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Author Topic: New Layout in 2 x 4 space.  (Read 1909 times)

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« on: October 23, 2019, 07:43:27 AM »

I want to build a small N layout to put on a small folding table and move outside during the warmer months. I am looking for track plans to fit that space or slightly larger. I think it will be an older era possibly all steam to accommodate shorter trains with a continuous run if possible. Any idea where I might find track plans?
plas man

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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2019, 01:46:32 PM »

as N is half HO scale look at 4 x 8 HO track plans ...

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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2019, 09:50:08 PM »

As you look at  those track plans, realize that the sectional tracks will not line up right.
James in FL

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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2019, 11:59:35 PM »

Google is your friend.

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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2019, 10:14:59 AM »

 A 2' wide layout will only allow you to use about 10" radius curves to turn the trains at each end for a continuous run, assuming you allow a 2" (from track centerline) buffer around the outside of layout to keep trains that jump the track from also jumping the layout and falling to the floor (or ground). 

Although there is sectional track down to 9.75" radius, and a lot of N scale equipment is designed to run on that tight radius, it tends to look pretty toy-like when going around such a tight bend in the track, and some of it really doesn't do so well mechanically at that tight radius.  Only the 0-4-0 "Docksider" switcher looks realistic on such tight curves. And, of course there are trolleys, too.

So, most people who are limited to 24" width either make a "switching layout" that does not allow continuous running, or a tight loop, with about 2' of straight section between the 180 degree turns at the ends of a 4' layout.  In the tight loop, there is a bit of room inside for some switching on a diagonal, but it is hard to connect the two sides of the loop diagonally so that the direction of the trains can be reversed.

If you can afford a slightly wider layout, then you will have a lot more options on track plans and equipment you can run.  By the time you get to a 30" wide hollow-core door (HCD), you can use 12" or 13" radius track.  There a lots of track plans available for HCDs of various widths.


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« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2019, 07:54:34 PM »

If you multiply HO scale track plan dimensions measured in inches by 0.544, you'll be very close to the size needed for N scale layouts. Example, a 4' x 8'  HO scale track plan would require approx. 27" x 53" (values rounded up to nearest hole number).  Hopefully this helps in your track plan search.


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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2020, 06:05:20 PM »

Hi, I hope I am not too late with this reply, I rarely look in the "N" section, but it happens I have just re-started work on an "N" ptoject of my own. It uses PLAN 10, Pittsburgh, Midvale & Ironton RR from 101 TRACK PLANS FOR MODEL RAILROADERS by Linn H Westcott, 1996 printing. This is a 4-ft x 3-ft HO plan, designed for 15-inch minimum radius curve in HO. I am building it in N on a 3-ft x 2-ft board. This is a very interesting plan, as it includes a significant sized yard (4 roads) which serves a branch line which crosses a creek to several industries (5 spurs), and all in view legitimately, i.e. you don't need a hidden area "off-stage" for fiddling around with stock. As it stands it is a horse-shoe "end-to-end", i.e. yard to industries, but I also laid it out on a 2-ft x 4-ft board with suitable modifications to see how it would be with a continuous run and it works, essentially the "Mainline" is one of the yard roads continuing to the right into a curve which joins the "Old Town" road, which has to be re-angled. Increasing the length from 3-ft to 4-ft is adequate for the new curve, but overall increasing the width to 2-ft 6-inches would allow wider radius curves to ease the passage of the Spectrum 2-8-0.

I laid it out for steam using PECO set-track curves and points, and found PECO #1 radius (228mm = 9-inches) is too tight for steam (but OK for diesels), but #2 radius (263.5mm = 10.4-inches) just about works with small steam. I am currently building it to that standard to see if steam is viable, but expecting to run it with a bunch of New Haven "Warm Orange and Hunter's Green" S-2s, RS-1s, RS-3s and FM H-16-44s I already have, and then with lessons learned build a steam version on a larger board using more generous curves and medium radius points.

There are actually a lot of small HO plans at the front of Linn Westcott's book, including a lot of continuous runs, using very tight curves in HO, but with scope to ease them in N.

Hope that is helpful.

Running Retro - N scale from the 70s

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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2020, 11:53:50 PM »

While 4x8 is the defacto standard for a starter layout in larger scales, it's too big and cumbersome to be portable.  You express and interest in being able to move the layout outdoors to enjoy in the warmer months.

I recently began building small modules using commercially available track as a standard, and the modules can be as small as 14" square.  While the standard uses the track from another manufacturer, if you're not interested in joining a club that displays large modular layouts, I'm sure you can work out something using Bachmann's EZ track system.

By using small modules that can click together to make a loop, you can make a plan that can be easily expanded by adding modules, and also have something that's easily portable and easy to store when it's not in use.  I recommend looking up T-Trak on line and see if that would fit your ideas.

There are numerous other resources on line if you search "small N scale track plans" or something along those lines.
Have fun with it, either way!
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