New guy, new layout, looking for ideas / criticism
Hello all. I'm working on a new layout, I'm just getting back into model railroading following a 40 year long break. I have my old Triang-Hornby sets from the late 60s, and following the move into a new house, now have some space in the furnace room to play with. I've got two young kids, so I'm not really interested in anything realistic, or based on reality, yet. I'm looking for a layout where the three of us can be doing something at the same time, thinking of upgrading the locomotives to dcc control, getting a few throttles - hence the double track mainline (radius 2 and 3 curves) and the freight yard. I'm looking at a reverse L layout - as an upgrade from just a 4x8 sheet of plywood oval. This gives me a bit more length, and a bit more space to stretch out along the operators side of the table. I might put a tunnel in the bottom right corner, put in some mining equipment / hopper loading station. I'm open to any ideas, would like to have something reasonable firm before I start cutting plywood....
Hello Gman. I am in about the same situation so I do not have the most advice.
If I see right on my cell, the spur that ends in I3 or so ends in a curve. Those are difficult for me to uncouple on.
Nice to restart a hobby isn't it!
First- welcome back
next- What kind of room do you have for your layout to go in? From the looks of your picture, im guessing its about 8x12? is this a bedroom, a basement, a garage?
Have you thought of maybe putting your layout against the wall, and making your shelves say no bigger then 30 inches wide, you could even make turnback loops (dogbone) to keep it simple, You could Go with a U shape layout, L shape layout.
4x8s are ok but it limits your curve radius, you can only do so much with a 4x8 or 2 for that matter.
If you cut the 4x8 in half say 2 4x8s in half, you could have broad curves, trains wont look toy like on broad curves, you could run more modern equipment.
Again, these are just suggestions, and my opinion. I think many make the mistake of going 4x8, people say well i have only so much room for a layout so a 4x8 is best. Not really, with a 4x8 you need room on all 4 sides of the 4x8, so basically your looking at a area needed for one 4x8 of 8x10 to have room for walkway or isles.
I wish you the best of luck, especially with 2 kids. I have a 3 year old and a soon to be 5 year old. Luckly i started in the basement corner and my layout gradually kept getting bigger, having more mainline run is sure addicting
Last edited by joed2323; 09-07-2012 at 07:32 PM.
If you have no access at all from the furnace side, your reach of more than 30" may prove problematic. Also, a number of your crossovers create s-curves that could cause reliability problems so they should probably be flipped or moved.
Best of luck with your layout.
Thanks for the first round of tips - the kind of feedback that I'm looking for. I would never have thought about the placement / orientation of the crossovers, for example. The layout will be going into a basement utility room, I'll have access to all sides, with the exception of the two faces directly against the furnace. This gives me what would essentially be an L shaped dog bone. If this works out, maybe with time, I may be able to go after a bit more space (a loop around the furnace maybe?) but that type of expansion would require approval from the chairman of the board...
I'd try to declutter your tracks, mainly on the operating side. It seems over-engineered to me.
One thing I think would look really cool is if you were to take your inner loop straight down from where the 45' cut is on the furnace side and have it climb a mountain that juts out on your operating side. From there, I'd loop it in a right 270' turn (crossing over the track you just put down) and reconnect it to the inner track. I'd use that as a logging track.
On second thought, I'd do the above, but angle it a little to make the track longer, add some variation and hopefully stay out of the way of the rail yard.
I think I'd also remove the mine spur and replace it with one on the outside of the outer loop above where the mine was.
Just a couple thoughts. The intent of my ideas is to give more variation so you don't get bored with it.
Last edited by Railrunner130; 09-08-2012 at 01:30 PM.
Good thing it is a rainy day in Montreal today.... Railrunner130's comments got me thinking - how to arrange or incorporate an elevated track / mountain. How to get additional activity / interest zones on the layout. How to declutter the operating side of the layout. I started by moving the freight yard from the upper left to the bottom right. That freed up the larger loop. The placement of that larger upper left loop is more amenable to putting in a mountain, just with the placement of walls/furnace in the space that I have. So I created an outer spur running along the mainlines, that rises up and over the mainlines just after a tunnel entrance. This would be the logging spur. Then just in front I still could work in the mining spur. Anyway - another way of looking at it, and it seems quite a bit more interesting to me. Any other thoughts anyone?
OR where the red trackage is, change the turnout from a left-hand to a right hand such that the curved part of the turnout is the "main" and the straight part of the turnout is the part that crosses over. Move the turnout on the outside track down a little to the new alignment. Not only does this eliminate the "S" curve, it makes the "passing siding" longer. Finally there is zero "S" curve even through the turnout crossovers.
Originally Posted by cuyama
Last edited by Iron Horseman; 09-08-2012 at 06:36 PM.