Want to help with a new layout?

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

#1
Just moving into our new house, and part of the conditions for moving was I get more space for a layout. I had a 10'x12' around the walls layout that the forum previously advised me greatly on, so wondering if the group wanted to tackle helping me design a new layout? If so, here are my Givens & Druthers:

Givens:
  • HO Scale
  • DCC (NCE)
  • Freelance - steam, diesel, whatever, mostly D&RGW
  • Space (definitely not to scale) as defined in image
    • Workbench is 24" deep, not counting chair
  • Single level layout
Druthers:
  • Long mainline(s), as long as possible
    • run longer trains with passenger cars, my favorite to run is 11 CA Zephyr (BLI) cars with my 4-6-6-4 Challenger, so, a pretty long train
    • Dual mains would be nice, but not necessary
  • 36" minimum radius for mainlines
  • No specific operations, I prefer watching trains run, maybe some light switching
  • Industries/buildings I'd like to incorporate
    • Yard with Walthers 130' turntable
    • 3 stall modern roundhouse
    • Car shop
    • New River Mine
    • Marble company
    • Couple of FSM buildings yet to be built
    • Would like a city or two
  • Would like to avoid a duck-under if possible, but not a huge druther
  • No hidden staging
  • Some changes in elevation
Here is a diagram the diagram of the room:
NewLayoutSpace.jpg

And my first thoughts on a table configuration:
NewLayoutSpace-1stBenchIdea.jpg

My initial thought is to end the table even with the west wall coming down from the top. The workbench is 24" deep, leaving 93" of space, which doesn't take into account me having a chair (and my belly) at the work bench. With 36" radius curves, I'd need 72 inches to turn a train around there, leaving just under 2 feet (21") of room to navigate before seating. But, if necessary I can move the workbench a little to the left.

Here's a picture of the space, taken from the left of the diagram (the couch and workbench will be on the wall immediately to the left in the picture):
NewTrainRoom.jpg

And, if you're curious, here's the old layout diagram and a picture of how far I got in the build before tearing it down for the move:
NewLayoutFinal.jpg
LastPic.jpg

So what say you? Interested in helping me design a new layout? Thanks in advance!

Ian
 
Last edited:

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#2
Ian, could you move the work desk (for example) opposite to the couch for a bit more room for a larger radius? All in all, looks like a very nice area to work with for the layout.
 
#3
Ian, could you move the work desk (for example) opposite to the couch for a bit more room for a larger radius? All in all, looks like a very nice area to work with for the layout.
Tony, thanks! It is a very nice area. The big advantage is that on the far left you can see a bar. On the opposite side is where my wife's crafting room is going to be, so we can interact while we're doing our things.

I cannot move the workbench to the other side. If you look in the pic on the very close right you'll see some black. That's a surround for a big screen TV. This is our movie watching space (hence the couch). I've considered taking it out and extending the train layout down the whole room, but the wife isn't too keen on that idea.
 
#5
Any possibility of replacing the carpet in the layout area with tile or another hard flooring surface? You will be using paint, glue, and other liquids. If they get on the carpet, good luck getting them out again! Also, if you can put down a hard floor, build your benchwork so that table top is about 50-52" above the floor. Then get something like this:
https://www.autozone.com/creepers-a...t/duralast-heavy-duty-creeper-seat/566481_0_0

Then you can roll under a section of benchwork and not duck under it. You could also build a lift up section. Then your trains could run all the way around the room.
 

Sirfoldalot

Plucked Tailfeathers
Staff member
#6
WOW - What a nice space! Just a quick comment until I have time to study the plan in more detail.
I would move the coalyard/powerplant to the bottom area as shown on the drawing - then make the yard area with curved tracks which would give you more room for those long passenger cars.

I'll study some more, but you have a very nice plan as it is with your desired radius and operation wants.
 
#7
Sherrel, Thanks! The plan at the bottom was the old plan that I had in my previous space (10'x12'). I have a fair bit more room in my new space (~14'x21'), so hoping to come up with a new layout that better fits the room and accommodates my "new" druthers. But, the old layout was built to break down into 4 sections, and can be put back together with minimal fuss.

Flyboy, for the carpet, we could pull up that area and put down a tile or linoleum, but I think my wife would be opposed to that additional expense. Also, the carpet helps reduce some noise.
 
#8
Hi Ian. Only because you might possibly miss this thought I say: Perhaps you could design a track plan so as to have, instead of a 'continual', a 'point to point' plan. Locos/cars are turned around at either end of the line via a turntable or wye. Why? Because the 1:1 scale does it this way. And doing it this way forces one to do allot of welcomed prototype activity on the RR; in turn leaving one with a feeling of accomplishment for having done a hard day's Ops. . Finally, (and I pray I'm not insulting your knowledgeability by reminding you to) depict an interchange somewhere so as to be connected with other RRs.. ;;;;;; M, Los Angeles ;;;;;;
 
#9
Ian, sorry if you are already fully conscious of it, but I forgot to add : The nearly standardised US MRRing practice now, is to have a higher up benchwork/track, where the MRR's ground-zero is no lower than, say, the owner's top rib cage (+-) or higher, at shoulders, or even at eye level where we get the most realistic angle due to seeing the 1:1 scale from its side, 94% of the time. If this is new to you, think it over. ponder it a bit......Datz itt !!
 
