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Discussion Starter #1
Hello again friends. Well, after a lot of thought and wandering around the house and workshop looking at possible areas for my new layout I have settled on this plan. I did not feel that my wife would warm up to the existence of a layout in our small dining room so I chose my workshop. It is not a large area so I had to try to create a plan that would still allow adequate space for other projects. I will have to use a fairly narrow shelf (about 3 to 4 inches wide) for the tracks that also hugs the wall and makes a circuit around the room. It would be about 4 feet off the floor but that is a rough estimate at this time. I chose 22" radius curve sections typical so I could use passenger cars in the future if I wanted. I think this works well and your comments and suggestions are welcome as always. Donald.
 

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Hmmm... I wish I had a 17x10 workshop! Looks like a great plan to have your layout where you spend time and the room defines the track plan. That is pretty narrow for a shelf and it wouldn't take much more shelf width say 6 inches to make a double main line possible in the future. Also the alcove in the top left - if you carried the shelf straight across that maybe would make room for a siding to add some switching possibilities.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hello nxn. Good idea with making the shelf wider. I will have to give that serious consideration as adding another line in the future
is a distinct possibility. And just another inch or two probably wouldn't take up much more room than it already is. I gave the idea doing it straight across in the alcove but I am also an artist and the easel is on that end of the space and the stretched canvases are at least 5 ft wide and I need to get in behind them occasionally so I need that extra width in room. Thanks for the reply!!
 

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The thing is with adding width you will actually be taking up double the space if you do it all the way around. In other words if you add 4 inches on both sides you are taking up 8 inches of total space.

If you do add just a couple inches even on just one side it would give you landscape modeling area. Those corners look like they'd be good for a house or garage or something. Anyway, just some thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Chaostrain, good point. I will have to do a sample piece when it comes time to build and determine how much width I can get away with. Obviously 18 inch radius would move the corners in a but and give a little more room there but that might limit my choices of locomotives and cars. I figure that with 22 inch radius I can use 70 foot passenger cars if I want to. But that is just a guess at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
However.....longer passenger cars might encroach over the opposite track making it impossible for two trains to pass each other. Hmmmm...
 

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Using 22" and a nested 20" radius I would use a minimum of 2.25" spacing.

If you decide on 24"& 22", I would use the same spacing.
 

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Another idea is to make the shelf on the alcove end short wall (i.e. left side of the plan) much wider to allow a passing loop/station/sidings/yard or whatever. It could even be a narrow shelf at the alcove end and widen out toward the other end (lower end in the diagram).
 

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Are you aware of the “S” curve in the upper left side of your layout? Passenger cars do not perform well thru 22” “S” curves. At the very least you need an 8” to 10” straight in between.
 

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I actually love this...
Except that it limits activity, it's really very cool.
The S-curve mentioned should be okay with shorter passenger cars like 65' Rivarossi heavyweights, or Con-Cor 'Branchline', of which I have many, and they perform well in such configs. Just keep speeds down.
It won't be long though, before you wish you had a few turnouts to play with.
 

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You also might think about a few inches of wall along the outside edge. Clear plexiglass works well. Any derailments, even at low speed, might result in equipment hitting the floor.
 

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I would put the shelf at about collar bone height so it's easy to look across at trains (how we see the real ones 97% of the time). 4' high has you looking down on the roofs of trains and structures.
I'd make the shelf 8"-12" wide to have room for spurs coming off the main into industries, a small interchange yard (connection to outside world/other RRs) and to have a passing siding if more than 1 train is running..
 

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Your layout plan is very similar to my outside, with the exception of the indicated red turnout and alternate route positions in the attached markup.

What I would suggest, if you can, from running this sort of configuration, is to make one(or both would be even better) of the long legs sort of indent them in, so the shape is very "dogbone".

You will find placing buildings in front and possibly behind the rail line more interesting and dynamic(thanks traction), as the trains run in and through your city(that's if this fits in with your plans). Additionally, reaching wil be much easier.



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Discussion Starter #16
Matrox, thank you for the drawing. The workshop/studio is not a very big room. Because of radio control aviation projects and my paintings, I need as much of the interior space of the room I can save. I figured that if I put a track on a narrow shelf around the inside wall of the room I would be able to pull this off. As SantaFeJim noted I am not sure that passenger cars will be able to make the "S" curve. But LateStarter suggested shorter cars. I will have to mock that up and try it when I get to that point. If I am able to use a second track inside of the outer one I will have to use the shorter engines and cars from the collection I believe. Anyway, at this point I think this is the most best I can do with the space available.
 

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Remember, we're are one with the RC and space constraints. I have attached 2 more annotations. One has the doggone quasi configuration that I wish I could change mine to, and am digesting add a possible utilization of your space(that is larger than mine), and the second is simply a dimension markup that has the space of my current layout.

