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Discussion Starter #1
Well I found this HO layout on line and I really like it. http://tysmodelrailroad.blogspot.com/p/design-planning.html I am a "continous run" kind of guy, but will most likely add on a 2'x4' yard in the future. Since I have only a 10' x 15' room for my layout, this 4'x8' one fits the bill for me. Before I start to purchase lots of stuff, I wanted to put this question out there. Good choice? Has anyone built this besides TY? Please feel free to comment or offer any advice or opinion. I can take it. :)
 

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It's much more sophisticated than the heavy majority of first time layouts, but it's doable, and interesting.

There are better configurations than an oval or a figure 'eight' layout track plan, certainly better than what would fit on Ye Olde Plywoode Pacifique 4X8. I mean, if you're strapped for resources, including space and money, that's an excellent first kick at the cat. You could learn a lot building a decent example of that track plan with your own personal twists to it. But, if you have some room to spare, or to beg, you might want to look at something that isn't so congested with tracks. Railroads are congested with rolling stock on single track mains, but not with a lot of expensive trackage. Do you really need that second main, even it has a gee whiz complexity? Remember, your layout has to depict something approximating a real place. Yes, a first effort may not be terribly 'good' or realistic when it is deemed to be done and a new idea is coming. But if you'd like to get a solid year's worth of fun out of your creation, try to do with less trackage, more interesting switching, and more terrain, trees, a bridge, a tunnel maybe, a small stub-end switching yard...some houses, a church. You can't cram much into a 4X8, but it'll get crowded if it's too cluttered with turnouts and tracks between them.
 

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Just be aware that if you go with a turntable, the entire left side will be taken up with stuff; roundhouse, diesel fueling facilities, maintenance office building, sanding tower, water facility (diesel) water tower (steam), coal tower, ash pit.

A roundhouse is rarely a stand alone structure.

Are you going with DCC?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi again Dennis, I agree that a turntable is not stand alone and therefore I was looking to fit a small yard in its place. Anyway, I don't think a turntable is required unless you are running some steam locos. As for DCC... YES! most definately I will be going with DCC. I have been doing a lot of reading on the DCC systems available for a beginner and my LHS proprietor suggests I go with the NCE Power Cab.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Mensenteria... Thanks for the reply and your input. Can you suggest any of the "better configurations than an oval or a figure 'eight' layout track plan, certainly better than what would fit on Ye Olde Plywoode Pacifique 4X8". I am constricted by size.. i.e. 4'x8', but without sounding too much like I have a money tree in the back yard, I'm not too strapped for $$$. So let me know if you come across a good looking 4x8 layout that will have some up and down mountians with continous run and maybe a bridge and tunnel. Thanks... JOHN
 

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A 4 X 8 sheet is a very minimum for HO. It permits
a 22" radius but barely. Simply adding a foot or two
at each end would improve the situation.

The reason radius is important, you cannot run the large
6 wheel truck locos and many steamers on curves with
a smaller radius. The figure 8 in your posted layout
would be nearly impossible and could accomodate only
small 4 wheel locos due to the radically small radius.


Since you are going in with DCC, I would also agree that
you should consider a single track main. You know you can
run two trains on the same track at the same time with
train A going clockwise and train B going counter
clockwise. This does require 2 or more passing sidings
so one train can park as the other passes. This makes for
more interesting operating. Another reason for going
with single track main is again the curve radius problem.
The inner of a 2 track main would have much sharper
radius and again limit the type of locos that could run on it.

Now you could add to your continuous running interest
by creating a figure eight by using 4 turnouts
to connect the crossing with your end curves. This,
however would create 2 reverse loops that would
require 2 reverse loop controllers.

If you haven't already done so, by all means check the
various layouts in our layout design forum. You'll find
two large threads crammed with the layouts of our
members and other layouts that are yet to be built.
You can see certain aspects that you like in one layout, and
other aspects in other layouts. Then see how you can
fit these together to fit your space.

Don
 

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Is a 9x5 an option? If you're a fan of running loops, the larger curves allowed by a 9x5 (pong pong table side)can really pay dividends. A26+ outer loop an 22 or 23 inner with more for inside activity.

