HO&HOn3 layout..design stage...

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by jhh72, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. jhh72

    jhh72 New Member

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    Hi everyone.New to site but old to model railroading.
    What im trying to design in my layout idea is based on "home use" 1st and "show use" 2nd.I basically wish to construct a layout that is home friendly in the space available yet be transportable for the annual Model Train convention.Room size is 6 x 3m and the layout i have drawn is 5 x 2m..Please see attached drawing.It has 3 levels,,1st is HO only,,2nd is HO dual gauge with HOn3 and 3rd(top level) is all HOn3.Trying to tastefully cram in as many "running trains" at once with numerous tunnels,bridges and fine detailed scenery etc.Planning all to be L-Girder construction but all supported by a typical "sturdy/strong" basic outer framework as i really would like it all to be "one" layout and not worry about joins in scenery/track.Scenery will compromise of Hardshell casts and to keep some weight down the use of good old polyfoam etc...Will be running HO brass(Hallmark,Tenshodo,PFM)Rivarossi,Athern,Mantua,Bacmann(all mostly steam),,,as for HOn3 all steam of course.Not really building to scale..just freelance yet in the Rio-Grande steam era but with maximum scenery appeal to the eye and as said a good load of running trains:) more than likely use a DCC (thinking of MRC),Shinohara points & flexi ( am considering hand laying?) although never done it b4.Bottom design is the HO and middle design has some dual gauge in the yard area and the outer running main line with back 3xHOn3 staging and 2XHO staging..as i have some smaller HO steam i would like to run in middle level (0-4-0,2-6-2,2-4-0)to name a few....
    Any feedback about my design is greatly appreciated,,either positive or negative:) Im sure it will all look great,,just curious if anyone out there would do it this way or another way better suited to my description and room availability etc..
    Cheers and thanks in advance.. View attachment 36365

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  2. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

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    5 X 2m I am assuming that is 5 meters by 2 meters, or 16.3 feet by 6.5 feet, and that there will be three sections that size, stacked vertically, and, please, take no offense here, as none is meant, but you intend to move this?, regularly?, in and out of a room, and on the road to shows? I have more than enough trouble carrying my 2 foot by 4 foot modules up the basement stairs........but then I am old, and appropriately worn by the years, and, perhaps dim enough to not be able to grasp the concept of moving that large a layout, much less doing so without serious breakage.
    Sorry, but when my mind is boggled, I have a hard time controlling it :D :D :D
    The room is 6 X 3m, so you would have, if the layout is in a corner, a 1 meter walkway, on one side, and one end, and, with L girder, I would guesstimate the total height, of just the three sections stacked, at about 1.5, to 2 meters, assuming there would be hills in each level, and that they would be close, vertically.
    OK. I can breath again. I did have an 8 foot by 10 foot HO modular layout, which had to be moved every three years as my duty station would change. (U.S. Navy). I considered that lowest bidder movers would be handling my work, and that they wouldn't be gentle with it, so the modules were designed to fit inside a 2 foot by 4 foot by 4 foot crate, made out of two sheets of 3/4" plywood. Once packed, screws were driven through each side of each crate, into each module frame, and the layout survived all the moves.
    I would strongly consider a similar solution to your idea, keeping each module small enough that you alone, could still carry it to, and from whatever transport you used to get it to the shows. Also, consider how far you have to reach, over scenery, to fix, or re-rail, etc. I honestly cannot begin to figure just how heavy a 6'-6" X 16'-4" section of layout would weigh.
    Communication is a sometimes complicated thing, and if I have completely misunderstoos your intentions, I appologize.
    Pete
  3. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

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    Pete said it better than I possibly could. You sure woke me up with the thoughts of moving a 2 meter by 5 meter by 1 meter heavy unit through doorways and hallways. Reminds me too much of moving refridgerators and pianos. :oops:

    And as Pete said, access around a layout with 0.5 meter aisles - well, I just can't fit there anymore. :oops:

    If you are going to have a show layout, it will have to be much more modular. And if you are going to have a home layout in a 3x6 meter room, why not do an around-the-walls layout?

    my thoughts, your choices
  4. jhh72

    jhh72 New Member

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    ummm sorry guys,my error i left out this bit...i have a new house with a triple garage that is all open inside,,,there is the dbl area with dbl roller door for the 2 cars,,and right next door is the 3rd area with single roller door..this layout or any layout will be able to be moved either thru the single and/or dbl doors if needed directly to the awaiting truck reversed in.There will also be plenty of room to walk around the layout except the roller door side which will be as close as possible to the layout.A floor to ceiling rubber backed curtain wil be in place to devide the layout area from the adjoining open dbl area and i will be running a portable A/C unit that will keep my layout area very comfortable when it heats up on certain days as well as a ceiling fan etc....Again sorry, its not in a 4 walled room as such..I posted early in mng after work so was a bit vague in my details.Will only be moving it once,as the big show is on yearly.The leg/support system will be designed in such a way that all can be positioned/locked horizontal flush under board for moving and then each locked backdown into place and then supported by cross members which are bolted on later etc..each leg will also have adjustable feet on them if needed.As for literally moving it i am thinking of getting a kinda A-Frame designed either of metal or wood so that the layout can be positioned up against it on a lean as such,locked in place and it is then pushed and steered to the relevant position at the show( no small standard doorways to go thru,all roller door entry into the show areas etc) ..this A-Frame will have Wheels/tyres to do this..once in place this A-Frame is also supported in place as not to "topple over" and used as a sturdy pivot point and myself and the mates go to the front and lift up the layout and then all legs are dropped back down and locked into place(at this stage 8 legs)..the A-Frame is then unbolted and removed etc....whole process done in reverse when all is done and time to go home..time consuming at times but makes life a lot easier.The heavy lifting is only getting it in/out of truck and holding up one side whilst someone goes around and locks legs back down..in theory it should all work..and yep i agree this is a good sized layout that will have some weight about it..so if none of this can be done successfully than its back to the drawing board.I also used to be a member of a club many many years ago and we all used to move about 5 layouts to this same yealy show and it was always a BIG move and difficult at times.Im not doing all that heavy lifting again! :) I also have good contacts in the building industry so i will be seeking professonal advice as well.Only A few $$ extra to set this part up but worth it..
    Cheers Jason.
  5. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

