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Help me fill a room

1750 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  mthornton
I recently ran by the idea of a railroad past my folks and to my surprise, they did not veto the idea of getting rid of an ancient sofa in the corner of our lower living room. If done, this would liberate an L-space along two walls approximately 230 cm on one side and 350 cm on the other. (7' 6" and 11' 4", respectively)

I got to thinking. What sort of layouts would you do with that kind of dimensions? continuous running is a must, but mind you, my prototype would be European, so it doesn't need to fit US mainline traffic. Both the ends of the L would be accessible from two sides, so a dogbone with large-radius ends would be one possibility.

Loco-wise, I want to be able to run European diesels and steamers from 1930s to 1980s (NEM eras II to IV), wheel orders up to approx. 4-8-2 and C-C (most of them about a foot long, max). I wouldn't mind running the occasional American diesel, probably nothing much bigger than a GP38. I do own a DD40X, but don't expect to ever have either the broad curves for it, or an appropriate string of freight.

Prototype-wise, I've half a mind to forego historical accuracy altogether, running whatever locos from whatever eras I like, mostly because being a stickler for detail does nothing to enhance my enjoyment for running trains. Besides, I could still "realistically" run freights to industries just the same, it'd just mean that occasionally a TGV would have to wait until the BR52 clears the platform.

So, how would you fill the available space? I'm fairly stumped because programs like XTrkCAD tend to have really horrible user-interfaces and as such, are exremely hard to use.
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I disagree about Xtrackcad you have an hour of pain for plenty of gain. You need a track plan book what gauge are you working in. Amazon Uk should be able to source one, I found modelling steam age railways to be excellent by Cyril Freezer, you'll probably only get it 2nd hand, for track plans,
1.PSL model railway track plans Cyril Freezer
2.Designs for urban layouts Ian Rice
3.Track plans Ian Rice
Cyril Freezer being the John Armstrong of model railway design this side of the Atlantic.
and there are laods more but Cyril Freezers book is the best starting point.
I'm in the middle of constructing a new layout at the moment and while most of it has been preplanned some of it I am making up as I go along. I reckon the go is do a mountain scene. It could be the Alps, it could be the Rockies and it could be the Scottish Highlands. It is one of the best mediums for running trains through as it is hard to identify which country it is unless you specifically include something to make it so. You can do bridges and tunnels and plenty of scenic work.

Just a thought
Thanks for the book hints, I'm sure they'll prove useful. I've gotten some nice ideas from a few other forums, and a lot of useless advice, such as a few Americans thinking the space is too small for anything but a switching layout (the more I do the math, the more it seems they're right, but it's still rather unhelpful). One person additionally suggested I could make the world's neatest Z-scale layout in that space...
Could you have a movable link between the two ends of your L to provide the continuous run? Just a bare single or double track which you remove when not operating. Otherwise accomodating the loops at each end won't leave much room for scenery.
Consider that such a piece would have to be as big as the layout itself, essentially a second L-shape to complete the rectangle. Completely unfeasible, hard to make and fiendishly hard to secure.

I'm determined, though, that I'd rather buy a bloody pool table than make a switching layout, so I guess I'll wait around until a better opportunity presents itself, like in 2-5 years when I move out.
QUOTE (Agamemnon @ 1 Feb 2007, 20:34) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Consider that such a piece would have to be as big as the layout itself, essentially a second L-shape to complete the rectangle. Completely unfeasible, hard to make and fiendishly hard to secure.
No it needn't be as big as the main boards. You still have a about 135 degrees of turn on the ends of the main boards and then the extra piece just completes a triangular shape. it would be a about 4 metres long (probably a bit less) and could be made in two pieces supported by a 'tressle' in the middle. When not in use just store it on top of the main layout.
Reducing the turn from 180 (or more in the case of a dogbone) to 135 degrees saves more space for usefull layout than you might expect.
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