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Author Topic: New layouts (again)  (Read 5827 times)
TrainLegend150


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« on: November 23, 2011, 01:40:57 PM »

Okay, so I asked my parents about any space for a layout on a table, and they suggested the back room of our basement. They said that their estimate for the size of the back room would be 10x11. Does anyone have any ideas for this? And please let the layout be continuous!
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mf5117

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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2011, 02:41:44 PM »

Depends on the scale N HO ON30 G .
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adari

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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2011, 02:53:10 PM »

I would do a around the wall layout that is 18 inches wide.
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2011, 08:09:54 PM »

Your first step, even before deciding on a scale, should be to measure the room with a tape measure or even a yard stick to find out how much room you really have to work with.  An around the walls layout is an excellent idea.  Such a layout can be a nuisance for old guys when you have to duck under it but for a young fellow, it should be no problem.

You may still want a lift bridge across the doorway so that you have easy access when working on the railway.  Lift bridges can be very troublesome or very successful depending on how you build them.  In general, the troublesome bridges are in layouts that are tightly attached to the walls so that the lift bridge either jams up tight or gets pulled apart as the room expands and shrinks, taking the layout along with it.  The successful bridges are in layouts that are allowed to move slightly so that the tables and lift bridge control the layout's size, not the walls.  By the time you have a design, post again and one of us can give you some suggestions on how to build the framing of your layout.

Unless you are planning on N-scale, I would make the layout at least 24" wide.  If your room is 10' x 11', then a 2' wide layout would still leave 6' x 7' in the middle and would still be narrow enough to reach across for working.  That 6' x 7' will comfortably hold 6 to 8 people when showing off your trains - even more if some are little people.  A 2' wide work table could slide under your layout when not in use and there would be plenty of storage underneath.  Of course, the whole layout does not have to be exactly the same width.  Often some variation adds interest.  The one place I would go narrower for sure would be the lift bridge - a 6" wide bridge can easily accommodate double tracks.

Another thought is to include some yard space.  Some days you will likely feel like being very hands on with your railroad.  Switching is probably as intense as it gets.  Other times, you may just want to sit back and watch the trains go by.  For this, a continuous track is a must.  Combining the two lets you have trains going by even when you are switching.  I don't know about you, but that is one of my favorite ways of running a layout when I am running it alone.

Jim
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Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
NarrowMinded


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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2011, 08:55:38 PM »

I suggest downloading a "free" trial version of Anyrail, its a track layout design tool, then once you use it and if you like i,t upgrade to the paid for version, the free version limits you to 50 pieces of track.

I find myself playing for hours designing and tweaking my dream layout.


NM-Jeff
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Terry Toenges


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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2011, 01:50:20 PM »

Is the room empty now?
Are you going to be with you parents for a  few years yet?
When you move out, will you take your layout with you?
How are your carpentry skills if you build it around the wall?
Are the walls Concrete or drywall on wood studs?
Just a few things to take into account.
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Feel like a Mogul.
TrainLegend150


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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2011, 01:27:05 AM »

Sorry, I forgot to mention that the scale is HO and that I have a Bachmann 1225 Pere Marquette (2-8-4). I have smaller engines like 0-3-0, 2-3-0, and a Santa Fe Diesel. Will curves like 22" and 24" and 26" work for all of these engines?
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Doneldon

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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2011, 05:44:48 AM »

Legendary-

Those radii should work for most modern plastic locos, whether steam, diesel or electric. You could have trouble with larger brass locos but I'm guessing a young person still living with his parents hasn't invested in that kind of motive power yet. You should be good to go. Be aware, however, that larger locos and rolling stock which can make it around curves doesn't always look graceful doing so. And, you'll be looking at your trains from the inside of your curves, assuming an around-the-wall layout, and appearance is a bit more sensitive from the inside than the outside. Good luck with your building. I'll expect to see some photos of your progress.
                                   -- D
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TrainLegend150


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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2011, 05:28:57 PM »

okay, so my dad and I ACTUALLY measured it, and it is 6X12. I think that's a really small space, isn't it?
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Doneldon

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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2011, 11:27:57 PM »

Legendary-

I'm glad that you followed Jim's advice and about measuring your space. Ten by 11 and six by 12 are dramatically different sizes and shapes, and those differences profoundly effect the kind of layout you can build. In both cases an around the walls layout would be preferred but the 10x11 room would also let you build a traditional 4x8 table layout. Four by eights certainly aren't ideal sizes or shapes but the reality is that they are enormously popular because they are a good, managable size for someone who is considering entering the hobby. But the 6x12 room will not permit you to do a 4x8 so you are pretty much restricted to an around the room plan, a linear shelf design done as a switching layout, or a shelf layout with return loops at the ends permitting continuous running without obstructing the entry.