Last edited:
#10
Ian, sorry if you are already fully conscious of it, but I forgot to add : The nearly standardised US MRRing practice now, is to have a higher up benchwork/track, where the MRR's ground-zero is no lower than, say, the owner's top rib cage (+-) or higher, at shoulders, or even at eye level where we get the most realistic angle due to seeing the 1:1 scale from its side, 94% of the time. If this is new to you, think it over. ponder it a bit......Datz itt !!
I must have missed the email link to that standard. :confused:
 
#11
have a higher up benchwork/track, where the MRR's ground-zero is no lower than, say, the owner's top rib cage (+-) or higher, at shoulders, or even at eye level where we get the most realistic angle due to seeing the 1:1 scale from its side, 94% of the time. If this is new to you, think it over. ponder it a bit.
Hmmm, that was an idea that got popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I had not heard much about it lately. The layouts I saw that did this were not nearly as pleasing as one would expect. After vising a few I decided it was not the way to go for me.

The layout I just did for the office is at 42" and we found it is almost too high for some of the shorter folks.
 
#12
Im 6" tall, and I settled on 41.5" which allows me the 32" depth of reach to my backdrop. I experimented with several heights, and for me I wouldn't want to go any taller. It would be a pain doing scenery on a stool all the time.
 
#13
IH, I appreciate and completely respect your decision. Right, it may have begun in the 80s-90s, but it has kept growing since, to where it is, for the most part, today's standard, or at least quickly approaching this standard..I mean it was not a passing fad. ALL the books and videos of, or your visits to today's taller layouts you've surely dun doodid, were none pleasing at all ?..No, IH, that's fine !! It's when a layout is so low that we're watching most of the action from above, to me, that becomes unpleasant....Hey, just was food for thought..It's your railroad of which you are the sole proprietor.
I do think the Brits' MRRs tend to remain in the lower lying areas of benchwork and I do admit, many are really quite pleasing !! amen.. M, Los Angeles
 
#14
THIS JUST IN !! Sorry if I've responded to the wrong member..I meant it for Ian, of course..
Flyboy2610. I got your drift ..You know I was generalizing.. Right, there's no 'standard' bench height by the NMRA.. I said 'it's going toward becoming a MRRing standard; a constant, way more densely populated now than we'd have found in say, 1962, or earlier...That's what I mean. Didn't need the sarcasm..But that's OK....
I do depart from this terminal now. My best wishes to Ian and every train nut out there, M...... Oh, and thanks for the 'keeps coming back' trophy !!
 
#15
  • Would like to avoid a duck-under if possible, but not a huge druther
  • No hidden staging
  • Some changes in elevation
My initial thought is to end the table even with the west wall coming down from the top. The workbench is 24" deep, leaving 93" of space, which doesn't take into account me having a chair (and my belly) at the work bench. With 36" radius curves, I'd need 72 inches to turn a train around there, leaving just under 2 feet (21") of room to navigate before seating. But, if necessary I can move the workbench a little to the left.

So what say you?
Given these parameters, I'm envisioning a double track twisted over under figure-8. Town in each blob. That would give you maxium main line length. A folded dog bone would be 1/2 that. I think the limitation comes in the lower right hand corner where the two 24" benches meet. Probably going to have to add a triangle there to accommodate the large radii.

Going with double track main one either needs to go with 38" radius or let the inner main drop to 34". A crossover before each blob turn could be used to always move a train that needs the larger radii to the outside track. And you need more than 72" for the blobs. Remember the 36" is the center of the track, so you are really talking 74" min. Probably more like 75" or 76" of bench work is needed unless you like running the trains really close to the edge of the layout, and/or really close to a wall..

Why no hidden staging? I think it would be cool to hide the Zephyr and just bring it out to show rather than being on-stage all the time.
 
#16
I was thinking along those lines as well, having an elevated track and a lower track wind their way over and under along the walls, then a town in one blob and train facilities in the other. I was thinking of stealing some of @wombat457 's design to see if I could make it fit.

My big concern with hidden staging is twofold:
  1. I'm not real big into operations. I like letting the train run while I work on things around the layout, and
  2. I suspect the best place for that would be along one of the walls, and I worry about access to maintain the area
But, those concerns aren't huge, and some hidden staging might be a nice feature and allow for changing desires in operations of my layout.
 
#17
Ian, sorry if you are already fully conscious of it, but I forgot to add : The nearly standardised US MRRing practice now, is to have a higher up benchwork/track, where the MRR's ground-zero is no lower than, say, the owner's top rib cage (+-) or higher, at shoulders, or even at eye level where we get the most realistic angle due to seeing the 1:1 scale from its side, 94% of the time. If this is new to you, think it over. ponder it a bit......Datz itt !!
I must have also missed this memo. I have visited over 50 home, club and museum layouts and none meets this standard. Pretty much impossible to work on without a tall stepstool. I would need a 6' step ladder to see my upper deck.
 



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