Taking my Time & Exploring Layout Ideas while Playing w/ SCARM

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This sounds like an excellent approach to operations! One question: are ou planning to use sectional track or flex? And if sectional track, which brand?

The final plan you posted looks very promising - I have a few suggestions:
1. Do you really need the loop of track on the north end? One of the tracks through the yard will be the main line.
2. You probably don't need the crossovers that I have circled

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Hi Kleiner, thanks for the questions and input!

As far as track, I was thinking Pico code 83 flex, and Pico #6 turnouts. I haven't gone as far as pricing things out or checking availability yet.

So the outer north loop was from the original two track concept. Even in the one track layout, the north loop still serves as access to the industries on the east side. I further modified the east industry before reading your input. I do see your logic in removing it. I might experiment with moving that turnout further south, and repositioning the first turnout splitting into the yard so the yard access turnout could go further north, but turnout spacing might start to get tight further south. One thing I'm trying to do is not go any tighter than 24" radius in the curves. I'll probably share the latest version as I had it before I read this for you & everyone to have another look.

The crossover on the upper most track of the yard where is initially put in after watching an interesting video on YouTube that describe some benefits. However, given I'm still learning of the functionality on so many of these details, I wasn't sure if it was better in his case due to the fact that his yard was stub ended, and whether or not my proposed yard being double sided would negate the need for such a crossover. That video can be seen here.

Before I read your reply here, I had already made a few other iterations on what I've posted so far in both the sigle and double track option. I'll share them here over the next day or two, as I'd love to get further thoughts from you and everybody else willing to take the time to check it out.

Thank you!
How will you identify box cars as "empty or full?" I'm sure you plan for removable loads
for gon, flat and hoppers.

Hi MOWboss, this is something I know I have to learn more about, but I'll have to dig further to even see where to begin. In watching several operations videos that involve railroad clubs and multiple members, and I noticed they use cards with the details of the various cars, what appears to be the status of those cars that day, and where they need to go. However I'm not sure if people with layouts on a smaller scale such as mine bother using a system like that. That's something I'll have to further look into, but I'm also open to suggestions if anyone has any.
I may have missed something, but how high will the layout be above floor level (AFL)? Will the curve on the Southeast corner (near the door) be a removal section or a duckunder? Depending on the age of visitors, a duckunder can be a real pain. If that will be a removable bridge, you should have some type of electrical interlock on both ends far enough from the ends to prevent any locomotives or rolling stock from running off if the bridge has been lifted out. I ran into the same situation, except the door was in the middle of the South wall, and the ends were at two different levels precluding a connection. As a result, I wound up with return (NOT reversing) loops and a folded dogbone layout around a 14' x 14' room.

Hi Trailrider, yes this issue has been mentioned by other folks here within this thread. I do plan to use some sort of a lift off bridge. One thing I haven't bothered to share with the detail that I use a wheelchair to get around, so getting this at the right height to enjoy from a seated position while also being able to get in and out of the room is definitely a must. I have seen many clubs tend to have their layouts at a relatively higher position off the floor, which seems to make sense since people walking around the layout can enjoy a more realistic ground view without having to bend over too much. Obviously for someone like me in a seated position, it would be difficult to reach such a viewpoint.

I do have a nice 6' x 2' workbench that a friend crafted for me along time ago with the intention of using it from a seated position. I plan to buy some pieces of track and some foam layers that I've seen in other threads and videos so I can stack them and experiment with the proper height. As a few other folks have pointed out on these forms, ideally getting the height right will be helpful for manipulating the track and as far as constructing the layout, and then also the enjoyment of viewing it as a train goes by. I hope carefully experimenting on a smaller scale will increase the chance of determining how high my shelving/benchwork needs to be to hopefully get it right on the first shot. Trying to fix it later would be challenging and costly.

Going back to what you mentioned about the removable bridge aspects and electrifying it, some of the fellow members here linked other posts that discussed some challenges and potential issues, which I plan to revisit as this gets further underway. If you have a link to some of the work you have done an experienced that shows your layout, it would be great to see it. Thanks for your input!


Well-Known Member
Although I am, fortunately, ambulatory, I have built most of my layouts, including my present one to be operated and viewed from a seated position. In the case of my current layout, it is located in a mainfloor addition to our house. Because of building code regulations, it was necessary to include two windows big enough to permit rapid exit in case of fire (in spite of the fact that the doorway would permit exit a heckova lot faster). The bottoms of the windows (on walls that are at right angles to each other) are 38" AFL (Above Floor Level), limiting the height of the layout. The one side of the layout is 32-1/2" AFL, and the other side of the layout is at 36" AFL, to permit using a storage cabinet to be used as a support for part of the "West" side. A 2.5% grade on the "East" side allows the track to change levels. I don't have a trackage connection across the doorway as it have return loops on each side of it. I have a bookshelf on the "West" side of the doorway, and the difference in heights would have precluded a connection between "East" and "West".
Another reason for setting the elevations so low is to allow neighborhood kids to more easily see the trains (pre-pandemic). Best of luck with your pike.
Stay well and safe!


Well-Known Member
Just looking at this thread for the first time now. I try and avoid duck unders at all costs, as they are inconvenient, can become an operational nightmare, and can also be a safety hazard, if there's a need to exit the room, quickly.

having stated those things up front, I usually prefer double track to single track, although single, with sufficient passing sidings are OK. In that regard, the single track plan, with passing sidings plan posted here, seems to have the sidings that are too short, given the industry tracks. I also wonder whether a 'scoot off' staging track or two, might add some operational interest in terms of some interchange in the yard. Or even have some sort of interchange with another rr, on the layout, even if its only simulated.

Other than that, I think this has plenty of possibilities, as its got lots of industries, and scenic possilbilites.
@trailrider I have read in several areas of this site and other sources of the mix between setting the height so you can get it close to I level versus keeping it low enough so you don't hurt your arms and shoulders when reaching over the layout to do work on it. I'll have to double check one of the windows in my room, hopefully it's at the right height for my seated position yet easy window access if need be. Planning for those emergency situation is definitely a good idea!

@willius9 I've been working at it... It will be interesting to see how close it is to reality when the time comes to start laying track !

@otiscnj now I'm curious what you mean by a "scoot off" staging track. Can you link me to a visual example? Thanks for the input.

I haven't posted much lately because it's summer here and I've been doing other things for the home. This included getting the floors refinished while I had some time off of work. I ended up removing the closet walls that I discussed earlier in the thread, so the trackplan is going to be focusing on the full room option. I did leave the closet door available to the other room though, so if I decide to explore further options, the idea of a staging yard in a separate room could be entertained. Ooooo boyyyeeeee lol. I'm hoping by next week to have some rooms painted as well before I get busy in the fall again. I'll post pics of the bare room after painting

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