Ho & N

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Getting back into MRR (had a small 4x8 years ago) and have been having a dilemma over which scale to use.

My basement is about a year off from being finished so I have plenty of time to work on a track plan.

The area I get to use is 12x17
RR: BN, CNW/CBQ, Illinois Gulf Central, N&W
Era: 1950-1970
Round the room shelf style with one peninsula

I have been working on some drawings in both scales.

I got to thinking why not do both? What is anyones thought on a dual shelf layout? One level HO at 3ft and the upper level N at 5ft.
I use N because I wanted a good size layout in a smaller space. HO has an advantage due to more detailed items being available but I still prefer N due to the size.


Drum Driver
I know a guy in our club thats mostly O scale...has a large layout..actually goes thru a hollowed out piano built into a display case..on top of that is American flyer...next level is HO and top is N...looks cool...its steps down in size with each layer...so its not over top of each...and I saw a guy that used N scale to give the illusion of distance on his HO layout..


Central Indiana & Ohio RR
You could, but you will stretch yourself after a period of time.
Knew a fellow that did this, exactly the same. Bottom shelf HO, top being N.
He made a go of it for about a year and killed it shortly after finishing it.

I honestly thing you would be better off picking the scale you want and going there.

Make no difference to you, but pick the one that best fits you.

Me, I'm HO because I like the larger size. I like N scale and feel its come around greatly to allow the masses to use it. Would I change? It would be tough, but I could if I wanted to. I chose HO, because I like it. But I do dream "what could I really have in N scale?"


Central Indiana & Ohio RR
HD, plan looks good. The only thing I think you really want to look out for is the turntable area, as its really cramped up. You can do the adjustments later though.

Also, the Mississippi river area, you might find the turnout on the rivers edge to be tricky. But I do like how you angled the river across, instead of front to back straight!

grove den

naturally natural trees
great plan

HD, Good/nice plan to start with.:)
just a thought...
Try to imagine this plan in scale N but designed for the same room/space: the tracks can be twice longer, the Mississippi can be twice bigger, the trains almost twice longer just like real!
Also you can make the curves much smoother/larger and that will give your( future) layout even a more realistic aspect/look. The lansdcape of vaste plains near the Mississippi can be modelled more realistc in N scale..
Btw Don't you have an other solution to the right part of the layout, I mean the mountain(s):confused: ...Can't you "model" the mountains in a natural way into this layoutplan...The river, why does it flow diagonal, I mean think about a reason to do that( flowing diagonal) So, mostly, try to imagine the landscape FIRST and than ad the tracks ....I know that( imagening) will take some time to make a plan but it helpes you once more to get an " realistic" aproache to make a design/plan.
SO, just some thoughts.....:)
if you have alreadythought about these "thoughts" just ignore my comment as if it has never written:eek: ;)



CIOR-Is it too many tracks for the turntable? I'll also have a look at the turnout area


Grove Den-I have been trying some different outlooks on the mountains from the right. Were these tracks are actually located is at the bottom of a cliff on the side of the river. The N &W run through a tunnel of the cliff which is right next to the river.

Such an awesome view from the Illinois side of the river.

I placed the river diagonal to give it more depth than if it just came straight out.

Also I do plan on N scale, I don't have the drawing finished yet. I wanted to get the first level drawn up before I started tackling the next phase.

A friend of mine I think hit the nail on the head. He said, it was like a zoom out feature with the two scales. On the HO side I'm trying to model coal shipments from Illinois into Missouri from 2 different railroads.

Once the coal crosses into Missouri and stops at either Hannibal or Louisiana Missouri, I can then switch to the upper deck which will be in N scale with a Hannibal & a Louisiana, Missouri station to deliver the coal to the power plant and/or the alternative fuel plant.

I thought that modeling in both I would get the best of both, great details for the HO and more layout for the N.

If it doesn't pan out with dual scale I can always switch to one or the other.

That's why I thought it best to get some help from those that have already been there. JOS, by some of your pictures I can see that I came to the right place.

Nothing on the plan is set in stone, I have about a year to draw this up. If the HO plan doesn't work out, then I switch it all to N. So I'm throwing out ideas to see how feasible they might be.

I am also working on the plans in 3D and will have them posted when the drawings are further along.

Thanks again for the help.

grove den

naturally natural trees
language problems...

OH, OHW....I didn't read your first post carefuly. You wrote: "
One level HO at 3ft and the upper level N at 5ft.
YES, WHY NOT If you can manage the trains driving "synchronic ", I mean: the HO train driving in the tunnel and a short while later the "same"( N) train coming out at the upper level...?

I thought you want to use both scales in/at /on one layout, Like Bob( Trucula) was talking about. I think that is possible too but than I yhink you have to "deepen" the layout( about min 3 feet) to make the ilusion of the N tracks that are far, far.. away


ps: I got the same thoughts about the turntable ares as CIOR. Try to make that less "tight" So that some engines can "wait" before the enginehouse( roundhouse)...
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Central Indiana & Ohio RR
I highly suggest you go total one way or the other. Cost will be a factor.
BUT, I think if you used your plan and went N, you would get far MORE out of it then what you currently have. Grove was right. Imagine the Mississippi in N!

Yes, there are too many tracks at the turntable for the space. I think in real life it would really look bad. Also, the second track "ready" track to the turntable wouldn't be big enough to accomidate much.


OK, seems the consensus is choose one scale our the other. I'll work more on the N scale side and get some drawings posted.

I do like the option of more layout for N, I'll just have to get some BIGGER :eek: glasses to work with.


Central Indiana & Ohio RR
HD, understand. That was one of the factors that left me stuck in HO.

I really want to see that plan in N scale. Especially if you can work out the BNSF/NS curve/tunnel/crossing to fit in a plan.


Going to take some serious thought to get this to work, so if you don't hear from me for awhile, don't think I gave up on this.

Once I start something, it doesn't end until it's completed.

grove den

naturally natural trees
very small thought/hint

so if you don't hear from me for awhile
Why??:confused: ;)
If we could "stay in touch"" during the process of designing..together "you" know more than alone...;) :D
Because I'm a "scenery man" I want to show you these small "thoughts" about the scenery..


Grove Den
Thanks for the drawing. I Like the bridge angle there and the further flow of the river.

As for posting, I work on the drawings until I come to a point in my mind that says okay, let's see what others say. Plus I'm working on drawing up a 2 level N scale of this drawing.

About the only time I'm not looking at this board is the weekend. Too much else to do.

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