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Thread: Looking for some inspiration

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    Default Looking for some inspiration

    I am just getting back into the hobby after about a 20 year hiatus. I was initially had an HO. But since getting an new home and additions to the family I have a small space to work with so I am switching to N Scale. I have been working on some layout designs and have something I like. It is 30" x 48" it is just a believe what is called a folded dogbone(?) I am pretty sure running the train around in a continuous loop will get boring pretty quickly. I would like to make this modular and add a section that would be maybe Point to point to have something to actually do. I am not coming up with anything that looks appealing or functional. Does the hive mind have any ideas? I have included a pic of the main loop.


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    I don't have a track plan for mine anymore, but it is similar to yours, with a couple of additions/change:
    1. The ladder sidings use a 3-way switch for a little more length, and I angled them all to the SW to allow for a town around them.
    2. Two separate loops, not one long 'folded' one, so you can run 2 trains at a time. Several ways to switch trains between loops.
    3. Another siding in the NW (not much room for anything there, though - I just have a 'suburban' station).
    4. A reversing loop added.
    I did use trestles for an up and down to add some more visual appeal (and allow for a hobo camp with campfire under the trestle) but one loop does not cross over the other.
    See photos:
    TrainTable 001.jpgTrainTable 002.jpg

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    Thanks for the reply and photos. Very nice layout. What are the dimensions?
    --> Sam D
    W8SDD
    est. 1963

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    Quote Originally Posted by SamD View Post
    Thanks for the reply and photos. Very nice layout. What are the dimensions?
    About 2'1" x 5'1" (hard to measure inside dimension exactly)

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    You can take a gander at my thread, "The Soo's P-Line". I started the layout about 2 years ago, the dimensions are 6 feet 8 inches by 4 feet...that's exactly the maximum amount of room that I have for it. It sits on folding table legs with 4" casters added, so I can roll it about in the spare room...as I need to do to access a closet and the breaker box. I can also wheel it out to work on the back side.

    Having just a bit more space is nice. I like your track plan, but what I've additionally included in mine that makes for a lot more possibilities in operation is two independent loops (I can run 2 trains at once in 2 different directions) with turnouts to connect them, and a reversing loop in the middle of the layout.

    The thread is kind of a running chronicle/diary of what I've been doing from start until now.

    Consider also downloading the free software, "SCARM". You can play around with ideas in that software for hours and hours, once you get the hang of it. Great for flushing out ideas.

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    Hi Sam -

    My N-scale layout is the same size as yours. My track plan is based on John Allen's original Gorre & Daphetid (Gory & Defeated). Below are the track plan and a view of the partially scenicked layout. A bridge will run between the two abutments in the left foreground.

    There are a couple of small industries and a 2-track yard on the lower level and a larger industry on the elevated branch line. I'm more interested in scenery than in operation, but there is some operating potential here.

    - Jeff




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    Some really good inspiration guys. I've modified mine and am look ing expand things. The main layout can'r be much bigger than what I have it at 30" x 48". I want to add a "Module" that can be attached when I want to use it. The layout will be stored when not used so mobility is important. I am thing another module about 30" x 36". Not sure if I want a yard or some industries. I am leaning toward industry so I can do some point to point deliveries. Here is my updated layout.

    Willoughby.jpg
    --> Sam D
    W8SDD
    est. 1963

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    Think about where you want to make your connection to another layout segment (I prefer the term segment or section to refer to a layout piece that can only be connected in one location and orientation, while a module refers to a layout piece with some form of standard connections that enable it to be connected to any matching connection). My suggestion would be that you add a turnout in the middle of the top mainline (just to the left of the crossover) and begin a third track that then wraps around the outside of the curve. This would bend 90 degrees, going from 12 o'clock to 9 o'clock positions, and then straighten out again, to run along the left edge and terminate at the bottom left corner. This could then connect to the mating segment, and even when that segment is not in use, the track can still serve as an interchange track that is capable of parking a short train on it.

    I suggest this interchange track be in this location due to the presence of the yard; a small yard like this would be the kind of thing found at a railroad interchange. But, if you want to run out to other corners you could do so too.

    The balloon return loop might add some operational interest, but it has a very tight radius, and you ought to determine whether it is worth the hassle. There will be electrical necessities to deal with since the rails have opposite polarity, and if you want to use this for turning of trains then the train length will be limited. Personally, I would make do without it, and instead use those turnouts for leads into some big industry spurs.

    Get yourself a Rail Pass for free travel on the WP&P: wpandp.com
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    Nice! My industries are on a siding that runs off of the reverse loop, and off the last track of the yard.

    Someday, when I have more room, the current layout will be added to, and possibly some of the current tracks removed or at least truncated into sidings, we'll see. If I had it to do over again, I would have added the turnouts for future expansion now and just had trackage running off the layout (which actually would run into the backdrop with a disguised mirror or something to create depth). But it's not that big of a deal to add later, either.

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    Thanks for all the suggestions and ideas. I have a bunch of ideas bouncing around inside my skull now. So, not quite back to the drawing board but I will be doing some redesigning. One of the major redesigns will be incorporating WP&P suggestion and getting rid of the return loop. I also like the idea of multiple levels like Jdetray's layout
    --> Sam D
    W8SDD
    est. 1963

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    You could make a reversing loop that just connects diagonally from lower left to upper right on the inside loop, or vice versa instead of a balloon loop. It's also an extra place to park a short train.

    The wiring difficulties aren't that hard, really, and it's nice to turn a train without using the HOG. (Hand Of God).

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    OK. Made more changes to the layout. Not really looking much like the original. Anyway I am using Kato Unitrack. I have set all the turnouts to Non Power Routing with Frog Power ON. According to the instructions this is for use if I plan on running multiple locos. I usually won't be running more than one but may ant to occasionally. What I get is that depending on how the turnouts are thrown the train stops. This was happening at every turn out when I initially installed them as Power Routing. Now, set as Non Power Routing it only happens at a couple of places. This is difficult to explain. If I am running around the outside loop and flip a couple of the turnouts to run the train on the inner loop it will run all the way around until it hits the next turn out. Should I set them up as Non Power Routing and Frog Power OFF and just run one train until I upgrade to DCC? Or should I run additional power leads to other points on the layout? Not sure this explains clearly what exactly is happening but I hope so.

    Willoughby-V3.0.jpg

    I plan on adding in another turnout either at the bottom of the layout or off the left side to run to another segment with some industry sidings. Of course this will happen when the budget and time allows.


    EDIT: I may have found the solution. While eating breakfast before leaving for work I was looking at the turnout instructions again. I failed to realize that the little baggie packed in the kit were isolation joiners. I see in the instructions they need to be placed at the crossovers. I will give this a try tonight after work or at least over the weekend. Am I on the right track?

    EDIT EDIT: No pun intended!
    Last edited by SamD; 22nd Feb 2019 at 07:53 AM.
    --> Sam D
    W8SDD
    est. 1963

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