my first layout - please comment!

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New oe

New Member
Hello to all.

After many years of wanting to build a model railroad, I woke up one day and said I'm going to do it! So, I got a mate to build a 4' by 8' plywood table, and then set about acquiring stuff for the layout. After a while, I had a pile of stuff, and the realisation set in - "what the hell am I going to do with it all?".

I am artistically inept, so found XtrkCad on the net, and after a lot of doodlin, came up with this:



The track in black will be Code 100, in red Code 83. It is my objective to plonk a piece of hardboard or plywood between the red and black tracks (except at the south end), so I can have two different scenes on either side.

Initially, I am planning on doing something like an urban scene on the code 83 side, and something based on the Feather River Canyon (http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=117664) on the code 100 side. That's the plan, anyway.

Any comments, thoughts, etc., would be appreciated.

Joseph Karl.
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
I'm affraid I don't understand where the backdrop goes. Does it run in a U shape on the inside of the black loop?
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
My only question so far is why the complex turnout section on the Red part of the trackwork. I'm not totally sure what advantage that sort of setup will provide, but I can think of one....

Kennedy
 

New oe

New Member
Hello again. Sorry for the delay in replying. Work and sleep tend to get in the way of having fun. :D

This is my best attempt at being able to render my layout:



The black lines will be a divider between the continous running (blue track) and the switching part (red track). The part on the left will be 'hidden staging' where I can do some 0-5-0 shunting without ruining the illusion.

The switching part will probably be something based around a mine, seeing as I have a lot of second-hand coal hoppers sitting around. I will be running 40ft cars and SW8/9s as engines, mianly because I have 15in curves, and anything more modern will have a fit. I do have a gas-electric railcar which can get around 18in curves, but it looks :eek: :eek: in doing so.

The complex turnout section is provided so you can park 2 cars on one side of them, and run the engine around them. I have used the "play trains" feature of XtrkCad to make sure it works.

I have one question going forward at this point: I have had some attempts at ballasting pieces of track using the 50/50 water/PVA with dishwashing detergent method, and while it does the job, it tarnishes the rails in the process. A friend of mine who is a Marklin enthusiast says that is his experience, in the long term, you can have problems with rusting of track because of the water you've applied.

Does anybody have any suggestions as to how to get around this, or another way of ballasting track?

Thanks,

Joseph.
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
you can have problems with rusting of track because of the water you've applied.
Hi Joseph, welcome to ModelRailroadForums. Not quite sure of where you would get the rust from the water.
If you are using brass track it doesn't rust. Nickle silver is also non ferrous and not prone to rust. The ballast on my layout has been put down with the 50/50 mixture after a liberal spraying of water. It sets up and dries overnight and you don't water it any more unless you make a mistake and have to move the track :D In fact you may now pull all the track nails (if it's sectional or flex track) and it will stay secured in place. The water evaporates over night and that's the end of it. Even with the heat turned off some winter months, it gets a little damp in my train room but nothing moist enough to rust steel or weaken the glue bond (the locos survive it and don't rust) About all I can add is unless you have steel tracks, I can't figure out how you could get rust. I don't know but maybe someone else can.
Use the nickle silver, this will explain the properties of different track materials http://www.hobbiesplus.com.au/tracklaying.htm

Willis

PS: If you can get it to rust, that might not be too bad as most of us have to paint our tracks a rust color :D (something to think about)
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
There's an older Steel rail track out there, I have a few peices, that was very rust prone. I'm not sure if you could get the NS rail to do that though!
 

narrowgaugecdb

New Member
Hey Joseph,

Are you not afraid that the radius on your layout is going to be very tight?
This will result into the fact that your layout can only handle small engines and cars.
I personally think that the layout will be boring after a while, I believe that a layout needs a purpose. What is yours?
Just trying to start some conversation. Let me know what you think
Constantin
 
My guess is that if it's steel rail, no matter what you do, it's going to rust, and there will be constant maintenence either way...
 

New oe

New Member
narrowgaugecdb said:
Hey Joseph,

Are you not afraid that the radius on your layout is going to be very tight?
This will result into the fact that your layout can only handle small engines and cars.
I personally think that the layout will be boring after a while, I believe that a layout needs a purpose. What is yours?
Just trying to start some conversation. Let me know what you think
Constantin
I am not too worried about small engines and cars. I have more of a fondness for that type of stuff that 6-axle diesels and 60' cars.

