Z Scale Layout Plans?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Cannonball, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

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    Yeah, I'm already thinking about my next layout.
    The train part of my brain needs something to do. :D

    I've pretty much decided I'm going to do a small Z scale layout. Probably around a 2x3. (Perhaps on an old coffee table or something like that.) I've been trying to find ideas online for track plans but Z scale seems to be fairly elusive in that area. Does anyone have any good resources for track layouts in Z scale I can use to inspire some ideas?
  2. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

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    I don't think you really need a z-scale specific plan. Rather, just look at an n-scale plan, and multiply all measurements by 1.375. I curve radii can get down under 8" in radius...which can be used anywhere a track plan calls for 12" radius curves in HO or 22" radius in HO. Track plans, for the most part, are not really scale specific.
  3. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

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    How tight of a curve can I get with Z? I might try my hand with flex track and I was wondering how tight I can get. Is 8 inches the standard? I'm wondering if I can get a double track in Z scale worked into a 2x3.......

    The madness continues. :D
  4. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

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    I had a double track 2x4 layout in n-scale...so I'm certain it works just fine in Z.

    Just looking around a little bit more, I've also found:

    5.75", 8.67", 19", and the previously mention 7.67" radius curves.

    You might also want to check out the nn3.org website. Nn3 uses Z-scale track and mechanisms...which means that the curve requirements are the same as z-scale.

    I've long watched z-scale stuff on ebay...either to acquire for a z-scale layout or an Nn3 conversion...but so far I've been able to keep my brain functioning and avoid bidding.
  5. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

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    Thanks for that link.
    I'll check it out. :thumb:

    I really wish I could find some Z specific layouts.
    I'm trying to design in RTS but it doesn't have Z and it's confusing me.

    I've looked at a few things on eBay as well.
    The prices for Z scale just amaze me.

    If I remember right, it seems like I saw a couple of small Z scale sets at Hobby Lobby awhile back. I might go take a look at those and see how their priced.
  6. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

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    Sometimes it really too bad. I've seen the 8800 model go for a little more than $25...a fraction of the LHS price.

    I just picked up a Bachmann Big Hauler set on clearance at Hobby Lobby. It was $96...Internet Model Trains has the same set for $260.
  7. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

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    Yeah, Hobby Lobby is strange.
    On some stuff they are over internet prices and on others they come in under.

    Isn't the Big Hauler a G scale?
    If so, that's a pretty good price for a whole set.
    I'd like to do a G scale outside someday.

    Then again, if I had the money for all the train projects I"d like to do, I could afford to go half scale or bigger. :D
  8. Catt

    Catt Guest

  9. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

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    Yeah... The price of their starter sets really brings me back down to Earth on this project. Almost $300 for an engine and 4 tiny cars with a small oval of track. I could get a couple of diecast Lionels for that. :eek:

    Then again.... I couldn't do a Lionel layout on a 2x3 board. :D
  10. Catt

    Catt Guest

    You asked for layout ideas,you got layout ideas. No law says you have to use their track.:mrgreen:
  11. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    You can't assume there's one standard for any scale. 8" in Z equates to 20" in HO.

    For a long time, all Z layouts were designed with sharp curves because there was no big power available. At one time (or am I getting the release order wrong?) there were only the Marklin F7, 2-8-2 and 4-6-2 and the Rogue GP38-2. Then came the brass C44-9W, and then a whole succession of 6-axle power. Also the Daylight and Cab-Forward, and a Challenger's coming.
  12. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

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    I guess I'm missing something?
    I didn't see any layouts? :confused:
  13. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

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    OK, so what's considered "sharp" in Z scale?
    And how do I shrink down an N scale layout? Is a 9-3/4 curve going to become an 8 inch curve?
  14. Catt

    Catt Guest

  15. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    Marklin designed most of their equipment, including the F7, to run on 5.75", and many old Z layouts were designed for that. I would call that an extra-sharp curve. Their American steamers required about 7.5". This is about equivalent to 18" in HO or 9.75" in N; the traditional "sharp" standard.

    IIRC, Marklin (and Micro-Trains, since they have the same geometry) turnouts are designed for track centers of 1".
  16. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

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    Belated thanks for this.
    I've been doing some research and talking with a couple of the guys over at Z Central Station. I think I'm starting to get this.

    I guess we'll see if I start building a Z layout. :D
  17. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    I'm not sure what radius the existing larger power requires.