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Hello I am new to this forum and hope to make my next layout a good one by taking plenty of advice.

Below is my plan for a small oo gauge layout (approx 7' X 5') which I thought I could build on 2 (or more) levels. The upper level (shown here) consists of a small branch terminus and a circuit which is double track in part. I may put a small halt on the circuit. The terminus is served by a run round loop and single track goods road and engine shed.

The lower level is accessed from the main circuit as indicated by the red squares and contains storage sidings.

I think this can be achieved using 2nd and 3rd radius curves. I plan to make this my first foray into DCC.

What do people think of the operating potential? Any constructive comments welcome.

Thanks

Alan
 

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The basic idea looks O.K. but is this a scale drawing? If not then I think that you will need to draw one to see whether it will actually work. Possible problems are:-

1. Gradients would need to be very severe to get one track under another in that sort or distance.
2. The curve in the middle looks to be far too small a radius for even first radius.
3. The usable run round space in the station will be a lot shorter than you think it is.

I hope that I haven't been too negative. If you could make it a foot longer things might be much easier. Good luck anyway. It will be interesting to hear how you got on.

Cheers, Robert.
 

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Hiya Olon 1968,

I always tend to build end to end Layouts as they can easily be transported and also can be set up in a smaller area - But if you are going dcc then maybe look at an end to end design instead. It also means that you dont have so much bare board to cover up!! ( leaving you more time to concentrate on the track and buildings etc............................................ My next design is for a 12 foot long 00 modern image deisel depot which is only 18 inches wide!!
 

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QUOTE (olon1968 @ 13 Dec 2007, 06:10) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hello I am new to this forum and hope to make my next layout a good one by taking plenty of advice.

The lower level is accessed from the main circuit as indicated by the red squares and contains storage sidings.

I think this can be achieved using 2nd and 3rd radius curves. I plan to make this my first foray into DCC.

What do people think of the operating potential? Any constructive comments welcome.

Thanks

Alan

***Hello Alan. Its a good start that perhaps can do with a bit more thought. In a small space you need to "model" it in your head before starting so you can be sure it will do what you want. Try to define what sort of stock loco's and you want to run, how you want to operate what you want to do with the trains first, then define the scenery ideas and be sure they will work together....

other thoughts:

* Which sides can you access easily? this should dictate where the operating areas are - they should be close to you.
* the terminus run around and loop is certainly very, very short.... this will need thought. I think in this area your station will have to be on a long outside position as per Goedels idea or curved throughout its length.
* to get the clearance underneath for storage sidings will be a bit of a test of your loco's as the gradient will indeed be steep. I take it you are planning small loco's and short trains??
*If you split the gradient (have the top track go gently up and the track to the lower gently down) then you'll get a softer gradient all round.
*If you do this the station area will be higher than just having the lower drack droop, and Goedels idea will be doable as you'll have better clearances.
* Don't forget that you need at least 3" convenient headroom for the sidings underneath, and this also has to allow for bracing on the top board.

Make lists of important things as a reference. Keep sketching and thinking, mentally running trains on each sketch. Then check you haven't missed anything you really want by comparing the sketch to the lists. You will get there just fine!

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for these replies, the idea of moving the terminus to the outside sounds good, I will re-draw to see how it fits. It seems to make better use of my space though.

Regarding the gradients, I thought the circuit at the front could be an intermediate level, meaning the tracks to the lower would have half the hieght to drop. The central area would be raised. In this way I calculated that the gradient would be slightly less than 30%. Is this a reasonable figure for short trains?

I will post a revised plan later. Thanks again.

Alan
 

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If by a gradient of 30% you mean a rise of 3" in 10" then that is far, far too steep. 1 in 30 or not much over 3% is more like a maximum figure to aim at and that is still quite steep. As I said on another thread, I personally wouldn't consider anything steeper than 1 in 50.

I hope that this is not off-putting but it is better to realise what is feasible now, rather than build it first and find that it simply won't work at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
QUOTE (Robert Stokes @ 13 Dec 2007, 09:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If by a gradient of 30% you mean a rise of 3" in 10" then that is far, far too steep. 1 in 30 or not much over 3% is more like a maximum figure to aim at and that is still quite steep. As I said on another thread, I personally wouldn't consider anything steeper than 1 in 50.

I hope that this is not off-putting but it is better to realise what is feasible now, rather than build it first and find that it simply won't work at all.

Sorry, my decimal point had gone walkabout I meant a little under 3%, not 30% !! I said I was new to this.
 

