Layout Designs..Food for Thought.

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CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
My thanks to Brakie and all the replys. Wow! a lot of memories returning after reading this thread. It is too bad that model railroad forums were not available to me at the time I started building. I imagine we all dream of the big one, the dream layout. As I recall my start, or return to the hobby on retirement, I moved walls and doors in the basement to accomidate the railroad that had formulated in my mind. The formulation was from the publication in RMC of Eric Brooman's Utah Belt and a short article in a 70's MR mag " Why not model a junction", a small interchange in the corner of a room. I liked the idea of interchanging with a mainline. The idea of a loop to loop mainline came from the Utah Belt. Of course I had no measurements, no idea of how much space this would take, so with visions broad sweeping curves I set out to do the impossible. Needless to say I had to settle for less in the space I had alloted. I must confess when I started I had very little knowledge of trains or modeling them. Molded on details were perfect and to deface a store purchased train unit would be unbelievable :eek: . I learned much from others, and today I can tell a six axel from a four axel loco. (truely, my lack of RR knowledge was almost that bad).
I add this tale of woe here to enforce what Brakie has posted that planning is almost manditory unless you wish to tackle the difficultys I had. If I had it to do over I would have spent much more time planning with pencil and paper, and more serious thought.
Joe I read your post with great interest. The Engineer, Railfan, type tags have me wondering what combination tag I would assign to myself. I designed the layout so as to sit at the center (by a Small Yard) and operate the mainline & Junction interchange from there, like a dispacher (or lazy) I guess. Yet for the branch lines I will be following the train to it's destination with a walk around throttle. I was always a sort of odd ball, but now you have me wondering why I did it that way. :confused: There doesn't seem to be any great interest in model rail in my local area so I doubt there will be few visitors to my layout. One thing that was planned, being a little older :D there was to be no duck unders, entrance to the aisles, is through a gate, the idea is not mine but I did put a lot of work of my own design into it.
Have to go make lunch now, I'll check in again later
Willis
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
Brakie said:
Ken,Good point for those that plan on having visitors..However,in my case and those that I know we just invite close friends or the operating group and most stay with a 30" isle way for their layouts(IMHO 36" isle way is better if one has the space).Of course the layout I am building doesn't fit the group operating plan but a solo or at the most 2 man operation one as a engineer and one as a conductor/brakeman. :D

The only time I'd consider less than 30" for an aisleway is if it's guaranteed that the operating crew will always be the Scantily Clad Models from Heck....

:D

Kennedy
 

dgwinup

Member
Brakie, you make excellent sense. I've asked those questions of myself many times and have tried to work out answers to all of them. I do recommend, however, that someone just starting out (or over), start small until they determine their own answers to your questions. They will have the enjoyment of layout building while learning how much more they want in a layout.

My first adult N Scale layout was no more than a loop and siding on a 2' X 4' ceiling tile (while in college and living in a studio apartment). My next serious layout was 4' X 8', but I didn't have enough money to put in all the sidings I ultimately wanted and needed to make it interesting.

My next layout was the beginning of 'The Dream'; roughly 20' X 25', with plenty of room for expansion. (The old 4x8' became a yard operation). That "Dream" ended when I moved and subsequently got divorced. (But I saved the trains!)

My current layout is 48" X 78" 'L'-shape built entirely of foam. It goes round-and-round and not much else. But it got me back to model railroading after a 20+ year absence.

Future plans? At 57, it's time to make "The Dream" a reality. Armstong's Givens & Druthers have pointed me in the direction of Joe's "mixed Railfan/Engineer". I want a layout big enough to have continuous running but with enough sidings and industries to operate in a somewhat protypical fashion, all in an 11' X 13' spare bedroom. I want to have enough railroad for more than one person, but with the ability to just play by myself whenever I want to! (Joe Fugate: any suggestions?)

I am stuck right now for a plan. I have spent countless hours looking at layout plans, reading books and articles on layout planning and following along on discussion groups. I have ideas, but no plans. I have a locale in mind for a semi-fictional railroad, but haven't determined all that is necessary to bring it to life. When I begin to plot out some of these thoughts, I will post them for comments. In the meantime, I will continue reading, studying and researching, all of which is a hobby unto itself!

Thanks for all your thought-provoking comments and suggestions. I take them all to heart.

Darrell, still planning but quiet...for now
 
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JeffShultz

Stay off the tracks!
dgwinup said:
Future plans? At 57, it's time to make "The Dream" a reality. Armstong's Givens & Druthers have pointed me in the direction of Joe's "mixed Railfan/Engineer". I want a layout big enough to have continuous running but with enough sidings and industries to operate in a somewhat protypical fashion, all in an 11' X 13' spare bedroom. I want to have enough railroad for more than one person, but with the ability to just play by myself whenever I want to! (Joe Fugate: any suggestions?)

I am stuck right now for a plan. I have spent countless hours looking at layout plans, reading books and articles on layout planning and following along on discussion groups. I have ideas, but no plans. I have a locale in mind for a semi-fictional railroad, but haven't determined all that is necessary to bring it to life. When I begin to plot out some of these thoughts, I will post them for comments. In the meantime, I will continue reading, studying and researching, all of which is a hobby unto itself!

Thanks for all your thought-provoking comments and suggestions. I take them all to heart.

Darrell, still planning but quiet...for now

Darrell,

Can you give us a sketch of the 11x13 room, with the location of any doors, windows and closets? That's actually the size that my father-in-law has and he's got a nice little layout building.

Door is in the left corner of the front 13' wall, closet beside it taking up the rest of the wall.

Yard+interchange against the 11' wall away from the door, industries (too many of them in my opinion) along the 13" stretch under the window, and then it comes back along the 11' wall towards the door, performing a right angle turn just outside the door swing and across the room as a penninsula. Right now he's building a sawmill on the penninsula, and still trying to decide what to do with the wall area between the industries and the sawmill.
 

cuyama

Member
dgwinup said:
I want a layout big enough to have continuous running but with enough sidings and industries to operate in a somewhat protypical fashion, all in an 11' X 13' spare bedroom.
Well, so much depends on the concept, era, and theme of the layout that it's hard to make suggestions. But as far as footprint in the room, one of the things I always try first, if there is enough width, is a spiral. The sketch below is 14" min. radius in "N"ormal scale (equivalent to 25.5" in "H"orribly "O"verrated -- just kidding, guys).



regards,

Byron
http://www.modelrail.us
 
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SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Check out the Gary Indiana Steel layout in Midsized and Managable Layouts by Iain Rice. It fits your bill quite nicely.
 




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