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Discussion Starter #1
This is my first attempt at a layout. I have no train gear at all. I'm starting completely from scratch. No materials or anything.

I did have a set of HO scale when I was a kid, but I never did much with it. Now I want to do some actually modeling along with the track.

Most terms are still new to me and I would appreciate it if you didn't use acronyms in your responses so that I can learn what they all are. :)

I plan on doing a pretty simple HO scale layout. I don't want my first attempt to be too complicated. I will have two tracks going around a 8'x4' board. Five of my corners are planned at 18" and three are at 15". Am I making a mistake? I've seen some posts that say I should be weary of 15" turns. Take a look at the picture to see how I plan the track to work.



I used the string to measure how much track I'm going to need. The tracks are spaced three inches apart from center to center. Is that enough room or should I space them out even more?

I would appreciate any help that you can give me. As I said I'm brand new and I'm trying to stay away from costly mistakes by doing plenty of planning. I do plan on getting the 8x4 board tomorrow along with some foam that I can start cutting up and playing around with.
 

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15 inch radius will limit you to smaller locos, and maybe some rolling stock.

Other than that, it looks like a good start.


Oh, and that turnout on the lower left.......it'll run your trains off the table.:rolleyes:


Jody
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Well I've finished with my first day of work. Like I said before. I don't have any track yet, but I wish I could lay some down to see how things worked out. I did change the corners. The outside is 22" and the inside is 18". I'm glad I didn't go with the 15" corners.

I bought a piece of particle board from Lowes for the base. I also bought a sheet of 1"x4'x8" styrofoam insulation. It had an aluminum foil looking side that I was able to peel off. The sheet was only $13. Much cheaper than other sheets that I found. I used Liquid Nails Silicon glue to secure everything. I really like it. When I made a mistake I could just tear up the piece of styrofoam and scrap away the glue without any issues.







You'll notice on the backside behind the tunnel that I've left it open. I'm planning to have a mountain there and I wanted to make sure I could extract an engine or car that derailed back there.







Now I just need to order some track and watch on ebay for a cheap set.
 

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I may be wrong but it looks like your grade is going to be too steep.

Did you figure out what the percentage is, of the grade?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I may be wrong but it looks like your grade is going to be too steep.

Did you figure out what the percentage is, of the grade?
It's a 4% grade. One inch every two feet. I know it's steep, but I don't plan on having too many cars behind an engine. This is my first attempt so I guess I'll learn from any mistakes :)

I thought about doing a 5% grade, but I opted to start both sides at 1" and drop the outside line. It's only a 2.2% grade.

Is 4% too steep?
 

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There's a way to find out... before you go any farther, just temporarily silcone some track onto the grades and see how the trains run. My layout is also going to have steep grades with small short trains, so I'm going to test various grades to find out what I can actually get away with... ;)
 

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As far as grade goes if you get to steep add a engine or traction tires. Just what I have set up with ez track to see what can be done has been intereresting and if I wanted to pull more cars I added a engine so I could get up the hill, It's amazing what the little engines will do.:) 003.jpg
I had 4 powered 1 dummy to pull the cars pictured.:D
 

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As far as grade goes if you get to steep add a engine or traction tires. Just what I have set up with ez track to see what can be done has been intereresting and if I wanted to pull more cars I added a engine so I could get up the hill, It's amazing what the little engines will do.:) View attachment 3646
I had 4 powered 1 dummy to pull the cars pictured.:D

Thats some table you built there!:D
You used everything but the kitchen sink.:laugh::thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm not worried about the transition. It seems to be pretty smooth, but only track and an engine will tell.
 

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If you loco cannot make the climb before adding traction tires etc. try adding weight. If you add equal weight over each truck you will increase the tractive force the engine has. you will need to make sur that all of the couplers are at equal heights. If the transition is not smooth enough the couplers will uncouple. This is more likely to occur on longer cars.
 

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James,

Just catching up and seeing this thread ... been out of town for the past few days...

I agree that 18" radius is minimum, along with 4" center to center track distance.

I intentionally built a 4% grade on my HO layout ... I knew it was steep, but didn't plan on pulling too many cars. It works OK for me, but I certainly wouldn't recommend 4% to anyone who wanted to pull heavy loads and/or many cars.

Here's one point that's confusing me, and I didn't see anyone else discuss it with you ...

I don't yet understand how you intend to build one rail within a tunnel on the right hand of your layout (the A track), and then IMMEDIATELY ADJACENT to this, plan to have the B track elevated on top of the hill/mountain. While you can achieve this with the foam risers (as you have already done), I suspect that you'll have a very difficult time "sculpting" this "high/low" transition into a pleasing moutain shape.

Perhaps you've already envisioned a solution here, so I don't mean to be critical. But do give it some clear thought (if you haven't already), and think about the required 3-dimensional ground contouring required to accomplish your goal.

Great to have you onboard here at the forum, and please do keep us posted!

TJ
 
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