Will this be enough room?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by ho_scale_rail, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

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    Will a 73"x48" sheet of plywood be big enough to build a n-scale layout on. If so how complex can i get with it. I cant go any bigger because i am building it so i can slide it under my bed when i am not using it, and that is all i will be able to slide under the bed. thanks
  2. tillsbury

    tillsbury Member

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    That's huge. And as complex as you want to go. I'm running on a 2400x1200mm layout at the moment (95x47), and there are 57 turnouts on the layout. It's probably bigger than I expected it to be, and a lot more work. I like the look of the long thin layouts, but then I like a continuous run too, and didn't want to go below about 13-14" radius curves, and didn't want it to look like a loop.
  3. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

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    cool, so i should be able to build a big layout on it?
  4. K.V.Div

    K.V.Div Member

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    That is a lot of space. Think of a layout in HO that you could put down in a space of about 130" x 87" and you will have no problem fitting a similar layout of the same overall shape into your space, as N Scale is about 55% of HO in size.
    Cheers!
  5. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    You can get a lot in that space, just a few things to be concerned about. If you are going to store your layout under the bed, obviously you have to be aware of anything tall that it will fit and will not get broken when sliding it in or out. Secondly, you are going to have to make the layout rigid enough to be able to move it that much. You are going to have to build a frame under the plywood, otherwise it will rack and break scenery and pull up track.

    Just one other thought. How are you going to run your railroad? Are you going to keep it on the floor or will you have to lift it up on a table each time?

    Just some things to think about before you get started. Good luck.
  6. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

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    I'm going to run it on the floor beside the bed. The lowest point on the bed is 8 3/4 inches so nothing can be taller that 8 (to be safe). Also, what thickness plywood should i buy and how much will it be?
  7. Wabash Banks

    Wabash Banks Member

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    I am currently making a 6"X24" layout. It has 4 turnouts, 5 drop areas for cars and 3 buildings. That is all in 1 sq ft. I think the size of the plywood you are looking at should be ample to keep you occupied! I would suggest buying 1/2 plywood and using some kind of bracing on the bottom with some very small rollers attached to make it easier to slide under the bed without cracking the scenery.
  8. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

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    Another Question, what method of control should i use. The ones i know of are dc,dcc, and block detection. Are there any more out there and what would be the best for me?
  9. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    Yeah, 1/2" plywood over a 1" x 3" frame would work. If you were to use 1" foam over that and some rollers that extended slightly below the frame, you really don't have that much hight for scenery.

    How much? Depends on where you live and when you buy it. 1/2" CDX plywood varies in price here from $15 to $25 a sheet. For AC grade add another $10 to $15 to that. You might add another $20 for framing lumber and another $10 for casters. If you cover your layout in 1" blue (or pink) foam, you're looking at yet another $15. You don't need the foam, but it helps with noise and allows you to dig culverts and lakes.


    Those are just estimates based on what I've seen our local Home Depot selling lumber for recently.
  10. Wabash Banks

    Wabash Banks Member

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    It depends on how much you want to spend (DCC isn't cheap) and how complex the trackplan is.
  11. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

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    the trackplan is another thing i am unsure about, this will be my very first layout. What are my options?
  12. Wabash Banks

    Wabash Banks Member

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    That is a pretty big area. You can do a LOT of stuff there. I would suggest a loop configuration for a mainline, that way if you want to watch the trains go in circles you can. I prefer loops that had a section hidden so that they don't look like loops. Second I would suggest some industries that operate point to point style. These things aren't hard to figure out at all. The thing that dictates many of them are:
    What era are you modeling?

    Is it urban, rural, or a little of both.
    Thos will help you put together what kinds of industries make good sense. There are then plenty of track plan sites that can help you see how those kinds of tracks are laid out in relation to the respective industry. Another thing to help with that is Terra Server by microsoft. If you know where an industry is located you can look it up on terra server and see the track config. It might help you see how the real things works so you can model it.
  13. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

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    its probably gonna be rural.I am only 14 and have only seen a couple model railroads in operation, so mabye you guys could help me with the track plan. I like the idea for a loop
  14. Wabash Banks

    Wabash Banks Member

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    A good grain facility (one of my favorite) can be modeled. They are not overly complex, provide a lot of traffic in the fall, and have a lot fo fun structures. Your height keeps you from modeling a mega grain facility. They also have a lot of options for a receiving industry for your grain.

    Depending on the area and era you are modeling, livestock might be a good option as well. Lumber and mining are easy in a rural setting and you will find no shortage of help with either of those options. All three of these could have a raw material area, i.e. cattle, logs or ore, and the area they are processed at, meating packing or auction facility, lumber mill or a smelting operation. Era will dictate a lot in this area.

    The model I am doing is a small grain, lumber,hardware, coal and heating oil facility. The main structure has the first four industries side by side in one large building. It is a rural store that serves the surrounding area.

    Since this is something that has to hang out under your bed, you could also try the suggestions on this thread:
    http://www.the-gauge.com/thread14228-mini-layouts.html

    It was a discussion of using a mini, which could hang out under your bead, as a hub (since you have all the area under your bed you could enlarge the idea of the "mini" into "mid sized"). You can then make some other layouts that connect to the hub. These can be stored on a shelf or elsewhere and can be run as stand alone model railroads. It also has the benefit of having finished areas to run trains on quickly for when you want to run trains instead of build.
    Hope that gives you some ideas!
  15. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

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    if i want to run more that one train at a time i guess i'm gonna have to go dcc, are there any relatively cheap n scale rtr dcc systems?
  16. Wabash Banks

    Wabash Banks Member

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    There are certainly other options. Blocks would do the job with just a couple of throttles. The DCC is kinda heavy priced. I did find a beginner set someone was selling for I think $155. I don't think that included any decoders though. He is selling engiens though and some of them might have decoders already in them.
    If you want the address let me know and I will get it to you.
  17. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

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    how would i wire up blocks
  18. Wabash Banks

    Wabash Banks Member

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    That is entirely more than I am qualified to answer in detail. It is done by insulating sections of track and applying an electrical connection to each of those sections. Check your local library for books on wiring. Mine had a nice book on it. There is also the electrical forum. Both are great sources. The books are nice for working from and using the forums for when you get stuck or just don't understand something.
  19. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

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    since i am working on a small budget i think i will just have all of my sidings insulated and have a switchboard where i can turn them on or off and have a several trains but just run one at a time. How does that sound? Also does anyone have any trackplan ideas?
  20. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    Go to the NMRA website here. There's lots of information that will take you step-by-step though a layout. There are answers to all these questions and even show you some simple layouts. I think they have one there that can grow as you progress. You can also find a number of layouts that come with the Atlas RTS layout software which you can download for free.