My mini N layout

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by FiveFlat, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. FiveFlat

    FiveFlat Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just got back from the LHS and bought all the track and a book.
    The book: Atlas' "Introduction to N scale railroading"
    My layout plan: N-2.

    I flipped it upside down because I want my yard down at the bottom left. I think this layout has ALOT of potential for expansion off to the left where the end bumpers are.
    I've finally decided that I am going to model the California/Central Pacific and Union Pacific together. Steam of course. I can already see the Sacramento River and the Sierras on this plan...
    What do you all think?

    Attached Files:

  2. Zman

    Zman Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's a perfectly good little layout, but are any of your turn radii smaller than 9 3/4"? Are those foot markers on the graph?

    If your turn radii are too small you will not be able to run engines with trucks that have more than four wheels. Larger steam engines generally have larger trucks, ie. 2-6-0 Moguls or 2-8-0 Consolidations - and then you get into the really big ones.
  3. FiveFlat

    FiveFlat Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, those are 1' markers. I drew this in XTrkCaD from the Atlas book.

    They are mostly 9 3/4" with a couple 19" in there. My newly bought Bachmann 2-6-2 UP engine is going to run on it initally, hopefully without a problem?
    I would really like to run at the largest a 4-8-4 with 8-8 tender. Will 9 3/4" not work for one of those? I'm not sure if they even ran on this line, but I'm mostly in this for fun and not really too concerned about exact replication. (At this point anyway)
  4. Zman

    Zman Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    0
    The 2-6-2 probably won't have any problems, but the 4-8-4 ??? I don't really know. Before you buy one, see if a dealer can put it on a tight turn for you in the store. That's a lot of money to spend on an engine you end up putting on the mantlepiece for decoration.

    I have a 19th-century RR, and I only run 4-4-0 Americans, so someone else here will no doubt be able to give you better advice.
  5. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2003
    Messages:
    956
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually, UP wasn't really in that part of the state until 1987 when they took over Western Pacific--remember, CP and UP met in Utah. If we're talking California, we're talking Southern Pacific (Central Pacific became Southern Pacific.)

    Galt eh? Sounds like you're just down the road from me--ever make it up to the Railroad Museum in Sacramento? They have a GREAT library, and the trains are nice too...
  6. FiveFlat

    FiveFlat Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    jetrock, you're right, but since it's so hard to find central pacific and/or california pacific stuff, I figured I'd go with UP. Like I said, I'm more in this for fun than exact replication at this point.

    Yeah, Galt. I haven't been to the railroad museum in years, but I want to take my son. I heard Thomas the tank engine shows up there every once in a while too - he'd love that.
    I was just talking with my sister today also about her and her boyfriend and me and my wife taking that train from Sac to Reno - especially now with all the snow - it would be awesome!
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Messages:
    4,707
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm not sure about Northern California, but U.P. has been in So Cal since around 1900, maybe earlier. It may have been when Harriman owned U.P., S.P., and W.P. before he was forced to divest due to the then new antitrust laws. The U.P. mainline has run Ogden Utah, Las Vegas, Nevada, and across the So Cal dessert to Yermal a small town just East of Barstow. Yermal is home to a prototype staging yard where the U.P. stages trains waiting to get on the Santa Fe's Cajon Pass. U.P. has had trackage rights over Cajon at least since the early part of the 20th century, long before the buyout of the W.P. in 1987.
  8. Papa Bear

    Papa Bear Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Messages:
    630
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey FiveFlat,

    I used that track plan for my first layout. I subtituted 11" radius sectional track for the 9 3/4". Later on, I "expanded" the layout by adding some more spurs and a yard. It all fit on a 3'X4' table. It was a good track plan and served me well for about 10 years. Lots of room for scenery and structures.

    You can see photos of it here.
  9. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2003
    Messages:
    956
    Likes Received:
    0
    FiveFlat: Central Pacific became Southern Pacific around 1880--you shouldn't have any problem finding Southern Pacific motive power or rolling stock. As far as California Pacific line, that's a pretty obscure line--it ran from Sacramento to Vallejo and was absorbed by the Central Pacific in the 1870s--and thus is also part of Southern Pacific.

    I don't think there is a Thomas the Tank Engine appearance scheduled anytime soon, but the Thomas Sefton toy-train collection layout on the second floor, just installed last year, will definitely be a mind-blowing experience for any young boy. There is also a Thomas-themed play area on the second floor.

