Who will rise to this challenge??

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by iis612, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. iis612

    iis612 Member

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    Fred,
    You have certainly given me a lot to think about. Alot of the items you discussed I had paid no mind to.
    Begining with the height, you are right. The upper deck needs to be at least 54".
    I had intended to vary the deck depths at 30" upper, and 36" lower (I have a long reach).
    As to the consist length, I had not gone so far as to think about it in linear feet before. 24' is a lot longer than I really need, even though I prefer trains to be closer to prototypical length.
    I am going to have to re-consider this project, as I have gone the paper and pencil route, using Armstrong's "Sketch by the squares" method, and I am yet to come up with a decent benchwork pattern.

    Matt
  2. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

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    On your consist length - a trick that might help. Iain Rice's opinion is that a train appears long, no matter how many cars it has or doesn't have, when both ends of the train are out of sight. For normal viewing distances, this equates to about a 13ft train on straight track, regardless of scale. If you are viewing from closer than 24" or so, you can reduce the 13ft. Gently curving the track around you, and obstructing views here and there, also reduces the 13ft requirement, which is based on limits of peripheral vision.

    Another planning factor for a layout - many folks do not like a train to be in more than 1 "town" at the same time. This means on most dough nut or around-the-walls style layouts, the normal long train length should not be more than the length of the shortest wall minus the space for the turning curves. And ideally the next town in the train's path should not be on the next wall, but skip a wall. On smaller around-the-walls layouts, towns typically have to extend to parts of 2 walls to get an adequately long passing track.

    just some other thoughts
  3. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    A lesson I learned from years of track planning. Center passing tracks on corners of an around-the-walls layout, or wrap them around the end curves on an island or peninsula. This isn't hard-and-fast, but it's better as a starting point than to fit them entirely on straight sections.
    Look at layouts at shows - HO layouts only, in your case. See what sort of train length looks right in real life (real modelling, that is).
  4. iis612

    iis612 Member

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    After some thought, I am thinking that the benchwork is going to be between 48" and 60", with a double sided backdrop. I am yet to figure out how I am going to handle the helix, or it's location. Nor have I figured out how to attack the ends of the peninsulas, as they will cleary need to be at least 72".
    I will work out some sketches tonight after work and post them. If anyone has any ideas, I would love to see them as I can't seem to articulate my desires very well.
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    If you are running scale 89 foot cars with body mounted couplers, you are going to need at least a 30 inch minimum radius for reliable operation. If I remember correctly your train must climb a minimum of 3 inches plus the thickness of your roadbed & subroadbed for each turn around the helix. If your roadbed is 1 inch thick, a 60 inch diameter circle to climb 4 inches will be a 6.66% grade! Climbing only 3 inches will be a 5% grade! You can reduce the grade by increasing the radius or by making the circle for the helix into an oval, but any increase in the size of your helix reduces the size of your lower level by that amount. If the entrance/exit to the helix in the upper level is near the end of the benchwork, you can pick up a little extra length on the top level. If you have adequate room for a wide radius balloon track at each end of the layout on both levels I think the nolix that Andrew mentioned earlier is your best bet.
  6. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

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    Russ

    You forgot to multiply the diameter by Pi (3.14) to get cicumference (or the run). Actual grade with a helix using 30" radius and 4" per turn rise is 2.12% - pretty reasonable.
  7. iis612

    iis612 Member

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    2.xx% is doable with a MU consist.
  8. iis612

    iis612 Member

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    I failed to mention the addition of a new industry. GERN will be expanding it's operations to include a distribution facility in Saginaw, MI.
    This will be placed where I had originally intended to place the barge transload. It will include barge traffic though.
  9. iis612

    iis612 Member

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    Thank you everyone for your input.

    The hidden staging will get changed so that it is one staging area with a through main for continuous running. Thus killing the p2p idea. This should free up some space.
    I am having trouble running Xtrk and Atlas.:curse: I am not sure what has happened to them. Xtrk gives me some goofy error message, or locks up my computer wall1(depending on my computers mood, I guess).

    As soon as I can I will post the paper plans that I have drawn.
  10. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

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    What's going on with XtrkCad? Post the message, we might be able to help. What are you doing when it locks up?

    Jeff
  11. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    Thanks Fred, I thought I might be missing something.
  12. iis612

    iis612 Member

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    The message was a windows message something about error #XXX (because I don't remember the number)
    At any rate, in the last several tries to open Xtrk all it does is lock up the pc.
    I usually have no other programs open, and it locks up on start-up. (with the exception of the programs that exist in the background or system tray).
  13. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

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    Yuck! I'd uninstall it and reinstall it. I imagine something bad happened the time it threw the error. I've been using it for three years on several computers with no problems.

    Jeff