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Discussion Starter #1
I’m a rookie HO railroader with a basic Life-Like set from childhood that I have custom tailored to my liking by collecting specific locomotives and specific rail cars that I preferred (Santa Fe, DuPont, ect…). Now I want to focus on expanding the basic oval layout and adding a few accessories.

I desperately need a rail yard. Other than some additional straight lines of track what else do I need in order to add a rail yard on the side of my current oval track? :dunno: I am working with limited space and I have a total of six locomotives each with their own rail cars and caboose. Rather than have to physically replace the whole train each time I want to change it up, I would like to have some sort of a rail yard on the side where I can park them all on display and then pull them out onto the track when needed.

What’s the most efficient way to do this for a part time model railroader that doesn’t have a permanent spot for his layout and has to disassemble and reassemble often. Any Help will be greatly appreciated.
 

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Santa Fe, first of all, welcome to the forum! We're glad to have you join us. You'll get responses from the HO people, but I've two basic suggestions. First, if you haven't already done so, find a door or a piece of plywood to attach your basic oval to. That will minimize your setup and teardown time. Second, a trick T-Man shared recently. You know how it looks when you lace your fingers together to give someone a boost over a wall? Add a switch to either end of your oval to make a railyard in the center to park them, lacing them like your fingers. From each, you can add additional switches for spurs, but space the spurs alternately, left-side/right-side. This allows you to use the center for a railyard and fasten all those spurs to the board, too.
 

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Tankist,

What if he uses a Mobius Loop and runs it over/under to increase the length of his track?
 

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Once, back in my enthusiastic bachelor days, I visited a Mobius Strip Club for a little action ... I didn't get very far, though :rolleyes:

TJ
 

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*LOL* that's because in a Mobius Strip Club, they never get to the end of the song. It just goes on and on and on....
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Here are the two original layouts I had in mind. My biggest draw back is that I have to drive a couple hours for a hobby store so most of my pieces and parts will be mail ordered. I just need to make sure I get the rite parts for the job. Plus I need to learn some of the terminology for all the different track pieces if I'm gonna branch out of the oval.

Dead end yard that would require backing down the track in reverse.


Dive through yard.

Which one would be most practical for a plywood sheet set up? Or are either of these layouts even possible in my situation?
Hey Reckers- if you could find a picture or diagram that would be great because I'm still trying to figure your way out in my head.
 

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i suggest you download anyrail (or any other) track planning software. what seems doable on paper will not be in reality.
your first layout is doable but storage is not as vast as it might seem. the second when you arrange turnout geometry properly you'll find out takes gobs of space in very useless manner. you might need to consider accomplishing it as add-on modules

take a look at layouts in my sig. IMHO the first couple entries in the competition are very nice way to accomplish a lot in very little of space.
also, the model railroader magazine did special booklet on compact layouts. for your consideration one of them is attached
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Hey Reckers check out the picture below (top picture) because I think I finally figured out what you were talking about.

Tankist- thanks for the link to that article. It was very informative.

OK guys I narrowed it down to these two choices. It makes much more sense to have the yard on the inside of the oval. So I have come up with the two new layouts below.
Which one would be the easiest to build and what specific track pieces do I need to start looking for?

Layout #1: I think this is what Reckers was trying to explain to me.


Layout #2: This is the one that I like the most.


Layout #1 looks way to busy and crowded. It also looks like it would be harder to build. Layout #2 is less confusing and it's the one I would prefer to build. But will it work? If so, then I can use all the help I can get composing the correct parts list.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
#2 is doable but if it is layed out on 4*8 you will find storage spurs not roomy at all. 2-3, 4 cars tops (to clear the ladder)
So do mean all six trains could only be 4 cars long in order to fit? I always assumed I could just buy additional straight track pieces for the sides and stretch the oval out as long as I wanted.
I may just be S.O.L. :confused:
 

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Here are the two original layouts I had in mind. My biggest draw back is that I have to drive a couple hours for a hobby store so most of my pieces and parts will be mail ordered. I just need to make sure I get the rite parts for the job. Plus I need to learn some of the terminology for all the different track pieces if I'm gonna branch out of the oval.

Dead end yard that would require backing down the track in reverse.


Dive through yard.

Which one would be most practical for a plywood sheet set up? Or are either of these layouts even possible in my situation?
Hey Reckers- if you could find a picture or diagram that would be great because I'm still trying to figure your way out in my head.
Santa Fe,

Sorry I haven't responded sooner: been travelling in the daytime for work and running errands with my honey in the evening. I searched for a pic and can't find one, and I can't figure a way to draw well on this pc (I'm at lunch at work). Let me try an image, though. Think of two dinner forks, the size of shovels. Hold one in your left hand and the other in the right hand, with the tines pointed at one another. The tines represent your yard spurs.

Now---if you keep them aligned, you have a lot of dead space. If you stagger them slightly, you can slide the tines to one between the tines of the other, effectively using the space you have. So, you have an oval the size of a swimming pool, with the handles of the forks representing two turnouts on opposites sides of your loop. by staggering the spurs, you can mesh them between one another and double your yard usage. Reduce the image and you have an oval of track with a left turnout and a right turnout, each leading into it's own ladder of spurs, and the spurs mesh between each other like the fingers of your hands would.
 
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