layout plan

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by zachary, Jul 1, 2007.

  1. zachary

    zachary Member

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    hello everyone i know ive made threads like this before but i didnt know what i kinda wanted in a layout. i now know a little. railroad is going to be bnsf scale is ho space aloted is 8 x 18 industries are coal cement intermodel and grain thoso are the main industries so whatever else any one can come up with for industries is ok a duckunder is ok because ill be the only one running it theme is cajon pass any help is aprecated thanks zachary
  2. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    The first thing I'll have to suggest is to check out John Armstrong's plan "Cajon Pass, Salt Lake & Santa Fe." It can be found in Linn Westcott's 101 Track Plans for Model Railroaders. It's one of my favorite track plans. However, aside from the small issue that it represents Cajon in the 50s, it's too large. It takes up 10'x20' with 24" radius, and I know you want 28". Thus, you won't be able to fit as much.
  3. zachary

    zachary Member

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    triplex is there anyway you can post a pic of the trackplan you are talking about because i dont have the book and cant go down to the lhs
  4. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    Is the space available that you quoted 18 inches wide by 8 feet in length?
  5. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    He's mentioned it in other threads - it's 8 feet by 18 feet. (I thought it was 8x16 a little while ago - what gives?)
  6. zachary

    zachary Member

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    well the reason i have a bigger space is i was granted the extra two feet from the landlord aka my mom
  7. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

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    Zachary

    You don't mention whether you are still in school or not. I'm guessing you are. Do you plan to take the layout with you when you move out? Or this a long term living situation?

    I ask these questions because the answers really impact how much of a layout you are going to have time to build before you move. To build a layout requires space, time, and money. A bigger layout takes more of each of these.

    With the amount of space you have, there are many good track plans that might work. Whereas in a smaller space, the options are more limited, and following a published plan makes more sense. But for your space, designing your own layout might get you closer to what you want, rather than one of us designing a layout for you that reflects our prejudices and our concepts of good layout design.

    Assuming you have more than 2 years to go living where you are, I like to recommend a variation of the HOG (see The HOG Heart of Georgia Beginner's Layout) for model railroaders ready to go beyond the 4x8, but who are not yet ready for their own final version of the Gorre and Daphited.

    Take it as a starting point, modify it to suit yourself. Just don't make it so big and complex that you can't "complete" the layout in half the time you have remaining at home. Make this layout an enjoyable and learning experience that you take to a reasonable degree of completion before you have to move - even if this means you don't use all the space allowed to you.

    Specific changes to the HOG which might be nice are to increase the minimum radius by enlarging the layout, increase the width of the shelves/tables to 2ft instead of 1ft, lengthen passing and yard tracks, and add some extra spurs/industries or scenes to watch trains run through. I would be cautious about adding many more turnouts though. An old Westcott editorial in Model Railroader that discussed size of layouts mentioned that he thought about 18 turnouts was the most a one-man model railroad should build and maintain.

    The number of turnouts controls the complexity of the track plan. The length of train determines the size. Passing sidings, yard leads, yard tracks, and staging tracks should all be designed around your planned train length.

    just some thoughts of mine
  8. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    Yes, but that's old. Have turnouts got more reliable since Westcott's day?
  9. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    How about your recommendation of a John Armsotrong trackplan in a Linn Westcott book...? ;) :D

    Quite likely, although in "those days" one might actually build (i.e. hand-lay) a turnout for better reliability. One thing that hasn't gotten better is the price; very (very) roughly, reliable turnouts like Peco will cost you $20 per, so 18 will set you back nearly $400. Zachary - see Fred's ntoe about affordability!

    Andrew
  10. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    It's still a somewhat popular plan, and I like it myself. I recommend that because track plans stay workable over time. I wouldn't recommend 1950s advice on how to zip-texture scenery or use some of the strange types of track they had then, or 1960s advice that describes brass steam locomotives as the best value for money.
  11. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

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    True, I think that turnouts have gotten somewhat more reliable since the '60s. But I think turnout installation time is not trivial, and at least some turnouts (50%) will need some adjusting for derailment-free operation. And some will need adjusting 4-5 years down the line. I also like considering limiting the number of turnouts because:
    • cost if you buy commercial can give you pause (as Andrew points out)
    • more than 20 turnouts may be an overly complex track plan for just one person to operate
    Limiting the number of turnouts should not be a hard and fast rule - rather something to consider if what is called "scope creep" in my line of work is raising its ugly head.

