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Thread: Minimum shelf width for single track & sidings

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    Default Minimum shelf width for single track & sidings

    I'm looking for suggestions on making a shelf layout that will allow operations, some scenery and industries to switch in & out. Would like to have it approx 48" off the floor to be able to use the space underneath for storage or be able to rearrange furniture. Would be 3 walls in a room. 8'6" first wall, 8'10 second wall, 11'10" third wall. Window on second wall. Track will be removeable for emergency exit. Small yard on third wall. Out & back, one operator. Nothing set in stone yet. Appreciate all ideas.
    Do I know what I'm doing? Maybe...maybe not...but I'm gonna try to have fun

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    Hi NSNYSWFAN74,

    I recommend you get out a piece of graph paper, scale it to 4' x 8' and start doodling.

    There's bound to be a "magic" size for the corners, probably 18" or 24" square with one corner cut off.

    Then decide on the width of the yard...and split the remainder for the other two sides.

    That should give you a pattern for efficiently cutting the plywood sheet.

    Once you're out of the yard, don't run the tracks parallel to the edge and use subtle curves to make the layout seem larger.

    Larger industries with multiple sidings are great ways to disguise the corners of your layout.
    Happy Modeling

    Bruce

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    @NSNYSWFAN74

    Having been a member of an N-Trak group in the past, my layout is designed using their module standards as a starting point.

    That means, for me, that no section (with exceptions for return loops) is wider than 2 ft or longer than 4. The mimimum width is however narrow you want to make it. I have two corners that will be based on the N-Track four foot corners.

    Take a look at their web site and see if anything works for you.

    http://ntrak.org
    http://ntrak.org/documents/NTRAK%20Manual.pdf

    Keep in mind, that the size of your corners are going to be dictated somewhat by the radius of your curves.

    Also keep in mind that your industrial spurs and siding tracks don't necessarily have to be parallel to the main line(s).

    I would take @BruceNscale's suggestion a step further and draw the entire room to scale, included doors, windows, and any other obstacles. Then draw in your proposed railroad area.

    It's much easier to tweek things on paper than it is after construction has started.
    - Gary R.

    President & CEO
    Pinnacle & Western Railroad

    Never under-do the over-kill.

    I don't always stop for trains, but when ... oh wait!, Yes I do.

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    Rule of thumb (and my modular standard): 4" in front of first track center, 4" behind last track center minimum to avoid derailed trains taking a deep plunge. So minimum width 8"

    Realistically, 12" if you want any more than a single track (which is also the OneTrack module width).

    Or a backdrop so you don't have to worry about cars falling off the rear side of the layout. Actually, these modules: http://www.american-st.de/fotos-fuer-rodgau/ are a smidge under 8" deep.

    Do check if there are modular clubs near you and if you can fit your plans to their standards. It's great to be able to create something bigger together, and it helps if you have deadlines.

    Hope this helps,
    Heiko

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    Here is the plan for the section of layout I currently have under construction. Broyhill Furniture, United Veneer, and Southern Furniture are flats on the backdrop. Backdrop is about 3/4" behind the upper edge. Bassett Furniture is a "front flat". The Thomas & Howard (a grocery distributor) building will hide the transition between having one level of scenery on the right and two layers on the left.

    Most of the upper level is 4" wide. Overall is 12 inches. Roll-off protection will be provided by scenery grading along the front edge.

    Narrow Shelf Plan.jpg
    Tim Rumph
    Modeling the Southern Railway in N-Scale

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    Thanks again to everyone. Planning on 12" minimum. Was thinking 11 3/4" curves but thinking of going to 15". Plan on having track wander across so little as possible parallelism to edge. Have considered lexan near front edge. Taking inspiration from NYSW Utica Line and NS D&H South Line.
    Do I know what I'm doing? Maybe...maybe not...but I'm gonna try to have fun

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    Thanks again to everyone. Planning on 12" minimum. Was thinking 11 3/4" curves but thinking of going to 15". Plan on having track wander across so little as possible parallelism to edge. Have considered lexan near front edge. Taking inspiration from NYSW Utica Line and NS D&H South Line.
    Do I know what I'm doing? Maybe...maybe not...but I'm gonna try to have fun

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    Railmodeller pro can be a good start for designing your layout. there you can use different shaped pieces for your baseboard design. Plus you get a choice of twelve different brands of track makers and some are listed more than once due to the code of the track and with or without roadbed and so on. Here's their website. https://www.railmodeller.com/home-railmodeller.html
    Cheers!
    Clayton

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSNYSWFAN74 View Post
    Thanks again to everyone. Planning on 12" minimum. Was thinking 11 3/4" curves but thinking of going to 15". Plan on having track wander across so little as possible parallelism to edge. Have considered lexan near front edge. Taking inspiration from NYSW Utica Line and NS D&H South Line.
    Sounds like a solid plan, especially if you go 15" or even larger (I know that increases the size of the balloons).

    Have fun,
    Heiko

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSNYSWFAN74 View Post
    Thanks again to everyone. Planning on 12" minimum. Was thinking 11 3/4" curves but thinking of going to 15". Plan on having track wander across so little as possible parallelism to edge. Have considered lexan near front edge. Taking inspiration from NYSW Utica Line and NS D&H South Line.
    If it's out and back then go with as large a radius as you can for the main line. Maybe even consider easements on the 90 degree curves. I doubt you'll really need them for reliability on a 15" radius curve, but it will look nice. Usually the need for a smaller radius comes from a loop, and fitting in the 180 degree turns at each end. If I read this right, that's not a concern for you.

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    My plan is Atlas code 80 flex track. Will reduce number of joints. MoPac, I will check out the website later. Gary Rowan, I've been reading through the ntrak download. Good info there. Thanks for recommending that site. I know I said 48" on height, but I may go higher to prevent always looking down at the layout.
    Do I know what I'm doing? Maybe...maybe not...but I'm gonna try to have fun

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSNYSWFAN74 View Post
    My plan is Atlas code 80 flex track. Will reduce number of joints. MoPac, I will check out the website later. Gary Rowan, I've been reading through the ntrak download. Good info there. Thanks for recommending that site. I know I said 48" on height, but I may go higher to prevent always looking down at the layout.
    They have a free version though it is very limited on what you can do. It is well worth the price for the full version.
    Cheers!
    Clayton

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    I will check it out MoPac. But I've found that usually the best way is trial & error dry fit. Planning on using full size cardboard template. I do better hands on than on a screen.
    Do I know what I'm doing? Maybe...maybe not...but I'm gonna try to have fun

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    Was thinking of removing the 180 portion and either use a loco escape track or a wye to get the engine back. Possibility of 2 engines but would have to isolate during switches due to running DC. Also have to work on the logistics of both trailing & facing point switches.
    Do I know what I'm doing? Maybe...maybe not...but I'm gonna try to have fun

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