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Author Topic: maximizing staging in a small space  (Read 13148 times)
buzz

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« on: April 12, 2010, 02:32:18 AM »

Hi
Does any one have any ideas for maximizing staging in a small space.
I am building a very small layout and without some hidden staging at the
back it just will not work.
The whole layout is only 4'6" square and I would like to try and get 4 staging tracks plus the mainline at the back, without taking to much valuable scenic space from the front.
regards John
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jbsmith


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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2010, 02:55:59 AM »

Something to get you started,,,some ideas to play with

4'6"?  Like these?

http://www.thortrains.net/nscale/homini1a.html

http://www.thortrains.net/trackplan/HOmini0.html

From

http://www.thortrains.net/trackplan/minipdex.html

Home

http://www.thortrains.net/index.html
« Last Edit: April 12, 2010, 03:03:25 AM by jbsmith » Logged
buzz

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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2010, 05:53:12 AM »

Hi jbsmith
The visible part of the layout is taken care of
As per plan sp1 from The Railway Modeler Book Of 60 Plans for Small locations by CJ Freezer.
I have added a run round so that the small loco can change ends of the train,and added an extra 1' at the back of the layout in which I hope to have some staging tracks (UK fiddle yard) so trains and excess stock can be stored.
With the rest of the world represented for operational purposes.
naturally I want to get the best possible result in the space available.
Without a staging yard, the layout is just train set with little to no operational potential.
Never needed staging before, as I have had enough space to work with so I could manage without it.
But not this time, and trains are also a lot shorter than I am used to
no 2-8-4's this time.
regards John
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2010, 02:08:19 PM »

Have you considered a vertical switch?  A vertical switch is basically a board, hinged at one end, with track on it.  At the hinged end, the track lines up with tracks on the table.  At the free end are several shelves, one above the other, with tracks on them.  Depending on how far you lift or drop the free end, it will line up with one of those shelves.  Then you can drive a train from the layout, across the hinged board ("vertical switch") and onto one of the shelves.

Four and a half feet would probably give you shelves long enough to be useful in N-scale.  Larger than N-scale would require that the shelves project beyond the end of your layout.  If this is possible, then the shelves can also serve as display shelves for your trains that are not presently running.

Jim
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jward


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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2010, 04:31:03 PM »

my suggestion is that you put your staging under the main layout, accessed through a hidden ramp in the back. basically, you'd add an extra lap of track, and your main track would descend towards the rear of the layout. in the back, your hidden lap of track would rise to meet the mainline. your overall grades will be around 3-4% to do this but depending on how you set up your staging, you can get at least 2 and possibly 4 trains in there, staged in sequence on the same track.

my layout is similar in size to yoursand trust me, your trains will be short, 5-6-cars max. you also don't have many options for a normal staging yard as your straights on the sides of the main loop are too short to really do anything serious with except industrial trackage. in my case, i had to move my yard onto a 2x6 extension perpendicular to the main layout along the wall.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Joe323

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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2010, 05:12:05 PM »

I ran into the same problem which is why I rearranged my office to accommodate an extra 4 x 3 section which houses my staging yard and soon a "hidden" siding behind the backdrop for an extra locomotive and trains.
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ray46

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« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2010, 05:44:34 PM »

I know everyone is trying to be helpful but some of the suggestions are complicated and will tend to be unreliable.  Quite honestly there is only so much that can be done in HO in a 4'6" square.  You have to take the space you have and decide what you can reasonably do with it.  In your case it seems that you have first decided what you want to do and then you're trying to force that into the space you have.  More often than not that is going to lead to a lot of frustration.  My advice; trim your wants or find more space.  I say this from experience.

Ray
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buzz

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« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2010, 05:14:03 AM »

Hi ray46
I have actually taken a HO plan for an even smaller space and am building it in a larger space than it was designed for.
That leaves me with 1' X 4'6" for a hidden staging yard of some sort
The problem I have is coming up with a workable idea for a staging yard
that small.
It was noted in one of my earlier posts that I have never built a staging yard of any sort never mind a tiny one
But its only got to hold a couple train set sized trains and may be a couple of spare cars
So surely that could be fitted in the 1 foot width at the back.
larger space is not an option.
regards John
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OldTimer


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« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2010, 09:07:33 AM »

The Atlas Model Railroad Company gives away a track planning tool called Right Track Software (RTS) that works on Windows PCs.  You can download it from the Atlas web site.  If you're using EZ Track, the parts won't match exactly, but you can play around and get some ideas.  And you can't beat the price.   Grin
Old Timer
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Joe323

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« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2010, 01:33:09 PM »

I Agree with Old Timer I used the Atlas Software to plan my layout which is a Mixture of Life-Like Power Loc and Bachmann EZ track.  When I got to laying the track it wasn't eaxct (In fact I had slightly more room then I expected) but it was close enough.  This software is not totally intutative but after a few tries I picked up the hang of it.  So Plan the layout first on the software then lay it out loose on the board and adjust as needed

Good Luck & have Fun

Joe 
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buzz

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« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2010, 06:44:34 AM »

I Agree with Old Timer I used the Atlas Software to plan my layout which is a Mixture of Life-Like Power Loc and Bachmann EZ track.  When I got to laying the track it wasn't eaxct (In fact I had slightly more room then I expected) but it was close enough.  This software is not totally intutative but after a few tries I picked up the hang of it.  So Plan the layout first on the software then lay it out loose on the board and adjust as needed

Good Luck & have Fun

Joe 

Hi Joe
I have resorted to ordering Hornby's 1/4 scale track planning aid.
as the good quality British geometry track is more readily available,
Than the good quality American Geometry where I am.
But I won't be using the 14,5/8" first radius curves even the small UK
rolling stock looks like carp on them, and I am not sure even the small
30 to 40' US stock would get round that.
Who would have though building a tiny layout in a larger space would get so interesting.
regards John
After thought I have an 0-6-0 steamer that will make it round the curves
any thoughts for a diesel
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jward


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« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2010, 01:10:35 PM »

try an atlas alco s2 or s4. they are nice smooth runners. for 18" radius curves, most 4 axle locomotives will work, such as the bachmann gp7 or h16-44.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Joe323

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« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2010, 04:00:40 PM »

Will you be running DC or DCC? I agree 14.5 curves are just too tight.  I think the only equipment that would make that curve would be small yard switchers (In American Rolling Stock) 18 inch is the minimum I would run Finding good quality diesels that will run on 18" should not be an issue.
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uncbob

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« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2010, 07:31:02 PM »

Why do you want a staging area

Is it so you can see all your stock at the same time or so you can change what you are running

I have all my staging in a cabinet that sits under my duck under

I swap out engines and rolling stock every other day

Takes about 10 minutes to do 2 engines  each pulling 5-8 cars
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buzz

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« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2010, 06:12:08 AM »

Hi uncbob
See all my my stock at the same time ERR NO most of it is unsuitable for the current project so packed away until I can do the big one.

Its just so I can have enough stock on the layout to run a simple operating session.
We are talking a short 3 car freighter, a short mixed and a rail motor of some sort.
With possibly one or two spare freight cars for variety and thats it
There is not going to be  enough room on the scenic side even for that small amount of stock.
regards John
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