Small layout plan...need some help!

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by custom1106, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. custom1106

    custom1106 Member

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    Some of you have probably seen a couple of posts of mine in regards to my smaller HO layout. I'm having a difficult time coming up with anything interesting. The space I'm dealing with is 33" wide and 6' long. At the ends I'm using Atlas 15" radius track to turn the train around. I've been playing around with different configurations for awhile now, but I just can't find one that "operates" right. I'm just trying to find something that will make the most of the space I have.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated:thumb:

    Custom
  2. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    that's a tiny space. I've got about the same space, but it is HOn3 so I can get away with tighter curves and steeper grades. If you absolutely want a continuous running layout, 15" will work, but for realism consider just switchers and short cars. Hide the curves in tunnels so the viewer can't see how sharp they are. Do you have access to all sides of the layout, or will it be against a wall?

    kevin
  3. custom1106

    custom1106 Member

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    the layout is shoved into a corner, it's in a small bedroom.
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I don't think I would hide the curves with tunnels, at least not mountain tunnels. You have a very limited space. I would make the entire layout one big city industrial district. Run Sw, Alco S1-4, or GE 44 tonners or 70 tonners for motive power. Use tall buildings to create "urban tunnels" to hide the tight radius curves, and put in a lot of industrial sidings to work. You want enough buildings that you can't see an entire train from anywhere on the layout, and plan on train lengths of no more than 10 cars max. Model the 1950's with 40 foot cars to make the layout look bigger than it is.
  5. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    well, if you want continuous running, you are basically stuck with an oval and a few spurs. I would hide the back part of the oval under a mountain and make a small town scene in front. with a few industries on spurs. Remember, your straight section will only be 3 ft long, so a run around track is probably impossible.

    I don't see any way you can do something like an over/under or anything too creative in that small of a space. If you could gain just a few more inches width, you may be able to do considerably more.

    kevin
  6. Collyn

    Collyn Member

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    I was playing around with an idea for a switching layout a while back and had a problem with wanting continous running or at least to be able to turn around. What I had come up with was having the mainline drop down into a trench thing with some other swithching tracks bridging over the trench with the yard tracks to optimize space. see of i can post a pic later
  7. Collyn

    Collyn Member

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    this kinda gives an idea of what I was talking about

    Attached Files:

  8. custom1106

    custom1106 Member

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    Very nice! Never thought of that!
  9. UKSteam

    UKSteam Member

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    Hi there custom1106. Collyn's excellent suggestion about dipping the track work got me thinking on how to give you a longer run in the space required. I came up with this (see below) and I had some old set radius track laying around.(15" as luck would have it :)) I mapped out your usable area on the floor and started fiddling with the track. The first bmp I hope I have successfully downloaded here shows the general idea. However I did see a problem with steep grades and interference at the rear tunnel mouth. So in the second bmp I jogged the upper level over to give more clearance (gradewise)at the back. They are close in clearance width wise), but the last part of the decsending grade is going to be hidden anyways. The colours are meant as a guide. The red in the first pic' is where the tracks are above one another.
    Apart from the grade problem, I don't know the height of American trains and stock. I can get away with a 3 inch difference in track bed levels if I use thin ply on the upper level well supported and glued rather than pinned (spiked)
    The left side of the design is basebard level and 2nd level. The right side is set midway between the two to allow shallower grades. Even so I think they are steep.
    The design does require the use of a curved switch up on the top right. Without it you simply can't get the extra few inches to start the two top grades, or get the reverse loop to comfortably come back across the layout. I found that the extra few inches it saved improved both features implementation.
    The second pic shows how I adjusted the tunnel mouths (shown as 2 red horseshoes)

    Anyway, just my 2c worth for the space provided. Fingers crossed it got the pics on here.

    Attached Files:

  10. UKSteam

    UKSteam Member

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    OK so the text is tiny now due to the reduction to DL the images :(
    They read as:- descending grade/ rising grade/ descending grade/ rising grade. Respectively from top to bottom.