Of those, I would argue in favor of the around the room configuration or the shelf layout with return loops. My reason is that I'm aware that most modelers apparently build layouts with the ability to do continuous running, and I don't think I'm assuming too much when I say that tells me most modelers want to be able to do continuous running. My belief is that is probably somewhat more the case for newer MRs, at least partly because they are a bit younger than experienced MRs (by definition), and they haven't had the rewarding experience of truly operating a model railroad like a real railroad. Let me be clear that I intend no slur whatsoever of newer hobbyists with this comment.
                                                                                                           -- D
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ForThemPanzerz

ForumField


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« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2011, 11:44:00 PM »

okay, so my dad and I ACTUALLY measured it, and it is 6X12. I think that's a really small space, isn't it?
that is good enough for the berkshire and the most common size for small layouts is a table that is 4x8 if you want some great info on small layouts search Jerome & southwestern from 1984 it is pretty small but has a lot of area for buildings and track still.
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uncbob

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« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2011, 11:48:43 PM »

I would do a around the wall layout that is 18 inches wide.
Agree  and since you are young a Duck Under shouldn't be a problem
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uncbob

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« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2011, 11:59:51 PM »

okay, so my dad and I ACTUALLY measured it, and it is 6X12. I think that's a really small space, isn't it?

Here is what I did with a 6 1/2 " x 10 1/2

http://bandb3536.com/meo/layout/scenerydone.jpg
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jward


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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2011, 12:55:35 PM »

doneldon,

i am not sure what you mean when you say a 4x8 won't work in a 6x12 room. if the 4x8 is placed in one of the corners it will fit perfectly, and you'll still have room for a small yard or industrial area off the end of the 4x8. the trick in using the 4x8 in a small room is to design the layout so that all the switches are within arms reach of the front of the layout. ez track, or any other properly laid track, should cause no derailments in the back of the layout. 90% or more of derailments will be at the switches. and i believe that using a 4x8 in this room would cause fewer problems than  an around the walls plan with a liftout or duckunder section across the doorway.

while i would agree that around the walls would be preferable in a larger room where you could fit turnback curves into the room, that is not possible in 6X12. if you don't want trackage across the doorway, in that space your optionds are a point to point around the walls plan, or a 4x8 or other sized table with continuous run.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Doneldon

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« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2011, 02:45:11 PM »

Jeff-

While I agree that a 4x8 can be shoehorned into a six-foot wide room, I think the difficulties it presents outweigh any advantage provided by the convenience of using a ready-to-build panel from the lumber yard.

A 4x8 could be set at a mid-point on the long wall so one side and both ends are accessible but the very narrow passage along the length of the table would be very inconvenient, make two people passing impossible and lead to many table bumps which would likely cause at least some wheels to jump the tracks, particularly on moving trains, and damage to scenery and structures along the edge. (I concede, however, that a mid-wall placement would permit two staging areas and maybe even room for branch lines which could use the ends of the room, but now we're all but back to an around-the-walls design, but with a large blister in the middle.  I would see this as a great possibility if the aisle was just a little wider.) The corners away from the wall could be rounded to make passage easier but that gives up two valuable spaces for industries or scenery. Too, the fourth side would be inaccessible in the event of a malfunction, derailment or need for maintenance. I suppose a set of wheels would permit access to the fourth side but that can cause its own problems like derailments. Depending on the floor surface and table structure, moving model railroads is asking for trouble, especially if the table is moved when trains are operating.

Given all of those matters, I would reject a table layout, especially since an around the room layout would work very well in the 6x12 space. And so would a wide shelf layout along one wall with return loops. Heck, with one return loop on the short wall with a door and the other in a corner on the opposite end, an extensive staging area could run along the fourth wall while still leaving a three-foot passageway. Or, with the door on a long wall, return loops could be built on either side with a narrow shelf opposite to allow access to the aisles at both ends of the layout.
                                                                                                                                 -- D
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