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> Newbie’s track plan, Suggestions and comments please
James Hood
post 25 Aug 2014, 20:50
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After Joining the forum I thought I would make an attempt to show my track design to you, (if I can get it to display) and hopefully get some feedback on it, it has been placed down and works enough for me to use it in the meantime, but I would be grateful to receive comments as to how I could improve it, before I fix it down. The turntable is not in place at the moment and the line at the bottom which stops abruptly will, I hope join onto the lower end of the fiddle.
I’m sure there will be collective screams of horror from the knowledgeable members at this newbie’s faux pas, and there must be many of those, I’m sure of that, therefore I can only apologise, it will be a long learning curve for me, but one which I hope to enjoy travelling along in the years to come.

Thank you

James.



Now, If I have managed to understand this correctly there should be an image of my track plan above this wording.... fingers crossed. rolleyes.gif
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kristopher1805
post 25 Aug 2014, 21:05
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OK, I assume we have here 15 feet by 9 which is a decent size?
OO gauge?
Double track roundy is quite decent, some loops also good.
If its already down then it must work.

OK some issues, the bottom generally OK, but the upper corners look tight, if a square is 305mm then R3 = 505mm so you really do not want anything less than this and the track spacing looks erratic, you need 67mm centres on this basis and use std R4 and R3 as the corners, avoid R1 at all and R2 is best left out.

The cross overs at the lower half are unlikely to be any use best delete these just a source of trouble.

The third line that just finishes lower left is a bit pointless, may as well turn it into a three track roundy.
The engine shed right angle curves are impossible at a rough guess, I assume with the turntable it is a steam layout and here the shed layout looks a bit difficult again not sure if the standard type track will allow some of the clearances etc.

You need once the main curves are located to work out siding lengths, a Mark 1 is 250 mm long, so a decent train is 250 x 5 + loco so it is about 1.5 metres and some of your loops will not hold anything like this.

Take heart the general concept is OK just a bit of inexperience is showing through but you can make adjustments and get something good, your size is good and thats the base that you need.
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Robert Stokes
post 25 Aug 2014, 21:06
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That's a very ambitious plan for a first model railway. I assume that it is 00 scale. I think people will be interested in a number of details. Is it designed for a spare room? Are there any gradients or is it all on the level? Are you using code 75 track or code 100? Are you using old-fashioned DC control or modern DCC?

Robert


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Graham Plowman
post 25 Aug 2014, 23:49
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15 x 9 feet is a decent size.
Instead of using the 'train set' approach of tucking curves into the corners to 'round them off', why not put large radius sweeping curves around both ends ?
Allowing for space each side, you should be able to get somewhere approaching 4 foot radius curves which will look a whole lot better than the extremely tight curves you have now which look sub-2 foot radius to me.

I would also add that the top part of the layout looks like it is 2 foot 6 wide. There seems to be something like 10 tracks with a fair amount of space between them including several platforms.
My fiddle yard is 10 tracks on 2 foot wide boards and there is no space either side.
With all those platforms added as well, this plan will not fit...unless it is N gauge.


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James Hood
post 26 Aug 2014, 09:55
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Guys, Thank you,

Its great to get feedback on my track, I really appreciate it, even if it shows me how pants my design really is. unfortunately work is going to get in the way of things for the next three weeks so there will not be anything done to correct the issues you have pointed out to me in that time, like i said i have actually placed the track down and my limited engines and stock manage round, just, but its been good to see movement of any sort.
It was my first time using the Anyrail program and I have to correct issues with my general settings, such as the size of the operating aperture, and also using the correct type of track, I merely tried to fit down and show what I have already on the boards, my apologies for being such a noob.
Kristopher and Graham, what has been said of the corners is true, the outer corners are R3 at the moment with R2 inside, so I'll start with these and get to at least R4 and then go from there, or perhaps a continuous sweep round, and I agree with the third line that finishes lower left being pointless, i just didn't have a set of points left to connect it up.
Robert, sorry I didn't include details of the build. It is OO, code 100 and with a mix of Hornby and Peco set track and flex, its also going to be on the level DCC, as when my sons interest was briefly rekindled it was a Hornby DCC Mixed freight set at a bargain price which did the trick, and so has more or less become the basis of what I am now using. The location of the build is in my cellar, so its well out of the way, just slightly low headroom for me, but its dry and it meant it could stay built.

