Track Question

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48 Plymouth Coupe

New Member
First of all thanks to all that replied to my initial post on "Getting Started", and for your suggestions and comments.

Because of your replies I changed my plans a little. I decided to build the whole table at once and lay the track first, then build around that. As mentioned the layout table is going over a pool table in the basement. The table is from the 70's but still is in a like new condition, so don't want to destroy it in the process. Plus I can't get it out of the basement now because it's too large to fit around corners since I built walls down there years ago, after the table was placed in it.

The table size is going to be 8 1/2 feet long x 8 feet wide (or 102" x 72"). If necessary I can run a leg off that from one end about 5 feet long x 2 feet wide. Now, in trying to determine if I have room for my layout plans I tried to lay this out using a program I downloaded from Atlas a few years ago. I gave that up as a lost cause though. I get about 2/3rds through laying the track and I get the blue screen of death on the computer. Something must be wrong with the program.

In light of the above, I need to know the width of the HO Scale track so I can lay it out on paper the old fashioned way. It's easier that way for me than trying to use the computer. As for which track, it will probably be the EZ track system. So, if someone can give me that info I can start working on how much space I have for buildings, etc.

The layout is going to be primarily a city. An industrial area, downtown area and residential area. Since I'm also into the old car hobby there will also be a Drive In movie and a new car dealership. One of the industrial buildings will be an auto manufacturing plant. Hopefully, I'll have room to cram all that into the 48 square feet I'm planning.
 

radar

dave
Mr. 48 do'nt ez-track but ho flextrackon top of cork is 2" wide. on parallel tracks I think the standard is also 2" on center,I downloaded from atlas about 2weeks a go ,have not had any problems with the blue screen of death!!!
 

48 Plymouth Coupe

New Member
Thanks Radar. That helps a lot to also know the average roadbed. That will give me enough to get things started.

My RTS program from Atlas is several years old. I've also transfered it to two different computers since downloading. That could be part of the problem with me getting the blue screen of death. I'm from the old school though so actually like doing things the old fashioned way anyway.
 

radar

dave
The new Walthers wish book catalog has atlas componets at 3/4" scale ready to copy and use.the book is only like 9.00$ and is very dangerous to look at!!!!!
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
The table size is going to be 8 1/2 feet long x 8 feet wide
Wow! all that space, but believe it or not about 3 1/2 x 3 feet of it will be inaccessible unless you have a reach of over 2 1/2 feet. Now if you are modeling a city scene well the center area could be used for buildings, but bear in mind dust is a part of life and it will settle on those buildings. If you can live with that, well you'll have to build the city first to avoid stepping where the trains run. It's not impossible to do but it's best to keep it in consideration as you plan your layout.

Cheers Willis
 

OldGettysk

Running the MC & Buffalo
48 I have a 4 by 91/2 foot layout and laying flex track on cork is whloe lot better then EZ Track I also copied a plan from the Atlas book called the trunk line . I think I can copy it here for an idea of what it looks like !!! I modifiede it a bit with more sidings and stuff !
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Ez-track is nice if you're not into the effort of laying track slowly and nicely. However, Flextrack is WAY more forgiving. Besides, if you use Ez-track then you have to add an adapter if switch brands, where as all normal track uses the same metal connectors (unless you switch codes).
 

48 Plymouth Coupe

New Member
Thanks again to all of you. All good information, especially the EZ track comment. I want something that is more or less universal to all brands. Only plan on one train to start out, but you never know what the future brings.

Willis, the table will only be up against the wall on one end. I'm about 6 feet tall and the arms are long enough to reach the center of the table from the sides. Checked that out last night. So, I will have full access to the center of the table, I can reach it easily.

OldGettysk thanks for that layout picture too and your comments on the track. That makes two for flex track and zero for the EZ track.

