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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to everyone.

I've been fascinated by model railroading since I was nine. I'm 61 now. In my younger days I built a few Lionel O guage layouts. I still have my Lionel trains.

I got back into a little bit of model railroading about 20 years ago but my photography business kept me very busy and it was pushed into the background with the hope of one day building a serious rail empire.

Now, I'm thinking of putting a shelf layout in my spare bedroom. Due to the size of the room and my penchant for long runs I thought N guage was the right fit for me. My only problem, I have no experience in modeling in N guage.

So....I'll be asking lots of questions as soon as I prepare the room for the initial stage of construction.

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I don't model N but there are some tips that work for all scales
1 Do not make the bench work any deeper than 30". Most people can't reach any more than 30".
2 Make Isles as wide as possible. Tight isles are a problem if you need crutches some day.
3 Make turns as wide as possible.(Looks better)
4 Find a height that is pleasing to you. It seems most people like around 48".( Personal preference)
Also I have a little advice I like to pass on to beginners.
Start with a 4x8 plywood and sectional track. Build what you think you want not with a lot of detail and scenery. run it for a while (3-6 months) now take it apart start over with new layout. Make the changes you think you want do a little scenery. give it a little time and do it again from scratch. Remove scenery starting with bare plywood. You might note I have been saying "what you think you want" . That is because you probably don't really know. Doing it this way you learn what not to do and what you want in a layout. To many people jump into it with both feet, end up with a huge layout spending a lot of money and are disappointed with result because they didn't know what they actually want. When you figure out what you want in a layout throw away the sectional track and get flex track. Now that is another subject for later. Also find a local club and find other Model railroaders in your area. Most of us love to have our brains picked and show off our world. If you hang around a train shop for a while you will meet other modelers. Well that's enough for now.
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