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Thread: Suggestions, Opinions, Advice needed.... help!?!?

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    Question Suggestions, Opinions, Advice needed.... help!?!?

    Hi everyone, I am currently looking at a space under the house for a layout.
    Dimensions can go up to 7' x 16' so it is somewhat sizeable.
    The only thing is that I am having trouble designing a track plan for such a size.
    I have only really ever done HCD sized stuff... 7x3 etc.
    So I am just wondering if anyone has any ideas on how or if I can incorporate the following...
    Double main (if possible)
    At least a 4 track yard
    2-4 small industrial spurs
    River/Bridge
    Two towns represented... (plan on running CNW and BNSF most prominently)
    I will be running a variety of trains, Passenger and freight, long and short and the track will be flex track C55.
    Pretty much any design I have made thus far just ends up in a paperclip shape like a sideways "U"
    Seeing as I don't have a whole lot of time most weeks to design, I was hoping for some pointers or similar layout ideas.
    Thanks in advance, and I will continue trying to come up with something myself as well.

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    7 foot width is enough for an aisle in the middle and 2 or 3 feet on each side. The question is can you make a design that allows 180 degree turns on the track? The answer to this depends on your minimum curve radius and the exact location of the doorway. If there is room for that then you have a lot of options, otherwise you may be stuck with a duck under to accomplish your goals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phill91 View Post
    I am currently looking at a space under the house for a layout.
    Is this like a basement? Or, actually under the house? I'm a little cornfused here??? LOL
    N-joy!
    Tred - (USN-Ret.)
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    Phil,

    Welcome and you more or less have the same room available to you as what I have to me. While you have 7' X 16' my "area" is 11' X 9'.

    This is my track plan:



    All this should show is how much track you can fit into the area you have and how you can "easily" have what you want - double mains, minimum 4 track yard and spurs.

    Now, depending on the "actual" room/area size you have to put your layout in, you could make it a "walk around layout" In other words, sit you layout in the middle of the available area. With that being said, it might be helpful if you could sketch out the exact dimensions of the room/area you have with measurements, windows, doors and an other obstacles.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tred View Post
    Is this like a basement? Or, actually under the house? I'm a little cornfused here??? LOL
    Maybe @Tred there is a different meaning to "down under"
    "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." -- Benjamin Franklin

    Mario

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    Oh - you got that right mate!

    But as Phil comes from Rocky, (Rockhampton) chances are the house is built on stilts (for air flow and cooling) so when he says he has room "under the house" you can take that as gospel. Something like this:

    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

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    As wombat has shown, it is literally under the house.
    There are no real obstructions except for a couple of posts that hold the house up. So basically the whole area is available. I'll get a photo up asap.

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    Phil,

    First up mate welcome to the forums, or maybe back to them. With ALL that room you could build an epic layout jeeze, you could build an empire plus!

    Seriously though, no matter what size your layout winds up being, I'd definitely make it a free standing, walk around one. That should give you more options to play with.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

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    Having issues loading the picture from my phone, so I'll have to try the laptop tomorrow. But just picture a rectangular space with two walls meeting in a corner.

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    20181030_194954.jpg

    So here is the aforementioned space available. Naturally, the bikes and other stuff will be moved out of the way, but as you can see... plenty of space to work with.
    I am liking the idea of a walk around style layout, changing the width to 6' which would give me plenty of room either side, and still be able to reach everything.
    Hopefully the use of flex track will give some more creative freedoms. I was hoping to run a 13/15" wide main curve to fit passenger cars easily, but can move wider to 15/16".
    Going to continue to play around with these parameters in mind and see how we go.

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    Phil,

    Not sure if I am understanding this properly but, if you are going to have 6' wide bench work then you could have much larger radius curves than 15" or 16". That of course will be defined by the track plan.

    If you are going to be running Passenger Cars then I might suggest you go to 18" radius curves, if possible. 15", in most cases, is workable but 18" will give you much smoother running and greater options for your train make ups. That also applies to freight trains you might want to include at some point. One lesson I learned a little while ago as well - don't pay too much attention to what manufacturers tell you the minimum radius for their engines/rolling stock is. If a manufacturer recommends 11.75" radius for a particular "car/engine" (note I said A car/engine) then add 2" to that to be sure. In some cases, what is recommended for a car is exactly that - for ONE car. Put more than one behind a train and you could have issues. Walthers is pretty good at doing that I might add.

    Flex Track is the only way to go in my opinion but, I could be bias. It will, no question, give you a great deal of flexibility when it comes to designing your plan and you wont be restricted by "pre-set" radius curves. With flex track, the only limitation (within reason) is your imagination
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

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    Here is the first (pretty average and not going to stick with it) trackplan

    underhouse 1.jpg
    I must admit.. I am having trouble making something that actually looks good. Almost considering just throwing out the idea of a track plan and just winging it
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    I don't know what the operations guys think, but as someone who likes to run trains, I like it. Nice yard for staging or making up trains, and a nice double track main so trains can run without interference from the yard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by el Gato Gordo View Post
    I don't know what the operations guys think, but as someone who likes to run trains, I like it. Nice yard for staging or making up trains, and a nice double track main so trains can run without interference from the yard.
    Thanks!
    I don't like the shape of it, but using flex track will be able to manipulate that away I guess. I am going to try and find a way to add a couple of industry spurs that don't interrupt the main line either. Once this has been achieved i'll probably be much happier.

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    It seems cool maybe and a up and under somewhere on there as you have plenty space. I’m not great with track designing but if you could make it cross over itself I think you’ll have a pretty solid track plan
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    Phil,

    It is a good start but think it needs a little more "character", as said you have plenty of space to play with. Putting in an "over and under" some where would create a little more interest as well and break up the straight edges a little.

    The hardest part of any layout (I think) is deciding on the track plan. You do one, it looks good and is what you want. The next day, it just doesn't seem to be that good and you think of other ideas, things to add, delete or just change. I worked on my track plan for months and each time I looked at it, I'd change it. In then end I sat down and thought about what the layout was suppose to represent, what I wanted it to represent then designed it around that. I also think that just "whinging it" can make life a little easier, so long as you have the basic concept of what you are after and want to achieve.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

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    So needless to say, i suck at using flex on XtrkCad, however here is a general updated thought process... looks average at best, but you can hopefully see where I am going with it.
    under house v3.jpg

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    I like it! There's a lot of good train running there, and I like the yard too. There's a Book "Model Railroaders Guide to Freight Yards that's worth the price (maybe $20). It illustrates and explains all of the different realistic tracks found in many freight yards, it might give you some ideas to look into. I know I learned a lot from it... just never enough real estate for the things I want to keep adding.

    Lookin' good Flip!!

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    Phil, in Rocky, while a Queenslander will have airflow, humidity/moisture is going to be a factor.

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    Looks good to me as well with plenty of scope for something of everything - nice.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

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