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GeorgeJr7

Guest
O.k. I've placed my first layout on a 4x8 piece of foam board. Now should I cut the foam out around the track and lie that on a board or leave the entire layout as is and start decorating. Any help would be appreciated.
 

Chris UK

Member
George, being from the UK I am not familiar with foam board but probably the main question would be, do you need to model a ballast shoulder? If you do then the track plan needs to be cut out and placed on another board. This will raise the trackbed and you can then shamfer the sides to produce a shoulder. Don't forget a shoulder is probably only a scale 4'' to 6'' from the flat terrain around the track.

If the 'foamboard' is thicker this will have the advantage that you can build your scenery up to it and over it if needed. In the real world the ground is never flat even sports fields are built with a slope to assist drainage.

If not, then leave it on the board as is, provided the 'foamboard' is suffieciently stiff enough not to twist once all the decorating is done with scenery etc.

The last thing you want to do is lots of work only for it to break due to movement stresses.

What are your plans for the scenic areas?

Great work so far by the way, I am still in the planning stages and I have attached my plan. Would appreciate your comments.

Chris :) :)
 

modelbob

Administrator
> I am still in the planning stages and I have attached my plan.
> Would appreciate your comments.

Well, OK, since you asked... :)

I'd lose the top diamond or double slip switch, whichever it is, for sure. It doesn't get you anywhere you can't get on the two tracks next to it, and they are VERY expensive, both in model form, and more importantly, as a real switch. I doubt any real railroad would spend the money for something that really doesn't accomplish anything.

(PS - Maybe that was simply an extra line, if so, never mind...)

The same comments apply to the lower one, but not quite as strongly. If you're modeling a large terminal or other space limited area, you can justify that one, since it does allow moves not otherwise possible. Chicago Union Station has more double slips than I've ever seen in one place, or at least they did before the last rehab of the trackage, simply because space was at a premium.

So I'd suggest losing the top one (if it ever existed), and giving some serious consideration to the bottom one too...
 

modelbob

Administrator
One more comment (and sorry to be so negative...)

If you get a cad type program and draw that left yard out you'll find it probably won't fit in the area you've drawn. Turnouts (switches) take space, lots of it, and even a #4 is at a much shallower angle than you'd hope when drawing track plans. A ladder track ends up being long, very long.

That's why I use 3rd Planit and Cadrail, they quickly (and frequently) tell me "sorry, I can't do that, it won't fit..."
 

modelbob

Administrator
> Now should I cut the foam out around the track and lie that on
> a board or leave the entire layout as is and start decorating.

Choice "C" - None of the above... :)

Seriously, I'd run trains for a while, for two reasons.

1) Find and fix any flaws in the track, kinks, uneven spots, whatever.

2) Make sure you like the plan and how it operates. Want to add or change anything? Now's the time.

Then, when you're sure you're happy, go ahead and start scenery. If you want to have scenery below track level, use your idea of cutting the foam out in those areas and mounting it all on a board. (Put the board under it for support before you cut anything out is my suggestion)
 

Chris UK

Member
(This reply was edited by Bob in error, thought I was in the reply screen, not edit mode. There was some additional text here that I accidentially deleted. I've put back what I can of the original message. Sorry!)

Modelbob, thanks very much I will definately look at the
top slip, it is in fact a single slip not a double and is common
practice in the UK.

The plan has been scaled with the trackwork I am using and fits fine.

Bearing in mind I have built exhibition layouts for
the last 25 years this is one of the first jobs I do
 
Last edited by a moderator:

modelbob

Administrator
Chris,

My apologies I accidentially edited your reply when I thought I was replying! (As a moderator I have the ability to edit posts, and the two icons are right next to each other...)

Sorry about that. Do you happen to have the original reply text handy?
 

modelbob

Administrator
> Modelbob, thanks very much I will definately look at the
> top slip, it is in fact a single slip not a double and is common
> practice in the UK.

