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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm very close to completing my N Scale layout design on AnyRails.
After almost 2 months, I finial have a design that I really like!
First I want to give credit to Steve Brown. Steve writes for Trains.com and he also has his own YouTube channel. I have gotten a lot of inspiration from Steve's layout which in turn has helped me achieve what I was looking for.

My layout will not only encompass a point to point design but also a continuous run around within it.
Please keep in mind that although I am still tweaking it, the layout also has room for improvement.
You will notice that there are some turnouts that lead to future towns and/or industries that are yet to be determined or named.

I'm hoping to get not only critiquing of the layout but also constructed criticism and advice from my fellow model railroaders here.

All track will be Peco flex track, code 80 and Peco code 80 large turnouts.
All curves have a 18" radius with the exception of some yard curves with a minimum radius of 16".
All outside curves will have easements onto the tangent track.

There is an aisle-way in the middle of the layout with plenty of room to walk around all 4 sides of the layout.

Looking forward to your comments,
SideTrack Hobo
Slope Font Parallel Rectangle Pattern
 

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Looks pretty darned good to me. For some extra operational interest, you may consider installing a pair of crossover turnouts close to the ends of the close, parallel tracks (in the logging company vicinity and the un-named town station vicinity), thereby creating reverse loops. If running DCC, you could make use of auto-reversing units and not have to worry about manually throwing polarity switches.
Outside of that, looks great. Plenty of room for scenery, that's for sure. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Looks pretty darned good to me. For some extra operational interest, you may consider installing a pair of crossover turnouts close to the ends of the close, parallel tracks (in the logging company vicinity and the un-named town station vicinity), thereby creating reverse loops. If running DCC, you could make use of auto-reversing units and not have to worry about manually throwing polarity switches.
Outside of that, looks great. Plenty of room for scenery, that's for sure. (y)
Thanks @Mixed Freight . I will be using DCC. You bring up a very interesting idea with the cross over turnouts and the auto reversing units.
What would be involved with a auto reversing unit?
And can you explain to me about the "manually throwing polarity switches" that you mentioned.
I'm not sure that I crasp that lol

Thanks
SideTrack Hobo
 

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This is a very nice plan. What railroad(s) are you modeling? You have good balance between industrial development and scenery. Lots of room for just watching trains go by and switching

Are you going to have any backdrops or scenic dividers? I'm not sure what your space looks like, but you could push your layout all the way to the wall at the top (located on the side with the lone spur). This would allow for a photo realistic backdrop which really adds depth to the layout.

The scenic divider could be located at the right side of the logging company and continue up to the spur. I know not everyone is a fan of dividers, however it makes the layout seem bigger than it really is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is a very nice plan. What railroad(s) are you modeling? You have good balance between industrial development and scenery. Lots of room for just watching trains go by and switching

Are you going to have any backdrops or scenic dividers? I'm not sure what your space looks like, but you could push your layout all the way to the wall at the top (located on the side with the lone spur). This would allow for a photo realistic backdrop which really adds depth to the layout.

The scenic divider could be located at the right side of the logging company and continue up to the spur. I know not everyone is a fan of dividers, however it makes the layout seem bigger than it really is.
I'm not really modeling any railroad in particular. I've lived throughout my life in a few places and 2 different states, so I guess it's a conglomerate of those places that I grew up in.

Here in Mississippi where I reside now, it is hilly terrain so I will have plenty of hills in the country side. For the most part, the railroad has cut through the hills here which I like.
So I intend on creating some scenic dividers through the hills.
As for the back of the layout, there are no walls within 10 feet. I want the layout to be open all the way around.
Once the track is laid, I will have a better idea of a back drop if I choose to put one. But I do have plans on some sort of back drop that will wrap around from the back to the right side. But nothing to high that would keep me from reaching over it.

The area of the layout is in the middle of my shop. It will be 11 to 12 feet wide by 9 feet in depth. My shop is 30x30, 900 hundred square feet. So I have plenty of room.

Thanks for your kind words @All-Scale Railfan

SideTrack Hobo
 

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Thanks @Mixed Freight . I will be using DCC. You bring up a very interesting idea with the cross over turnouts and the auto reversing units.
What would be involved with a auto reversing unit?
And can you explain to me about the "manually throwing polarity switches" that you mentioned.
I'm not sure that I crasp that lol

Thanks
SideTrack Hobo
Here's a couple of links to understanding reverse loops with the special necessary wiring.

If you learn how to understand the concept and do it manually with DPDT switches, all you need to know for DCC systems is that auto reversing units do it for you automatically (electronically). You can just run your trains seamlessly while the auto reverse units take care of polarity reversing for you.

https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/reverse-loops-model-trains-2382604
Automate model railroad reverse loops for DC, DCC or AC
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Here's a couple of links to understanding reverse loops with the special necessary wiring.

