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Discussion Starter #1
hello,
i'm new, and looking for some help. I want to do a very small lay out, if you can even call it that. just a circle of track, 12 inches or less in diameter. 1 engine, and maybe 1 car if possible.
i'm building this (I hope) in the only available space in my little apartment, the interior of my piano bench.
I have cats, so the lid will protect this effort.

Will N scale do? or should I try Z? maybe T if I can find it? it won't be fancy, just the basics.
I've seen layouts in old suitcases, which is what inspired me to get started.

thanks!

Carolyn
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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hello,
i'm new, and looking for some help. I want to do a very small lay out, if you can even call it that. just a circle of track, 12 inches or less in diameter. 1 engine, and maybe 1 car if possible.
i'm building this (I hope) in the only available space in my little apartment, the interior of my piano bench.
I have cats, so the lid will protect this effort.

Will N scale do? or should I try Z? maybe T if I can find it? it won't be fancy, just the basics.
I've seen layouts in old suitcases, which is what inspired me to get started.

thanks!

Carolyn
Welcome to the site, how long is the bench and how deep?
You might be able to put in more then a loop.
If it is long enough you can add some straights.
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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N scale would work the minimum radius is 9 3/4".
You could run a 32" loop.
Z scale is 7.6".
N scale is more plentiful and might be cheaper to buy then Z.
Easier to see too. :)
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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You might be able to add 2 switches for a pull off track.
Or add 1 switch for a siding.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
N scale would work the minimum radius is 9 3/4".
You could run a 32" loop.
Z scale is 7.6".
N scale is more plentiful and might be cheaper to buy then Z.
Easier to see too. :)
thanks. |i was at the local hobby shop this morning, and he pulled out some curved track. it was a bit too big, but maybe he just didn't have the right sized curves. lol I took a template of the space I have to work with, to test it.
so, next question is, what sort of track would I need, if i went with n scale, to get the curves round the ends of my layout? maybe I should order the tightest curve available. I have no idea what that might be. im new, can you tell.
 

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You will need T-Gauge (scale 1:450} Min radius 4.72 inches , Diameter 9.44 inches, to fit a loop on an 11" wide surface. N scale will not work.
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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You will have to wait till a true N scale expert steps up to the bat.
Right now I am doing O scale, and have a ton of HO scale packed away.
I got all my N scale from my Nephew, and a small layout from my Sister.
I never really put any N scale track down my self. So I don't want to steer you wrong.

My N scale thread, Ed's N Scale

In some of my pictures there are some buildings and maybe even a bridge/trestle you could add too.
Though a lot of the buildings are too tall for your space.
 

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T-Gauge set <Link
I have no recommendation, just info... (y)
You will need T-Gauge (scale 1:450} Min radius 4.72 inches , Diameter 9.44 inches, to fit a loop on an 11" wide surface. N scale will not work, nor will Z-scale (min diameter 15.2 inches) Diameter measurements are from centerline of the track, not overall width.
 

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Since you do have an Apt. why not build a small shelf layout instead ? It could be 6" X 6' or 8' long on angle brackets same as a book shelf. You could shunt cars back and forth in/out of a few industry spurs off a thru main line, up at eye level.. In N you could actually get quite allot of trackage in this area... Wouldn't this be more sensible and fulfilling than a circle enclosed in a piano bench ? And if you plan to keep the train on the rails what's going to happen when you move the bench ?
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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Here is a table build thread, it is N scale. Looks to be just around 33"? (estimated) You say Z scale, smaller yet won't work?
I will go back and read thru the thread to see if a size is mentioned.

545067
545068
 

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Or you could buy a larger piano bench...

Mine is 30"x15" inside dimension.
 

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By the way, Carolyn, welcome to the forum!! Yes, like Michael said, you will need wider to fit Z-Scale. (y)
 

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Duh, what am I thinking the above picture is around 33" wide.
Not the 11"/12" you have.
 

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How about a switching layout of some kind, no loop needed.
545069
 

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thanks. |i was at the local hobby shop this morning, and he pulled out some curved track. it was a bit too big, but maybe he just didn't have the right sized curves. lol I took a template of the space I have to work with, to test it.
so, next question is, what sort of track would I need, if i went with n scale, to get the curves round the ends of my layout? maybe I should order the tightest curve available. I have no idea what that might be. im new, can you tell.
The information you were given about N scale radius at 9 3/4" may be a correct measurement it's not going to help you. What you need is the diameter which in this case is 19 1/2" which is why N scale will not work. If the Z scale measurement scale is correct and it's also a radius then you will be over 15" diameter. That's probably why the hobby shop track was too large.
 

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Carolyn has not responded with her actual inside measurement, so we are flying blind. Likely that even the t-gauge might be too tight...
I suspect she is off doing some of her own online research. (y) (y)
Maybe she is shopping ebay for a wider piano bench! 🤣
 
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