Model Train Forum banner
1 - 20 of 58 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Greetings all,

Attached are my best-to-date track plan visions. I do appreciate your input.

1. benchwork is fixed. Scale is HO. Digitrax Zephyr and DT602 already in hand. Era projected as 30s-40s upper Midwest Great Lakes.

2. I want continuous loop with some interesting switching/shunting. 90% of of op time will be me solo, but I want the option of multi operators.

3. I want a reversing loop so I can return head first into the yard

4. I started this really wanting a port scene as I am former Navy and dig harbors. So the port is the best I can do. I plan to use an operating bascule bridge to allow maritime traffic. I have a line on a tramp steamer that is only 12 1:1 inches and a pier. Both those are in the drawing to scale. I am worried that it is too busy and the bridge would be so massive that it would ungainly dominate the layout. Plus every loop will have to cross the bridge. Not sure about that.

5. So I drew up a modified twice around circuit, and then modified. That is _1 and _2. Perhaps it is not a true twice around, but you can that that turnouts will allow that course. Also the turnouts work as passing sidings.

6. Yes, each layout has a wee bit of a loop or two "off" the board. I will handle that with a piece of hardboard and foam extension. I plan to adapt some side rails to help prevent deep-gorge fall-offs.

7. Obliviously, a weakness is the main line runs within 2 inches of board edge. My plan is affix some clear plexiglass along the side fascia to again prevent deep-gorge fall-offs.

8. I'm thinking 4 power management sections, two with auto-reversers.

There is lots more to discuss, but I have to run. I do welcome all constructive comments and suggestions. Cheers!

Steve
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,458 Posts
Is it stuffed into the corner of a room, or can you reach all 4(6) sides?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,170 Posts
I would have to do a 'red rail/black rail' drawing to be certain
but the way I see your track plans you have 3 'reverse loops';
One 'within' the other at the top and another at the bottom,
plus the turntable which would require a 3rd reverse controller
unless it has one built in.

There is no need to have any 'power management' sectors...
your main DCC bus would be sufficient. These are mainly
used on very large 'club' type layouts that have multi
operators. They keep the main tracks powered when there
is a derail short somewhere.

Don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The entire north edge is against a wall, as is the east part of the yard. All other edges are free. The heavy red lines are walls. So the NE corner of the yard is a long reach. Perhaps I am to optimistic that not much intervention will be required there. I'm thinking an EM uncoupler to allow the road locomotive to detach, and the crossover to escape.

Outside loops are 22 inch, inside 18. Inner spurs have some 15 inch radius for an industrial switcher (Plymouth 3 axle).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
783 Posts
30's/40's era. How about a scale rough hewn rail fence instead of Plexiglas.

I like your design, especially the railyard and turntable/roundhouse positions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,700 Posts
first one seems a little better,, allows more of the 'rail fanning' approach where you just sit and watch, lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,972 Posts
Add eight inches to the width and use 24" and 22" radius curves. You'll be glad you did when trains are running.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,458 Posts
The entire north edge is against a wall, as is the east part of the yard. All other edges are free. The heavy red lines are walls. So the NE corner of the yard is a long reach. ...
Okay, I would not build it. You cannot reach over half of the layout.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,972 Posts
You might need an access hole right where your two industrual track are at the top of the layout to be able to reach the back and far top of the layout. That last track in the yard at the crossover is going to be a long reach too the first time a derailment occurs. Your trackwork needs to be absolutely impeccable back there, and still could be caused by the geometry, couplers, or trucks on the rolling stock.

Any chance of a framed-out access window in that wall at layout level?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Stejones82

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,940 Posts
Okay, I would not build it. You cannot reach over half of the layout.
My thoughts exactly. Assuming that North is at the top, most of that area is out of reach. You might be able to reach in there using a topside creeper, but while those work for things that you do infrequently, having to use one to uncouple in the yard is a non-starter. Do a reach test at the proposed height of your layout, I suspect you will find that 30" or so is about the farthest you can reach (2-1/2 squares with the grid lines, or two diagonally).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,974 Posts
Greetings all,

Attached are my best-to-date track plan visions. I do appreciate your input.

1. benchwork is fixed. Scale is HO. Digitrax Zephyr and DT602 already in hand. Era projected as 30s-40s upper Midwest Great Lakes.

