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Thread: Tall Order for design N scale

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    Default Tall Order for design N scale

    Guys, I read this forum a lot, and I really value your advice.I really need some help in designing a layout, but I just can’t wrap my brain around how I want it to look, or what will work. I have spent a very long time building and collecting n scale models, hoping to have the opportunity to put them together in a layout, But I’m hoping to build one about 17’ x 15’ maybe a little larger or a little smaller, but that’s about the size I am working with. I would like to build it in the style of Appalachia., West Virginia.

    Here is what I have:

    steel mill section (all Walthers)
    blast furnace
    rollng mill
    electric furnace
    coke ovens
    crane
    misc smaller buildings

    New river mine
    Diamond coal mine
    (long runs for hoppers)

    (4) North island refineries
    tanks, tanks, tanks

    glacier gravel with quarry
    lots of construction equip

    mountain lumber with lots of trees
    lumber, lumber, lumber

    Medusa cement

    turntable
    (2) Walthers Union roundhouse
    Walthers large diesel house
    walthers 2 stall engine house
    Car shop
    back shop
    defunct concrete coaling tower
    cinder conveyor
    steel water tank
    walthers machine shop
    misc yard buildings
    union crane and shovel
    allied rail rebuilders
    Sanding and drying towers

    Walthers metro power plant
    northern power and light
    (5) western flood loader (conveyors)
    5” x11” hyperbolic cooling tower
    goldenflame fuel
    space for coal distribution
    Barges (maybe a loading facility on a river)

    Superior paper
    kraft mill
    central beverage
    intermodal facility
    misc shops/stores
    parking for trucks

    miles of true track, Unitrack and code 55
    Lots of bridges/tunnels
    long runs for long trains
    i good at all software like SCARM, Anyrail, Winrail etc.


    Tall order..can’t be done I guess.
    Last edited by dataengine66; 8th Jul 2019 at 07:05 PM.
    Mark

    Huge C&O fan from the coalfields of West Virginia!

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    Yes it can . You stated your good with the software . Design a layout to incorporate your items ..design it for OP's even if you don't really want to do them . It makes for a much better laid out track plan . You have a advantage a lot us of don't have , you have the structures on hand or built , this allows you to plan out the track with out guessing spacing ect . It also allows you to see how much space you need for each industry . For someone who is good with the software is also a advantage . You can do this ! With your kind of space you have you should be able to fit most if not all your wants . After you do a preliminary design , post it up here for suggestions and comments and feedback . It helps a lot .

    Start with a basic plan and build on it and change it up as the feedback comes in . Yes your building a empire , but I'm pretty sure you know your givens and druthers . Post them up here and see what the feedback on that is . You can do this

    Steve

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    Design constraints breed creativity.

    A rough area (17' x 15') is not really enough to get the ball rolling in terms of a layout plan. We need to know a bit more about the space that it will occupy, such as where does one enter this space, are there impinging features like a door swing or a window that cannot be blocked, or an HVAC closet that will need access in case of equipment failure, those kinds of things. The size you listed is essentially what my own home layout is, but I had to work around a support column, deal with the stair coming down, and make use of an adjacent closet for staging, all of which had tremendous impact on the benchwork configuration. I could just post my own layout plan (which is West Virginia / coal mine themed), but undoubtedly there would be a dozen reasons why it would not be right for your space, I am sure.

    Having all the steel mill pieces seems to tell me that the central design concept for this layout should be an effective Loads-In-Empties-Out configuration, with the coal mine and steel mill in close physical proximity but on opposite sides of a view block, so that they can trade hoppers on shared through spurs. A steel mill can be a large sprawling scene all by itself, and this probably means that you will have one wide central peninsula, in addition to around-the-walls shelves. But you want to make the LIEO industry pair feel remote, and that means forcing operators to walk all the way through the layout's aisles alongside their train to get from one to the other (i.e. not just around the end of the peninsula following a loop of track). You've also mentioned a power plant, this is another LIEO candidate; you might have it paired with a second coal mine in the same way.

