need good layout ideas

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by ozzy, Jul 3, 2006.

  1. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

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    i want to make an N scale layout that 2' X 12'. i want 2 main lines, a working rail yard, turn table, a few industries with rail service, passanger station.

    any idea's how to make it work and look good?
  2. fhmac

    fhmac New Member

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    Have you seen or read John Armstrong's "Track Planing for Realistic Operation'? It is the Bible of layout design!
  3. 3railguy

    3railguy Member

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    I would recomend a dogbone shaped track plan with the ends widened to 36" for 15" radius curves on the end loops. The S curves that approach the end loops would be great for run-by viewing (a feature John Armstrong recomends in his book). You could have one or two mainlines with a double crossover or two somehere in the middle of the dog bone to increase the directions you can take. I would put a yard in the middle and two industrial spur branches within the two end loops.
  4. wickman

    wickman Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong N scale 24" would be like an Ho scale 48" which would mean you could get a decent dogbone with decent radius's or even and end to end with the yard and turntable going off in one direction and industries in between. My plan is kinda like that but in HO scale .:wave:
  5. 3railguy

    3railguy Member

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    N scale isn't exactly half the size of HO. 15" mininum radius is what you want in N scale for running long trains or larger equipment such as E8 diesels and passenger coaches. For a layout his size, 15" minimum radius makes sense.
  6. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    15" in N equates to 27" in HO, a good minimum for long equipment.
  7. fifer

    fifer Active Member

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  8. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    There are some good plans in 101 Track Plans, and some bad ones. Don't expect to take any plan exactly. Also, N is 55% of HO, not 50% as the book says. Almost all plans in the book are standardized to 18", 24" or 30" curves in HO, which equate to 9.75", 13.25" and 16.5" in N. However, depending on equipment, there are good reasons for other radii. Many modellers in both HO and N use curves between conventional and broad. Equipment choices have also changed in 50 years. Far fewer modellers use "shorty" passenger cars anymore.
  9. wickman

    wickman Member

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  10. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author Member

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    Let me preface by saying that I am thinking of sectional track here, specifically Atlas Code 80. There are other choices.

    If you're stuck with 2 feet wide, the best you can do is 11 inch radius for the outside track of a double track mainline. That will work for just about anything but the longer equipment won't look that great. (You didn't say what era you wanted for your railroad so it may not matter that much.)

    It's worse news for the inside track of a double track mainline if you only have two feet; that would be the 9 3/4 inch radius which is just about the bare minimum these days. (7 1/2 inch radius once existed, the rough equivalent of 15 inch radius in HO Scale.)

    If you can swing any extra room at the ends of the line for turning, definitely consider it.

    A common trick to make long, thin layouts appear less regular is to angle the trackage so that it doesn't run parallel to the edges of the layout. You can certainly do that and then bring the track back toward the edge before it turns. In 12 feet of room you can also consider some elevation changes and even flipping the front and back parts of the track, sort of like a very long figure 8. There is also the possibility of treating each of the two tracks as a separate railroad; I've never been a big fan of that but it is an idea.
  11. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    I'm not a fan of that either. I believe in separation of independent tracks.

    Wait a minute... In some places, two railroads would pool their nearby single-track mains to create double track. Maybe I'd better stop considering this situation so unrealistic!
  12. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

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    well could streach the layout to 30", that would give an extra 6 inch's, i got room for 48", but my wife put her foot down.........(i dont know why i keep her around anyway....lol)
  13. 3railguy

    3railguy Member

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    Instead of asking for 3 feet, get a metric tape measure and ask her for one meter. This works out to about 3'-3"
  14. wickman

    wickman Member

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    metric ...yeeuck:rolleyes:
  15. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author Member

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    Just think of it as 39.3701 inches... sign1