My first layout! part 2

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zeis96

New Guy
This is my second post of my layout. Please give me some hints and tips to make it a better layout overall! This is an HO Illinois Central freelance layout in the 40's and 50's. Here are a couple things you should know first!
1. The aisle widths are fine. I know this because I already have them built[:D]
2. The track will fit fine on the loop parts because I've already laid it out to check it!
3. I'd like to add a cattle stockyard any suggestions as to where it should go?
4. I'd also like a depot or two but where?
5. Reaching to the back and corners is not a problem either.
6. I'd also like some suggestions as to some more industries that would work with this.

Thanks!!
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
I kind of thought I seen this before, but I'm not much of a planner (that's been proven) Since it's freelance just put in what you want where it will fit convincingly. 40's and 50's team tracks were the popular things then, (theft wasn't as big a problem, most people didn't have much so if something was stolen the police only had to look around for someone who had something and couldn't explain where he got it) :D Lot's of trucks for unloading at those tracks, many simple commodities in boxes. Two wheel dolly trucks for the heavy stuff. Flat cars or gondolas with machinery.
Small towns didn't have large industrys but they all had passenger stations.
First I'll suggest you sit back and dream about what you'd like your RR to do, the scenery you'd like to see on it, some small industrys of that time era in that part of the country. Think out how you'll operate it. Then the big test is to see if it's do-able. Likely some compromises will have to be made.
In doing mine I planned on how it would operate revenue wise, then built it, not without problems (there were lots and compromises had to be made). It's not finished yet and I know there will be many more compromises and I'll live with them in order to have the RR operate the way I planned for it.
3. I'd like to add a cattle stockyard any suggestions as to where it should go?
Do you have a stockyard kit or is it built, if so where will it fit best on the layout?
4. I'd also like a depot or two but where?
My preference would be on the mainline and on a straight section of track, most stations were in or close to towns. A freight depot would most likely be along a spur.
That is how mine is now laid out. There could be a lot of discussion and help to your questions but man take it a bit at a time, your layout plan looks nice but we have no idea of how you want to operate, what you want to do or commodities for your RR to haul for revenue.
Maybe someone who knows something about layouts will join in hopefully.
Willis
Locations of my pass. stn. and freight shed
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
Aaron, that looks like a pretty good plan from what I can see, but I'm wondering about the different colors you used for the layout boundaries: Does blue represent areas that are against a wall, while brown is for open areas? I'm trying to figure out something you can use as a view divider to de-emphasize that blob on the left side, in the center of the diagram.

It's 11:25pm in my time zone, maybe I'll be able to think of some more ideas after I get a good nights sleep...:D
 
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zeis96

New Guy
Ken - The blue part is indeed the walls of the basement, while the brown is what I'll call the inside of the benchwork. The benchwork is 48" high.

Willis - I'm not sure if this is what you mean by operations but I'm thinking of a layout with more running trains than actual switching or maybe 50/50 both. I'd like the main parts of my layout to be the coal mine, at least one or two depots (my fiance likes the IC passenger trains so I'll probably get them for her to run), and a small town. Other than that it's really open for me.

Here is the link to the first layout I posted a while back.http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3205
 
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SPC_1909

New Member
Hi Aaron,

You are off to a good start. I'm no pro when it comes to design, I've been struggling with my own for years. I am looking forward to Ken's suggestions.

I have a few ideas, you can decide if any are useful.

1) There doesn't seem to be much room around the spur in the upper middle section. If you changed that turnout to a right hand turnout and extended it toward the more open space in the left hand corner, you could make room for the stock pen or a small industry.

2) I'm not sure you need three passing sidings. I wish I could work in more distance between my own passing sidings but that is not possible. Removing the upper one would allow more room for industries or scenery.

3) The mine lead could move off the main so you don't block traffic.

Is the turnout by the mine a 3-way turnout or a 3-way stub? I'm hoping to build two 3-way stubs. If I fail, I will order them.

