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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
My son is 2.5 and has been train crazy for the last 8 or 9 months. So after taking him to the model railroad museum here in San Diego and remembering how much fun I had with them when i was a kid, I decided to build us both a train layout. I am a complete newb to this as my layout as a kid involved a 4 car train running around on an oval.

The amount of information available is daunting and trying to determine how to apply it has been quite a challenge.

I've done a lot of research and I have gotten a lot of invaluable information from this forum and other resources. I particularly enjoyed following the evolution of Xrunners' layout. That process helps make things click into place for me.
I've spent quite a bit of time trying to develop a sensible and interesting layout for my available space and would appreciate any constructive feedback/advise/suggestions for my design.

Some basic info:
Scale: HO
Era: late 50's early 60's
Location: undecided at this time
Operations: Continuous runs to keep the boy happy and switching to keep me happy
Size: 8.5x10 in the garage. I can extend the cutout to 2' to make the size 9x10 if needed
Control: DCC
Track: Atlas Code 83, Atlas #4, Peco #5, Walther's Curved Turnouts #6.5

This is essentially a loose mashup of two MR designs; Cripple Creek(right) and Callahan Central(left).
I'll be using 2" foam core board as a base.
I've put in structures to ensure that they will fit but they are not set in stone.
I'd like to put in some bridges, tunnel and water features also I'd like to add some elevations but am a bit afraid of getting into that.

Thanks in advance

 

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Wow ... that's some creative plan for a newb!

One suggestion comes to mind, in way of your lift-out section. I think you'll find it will be tricky to build the rail connections where the lift-out seam is so skewed/oblique to the run of the track. Difficultiy with rail alignment, what to do with cross-ties, etc. Perhaps you can bevel the layout table into / out of the lift out section, so the the "entrace" and "exit" are oriented more perpendicularly to the track runs?

Keep us posted!

TJ
 

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Question: Can you reach all the tracks for the inevitable derailments, etc in "bad places"?

Suggestion: I'd cut out about 30% of the trackage, or at least plan to add track in stages. I think you'll find the cost and maintenance to be more than you expect.

IME, the more time I have to spend cleaning / maintaining something, the less likely I am to keep using it. But I'm lazy and a lone-wolf, so...
 

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My two cents...I am by no means an expert, like a majority of the members, but I was in the same stage as you back in January using the same software and planning around the cripple creek layout.
http://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?t=10047
I have since tore down, replanned, redrew, restruggled, rebuilt, relayed
http://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?t=10952
AND.....tore down, replanned, redrew, restruggled, rebuilt, relayed.
This is my new plan. I've rebuilt the modules in the first room and created a donut duckunder (I know, I know). I am satisfied with this layout and running trains to work out any bugs and logistics. Minor tweaks will be made of course.

Rectangle


What I've learned along the way.
These forums are invaluable, whether just lurking or asking questions. Believe it or not, questions you have, eventually get asked or have been asked in the past.
The bigger the layout the more $$$$ it takes to build it. Those turnouts are expensive. You've got a lot in your layout, as do I.
The more industries you have the more $$$$ it takes to build them.
I thought the traditional slab of plywood was what I wanted. After creating a donut or walk in for some people, I prefer having the trains go around me, not me around the trains. That's the main reason I scrapped the first plan. I like the idea of www.layoutvision.com taking traditional and going outside the box.

My thoughts on your plan.
You've got a good space to use.
If you can't get to the other side of the slab, don't build it. You need access to lay track, scenery, buildings and derails. Person can't comfortably reach more than 24-30".
You have quite a few facing point spurs. This might be ok, but you'll find it a challenge spotting and picking up freight from these industries.
Some of your spurs may be too short to actually couple a car.
Like Beachbum said, you can still have a nice layout and operation with at least 30% less track.
Great start, do a couple of revisions and try some other shapes.
And most of all, HAVE FUN!

p.s. Posting my layout is not a means of hijacking your thread, only showing progression of my thoughts and design over the past 4 or 5 months.
p.s.s I always like to give credit where credit is due. My inspiration for the latest layout came from Steinjr (member on other forums, not sure if he's here). I tweaked a layout he created and made my own. Thanks Stein!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies all

The lift-out section does have me worried and I had not thought about the tracks not being perpendicular to the seam and I can see how that could make life difficult. I'll have to rethink that. Maybe I suck it up and make it a duck under.

All track is within 30" except the very top at the mid-point of the table but I can climb up the existing bench to reach that if necessary. That plan might be better in theory than in practice.
I was planning to build this out in phases. Outside loop with the two towns and industry spurs first and then the inside loop and finally the yard last.
This is prob the 8th revision of this particular version and each revision wound up with more track, I was wondering if it was too busy or too much.

I have gotten an enormous amount of info by going through past and present threads including yours NSHO. I checked out layoutvision.com, I'll have to think about modifying my benchwork. I'm thinking maybe a water-wing type to accommodate the door on the right.