    If you want a long mainline run, are you amenable to using a helix to access an upper level? I could see a basic plan that involves running from a coal mine on the peninsula at the lower level, around half the room on the lower shelves, then up the helix, around the full room perimeter on upper shelves, then back down a helix (possibly the same one), to the remainder of the low level shelves and finally to this major urban area on the other side of the peninsula which has the steel mill and power plant both. This would be primarily point-to-point operations, but you could tuck in a double-ended staging yard on the lower level to tie the ends together and allow continuous loop running if desired. You could do the same on the upper level, with a bypass around the helix, so that it could be its own orbit.

    These are broad concepts; for actual design we really need to know the space constraints better.

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    Check out the Appalachian Railroad Modeling site for ideas. There are more than 100 track plans there from which you can garner ideas. The link is beneath my signature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WP&P View Post
    Design constraints breed creativity.

    A rough area (17' x 15') is not really enough to get the ball rolling in terms of a layout plan. We need to know a bit more about the space that it will occupy, such as where does one enter this space, are there impinging features like a door swing or a window that cannot be blocked, or an HVAC closet that will need access in case of equipment failure, those kinds of things. The size you listed is essentially what my own home layout is, but I had to work around a support column, deal with the stair coming down, and make use of an adjacent closet for staging, all of which had tremendous impact on the benchwork configuration. I could just post my own layout plan (which is West Virginia / coal mine themed), but undoubtedly there would be a dozen reasons why it would not be right for your space, I am sure.

    Having all the steel mill pieces seems to tell me that the central design concept for this layout should be an effective Loads-In-Empties-Out configuration, with the coal mine and steel mill in close physical proximity but on opposite sides of a view block, so that they can trade hoppers on shared through spurs. A steel mill can be a large sprawling scene all by itself, and this probably means that you will have one wide central peninsula, in addition to around-the-walls shelves. But you want to make the LIEO industry pair feel remote, and that means forcing operators to walk all the way through the layout's aisles alongside their train to get from one to the other (i.e. not just around the end of the peninsula following a loop of track). You've also mentioned a power plant, this is another LIEO candidate; you might have it paired with a second coal mine in the same way.

    If you want a long mainline run, are you amenable to using a helix to access an upper level? I could see a basic plan that involves running from a coal mine on the peninsula at the lower level, around half the room on the lower shelves, then up the helix, around the full room perimeter on upper shelves, then back down a helix (possibly the same one), to the remainder of the low level shelves and finally to this major urban area on the other side of the peninsula which has the steel mill and power plant both. This would be primarily point-to-point operations, but you could tuck in a double-ended staging yard on the lower level to tie the ends together and allow continuous loop running if desired. You could do the same on the upper level, with a bypass around the helix, so that it could be its own orbit.

    These are broad concepts; for actual design we really need to know the space constraints better.
    Unfortunately, I don’t have this much imagination as you do,It’s an open area, with no Columns or anything located in the basement . I am not opposed to doing helixes, even though I have no experience with them.This will definitely have to be a peninsula situation,But I’m just concerned about getting the most bang for the buck, the most layout in the space allotted. I guess what I’m looking for is a decent anyrail template,That I can modify and use, but I just don’t have the imagination it seems to be able to come up with something as good as some other folks
    Mark

    Huge C&O fan from the coalfields of West Virginia!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schmidt View Post
    Check out the Appalachian Railroad Modeling site for ideas. There are more than 100 track plans there from which you can garner ideas. The link is beneath my signature.