    The trip up to Reno is pretty nice too--haven't done it in the winter, but it is nice in the summer. Starting next month, the train will actually start stopping in Reno--currently while they're finishing up the Reno trench, the train stops in Sparks.

    Russ Bellinis: Trackage rights, sure, but UP stuff in northern California (thus "that part of the state" was pretty much unknown until the WP buyout. Southern California is a different story.
  10. FiveFlat

    FiveFlat Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    You're right about Cal-Pac, I thought SP was alot later than the 1880s, I though that was well into 1900s - regardless, that's the timeframe I want anyway. So thanks, SP it is.
    So where is 'just down the road from you' ? Are you in Elk Grove or Sactown?
  11. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2003
    Messages:
    956
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm in Sacramento proper. I volunteer at the Railroad Museum and have done quite a bit of local railroad-history research, although I'm not exactly an expert.
  12. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,849
    Likes Received:
    0
    The 2-6-2 will have no trouble, but 4-8-4s are big power. Do not expect them to run on 9.75". I'm not sure what a minimum for them would be - 13" at least; I'd aim for 15".
  13. FiveFlat

    FiveFlat Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    I ended up adding 25"X72" to my layout to form an "L" shape and I am going to connect off the outside siding from the previous layout. My only problem is the little gap at the right of this new layout. How do I get around that?
    Also, what do you all think of this? Does anyone have any better suggestions? (I'm sure there are plenty of better suggestions)

    Attached Files:

  14. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Messages:
    4,707
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you use flex track instead of sectional track, you won't have that gap, and you will eliminate most of your rail connections which eliminates potential bad connections. The yard will function better if the balloon track (return loop) is tied into it which would allow a run around track so that a road locomotive could bring a train into the yard, uncouple and move out of the way for a switcher to break up the train. You could probably get a bigger yard in by using the center of the balloon track for the yard, maybe make the tracks you drew into an engine terminal, there might be room for a turn table and small engine house in that area. I'm not sure how much space stuff takes in n scale since I model ho.
  15. FiveFlat

    FiveFlat Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Considering I can clear up that gap on the above trackplan, here are 2 plans that I would like opinions on. Thanks!


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  16. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Messages:
    4,707
    Likes Received:
    0
    I like the first one better because it has a longer mainline run. Is the crossing a cross over or an over under? I would consider eliminating the inner loop on the lower left quadrant, it doesn't seem to serve any purpose. Instead I would put some industries for switching interest in that area. In the yard at the top, put a switch right where the track comes out of the curve at the top left just past the crossing and bring it around to the inside of the mainline loop to create a long yard lead. Then put your yard where it is with another crossover in the end for a run around track to get an engine out. I think you would still have room in that area to bring another track off the yard lead to an engine facility near the yard.
  17. FiveFlat

    FiveFlat Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was thinking for that first one that it would be an over and under. The yard at the top would be a ground level backed up to the side of a cliff or something and the track would be running along the side of a mountain above it.

    That other double loop track already exists and I don't want to change it (very much). I'm not very good at this planning thing, and all I know is that I definately want continuous running. It would be nice if I could get that yard to attach back to the main line again because I really hate seeing engines running backwards.
  18. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,849
    Likes Received:
    0
    Then you won't like the second one. It has one return loop, so trains that turn using it can't turn around again without backing up. This would be acceptable if this were an out-and-back/continuous hybrid, but the yard would have to connect to the main the other way for that to work.

    The first plan has the longer continuous run.
  19. FiveFlat

    FiveFlat Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    I hope you all aren't getting too annoyed at my constant changes and requests for opinions.:oops:
    I think I am really too new to this hobby to be trying to plan such a complicated layout so early. I learned how to use RTS since XTrkCaD only allows max. 4x8 layout. Here is what I came up with most recently. Will flextrack connect up with atlas snap-track simply with rail-joiners just like snap-track to snap-track? Is a newbie with flextrack a quick route to disaster? I only think I need flex for the inner/upper level main line where you see the gap.
    You can download the RAL file here: LAYOUT

    [​IMG]
  20. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Messages:
    4,707
    Likes Received:
    0
    I built my first layout with flextrack. The learning curve is very quick. I had much more problem getting the snap switches to work reliably than I did getting flextrack down correctly.