I cannot change mine, simply because I placed an N track in the middle, so I could have two lines running. But.. With using shorter wheelbase/road switchers and shorter carts, you should be good. And you actually have a lot more space than I do(you have 3 feet wider and 7 feet longer that I) so fitting shouldn't be a problem at all.

Lastly, are you using flex track, add that would slow you tons more flexibility than pre sectioned and cut track pieces...


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Discussion Starter #18
updated floor plan

Here is an updated plan view of the room. As you can see I am short on space but if I am going to have a layout this is pretty much it. Telltale is right that it would have to be elevated so it would pass between shelving or anything else that might be on the walls. I need the alcove inset so I can maneuver around the large canvases. Obviously I will have to make adjustments but I think it is doable.
 

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Use the corners?

Here is an updated plan view of the room. As you can see I am short on space but if I am going to have a layout this is pretty much it. Telltale is right that it would have to be elevated so it would pass between shelving or anything else that might be on the walls. I need the alcove inset so I can maneuver around the large canvases. Obviously I will have to make adjustments but I think it is doable.

73greenF100;

Your plan to have trains circling your shop is great. As is, it will be OK if the train is just sort of a background item for your other interests. If however, you have/develop an interest in operating your model trains somewhat like a real railroad, the I would suggest some changes. Please note, the operative word here is "suggest." What, if any changes you make, are strictly up to you. :)

One question I have is, do your other workshop area activities include any woodworking ones that produce sawdust?
I have my shelf layout in my garage (I'm married) and have serious issues with the dust from my table saw, band saw, sander, etc. I have shop vacs attached to all the major power tools which helps, but it still gets very dusty out there. I have an air compressor, and use it to blow a lot of the dust off things. Dust can get on the track and prevent the power from getting from the rails up into the locomotive. That's the reason behind my question.

Now the suggestions:

Unless you have your heart set on, or your children's college fund already invested in, HO-scale products, you might consider using N-scale instead. It would allow you to keep your shelves narrow, but go to a double track main line, which will double your train watching fun.
N-scale would also let you use 16-19" radius curves which will handle any passenger cars, or other long N-scale equipment made.

The smaller curves would also fit into the corners of the room a bit more closely. Those corners, and possibly the shelf at the upper right end of your drawing, could be expanded out a little without any serious intrusion on use of the general space I think.

On the shelf you could have a small railyard, or town.
In the corners you could try your hand at some scenery. A hill, a tunnel, a curved trestle over a small gulch, or whatever else you choose.
With your painting skills you would be able to paint backdrops to make any area of your shelf layout look much deeper than it is. The first photo shows what I mean. My shelves are 16" deep, but this scene is only 8" deep at the bottom.

Need more shelf space? Build your shelf layout like mine, with a very long shelf/top over the whole length of the railroad. I used a "bookshelf railroad" design from an old Model Railroader Magazine article. You can see how the design works in the second photo. The arches make the assembly super strong and support the weight of many books, a TV set, and other electronic gear on the top shelf. Those same arches also leave room for the railroad to run through the several sections of my layout with an unbroken, wide open view with no front supports in the way.

My basic section (photo 2) is 4' long, 16" deep and 16"" high. You probably don't want to give up the amount of shop space that 16" deep shelves would take up, but the sections can be made in any size. I have some that are 4' x 12"x 8" too.
I also have bigger sizes at the ends of my two-walls-only layout to turn the trains around on bulky loops of track. With your use of all four walls, you would not need any large sections, or want them, since you want to conserve as much shop area as you can.
Again all decisions are up to you. You may decide not to use the bookshelf idea, or to build one in a smaller size.

The files attached below have lots of information on model railroads in general and shelf layouts in particular. If you decide to stick with your original,very simple, concept, then a lot of the information won't apply to what you will be doing. However, if you skim through them, you may pick up a useful idea here and there.

Good luck & Have fun!

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

Garrison creek trestle good view.JPG

Cedar Falls module. showing lightwood bookshelf arch with enginehouse & station in background.jpg

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 Choosing a Scale.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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Discussion Starter #20
MatroxD, thank you for doing those plan suggestions and posting them here! I know it must have taken you some time to do those.
And they are good ideas!
Traction fan, Thank you also for the abundance of suggestions and the links included. Luckily, even though I do radio control projects I do almost all of my major sanding outside. At least in my case wood dust is not a problem. I don't think N scale is my cup of tea. I have big hands and my eyes aren't as good as they were so I like working on a little larger platform. :) That said, the photos you posted are terrific and have given me a lot of thought as to how this layout could go forward. Thanks again! Donald.
 
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