiring etc. much, much easier and saves you from working under the layout. The small sections can also be moved easier if you have to move to another home, or want to take your layout to a train show for display. Another very nice thing about sectional construction is that you can work on, and complete, one section at a time, instead of trying to build the entire layout all at the same time. Either way you are going to invest years of your time, and many hundreds of your dollars in this project.

good luck;

Traction Fan:smilie_daumenpos:
 

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I am building my first lay out. And I keep expanding it everytime I work on it. I think it would drive me crazy working on a 2 foot section at a time. It would get extremely boring for me. But of course I don't have a finished layout, but really am in no rush to finish it. Currently I have 36 switches on my layout and as others say they take time to perfect, no question.

I get into doing certain things, then when I get bored with it, I move to another part, continously changing, improving on my skills hopefully, learning how to improve on painting, shadowing and eventually lighting. My main problem now is that I like the way things are turning out now, and really don't like what I did at first, so eventually it will get changed, so finishing down to the enth detail would be a waste of time and money.

Mine is all steel framed and bolted to the concrete floor, it will never be moved as long as I am alive. The building is paid for so it should be around for the grand kids to come and play with and maybe theirs, who knows. I figure I have another 10 years or so to work on it at best.

It is a large N scale lay out,close to 600 foot of track, with a planned 80 foot addition coming this winter. But only plan at this time to add two switchs to the lay out. A giant loop around a small town which will be modeled after area south of the Beaumont/Banning pass area. Mountains with large, roundish boulders.

So I guess what I am saying, it is your layout, your railroad, and who cares if it is perfect, or what the railroad would have done. Build it as big as you want or as small as you want. The key to this is enjoying yourself. I don't think you have to worry about the Model railroad inspector coming to your house, well maybe if you are in California, and they can figure a way to make money off of it. lol
 

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So I guess what I am saying, it is your layout, your railroad, and who cares if it is perfect, or what the railroad would have done. Build it as big as you want or as small as you want. The key to this is enjoying yourself. I don't think you have to worry about the Model railroad inspector coming to your house, well maybe if you are in California, and they can figure a way to make money off of it. lol
I don't think there are too many people here who would disagree with you. My motto is, "Your layout, your rules", and many people in this hobby share it.

On the other hand, what is the point of posting a layout under a thread entitled "Feedback on this N Scale Layout" if you don't want to hear what people think about it? We don't offer criticism and / or suggestions because we want to be unkind or because we believe there is only one right way to do things, but because it was asked for. There is a lot of collective wisdom on this forum, representing a couple of millenia of collective experience. Only a fool thinks he has all the answers.

At the end of the day, he doesn't have to take any of the suggestions offered, but he ought to do something or not do it because he believes it's right for him, not because there was a gap in his knowledge.
 

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Amen

I don't think there are too many people here who would disagree with you. My motto is, "Your layout, your rules", and many people in this hobby share it.

On the other hand, what is the point of posting a layout under a thread entitled "Feedback on this N Scale Layout" if you don't want to hear what people think about it? We don't offer criticism and / or suggestions because we want to be unkind or because we believe there is only one right way to do things, but because it was asked for. There is a lot of collective wisdom on this forum, representing a couple of millenia of collective experience. Only a fool thinks he has all the answers.

At the end of the day, he doesn't have to take any of the suggestions offered, but he ought to do something or not do it because he believes it's right for him, not because there was a gap in his knowledge.
CTValley;

I agree with PoppetFlatsRR that each person should model whatever way they wish to. I wouldn't build a railroad the same way that he wants to, so why would he, or anyone else, build one exactly like mine?
My posted opinions, and questions, were quite open-ended, I think. Basically, "here are some options, and which one do you want to pursue?" "Here's some info on costs, and some options for reducing them." Do what you want with it.
As for "model railroad inspectors" we used to call them "nit pickers" or "rivet counters." I always gave them all the attention that they deserved, none.

I also agree completely with your posted explanations regarding the fact that the OP asked for opinions, and is not obligated to accept any of them. Excellent post by you!

regards;

Traction Fan:smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Sorry CT, did't mean to step on any toes. Just wanted him to know if he liked it, he should feel good to go with it.

Anxious to see how it comes along.
 

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Sorry CT, did't mean to step on any toes. Just wanted him to know if he liked it, he should feel good to go with it.

Anxious to see how it comes along.
Didn't take it that way. It was more of a general commentary on handling the comments.

He absolutely MUST understand that no one is (or can) directing him to do something.
 
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