Anyone just LOVE to design track plans?

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#1
So, after about 3 years away, I have the time (and space) to tackle a layout. I've attached the benchwork area that I have to work with. I will be modeling DCC HO.

If you like to tinker with track designs, I am definitely open to ideas as it is the part that I struggle with the most!

I have steam and diesel, 22" curves as well as 18". I have a variety of industry buildings and do like the appearance of small to moderate freight yards. I also know that I want 2 separate tracks for individual trains to run. they don't have to connect via switches, but if they do it's fine.

One thing for sure that I know I want to do: one track to have elevation and or elevated areas to it for opportunities for the high train to cross over the other, or to be higher than the buildings below it.

here's something I was messing around with the winter before last.

1539127957624.png
 

beiland

Active Member
#2
I've been doing lots of research on an HO layout to fit in my 12x16 handihouse shed (11x15 inside dimension). I have become thoroughly convinced by numerous contributors, plus some 'curve test' that 24" radius cruves should be a minimum, if you can build it.
 

tankist

Active Member
#3
I have steam and diesel, 22" curves as well as 18". I have a variety of industry buildings and do like the appearance of small to moderate freight yards. I also know that I want 2 separate tracks for individual trains to run. they don't have to connect via switches, but if they do it's fine.
Hi Chuck. Youvseem to have a room that will allow for interesting layout. So,
1. I agree with previous poster - 24" minimum looks to be possible and you will want to stick to that as much as you can. Sidings can be smaller R. Use what's best for situation, don't use track just because you have it.
2. "I want 2 separate tracks". You really don't want this. You don't need 2 separate tracks to run 2 trains, double track mainline will do.

No one other then you can come up with best track plan for you. I sure will throw my 2 cents worth when you post your plan WIP.

If I may make a suggestion, this one will always come up - " track planning for realistic operation" book. Armstrong did a good job explaining how to fit particular road elements into available space.
 

migalyto

Active Member
#4
Also if you must use smaller radius curves in places to plan for easements that will greatly help.

I second the book Anton recommended if you don’t already have it. Looks like you have a really nice space to work with.
 
#5
I've been doing lots of research on an HO layout to fit in my 12x16 handihouse shed (11x15 inside dimension). I have become thoroughly convinced by numerous contributors, plus some 'curve test' that 24" radius cruves should be a minimum, if you can build it.
True....but as of now I don't have any of the modern very long freight cars that need the larger radius. My steam engine does well enough on the 22". I've thought about upgrading to 24", but the benchwork is more or less in place at 48" max width.
 
#6
Hi Chuck. Youvseem to have a room that will allow for interesting layout. So,
1. I agree with previous poster - 24" minimum looks to be possible and you will want to stick to that as much as you can. Sidings can be smaller R. Use what's best for situation, don't use track just because you have it.
2. "I want 2 separate tracks". You really don't want this. You don't need 2 separate tracks to run 2 trains, double track mainline will do.

No one other then you can come up with best track plan for you. I sure will throw my 2 cents worth when you post your plan WIP.

If I may make a suggestion, this one will always come up - " track planning for realistic operation" book. Armstrong did a good job explaining how to fit particular road elements into available space.
Anton- isn't "2 separate tracks" the same as double mainline? I essentially like to have one train running a loop while the I can tinker with/do yard exercises on the other. Ideally, there would be a switch for the trains to change track....although for me it isn't critical. Perhaps I just don't understand truly what a double mainline is.
 

tankist

Active Member
#7
Smaller radii will do for short rolling stock, but you never know if there will be aWhen said "separate" to me it sounded like "without any interconnect" just a double loop that will get boring fast.
scenario you described last is what you probably enjoy most. And double main is not needed all the way. Trough route main with a passing siding (a few sidings perhaps) from which switcher going to shuffle cars. Again, the book will make much better job explaining.

The one thing I would suggest to think about is a staging area of sort. This was the element that I omitted from my first layout, by the time I realized the need it was to late to incorporate proper one and I had to do with a make shift. Which led to abandoning the build altogether when I realized I just can't resolve the issue

What is the wall to wall area that you are working with? Can you share a floorplan perhaps. I'm by no means an expert but I can try doodling something.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
#12
here's something I was messing around with the winter before last.
Doesn't look like too bad of a start to me. Having one loop to be a folded water wings and the other crossing the gap is a great idea for operational variation. To get your over under bridge crossings I think I would short cut the blue track across one of the corners, while at the same time pushing the yellow track deeper into the corners. That would make the blue pass over the yellow tracks twice. Thinking about it even more, I think I would run the rear yellow track into a tunnel while the blue track crosses the front yellow track with the bridges. Something of this ilk?

The most important thing to remember is that you don't have to take any of our suggestions!

sweetchuck.jpg
 
#13
Great ideas, Iron Horseman. I appreciate the input. I've found that in the past on other layout designs I would be COMPLETELY paralyzed trying to design/redesign/try this/try that. Lay track, pull it up. Repeat. By soliciting others, and looking at pictures of railroad scenes, I am hopeful the design approach is faster.[/QUOTE]
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#14
I have steam and diesel, 22" curves as well as 18".
Having the larger curve (radius) is great; however, what you will be able to successfully run will be determined by your smallest curve (radius). The larger your "smallest radius" is the more options you will have.
 



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