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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to build a layout but don鈥檛 have enough space for now.(too many kids)馃槀 But i was wondering about a switch layout. Where should i start? I know there are a few books but dont know if they are any good. I looked on youtube but I find the information is poor and/or makes me even more confused... I have about 7 feet by 3 feet of available space. It would be HO as I already have tracks, power, locomotive...
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You tube is definitely NOT where I would start looking for something like this.

Model Railroader magazine and Model Railroad Hobbyist have both published numerous plans for switching layouts. If you can fit a 2x8 piece of extruded foam insulation board in your space, there are probably about a million plans out there for that. It wouldn't be too hard to cut it down to 7 feet, though.

The only thing you have to worry about is making sure your switch leads at the edges are long enough for a loco and at least one car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You tube is definitely NOT where I would start looking for something like this.

Model Railroader magazine and Model Railroad Hobbyist have both published numerous plans for switching layouts. If you can fit a 2x8 piece of extruded foam insulation board in your space, there are probably about a million plans out there for that. It wouldn't be too hard to cut it down to 7 feet, though.

The only thing you have to worry about is making sure your switch leads at the edges are long enough for a loco and at least one car.
So I should find most of the information I鈥檓 looking for in a model RR magazine?
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Yes, or an HO layout plan book. Most have at least a few switching layouts. There are probably some that feature those.
I鈥檒l bet if you search this forum, you can find some plans. There鈥檚 a whole world of resources out there. You can always come on here for help.
Have fun with it.
 

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Which "switch" maters

I would like to build a layout but don鈥檛 have enough space for now.(too many kids)馃槀 But i was wondering about a switch layout. Where should i start? I know there are a few books but dont know if they are any good. I looked on youtube but I find the information is poor and/or makes me even more confused... I have about 7 feet by 3 feet of available space. It would be HO as I already have tracks, power, locomotive...
Thanks
SN95HotRod;

The book "101 track plans" has many plans for switching layouts. There are also some posts here on the forum. In the upper right corner of the forum's home page there is a line titled "Search this Forum." If you type in "switching layouts," it should find them for you.
A switching layout can be a nightmare if the switches (We call them "turnouts") don't work well. I strongly recommend you avoid Atlas "Snap Switch" turnouts. They are at the bottom of the quality scale. There is a current thread in the N-scale section about "major problems with Atlas turnouts that I suggest you read. Peco, or Micro Engineering turnouts would be much better choices. The files below explain these ideas more.



Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

View attachment All AboutTurnouts rev 4.pdf

View attachment Improving Atlas turnouts pdf version.pdf

View attachment How I scratch build turnouts new(8).pdf
 

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What scale are you going to use on your switching layout?
[\QUOTE]

HO, per the last sentence of his original post.

2x8, if he can find that extra foot, is a good size for that.
 

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Carl Arendt was known for small layouts. He has since passed away but his legacy lives on in the micro layout world and at http://www.carendt.com/micro-layout-design-gallery/
You will find hundreds of layout here or google "micro layout track plan".

The best is to just start building something so you can learn what works and what doesn't and what you like and don't like. Don't be afraid to make changes.

Paul
 

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Build a "framework" out of 1x3 lumber -- can be either 2x8 or 2x7. This will be easily portable.

Then, go to Home Depot or Lowe's (or perhaps another place). Get a piece of birch plywood (stable and has a smooth finish on top), 4x4 in size. They can cut it at the store into two "halves", one 2x4, the other can be 2x3 or 2x4 or whatever is required.

Now you have your "base" with which to start.

You might consider using something like Kato Unitrack with the #4 manual switches. This way you can experiment with different track plans on the tabletop until you find one that "works best".

If you're only going to run one engine at once, dc will probably do well enough.

But for a switching layout (and the slow controlled speeds needed), dcc will work better -- much more precise control at slow speeds.
 
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