Am I NUTS!!

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by simmonds, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. simmonds

    simmonds Member

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    Here is a hand drawn scetch I did as an idea of how to fill my 5 1/2 X 11 1/2 foot layout with as much track as possible. I know that sounds crazy but I love to run trains and this would allow me to run 4 trains at once and also run a fifth train ( a trolley line not drawn that will run elevated against the back wall). Does it look like it could work??? Outer loop is o54 with o72 switches and will also be powered by overhead cantenary. Second loop is o42 with o42 switches. Inner industrial areas are o27 for small engines and switchers. Riding above it all is an elevated loop of standard O gauge track. All loops have 80 inch straights. The left side goes through what was a closet and will have a tunnel portal through the wall. I might enclose that area with some mountains and extend the tunnels to the back wall. Like I said, maybe I am nuts:D Should I go with something a bit simpler? I really dont want to though :cry: Chris

    Attached Files:

  2. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

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    The only problem I see is if something derails back in that closet area, you're gonna have a devil of a time getting back to it to fix the problem.
  3. simmonds

    simmonds Member

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    Yeah I thought of that too. I plan on the tunnel section of the layout having an access hole in the form of a drop down hatch. I also was thinking of one or two pop up or drop down hatches at some other points on the layout. Hmmmm
  4. simmonds

    simmonds Member

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    Also, does anyone know of a free track design software on the web? If not maybe someone else who has the software could see if this layout is feasable on a 5 1/2 X 11 1/2 space. Thanks, Chris
  5. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

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    Do you hand draw that by tracing, it sure looks like it? I am far from a track expert but I see you have some of the old track layouts incorporated there like the dog bone. I think you should go with what you want it is that simple.

    One of the few things that I have noticed is that you will at one point have to back a train either onto or off of the outer loop to the inside loop.

    Some of the members like using that free software program I just figure it out on paper and boy track. Either I was pretty good or lucky but it worked out pretty much how I wanted it too with little changes to the track plan.

    The only thing I can recommend is to try and make siding as long as possible if not and you have long trains they are useless.

    [FONT=&quot]Just brush up on isolating track sections into blocks and you should be able to run all your trains since you are conventional.[/FONT]
  6. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

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    There's one called XTrakCad or something like that. I never could figure out how to use that one right, however.

    Atlas also has a free one called RTS. It's major downfall is that it will only use Atlas track to create layouts. That makes it almost useless to design Lionel stuff since Atlas O/O27 straights are 10" and Lionel's are 8-3/4". I get around it by adding an extra foot to any layout design I create. A layout in a 5x9 space in Atlas track will fit a 4x8 space in Lionel Track.
  7. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

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    I use XTrkCad. If I can figure out where it stores the parts, I can share the parts I made for it. I entered in most of the available O27 pieces, and even some O31 pieces.

    If you like running trains more than anything, five at once would be really cool. I see nothing fundamentally wrong with it. You won't get a lot of scenery but if that doesn't matter to you, there's nothing wrong with that.
  8. Geno

    Geno Member

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    Chris,
    Looks like a good plan- are you planning to keep that wall, or is removing it not an option? Your plan to run 4-5 trains at the same time could work with those nice straight runs, depending on how you configure your blocks (or if you go with TMCC).

    I recommend more than just some access hatches at the back of your layout (like a back aisle if possible), or at least some decent-sized ones (20" x 20" min). Keep in mind also that you'll only have a 36" reach from each hole, so you'll definitely need at least 2 or 3.

    I use RR Track v.4, and it has all the track libraries available to design whatever you like. I don't think I'd be where I'm at (benchwork 90% done) if it weren't for the CAD program. But it still doesn't substitute getting some track down on the benchwork and seeing if it actually fits.

    Geno
  9. simmonds

    simmonds Member

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    As far as software goes I think I will just stick to the old fashion way and use paper and pencil. I use this handy little stencil called the Tinplate Template. It is great for just jotting down layout ideas anywhere, anytime. It has stencil pattern for all switch and track radius from o27 to o72.

    Also, as you can see I changed the layout a little by adding a second switch from the outer mainline to the right side of the dogbone inner loop. This will prevent me from having to back trains on or off outer to inner loops and Renovo PPR noted. Thanks for the advise.:)

    I also changed the inner o27 industrial areas to accommodate two 18 x 18 inch access holes. I suppose I could either ass nice scenery to these areas or lay some track and have jumper wires underneath that connect or disconnect when you need to raise the hatch. We will have to see.