Even if you stick with the original track plan, being able to space things out a bit will make for a better looking layout.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Don, Thanks so much for the additional info. I have not checked out the layout design forum because I did not know it existed! So thank you very much for that. Now I will be up all night checking it out. I can expand the layout if I move it from my "Hobby Room" to the main area of the basement. I had a 6x12 slot car layout in there but there is no heat and the temp in that room goes down to 55 degrees. IT put a "chill" on my enjoyment and therefore I didn't do much with it. My hobby room is 10x15 and its all mine! heated too! So maybe I can find something that will work for me with a few modifications.I really do want to run the six wheel locos......
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Eilif... The 5x9 just might be an option for me. It will fit in the heated room and perhaps work out for the better. I have not yet gone beyond the design stage yet, soooooo Let me take a look arournd on the design forum that Don just told me about...
 

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Eilif... The 5x9 just might be an option for me. It will fit in the heated room and perhaps work out for the better. I have not yet gone beyond the design stage yet, soooooo Let me take a look arournd on the design forum that Don just told me about...
Cool.
I think there real value to keeping all your curves at around 22". 22" is not large but it will handle almost anything except the largest steam locos. On the other hand there's allot of modern equipment that just won't on run on 18".

I've only got one loop and a couple turnouts down but the only 18"curves on my plan is a hidden siding that only hoppers and the occasional stitcher will use.

Lastly if you check Craigslist you may be able to find an old plywood ping pong table and save yourself a bunch of time and money on bench work construction.
https://chicagovalleyrailroad.blogspot.com/2018/11/budget-railroading-4x8-plywood-or-maybe.html?m=1
I did.
 

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You've gotten a lot of advice so far, but two points really jump out at me that need to be emphasized. First of all, the only rules that apply to your layout are physical ones, such as how many locos can you fun on the DCC system you chose, how much resistance is in your track, how tight you can make your curves and still get reliable running, how smooth your track work is, etc. There is absolutely no requirement that your layout resemble a real place, or even have any scenery at all. As long as your trains have room to pass on adjacent track, there is no reason why you can't cram track into every available inch of layout space. You do what you want. Consider, though, that most people aren't content to watch a train chase its tail all day. Eventually, they want to actually DO something with the trains. This is where structures, scenery, and other non-track items become important. It's much better to think this stuff through in advance than to rip out and redo large sections of a layout.

The other point is that, so far, your thinking is squarely in the box. You have all this space available to you, and you're thinking of a small rectangle in the middle and a ton of wasted space all around. Think about how you can use that space (the layout design forum will help a lot, especially the two sticky threads with layout plans). 10 x 15 is a very nice space, really; it would be a shame to waste it on a 4x8 or 5x9. If you really CAN relocate to the other part of the basement, don't think about moving the whole layout; think about how you can selectively use some of that space to complement your layout, like a yard, a return loop, or even a whole separate section.

Since you're new to the hobby, be careful of biting off more than you can chew. Start small, but plan to build modularly, so that expansion is easy, and planned from the outset.
 

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I like continuous running too with a train change every now and then or running two on the same track while balancing the speed of each. I'm a watcher and I don't like to be bothered with switching or other operations that keep me from enjoying the watching.

I have other aspects of model railroading to keep me busy like scenery, structures, lighting, signaling, etc.

I have just built a 76"x18" extension to the layout for a five track yard for train storage and staging. It is not going to be any sort of a switching location or for building trains.

I'm starting to accumulate more trains than I have active track space for, and I don't like displaying trains or locomotives on a shelf. I want them on the track and ready to go when I want to run them.
 

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Shelf layout?

Well I found this HO layout on line and I really like it. http://tysmodelrailroad.blogspot.com/p/design-planning.html I am a "continous run" kind of guy, but will most likely add on a 2'x4' yard in the future. Since I have only a 10' x 15' room for my layout, this 4'x8' one fits the bill for me. Before I start to purchase lots of stuff, I wanted to put this question out there. Good choice? Has anyone built this besides TY? Please feel free to comment or offer any advice or opinion. I can take it. :)


FiremistSLK;

A 10' x 15' room should be more than adequate for a good shelf layout, with the continuous running that you want. The "sections 3 & 4" part of my six-file series, "How to build a better first layout" shows four sketches, three of which will work well in HO-scale, of such layouts, designed to fit a smaller room. You could simply extend any of the three out to fit your larger room.

