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Discussion Starter #1
As I've probably mentioned too often, I'm mulling over what I want for a layout once I move this summer. I run S scale, which is, in size, halfway between O and HO. One of my priorities is to have lots of space, so the limitation I'm pondering is table-top surface. In other words, what is too big to be usable? If you have 4-side access, is 6' x 10' or 8' x 12' just too large to work with? I've even given thought to 3 separate 4' x 8' tables linked with narrow runs of track. My gf (She Who Must Be Obeyed) has told me she wants something larger than 4' x 8' for her combo Motorific track/Christmas Village, and she wants to see the train servicing her town, as well. I'm no cabinetmaker, but I have the tools and enough skill to do the job. Finally, items that please me are: 1. Tunnels, 2. Long, straight stretches where the locomotive can hit sustained full-speed, and 3. Two trains doing that in opposite directions on side-by-side tracks, preferably crossing a bridge.

So...how big a table is too large to work with?:eek::eek::eek:
 

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Yard Master & Research
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Length wise the longest hasn't been built. 4 ft is a lot, so 8 ft if you have 360 degree access. 4+ might be possible if you go up a mountain.On amazon they have 101 track plans. Maybe it might be an investment.
Have Fun.
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for your input---I'll take it into account. On the S scale, it looks like I need 40" plus clearance of width to make a simple oval. To expand beyond an oval, that doesn't leave me a lot options except going up or going out further. Going out would require more width, and going up will mean climbing a grade, so I might need more length.
Soooo....I'm toying with the idea of a sort of mountain in the center of a 4 x 8, with the center being mostly landscaping and the train corkscrewing around it with some tunnels. I could do some modular sections on the outside to add to it, once the initial 4 x 8 is done. I thought that, once the center part is done, there won't be much reaching needed---the train would be primarily on the perimeter of the 4 x 8. By including some turnouts, I could later add a module on one end that would be my yard; later still, another set of turnouts to leave the 4 x 8 altogether and race across the basement to another table, and then a 3rd. I love my daydreams!!!

Thanks for your help,
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I should add that, given 6 or 8 months to plan this thing out, why not go with something big and stupid?
 

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Length wise the longest hasn't been built. 4 ft is a lot, so 8 ft if you have 360 degree access. 4+ might be possible if you go up a mountain.On amazon they have 101 track plans. Maybe it might be an investment.
Have Fun.
Bob
I'll check out the amazon thing, T, and see if they have S scale plans. My ancient track is a lot less flexible than the new stuff, but I'd like to stick with it. If I'm lucky, your source took me into account. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I haven't got a clue, Tankist. My gf and I have decided to go from an apartment to a rental house this summer---our toys need room. We've agreed that having an useable basement is a big priority, for the trains and cars. At this point, we have to wait for about June to find a place, so all I can do is chafe at the delay and spin my wheels, planning and researching every detail I can think of.
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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I haven't got a clue, Tankist. My gf and I have decided to go from an apartment to a rental house this summer---our toys need room. We've agreed that having an useable basement is a big priority, for the trains and cars. At this point, we have to wait for about June to find a place, so all I can do is chafe at the delay and spin my wheels, planning and researching every detail I can think of.

Find a place out of a flood zone if your going to build the layout in the dungeon.

That's the first maps I checked out when I was looking for my house.

My basement got flooded once and that was when the former owner went to Florida for a month.
The washer hose burst, luckily the neighbor looked in on the house every once and a while and caught it.



There was 16 inches in the basement if it was not for him looking in it would have filled till it came out the windows.:laugh:

My house is high and dry. Been through some bad Northesters and a few tropical storms and a lot of cat and dog down pours and not a drop.
 

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I agree with tankist.

If you can't reach things, it's just going to be frustrating. Make sure you account for a growing belly (half-joking) in your calculations. I've lost 2 inches of reach since I got married (my wife loves cooking/baking) and another 2 since I started modelling. Must be all the increase in baking and beer consumption.

In N scale, I made sure that I only ever had to reach 30-inches. That way, I can gain another 50 pounds and still reach things. ;)

Cheers!
Randall
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Big Ed and Randall,

Thank you both for your input. The floodplain issue is significant here; I've always looked at topo maps before renting or buying houses for that reason. Last year, we had some intense storms that resulted in people canoeing down the main roads in some areas. Randall, I'm a great cook and I quit smoking in about '95; let's just say my girth has increased as I've aged. *L* Right now, I'm just tossing ideas around in my head and bouncing them off you guys with a request to shoot holes in them for me, so I appreciate all criticism. So....try this idea for the shooting range. At shows, people roll in modular sections that link up, etc. My thought is that I should be able to easily reach across a 4 x 8, if I have 4-sided access. So, if I want extra surface area to work with, I could add roll-away modules to any of the sides for extension aprons. Also, if my track radius is 40", that leaves a lot of space in the center for static items---scenery, buildings, and so on. Perhaps I'm naive', but it seems to me that, once in place, their access stops being an issue. Again, I'm hoping anyone who disagrees will feel free to slap me around and call me names, 'cause that's why I'm posting all this. So, if the track is mostly spiraling up the oval before leaving the table, how much of a problem is accessing the center?
 
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