Need Ideas for HO Layout for 5 x 10ft Table

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tjdean

New Member
About to embark on building my first HO layout on a 5x10 table featuring mainline operation. Looking for interesting ideas. Would consider a 4x8 layout that I could expand by 25% to fit my table.
 

k0ncept

Member
for a 5x10 I would keep my rolling stock and engines on the short side.. I have had many HO layouts, and the #1 thing that kept killing me was the need for more room.. I enjoy HO, but found I had much more fun with it, when I didnt expect too much... Everytime I started a new HO Layout, I had dreams of huge mainline ops, but EVERY time I would find myself running out of room and needing to expand.. For a 5x10, you have quite a few choices on how you want to lay it out, much more so than a 4x8 would...
 
Unless you're modeling transitional or *early* diesel eras I don't think 5x10 would be enough for 'mainline' operation, simply because of the requirements. Sure, you can have a folded dog bone or oval of double track and even have a 22"R minimum, but what about staging for the trains at each end of your section of modeled mainline track?

Would it be possible for this table to be against a short wall of the room with wings coming off the table on each long wall to hold staging tracks?
 

k0ncept

Member
Unless you're modeling transitional or *early* diesel eras I don't think 5x10 would be enough for 'mainline' operation, simply because of the requirements. Sure, you can have a folded dog bone or oval of double track and even have a 22"R minimum, but what about staging for the trains at each end of your section of modeled mainline track?

Would it be possible for this table to be against a short wall of the room with wings coming off the table on each long wall to hold staging tracks?
That's what I was thinking, if he could do that, then the options would be MUCH better...

After all my years, im now building my first N scale layout, and the only reason I went to N scale was the simple fact I dont have enough room to build the layout I want in HO, and at almost 40 ft of mainline for my N, I feel I have "barely" enough to do what I want, and im sure I will be making many compromises..
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
About to embark on building my first HO layout on a 5x10 table featuring mainline operation. Looking for interesting ideas. Would consider a 4x8 layout that I could expand by 25% to fit my table.
We all dream of 'big sky' and wide expanses when it comes to our layouts. If you can remember that those characteristics were trouble for budding railroad companies who hoped for high densities of customers in short runs of track, but who nevertheless had to bite the coin and spend big to get to distant markets, you might be on your own way to understanding how to look at the space you have. Said another way, what is the purpose of your railroad? What do you want it to do or to represent as an earner of revenue and a payer of reasonable dividends to investors? When you picture yourself having fun, what is your experience to date with model trains?

I think I could design a decent layout for a 5X10, but I know now that there are other considerations such as how will I reach everything in the middle without knocking over stuff near my steadying hand or reaching elbow? Where will I even stand? Would it be better to have a three sided shelf of sorts instead of a loop, or do I have to have a loop because I know I will enjoy just watching the trains most of the time? I can make a nice loop in 5X10. I could even place a diagonal across it to achieve reversals so that the train(s) needn't run clockwise all the time...or the other way.

Atlas has public track plans, and John Armstrong published many in his great book, Track Planning for Realistic Operation. It is available at Kalmbach Publishing.

Carl Arendt's site is a great one. http://www.carendt.com/microplans/index.html
 
That's what I was thinking, if he could do that, then the options would be MUCH better...

After all my years, im now building my first N scale layout, and the only reason I went to N scale was the simple fact I dont have enough room to build the layout I want in HO, and at almost 40 ft of mainline for my N, I feel I have "barely" enough to do what I want, and im sure I will be making many compromises..
Well, my interest is more in the type of stuff a class-II would be doing. some bridge route stuff but a focus more on switching medium-large customers along the route.


TJ, I did some playing around and think i have something workable to show you.

Arguably, an oval will just not cut it, period. But to illustrate how crowded mainline ops on a table are, here is a double track folded dogbone in 5x10 with 22" and 24" radius curves.

The second image is with the plan reduced to a single track with a passing siding at each end of the 'bone'. I've hidden the 'back middle' of the dogbone under a tunnel and used it to house ramps that would go down into staging yards underneath the table. This would enable whole trains to be stored and then brought out to meet/chase/what-have-you along the exposed mainline. Grades are 2-3% in order to get at least 4" of clearance at the big bridge.

The last image is of the plan as rendered in 3D, to show what it would look like.


(ALL images rendered in SCARM)
 
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Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
About to embark on building my first HO layout on a 5x10 table featuring mainline operation. Looking for interesting ideas. Would consider a 4x8 layout that I could expand by 25% to fit my table.
Actually that is exactly what I was going to recommend when I read the title of your thread. Track down one of the thousands of 4x8 layouts out there and just relax it to the 5x10 size.
 

cuyama

Member
5X9 out and back in HO

This HO 5X9 track plan doesn't support "mainline" operation as most would describe it, but provides some interesting operation and might offer some ideas.

Single-track version



Double-track

 

Armchair

Member
5'x10' Layout

Stretching a 4'x8' to 5'x10' works, but does create some unexpected problems. Our little club, "Rail Roadrunners of Yuma" did just that with an old folded dog-bone, "Pidgin Creek and Thawville" We went to 23" radius and 1.8% grades and found some items moved around a little.
See my blog for lots of details and pics. http://armchairmodeling.blogspot.com

Armchair
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
Downsizing

Interesting discussion here, and a few good references for these smaller size layouts.

I sold my 'Atlas Central Midland' layout anticipating a move overseas (permanent move)
http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?p=93274

Now I'm sorry I did as I will not be living there full time, but rather splitting time there and here. I need a small layout to satisfy my desires to at least run a few trains and play with DCC and sound development until I become more permanent. And it needs to be transportable.

I've been giving the 5x9 idea some serious consideration, hence I found this discussion. I look forward to more input.
 

otiscnj

Well-Known Member
I've had a 5'x 12' layout in the past-was able to do a lot with it. I agree with some of the others in that 'the simpler it is, the happier you'll be.' I model mostly the 1970's and 80's when an SD45 was large, modern power. It included 26" radius curves in some spots, as well as 18" and 22" radius. I'm was also satisfied to not running 86' autoracks and TOFC/COFC cars, and 85' Walther's passenger cars.

You might look at some 4'x8' plans, with an eye towards scaling them up. If this represents an expansion of what you've all ready got, you may not need more yard space, and can focus more on scenery.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
Interesting discussion here, and a few good references for these smaller size layouts.

I sold my 'Atlas Central Midland' layout anticipating a move overseas (permanent move)
http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?p=93274

Now I'm sorry I did as I will not be living there full time, but rather splitting time there and here. I need a small layout to satisfy my desires to at least run a few trains and play with DCC and sound development until I become more permanent. And it needs to be transportable.

I've been giving the 5x9 idea some serious consideration, hence I found this discussion. I look forward to more input.
I was just doing a little search for small layout plans, and discovered I had already posted here,...but never posted photos of that 5x9 layout I found to be interesting. So...
 

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jdetray

Well-Known Member
I second the recommendation that Greg made in post #7. The link he provides shows why a rectangular tabletop can be a poor choice. You can often get a lot more railroad in a given space by not using a rectangular table.

- Jeff
 




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