2. I want continuous loop with some interesting switching/shunting. 90% of of op time will be me solo, but I want the option of multi operators.

3. I want a reversing loop so I can return head first into the yard

4. I started this really wanting a port scene as I am former Navy and dig harbors. So the port is the best I can do. I plan to use an operating bascule bridge to allow maritime traffic. I have a line on a tramp steamer that is only 12 1:1 inches and a pier. Both those are in the drawing to scale. I am worried that it is too busy and the bridge would be so massive that it would ungainly dominate the layout. Plus every loop will have to cross the bridge. Not sure about that.

5. So I drew up a modified twice around circuit, and then modified. That is _1 and _2. Perhaps it is not a true twice around, but you can that that turnouts will allow that course. Also the turnouts work as passing sidings.

6. Yes, each layout has a wee bit of a loop or two "off" the board. I will handle that with a piece of hardboard and foam extension. I plan to adapt some side rails to help prevent deep-gorge fall-offs.

7. Obliviously, a weakness is the main line runs within 2 inches of board edge. My plan is affix some clear plexiglass along the side fascia to again prevent deep-gorge fall-offs.

8. I'm thinking 4 power management sections, two with auto-reversers.

There is lots more to discuss, but I have to run. I do welcome all constructive comments and suggestions. Cheers!

Steve
Steve;

All three of the plans look very "track heavy" to me. There is a lot of track, a lot of turnouts, and very little room for much of anything else. That may not matter to you, and it's your railroad.
In the real world everybody doesn't have a railroad track, or two, or six, in their backyard.

I don't understand the need for three approach tracks going onto the turntable. I see that one has engine service facilities, and the second would be needed for an engine to get around another locomotive which was stopped for water, sand, or fuel. But why the third approach track? Multiple tracks on the other side, going to the roundhouse make perfect sense, but I don't understand the extra approach track.

My quick eyeball count showed 20 turnouts. At $20-$30 each, that many turnouts are going to add up to $400-$600. Quite a lot of cost. Have you considered that?
All that said, It looks like a lot of model railroads, though not much like a real one. Many don't mind that at all, some prefer less track, and more realism, that's strictly your choice, though fitting HO-scale curves into that limited amount of space does sort of force your hand.

A large bridge, or a harbor, can be a signature feature of your layout, and needn't necessarily be rejected because of it's size. It is a trade-off though. If you have the bridge, then something else may have to go.
On my own layout, the near N-scale model of Seattle Union Station takes up so much room that I don't have much left for more than a few other buildings in "downtown Seattle", Structure flats, and a painted backdrop will help.

That corner you can't reach will have its full share of accidents, and of course the track will need to be cleaned back there just like any other track.
An electromagnetic uncoupler won't be practical if you can't see it.

An access hatch means ducking under the layout, which gets old fast. Sooner or later, you will hit your head, or back, and possibly knock some trains off the track, as you try to get into/out of it.
Perhaps it would be better to mount the layout on heavy-duty casters (with toe-operated brakes to hold it steady when your not moving it)
Then, room space permitting, you could move the whole layout away from the wall to access the back side.

Good Luck & Have Fun with whatever you choose;

Traction Fan 🙂
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
322 Posts
I dunno guys. Based on a 30" or so reach, I see only the extreme north-east corner being the tuffy here. Minor inconvenience. I dont see much in the way of derailments there.
The two reverse loops in design 'a' are not opposites. Meaning they both turn train around from one direction but not the other. Otherwise that dual main in 'a' thing would get my vote. Design b and c are the same to me other than the turntable area.
I say set Most of the track down for test runs to see if you still like the design. Go for it brother.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Doesn't bode well for my patient modeling skills if I made a error on this post!

The two port scenes are virtually the same. Sorry about that (note I have edited OP o delete the repetitive drawing) This is the one I meant to post. But it is a predecessor to _2 so you can see the evolution. I did put in two dimensions for reference.

Yes, top of the drawing is both actual and layout 'North.' Benchwork is fixed. Hard fixed as in already built and used max available space. To the west is a minimum walkway into the room on other side of north edge. Could go farther south, but that is at the limit of negotiated ROW. East is already pretty tight for aisleway.

Framed window access to the NE corner ... .... .... hmmm, might could be done. Behind that wall is guest room/wife's office. The access would be over the bed, but still might could be done.

