4 x 8 for Entry in Contest

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SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Revision Added Below

Some of the guys across the street are having a just-for-fun 4 x 8 design contest. According to the rules, layouts can be show for critique before entering into contest.

This 4 x 8 features:

--Point to Point with Continuous Running
--Yard with Engine Service
--Yard creates working staging
--4 Industries
--Passenger Service
--Interlocking Tower
--Town vignette
--Two Scenes

Let me know what you think and how it can be improved.

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IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
That is an excellent plan! I see you have budgeted space for vehicle traffic as well.
 
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joeys1

New Member
Can I use that plan, Chip? I have been looking at a 4x8 that doesn't use grades, and still has plenty of variety, and that does it all in spades! Well done!

Edit: What planning software did you use to create that?
 
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SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Thanks for your comments.

There are a few changes I made.

1) Thinned out the yard. Evidently if I use NMRA #4 turnouts I can make tracks within an 1 1/2 inches of each other. You can't with NMRA #5s. Anyway, I spaced them out and lost two tracks. All that are left are still long enough to be useful.

2) I added a crossover on the upper two tracks. The person who suggested it was thinking of making it so two trains could run in opposite directions, but I realized that with this runaround, the engine can pull a train out of the yard, push it onto the runaround, circle around to the other end, and head off in the other direction.

3) I added parking to the industries and access to the passenger platforms.

As for the suggestion to simplify switching to the industries by eliminating the switchback, I decided against it--because it doesn't simplify the switching. A train heading out of the yard comes to the switchback facing point, pulls into the runaround (on the main). He then pulls his cut for the industry, backs around the train on the siding, heads into the industrial park and is set to switch out the spurs.

So here it is.

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SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Can I use that plan, Chip? I have been looking at a 4x8 that doesn't use grades, and still has plenty of variety, and that does it all in spades! Well done!

Edit: What planning software did you use to create that?

Sure. But wait while I work out the bugs.

Software: XtrkCAD
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
I might like to give it a try also. For me, it would replace the oldest 4x8 module I have now.

Main thing is how to connect the other module to it. Right off the bat, what I see is to replace that left-hand curve that's on the upper right with, say, a #6 turnout, with the straight leg going straight off the edge of the table, to connect with my existing 4x8.

Same could be done on the lower left corner as well, it'd be a decision on which one would be less clutter and a better flow.

Kennedy
 

UP2CSX

Fleeing from Al
Great plan, Chip. The only thing I'd look at is the building that's above the turnout that leads to the industries. It looks a little too close for clearance and you have some room to move it up a bit.
 

joeys1

New Member
Great plan, Chip. The only thing I'd look at is the building that's above the turnout that leads to the industries. It looks a little too close for clearance and you have some room to move it up a bit.

From the looks, there's about 1.5" clearance there, which should be enough, I think. 'Sides which, it just means you've got an extra challenge trying to get a train past a building without removing any bricks :D

@SpaceMouse: Thanks a lot! I am looking forward to seeing the finished result. I have an original idea of my own in mind, and will go across the road when I have it ready.
 

UP2CSX

Fleeing from Al
Joey, I've got a turnout to a passing track that has just about the absolute minimum clearance because I didn't have a choice and I do hold my breath when anything bigger that 60' goes by the building. :) Speaking of that, I need to make some "Will not clear man on side of car" signs.

Chip, I forgot to ask you. What are your plans for that view block? It looks like just enough space for a background type of thing. I just got done putting up 32 feet of background for my layout and I should have planned that first instead of last. :(
 
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SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Chip, I forgot to ask you. What are your plans for that view block? It looks like just enough space for a background type of thing. I just got done putting up 32 feet of background for my layout and I should have planned that first instead of last. :(

If you are asking how I would build it, I hadn't given it much thought. I suppose I would use 1/8" masonite and cut an 1/8" groove in the plywood foam and shove it in.