    I will construct this layout in phases. Phase one will be just the outer loop and siding. Phase two the inner 042 dogbone. Phase three could be the inner 027 and elevated O section. Financially, that would make the most sense. Those o72 switches are going to hurt the wallet :curse:

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  10. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

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    Be sure to price Ross O72 switches. I think they're comparable in price to Lionel (within $10 either way--they might even be cheaper) and supposedly they run a lot smoother. And with adapter pins they'll made up to either O27 or O31 profile track.
  11. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

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    I'm not sure if Atlas turnouts will work but if they can I know where you can get some very cheap. Tire Hill Sports and Trains has a few hold overs and because he doe not mark them up after the price changes these are fairly cheap.

    However I don't know if they can be used with the regular 0-27 type of track.



    If you are interested here is the e-mail address.

    tirehillsporting@aol.com

    Phone: 814-288-5201
  12. Geno

    Geno Member

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    Renovo,
    Atlas actually makes adapter pins that mate with tubular track- my only issue with using them is that they look too different from tubular (if you even care- that kind of stuff bothers me :rolleyes: ). I personally would just bite the bullet and keep it all tubular.

    Chris,
    Since you have some space for a grade have you ever considered having a transition grade to access the inner loop?
    This way you could switch trains out without having to pull them off manually.

    Geno
  13. simmonds

    simmonds Member

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    Geno - Forgive my ignorance but I am not sure if I understand what you mean by a transition grade to access the inner loop.

    As for switches go, I think I will stick with tubular. I really dont understand though why the large price difference between standard O and O27 switches and the high prices of O72 switches.
  14. Geno

    Geno Member

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    Chris,
    A transition grade is just a track that goes from your base level to your upper loop of track. Looking at your current track plan it may require a bit of shuffling to get that in. But if you prefer an isolated loop, that's fine- it's your layout, and you can always change it later.

    Those 072 switches are also '0' sized track, so you'll have to shim the 027 track a little where they mate. I think Lionel's price point on the 072 switches was always a hose job- too bad no one else came out with an 072 switch with 027-sized track.

    BTW, K-Line made 072 curves in the lower profile 027 track sometime back- it matches Lionel 027.

    Geno
  15. simmonds

    simmonds Member

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    Geno,
    Now I understand what you are saying. Yeah, that might be a great idea. I like the idea of having a grade to reach the top loop. I will have to jot down some ideas on my track plan and see what I can come up with. Thanks for the idea.

    BTW - This layout was planned to be done with standard O track and not O27 except for in the center industrial areas. Should I instead go with O72 profile track for the entire layout?? What would be the advantages/disadvantages of both?
  16. Geno

    Geno Member

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    The '0'- sized track is beefier and larger, and that can be both an advantage and a problem depending where you are on how you feel about track size relative to the trains. It's also more expensive than 027, so it would also increase your costs. But it is still readily available and easy to find, like 027.

    I bought I pile of 027 track before deiciding it was not realistic enough for me. But even when it was the only track I had I usually only used 054 curves to keep them looking a bit more real. I even bought some of the K-Line 072 curves as well- trains look nice on those.

    I think you should stick to the 027- sized wherever possible, just because of cost alone- you'll save money with 027 in the long run.

    have you bought any track yet?

    Geno
  17. simmonds

    simmonds Member

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    I have some O but not much. Maybe I will consider using all o27 track to keep the cost down. Man, why does this have to be so difficult :D
  18. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

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    I've never used anything but O27. I know it makes things a bit limited but with a bit of creativity, you can still come up with some great layouts. It definately limits the size of your engines however. There are a lot of cool trains out there that I would love to have but some of them can barely take O31 curves and O27 would toss them off the track faster than a jackrabbit on speed.
  19. Geno

    Geno Member

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    I think if you limit use of 027 curves to your inner loop and use 042, 054, and 072 curves as you go out any layout will still be able to run a wide variety of diesels and steamers. I got rid of any 027 curves I had long ago as you're definitely speed-limited on those.

    As fas as tubular being difficult, IMO it's a no-brainer. Trying doing what I'm doing with my layout (Altas 2-rail w/ a center stud rail for power) and you'll know a complicated setup.

    Geno