Beginner questions

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by T-Mac, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. T-Mac

    T-Mac New Member

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    My 9 year old son and I are planning an O guage layout. We have an area about 20 feet long in my shop to build benchwork about 3 feet out from the wall. We can also build off this with a couple of 4' X 8' areas. Is this enough space for a good O guage layout? We have seen MTH DCS in use and liked it. Is this a good system? Is Gargraves flex track good for beginners?

    Thanks for any advice!:)
  2. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    As with most of us MR people, the space that ya' got is the space that ya' got. I think that with the space that you are talking about, your limiting factor may be curve radius. If you want to run very large locomotives there may be a problem. I'm not familiar with MTH equipment so I'll let someone else deal with the minimum radius on those trains. And a Welcome to both you and your son.
  3. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

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    Hiya, T-Mac!!:thumb:
    I don't know if this is the kind of space you have, but with some assumptions,
    you have much more benchtop and much greater radius curves with an operating
    pit in the middle. The downside is, the duck-under or lift-out required to access
    the layout. 48" table height will help and also enhance realism! You probably cannot
    reach further than 30" and still work comfortably on track or scenery, so the 3 and 4 foot
    table depths are problematic.
    I think the Gargraves track looks good, but it requires a lot more work than laying
    FastTrack if you want a ballasted appearance.
    Just a suggestion!!:) :)

    Attached Files:

  4. T-Mac

    T-Mac New Member

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    Thanks to Cid & Jim for your help! Cid I really like the suggestion you made about having an operating pit. I can use that type layout and will have access all around except where the north wall is. Is that plenty of room to have mountain terrain on one side with different grades. We really want some trestles and tunnels on part of the layout. We are planning to run mostly modern freight.:wave:
  5. T-Mac

    T-Mac New Member

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    Thanks to Cid & Jim for your help! Cid I really like the suggestion you made about having an operating pit. I can use that type layout and will have access all around except where the north wall is. Is that plenty of room to have mountain terrain on one side with different grades. We really want some trestles and tunnels on part of the layout. We are planning to run mostly modern freight.:wave:
  6. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

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    T-Mac, I would think that's enough room. I've seen people put a trestle on a layout as small as 4x8. So if you've got multiple 4x8s, you ought to be able to do a trestle and a tunnel on one of them without any trouble. Check and see if your library has any books of track plans. That'll give you an idea of what's possible, even though you'll probably end up building something other than what's in the book.
  7. fsm1000

    fsm1000 Member

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    I built an On30 layout in a 6 by 4 foot area, it has two levels etc. Check it out on my site if you wish. I hope it helps you out. :)
  8. jetrock

    jetrock Member

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    Four feet of reach isn't exactly "access all around," unless you build the layout table strong enough to climb on it when something derails against the back wall. 3 feet is still kind of long, but it's bearable as long as you don't have to reach over any scenery or buildings.
  9. Geno

    Geno Member

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    Sounds like you've got plenty of room- I've got a 20 x 20 bonus that I'm starting to build a layout in, and I'm only running it along 2 walls. I'm going about 4' deep, but at the ends on the 'L' I'm going with 6' peninsulas for 072 loops. Scale modern equipment is long (18" cars, 20" diesels, etc) and look better on wider curves. Make sure to incorporate some sort of access hatches in the corners to get in there- beats crawling on top on your layout.

    DCS is a complex and expensive command system (about $420 for the basic components)- I'd only go with that if I had only DCS 2.0 engines. You'll need to wire your layout with feeds from the TIU in a 'star' pattern- from the unit to points all around your track. And you'll need to constantly check the track with an engine to check for signal reception. It does offer alot of features, as well as the ability to control both DCS and TMCC. For a beginner I'd recommend Lionel TMCC- a basic command set goes for about $100 and doesn't require extensive layout wiring to get started.

    Gargraves is a good track system- its reasonably priced and you can also get sectional curves in all radii if you like. It is also not too bad to bend (check the OGR forum on threads on that topic). It's been around for over 60 years, so it's still quite popular, and you can get great switches from Ross that match the track exactly.

    Geno
  10. Grant B

    Grant B Member

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    One option is having a couple independent loops that intersect each other . A little easier wiring but still interesting and you can do it in stages.
    Also an On30 loop using HO track for a trolley might be fun to add
    Have Fun
    Grant[FONT=&quot][/FONT]