I am picturing a layout in the oak forests around here so just small hills of trees. FYI, I build this layout for road switchers--RS's and Geeps. A regional short line.
 

joeys1

New Member
Joey, I've got a turnout to a passing track that has just about the absolute minimum clearance because I didn't have a choice and I do hold my breath when anything bigger that 60' goes by the building. :) Speaking of that, I need to make some "Will not clear man on side of car" signs.
:(

Fair enough, but you don't generally run 60' or greater cars on a 4x8, because the look ridiculous on 18" or 20" curves. so you can have slightly tighter clearances ;)
 

grove den

naturally natural trees
Hi Chip!

I'll try to give some humble comments on you "4x8 contestlayout"
Before i try to start with it it I just want to say that this kind of layouts are totaly not the way I would think about making designing a mrr.
Also I am not so familiar with the american style of designing a layout: Mostly, NOT always(!), I see many tracks and switches/turnouts and tight curves and long very long trains. I know! I know... it is just like in real !
But the front of the train can see the back of it...I don't like that at all.
Please don't get me wrong...MRR is: first: having fun with what you do/ like to model and it is all going back to making descisions and comprimises!!
I am aware of the fact that this contest layout is one of them: in a small space designing a layout with many( as possible) operating items
So here comes my very small comments:
(add a picture) The main small comment would be the crossing on the bottom of the layout about the midlle : could there be placed a "double slip"?
An other item could be skipping one or two tracks at the yard on the top , under the engine facilitiesbuilding, so the last track is not so close to the background and there is maybe some place to add some scenery( 1/2 buildings) or other things...
Above all Chip, i think you've made a layout that contains almost everything, that is possible in this small space(!), so :"chapeau! ":)

Jos
btw: the german module is in HO scale
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Jos,

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

You missed the revision a couple posts down. Not to worry. I thinned out the yard and added access to the stations in it. Probably not as much space to the backdrop as you would have liked but a little more than the first.

I considered the double slip but wanted the illusion of distance going around twice would involve. A person coming out of the yard could go straight to switching and never go around the layout if that DS was there.

Operationally at least, trains can only be as big as the passing sidings, so we are talking 6-8 car trains. They won't see their tails. :D This is not meant to be a roundy-rounder layout. It is all about operations and moving freight and passengers.

Yes, Americans have an obsession with the 4 x 8 even though it is probably the worst shape a layout can take. The contest was a mental exercise, the layout design equivalent of a Haiku.

Yes, the "chipeau" style of model railroading is lots of track, but I never make spaghetti bowls. The layouts represent real life situations and every track has a purpose. My layouts get dense, but I try to maintain a sense of location and scenery. (But I've seen some pretty dense layouts some from your pen, too.)

However, this may surprise you. I am planning in my future office, building a bookcase around the room. One shelf will be an N-scale folded dogbone with no turnouts--except in staging. The point of the layout is to watch trains run through beautiful scenery.

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grove den

naturally natural trees
Hi Chip,

the "chipeau" style
he he lol:D
(But I've seen some pretty dense layouts some from your pen
yes, yes that is true...but...however( harry pottermovie:D ) there was enouhg space/room for lot, lots of scenery...?;)
this may surprise you
Why Chip? the real mrrfan intrests goes from just one track..... to hundreds of them( dreaming you've have the room for it...nomatter which scale!:)
from a quite detailed forrest to a capital busy city scene... that is what it makes and keeps so interresting too, don't you think so?

Jos
 
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Fazby

Member
Chip, I am upset that you didn't publish this earlier. I just set up (well, I am setting up) a layout from an old Kalmbach book which is a simpler version of yours.

You have more yard than I want or need, and I wanted a turntable. Both of those could be adapted to yours. All I wanted was an Inglenook game.

What I really like is the twice around. The trade off is backing into the yard at the end of the run. A fair trade.

If this doesn't win or place, I REALLY want to see what wins.

Nice job.
 




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