But guys, again thank you for taking the time to give me your feedback, it is very much appreciated.

James
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Chinahand
post 26 Aug 2014, 14:50
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Not a bad effort for your first time John but, as others have said, some of the sidings will be a tad too short to be of much use and, with the space you have, you could make the track more 'flowing' instead of being a bit 'corner-to-corner' as it is at the moment. Looking at the relationship between your loco shed and the turntable it also seems there is no way of accessing the turntable without going through the loco shed which is not very convenient and is certainly not prototypical. It would be better to put the turntable at the end of a separate spur which by-passes the loco shed.

Looking at the size of your room and converting it to N Gauge space it seems to me that you have an equivalent amount of space for a 00 layout as I have for my N Gauge one so you might like to have a look at my track plan to give you some ideas. Have a look here in MY BLOG


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hairyhandedfool
post 26 Aug 2014, 17:12
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On Anyrail you can set minimum radius of curve, I suggest you set that so that you don't plan curves that are too tight (you appear to have a few of them).

I think you need to really consider what YOU want from the layout.

1) You need to consider what era you are modelling and what type of train you want on the layout.

This actually quite important. There's no point designing a layout with sidings longer than the M25 if you are only using 2-car DMUs, likewise, sidings shorter than Kylie's pants are no good for long steam trains and freight trains and the like.

2) You need to consider what sort of activity you want.

Not everyone wants the same thing and sometimes you just don't realise what you want until you have decided to build the opposite, so have a really good think about this. Do you want to shunt locos, coaches and wagons around? Do you want express trains screaming through stations? Something else?

3) Google is your friend.

Not sure if a junction is right? Study real railway junctions on Google Maps and Google Images, sometimes people make junctions too complex and unnecessary, sometimes simple is best. For example, I have a plan for the future (I can't afford it right now) to model the junction to the south of Carlisle station. Four routes converge into six platforms, three of those are terminus platforms, and some through roads, and I imagined it would be quite complex, double slips here, three way points there, but actually looking at it, it's actually quite simple and only does what it has to do.

4) What is the purpose of the tracks? Why are they there? Do you really need them?

Can train A get from place B to place C easily enough? Does it even need to get to place C? If a piece of track isn't needed very often, or at all, why have it? Double slips are quite pricey, in model form as well as real life, so do you need them, or can you use something else.


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Robert Stokes
post 26 Aug 2014, 17:50
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Kristopher has already mentioned it but it needs repeating. The curves leading to the turntable (which I didn't notice when I first posted) are impossibly tight! You can't have laid that part and got it to work surely. I would go back to Anyrail and set a minimum radius of about 18" or about 450mm and preferably greater than that. The program will then not allow anything smaller or warn you if you try to use sharper curves.

Robert


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kristopher1805
post 26 Aug 2014, 21:05
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Yes Robert has the right of it
R1 = 371 mm
R2 = 438 OK in freight yards and possibly loco shed
R3 = 505 mm suggest this is the minimum
R4 = 572 mm good, I use this often as the inner track and then run an R5 of the curve using the Peco red gauge.

The next issue is the points, the usual point radius is R2 so this is a bit tight, now with setrack the Y point is half the radius so they are no problem and save space, the other is the setrack curved point, great in theory, passable as a trailing unit but disaster as a facing point and I have tried all manufacturers, the outer radius will be Ok but the inner is hopeless I suspect none consistent radius so save your money on those.

Before spending more on setrack points move to the short 12 degree streamline SL91/2 points these are good, take up not much space and work really well. clearly going offline but 12 degrees is easier than 22.5 degrees, the Hornby express point has good geometry but is very weak at the nose so use with care the plastic is very brittle. The Hornby and Peco simple crossovers are poor as well as the frogs are large and thus the loco tends to stall, the single and double slips are truly excellent as is the streamline curved point. The Y point is very good but truthfully peco springs are very weak.

There are 4 ways to save space using Peco points
1. 1 into 4 using 3 Y points
2. The crossing sidings where the left siding crosses the right one
3. A variation of this to make a junction.
4. I forget the other
Study the Peco setrack plans book this is worth trawling for ideas, the catalog is also a very useful point of reference so you may trawl this also before going back to make changes.