    Put bluntly, I am trying to caution Zachary against planning more model railroad than he can afford or can build and enjoy before he moves out just because he has a decent-sized space. I have "been there, done that" with too many incomplete "Plywood Pacifics" when Uncle Sam decided I need an address change every 3 years (or less!).

    A large, simple (few turnouts) layout with generous curves (ala HOG)might be just the ticket for Zachary. Although the benchwork will be more expensive and time-consuming than a table layout, the rest should be little increase in time over the table layout.

    just my thoughts
  12. screwysquirrel

    screwysquirrel Member

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    go for fewer turnouts, just for cost

    when designing a door layout back in 2003, I had a complex plan with a huge yard, a wide variety of industries and 22 turnouts! then I looked at the $440 cost of 22 manual turnouts and choked. I cut back to a simpler, 7 turnout design.

    You can see my thoughts summed up by the title of my thread at the time: 'EEK! The cost!'
  13. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    Reference screwysquirril's response, note that he said "manual turnouts", adding switch machines if you so choose, is going to almost double that cost.
    Pgandw's comments are very realistic for someone your age. I recall a couple of threads by people either just finishing college or getting moved into a new home and enevitably they were resurrecting a model railroad that they started as teenagers. It would be easier to restart a less complex railroad than a large one that you have to tear out of your parents home and store away. If indeed you could find a place to store it. Even loving parents would like to have their house back eventually.
  14. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    Ah... Now I realize the problem. I almost always design track plans assuming that more than one person will (be able to) operate. Bad assumption.
  15. zachary

    zachary Member

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    hey guys this will most likely be long term liveing arragments because i have really bad eyesight and figure it will be easier to live here were if i cant see something i have someone to help me and my buget for track wiil probaly be around three to four hundred dollars for track
  16. zachary

    zachary Member

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    and yes im still in school i am home schooled
  17. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    Let's go back to the 8 foot by 18 foot layout space that you mentioned earlier. Can you post a scaled sketch of the room size with door and window openings and any obstructions such as furnace, stairways etc. Also bear in mind that an 8 foot width will be difficult to work with since you will have a hard time reaching the back of the layout to do any work or rerail trains in the event of an accident. Don't forget that you will need to spend some of your money on materials for bench work before you get to the track laying stage. Planning is the key word.
  18. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    Zachery: Here is another thought. Have you checked for any model railroad clubs in your area? If there is one, contact them and I'm sure one or more club members would be happy to help you with a potential layout.
  19. zachary

    zachary Member

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    jim i have a total of about 600 dollars and it is hafl of a garage there is no water heaters or furnaces in there no i dont think there is a club in my area
  20. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    OK, now we have a starting point. For the moment, put the money aside and lets think about layout. Do your parents park a car in the other half of the garage? If so, how much room do they need to get the car doors open? If the car doors intrude into your part of the garage, you need to provide room for them in your layout design. If the car is in the garage, you will need room between the car and your layout so that you can walk and work. Maybe two feet just for preliminary planning. Of course, if you are like a lot of folks, the garage is more of a storage area and you may not need to concern yourself with door swing and such.
    So, now we are to the point of the actual width of your layout. Lets just figure six feet for talking purposes. This is still pretty wide to enable you to work on the side toward the wall. It can be done. Six feet wide will allow for a practical maximum curve radius of 34 inches. This is assuming that you keep the track two inches away from the wall and two inches from the edge of the benchwork. So far we have the potential for a continuous loop of track seventeen and one half feet long and 68 inches wide. There are a whole bunch of variations that you can do in that area in the way of yards, sidings etc. You could also have a decent grade increase with that much length which would give you the ability to cross over your mainline with bridge(s) or tunnel(s).
    Just for kicks and to get you started, find some inexpensive rolled paper that can be taped together to make a six foot by eighteen foot scratch pad. Put it on the floor in your layout area and lay out the two radii at each end. Use a yardstick with a hole drilled at the one inch mark and measure to the 35 inch mark.(this should put you at one inch from the other end of the yardstick.) Drill another hole and you will be able to use one hole for the center of your 34 inch radius and the other for a pencil to mark on the paper. Measure from the edge of your paper to the center (18 inches) and in from the ends (18 inches).
    This will be the center of your curve radius. Now take your yardstick and make two half circles at each end of the potential layout. Using your yardstick or a long piece of straight lumber, mark your two lines from one diameter to the other. Now you should have an oval 68 inches by about 17 feet 8 inches. Let's see where you can go from there. Of course if you are into drafting, you can scale all of the above down by 1/2 or 1/4 scale and make it much smaller.
    This is a not so quick reply.