Proposed HO scale layout... needs an evaluation

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tenwheeler

Member
I thought I would fly this one past the forum while I am still finishing up my background. I only have a small area that used to be my home office.... it is an L-shaped area 12.5 feet by 6.75 feet. It will be only be accessible from the front side and a "pop-up" area that can be lifted up, in the center of the larger section. The front edge of the benchwork would pretty much follow the contour of the lower track outlines.

I like both operations and "running" trains, so I tried to utilize the available area to the max.... maybe a little "too Max..." !!!

I would appreciate any comments or suggestions.

Thanks, Bob
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
I'd say it's a little too max as well. You don't have any room for scenery or structures. As an exercise take this area to list your givens and druthers. Your givens are the things you can'c change no matter what and your druthers are the things you'd druther have if you can swing it.

I would go further and ask yo some of the basics like: What road name do you like to model? What part of the country are you modeling? What timeperiod are you modeling? Just answering those questions will get you started thinking about the layout you posted. IF you are retired, I can picture you climbing into a pop out every time you want to dod some buildign on the layout or have to clean the track. And if the track has problems that are a hassle to fix, you won't want to run trains very often.

Do your dangest to get reach to 30" or less. You'll thank yourself later.

Also what type of running do you like to do? Passenger trains? Switching? Local freight?
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Hi Bob, and welcome to the ModelRailroadForums. Chip is right on with his assessment of your plan. The first requirement is you have to please yourself and know you will be satisfied with it. Failing to do that could result in building the benchwork and trackage of your layout and shortly afterward tearing it all out because it isn't what you want. If that were to happen two possibilities (1) you could rebuild with more thought to what is possible and acceptable or (2) just give up in disgust (I did that once, 20 years later I tried to do it right)
Follow Chip's advice and assess the things you want and then what will actually be possible in the space you have. In any case compromises will have to be made (life's like that :D )There are many on these forums who would love to have the amount of space you have for a layout. We have some excellent track planners on the forums who will be happy to help you with an acceptable plan, all you have to do is ask

Willis
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Hi Bob. I agree with the others. The RR has to please you, no one else. That said, the trackplan is a bit "busy" for my tastes. I see your avatar says Great Northern. What era do you plan to model? Are you more into mainline or switching? Is a continuous run important to you? It can be tough to fit everything in on a small HO layout (trust me, I've been there;) ). You've got to decide what's most important to you.
 

phatpony

Member
Hi Bob.

I am going through the same fight right now too. I have a 14.5' X 14.5' room, but have a door or window on every wall. So I have my challenges as well. The first thing I took into account was reach. I'm a tall guy, but even so, You'll have a long reach to the corner if your layout occupies the more than a 2.5' X 2.5' square in the corner. Your's is like 5.5' from the right wall, leaving no choice but to crawl into the benchwork and pop up in the middle of your loops. That's ok if that is your plan. The biggest problem for me was I wanted to keep a train/trains on continuous run while I am switching. Both aspects are important to me. I ended up with a donut layout plan. Not optimal because I'm going to have to duck under to get in the middle, but once there I can run my whole empire and still be able to reach (at least in theory, I still have to build it). Another thing I came to realize is I needed to be able to reverse the directions of the trains. Easier said than done with limited space, But if it's not an issue don't worry about it. I literally spent 3 weeks on the computer trying this and that until I came up with something that "might" work. Mine is a little on the busy side also, but it has every aspect I want in a layout.
 
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tenwheeler

Member
Good replies... all the way around. It sounds like I need to spend a little more time in the planning stage. I want to model the Great Northern and a small feeder line (Montana Western) circa 1948-1950 transition period, serving two Montana towns (Shelby, and Conrad). I have passenger, freight, and switcher locomotives so far. I used RR Track V.4 to do the track plan.

My benchwork is 48" high, and I have had my benchwork set up earlier, but took it down when I decided that I needed "contoured" background, instead of 90 degree corners. So I have already tried the pop-up with no problems (so far, that is...). I like both running and operations (all my grandkids like the running part...), but I also like the scenery element.. so as you all have said, something's got to go !!!

Thanks again for the good advice... Bob
 

phatpony

Member
Here is where I'm at right now. It is 2 levels, the lower is nothing more than a staging yard for my mainline trains. They get down there via a helix ( big round circle in the right pic ). They are kinda hard to read in this type of format.
 
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grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Bob, here's a link to a cool RR. It's the Atlas "Central Midland" track plan that has been done very well. Be sure to take the tour and check all the pics. There are several overall shots. The plan includes staging, min 22" radius, and much scenery potential. I've got one of the old Atlas layout books around somewhere. If you're interested, I could get you a copy of the "how-to". It definitely an advance RR. Only one small problem, it's an "L" shaped 10x12. Anyway that could be made to work?

http://www.medcomres.com/OurHOTrains/
 
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grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Hey Bob. I moved your thread to Layout Design and Operation. You didn't do anything wrong by posting it in it's original location, it's just that I'm hoping you'll get more exposure here.:) There's a redirect in it's original location for anyone that was following it there.
 
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tenwheeler

Member
Thanks for the assist... the Midland Central looks interesting. I think I'll try to play with that design for a while.

Bob
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
tenwheeler said:
Thanks for the assist... the Midland Central looks interesting. I think I'll try to play with that design for a while.

Bob
Bob, if you're interested, shoot me a PM with your mailing address and I'll send you a copy of the Central Midland how to article. It covers from benchwork to complete RR.
 

driverod

CEO DP&WARREN RR
Grade

Hi Bob,
Better check that grade on your "upper" siding. Looks like a heck of a lot from the cut-off switch to the track end.:cool:
Don.
 

tenwheeler

Member
grande man said:
Bob, if you're interested, shoot me a PM with your mailing address and I'll send you a copy of the Central Midland how to article. It covers from benchwork to complete RR.
Well, Eric... I guess everyone has given up on me, but I have been working and re-working my humble spin-off of the Oregon Pass. I think I did 37 different drafts trying to incorporate a HO layout that would give me a good continuous running main, a freight yard, an engine service area, and room for a small town and several small industrial sidings. I was able to allow for a lower level for a return loop of track, much like the Oregon Pass RR.

The left part of my benchwork is 27" deep, in a part of my room that is only 48" deep (21" aisleway). There will be a removable "pop-up" in the larger benchwork section. The lower level is still still in planning, but you'll get the idea. Suggestions and comments please...

Thanks again, Bob

03_02_06Layout_MASTER.png


BottomMaster02_06_06.png
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Hi Bob. I'm not sure I'm following you on the lower level. Does it tie into the two stub tracks on the right? Also, what's the minimum turn radius? It looks pretty tight.
 

tenwheeler

Member
Sorry, but the "lower" plan was from one of numerous other drafts, and although it doesn't dove-tail with the above, the idea will work in the lower space I have.

I will redraw the lower level, and submit it later this afternoon... as I have doctors appointment right now. It was meant to show that the two stub tracks continue below the main table level and after making a loop, return up incline to the main table elevation.

More later, sorry.. but I have to run.

Thanks again, Bob
 

tenwheeler

Member
I apologize for the mix-up on the plans... here are both upper and lower level plans. The stub area is where the tracks disappear from view on the top level. There will be an access "hole" in the bottom level that matches with the removeable "pop-up" on the upper level for access to the otherwise unreachable areas.

Thank you for an advice, or comments.... Bob


03_02_06Layout_MASTER.png


03_02_06LowerLayout_MASTER.png
 




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