Also use the point reverse going into the fiddle yard, Peco never show this as the length between points needs another special track length so they avoid this. however you will get a great deal more length for your loops.

This is the idea,


Short of points, take out the cross overs at the lower side /fiddle yard



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James Hood
post 27 Aug 2014, 16:27
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Again great comments and guidance.

Chinahand, Robert, sorry, no the turntable is not down, I had got carried away by my actually getting the nerve up to join the forum and rushed to put my plan on show to the world, that I had stuck it in to indicate that a turntable was planned, the fact that it wasn’t down has been lost in my ramblings in my first post. I really should have left it out of the diagram.
The Anyrail I used was the Demo but as soon as I get a chance when back from work I’ll purchase the full working program and set about getting the minimum radius set up as you suggest Robert, and get into making changes.
If and when I then get to a better flow of design and away from the end to end ‘train set’ look, I shall be able to find space to position the turntable behind the shed on the end of a separate spur which by-passes the loco shed as you said Chinahand. The spare line between the loco shed and the coal stage which stops abruptly was actually for this purpose.
Hairyhandedfool I had thought of modelling the sixties, period of change from steam to diesel in an attempt to get the best of both worlds, with freight or industrial shunting along with a twin track main line, (but then again there’s nothing to stop me having a time machine and running whatever, when no one’s looking of course.)
Kristopher, many thanks for the guidance on points and radii, I guess fleebay will be having some of my Hornby points going on sale soon.
Thank you all again.

James.
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kristopher1805
post 27 Aug 2014, 20:06
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Great any chance of a few photos?

Christopher
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Graham Plowman
post 27 Aug 2014, 23:50
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QUOTE (Robert Stokes @ 27 Aug 2014, 03:50) *
I would go back to Anyrail and set a minimum radius of about 18" or about 450mm and preferably greater than that.

Robert


Personally, I wouldn't be setting it to anything less than 3 foot.

With the space available, there is really no justification for not using Peco large radius turnouts and radii everywhere.

One should always aim to default to the largest/maximum radii everywhere and only drop to tighter radii if absolutely necessary.


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Richard Lee
post 28 Aug 2014, 05:45
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I think 18" radius curves for 00 gauge are to be avoided if you have the space to do so.

I believe that 18" is about 2nd radius for set track. My first layout used Hornby set track. Although everything could get round the 2nd radius curves, some combinations of tension lock couplings from different manufacturers tended to cause derailments in the goods train.

My new layout, with 30" minimum radius curves and 36" radius points, runs (and looks) better.
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Robert Stokes
post 28 Aug 2014, 06:11
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Graham and Richard, I agree with you (hence the "preferably greater") and it is certainly what I would do. However, it would necessitate wholesale changes to the layout design that was presented, and I assumed that James did not want to do this. My suggestion was made so that the track plan became at least practical, while still maintaining the basic design.

Robert


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James Hood
post 1 Oct 2014, 16:50
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Gents, Sorry for the delay in responding and my apologies. some sizes were all wrong, I had omitted to show a section in the very top of the layout which was earmarked for a raised track level, though this track wasn't down onto the boards this has been forgotten about now to gain more area, but I had marked down on the diagram the size for the whole base board.
I also now realised that the operating aperture dimensions were also far too big in size compared to the reality of what is in place. Once I placed the track which I had down on the boards into the program I just marked an area in the centre and coloured it to represent the operating well, not thinking of size. I had been unable to change some settings or track pieces as it was the free version of AnyRail I had used to create the original diagram of my track.
So the scenic area to the North is 3 ½ ft wide with the side returns 2 ½ ft wide leaving the fiddle at 15 ½ inches wide, though this is the one area I can expand on slightly. It is a duck under at the present time but will be changed to a flap once I lift the track I have down and before I start on the “final” layout. If I ever get to that stage.
Anyway I have purchased the AnyRail program now and have had a play about with it, and after adding the correct dimensions for the boards, taking onboard the comments, reading up some more, but also keeping with the basic idea I had already down, I came up with this. I hope you think it an improvement.
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