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New Member
I used my 4X8 as a learning tool and I am now ready for better things. I have developed this track plan using the atlas rts. The tan marks are supposed to be a grade and I plan to have the yard be elevated above the mainline/industies. The gray area represents what will be elevated. I plan on making a rock face or cliff of some sort to destinguish the two levels. Is this workable?
My track is 18' radius and I dont plan on running any major equipment, just some 40 footers and some tankers. I will probally purchase a small switcher or two for operations. Is this workable?
what appears to be a passing siding is supposed to be an interchange.
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Diesel Detail Freak
Not bad, however, might I suggest a run around somewhere, to allow some sort of continuous running?


Well-Known Member
Hi. You have a short spur running upper left, diagonally, with "At-510" beside it, at the top centre-right of your oval. If you were to curve it and extend it to the left somewhat, and put a turnout about where the "At-510" label is, you could make it all a useful wye for tuning locos or entire short trains by running the diverging route from the new turnout over to join the main near where that passing siding is on the right...the one lowermost on the diagram.

Just a thought to keep it interesting and more functional. Otherwise, it looks okay to me. Although, if it were mine, I would add a couple of runaround tracks in that upper yard at right. Right now, you have no escape for a loco that has to tow the train into the stub. If it shoves all the time, it limits what you do on your switching layout...which is really what this is.


Fun Lover
The guys before me still hit my major concerns. An engine going into the yard can't escape, And you can't switch both dorections on the switchbacK.

I'm assuming this is HO scale.

Why not make a loop in your 4 x 8 and run a nice yard on the extension. Think a little outside the box. (And you still need to clarify your vision.)

Know what every track is for and how the train will work it from either direction. Knowing you want to get from here to there is not enough. You need to know why you need to get from here to there. Build a lyout with purpose, don't throw your time and money into sme tracks and some switching. You'll be bored silly before you start the scenery.


New Member
Ok, So I added a wye track for engine reversal. I also added some crossovers in the upper yard so that my road switcher could pull cars in and then still leave. Based on my space a runaround track wont work. What do you all think?


Fun Lover
How does your railroad operate?

What I mean is why is it there. There are a ton of good 1 x 4 HO shelf that are well designed because they have an operating plan. You don't need the wye. You don't need to turn your trains--unless there is a reason to do so. My opinion is the wye takes up space that could be used for useful operation.

Lets say that the upper track in you yard is a connection with the Conrail Mainline. A train arrives on that track (from) off layout. It pulls forward, it drops it's cars, pulls forward, grabs cars on the lower track, pulls forward, reconnects to the original train, pulls forward and drops the new cars on the interchange. Takes the old cars and backs back into the mainline spur.

A Geep sitting int the siding pulls into the interchange track. Pulls the train out to deliver to the industries, picking up empties as it goes. It returns to the interchange track, where a new train from the mainline is waiting to pick up the outgoings and bring in the new cars.

If you eliminate the wye, yo can add 3-4 new industries and increase the complexity.

That's with your layout design.

You need an operating plan to make the railroad work. If you just throw up track, you'll hit the bored zone before you finish.


New Member
I want to pull empties from the yard to serve the industries and take "full" cars and drop them at the interchange. I want to add some crossovers in the yard so the switcher can get out. I am also going to add a loop on the 4x8 that tucks under the upper level with the intention of having the train go somewhere though a tunnel, complete a task, and return. I'll post my modified plan tonight.


New Member
All spurs and sidings are going to serve industrys. The gray section is going to be a grade and eventually leveled out. The loop will serve as an interchange. The part marked by green will be hidden by the elevated track above it. As in my prior plans the elevated level will be on a scenicked hill. The gray distinguishes between levels.

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