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New layout

Help with designing your track work
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andruec
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New layout

#1

Post by andruec »

So after several revisions I think I've finally got my plan. The purpose of the layout is primarily to run two (or more if possible) trains at a time through attractive and interesting scenery rather than to spend time shunting and operating. To that end it consists of eight sidings which are used to park wagons until they are needed. This gives me eight possible trains, six freight, two passenger. It will be a DCC system which is something new to me as Hornby had only just released their first attempt at that when my Dad finished building a layout for me and my brother.

An important feature of the layout was that it had to incorporate at least one diamond crossing. My Dad had a diamond crossing in his track stock but never used it and I was always disappointed about that.

The layout consists of an outer oval and an inner figure of eight. Working the figure of eight out might take careful examination of the plans and since that area will be covered when I'm done ought to introduce an element of surprise and interest to observers.

The sidings are reached from the outer loop by two long inclines. These start from another elevated section so as to reduce the degree of the slope. There is a small siding at the bottom of the long inclines where locomotives can wait while a shunter swaps their wagons.

Eventually (a long, long time in the future) I hope to have everything automated and operated from a computer.

The baseboard is split in three pieces, shown on the plan so some track joins will be needed. I'm intending to have the long inclines on a separate board and ditto the two sets of sidings. That limits the number of joins and in the case of the incline means I won't have to reach across the board to work on it.

It seems like an ambitious build but this is the start of a hobby so I'm expecting it to take a few years (my primary hobby is golf so railway modelling is for when the weather takes a turn or my aging body needs a rest). My hope is that I might have all the track that is at board height (the figure of 8 and part of the outer loop) in place and running stock for testing purposes by spring (maybe powered, maybe not). I'm mindful though that building a layout piecemeal can create issues so at the very least the track won't be properly fixed down until much later.
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Brian
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Re: New layout

#2

Post by Brian »

Hi
Your plan is indeed very ambitious. :D

Next, Ive found form experience, from a new hobby entrant point, it is far better to start small and get something running and enjoy seeing your train(s) run than try and build a Mega layout over many months/years and never actually finish it, and then lose interest and scrap the lot! :o
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IanS
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Re: New layout

#3

Post by IanS »

It is ambitious. (BTW - Welcome). Look carefully at the end of your storage areas - there isn't room for anything other than a small 0-4-0 or 0-6-0 to get on the last piece of track.
What curves are chosen for each of those marked in the first picture?
What radius curves are you using on the inner line as marked in the second picture?
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andruec
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Re: New layout

#4

Post by andruec »

Almost all curves are Peco ST-14 which is second radius but one is larger (333mm) and one is smaller at 228mm. I'm not actually sure where that smaller curve is as I thought I'd stuck with ST-14 throughout so I'm going to go and find it and see if I can get rid of it. I have some track and a couple of passenger cars and the curves seem fine when I push the cars around by hand but I don't currently have enough track to build the siding points. Do you think that will be a problem?

Good call on the end pieces of the siding, they do need to be longer. The good news is that I stretched the sidings tonight when I discovered that the board was longer than I thought so I can pull them back a bit and extend the end piece to 200mm. That should be enough for a loco.

I do appreciate the issue of having a long project ahead of me but having something to occupy my mind is a major reason for taking up this hobby. Also as a computer programmer of many years I'm used to having to wait a long time to see my projects come to fruition. I've been working on my current project for nearly four years and I doubt it will be released for another six months. I actually quite like building individual chunks then assembling the chunks into something bigger. I do hope to have some kind of train movement by spring even if it's only the figure of eight.
Last edited by andruec on Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
andruec
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Re: New layout

#5

Post by andruec »

I found the errant first radius curve and have removed it. So it's all second radius apart from a solitary third radius.
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IanS
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Re: New layout

#6

Post by IanS »

I must have missed the fact it is in N gauge - I saw the layout and no reference to gauge so have wrongly assumed OO.

In OO the set track wouldn't allow you the storage area, or at least I can't get it to work. I don't know about the lengths in N.
andruec
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Re: New layout

#7

Post by andruec »

Sorry, I didn't realise I'd forgotten that rather important detail of the gauge, how careless of me. I'm taking a small gamble and have ordered some more track so am hoping to mock up some of the track sections and testing how pushing two coupled passenger cars through them works out.

Right now the only fixed aspects I have to deal with are the baseboard dimensions and the gauge. I'm hopeful that the plan will work but design!=reality and a bit of hands on testing seems prudent.
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cadman
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Re: New layout

#8

Post by cadman »

There is at least one reverse loop in that design which will need particular attention with the use of a Reverse Loop Module.........HB
andruec
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Re: New layout

#9

Post by andruec »

cadman wrote: Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:48 pm There is at least one reverse loop in that design which will need particular attention with the use of a Reverse Loop Module.........HB
Thank you for spotting that. It's because of the X interchange at the top of the plan, yes? I put that in because it allows trains to go round the loops in either direction just by switching points, which now I write it is obviously a reverse loop :)

Looks like I can avoid it by removing the X interchange and give the inner loop an option rejoin the outer one at the bottom left. Unfortunately I'd then also have to reroute one of the sidings inclines.

If I kept the X-interchange I could solve it by wiring and switching polarity at the interchange (somewhat complex but from looking online not horrendously so). Would it be a problem if there was another locomotive already on the loop when polarity changed? The existence of auto reversers suggests probably not.

It would be nice if I could retain the ability to send trains in both directions around both loops (at the same time even!). A risky juggling act for the human controller but fun :)
andruec
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Re: New layout

#10

Post by andruec »

I think I'll be dropping the clever running. Maybe I can add it at a future date but it seems like too much complexity and would delay the point at which I can run trains. So here's the latest, latest final plan :)

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Grey area is a raised plateau. And, yes, I'll smooth corners curves, slopes etc :)
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