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| | |-+  Suggestions for a good-running, small DC HO steamer, for 15" radius
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Author Topic: Suggestions for a good-running, small DC HO steamer, for 15" radius  (Read 10833 times)
RAM

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« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2014, 11:13:16 PM »

I would go no larger than a 2-8-0
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HDiedrichs

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« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2014, 01:08:56 AM »

I have a very similar small layout. 18 and 15 inch curves in two loops. I have the Athern Alco 2-6-0s and the bachman spectrum richmond 4-4-0s. Also 2 three truck shays and two climax engines. I also upgraded an old Riverossi 0-4-0 #96 to DCC. Its a nice engine for its era given it has a lot of articulated linkage for something that is more of a toy. Also got an 0-6-0 switcher. I also have two varieties of 2-8-0. One is the large Bachman and the other looks a lot like the 2-6-0 Alco.

Also some companies sell the very small ore cars in sets of 6.

I love the small steam stuff. I'm not into diesel at all.

I would recommend you try to get at least one loco with a Tsunami sound decoder in it. You'll be amazed how cool it is.

As for elevation what I did was two loops, 15 inch inside 18 inch and the outer loop is 4 inches higher than the inner with a 2 inch bed. So I have a drop of 6 inches total to the bottom of my river bed. I simulate a cliff/rockies environment. The two loops don't meet. So you can get elevation if you set up a second loop higher.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2014, 01:12:29 AM by HDiedrichs » Logged
Clovis-73


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« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2014, 10:19:09 AM »

Sounds good. I've never had the space for a layout larger than 4x6, and that one was relegated to the garage.....in Fort Worth.....too hot...too cold.... I built another 4x6 a few weeks ago with the intention of putting inside, but too heavy and too big. So I went down to the 42"x62", and gave been working on different track plans - first one with 15"r then went to 18"r. The track plan is basic, so I will try to get some good scenery worked into it. I need a running layout, with a continuous loop and turnouts.

Putting in the 1/2" risers today.

Jim
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jward


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« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2014, 11:39:07 AM »

don't feel bad. the main part of my layout is 4x4 1/2, with a 2x6 extension for a yard and industrial area,

I was able to keep a minimum 18r curve, use #5 switches that I built myself, and keep grades down to 4%.

I only run small steam and diesels, cars 55 foot or less, and have had no major problems with it.

most of the diesels will pull at least 5 cars on the 4%, the steamers pull slightly less, with the exception being a roundhouse 2-8-0 which will outpull many of the diesels.

I suspect my layout is similar to hdiedrichs but I have connected the two loops into a twice around, over and under plan.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Clovis-73


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« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2014, 10:40:05 AM »

I wish model railroader would talk more about smaller layouts. I know the larger ones are very impressive, but (I think) very few is us have the luxury or space for a larger layout. 4x8 is too large for my home. I know there are folks who have suggested that those lacking space should move to a smaller scale, but it got to the point where N was jet too small for me.

Oh well, we work with what we have
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jward


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« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2014, 11:52:45 AM »

designing a small layout is an art form. you have to throw a lot of the "rules" perpetrated by the model railroad press put the window and think outside the box. in the process you end up with a layout far more interesting than the current  "standard" of long straight track along each wall of the room.

ironically, some of the best sources of inspiration for small layout design are the older model magazines, generally those before about 1980. older layout plan books, such as those published by atlas, have some real gems as well. there is also a yahoo group devoted to small layouts.

one thing you should really consider is learning to lay your own track. you can build all kind of customized switches, build yards with switchpoints close to the frog of the preceding switch, curve them to fit the space, etc. in other words, all sorts of space saving things you can't do with premade switches.

one thing I've noticed about ready made track is that all switches are not alike. for example, a peco medium is the equivalent of a #6 but will fit in about the same space as an atlas #4. it does this by eliminating all the extraneous straight track at the ends of the switch. at the other extreme, ez track switches take up the most space of any of the major brands.

as I mentioned before, my layout is smaller in area than a 4x8 (30 sqft) yet I was able to get a lot in that space.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Len

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« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2014, 12:19:33 PM »

I have to agree with Jeff on some of the old layout books having good plans for small spaces. Kalmbach's "101 Track Plans", which goes way back, has quite a few small layouts. Some of which have curves going down to 14in radius.

Dave, I'm surprised to hear your 2-6-6-2 has pickup issues. I put a TCS T1 decoder in mine, and use it on an 18" x 12' switching layout with lots of crossings and turnouts, with no problems at all.

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