Regarding the spurs... This layout would run clockwise? At least thats my assumption. That would leave the team track, freight house and gravel industry on the left as well as the creamery on the right needing some sort of runaround to position the car, correct?

Here is a simple drawing of the garage. The space does extend more to the left and bottom but this gives a better sense of the area. I can't expand the footprint too much more than this

 

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Use the existing bench on the right as stub-end staging or a large industry like a papermill or refinery. Mainline runs on the big rectangle. Then you can also ditch the swing / duck / lift section. Run a scenic divider down the middle of the 5X8 lengthwise.

Just tossing out random ideas...
 

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I think it looks good but I also have to agree that your aisle needs to be wider. Two feet is going to be more closed in than you think.

Which train museum did you go to? Growing up I went to the one at Balboa Park next to the Zoo. Dont remember much other than tons of trains in every scale running all over the place. Last time I went was about 25 years ago so I'm sure alot has changed since then.
 

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I've done a lot of research and I have gotten a lot of invaluable information from this forum and other resources. I particularly enjoyed following the evolution of Xrunners' layout. That process helps make things click into place for me.
Who me? :eek:

Well I'm glad you got something out of it. I had a lot of help from the guys here and it really paid off. I have to say your layout looks super and looks like it will be an enjoyable one to operate. Very good job I must say.

I'm sure you will get constructive feedback because there is always something that you overlook. Even if it's the color of your lake, you can be sure the advice you get here will be invaluable!

(Hello Ed! :))
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by slivesay
I've done a lot of research and I have gotten a lot of invaluable information from this forum and other resources. I particularly enjoyed following the evolution of Xrunners' layout. That process helps make things click into place for me.

Who me? :eek:

Well I'm glad you got something out of it. I had a lot of help from the guys here and it really paid off. I have to say your layout looks super and looks like it will be an enjoyable one to operate. Very good job I must say.

I'm sure you will get constructive feedback because there is always something that you overlook. Even if it's the color of your lake, you can be sure the advice you get here will be invaluable!

(Hello Ed! :))
slivesay your plans do look good.:thumbsup:

And everyone learns something, xrunner learned ( I think) that water can be all different colors, but the true color is Blue.:p

I learned from his build that all water tanks don't look like water tanks mainly seen on the East coast,


East coast water tank,
Water tower Water tank Storage tank Silo Tower



West coast water tank,
Tree Architecture Building Storage tank Silo


And I learned that we even have water tanks in the East that look like Western tanks.

I never knew that.:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks all,
I've been working on tweaking the design. The rest of the existing bench isn't useable, needs to be reserved for 'honey-do's'.
Yep the one in Balboa park, still has lots of trains and they seem to be adding to the HO layout. Lots of fun though and inspiring
 

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Use the existing bench on the right as stub-end staging or a large industry like a papermill or refinery. Mainline runs on the big rectangle. Then you can also ditch the swing / duck / lift section...
i think beachbum has it right about the duckunder,that was the first thing that came to mind when i looked at you plan. if you want to keep all that yard for your first layout, just plan on doing it later. get the main line and a couple of sidings in so you can run trains :)
 

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slive...I like your plan as well! I am going to second some of the thoughts that others have on here. The reach could be hard on the left side of the layout. Reaching across a 4-ft. or 5-ft. span can be tough. I wouldn't necessarily discourage you from it, but just make sure you can reach if a problem should result on that side.

I agree that a duckunder is not the easiest to negotiate, although I do have two of them on my layout. There are things I don't really like about liftouts either, but they would be easier to get through them. I opted to have a duckunder just for the fact that I could run the track straight through with no separation. If you have a liftout, I would also recommend trying to have the liftout somewhat square with the layout. All the best to you!

Chad
 

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Thanks for the replies all

The lift-out section does have me worried and I had not thought about the tracks not being perpendicular to the seam and I can see how that could make life difficult. I'll have to rethink that. Maybe I suck it up and make it a duck under.
If you work carefully it can work, but you can't afford to be sloppy. Tracks need to be well secured and lined up perfectly. It can be done, but you'll probably want a good solid wood frame around the liftout, and not just foam surfaces at this point which can be easily dented and deformed.

This is the industrial strength solution we employed at my club:



The entire liftout track is actually on a super-elevated (banked) curve. The roadbed is made by laminating thin strips into a continuous curve, and then cut after the fact to make it lift. (google "spline roadbed construction" for more info on the roadbed technique.)
 

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And everyone learns something, xrunner learned ( I think) that water can be all different colors, but the true color is Blue.:p
Water is colourless. Lakes are blue because the sky is blue. :p:)

Different stuff suspended in the water (silt, algae, etc.) also adjusts the colour and visibility. Clean water is perfectly clear.
 

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CV,

I'm a big fan of a tapered "keyway" fit on a liftout. Smart. Self-centering, tight tolerance, but easy to remove, etc.

TJ
The bevelled side blocks that receive the end of the lift-up are also screw-adjustable on that setup to make sure that it will always be perfectly aligned.
 
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