    Wow Paul!, there are some awesome layouts in that link. I only looked at the N scales ones but pretty cool concepts within.
    A lot of them are Coal railroading themed, but could easily be adapted for just about anything.
    The Little Rock Line blog


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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schmidt View Post
    Check out the Appalachian Railroad Modeling site for ideas. There are more than 100 track plans there from which you can garner ideas. The link is beneath my signature.
    That’s a really good site, I like the layouts. Coincidentally, I have an 80 acre farm, in Russellville, right on the Meadow River.I have ridden my four wheeler along the abandoned railroad tracks down the Meadow River. I just noticed there was a layout for the Meadow River logging route.
    Mark

    Huge C&O fan from the coalfields of West Virginia!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dataengine66 View Post
    Unfortunately, I don’t have this much imagination as you do,It’s an open area, with no Columns or anything located in the basement . I am not opposed to doing helixes, even though I have no experience with them.This will definitely have to be a peninsula situation,But I’m just concerned about getting the most bang for the buck, the most layout in the space allotted. I guess what I’m looking for is a decent anyrail template,That I can modify and use, but I just don’t have the imagination it seems to be able to come up with something as good as some other folks
    A couple options for you. I don’t see you making much progress on the forum without at least given some effort and energy to putting something on paper. It gives the group something to react to in order to bring the best ideas forth. People can instinctively react to a partially painted picture with their ideas to improve it, but impossible to be told to paint the picture for someone else with just a list of buildings and location.

    Alternatively, there are people like Lance Mindheim you can commission to draft a plan for you, but plan on making an investment in time and treasure. The time investment will be to answer all the questions so they can paint the picture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave68124 View Post
    A couple options for you. I don’t see you making much progress on the forum without at least given some effort and energy to putting something on paper. It gives the group something to react to in order to bring the best ideas forth. People can instinctively react to a partially painted picture with their ideas to improve it, but impossible to be told to paint the picture for someone else with just a list of buildings and location.

    Alternatively, there are people like Lance Mindheim you can commission to draft a plan for you, but plan on making an investment in time and treasure. The time investment will be to answer all the questions so they can paint the picture.
    I have downloaded Anyrail, and started working on my design. The steel mill complex is much bigger than I thought, it’s going to take up a lot of room. I still want to make that the centerpiece of my layout. I thi what I will do, is put the four major industries that I want to model And get them placed, then pepper in all the rest of the Buildings.
    Mark

    Huge C&O fan from the coalfields of West Virginia!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dataengine66 View Post
    I have downloaded Anyrail, and started working on my design. The steel mill complex is much bigger than I thought, it’s going to take up a lot of room. I still want to make that the centerpiece of my layout. I thi what I will do, is put the four major industries that I want to model And get them placed, then pepper in all the rest of the Buildings.
    Here is my layout for the steel mill. I just need ideas
    steel mill.pdf
    Mark

    Huge C&O fan from the coalfields of West Virginia!

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    If you're interested in steel mills and can get down to Birmingham, AL, I'd suggest visiting Sloss Furnace. It's an old steel mill in downtown Birmingham that is now a museum and community center. It's well worth the trip and will give you a sense of scale for these things.

    Keep in mind that this is a fairly small furnace.
    Tim Rumph
    Modeling the Southern Railway in N-Scale

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    I’ve been to sloss furnace in Birmingham, it is supposedly haunted. I love steel mills, in Ohio, I used to see so many on the Ohio river. My imagination isn’t that good to recreate anything
    Mark

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    Modeling Steel.

    This can take as much space on the layout as you want, but mills traditionally at least around here were built to fit the available space between the hill and the river. It would be easier to assist in laying out the mill if you told us the space you are will to give up for it.

    For operation ideas split the mill up to different areas of the layout. A common practice here in Pittsburgh, depending on what rolling stock you already have you can make moves from one step to the next over the main line. Coke production can be all the way on the other side of the layout etc.

    I think if you open it up to two levels you really could get a lot out of your wish list.
    Be positive, Be polite, have fun with the hobby!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bessemer Bob View Post
    Modeling Steel.

