L shape HO layout plan suggestion

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

#1
Hey all. So I am trying to decide on a L shaped plan for a new railroad in my basement. The area I have 8 foot long by 8 foot long by 4 feet wide L. I haved looked on the internet etc bit nothing really catches my eye. I would like a small yard, room for a town and last 4 or 5 industries to deliver to. Maybe a lumberyard, sand processing plant, food warehouse etc. If anyone has any plans similar to that I'd really appreciate it. My dad and I had a basement sized layout forany years that he designed but sadly when he passed we sold his house and I didn't have anywhere to put it and we had to sell it. Thanks for your help!
 
Last edited:

santafewillie

Well-Known Member
#2
First of all, are you going to have access from all sides? 4' is a long way to reach, 32" is more optimal. The back corner of the "L", if in a corner will be impossible without an access hatch. I's not if you have an issue back there, but when! Murphy riles. What scale? I think that I remember you posting HO somewhere, but I don't exactly remember.
 
#3
First of all, are you going to have access from all sides? 4' is a long way to reach, 32" is more optimal. The back corner of the "L", if in a corner will be impossible without an access hatch. I's not if you have an issue back there, but when! Murphy riles. What scale? I think that I remember you posting HO somewhere, but I don't exactly remember.
Hey there. Yes I can get at all sides. With 32" I would have to use 15" radius and that's tight. Yes's ho scale. Thanks!
 

santafewillie

Well-Known Member
#4
32" was in reference to reach, not necessarily for a loop at the end. With access to all sides, then everything that you want can be accommodated easily. Town in one end, small stub yard in the other, with some passing sidings and industries in between.
 
#5
32" was in reference to reach, not necessarily for a loop at the end. With access to all sides, then everything that you want can be accommodated easily. Town in one end, small stub yard in the other, with some passing sidings and industries in between.
Oooo ok. That's about it really. Im making more.complicated than I have to lol. Thanks Willie.
 
#6
When you say 'table' do you actually mean all the trackage / right of way will be on flat board ? If you are planning grades are you aware of 'cookie cutter' technique ? Or, do your dimensions represent an area of space where bench might instead be 'open grid' or 'L girder' style ? Nothing wrong with flat plywood surface. But, it is tougher to work with far as installing structures with lighting, switch motor/signal wiring, little to no drainage ditches. One advantage of flat ply is that with cookie-cutting it you can easily forge a ramp to go below surface as well as above for, say, staging track(s), since little to no cross-members would be in the way.
You could skip the return-loop radius consideration all together, make surface narrower than 48", and instead have a 'point to point' RR with a wye, or turntable at each end of the line the way the 1:1 scale does it. This is my style (tho no MRR at this time), as it demands one to perform prototypical RR activity to turn locos and certain cars back in the other direction.
Finally. And I hope i'm not insulting your intelligence by suggesting you include a track which leads out of the scene, representing a connection to neighboring RRs...Happy motoring, M
 
#7
When you say 'table' do you actually mean all the trackage / right of way will be on flat board ? If you are planning grades are you aware of 'cookie cutter' technique ? Or, do your dimensions represent an area of space where bench might instead be 'open grid' or 'L girder' style ? Nothing wrong with flat plywood surface. But, it is tougher to work with far as installing structures with lighting, switch motor/signal wiring, little to no drainage ditches. One advantage of flat ply is that with cookie-cutting it you can easily forge a ramp to go below surface as well as above for, say, staging track(s), since little to no cross-members would be in the way.
You could skip the return-loop radius consideration all together, make surface narrower than 48", and instead have a 'point to point' RR with a wye, or turntable at each end of the line the way the 1:1 scale does it. This is my style (tho no MRR at this time), as it demands one to perform prototypical RR activity to turn locos and certain cars back in the other direction.
Finally. And I hope i'm not insulting your intelligence by suggesting you include a track which leads out of the scene, representing a connection to neighboring RRs...Happy motoring, M
Hi M. Thanks for all the info. The layout will not be flat no. Just depends on what I decide to do for a track plan which way going to go weather it be cookie cutter or maybe use the woodland scenics ramp type setup. Right now all I'm trying to do is find a track plan I like that why I posted this figuring maybe someone had an l shape plan they liked that maybe they could pass on. My dad did all the planning on his basement sized layout we had for years but sadly he's gone. Thanks again.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
#8
I would like a small yard, room for a town and last 4 or 5 industries to deliver to.
By a town you mean scenery wise: stores, houses, school, church type stuff. Correct?

And oh yeah, are you considering the main operating area to be the inside of the L or one of the outside edges?
 