Radar, thanks again too. Actually the Walther's headquarters and factory store is only about 2 or 3 miles down the street from me. Was there several years ago looking around, but didn't do anything then. They have a table there with all their catalogs that you can sit down and look at in the store. Trying to avoid going there until I at least have some basic knowledge of what I want. Otherwise, like you say I could end up with more than I want or even need.

Was just going to buy a basic starter train set. Not so sure now, I may be better off buying things separately.
 

radar

dave
buying things separately is the way to go imho, you might have it easier with a set,everything match's but you have more freedom buy separately,
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
I'll throw my hat in with the rest of the gang: Avoid train sets and EZ trak, buy motive power and rolling stock individually for better quality. Athearn RTR and the Atlas "Trainman" series are a good place to start, they run nicely yet are priced affordably. And flextrack gives you more bang-for-the-buck, even though you'll want to ballast it later on.
 

GrandpaCoyote

Wiley Old Dog
First of all thanks to all that replied to my initial post on "Getting Started", and for your suggestions and comments.

Because of your replies I changed my plans a little. I decided to build the whole table at once and lay the track first, then build around that. As mentioned the layout table is going over a pool table in the basement. The table is from the 70's but still is in a like new condition, so don't want to destroy it in the process. Plus I can't get it out of the basement now because it's too large to fit around corners since I built walls down there years ago, after the table was placed in it.

The table size is going to be 8 1/2 feet long x 8 feet wide (or 102" x 72"). If necessary I can run a leg off that from one end about 5 feet long x 2 feet wide. Now, in trying to determine if I have room for my layout plans I tried to lay this out using a program I downloaded from Atlas a few years ago. I gave that up as a lost cause though. I get about 2/3rds through laying the track and I get the blue screen of death on the computer. Something must be wrong with the program.

In light of the above, I need to know the width of the HO Scale track so I can lay it out on paper the old fashioned way. It's easier that way for me than trying to use the computer. As for which track, it will probably be the EZ track system. So, if someone can give me that info I can start working on how much space I have for buildings, etc.

The layout is going to be primarily a city. An industrial area, downtown area and residential area. Since I'm also into the old car hobby there will also be a Drive In movie and a new car dealership. One of the industrial buildings will be an auto manufacturing plant. Hopefully, I'll have room to cram all that into the 48 square feet I'm planning.

48 P C;

I have to agree with everyone here and say avoid the EZ track at all costs. I know it has been some serious trouble for Spacemouse recently; personally I'd steer clear.

I think it's great that you are planning on putting a Drive In on your layout, my OL and I also have a Drive In planned for our layout it's going to be a pretty big project to get it right with what we have planned. Hope you are able to get all you want in. :)

Looking forward to hearing and seeing more.

Peace.

Coyote
 

48 Plymouth Coupe

New Member
Layout Size Correction

Just noticed I said 8 1/2 feet x "8 feet wide". Had a little typo there. Should have said 8 1/2 feet x "6 feet wide".
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Just noticed I said 8 1/2 feet x "8 feet wide". Had a little typo there. Should have said 8 1/2 feet x "6 feet wide".
That's getting there. 8 1/2 by 5 feet would be better. Even if you can stretch to get out to 3 feet with your reach, you don't want to do that over landscape, trees, and structures or your locos and cars.

Your track will be the life or death of your layout. If you derail every time you turn around, it won't be a lot of fun. It will take some work to make your track run smoothly, but you MUST do it. The big problem with EZ track is that in order to work on the turnouts when the fail you must take them out. All service on them is done from the bottom. And the turnouts are the weak link of the system. I am ripping my layout up, because I have gotten sick up and fed of them.

If you want to go inexpensive go with Atlas code 100 flex and Atlas turnouts. Sure there's better, but this will get you bullet proof fairly quickly.

As far a free software programs go, you can't beat XtraCAD. It is a full featured system and free. It'll take you an evening to learn, but it has a full tutorial that will get you up and running. The Atlas program does not compare.
 




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