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    Here's something to think about. There is an N scale layout that sometimes shows up at Trainfest, in Milwaukee. It is built on a Fifth wheel trailer. The trailer is brought in on the show floor, and the sides are removed to display the layout. The trailer part is hidden by skirting. Yes, it is huge! It is also highly detailed, and has lots of animation. A n d
    ......there's no lifting !!!!
  6. jhh72

    jhh72 New Member

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    yes each level is on top of each other,,but each level will be built at a point in both height and depth so as to blend in with each other if that makes sense?..im still planing the heights but im thinking each level to be app. 10-12 inches differance per each level..may even make the last top level a little higher as this will be in a "mountanous scenery enviroment"..
  7. jhh72

    jhh72 New Member

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    I wish i could design it all onto maybe a huge dbl axle trailer or even car trailer but road rules may not allow this.....
  8. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

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    "yes each level is on top of each other,,but each level will be built at a point in both height,and depth so as to blend in with each other if that makes sense."

    Both height and depth.....the second one is slightly higher, and a "bit further back?", like a staircase?
  9. jhh72

    jhh72 New Member

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    yes thats right..kinda like that.I have seen many layouts over the years with the effect of having trains run on multiple levels but not all directly over each other as in 3 same sized boards stacked on top like ship bunks..looked very effective.gave each level character and differances from each other..and its great working with L-girder to get that effect..
  10. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

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    Something to ponder, because of the 6'-5" depth of each "section", you would be well advised to plan, in detail, all the scenery, and work from the center of each section, to the outside. With that much reach, you would have a very difficult time working on the centers, if you have to reach over completed detail. Also, because you would be stacking, you wouldn't be able to use liftouts as a means of accessing any train problems near the centers, when the whole layout is assembled and running at a show.
    This is probably one of the most ambitious projects I've ever been aware of. I've said before, nothing is impossible, it's all a matter of probability. Before you start, spend considerable amounts of time, asking what if, and document all the steps in their order of accomplishment. If the project is laid out step by step, and all the "what if's" have been accounted for, this is do-able. At the risk of sounding redundant, Answering all the "what if's", and establishing a specific sequence of construction, are critical.
    Somebody has to attempt something like this, why not you. Best of luck, may your foresight be 20-20.
    [edit/add]- don't forget the seven "P's"...Prior Proper Planning Prevents Patently Poor Performance.
    Pete
  11. jhh72

    jhh72 New Member

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    Have just played around with computer and superimposed all 3 levels on top of each other(see below)..came out very close as to how i want it.The bottom HO level is the only level with a full "boxed" rectangle framework as such to the app. 5x2 mtr size.( and dont worry there will be more than just 2 ends and 2 sides in framework)..the middle and top level comprise only of L-Girder benchwork.Hope that makes sense :) thus i wont have the effect of 3 same size "boards" of model railroad all exactly over the top of each other and hopefully this allows for 2 or 3 possible "liftout" sections for any future issues that pop up and for access when doing scenery etc..I do not want to have the "bed bunk" effect for this big project if thats how my previous descriptions have been taken..I will be drawing to scale the framework required for the bottom HO level..and also to scale the next 2 levels and placement of all the L-Girder as things always change during construction!All of my trackwork,points locations etc will be drawn out on a real sized paper image ( for all 3 levels) this will also assist in benchwork.Lucky for me a family member has just completed the frame work stage of a new house and i have the ok to grab all the pine studs and skirting boards and mdf boards etc left over..will all come in handy.Lucky to have enough 4.8mtr studs for bottom framework with heaps of other lengths to use.So im definately thinking and planning this one thru to get it right :) Its a big job but this is model railroading with a challenge..its what its all about:D

    View attachment 36469

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  12. jhh72

    jhh72 New Member

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    :) Any suggestions about should i use a DCC for this design or DC,,I am from the old school and have absolutely no idea about DCC and how to wire this layout yet it sounds very usefull and interesting but like anything new,what brand to go for??!! stresses me sign1 However with DC i can make my own 5 amp walkaround h/helds (or look at whats available nowadays) and clearly plan my wiring to run up to 4 seperate individual trains and just let them go. ..my main goal is simply to have 2 HO running on bottom level,,middle level has outer ring dual gauge so i can run HO or swap over for some HOn3 perhaps now running the other way..and top level is all HOn3.As well as another train that runs between middle and top levels as both levels have reversing loops and i note using DC i would have to manually run this train between both levels etc.Im not one much for switching/shunting in yards etc or getting into running 2 or more on the one track,rather enjoy creating the layout,and have on display as mentioned at the annual model train show..and just let the running of all the trains occur with minimal control and mingle with everyone etc..i just remember when at these shows with the club it was more a practice to keep the trains running for the public,,naturally one would use the DC systems to stop at platforms,,,change tracks etc,,have a play now and then but it was continual train running for the eager kids and adult kids out the front.I know same can be had with DCC system:) but for my running descriptions/requirments is it overkill?

    Cheers Jas.