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Thread: Looking for suggestions and comments on New Layout

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    Default Looking for suggestions and comments on New Layout

    Hi gang,
    I've been watching this site for a long time. (Got some great help over the last year) I have now finally joined up officially, mostly so that I can get some comments. (I know, that is a dangerous, open invitation ;-)
    Over the past year I built a very nice layout using Kato Unitrack. I was very happy with this layout, and it ran really nice. But....
    IMG_0970.jpgIMG_0971.jpg
    Then the nasty little voice in my head started whispering. "You can do better than this." (Yeah, I hate that voice)
    So with a heavy heart and a big scraper, the layout was no more.
    IMG_0998 4.08.37 PM.jpg
    Now I have a clean slate and the approval of the wife to punch into the next room (using tunnels through the wall) and expand my layout 2 fold.
    I'm planning on ditching the Unitrack and moving to Code 55. (Not that I have anything against the Kato stuff, just looking for that nice prototype rail) I will be making a big rail yard in the adjoining room next to my work bench. (small sliver to the right In Red) and I now have a reversing loop so that I can turn my trains without pulling them off and setting them back on one by one. I will be reusing the double crossovers and the turntable, but other than that... All new code55.
    Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 11.50.35 AM.jpg
    I have already started the new bench work and will have that done this weekend.
    So the question is. What can I do, that I have not already thought of, that will make this great?
    Let the conversation begin. ;-)

    Edit: Some confusion on the way the Two rooms are laid out. This should help.
    Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 13.58.20 PM.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by FPM_Michael; 16th Oct 2015 at 05:02 PM. Reason: Old layout plan was confusing
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  3. #2
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    I like your plan , seems like enough room for scenery and traffic. I do think the Reach Police will be paying a visit, especially the upper right and lower left corner seam dangerously far away.

    What have you done or are you going to do with the Kato Track?
    As long as I can model in N-scale, I know I'm not old

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    First thing that jumps out is a possible reach problem. the corners look unreachable, depending on whether you have access along the long sides. From your plan it is hard to discern where the walls are. a 2 foot corner has an almost 3 ft diagonal; a 4 ft corner has over 5 ft reach.
    Yours,

    Gene

    Turtle Creek Industrial RR

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    since Jan mentioned it:
    Yours,

    Gene

    Turtle Creek Industrial RR

    Link to my Flickr account: https://www.flickr.com/photos/epumph/

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    Reach is not a problem. I'm not building this super high. I have the bench up and already tried it. 33" to the corner and I'm a tall guy.
    I think you were looking at my old layout that was on a rolling table in a 10x10 room.

    Adding a better view or the room and the two tunnels that will connect one room to the next.
    Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 13.58.20 PM.jpg
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    I'm 6'3", 33" would be 3" beyond my utmost maximum if there's scenery or trains in the way.

    You've got some nice looking scenery. I would complement it with at least painting the room or putting a back board around the layout that you can paint pale blue. You would have great layout for photos with a background. It doesn't even have to be elaborate. That first blue goes a LONG way towards improving your layout.
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    I'm planning on using this guys stuff. It seems impressive in photos. Anyone use him before?
    http://www.tracksidescenery.com/index.php
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    I see now that the bottom left corner has a walkway , that should be sufficient.
    As long as I can model in N-scale, I know I'm not old

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    WARNING: According to the norms of this forum this will be a brutal critique. You may want to stockpile some blood before reading. Ego protection is recommended.

    First I have to say, it doesn't look like you've gotten away from Unitrack. The layout looks very very Midwestern urban regular with it's long straights and abrupt curves. Did you use the sectional Code 55?

    I will jump on the reach bandwagon. Those crossovers and sidings that are at the back edge are just a problem in waiting. Also why hide the siding in the corner behind buildings? It will make switching those much harder to do.

    While we are in that corner, increasing the radius of those curves will fix your reach violation. If you can't increase the radius, you can segment it. Do this by adding straights in between the curves. This will move that one siding but you have to make those tracks visible anyway.

    The yard is one area that is pretty good but it can be better. You may want to separate the yards from the mainline more. Since it will be hidden while you are in the other room, the safer the better.

    First, why is it so far away from the front edge? You could save some construction if you trimmed the table. That, or move the yard closer to the edge and move the scenery you had planned for the space to the other side of the yard. You'll be less likely to damage it there.

    The Roundhouse is a great feature but… It's best use is a place to display your loco collection but nobody will see it as it faces the wall. Think of all the trains that will overrun the tracks because you cannot see where they are going. It's in a great position filling a dead space but if it faces the room, it will work a lot better. Also rotating the roundhouse will open up that section of table you've left empty. It's a great place for railroad related industry like car or diesel shops. It also could be used for more dead line storage.

