HO Semi-Dogbone Project

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Breor47

Brakeman
Hello all.

I've mentioned here are there that I might have an opportunity to construct a new HO layout beginning sometime after Christmas. If I do get that opportunity, this layout would be my first non-8x4 layout, which is exciting!

However, that also means I'm pretty new to designing track plans and such. I first outlined my priorities for a layout. I'd like to have, in order from most important to least,

1) Double-main line, continuous loops
2) Industry, including one branch track
3) Village or town
4) Graded Terrain with Mountain(s)
5) River/Water Scenes
6) Wide curves for steam locomotive operation

I thought these things would be pretty important because I like to sit back and watch the trains run through the scenery (who doesn't, I suppose) rather than spend a lot of time shunting or slow operations.

Over the last few weeks, I've made several attempts at putting together something interesting. Below is what I consider to be my best attempt. It met all of my goals and includes a reversing loop (for one direction).

HO Semi-DogBone.PNG
This is a link :)
Click it to make it bigger.


Please let me know what you think (comments are much appreciated) and point out any glaring errors/limitations this has... I'd like to catch them before I drop a lot of money on track!
 
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rzw0wr

Newbie Switchman
Nice looking plan to me.
I like 2 reverse loops myself.
I think it adds a little more interest when you can run the train in both directions when you want.
 

Motley

Active Member
What are those two tracks for, on the upper left side? Crossing the mainlines.

You don't have enough room for elevating the tracks to clear the required 3" with a 2% grade. Just shorten those and keep them in the loop there.

Do you like passenger trains? If so, how about adding a passenger station, where the roads are in that small straight section there.
 
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Breor47

Brakeman
What are those two tracks for, on the upper left side? Crossing the mainlines.

You don't have enough room for elevating the tracks to clear the required 3" with a 2% grade. Just shorten those and keep them in the loop there.
Thanks for pointing this out.

This is one of my major concerns about the layout, and I had already looked at this some. I came to the conclusion I would have enough space, and here's how.

grade PT1.PNGGrade PT2.PNG

XtrkCAD has a ruler tool (which I traced over above in teal). Because the lines are point-to-point direct, I know the length of the line is the minimum possible distance of track. From the mainline to the switch and then up the side-track is 13.5 feet. Doing the math as I understand it (length in inches x .02) would give me a 3.24 inch increase (again, minimum as I'm using the crows-path).

It's close, but that should cut it.

If you still don't think I have enough room, perhaps because I'm overlooking something, please do let me know again. Wouldn't want to make the mistake of ordering risers and then having it come out wrong!

I do like passenger trains! A station is on the layout currently (the leftmost building in the town, not the lumber yard). Now that you've pointed out a location that can easily access both tracks, I'll change that... nice find! Kudos to you. Should've been obvious for me but wasn't.

Thanks for the comments and recommendations guys.
-Ron
 
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santafewillie

Well-Known Member
I assume that you meant 13.5 feet. This is only possible if you depress all three loops while raising the two tracks. Then there is the problem of turnouts on a grade. Take Motley's advice and keep them inside the loop. Next, if this is not accessible from all sides, then it will be tough to reach the two top corners.
Willie
 
Fwiw, the min clearance on my layout is 2.5" ( railhead to bottom of overpassing structure). Works fine since I model the late 40's. 3" is more relevant for modern era, double stacks, etc. Just sayin...
 

Breor47

Brakeman
I assume that you meant 13.5 feet. This is only possible if you depress all three loops while raising the two tracks. Then there is the problem of turnouts on a grade. Take Motley's advice and keep them inside the loop. Next, if this is not accessible from all sides, then it will be tough to reach the two top corners.
Willie
Yes I did mean feet, edited that in.

Hmm, didn't think about the turnouts on a grade part. Since I've never actually worked with an incline/decline before, what happens when a turnout is on a grade? Does it automatically cause derailments?

By depress you just mean lower the loops?
And I spotted one more problem... the reversing loop would have to be a very severe (impossible) grade.

Will revise this and look at it a little bit more. I'd still like to keep the length of those two side-tracks, if possible, but I can see it might cause some issues.
 
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santafewillie

Well-Known Member
Turnouts on a grade don't necessarily cause derailments, they are just harder to install correctly.
Yes I mean lower the loops; then you're getting half of the grade by going down and half of the grade going up.
Willie
 

otiscnj

Well-Known Member
I think it would be all right if you went to 3% on the grade on the tracks that go over the mainline in the upper left corner. Particularly if they are for visual effect only.
 

KB02

Well-Known Member

And I spotted one more problem... the reversing loop would have to be a very severe (impossible) grade.
That was the first thing I saw. I just went through that on my layout. I had a STEEP hill that was just not usable - even for a fantasy railroad. HOWEVER, if you move your turnout back further towards your street crossing, you might be able to make it work.

And I agree with rzw0wr, if you're going to have one turn-around, put in two.
 




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