Good luck and keep planning (mine keep getting better),
David
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
I like watching trains run. I do. But even on the layout at the club, where it takes about 20 minutes to run one circuit, I start to get bored doing the same thing over and over. So what I do to keep from getting bored is operations, making the train do what it does in real life. Drop and pick-up cars. It gives you something to do other than turn the train on, sit back and pop a beer.

You are doing well to plan and ask questions. But think about this. This layout you are building, if you plan to scenic it and put in structures, will take you 3-5 years to build and $50-$100 a square foot to finance. At the end of those 5 years, will it be the railroad that fires your rockets. Will it be close?

The point is the more time you put into figuring out who you are as a model railroader now, the closer you will get to the model railroader you will be when it is done.

You've done a little thinking about this. Have you read Track PLanning for REalistic Operations by John Armstrong? He talks about doing things like listing out your givens and druthers. Have you listed out the things you want and the things you cannot change?
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
A roundy-round part is always good, because there will always be a time where you'll only want to watch trains run. But, that gets old quickly. The operations aspect gives variety, but you also have to know that eventually, that could become like work. And, that gets old as well.

I put a switching part onto my layout, it has 4-5 industries to switch, and use a simple computer program to generate a switching session. Even so, after about 3-4 weeks of work to set it all up, I got bored with it after only one full-up session. I think that happened because as I was putting that section together, I was operating as well, to make sure it was workable. So, by the time it was done, I'd run it enough to become bored with it. Short attention span, I guess.

Still, it gives me pause as to what I want to do next. The fact that nothing is really completed on my layout allows me to rip it all out back down to the benchwork and start again. So, it's not like it's a total destruction. But it does reinforce the thought that if I spend a lot of money, will it be something that I'd want at the end?

Kennedy
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
OK Aaron,

I finally got around to looking closely at your track plan - sorry it took so long to get back to you!:eek: [Caveat emptor - I am NOT a layout design expert by any means, this is just based on what I've seen and heard over the years.]

When I saw your plan last weekend, the very first thing I thought was that some view-blockers are needed to visually separate the loops. On the attached revision graphic, these are depicted with thick green lines.

Then today, when I had a second look, I noticed that in most places on the layout a train could end up passing thru the same scene more than once. So I took the liberty to rearrange some of the tracks as best I could with my cheap graphical editor (not Photoshop, but similar) so the main line wouldn't enclose all the center switching areas, and the line would better-resemble a point-to-point configuration. A train could originate in the yard [or coal mine] at the lower right, and end at the industrial trackage in the top center area. I eliminated some of the connecting trackage and made it a dead-end spur, to make room for some additional structures. The main line tracks are indicated in red.

The one drawback of my revision is that now you will have those dreaded reversing loops - but I figure you'll probably need to learn to wire those sooner or later anyway, so why not now...

And that's my 2-cent consultation for today...:D
 

zeis96

New Guy
Ken that looks great!! The only reason I was doing a continuous loop was because I didn't like the idea of reverse loop wiring. Now that I see a good track plan, they don't seem that bad! Am I looking at 2 reverse loops on your suggested track? As far as the scenic divider at the coal mine, I was thinking of making that a mountainous area and having the main line go through the mountain. I'm going to try to put that track plan together using Xtrkcad, I'll let you know how it goes.
After doing some minor reading on reverse loops, I've come to the conclusion that they are easy to hook up (using Tony's) Besides, if everyone else is doing it I will too!!
Thanks again!!!
 
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IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
zeis96 said:
Ken that looks great!! The only reason I was doing a continuous loop was because I didn't like the idea of reverse loop wiring. Now that I see a good track plan, they don't seem that bad!
I'm glad you found it helpful! :)

zeis96 said:
Am I looking at 2 reverse loops on your suggested track?
Well, uh...yeah.:eek: There's kinda no getting around that...unless you follow this alternative track plan:
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Aaron, I like some of the changes Ken made. I made a few of my own for your consideration. The brown lines on the lower left are my rendition of contour lines for a hillside. I believe the tunnels would make the scenes more believable but aren;t sure how well they fit your prototype. Maybe the stock yard scene would fit at the base of the hill way out in the counrty. I moved the double sided backdrop some to give you a little more room for the country scene and the town on the other side.

