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Author Topic: 4x8 track plans  (Read 57156 times)
Jerrys HO
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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2013, 08:46:25 AM »

Ron

I realized that while making them. Trying to keep it simple for newbies. Will try to design better ones as I go. It takes a couple of hours to design them with more added.

These plans can be modified to suit your needs. You can add an additional reversing loop or install a turntable as suggested. I am planning on one with these in mind or even a wye for more realistic operations.

Jerry
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Len

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« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2013, 09:01:20 AM »

Between the Bachmann EZ-Track book, the Atlas HO Track Plan books, and a bunch of Kalmbach published starter track plan books, there are already a ton of 4x8 layouts out there. Many of which provide a lot of operating interest in a limited space.

One way to 'expand' a 4x8 is to have it represent one point within a larger railroad, with a spur or two running off the table to 'the rest of the world'. If there's space, add a 4'-6' piece of 1x4 lumber for a "Fiddle Yard" for new incoming trains, and a place for outbounds to leave for.

You'd be amazed what operating possiblities are available running locals made up of cars from the "through" trains, and getting blocks of cars ready to be picked up by the next one.

Len
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If at first you don't succeed, throw it in the spare parts box.
show33

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« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2013, 10:23:26 AM »

Len - does the Bachmann EZ track book come with my set (hasn't arrived yet)
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rogertra


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« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2013, 03:06:01 PM »

Between the Bachmann EZ-Track book, the Atlas HO Track Plan books, and a bunch of Kalmbach published starter track plan books, there are already a ton of 4x8 layouts out there. Many of which provide a lot of operating interest in a limited space.

One way to 'expand' a 4x8 is to have it represent one point within a larger railroad, with a spur or two running off the table to 'the rest of the world'. If there's space, add a 4'-6' piece of 1x4 lumber for a "Fiddle Yard" for new incoming trains, and a place for outbounds to leave for.

You'd be amazed what operating possibilities are available running locals made up of cars from the "through" trains, and getting blocks of cars ready to be picked up by the next one.

Len



One word Len.   Exactly!

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Len

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« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2013, 05:30:00 PM »

Len - does the Bachmann EZ track book come with my set (hasn't arrived yet)

I don't believe the book comes in any of the sets I'm aware of.

The actualy title of the book is, "E-Z Model Railroads Track Planning Book", item 99978 if you order from the Bachmann On-Line Store. The ISBN-13 is 978-0964709829 if you need to order from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Len
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If at first you don't succeed, throw it in the spare parts box.
Desertdweller

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« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2013, 05:55:08 PM »

Building a 4x8' model railroad, especially in HO, is such a classic model railroading experience that all model railroaders ought to build at least one, just to have done it.

This has been the classic beginner's railroad since at least the 1950's.  As such, there has been 60 years of thought put into developing 4x8 track plans.

HO is also probably the best scale for someone starting out in the hobby.  There is just so much available in a variety of price ranges.  If you do decide to go into a different scale, you shouldn't have much trouble selling your HO equipment.

Like all model railroads, a 4x8 is limited by curve radius.  My 4x8 HO beginner layout used 18" radius curves at first.  Later, I moved these closer together and put 22 1/2" radius curves outside them.  That was the biggest radius I could fit on the 48" wide platform.  There wasn't any commercial track that size in existence, so I made them out of flex track.  Roadbed was commercially available cork material.  The track and switches were brass.

I read a lot of complaints about brass track corroding, but I ran trains so often the track never had a chance to get dirty.

Kalmbach had an excellent book called "The HO Railroad that Grows".  It may still be in print.  The idea is you start with a 4x8 and keep expanding it, keeping the original track layout as a core.

Another really good dream book is Atlas "101 Track Plans".  This shows plans for everything from the smallest HO railroad to huge ones.  One of the features of this book I found most entertaining was the names given the designs.  This book came out at a time when the fashion was to make up fanciful names for your model railroad.   Gems I remember were "The Long Guyland Railroad", and the "Synaxis and Phrax".

Les
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Searsport

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« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2013, 06:48:23 PM »

May I suggest that you take a look at some of the early Peco books (dating from the 1950s – 60s, but still in print), such as “60 Plans For Small Railways”, "Track Plans", and "Plans for Larger Layouts".  These were mostly drawn by the late Cyril Freezer, long time editor of Railway Modeller magazine, and are based on real railway practice (albeit condensed), and hence do have a railway purpose. 

They are based on British steam era prototype practice, and hence not quite in the American idiom in terms of track layout or facilities, e.g. they have a strong emphasis on passenger facilities, are designed for small goods wagons, and often have apparently double track main lines handling dense traffic, but they are generally designed to fit very small spaces (i.e. British houses), and many are even smaller than 8x4, yet typically comprise an end-to-end spiral running from a high level terminus to a low level terminus with a disguised continuous run and hidden storage loops. 

