Wheeling & Northern (N scale)

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by 2-8-2, Nov 28, 2006.

  1. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

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    Howdy :wave:

    I'm starting a thread with the hopes that the CFO (aka my girlfriend) approves some additional real estate for me. Right now, I'm working with the "Scenic and Relaxed" plan, which is 3x6. I'm hoping to be able to expand that to an L shaped layout of 9x6x3. This would be a dream come true for me, just short of having a whole basement layout...and some lottery winnings to finance it all.

    That said, I was hoping the fine folks that follow this forum may have some ideas for me. This is kind of overwhelming, because I've always been held to a smaller table sized layout. Here are some jumping off points:

    Givens
    - Basement layout. Either NW corner of the room or SE corner, next to stairs.
    - Max layout size: 9x6x3 L shape
    - N scale
    - Transition era (1953) near the end of steam

    Druthers
    - No point to point. Would like some continuous run with some switching.
    - Single track mainline w/ passing sidings.
    - Industry (in order of importance) Coal, lumber, grain, oil.
    - 2 towns for passenger traffic, 3 towns would be nice.
    - At least 1 interchange

    I finally have an excuse to play around in XtrkCAD, so I'll for sure be posting some layout attempts. Thanks!
  2. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    2-8-2,There are tons of such plans and choosing the best is the hardest part.I don't usually suggest buying layout planning books because I believe a layout should be designed by the modeler base on their givens and druthers.However I will suggest two books as guides to get you started in the right direction.
    Track Planing For Realstic Operation by John Armstrong and
    48 Top Notch Track Plans from Model Railroader..
  3. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

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    In the April 2006 issue of Model Railroader, there's a layout on page 53 of the Naugatuck Valley RR. I'm attempting to adapt this plan to fit my space, but it's not working so well. Using track planning software is pretty horrible.
  4. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

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    [​IMG]

    Maybe I'm being too difficult...

    Here's the track plan I was going to use. This is the 3x6 Scenic and Relaxed. Basically with my new available space, I'm adding another 3x6 on the left side of this. The L would point down, making the back edge 9'. Maybe this plan can be modified a little for a new section? Or would I just be better off starting from scratch?
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    That layout is pretty much self contained. I think you could eliminat the hidden trackage on the right side of the pic, and use those two rail ends to go on and off of the "L" section. I think that you would be better off to get the approval for the "L" shaped extension of the layout and then design a trackplan to fit your new benchwork.
  6. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

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    Here are some layouts similar to what I want:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  7. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    Those examples are really quite different; the benchwork shape is the only main similarity.
  8. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

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    I'm hitting a wall with the plan I'm working on in 3rd PlanIt. This is a pretty good sized layout for N scale, and I'm wondering if I'm going to need some additional under layout staging.

    Hopefully I can get access to a scanner. I have several good ideas down on paper, but transferring that to what will actually work and fit is another story.
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I think I would leave out the turntable and any engine facility. Your layout is small enough, even in n scale that you just don't have room for it, unless you are going to build a logging theme or short line railroad that would only run a couple of locomotives and a small 2 bay engine house. If you are running something that small, you probably don't need staging. If you can encroach on the "off limits" living area on a temporary basis while operating, you could do a staging yard on a cart, and roll it up to a stub siding that went off the bench work. Roll the cart up to the layout, align the track you want to take a train off of, and run it onto the layout. In effect you would use the cart like the British modelers use fiddle yards.
  10. railohio

    railohio Active Member

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    Russ scored some major points tonight for his recommendation. Yards and engine facilities eat up a lot of space on small layouts and rarely repay in operation enough to make them worth the sacrifice.

    If those first two layouts are about what you're looking for then you'd want to have a look at the Appalachian Central (?) project railroad in Model Railroader from six years ago. It has the same general feel of the plans you've shown and includes many elements of a "Wheeling-ish" railroad. It even manages to not only include and compress the dreaded engine facilities but make them useful in regular operations. I think it ran in the December '00 and January '01 issues although someone that remembers with the issue handy might be able to tell you more precisely.
  11. railohio

    railohio Active Member

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    Since you're a fellow Ohioan I took pity on you and dug the issue out myself. (Yes, I'm this condescending in person, too.)

    The Appalachian Central was a two-part series in the January and February 2000 issues by Lionel Strang. A few months later, though I don't remember the issue, there was a third installment on operating it.

    The overall dimensions as built are 5'-7-1/2" by 7', so it could be easily expanded slightly to ease the curves and better use your space. With a quick glance at the plan I believe it meets all your givens and druthers, too.
  12. KATY

    KATY Member

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  13. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

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    It's funny that you posted that, because I was just down at the LHS (which is a 40 minute drive for me) looking at layout books. I think I saw that plan, or something like it, in the 101 Trackplans book.

    I picked up The Classic Layouts of John Armstrong and Track Planning for Realistic Operations while there. There's a trackplan called "French Broad Valley" that shares a few characteristics with all of the images posted here. I think with a few alterations, I can make this plan work to suit my needs. Now that I have the Track Planning book, things are making a lot more sense to me.
  14. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    Not really; both legs of the L as shown are already 3' wide.
  15. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

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    Brian and Russ...

    Thanks for the suggestions, and I dug up those MR magazines and read the articles myself. However, this layout, like the others, has elements that I like and those that I don't. The most glaring thing is that I don't really like the dividing walls shown on the Appalachian Central. It seems like 1/2 the layout is lost due to hidden tracks and hills.

    I think I'm now able to take a long hard look at exactly what I want and design a plan myself that meets all my needs.
  16. dwyaneward

    dwyaneward New Member

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  17. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    If you find thing in the Appalachian Central you like, but also things you don't like, you can always redesign the plan to eliminate the parts you don't like.