    This can take as much space on the layout as you want, but mills traditionally at least around here were built to fit the available space between the hill and the river. It would be easier to assist in laying out the mill if you told us the space you are will to give up for it.

    For operation ideas split the mill up to different areas of the layout. A common practice here in Pittsburgh, depending on what rolling stock you already have you can make moves from one step to the next over the main line. Coke production can be all the way on the other side of the layout etc.

    I think if you open it up to two levels you really could get a lot out of your wish list.
    Iíve been looking for a layout plan online, and I have searched through a lot of sites, but I just canít find one in N scale that has a steel mill In anyrail or SCARM. It would be much easier just to adapt a design, then to go through all the motions of designing my own.I am thinking that it is going to have to be two (or more) levels, because of all the stuff I have to squeeze into one space. I might have to adapt an HO layout, just to get the arrangement right, Iím still learning Anyrail, So Iím sure there are a lot of resources out there that I havenít found yet. If anybody has seen a layout like what Iím looking for, point me in the right direction.
    Mark

    Huge C&O fan from the coalfields of West Virginia!

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    @DJSTRAINS has a steel mill model in n scale - perhaps you could look to his plan
    https://pittsburghmainline.weebly.co...ailroad-layout

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    I dont mean to be rude . But if your having such a hard time putting down a basic track plan , a large layout with 2 levels is going to become like trying to pick up a elephant . Its most likey something you wont achive . I would suggest a small layout , learn on that , then take what you have learned in a few years and apply it to a larger layout . If you jump into a empire with no knowledge on how to do it , it will become a momey pit that you hate and abandon . Either that or have someone design one for you , and possibly help construct it . A large layout is going to require planning , and that starts with pencil and paper , move that onto software and then post up a basic plan here for help and critique . 2 levels is not twice as hard as one level , but it is harder . Do you know how you would like to get to the second level ? Can you design and construct a helix ?
    Its going to have to start with more than i have this stuff , how do i make it fit ? Members will help , but they cant do the basics for you .

    Also remember , most people end up building more than one layout before they have what they want . So a large project is daunting for the first one .

    I mean no disrespect , just passing along advice i learned here and elswhere

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by aflica View Post
    I mean no disrespect , just passing along advice i learned here and elswhere
    No disrespect man! I have built a lot of nscale layouts, but I keep moving
    3B359B8E-B70E-4BFA-8BF0-D02A0440E7D9.jpg4D6EC121-08DF-4D0B-B7D5-641B24F2816E.jpeg5B0BA439-9B61-4D7C-82BD-74A876DD60A9.jpeg
    Mark

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    I second @DJSTRAINS suggestion. Lots of steel mill information and I'm sure you can bounce ideas off him as well

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    With a multi level layout based off Appalachia one thing to look at is to have the coke works located closer to the source.

    Several coal/coke producers operated in Appalachia until the 1990s. Coal loads could be gathered from the mine and taken to a coke plant, the Walters coke plant is small in size and would better represent a earlier design plant that could be found 100+ miles from the mill. This would save space at the location of your steel mill and add operations of bringing unit trains of coke from a lower level up to the blast furnace complex.

    Add in the refinery equipment you already have to the coke plant for the bi-products plant. (ammonium, benzol, tar, light oils, etc) This would make the scene more complete and give a better sense of size to the coke plant. Lots of the specialty equipment for coke production can be found on Shapeways. quench car, larry car, pusher& guide.

    This also could keep an operator pretty busy during an operating session.



    US Steel, Bethlehem Steel, and Armco all operated numerous mining operations in Appalachia. I am sure others as well.
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    Here is the steel mill on a layout built by a friend of mine on which I regularly operate. This includes blast furnaces and a couple of rolling mills for different types of products, a machine shop, an electric furnace for handling scrap, and a dedicated 3 track yard. The whole thing is about 12 feet long in N scale.

    Steel Mill.jpg
    Tim Rumph
    Modeling the Southern Railway in N-Scale

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