    Another improvement to the yard would be to add more track to the center of the yard. This can be accomplished by shortening the lead to that area.


    Sorry, about being so hard, but I think these concepts will make the layout a better runner and will display your toys better. I do like the amount of mainline you've got. I seriously envy that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FPM_Michael View Post
    I'm planning on using this guys stuff. It seems impressive in photos. Anyone use him before
    I've not, just due to lack of opportunity, but Joey is a first-class modeler and is highly regarded on other forums.

    Also, regarding your track plan. It is a great improvement over the first effort. However, look at the many places where the track parallels the edge of the benchwork, as well as the lack of easements (transition curves) going from tangents into curves. Especially note how the track lacks "flow" -- that is, no broad cosmetic curves, no real reason for a sharp curve to be making sharp other than that the track has reached the edge of the benchwork.

    Since you're moving to code 55 and away from the artificial confinements of Unitrack (good for you!), play around with many more ideas before you settle on a "final plan" and start gluing cork roadbed down.

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    Step outside the round you box.

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    I agree with Chicago and Paul. You got code 55 now, so make some broad flowing curves. When I first looked at your new plan I envisioned your two mainlines as possibly two different railroads, which wasn't uncommon back in the day when there were more than the four we have now. With a slight bit more separation through the center and especially on the right side you could pull this off. Something to think about if you have two favorite RRs and a lot of different locos. I always liked the idea of going thru the wall. It's an easy fix when you sell the house. Your wife is really cool in letting you do that. Me, I would have just done it in the middle of the night. It's always easier to ask forgiveness, than ask for permission. Welcome to the gang Michael. Looking forward to your build.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoNW View Post
    WARNING: According to the norms of this forum this will be a brutal critique. You may want to stockpile some blood before reading. Ego protection is recommended.
    NO, no no... Your review is exactly what I was looking for. I don't want pats on the back saying "good job" I want, "why didn't you do This". I will take every suggestion you made. I'm even open to scrapping it and starting over with a new design.
    I don't want another version of what I had, and your point that I have not moved away from Unitrack is a valid one.

    Thank you and keep it coming.
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    So the one positive with the new benchwork is that I now have that nice wall to break up the two runs on each side. This affords me two views on each side. The rail yard is in my office/modeling desk, and the other side was intended as a container yard.
    One thing that I had problems with from the start was the rail yard and getting the mainlines out of the mix, but keeping as much yard as possible.
    Keep the comments coming. I saved this plan and have opened an new clean template. I'm not planning on laying track till January and this thread is the foundation of planning. ;-)
    Thanks gang, I knew this was the right move.
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    my little (4ish by 8 ish) layout was posted here and I didn't start for maybe 6 months. Lots of revisions...

    I have been working on it for almost 8 yrs...
    Yours,

    Gene

    Turtle Creek Industrial RR

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    Quick question. I notice a lot of large layout is done with plywood track runs. I did my last one on foam. Is there a benefit to plywood? Or is high density foam still a viable option?
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    Plywood is more difficult to do subtle changes to the terrain. Adding something like a drainage ditch beside the tracks can be a lot of work with expensive tools.
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    Alright gang. I did some rework on the rail yard. I extended the lead line and changed some of the strange tracks to nowhere to runaround tracks. Still not sure about the line cutting through the yard, but I can see some benefit if the consist is turned around and running the other direction. (Thoughts?)
    Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 17.30.45 PM.jpg
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    How good is the access from one room into the other? It seems like your yard operator will need to make frequent passage between the rooms, unless you rig up some closed-circuit TV system or such like in order to keep an eye on what is happening on the mainline approaches to the yard.

    This yard is looking good, aside from the diagonal crossing track that leads to the roundhouse. In your first version of this plan, I read that as being a line of demarcation, between a double-ended Arrival/Departure yard and a stub-ended sorting yard. But then the issue was that you had a yard weighted heavily towards A/D and not enough dumb storage. In this plan it seems a little clearer, though, that you just have a series of diamond crossings (or perhaps double-slip switches? to be hand laid?) that slice across the classification tracks. This diagonal line would impede car storage, as cuts would have to be broken either side of it, and all it accomplishes is to let roundhouse engines get out to the bottom end of the A/D track (or directly out to the main even). There's no reason why the engine hostler couldn't just take a switchback route through the yard ladder instead; the direct shot isn't necessary.

    Is there any possibility to round off or chamfer the corners of your benchwork, so that you don't have sharp corners to catch on you belt buckle? Particularly at the choke point in the main room, an angled or rounded corner would really help things. Of course, it's always tempting to make use of such corners as industry sidings, which you might consider, but I'd encourage you to look first into shaving the corners off.

    Hello. My name is Michael, and I am an ALCo - haul - ic.

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    I will still say that the roundhouse need to face the room better.
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