Something small

Help with designing your track work
Biskit
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:55 pm
Contact:

Something small

#1

Post by Biskit »

Hello all,
Some may recall I posted early last year about an ambitious layout plan I have for a loft space. It was (and remains) dependant on some building works being undertaken to make the space useable which Covid and other matters have contrived to delay most frustratingly... so while it remains on the drawing board I am looking at tackling something much smaller to keep me occupied this year, and any thoughts on this are welcomed and appreciated.

I have an old IKEA table going spare, one of these: https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/ingo-table-pine-14630009/

It's nice and solid, and freestanding, and I think will make an ideal baseboard. I'm sticking with OO as I'm familiar with it, have stock already, and will ultimately be building a larger OO layout in due course. At 75x120cm this board is *just* too narrow for a first radius loop, however I really want a continuous run so am working on the basis that I'll make it fit, probably by replacing the R1 curves with flex track at a radius just a fraction smaller. A rough first attempt plan is as below:

Image

The inner headshunt and sidings I'm hoping will form a 3-2-2 inglenook, modelled as industrial sidings. I was conscious of the need to have straight sections for the uncoupling ramps (green) which necessitated the use of the curved point. I'm quite undecided about the pair of sidings from the top, I'm imagining them modelled with platforms either side, as a kind of unloading dock or tiny station - I could simply ommit them or have just a single siding instead. The red line represents a scenic break. With such tight curves, stock will be limited to 0-4-0 and 0-6-0 locos, and 4-wheel wagons and possibly a couple of 4-wheel coaches. The real intention of it is to keep me occupied and to be a testbed for ideas.

Any comments would be welcomed!
Bandit Mick
Posts: 649
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Something small

#2

Post by Bandit Mick »

I’m no expert by any means but the space looks very tight to me. I know you want a continuous run but at Oo gauge this might just not look right. If you are planning a larger layout in the future, why not use your table for an end to end to allow you to practise track laying, scenic etc. I started out with quite a big space but have since found smaller layouts more satisfying as progress can be seen quicker. Just a thought. Good luck with what you decide.
User avatar
IanS
Posts: 754
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:19 pm
Location: The Original Washington, UK
Contact:

Re: Something small

#3

Post by IanS »

Consider replacing the curved point with SL-88 and using straights then you have another area to place uncoupling ramps.

Although I do think trying to get a sub-R1 layout is possible (see Budget Model Railways videos on YouTube) and modelling in such a tight space could be fun, maybe dispense with the roundy and concentrate on the shunting and other skills first.
User avatar
andruec
Posts: 117
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:01 am
Contact:

Re: Something small

#4

Post by andruec »

You could get more in in N gauge ;)

Just joking :)
cheshire lines
Posts: 281
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:40 pm
Contact:

Re: Something small

#5

Post by cheshire lines »

I think you may struggle to get bend flexitrack to less than R1 curves satisfactorily.
Instead of laying your track directly onto the table top, have you got room to put a slightly wider baseboard on top of the table to allow you to use R1 curves?
Biskit
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:55 pm
Contact:

Re: Something small

#6

Post by Biskit »

Thanks for the comments. It is undoubtedly a tight space and I have always stringently avoided even R1 curves in previous (larger) layouts. However the continuous run is really a bit of a red line because what I'm calling a 'layout' also needs to fulfil the criteria of a 'train set' for the kids' benefit (it's a condition of the planning permission, if you get my drift ;) ). I do think it can work, even if it means putting an extra top on the table to make it an inch or so wider to fit the R1 curve. I had already seen a few of the YouTube videos of micro-layouts in OO using curves considerably tighter than R1 with 0-4-0 and selected 0-6-0 locos, so am moderately confident it can be ok, with appropriate stock.

IanS - I'm a bit confused about replacing the curved point (I assume you mean the one within the inglenook section rather than the one near the top?) with an SL88 - I tried this but it actually meant the straight section of each siding had to be shorter rather than longer. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what you mean?

I'm not too concerned about the 'look', in fact as much as anything it's an exercise in trying to see what can be done in a small space - I'm certainly not bound by a particular prototype. If I can make a good job of transforming a train set into a model railway in this small (and, currently, the only available) format, I'm hopeful that will keep my kids engaged in the idea of getting involved with the larger one in due course.