Ok, I have to admit I'm not as familiar with UK track designs. Do they typically use them in the manner you've shown? I wasn't questioning the slip switch so much as the fact the two adjacent tracks seem to go the same place as you'd get using it. Maybe simply slide it over to one of the two parallel tracks?

> The plan has been scaled with the trackwork I am using and fits fine.

OK, then you must be using somepretty small frog angles I presume?

> Bearing in mind I have built exhibition layouts for
> the last 25 years this is one of the first jobs I do

Great, then you know what I mean about how long ladders actually end up being. As for the exhibition layouts, how about posting some photos? I'm trying to get the model railroad photo gallery going, and we could sure use some more photos. Sounds like a great subject for some new pictures!
 

modelbob

Administrator
SDP45 said:
Bob,
Where do you get that layout CAD software?
There's a ton of programs out there, ranging in price from free to $100 or so.

Here's a directory of some of the main manufacturers. I like 3rd Planit, but I have to admit it's got a bit of a learning curve.

To start out quick and easy, pick up Atlas' Right Track program. It's simple to use, and best of all it's free. Save often, as it tends to be a bit buggy, at least on my machine.
 

Chris UK

Member
Bob, I will keep you all informed and post pictures when I start building. The track plan is being stress tested to ensure it does everything I want it to and whilst this is in operation I am starting to build the boards. The scenic length is 12' with a 6@ fiddle yard on the end.

The other project I am involved in is the Railway Clubs test track that will be 20' by up to 40' with a double track in HO/OO, O and Gauge 1. Photos will be posted as soon as there is something more tangable to look at than a pile of cut timber.

By the way the original text for the earlier message is not kept so never mind. The point is I have scaled it, it fits, the points are not too tight and my wife moans every time I fit it together in the lounge to stress test it.

I dont use a computer programme just the old fashioned method of wall lining paper, real point templates and a long ruler. If this needs expansion I will be happy to post it.

Chris
 

modelbob

Administrator
> I will keep you all informed and post pictures when I start building.

That would be great!

> The track plan is being stress tested to ensure it does
> everything I want it to and whilst this is in operation
> I am starting to build the boards.

So have you used the slip switch as you've shown it? Is that a typical track arrangement in the UK? I know they use a lot of slip switches, but I guess I'm not sure why they have the track cut across on a diagonal as you show it. Maybe they have to do that in order to get the angle flat enough to work for the slip switch?

> The scenic length is 12' with a 6@ fiddle yard on the end.

Ah, then it's longer than it appears. That's how you fit it all in. :)
I'm used to somebody drawing what you did and expecting it to all fit in on an 8 or 10 foot long section.

> I don't use a computer programme just the old fashioned
> method of wall lining paper, real point templates and a
> long ruler. If this needs expansion I will be happy to post it.

Well that's always a good method, and one that gives you a very accurate picture of what the end result will be. There was an article in a recent magazine about a fellow who basically does the same thing, he draws his plans in chalk and then paint on the concrete floor of his basement. Puts a few cars and structures down and walks around to view the results. Gives a real clear picture of what the layout will be...

I didn't realize you had drawn it out to scale, and took the drawing you uploaded to be shorter than it was, so that's why I was concerned about it fitting.
 

Chris UK

Member
Thats absolutely fine, it is always valuable to get an independent view. The use of the single and double slips are very common in the UK. The single at the top allows movement between the headshunt and the top siding without encroaching the remaining headshunts and/or sidings. It also allows a shorter or longer run round depending on train length.

Unfortunately the scanned copy was reduced in size in order to get it to the image size to post. The result is that the plan appears crushed from the ends. The scale plan is a lot thinner and longer. The initial plan is 12' but if needs be under the stress test, it can be stretched to 15'.

It is more important that it looks right and has plenty of siding length for operation. The UK exhibition goer is used to looking at UK tracklaying practice and much shorter train lengths and wagon lengths than the USA/Canada use.

Thanks for the valuable feedback.

Chris
 




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