Input Needed On Layout Plan...

ModelRailroadForums.com is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


Exit109GTI

New Member
I have a room that is 14x9 for my layout. I don't want to use up the entire room because this is only my second layout. I'd prefer to do a double decker shelf system, with the majority of the shelf being about 12"-18" in width.

So my idea is to have a double decker about 10 feet long, with a large helix hidden in the closet. The bottom deck would be a large freight yard, and a few industrial spots. Then the helix would connect the decks with the top deck containing the majority of the industrial customers.

My idea is traffic would take about 5-10 minutes to go from one deck to the next, allowing for some concept of travel to a far off destination.

I'm also considering adding in balloons at the end of each deck to allow trains to loop completely around to simulate through traffic, or passanger service.

I might also have a staging deck under the bottom deck or in the long closet, but still not quite sure what the purpose of a staging area is.

What advice have yee?
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
How big is your closet? Is this a branch line, with a 4-axle geep and 40' cars, or are we talking modern day, with 60' to 89' boxcars? If the latter, then you're talking a 22-24" radius helix, and even then, those 89' boxcars (or lumber cars) may have difficulty. I know that my 60' Sieco Genesis boxcars whine on the 18" radius.

Other than that, your 2nd level is basically a linear one; you're basically switching sidings. 10' is not a long way to go; in HO, you're talking about 9-12 car train. The layout you describe is basically point-to-point; yard to helix to branch line with some kind of end. You also need a runaround at the far end, so you can swap the loco to the forward end for the return trip.

Staging is for setting up trains in an area that is sometimes hidden, sometimes not. Some folks use a regular yard as staging, then switch the yard to make up the trains. Hidden staging is used to simulate a train coming from somewhere off-layout, normally. Also a place for trains to disappear to.

Kennedy
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
Forgot this part... You probably want to give some thought on operations for the top deck. 18" isn't very deep; you can probably do up to 24" in spots. You need to consider what kind of train is servicing these industries; most likely it'll be a local. That means you'll be setting out and picking up cars every session. Which also means your train may not get any shorter as you go, and may well get longer. So, your route has to accomodate the max length of the train, otherwise you'll have an industry that won't be serviced (presuming everything has daily service). If not, and they're serviced randomly, you still need to plan for every industry with max cars in and out.

The tail end of the track for the runaround should be a minimum 18", preferrably longer. This will accomodate two HO GP38s (mine are Atlas, and I carefully measured this so I can clear the switch so I can runaround the train that's sitting in the siding).

If you have a siding, you need to consider where your cars are going to sit while you're switching the industries. Where you locate the switches will be crucial to good operations.

Kennedy
 

Exit109GTI

New Member
Kennedy my layout will be an N scale layout, perhaps you could fill me in on how this would effect the size of my layout? Do you think it will be a problem having both decks larger than 18 inches?
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
Me not N-scaler! Me Horribly Oversized!

Having said that, though, a lot of the things that apply to HO also apply to N. And, that is folks trying to cram way more into the smaller space (relatively speaking) than they probably should.

The issue regarding switching leads, minimum radiuses, and the like are still applicable, only with the N-scale equivalents. The one constant you need to remember is that even though you're in N, your fingers are still 1:1, and you need to get in there to rerail the inevitable derailed car, especially in the yard. So, you're still probably looking at maybe 2" between rail centers. A nice width on the upper level gives you more space to not be so linear in where things are; it's just better aesthetically. And, you're not scaling down your body; you'll still be able to reach 18" in and around; that extra space will give you room to spread out, and not be so crowded. You may not need a full 24" of width, but a 24" bump-out here and there is OK, if you want to put in a bigger building or whatever.

Your best bet is to buy a couple of locos that are representative of what you normally would run, plus appropriate freight cars, then buy some track to do some initial testing. Measuring the two locos together will give you the minimum length of your leads. And all those calculations will give you an idea of how long things need to be. Remember, you only have to be off just a hair to foul a switch; if you do that, you won't be able to add that car to the train length.

In my case, I haven't even spiked down the track yet; I laid out the plan, then ran operations to see if the plan works. I've had to make adjustments here and there, to add a bit of length, shorten something excessive, and do some general messing around to make sure things run right.

Kennedy
 




Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)


ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Top