Another consideration is that with the exception of the two curved points, I have all the required track already, so I can put something together to check how it works before committing much cash.

Thanks again for the comments.
Tricky Dicky
Posts: 263
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:49 pm
Contact:

Re: Something small

#7

Post by Tricky Dicky »

Since the red line represents a scenic break with just a fiddle yard behind, why not add a drop leaf at the back of the table and move your scenic break to the back edge of the table. This will from storage purposes make the table no bigger than it is now but hopefully give you a bit more scope for your tight curves. I agree with the comment that you will struggle with flexicurve track to produce R1 curves let alone anything less.

Richard
User avatar
IanS
Posts: 754
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:19 pm
Location: The Original Washington, UK
Contact:

Re: Something small

#8

Post by IanS »

cheshire lines wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 12:14 pm I think you may struggle to get bend flexitrack to less than R1 curves satisfactorily.
Instead of laying your track directly onto the table top, have you got room to put a slightly wider baseboard on top of the table to allow you to use R1 curves?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pN1qLwyn_bg may prove interesting then!
Biskit wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 1:00 pm ...

IanS - I'm a bit confused about replacing the curved point (I assume you mean the one within the inglenook section rather than the one near the top?) with an SL88 - I tried this but it actually meant the straight section of each siding had to be shorter rather than longer. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what you mean?
...
I meant the one at the top - instead of it being curved a straight/curve of the SL-88 gives the opportunity for 2 ST-601's coming off it. I'm not sure if the bottom half of the layout would be compromised though.
Biskit
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:55 pm
Contact:

Re: Something small

#9

Post by Biskit »

Thank you again for all the replies on this. I do completely appreciate the various comments about the difficulty in getting flex-track to curve neatly to Radius 1, let alone less than this. On that basis I have changed plan slightly, and will be going for a very slightly larger board built in the conventional way, which will be able to accommodate the R1 oval as shown.

As for the plan itself, I'm going to build it and test the track layout thoroughly before committing to any scenic works. If it just doesn't do what I want, or is unreliable for any reason, I'll be able to redesign the track as appropriate. I did realise an error in the plan above - the curved points I used on the plan are ST-242 which are based on 1st radius - these aren't available anymore, the current settrack points are ST-244 (and ST-245) which are 2nd radius, so I've had to amend slightly.

When I get started with building I will start a thread in the Members Layouts section and update there.
Thanks again.
Mountain Goat
Posts: 1135
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:57 pm
Contact:

Re: Something small

#10

Post by Mountain Goat »

As you mention 0-4-0's and 0-6-0's along with 4 wheel coaches in a small space would modelling in 7mm narrow gauge solve the issue as one can easily introduce sharper curves then 1st radius and it looks right.
Yes, it can certainly be done in 00 as well and one can, if one is selective, use 00 in curves of first radius or even sharper as my 0-16.5 locos and stock using 00 gauge chassis and parts testifies to this. I mentioned 7mm narrow gauge because it does look good with sharp corners, especially if one finds a way to add a check rail. (There is a thinking in 00 that one should avoid using check rails as it highlightes the fact that the curves are too sharp, but in narrow gauge highlighting the sharpness of curves adds to the character and charm of the railway).

One item to take note if using sharp curves of first radius or sharper in 00 are the couplings as the wider type of tension lock couplings do take better to sharp curves then using narrow ones. Also, whilst it is rare to find an 0-4-0 that doesn't like sharp curves, there are a few 0-6-0's that may not like them. Most are ok with them but I would look for short wheelbase 0-6-0's just to make sure, or/and ensure the centre drive wheels are flangeless especially if the wheelbase is not so short.

Some nice little 4 wheel coaches certainly do seem a tempting proposition! If I was still thinking of 00, I think I would join you, though nearly all my narrow gauge coaches as 4 wheelers so I already have the joy of running little coaches when I get around finishing them.

I like your trackplan idea. It certainly is interesting.
Enjoying freelance modelling in 7mm narrow gauge Feel free to ask questions relating to the Mountain Goats Waggon & Carriage Works thread.
Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests