Looking for Advice on First Layout Drawing

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New Member
Yes, I know, it is just a crummy had-drawn layout. No fancy CAD drawing unfortunately! One square = 2". I'm just throwing this out on the forum for advice, critique, etc.

There are two mainline roads, non-intersecting, though I am not sure how to get one track over the other as yet. Mountain tunnels in opposite corners. A river with bridges, but I would like to expand on that theme. One track runs on a hill, like pics we've all seen of a track running on a mountainside.

I've left room for two towns and three industries, though more could probably fit. I can make the whole thing larger if need be. It will be a two-module, foam layout. So...any thoughts are appreciated as this is my first effort at designing a layout for N scale.


Drum Driver
Hang in there...I know sharpened pencils, erasers and tongue bittin are flying now!! You'll have an answer soon! ;) Some guys on here feed off that question!!
for advice, critique, etc.
I don't think it will fit as drawn even in N-scale. Places like that upper right corner look to be about 6.5"-8" radius curves. If you cannot get all the way around the edges of the layout reaching to the center parts of the "L" could be difficult.

What is the concept of the two non-intersecting loops. Two different railroads?
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New Member
One line is Amtrak, the other a freight line, Norfolk Southern. I can adjust the trackplan for fit. I did not use a scale radius guide when I drew it. I may just build the modules (a little larger) first, then lay the track down and see how it actually fits.


Fun Lover
Two things I would do. I would run the line as a double main and let the amtrack go one way and the NS go the other. I acutally had planned layout like that, but I had a little more switching.

It was a 42" by 84" layout running modern NS and split down the middle by a backdrop. One side was a railfan double main, the other side was yard with switching in urban canyons.


The other thing I suggest new layout desigers do is read my Space Mouse's Beginner's Guide to Layout Design. It takes about 5 minutes.

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