TF - yes I am prepared for the costs, though I appreciate your warnings. I have been accumulating items over the months. I have all the TOs in hand for the yard (ME HO Code 70 Ladder System); three Walthers/Shinohara curved TOs, and now 5 PECO #5 TOs. The TT is a Walthers 90 foot (in hand) and is pre-configured for DCC/reversing. RH is in hand.

It is track-heavy. Being new, I of course, "want it all." Like my old boss used to say, "Can you make it smaller and put more stuff into it?" I do appreciate you comment re the bridge: If that is what I want to dominate, then let it dominate. It is a cool whiz-bang; though I am concerned that if it is mechanically unreliable, then that affects the entire mainline run. And I can not give much more space to the water/harbor, and it looks pretty small even now. Sure, This merely represents/suggests a true harbor, but even I want it to look somewhat realistic (I realize that will raise some eyebrows!).

So I think I am leaning towards the modified twice around for more interesting operation.

Thanks all for the reviews - willing to listen even to negative comments/critique if it helps my layout and me as a modeller!

Steve
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,940 Posts
I dunno guys. Based on a 30" or so reach, I see only the extreme north-east corner being the tuffy here. Minor inconvenience. I dont see much in the way of derailments there.
The two reverse loops in design 'a' are not opposites. Meaning they both turn train around from one direction but not the other. Otherwise that dual main in 'a' thing would get my vote. Design b and c are the same to me other than the turntable area.
I say set Most of the track down for test runs to see if you still like the design. Go for it brother.
He says the heavy red lines are walls. If I'm understanding that correctly, that would put much of the roundhouse and almost all of the yard area in the upper right out of reach. Assuming each block is 1 foot, that means the upper letf (NW) corner's back two tracks, as well as most of the track leading down the left side out of reach, too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
322 Posts
Respectfully. Only NE area is a bit of a stretch. Yes, roundhouse area tricky but doable. There is not a wall anywhere on west side of layout, per OP's words. So reaching NW corner is easily done from two places. Due north in the yard is a 30" at most.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,940 Posts
Respectfully. Only NE area is a bit of a stretch. Yes, roundhouse area tricky but doable. There is not a wall anywhere on west side of layout, per OP's words. So reaching NW corner is easily done from two places. Due north in the yard is a 30" at most.
Ah, ok. I missed that about the west (left) side being free also. Part of that is my design bias: when I design a layout, I leave an empty square on any side that isn't blocked by an obstruction to clearly designate where the available aisles are.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I would be glad of some more feedback. I have cleaned up a little.

1. Took out one superfluous track leading to turntable. That gives more space at the 'corner' which I envision as prime operating space.

2. I am thinking about maybe adding a 'program' track there, i.e. lower left of the TT along the edge. Should be easy to wire an isolating DPDT and plug into my Zephyr.

3. I took out one TO in the south spurs. That was merely to give a resting place for the industrial switcher I envision working the industries. But, in reality, I can park it most anywhere.

4. I still envision this as a modified twice around. The op plan is to allow road freights to leave the yard head first and take the outer loop, then the inner loop, and then drop cars for the industries and then take the reversing loop to return to the yard headfirst. Once in the yard on the main, there would be an EM uncoupler to disconnect the steam locomotive and allow it to 'escape' to first ladder branch. The to get to the engine servicing area and RH. Steam/diesel switcher would 'work' the ladder, preparing outbound strings.

5. While the road loco is out on the main loops, also the switchers can classify in the yard. This will give me opportunity to let the road run the loops while working the yard and even maybe the industries, although I can see that would be a challenge.

6. Again, the entire north edge is against a wall, entire west edge is free. Most of the east is is free standing, except where the 'L' goes into an alcove, which is portrayed by the heavy red lines.

Thoughts? COmments? SUggestions? all welcome, TIA

Steve
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,922 Posts
I like number 4.....and I can easily reach 29 inches, actually up to 39 inches comfortably, so I think it will be fine.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,612 Posts
You might consider putting the "program track" on one of the main loops using 3 blocks. When running, the 3 blocks are on the main rail power, but when in program mode the 1st and 3rd block are dead and the middle block is connected to the program output. Then when you make changes switch to main mode and try out the changes and if necessary position the loco back on the program block and revise things. The program track avoids the Program on the main problem of programing to many locos.
 
1 - 20 of 58 Posts
Top