Last edited:
#10
Another question: Are you going to run point-to-point or some sort of continuous running plan (with yard, spurs, etc.)?
I brought that up with him, above. I wish allot more MRRs were point to point ; especially club layouts, usually with enough real estate to justifiably do it in..I don't agree with those who claim that open-house visitors will not enjoy it as much, seeing members turning trains this way. I think they'd like the realism just as much, witnessing these proto activities they might never have seen or known about before.
 

trailrider

Well-Known Member
#11
In my case, I don't get many visitors to my layout. In addition, I like running passenger trains more than switching, and with a folded dogbone layout in a 14'x14' dedicated room, backing passenger trains, even relatively short ones (seven 85 footers) don't back up well, so continuous running around the layout is best for my pike. While I originally installed a 90-ft. turntable, it proved too short for some of my ten-coupled steam locomotives. I have a wye, and also the return loops handle the longer engines, just as was the case with the larger transition-era steamers. So, even if I had my whole basement available (which I don't), I probably would have gone with a larger folded dogbone. But you have to suit your own concepts and tastes.
 
#12
T, I don't understand how passenger cars, whether 60' or 85', 'don't back up well; not unless you have overly sharp curves, tight S curves, or poor trackwork (which I doubt).
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
#13
The area I have 8 foot long by 8 foot long by 4 feet wide L. I would like a small yard, room for a town and last 4 or 5 industries to deliver to. If anyone has any plans similar to that I'd really appreciate it.
Sorry, I drew one up the other night but did not like it. It was a folded, up and over, figure 8 with the yard coming from the outside corner of the L across to the inside of one of the L legs. It could just be where I added the industrial sidings that made it look, umm, umm, well goofy. I'll try to find some time and try again.
 

otiscnj

Active Member
#14
Years ago, when I had a 5x12' space. I it had a figure 8 inside an oval. The concept was that it was a Belt Line of sorts. Had plenty of space for scenery, and track in HO. Used 26" radius curves on the oval. Eventually, I moved and had more space.
 
#15
Sorry, I drew one up the other night but did not like it. It was a folded, up and over, figure 8 with the yard coming from the outside corner of the L across to the inside of one of the L legs. It could just be where I added the industrial sidings that made it look, umm, umm, well goofy. I'll try to find some time and try again.
Hey horseman. I actually have even more room as I got rid of some stuff in the basement. I have about 12 feet by 8 feet. If you hve and suggestions let me know. Im willing to work something out as far as compensation for something I like. Maybe a structure kit or something, Like I said Im looking to have a small yard, some places to deliver to, and a town area. I would like to be able to have a train running around while having enough to keep me busy. Thanks!
 

trailrider

Well-Known Member
#16
T, I don't understand how passenger cars, whether 60' or 85', 'don't back up well; not unless you have overly sharp curves, tight S curves, or poor trackwork (which I doubt).
In order to get the longer cars to handle 18-20" radius curves it is often necessary to use truck-mounted couplers, rather than body mounts. Truck-mounted couplers don't back up reliably on sharp-radii. Yes, I could modify the cars with longer-swing, body-mounted draft gear, but I've had most of these longer and haven't had the time or the inclination to modify them. OTOH, with the truck-mounted couplers, the trains run nicely around curves as tight as 18". Since my trains are mostly "through" streamline express, running continuously makes sense. On one "end" of my folded dogbone, the return (not reverse) loop is partially hidden under an elevated surface street. At the other end, the return loop winds around my main yard and one town in a not unprototypically way. I do have two short Zephyrs that back up just fine, but one is articulated and the other has several articulated cars coupled to independed "shorties", which will back into the station stub tracks just fine!

Best of luck!
 

trailrider

Well-Known Member
#18
With a plan like that, you could create a layout with 22" radius loops, but that would put the track pretty close to the edges. A suggestion, if 18" R is too tight for your liking, is to get some 20"R Shinohara sectional curve track from Walthers. That's what I use with 85 ft. passenger cars, and it works quite well.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
#20
Yes just like that.
Ok then. Here is one concept. An out and back design where a train is made up in the yard. It is sent out and runs as many loops as desired. Goes through the reversing loop and returns to the yard as a "different" train to be worked. The yard is over the other tracks allowing a minimum of 22" radius curves. Add industries and a passing/run around track somewhere and it can be a vary active and challenging layout. This is a massive yard for this size of a layout and could be made smaller to increase the other industrial opportunities. It could also be reconfigured with 18" radius curves that would further increase yard and industrial possibilities.

P&Woaklawn 1.jpg
 





ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

Top