The track plan on your link is a typical 4x8 track-cram type. There is nothing "wrong" with building this type of layout, but the track plan is not something a real railroad would ever build. So, if it's supposed to be a model of, (or at least close to) a part of a real railroad, then it isn't.

However, some folks don't care about realism. They are quite content to just watch trains go around and around, in oval, and figure-eight, patterns. Again, nothing "wrong" with this approach either, it's just a matter of your personal preference.

A shelf layout often takes up less space than a 4x8 one, yet it looks, and operates, more like a real railroad. It also provides easy access to all of the track. A 4x8 that butts up against a wall, or two walls, does not provide easy access. Four feet is an awfully long reach, and yet the back track will need cleaning,occasional maintenance, and the re-railing of trains, just as much as the front track. The attached files have lots of information on model railroads in general, and shelf layouts in particular. Look through them if you want, you may find them helpful.

Your railroad, your choice. Whatever makes you happy will automatically be the "right" type of railroad for you.

Good luck and Have fun!

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

View attachment WHERE DO I START rev 4.pdf

View attachment 1 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 2 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 3 & 4 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 5 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 6 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment All AboutTurnouts rev 5.pdf

View attachment MODEL RAILROADING ON A BUDGET.pdf

View attachment Model Railroad Terminology 3.pdf
 

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oh no, My layout is of no particular time or place! Are the MRR police gonna come and taze me? No absolutes to a train set except the train. Build it, lay track and have fun. Change it, remake it, personalize it how you will. Put down what you want to see run on and run it.

Your Road...your rules.
 

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oh no, My layout is of no particular time or place! Are the MRR police gonna come and taze me? No absolutes to a train set except the train. Build it, lay track and have fun. Change it, remake it, personalize it how you will. Put down what you want to see run on and run it.

Your Road...your rules.
My attitude exactly! I like to watch my trains run, buy what appeals to me no matter the era, etc. I even have oodes of hot wheels jut cause they are cool, so what is a little big!

I built a version of the Granite Gorge and Northern to watch, minimal switching, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ha Ha ...Yup! Well said Chip... and quigly7777. I like to watch my trains run, too. And on a large bench type layout. I do not care for the "around the room" type layouts. I will never design a layout that resembles a REAL railroad. No one would know it but the person that built it! So... I will expand the layout of my choice (the one built by TY) to 5x9 and design it a little better using 24"r for the main line and minimum 22"r on the remainder of the plan. A small yard will replace the turntable. Remember, I want to run the big 6 wheel diesels and DCC. Thanks to all for your input... John
 

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Just out of curiosity, what is it about around the rom-type layouts that you don't like.

And FWIW, that wasn't what I was suggesting, just that you make better use of the space you have.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
It's not so much what I don't like about around the room layouts, it's more of what I DO like about a bench layout. I remember as a 14 year old building my first layout on a 4x6 piece of plywood. It was a very basic layout. I liked seeing the entire layout in front of me, and enjoyed watching the train move into a tunnel on the upper level and come out on the lower level, not running around the room behind me. I understand that there are pros to a full room layout. It's just not what I prefer.
 

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OP:

What kind of track will you be using?

You might consider a 4x8 with a small "extension", such as the "Black River Junction" plan.

I've seen a number of Bachmann EZ track plans for 4x8 (or a slightly larger L-shaped layout). All looked quite usable for 2 trains running at once.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
J.Albert... I have decided to use Atlas CODE 100 track. It is what I am used to. I am aware of the CODE 83 track and that it is more realistic looking, but I just like the CODE 100 track more. It is what I am used to. I looked at the BRJ plan as you suggested. I like it but I'm going to go with my original idea. I'll expand the plan to 5x9 so as to allow for larger radius curves as I agree that I will need them to run the modern locos. Thanks...
 
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