If you learn how to understand the concept and do it manually with DPDT switches, all you need to know for DCC systems is that auto reversing units do it for you automatically (electronically). You can just run your trains seamlessly while the auto reverse units take care of polarity reversing for you.

https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/reverse-loops-model-trains-2382604
Automate model railroad reverse loops for DC, DCC or AC
Thank you @Mixed Freight . Since you presented this idea to me in your first post, I have been doing some research on (Digitraxs BXPA1 LocoNet DCC Auto-Reverser with Detection, Transponding) Since I already have the Digitrax Evox Evolution Command Center, I thought this might be a good route to take with auto reversing, which will enable them to talk to each other being there both from Digitraxs.
I will also read the link you posted.
Thank you so much!

SideTrack Hobo
 

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You have a very interesting and fun layout plan.
My only thought is that you need more spur tracks
serving small industries. You have a yard but you need
to have a place to set out cars from a train...say an
oil dealer, a supermarket warehouse, a lumber yard,
a grainary, a sand and gravel dealer.
or a loco service area. That would give you the
fun of switching operations. After all, when you've
sat there watching you trains go around and around
and around...you likely are going to say...is that all
there is...but with a layout planned for switching
there is a lot more..

Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for your insight @DonR.
Can you make a suggestion where to put another spur that would best serve the layout?

I feel like the layout is missing something but I can't quite put my finger on it.

SideTrack Hobo
 

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The cool thing with reverse loops is that you can use them to have a train turn back onto the main line heading in the other direction.

This will cause an electrical conflict, as the reverse loops will cause the two rails to connect. To prevent the short, we leave insulated gaps in the rails.

DC is more complex, because the electrical polarity of the tracks are what make the locomotive go forward or reverse.

DCC is much simpler because the decoder doesn't care about polarity (actually phase since it's Alternating Current). The decoder converts the electricity to DC and sends it to the motor with the correct polarity depending on if you instruct the loco to go forward or reverse.

So in DCC, as long as the reverse loops is isolated, the short only exists for a short period of time. As soon as the AR module senses a short, it flips polarity to the reverse loops, which solves the short, and the locomotive doesn't care that the polarity switched because the decoder rectifies it and sends the proper polarity to the motor.

In DC, you have to do lot more manual intervention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The cool thing with reverse loops is that you can use them to have a train turn back onto the main line heading in the other direction.
I agree Jeff, a reverse loop would be interesting some where on the layout.
I am looking at my layout plan now trying to figure out where would be the most convenient place to have it without making the layout look to congested.
Also keeping in mind that the insulated portion of the reverse loop will have to be as long as the longest train occupying that loop.
I will convert, at sometime, all plastic wheels on various cars to metal wheels. So I'm trying to be mindful of that for future plans.
I'm also not opposed to creating a wye instead of a loop for reversing just locomotives instead of the whole train. We'll see how that goes 😏.
 

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[snip]
Also keeping in mind that the insulated portion of the reverse loop will have to be as long as the longest train occupying that loop.
[snip]
That's only true if the last car of the train is electrically connected to the first. In other words, if you plan to run lighted passenger cars, then yes, the isolated loop would need to be long, as the "short" will remain until the last lighted car goes through the offending junction. But if you're just gong to have a lead locomotive pulling 20 regular old box cars, then the isolated section only needs to be as long as that locomotive. even if you insert a helper locomotive in the middle, then the AR module will correct both of them (if necessary) at different times.... The only time that might be of concern is if the lead loco trips the short exiting the loop at the exact moment the trailing car enters it. That's not too likely.

I'll mock up a few possibilities... one with a LONG isolated loop[, and one with a short double crossover (which is actually 4 crossovers used in conjunction.
 

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I'm very close to completing my N Scale layout design on AnyRails.
After almost 2 months, I finial have a design that I really like!
First I want to give credit to Steve Brown. Steve writes for Trains.com and he also has his own YouTube channel. I have gotten a lot of inspiration from Steve's layout which in turn has helped me achieve what I was looking for.

My layout will not only encompass a point to point design but also a continuous run around within it.
Please keep in mind that although I am still tweaking it, the layout also has room for improvement.
You will notice that there are some turnouts that lead to future towns and/or industries that are yet to be determined or named.

I'm hoping to get not only critiquing of the layout but also constructed criticism and advice from my fellow model railroaders here.

All track will be Peco flex track, code 80 and Peco code 80 large turnouts.
All curves have a 18" radius with the exception of some yard curves with a minimum radius of 16".
All outside curves will have easements onto the tangent track.

There is an aisle-way in the middle of the layout with plenty of room to walk around all 4 sides of the layout.

