Model Train Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This will be my first layout in many decades (last one was an HO 4x8 when Tyco was still a household word).

Main goals and/or design constraints:
1 - Passenger rail is my main interest and I hate the thought of 85' Budds on 2x radii, so 21.25" radius is my bare minimum. In the 10x10 space I have to work with this means an around the room layout with a swing out of some sort. I hate the thought of a swingout, and have been avoiding starting this project because of it, but I hate seeing passenger cars on crazy-tight turns even more.
2 - Must be able to break it down. I dont know how long we will be in this house, could be till I die, might only be 5 years so while this will not be habitually or repeatedly moved, it must be in chunks small enough to get out the door and into a van (or whatever).

With that in mind, here is plan alpha1. I'm thinking sections no more than 2x8', being mindfully to keep any points off of the section breaks.

This will not be modeling any specific locale, but will be more of a Canadian inspired theme: a Toronto or Vancouver Union Station type feature, a Fairmount-like 5-star resort/station in a rockies setting, and generic Canadian plains, forests, mountains in between. Maybe a switching yard somewhere in there. I dont know.

I'm at a sort of designer block here, having seen so many great enormous layouts, and innumerable small ones with 9" radii on them, none of which are particularly helpful to me here.

Any and all suggestions or mental pushes would be appreciated.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,577 Posts
All Aboard

It is a thrill to see those big lighted passenger cars
moving thru cities and valleys.

I wanted to chip in about your benchwork. Since
you expect to have a move coming up you might
consider a modular design.

Make of 1 X 3" lumber, a number of individual
frames that would be bolted together to form
the 'table' for your layout. Each would be screwed
together and have legs of 2- 1/3 s screwed together
as an L. These are bolted in the corners of the
frames. Screw on 1/4" plywood for the top. You
can use 2" foam on top of that so you can create
terrains.

This will give you lots of train time, yet you would
be able to unbolt it for the move. It has another
advantage. You can change your plans and bolt
the modules together in a different makeup.

Don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,638 Posts
So it looks like you're the kind of person who wants to sit back and watch 'em run. Nothing wrong with that.

Two comments:
1) you have a lot of extra space. Why not double track the main and install a couple of crossovers. This is especially useful at stations, where it would allow a through train / Express service to pass a local stopped at the station.
2) you have a lot of extra space. If you're not planning some very detailed scenery / structures, why not pare it down some? It will make the pieces easier to move if you do have to take it down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I wanted to chip in about your benchwork. Since you expect to have a move coming up you might consider a modular design.
Thats the plan. In my initial sketch above you can see the four "pieces" (single 2x8 for the big station). Not sure if those are too big, but since moving them would be one-time only (if ever), I figure as long as they can get out the front door I'll be good.

So it looks like you're the kind of person who wants to sit back and watch 'em run.
Well, I do...and then some. I'm just having a hard time envisioning where a separate ladder yard would go for sorting a consist, or how I can overlay a separate line for a local Toronto GO sort of thing.

Thanks for the initial thoughts!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,249 Posts
So it looks like you're the kind of person who wants to sit back and watch 'em run. Nothing wrong with that.

Two comments:
1) you have a lot of extra space. Why not double track the main and install a couple of crossovers. This is especially useful at stations, where it would allow a through train / Express service to pass a local stopped at the station.
2) you have a lot of extra space. If you're not planning some very detailed scenery / structures, why not pare it down some? It will make the pieces easier to move if you do have to take it down.
Absolutely agree with CTValley. A dual main line will increase your watching pleasure ten-fold.

A passing siding, a couple of crossovers, and a couple of industry sidings along the way would be great too. You have a LOT of real estate to work with there and I would put it to use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,972 Posts
This may help

This will be my first layout in many decades (last one was an HO 4x8 when Tyco was still a household word).

Main goals and/or design constraints:
1 - Passenger rail is my main interest and I hate the thought of 85' Budds on 2x radii, so 21.25" radius is my bare minimum. In the 10x10 space I have to work with this means an around the room layout with a swing out of some sort. I hate the thought of a swingout, and have been avoiding starting this project because of it, but I hate seeing passenger cars on crazy-tight turns even more.
2 - Must be able to break it down. I dont know how long we will be in this house, could be till I die, might only be 5 years so while this will not be habitually or repeatedly moved, it must be in chunks small enough to get out the door and into a van (or whatever).

With that in mind, here is plan alpha1. I'm thinking sections no more than 2x8', being mindfully to keep any points off of the section breaks.

This will not be modeling any specific locale, but will be more of a Canadian inspired theme: a Toronto or Vancouver Union Station type feature, a Fairmount-like 5-star resort/station in a rockies setting, and generic Canadian plains, forests, mountains in between. Maybe a switching yard somewhere in there. I don't know.

