HO layout in a small space

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Michael J

New model railroader
Hello. I am planning my first layout, and I have very limited space. At first I thought of just a 4′×8′ layout, and it is still in my mind as it is simplest to construct. However, I have also considered going around the three walls. Could I get some input on these ideas, or maybe some other suggestions? (Please don't say move.
I am hoping this will be the last place I will ever live.)

layoutA.pnglayoutB.png
 

Jim 68cuda

Active Member
You won't be able to reach all the way across the layout. You'll need to put it on casters so you can pull it out and get around to the far side.
You might also consider a 5' x 9' 11" layout with a 2' wide x 5' long opening in the middle from which you can access all sides, and operate the trains.
 
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choops

Member


Couple options. The space is tight. I like the along the walls layout.
Rotated the plans. the bathroom and closet are on the left side.
Steve
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Michael,

The first problem I see with your design is the 36" width. That will limit you to 15" curves which, in turn, will limit what engines you can run. The minimum curve I would run would be an 18" curve but that will need a "Minimum width of 40" for your bench work.

Reach is an important factor to take into account; HOWEVER, it is only important in terms of your track work. Your bench work can be as large as you want, so long as your track placement is accessible to you.

I do like the "dog bone" style of layout for the space you have available, such as Choops has suggested. I have done a similar design (using SCARM): Keep in mind that I did the design using both sectional and flex track.

TONY-PC-2014-jun-26-001_zps29b589fa.jpg



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TONY-PC-2014-jun-26-003_zps48adde7d.jpg


Hope this helps and feel free to ask any other questions.
 
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the top one in steve's (choops) post would probably work better in that space, me personally speaking after trying both. i wouldnt go more than 18 inch shelves.
 

Michael J

New model railroader
These are very good ideas, thank you. I am going to work with them in AnyRail to see what can be done. I am also going to mark the benchwork on the carpet with chalk first, before I cut any lumber, to see how it fits. I probably will also divide the whole thing into modules for times if I need the room for something I can move it around.
 

Jim 68cuda

Active Member
Don't limit your thinking to building standard bench work with 4x8 sheet of plywood. Some of us don't even use a plywood base. In my case I picked up Ikea Ivar shelving from the local Ikea store. Its available in two different widths and lengths as well as corner pieces, and its available in different heights. I put together Ivar shelving and put foam insulation board on top to form the layout. I used matching corner posts cut to size to create supports between shelving units.
Here's a link to the thread on my build (so far).
http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/...y-idea-what-do-you-think&highlight=crazy+idea
 

Beachbum

Member
May I suggest you use either cardboard mockup benchwork tops or use painters tape on the carpet? I'm thinking chalk is going to make a mess.
 

Beachbum

Member
Don't limit your thinking to building standard bench work with 4x8 sheet of plywood. Some of us don't even use a plywood base. In my case I picked up Ikea Ivar shelving from the local Ikea store. Its available in two different widths and lengths as well as corner pieces, and its available in different heights. I put together Ivar shelving and put foam insulation board on top to form the layout. I used matching corner posts cut to size to create supports between shelving units.
And if you abandon the RR, you can use the Ivar for books. ;) Cuda has the right idea IMO - think outside the box. I'm using 3-in PVC pipe for legs with hollow core doors for my peninsula and where my layout is away from the walls. I didn't feel like searching for decent wood at HoPo and firing up my chop saw.
 
G'day....A great dilemma to have...Re the 4x8 ft.. So many great designs to go with...There's one called the Madison Central...It's straightforward ...is kidney shaped but allows for additions later if you decide to widen it..minimum radius is 18"...I use it as a temporary layout and it'll still allow CO-CO configurations..in my case so I usually run SD40-2s on it..There's videos on You Tube as part of My Building First Model Railroad by Bachmann...and is supported by Model Railroader Magazine too..First hand experience for a workable 4x8 ft is this one...Cheers Rod
 

otiscnj

Well-Known Member
Are we talking HO or N, I forget? 15" radius curves for N are somewhat decent. If you are planning for HO, I'm with Cuda-don't limit yourself to the conventional shapes or plans. Given the door placements, and room size, 'thinking outside of the box' is the way to go in my book.
 

Trussrod

Well-Known Member
Hi Michael,
I also like the Folded Dog Bone layouts as they offer a different perspective when operating as your train is on a bit of a different path rather than everything being so straight. As Tony also added, be sure to have a couple of passing sidings as well as other sidings to enhance operation but keep it fairly simple too. Also, don't over look the use of curved turnout as they will allow you to place passing sidings or regular sidings in locations otherwise often not possible with your regular straight turnouts.

They given you some very good choices so see what you can do but also remember that even using a cad program it can be deceiving as on paper or the computer you can seem to fit in more than when you actually get to laying track.

I think the other fellows have you started in the right direction in a very creative way too!

Let us know what you come up with?
 




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