Another common feature is for the low level to represent a cramped, busy urban terminus and the high level a more spacious and relaxed rural setting.

Thus one can, for example run services between two busy urban termini or from an urban terminus to a rural terminus, with opportunities to run trains continuously round the circuit for as long as you like or hold them in a hidden loop, whilst you shunt goods wagons at either terminus, shunt passenger carriages, service locomotives, etc.  Another common feature is a central operating well with control panel, so that the  operator (on a swivel chair) can never see the whole layout at the same time, just the bit he is focused on.

Regards,
Bill.
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hhartman

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« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2013, 06:59:36 PM »

I agree with DesertDweller in that the 4x8 is often a rite of passage.  It is usually the first "real" layout that follows the simple circle of track included with someone's first train set.  

But the humble 4x8 can also have other uses besides being a kid's first layout.  For some, it may be the biggest layout that can be put in a dorm room or small apartment.  It can also serve as an educational platform for learning new scenery or tracklaying techniques.  Or it could be a diorama for photography work. Or it could be a building block with planned incorporation into a bigger layout when the ultimate layout space becomes available.  Or it could even be built by an experienced model railroader for donation to a day care center, a church, or a children's hospital.  None of these care that the layout lacks a goal, aim, or mission.

I doubt any of us expects a 4x8 sheet of plywood to become the ultimate layout but to a 12 year old kid, it can be the second step of a great hobby!

Harvey
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Jerrys HO
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« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2013, 07:16:37 PM »

One word Les and Harvey. EXACTLY!

Jerry
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Geared Steam

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« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2013, 07:41:09 PM »

I have a 4 x 8 that I have been operating now for 5 years. It's just me, and I can go hours "operating" my layout. Everyone today claims the way to do it is a back and forth shelf layout. You get to run for 10 seconds, reverse, do it again, repeat. The claim that you cannot operate on a 4 x 8 and you just want to watch trains run is complete bs. I have a mine with two track leads, a sawmill, an interchange track, a three track yard with station and freight house, and a scale track to weigh ore cars, turntable and yard. It is completely possible to operate a 4 x 8.

My layout is a modified "Plywood Summit Lines", it admittedly has steep grades, and more in line with geared steam, logging and mining, but of course that was my target when I selected the layout. It fits into a corner of the room, as I dont need to access all four sides, when I do, the layout legs are sitting on "moving men", it very easily slides away from the walls for access if needed.

Build what you wish to build and be cautious about the experts tell you. Only you know what you want and would be happy with.

MHO
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rogertra


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« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2013, 08:35:54 PM »

I have a 4 x 8 that I have been operating now for 5 years. It's just me, and I can go hours "operating" my layout. Everyone today claims the way to do it is a back and forth shelf layout. You get to run for 10 seconds, reverse, do it again, repeat. The claim that you cannot operate on a 4 x 8 and you just want to watch trains run is complete bs. I have a mine with two track leads, a sawmill, an interchange track, a three track yard with station and freight house, and a scale track to weigh ore cars, turntable and yard. It is completely possible to operate a 4 x 8.

My layout is a modified "Plywood Summit Lines", it admittedly has steep grades, and more in line with geared steam, logging and mining, but of course that was my target when I selected the layout. It fits into a corner of the room, as I don't need to access all four sides, when I do, the layout legs are sitting on "moving men", it very easily slides away from the walls for access if needed.

Build what you wish to build and be cautious about the experts tell you. Only you know what you want and would be happy with.

MHO


My point exactly, a nicely designed 4 x 8 can be just as interesting to operate as a basement empire.

It doesn't have to be a mindless loop or loops.

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jward


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« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2013, 09:45:33 PM »

if you want to see what a 4x8 can be, checque out the bear creek and south Jackson.
http://s145079212.onlinehome.us/rr/bcsj/index.html

this guy did it right. there isn't a whole lot i'd do to improve this one, except to add a second passing track on the lower level and some staging under the town.

the things I like about a 4x8 are that it is a manageable piece of railroad to build and maintain, it is semi-portable, and it forces you to selectively compress things. you need to capture the feeling of a place rather than model every detail. often modeling everything to scale you lose the context of the real thing.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Barney R


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« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2013, 11:53:47 PM »

I have a 4X8 layout and it is from the Atlas layout book. It is called the twice around and it is great. I modified it 2 years ago and I keep adding and changing it as I go along. Check it out in the Atlas book.
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jbrock27

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« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2013, 07:48:34 AM »

Barney, is the book you are referring to titled: Atlas HO Layouts For Every Space?
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Keep Calm and Carry On
Barney R


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« Reply #29 on: November 28, 2013, 10:20:36 AM »

If you go to this link, it will take you to the Atlas Web site and Twice Around is #1OO15.
 
http://www.atlasrr.com/Code100web/pages/10015.htm

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