The highway/overpass is represented by the gray line at the yard throat and would help you separate scenes there.

135019569.gif
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
One other thing, it looks like we've got a reversing loop inside a reversing loop on the proposed town/stock yard area. That could pose some tech problems. :) I'd eliminate that track...
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
My turn I guess!:p

AAron, I like the changes Ken and Eric have talked about but may I suggest these.

Move the Coal mine over to the other side of the layout opposite the town.
Eliminate the turnout that, as Eric says, gives you a Reverse loop inside a reverse loop. By adding a passing track next to the loop by the town, you have given yourself another decent length one. Looks like in would be about 22" thru the curve. That is an acceptable radius given that part of it is hidden in the tunnel. Notice that where it comes off can be at a "regular"
turnout without resorting to a curved one.

Look carefully at the changes now in the yard. Double ended yards are nice IF THERE IS ROOM, but you really don't have it. Also by adding a bypass track the trip for the mainline trains will not really tie up the ladder track. Plus this opens up an area for more spurs if you so desire! This also adds in effect another passing siding. Which if you notice is also provided by the inbound/outbound track as well.

Now what is a yard without an engine facility of some type. I drew in a 3 tracker but even 1 or 2 tracks would work. There is also a RIP/Caboose track provided. Label of that track depends on the era you are modeling.

Lastly by adding a single ended yard, your car capacity has effectively been doubled and by adding more tracks instead of an engine facility can even possibly be tripled. If you are the typical model railroader, one of these days your going to need the room.:D

I hope that you find some of these suggestions useful.:)

I also meant to add, the Coal Mine can be canted more down toward the bottm so the setup isn't straight across the peninsula.
 
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zeis96

New Guy
Carey, Thanks for all your suggestions. I have one question about your idea. Didn't you create another reverse loop inside a reverse loop at the ends of the bypass and the main to the right? I might be wrong but it looks similar to how Eric had his idea.
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
Aaron;

I don't believe so and after studying what Gman was talking about, I don't think there is one there as well. The reason I don't think so is; they both create just a passing siding within their respective loops, and do not change the train's direction. These just happen to be at the end of their loops.

I still think that you should consider cutting out the siding that Gman was concerned about as it seemed to me to be in the wrong location, unless you put the town there. There would be a siding in the town so passengers could get on and off the train at a depot without fouling the line.
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Ken, You realize that Carey changed our changes, don't you? :D

Seriously Aaron, you've got the makings of a very nice layout. Visualize it and build it! I'm looking forward to the pics. :cool:
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
grande man said:
Ken, You realize that Carey changed our changes, don't you? :D
Of course Eric, that's the nature of the beast - and I'm confident that Aaron will be changing even more of the changes that Carey changed!:p

Aaron, I wish I could help you with the XtrkCAD problem, but I have zero experience with that (I used AbraCAData for mine).
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
CSX_road_slug said:
Of course Eric, that's the nature of the beast - and I'm confident that Aaron will be changing even more of the changes that Carey changed!:p

Aaron, I wish I could help you with the XtrkCAD problem, but I have zero experience with that (I used AbraCAData for mine).
If he doesn't Ken I will be somewhat disappointed.

If you remember in the discussion on layout planning a while back, I told our own Spacemouse, that to me a trackplan is merely a guide for a layout to be built by. Every plan has problems and shortcomings, some that show early in construction, some later. Its knowing when to change these into solutions that work for the owner that the "guide" actually becomes a solid plan. And the only one who can do that is the guy building the layout.

Well gotta go. My ride's here. Taking the club layout to our new permanent home. The McWane Center downtown.
 

zeis96

New Guy
Well here's another update. I extended the upper most siding to allow for longer trains. All the buildings are just for show nothing set in stone yet. I guess the same goes for everything else too! I'll probably change the river/ large stream to make it only cross one or two tracks. The bridges that span it will remain level and I'll just cut out the foam underneath.
Well, I'm being told I have to go play Yahtzee! Just wanted to post the new plan.

Thanks,
Aaron
 




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