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Hello,

I was wondering if anyone had any ideas or drawings of an HO model terrain. I was pretty into model trains when I was younger, but sort of lost touch as I grew. Basically looking for ideas to set up a decent table with some cool hills, mountains, cities and farms. Shouldn't be bigger than 10x10 or 5x20.

Anyone?
 

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GLI said:
Hello,

I was wondering if anyone had any ideas or drawings of an HO model terrain. I was pretty into model trains when I was younger, but sort of lost touch as I grew. Basically looking for ideas to set up a decent table with some cool hills, mountains, cities and farms. Shouldn't be bigger than 10x10 or 5x20.

Anyone?
Here is a link to some layouts that will give you some ideas about size and terrain - alot will have detailed track plans as well.

If you are just getting back into it, what I would suggest is to create a mini layout first - a module that is 1x4, 2x6, etc. With a couple switches and some track you can get something up quickly and build on your skills with planning, structures, scenery. Jumping into a 10x10 layout or bigger can be daunting, and it's hard to estimate costs - they can quickly get big which is discouraging at times. A simple thing I do is add up the number of turnouts on the site and see how much that is going to cost. Sometimes that is enough to make you think twice about building a large layout! Unless money is not an issue ;)

This site has a huge resource of track plans for small or modular (shelf) layouts that you can put together in a couple days. I myself will be likely building something along those lines as I don't have the space for a large HO layout - but maybe a medium sized N scale layout! :D
 

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I hope nobdy minds if I post this question here as it DOES involve new track layout.

Anyway, I was thinking of making my first track layout as a very large yard. Something I'll be able to add to as I get more room to do so. I can't make it a 4x8 as it has to be able to fit into my basement. I can't get a 4x8 sheet of plywood down there. If I make this as a module type design and fit these modules together then I can make it a large yard.

So, my question is, Is it smart to make a large yard as a first-time layout or would it be too difficult? I would like to include as many yard facilities as I can and operate it as more of a switching run as oposed to a continuing one.

What are some of your thoughts on this?
 

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Lorne said:
I hope nobdy minds if I post this question here as it DOES involve new track layout.

Anyway, I was thinking of making my first track layout as a very large yard. Something I'll be able to add to as I get more room to do so. I can't make it a 4x8 as it has to be able to fit into my basement. I can't get a 4x8 sheet of plywood down there. If I make this as a module type design and fit these modules together then I can make it a large yard.

So, my question is, Is it smart to make a large yard as a first-time layout or would it be too difficult? I would like to include as many yard facilities as I can and operate it as more of a switching run as oposed to a continuing one.

What are some of your thoughts on this?
This is a good approach if you don't want or can't do the traditional 4x8 layout. What you are looking for is a 'module', generally a long rectangular shaped layout (ie 8x2 feet) that would allow you to create realistic yard scenes. It's a great way to get started. Is this what you had in mind?

Keep in mind you can also split the 4x8 section in two pieces and then join them on top of some basic girder benchwork.
 

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If I rip a sheet of plywood in two and splice them together to form the layout wouldn't that be nothing more than a sectional type layout? It might be better for me to do it this way rather than proper 'module'. If I do just a sectional type layout then I can make the sections any size or height I want. I think 'modules' need to be at NMRA specs. Am I right?
 

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new track layout

5X20 is better than 10X10. You need access all around the board for work. I have a 5X16 foot layout with access on all four sides. Model railroader magazine shows lots of scenery each month, suirtable to copy. First of all, you want to run tr4ains on your layout for a while and decide is this what you really want. Throw in some switches for variety and maybe design tunnels and mountains on straightaways. I did have a 5 step solution for begining designs, but it was taken off the forum.
 
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