I'm at a sort of designer block here, having seen so many great enormous layouts, and innumerable small ones with 9" radii on them, none of which are particularly helpful to me here.

Any and all suggestions or mental pushes would be appreciated.
Sunsanvil;

The attached file, "3 & 4 How to build a better first layout" addresses the swing out, and other door spanning solutions. It also has some sketches of what can be done in small space, but only one has the wide curves you want.
I suggest making your sections 4' x 2' instead of 8' x 2'. They will not only be easier to move if you have to, they will also be easier to work on, and can eliminate crawling under the layout to work on wiring, switch machines, etc. That becomes a big deal when you get older.
One of the other files shows how I make the conifer trees in the photos. I model the Seattle Washington area of the Pacific Northwestern U.S. If you're going to build Canadian scenery, then I think that you will also need tons of conifer trees. :eek:
The remaining files are just nice to know stuff when your planning on building a layout.


have fun!

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

View attachment 3 & 4 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment Paintbrush Pine Trees.pdf

View attachment Tips for handling small parts.pdf

View attachment All AboutTurnouts rev 5.pdf

trees 2.JPG

Trees closer view.JPG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,638 Posts
Traction fan makes an excellent point. 2x8 --- even a very light 2x8 with nothing on it that can be damaged -- is tricky to move about without help. 2x4 is much easier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
So it looks like you're the kind of person who wants to sit back and watch 'em run. Nothing wrong with that.

Two comments:
1) you have a lot of extra space. Why not double track the main and install a couple of crossovers. This is especially useful at stations, where it would allow a through train / Express service to pass a local stopped at the station.
2) you have a lot of extra space. If you're not planning some very detailed scenery / structures, why not pare it down some? It will make the pieces easier to move if you do have to take it down.

maybe add a double track so u can run 2 at once.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone for the feedback.

As much as I was enamored with the notion of having a through style main station, its clear that I'm giving up a lot of length in order to couch it in curves in and out, and at that I was using #5s in that first draft.

A few more hours at AnyRail and this is where I'm at. Nothing but #7 points now. Not as many sweeping big radii now but still keeping to the 21.25" minimum.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,638 Posts
A lot of city terminals are just that: terminals, where the track ends. A backing maneuver is required to enter the station. What you have made there is realistic enough.

I think it destroys the sense of what you were trying to achieve, though. Yes, these structures take up a lot of space, but I think you were closer before. Maybe try a couple of #7 curved turnouts, or even a 6-1/2 (although these are usually 20" radius on the inside and your equipment might not like that). Worth a try, though, to get that through station back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
lotsa open space what do plan on doing with that?
I'm leaving it for the deer, eagles, and squirrels! :)

Seriously though, I would like to squeeze in a yard of holding cars and building consists, maintenance etc. Not sure how to shoehorn that in yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
The dream is still alive, it just took a break from the design phase. :)

This is my latest iteration. I decided I wanted a coach yard for sorting trains at very least. I still need to add a dedicated line for baggage and/or mail at the station.

I'm stuck now on how the station, yard, and mainlines should come together...
545294
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,972 Posts
The dream is still alive, it just took a break from the design phase. :)

This is my latest iteration. I decided I wanted a coach yard for sorting trains at very least. I still need to add a dedicated line for baggage and/or mail at the station.

I'm stuck now on how the station, yard, and mainlines should come together... View attachment 545294
Sunsanvil;

To connect the station yard to the main line, the simplest solution would be to run both of the station lead in tracks, on the upper left, into a turnout to get them down to one track. Then put a curved turnout into the outer mainline curve at the upper left.
A more complicated version would include a crossing, & turnout, or a slip switch(not recommended) to get the train across the outer loop, and onto the inner loop. Such trackage might need to be scratch-built on site, in order to fit properly. I scratch-build turnouts & crossings, (see photos) so it wouldn't be a problem for me, but you may not want to tackle that kind of job, that's up to you.
Your double track mainline does not have any crossovers so , as drawn, there is no way to get a train onto the inner main, except by hand placing one on that track. I don't know what the little, gray, rectangular, blobs are up in that same upper left area, near the red dot. Do they represent a crossover? In any case, it would be wise, operationally, to have at least two crossovers. one to let a train get from the outer loop into the inner one, and the other to let it get back off the inner loop, and onto the outer one.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan 🙂
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thanks very much for the feedback Traction Fan! Everything is still it that loose-design-playing-arround phase so indeed there are some obvious items missing like a connection between inner and outer mainlines. :)

What I'm trying to codify in my head is the basic building blocks of operations: I'm sure we want a train to be able to complelety exit the mainline(s) before backing into the station. Likewise a hypothetical switcher will want to assemble trains and get them on a track in the station ready for a prime mover. Any other ideas? I've seen some reference to baggage platforms: some interspersed between passenger platforms, some completely off to the side of the station. Mail/post exchange maybe?