Looking forward to your comments,
SideTrack Hobo
View attachment 596399


Side Track Hobo;

I think your track plan is excellent. I agree with Mixed Freight's suggestion about installing a pair of (single) crossovers spaced out along the double tracked portion of your main line. These would (operationally) form a long passing siding, which would allow passing movements and some cool operation. There is a tendency to use double crossovers, but one of those wouldn't provide a passing siding.

I'm going to be the "odd man out" * by disagreeing with the notion of adding more industrial spurs. The only place I see where more sidings would fit is along the long stretch of double track near the left side of the aisle. You could do that, and even squeeze in a few more in other areas, but that would spoil one of the nicest features of your plan, the "wide open spaces." Real railroads run miles between sidings. Most model railroads have virtually no main line running between towns, or industrial switching areas.

In my opinion you should keep what you have, and fill it with scenery, not more track. Most model railroads have 10-100 times more track per square foot than the prototype has per square mile. There is more to the real world (and to realistic-looking models thereof) than track, track, & more track. Given our chronic shortage of space, we modelers, and published track plans, tend to cram lots of track, and the operations it permits, into way too small a space to resemble the railroads we are supposedly modeling.

Taking this concept a bit further, why not expand your layout out to run along-the-walls, or at least out to larger dimensions. Have a really big aisle, or two, or three, aisles. One new aisle could go between the aforementioned long double track, and the center area with a town to be named & logging company.
A third aisle could be inserted between the station, and the yard tower. This one would have a track across the entrance to this aisle, but there are hinged sections to cope with that. Since you have the luxury of a large space, why not make the most of it?

My final point would have been to use scenic dividers to hide some of your track, so the train is seen traveling from point 'A' to point 'B' , instead of obviously running in circles. However, if you add the suggested aisles, that wouldn't be necessary. The aisles themselves,(let alone the width of your big shop, if you went for the "along-the-walls" option ) would be the scenic dividers. Using some form of wireless DCC control, you could follow your train around the layout, and get the strong illusion of travel to a distant location.

Traction Fan 🙂

* On the "odd man" idea, just ask my wife, or Jeff Hurl & Conductorkev. 😁
 

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OK, if all you're not going to have long consists, then a double crossover (see blue) would be cool. You can make it a little longer.

If you're going to have long lighted passenger trains, then the purple option would be better. With the purple, you could also have one going the other direction (like a really long double crossover) with something like a 15-degree crossing in there somewhere (added green)

Slope Font Line Parallel Rectangle


I know it may seem weird that none of these are "loops" but the create loops bigger than the offending sections. Both of these scenarios are doable.

If you opted for the purple & blue, both the purple and the green should each be controlled by separate AR modules, as both the purple and green would also be isolated from each other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
In my opinion you should keep what you have, and fill it with scenery, not more track.
I agree with keeping plenty of open scenery. I definitely do not want to over crowd the layout with track.

Taking this concept a bit further, why not expand your layout out to run along-the-walls, or at least out to larger dimensions. Have a really big aisle, or two, or three, aisles.
I do not have a option of building against any walls do to a my work bench, my wifes stain glass work bench, metal shelving units along the wall and double garage doors.
But, the layout can expand to the left about another 3 feet.
I plan on creating the bench work on the left side for possible future expansion out to the left.
I am not a big fan of lift gates so I doubt that I will incorporate any into my layout. 😉

My final point would have been to use scenic dividers to hide some of your track, so the train is seen traveling from point 'A' to point 'B' , instead of obviously running in circles.
I do plan on some sort of scenic divider(s) and/or hills that would not allow the viewer nor myself the ability to see the train(s) running while standing in one location.
One would have to move around the layout in order to view trains as they make their journey from point A to B.

Thank you @traction fan for your comments and review.
I will have to check into the "odd man" statement 😄
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
OK, if all you're not going to have long consists, then a double crossover (see blue) would be cool. You can make it a little longer.

If you're going to have long lighted passenger trains, then the purple option would be better. With the purple, you could also have one going the other direction (like a really long double crossover) with something like a 15-degree crossing in there somewhere (added green)

View attachment 596480

I know it may seem weird that none of these are "loops" but the create loops bigger than the offending sections. Both of these scenarios are doable.

If you opted for the purple & blue, both the purple and the green should each be controlled by separate AR modules, as both the purple and green would also be isolated from each other.
Jeff,
You, Mixed Freight and TractionFan have given me plenty of ideas and food for thought.
I really like your mock up of the purple line with a spaced out crossover.
Thank you so much for taking the time to create your mock up drawing!
I feel really motivated to include this into my layout. I am working on the modification now and will be posting a revised layout soon for review.
Please be looking for it 🙂

*Also, could you give me some insight to why TractionFan is the "odd man" as he has dubbed himself in his post above. 😉

Thanks again,
SideTrack Hobo
 
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