Proposed N-Trak Modules


WYSIWYG Photographer
Here is what I am thinking of putting together this winter for my N-Trak modules....This is just the rough draft. The plan is to use two 4' x 2' 6" modules with the 2 mainlines (Yellow & Red), 1 Branchline (Blue) and a mountain line (Green).

SOmehow or another, I plan on fitting a roundhouse and turntable on the one module and setup some sort of a small yard on the other. The attached image may help to visualize what I'm trying to do...
Sorry, but it won't work. :)

Sadly, I'm more serious than joking. You have shown way too much trackage and switches in too small of a space. Look at the angles of the track coming off your turntable and connecting to the mainline.

My best suggestion for you is to find some kind of a software program to help you design it. There are lots of them out there, including some for free. I think Right Track from Atlas is now available free for example.

Turnouts (switches to most folks, but the industry term is turnout) take up much more room than you expect. Turntables are even worse, being giant space eating monsters when it comes to actually installing them.

The plan itself has potential, but will take more space than you've shown there.
Here's a quick sketch (and I do mean quick, and yes I know, some of the tracks don't line up, but you get the idea...)

The grids are on 6 inch spacing. That means the section of the layout shown is about 4-1/2 feet long by 2 feet wide. This is more than 1 module, and I'm nowhere close to fitting in everything you've shown.

Not only that, it's done with the Atlas N scale track, with tight radiuses and sharp turnouts. I'd suggest not making it that tight, but you may have no choice.

This was done with Right Track software and took me less than 10 minutes to put together. It's worth the time to download and use a program like this.
Thanks for the info Bob,

Like I had said, that was just my rough draft. I have the Atlas software, but I tend to doodle at work and that was what I had come up with. I still haven't purchased the modules yet. I may rotate the roundhouse 90º to the left. I've personally found that advanced track planning is a good idea, yet most times the real thing looks much different.

Still, any input is appreciated
Finally picked up my modules on New Year's day. Looks like I may be able to get the turn table and roundhouse on the one module and have some sort of city scene on the other.

I'll post a picture of the first module later this week to show where I positioned the turntable and roundhouse.
Mind if an old NTRAKer from Michigan sticks his nose in here?

Since you are going with a pair of modulesthat at least to look to be a matched set why not widen the modules from both the back and the front?

Then take the 3 mandatory tracks and swing them out as they run left to right all the way across the modules then swing them back in at the other end.Are you following me here or am I get to far off track :D for swinging the track out you will gain some width and have more room for your roundhouse and turntable.

If you do this I suggest that you taper the corners on the front so the modules with look like they belong with the other guys (gals?) modules.

If you need more translation of my writing let me know.
My modules already have the 6 inch extension to the front. With my scenery ideas (expensive), the tapered corners are not an option.

The 3 mains (Yellow, Red & Blue) will curve to the front of the modules. Only the Blue line will connect to the turntable and mini yard. The attached picture in the first post is way out of proportion and not to scale. The idea is to have the Red line about 1 inch from the front edge of the module.
As promised, here are my preliminary shots of the first module.
Nothing is permanent yet as you can see. Just some track taped into place to visualize what I'd like to do
Hurry up the suspense is killing me,, I want to see what this is going to look like. :D
Well, my wonderful idea was going to look kind of weird, so I've decided to model 2 different scenes.

The left hand module will be the start of a yard and the right hand will be a small prairie town set in the 30's & 40's.

This will allow me to create additional modules to fit in between these two.
Hi Marc, just for those who don't know any better (namely me) :D
The colored lines ( green red yellow blue & white) do they represent track or wiring? The reason I ask is the green&white trace goes through the roundhouse in a straight line, whereas the round house and it's required track are kind of pie shaped spreading like a fan so you couldn't go straight through without a mess. What am I missing here?
Cheers Willis
My bad...

The colors (Red, Yellow, Blue & Green) are the NTrak standard and optional tracks.
The white area is actually just spots that I missed filling in.

The green track is actually elevated by 4 inchs, hence why it shows as if its going thru the roundhouse.

I realized after I uploaded the images that MSPaint is not the best tool to show off a track plan, but it's all I have available at work.
OK thanks Marc, I figured some info had to be missing so I'll have another look at it now :D
Cheers Willis
Well, it's been a long time in coming, but I finally got some work done on the modules.

As with all plans, they never go as expected. After dicking around with the roundhouse, trying to make it fit, I gave up and went with something simpler.

I have modelled a prairie scene (pictures to follow) with some DPM, Plasticville and American Model Builders kit.

I plan on having a spy cam hidden in the speeder shed pointing West, connected to a TV below the module.