Design Question

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NickB

Wannabe Engineer
I'm still in the early stages of my layout, so early there is not formal layout plan :D . I'm still having trouble deciding and was wanting opinions, I would like to have a double main line where I can run some continous trains and have a industry switching yard of some sort. Would like to have a round house for my engines. This is HO scale and I haven't decidec on my board layout I'm contemplating a L shape maded up of 2 4x6 boards or a dog bone that is 14' long by 4' at the widest and 3' at the narrowest part of the bone shape. I want to incorporate scenerey later on when money and time permits. Does anyone have any suggetions on which of the 2 would look better I plan to put some mountains in as well and as for industry I was thinking mining of some sort. Thanks for any and all help.
Nick
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
There are so many variables that no one can really answer that question without seeing your space. You want to design the to have the most interesting features (at long glance) to be what you see when you enter the space. You want the design to pull your attention to highlights and detract from the layout's short comings.

Just based on shape, your design, what you are modeling, your vision, all play a part.

Design the best you can do for each shape and see what emerges.
 

NickB

Wannabe Engineer
Well could you answer me this quick question which would shape would allow for the most realistic mountains and grades?? Or is that something else I have to draw up?? If so I'll make up a few quick sketches tonight. On a side note for a turntable how big of one do I need for my 4-8-4 steam locomotive. I've only been able to find the ones that are for 90' scale size. Thanks again
Nick
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
The thing to remember is you are dealing with illusion. To make realistic mountains you build your scenery both above and below the track. To have an 18" high trestle, you don't need to climb 18", you drop the scenery 18" below it.

Keep your grade below 2%.

Either layout shape will work. If your layout touches a wall, keep the table width to 30" or under so you can reach stuff on the layout.

Plywood bases and mountain railroads don't usually go together. Consider using a cookie cutter approach.
 

grove den

naturally natural trees
Chip, I hope you don't mind.. I add a picture of the: "making off" a wonderfull "hanging"canyon made by ARTHILL. The canyon goes untill the floor!!!! It is the same one as Chip shows...

Jos
 

NickB

Wannabe Engineer
Man I'm getting more frustrated at xtrakcat trying to get stuff lined up on the x-y axis perfectly, it takes forever. Is there a better way of designing your own layout?? What would be a good sized L shape layout to work with on? I was thinking of using a 4x8 with a 4x6 together for the L.
 
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NickB

Wannabe Engineer
View attachment 5749

Here is a layout I designed last light using xtrkcad but I still can't figure out how to connect my double mains so they can switch back and forth. This very rough anyone have any thoughts or comments feel free to let me know. Thanks
Nick
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
It's a good start and it will get better as you learn the program. You can create cross-overs by butting two turnouts one on each parallel track so that they meet.

There is a turntable function that works better than a circle of track.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Also, pink track means a very tight radius. You might want to keep it above 22" for optimal performance. 18" minimum. I think Xtrakcad comes "stock" with 18" set as minimum, so anything under that will turn pink. I re-set mine to 25" (my personal minim).
 

NickB

Wannabe Engineer
Ok I'll set the tight radius to 18 minimum and I'll mess with a different turntable thanks. Do you think there is enough action there??
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Do you think there is enough action there??
It doesn't matter what I think. What do you call action? When you run trains on this layout, is it what you envision? Can you see yourself running this layout?

Three's a function where you can run trains on the layout and try it out. Try that.

Remember, you are just getting started. As long as you keep from getting frustrated, planning a layout can be a lot of fun. Remember you are only destroying pixels when you revise. And your layout will keep getting better and better and better. Keep revising and learning and growing and you will know when you reach the point you are ready to build.
 

NickB

Wannabe Engineer
That's true I need to add some staging in on this layout. I plan to have a few industries yards and have one of the lines run a freight line and the other run a passenger line. It does look like it has some nice action but when I look at other peoples design like what you made for ajroland I see your able to squeeze more action into those spaces and that's what I'm trying to fiure out still.
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
That's true I need to add some staging in on this layout. I plan to have a few industries yards and have one of the lines run a freight line and the other run a passenger line. It does look like it has some nice action but when I look at other peoples design like what you made for ajroland I see your able to squeeze more action into those spaces and that's what I'm trying to fiure out still.

A couple of things to consider. AJ was modeling N scale and although his space is similar to yours, N-scale will get 3.5 times the layout.

You have an 8 x 10 room to work with, but you can only reach 30". That means that a good portion of the layout is unreachable. You are also modeling the big steam era, so you will need big curves.

Maybe think in terms of a branch line, and work in switching instead of yard work. Turn your engines with a TT, but think small like a single or double stall engine house instead of a big round house.

I have about the same space as you (sort of--you have 80 sq ft, I have 90--and I have built staging in the next room.) you'll see it is no where near as much action as AJ.

rockridge11a.gif


If you can use the whole 8 x 10, then I would recommend a 30" shelf around the room with a duck-under/lift-out near the door. Try to keep the track passing through the scene only once--except to switch industries. I think you'll find a lot more opportunities than your current set-up. Right now you are unworkable.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Shall we ask Jos to get in on the action?

I did some creative editing on paint, for some ideas no how to be more action. Red is where to add track, blue is where to remove.
 

NickB

Wannabe Engineer
I like the changes that you made jbaako, looks like a good idea. I see where your coming from Chip but the right now this is layout is going into the garage of my rent house and I was going to do this in modules. Plus my wife doesn't want me to make a huge layout and I had trouble convincing her that this current design wouldn't be that bad to make as far as size wise goes. I guess I could make a it a longer and narrower that way I can reach the back of the layout would 3ft be to wide??? If anyone else has a better idea on a layout I'm completely open as long as it's not HUGE :)
 




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