Any and all thoughts are much appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,972 Posts
Thanks very much for the feedback Traction Fan! Everything is still it that loose-design-playing-arround phase so indeed there are some obvious items missing like a connection between inner and outer mainlines. :)

What I'm trying to codify in my head is the basic building blocks of operations: I'm sure we want a train to be able to complelety exit the mainline(s) before backing into the station. Likewise a hypothetical switcher will want to assemble trains and get them on a track in the station ready for a prime mover. Any other ideas? I've seen some reference to baggage platforms: some interspersed between passenger platforms, some completely off to the side of the station. Mail/post exchange maybe?

Any and all thoughts are much appreciated.
Sunsanvil;

My own N-scale layout is heavily passenger focused. I picked a good prototype to mode in Seattle Union Station. The track arrangement there was pretty simple, and therefore easy to model. The station yard only had six main tracks and a few support tracks. My model version only has the six tracks, since that's all I could fit in my limited space. A main line cuts past the passenger yard, and has a long siding parallel to it. I have designated this siding as a Railway Express Co. track with a long see-through structure flat representing that company's warehouse. Multiple freight doors are mostly open and look out on the siding from the aisle. Railway express was a huge customer for the railroads. Imagine if Federal Express shipped all their packages on commercial airlines! The US Post Office was another big customer, and prior to the 1960s, most mail was moved by passenger trains. There was a large post office building near many passenger stations. There were also special cars to ship the mail. Some were basic baggage type cars, but others were "Railway Post Office (RPO) cars where mail was sorted enroute. My next four tracks are in groups of two and have two long passenger platforms between them. This was the same setup as the real station. Both platforms had umbrella canopies over them. The first platform was used by the Milwaukee Road. The tracks on either side of it, had catenary over them since the Milwaukee used some electric locomotives.
The next platform, and its pair of tracks, were used primarily by the Union Pacific, which owned the station. No catenary here, as the UP didn't run any electrics. The sixth, and last, track will have an ice house and icing platform for Express refer cars.
The real station had one or two more support tracks, but I didn't have room for them. I am pleased that my model could duplicate the most important tracks, very much like the prototype. You might want to look online for some real stations that are simple stub-end terminals with few tracks, and a simple arrangement to model. Most real urban passenger stations were huge, complex, affairs with acres of track, multiple slip switches, and are quite impractical to model in recogniseable form.
The photos show my model of Seattle Union Station. The model is about the size of a bread box, and is still reduced 10% from a full N-scale model. It's nearly all scratch-built. The exception is the two longer exterior walls, which are kitbashed from two different Design Preservation Models structures.
There are books available on passenger operations, and a lot of material online as well. Check out Kalmbach Hobby Store

Good " hunting"

Traction Fan 🙂
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Thats an impressive union station. Have you got a drawing of your layout you can share?

What should I be looking at in terms of track spacing for adjacent lines in the station? I've been using 1-1/4" c/c for everything, and with my min-radius that works out well on curves, but I'm now thinking that for the station thats unnessesarily far apart. I noticed the Peco's double crossover has more like a 1-1/16 or 1-1/8" spacing so I'm wondering if thats what I should try for on the strait portions of just the station.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,972 Posts
Thats an impressive union station. Have you got a drawing of your layout you can share?

What should I be looking at in terms of track spacing for adjacent lines in the station? I've been using 1-1/4" c/c for everything, and with my min-radius that works out well on curves, but I'm now thinking that for the station thats unnessesarily far apart. I noticed the Peco's double crossover has more like a 1-1/16 or 1-1/8" spacing so I'm wondering if thats what I should try for on the strait portions of just the station.
Sunsanvil;

Yes, there is a track plan of my layout in the Layout Design forum section. It's in the thread titled "Here are the track plans of some forum members." The platform tracks of a large urban station tend to be pretty close together, unless there is some need for workers to walk, or drive, between adjacent tracks. Downtown real estate in any city tends to be expensive, so the railroads didn't buy any more land that they needed to. On my station tracks, My only concerns were that the platforms and their "umbrella" roofs, were outside the clearance measurements of the NMRA gauge, and that the two trains, on paired tracks, cleared each other comfortably. Paired tracks are two tracks between two platforms. One track serves the platform on one side, and the other track serves the other platform. I want to give the big city station look of things being crowded together, without risking sideswipe collisions. I also have to get my hand in between platform roofs to clean the tracks now and then. Also, per Murphy's Law, something is going to derail in that area and need to be put back on the track, so don't box yourself out to the point that you can't get in there easily, when you have to. I did make the roofs, and the platforms themselves, removeable, just in case.

Traction Fan 🙂
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,113 Posts
Do you need room between the tracks for such things as your fingers? It looks nice very close but no one will know if you leave a little more emergency space in between the trains!
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top