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    NMRA Membership?

    As a long-time member of the Layout Design SIG and the current editor of its magazine, the Layout Design Journal, I am biased positively toward the LDSIG, obviously. But what does "in-group" mean? The LDSIG has a thousand or so members. While a few are well-known hobby names, the vast majority...
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    N scale buildings are missing.....?

    While it can be frustrating at first when looking at N scale structures, there is much more to choose from than 20 or so years ago. So I guess I see the glass half-full. As an N scaler myself, more buildings would be welcome, but there needs to be a market. Even a compressed full sports...
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    N scale buildings are missing.....?

    That would be great, but since the markets are different sizes and the sales potential is different, that may not be likely.
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    radius of Peco Peco Streamline Code 83 #5 and code 55 questions

    PECO Code 83 and Code 100 are HO gauge turnouts. PECO Code 55 are N gauge turnouts. You can't use those with standard gauge HO trains. All PECO C55 N turnouts are about a #6 frog, the difference between Small/Medium/Large are the radii of the diverging path. Similarly, all PECO C100 (and Code...
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    OK - my first shot!

    I could be wrong, but I think that your turnouts diverge more sharply than is actually possible. The overall idea is probably still workable, but that would be one thing to take a closer look at as you begin to finalize things. A number of folks have been making suggestions, which is great. In...
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    22 inch and 20 inch radius curves and flex track...

    If you keep everything else roughly the same, you'll need a short straight length of track at the apex of the 18" radius curve at the right-hand side. It will look a little odd, since the "double-track" curves will have a different appearance, but it will certainly work. Just be sure to keep at...
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    OK - my first shot!

    The challenge many have discovered with placing large tables on wheels is that the "tug" needed to overcome inertia and get the table rolling is more than enough force to derail many cars each time the layout is moved. YMMV
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    OK - my first shot!

    Is this HO scale or N scale? If HO, you may find that less of this will fit when drawn to scale than you hope. Also, if the long side is against the wall, much of the layout will be out of reach. Best of luck.
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    22 inch and 20 inch radius curves and flex track...

    If you are still thinking of the same sort of layout you were looking at in the other thread, note that concentric 20" and 22" radius curves may cause problems with trains side-swiping. That's why the HO 4X8 layout you referenced earlier is designed with concentric end curves of 19.5" and 22"...
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    I've accepted the biggest challenge (well one of em) in model railroading...

    I'm glad you found that layout helpful. As I noted at the outset, 5X9 or 5X10 for a layout like this would be even better because it would allow broader radii. Twenty 3-foot sections will probably be enough, with a little left over. You can always buy another section or two if need be. There...
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    I've accepted the biggest challenge (well one of em) in model railroading...

    As the designer of the HO 4X8 plan in question, I'll respectfully disagree. While your modification does remove all s-curves, the original version using #6 turnouts has only very gentle s-curves relative to the minimum radius. It's been built a couple of times as drawn by folks who had no...
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    I've accepted the biggest challenge (well one of em) in model railroading...

    The footprint of a "4X8" is actually 8'X10', even with minimal 2-foot aisles on three sides. With aisles on at least some of the outside edges (as most would choose), the Heart of Georgia is probably a bit larger. In any case, there is no reason to limit oneself to a single sheet of plywood...
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    I've accepted the biggest challenge (well one of em) in model railroading...

    The best HO 4X8 layout in the world is 5X10. :) But if you are committed to that size, there are a few things you might consider. From the "credit where it is due" department, that plan is Keith Thompson's Red Wing HO 4X8 from the December 1994 Model Railroader magazine. If you want an exact...
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    I ain't happy yet.

    The track plans from the Atlas books are designed to sell a lot of track -- this they do pretty well. But they are decades-old in many cases and don't always offer good long-term operations, convenient access, etc. They typically don't incorporate more recent design ideas such as staging...
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    Atlas Shay, Still made?

    The Atlas N-Scale Shay has been offered 3 or 4 times, and will probably be run again in the coming months or years. As others have noted, they turn up frequently for sale on eBay and elsewhere. So if you want one now, previously-owned is the way to go. If you can wait for a while, Atlas will...
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    Grade transitions

    It may not apply in your design for other reasons, but turnouts can certainly be on a grade with no problems. You just want to avoid changing grades within a turnout or directly adjacent. So in your first example, you might be better off with a consistent grade through the turnout. Best of luck.
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    Grade transitions

    I create track plans as a job and that's way more complicated than anything I do. No offense meant, but it seems like you might be trying to pour 10 pounds of sugar in a 5-pound sack. Don't be afraid to acknowledge that it just doesn't fit and you have to start over -- a grade that is too...
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    Grade transitions

    That's sort of the end result, but as built it's a spiral curve, not incremental adjustments. I usually leave any elevation gained in the transition out of the grade calculation. It will be modest in any case. But again, I'm conservative in the layouts I design for others. If I was trying...
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    Grade transitions

    I'm typically designing for others to build, so I am fairly conservative. I try to allow one car length for each percent of grade for the transition. Especially if you are planning for 3% grade, which some have found to be on the edge of reliability, you want to be conservative to allow for any...
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    Grade transitions

    You may use a simpler method of building the transition (e.g., just allowing the bending of the plywood to create it), but that doesn't remove the requirement of planning for the extra length at the top and bottom of each grade. The transitions will still be there. If you don't allow enough...




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