As far as the boring stuff - I haven't seen something in 4x8' that doesn't suffer from that without being purely shunting or looking like a racetrack with 2 or more ovals and some sidings. What I am trying to do is combine continous running, shunting and the ability to have some of the track hidden for staging without just being an oval with sidings (if you want to drive me out of my mind, just keep chanting "oval" at me repeatedly.......:p )

What I am guilty of at this point is not putting enough thought into the design of the track. I want two separate scenes, for interest, but you're right - I don't have a purpose as such. Thanks for making the point - I'll give that some thought.


Joseph.
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
You can have purpose and two scenes in a 4 x 8. I think I was able to achieve it. Of course, it is not done yet.

Here is an overall view of the plan:

layout02.gif


And here is how it looks today:

traincity22.gif


There are two towns Rock Ridge and Train City. Rock Ridge is a town built around a mine (not built) and Train city is the hub of local commerce.

traincity33.gif


traincity34.gif


These town are divided visually in two ways. The ballast is two different colors representing the local color of rock. There are trees planted in a dividing the towns with a view block. The areas that are painted green will planted with trees in the near future. As more trees are planted, Rock Ridge will appear and a forest hillside from Train City, and Train City will appear as a valley city from Rock Ridge.

traincity35.gif


traincity36.gif
 

New oe

New Member
:eek: :cool: :D

WOW!!

I had never thought too much about elevations, basically because trying to run up/down in such a small space was unrealistic (I did a test once, and was able to get a locomotive and 2 cars up a 1:3 grade, but it looked like a rollercoaster).

The layout you've shown me answers nearly all my questions/reservations about what I was trying to acheive, and gives me plenty of scope to redesign my plan. Thank you for that. I'll go away and tinker, and see what I can acheive..........
 

New oe

New Member
Chip -

I very much like the way you have generally set your railroad out, (one upper scene at one end) and have decided that is basically how I would like to to mine.

One question - What is the radius of the curves at Rock Ridge (the upper level)? I have got the bottom level sorted, but want to add some switching and a runaround at the top.
 

Trucula

Drum Driver
Wow SpaceMouse!!...I really like that idea....thats one of the best over/under layouts in a small area that I've seen in a while. Very Nice!
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
It is a good layout, that's for sure.

Is there a way to go from level to level? Doesn't look like it.

On my layout, I have a second (switching) level. I plan to access it by a long ramp along the outside of the 4x8 section. Because I have about 18' of run, it resolves to about a 2% grade.

I should also mention I have a second 4x8 section at right angles to this one, so I can continue my 'outside' run to a small stub yard.

So, the lower level is continuous 'roundy-round' mainline running, with a switch to a 'branch line' which goes up the 'outside run' ramp up to the second level. The second level switching basically handles about 9 HO cars, which is actually pretty good, for the size of the layout. But the additional stub yard can handle the overflow if need be.

Kennedy
 

New oe

New Member
After a lot more looking around at other 4x8 trackplans, I have decided that indeed, my plan is not interesting enough. Sooooooo, it's back to thinking, redesigning, etc.

At this point, this plan has satisfied the basic requirements I wanted for a layout. It doesn't have continous running, but nearly everything else is there. I will modify it a bit, but its basic form is very appealing.

Until, that is, I reconsider...:rolleyes:
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Sorry everyone, I've been out of town. Thanks for the nice words.

OE, all the turns are 18" radius. With small steam I don't have a problem.

Kennedy,

Yes you can get from level to level. Looking at the lower level see the loop entering the tunnel on the left. It loops around to the far outside and climbs a 3.1% grade around to the bridge. The same left track in the opposite direction climbs a 3.7% grade counterclock-wise. See the the first layout picture.
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
OK, I see how those climbs work. Didn't catch the far outside ramp.

How does that 3.7% grade work for you? Downhill, that's probably OK; it's prototypical that the steeper grade is the downhill grade, while the lesser grade is the uphill.

How many cars can your steamers pull uphill by themselves? If you can do 8-9 cars without trouble, that'll be perfect, in my view.

Kennedy
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
I have various steamers that pull from 5-14 cars up the 3.1% grade. However, if you try up the 3.7% slope that drops to 1-5 cars. When I give out engine assignements. I have to keep that in mind. With the really small steam, I run 4-5 car trains plus caboose.
 
New oe said:
After a lot more looking around ...
At this point, this plan has satisfied the basic requirements I wanted for a layout. It doesn't have continous running, but nearly everything else is there.
Yup, that is a very nice layout for a 4x8. It is going to be very hard to modify for continous operation though.
 

New oe

New Member
It has been adapted for continous operation. It's not a huge loop, but it will enable me to watch 'em run if I don't feel like being hands-on. I'll put a plan up soonish.:D
 




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