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QUOTE (olon1968 @ 13 Dec 2007, 19:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Sorry, my decimal point had gone walkabout I meant a little under 3%, not 30% !! I said I was new to this.

***3% will work no problem for short trains (say 10~12 4 wheel wagons max or 3 coaches), but experiment and do try to get to 2.5% if you can as 1 in 40 is far kinder and looks more realistic too. Don't forget in your planning that for the first and last 300mm of the gradient, the rise will be proportionally shallower as the trackbed gently transitions from flat to the ruling gradient, so it will take a wee bit more space than the literal "1-in-whatever"

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK so here is a revision based on Geodels idea:



The gradients are 2.5 - 3% but I can imagine the clearances will be tight.
 

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a problem might occur with having that loop track on a slope? Any stock left alone on that loop may have to be scotched?

[effectively, the 'rise' needs to be around 1 1/2" up from the connection at the bottom of the plan.......thus the slope up the right side needs to be matched on the left?]

for my two-penn'orth...I'd forego the second connection to the lower oval......simply leaving the one that comes from the right.

there will still be enough of an oval for watching trains run by....

with that size of station, only 'short' branch trains would be the order of the day?

How 'big' is that turntable?

I 'had' to fit a Peco item on my son's small layout...and it's really quite huge! [Henry appeared!]

also, by omitting that second connection, there are possibilities for a small through station on the lower oval...perhaps on the right hand side?

Have you considered 'access' to any storage underneath the main terminus?

If the idea of junking a point hurts...then instead ofrunning back up to that loop near the turntable, why not actually create another dead-end route off the lower oval, inside the main line, underneath teh main station?

This then gives you an increased option for operation......either as an industrial/mineral line, linking with your 'main' station via the oval..or another branch, so a 'service' can be created in addition to that of the main line?

For trains, this layout screams out for a Sprinter from Bachmann...perhaps a nice 156 2 car set?

or better still...a preservation line....?
then, lots of passenger trains, not too long, any old coaches will do......with that turntable being the focus of the main workshops?

although the freight side will be a bit sad......maybe a few nicely painted really old wagons for the photoshoot freight?

dont forget the restored crane?

something like Buckfastleigh??

[then you can justify all those ''collectble'' engines, on such a short branch?
 

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Are you really attached to the idea of a turntable? On that size of layout I suggest that it would dominate and look wrong. Anyway it isn't really needed. Branch lines were run with tank engines which did not need turning or small tender engines which often went short distances tender first. If there was a turntable at a branch terminus it would have been a small one (50ft or 55ft) for which I think there is no ready made model. A full-sized 70ft turntable for a 4-6-2 engine would look totally wrong. Also bear in mind that the size you see is the area so a 70ft table is TWICE the size of a 50ft one.

Cheers, Robert
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
QUOTE (Robert Stokes @ 13 Dec 2007, 16:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Are you really attached to the idea of a turntable? On that size of layout I suggest that it would dominate and look wrong. Anyway it isn't really needed. Branch lines were run with tank engines which did not need turning or small tender engines which often went short distances tender first. If there was a turntable at a branch terminus it would have been a small one (50ft or 55ft) for which I think there is no ready made model. A full-sized 70ft turntable for a 4-6-2 engine would look totally wrong. Also bear in mind that the size you see is the area so a 70ft table is TWICE the size of a 50ft one.

Cheers, Robert

Thanks Robert, thats noted. I'm sure I could make another interesting feature for my MPD such as coaling facilites etc.
What I'm really concerned with is the operating potential and feasibility of the plan.
 

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QUOTE (olon1968 @ 14 Dec 2007, 00:28) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>not sure where my images went, so here is the latest plan once more:



Alan

***Looking much better Alan. I did a quick mud map to show changes I'd consider.

I think for operational improvement I'd change the arrangement of the terminus a little to increase the operating possibilities - the third track can act as arrival track, headshunt etc etc

As Alistair said balance the track between crossover and L/R tunnel portal

Ignore the quality of the mods in my image - but do look at the turntable position. UK turntables were rarely used to radiate storage, usually only for turning so the quick mod I did shows a more typical arrangment - of course the added sidi8ngs in your original could also stay - i left them off for clarity.
 

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QUOTE (Robert Stokes @ 13 Dec 2007, 16:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If there was a turntable at a branch terminus it would have been a small one (50ft or 55ft) for which I think there is no ready made model.
Cheers, Robert

Hi Robert,

Fleischmann do a smaller turntable (Cat. no. 6150) for smaller locomotives in HO (it's also available in a TT version) up to 165mm wheelbase.
 
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