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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, this looks like a new forum, so I'll throw my ideas out there and see if anything comes back. What I have is about 70 feet of shelves around the wall. I want an operations oriented railroad, an industrial shortline with interchanges at both ends. This will be a point-to-point layout. The industries will be fairly large kitbashed and scratchbuilt items.

I will use car cards and waybills for operations. Control will be Digitrax DCC. I'll be using 40 foot cars and 4 axle diesels. Atlas code 83 flextrack and #4 switches will be okay. This will be HO scale.

Here is a diagram of the space:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
And now some pics of the track layed out per the diagram with some building mock-ups and such. The photo numbers correspond to the numbers on the diagrams.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
None of this is set in stone by any means, and if anyone has suggestions for improvements or if anyone sees problems, please let me know. Help is definitely wanted before I go ahead and make this permanent!

Thanks!
Gary
 

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Gary,

Great stuff. This looks very exciting, and you have already accomplished quite a bit.

My only observation/suggestion is that of preference, for a layout of this size I would incorporate a run around track somewhere. I haven't traced out any of the switching moves though so I'm not sure how it would all work. Currently there is no way to get on either side of a freight car, only one, which could pose some issues when delivering the cars to dead-end spurs.

What are your thoughts on that?

Where does all the freight come from? Is it 'dropped off' from the interchange yard?


Also, some construction questions - are you building everything on top of the styrofoam and using that as the roadbed?

regards,
John
 

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Discussion Starter #7
John,

Thank you for your comments. As for the run-around, there is one on the left side of the diagram, at the area marked with the "4". Hopefully the two images below will be easier to see because they need to be viewed together.




The run-around/passing siding should take care of all the spurs on the left portion of the layout, the only two that don't have a run-around are the two spurs at the top of the diagram. I don't know if this is a problem or not.

As for where the freight comes from, there will be scenicked interchange/fiddle/staging yard on each end of the layout. This is where freight will arrive from, and all shipped freight will be sent off the layout via the interchanges. My plan with this is as follows: Once an op session is finished, I'll remove all the cars out of the interchanges and place them in storage boxes. New cars will be put on the interchanges as newly arriving traffic and those will be switched to the industries. Of course, there will also be newly loaded and empties at the industries that will be coming back to the interchanges. By using this method, it should seem pretty realistic as each individual car will show up on the layout about every 3rd op session.

Right now, the track is only pinned down to the foam. Once I settle on a design, I'll pull all the track up and glue cork roadbed down to the foam. Then I'll glue the track to the roadbed.

If you have any thoughts on this design, how things could be made better, I would love to hear them. I am sweating getting this thing started and then finding out that I messed up the design somewhere.

Thanks!
Gary
 

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Ah, that makes sense now.. I couldn't put 'two and two' together with the separate images.

I don't think there is a formula to make it better... I think you need to build it out, or perhaps before gluing things down have a pseudo-operating session just to see what happens. I'm sure you have done that :)

Due to the end pointed design, there isn't much to get wrong. Not to simplify things in any way, but there are no crossovers, double slip switches, grades, elevations, etc. You have a large amount of space to work and the right amount of rail customers which lends to actual prototypes.

Regarding the two spurs at the of the plan.. I don't think it's a problem since you will just have to do your run arounds at the bottom of the layout. But what you could do is sneak one in on those two spurs, only problem is it will be useless when there are cars there. Of course, this creates another operational problem, which is not a bad thing, just makes for more interesting operating sessions. But, if we ask ourselves what would happen in the real world... you can make your judgements from that.

What about working in a run around in the yard area? It could be handy if you are assembling the train before sending to the interchange, or making last minute switching moves. I can't see the end of the yard in any of the diagrams though.

Either way, I think you have a great plan. Only you will be able to tell when you are fully satisfied with it, but you have my buy-in.

regards,
John
 

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Discussion Starter #9
tworail said:
What about working in a run around in the yard area? It could be handy if you are assembling the train before sending to the interchange, or making last minute switching moves. I can't see the end of the yard in any of the diagrams though.
John, the two lower tracks up in the yard have a crossover at the very end that is not shown on the diagram. This is there for an engine escape track. I envision a train bringing loads and empties from the industries, moving to the right to the interchange yard, entering the yard on the second from bottom track, and then the engine can escape on the lowest track. Then the engine can grab the cars from the other end and spot them into whichever yard tracks they need to be in.

This could also be used as a run-around for the cars going to those first 2 spurs.

thaks for all your comments, your help is making me feel better about getting on the way to a permanent layout. Any other thoughts you have are welcomed!!!
 

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Now I'm really new to this so bear with me when it seems I ask a dumb question. This one might be one of them:

Gary, I noticed in the pictures you have spaces in the rail where it looks like there are no ties at all. Is this because it's all set up temporarily or do you plan on puting these in seperately later on?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Two answers on that... yes, all the track is just temporarily pinned down in the photos. When laying flex track, you typically have to remove a couple of ties at the ends to allow room for the joiners. After the track is installed, replacement ties are slid under the track in those areas. You have to file down the ties just a bit to allow for the thickness of the rail joiner and to make the installation easier. The source of the replacement ties is the ones you have taken off the ends of the flex track plus you will end up with short pieces of flex track when you are cutting it to proper length to fit your layout. The short pieces can be taken apart for the ties.
 

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hello

hello Gary,

This is just a suggestion but with foam tops I find it easier to put tacs down to hold the cork bed and track down. it is easier if you want to change it in the near future. It is only a dollar to pick up a pack of tacs/finishing nails.

The plan/design looks great.

I am currently developing my layout. This might be a stupid question I don't have DCC systems. I am too poor right now to afford one because of college. But could the new models trains coming out could they still be used on the old system. Or will I damage anything?

Joe
 

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None of this is set in stone by any means, and if anyone has suggestions for improvements or if anyone sees problems, please let me know. Help is definitely wanted before I go ahead and make this permanent!

Thanks!
Gary
Hello Gary... Your layout looks incredibly awsome, even in the stage you were in when you last posted... This thread is almost a year old now, and I was wondering if you have finished this project up yet? It would be really cool for you to get some pictures up of the completed layout :D

Anyways, hope to see you back here soon, and happy railroading!
 

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Layout

It appears to be a useable garage, with door to house. This is from the overhead pix layout. By cutting down the 8 foot length in the lower right, and adding to the upper right, you then could have a running loop.. This gives you the flexibility of a run with skipping work station stops, loading or unloading, continue the train to a rest area. Another train would then continue loading and unloading. In the loop format, you could then have a cleaning car to sweep as you work.
 
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