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Hello Again,

Last year I posted a thread entitled "Modernising old Locomotives & Control Systems, Help needed for someone returning to the hobby". The replies I got were very useful, and after digesting all the advice and buying some of the track plan books suggested, I am wondering if I am really able to achieve all I want with the space available.

I've decided now to go for a solid board, 7' x 4' maximum. This gives me the most options for location - including the garage where I could hinge it to a wall. I initally rejected this idea since the garage is used for cars, but it would solve several other issues such including domestic harmony! You may remember I wanted to get into railway modelling again as a way of spending some quality time with both my 20 month old toddler (one of his first words was 'train') and my Dad who has a nice collection of Dublo items. Having the board downstairs makes sense, since my Dad is not as mobile as he once was. Previously, I was wanting to split boards for storage, but now I'm thinking that this could just turn out to be another reason why the layout might not be used as much as it could be - the added hassle of joining boards and the associated levelling. I'm just trying to be realistic.

My problem is, I want to include all the features of my previous large layout - things like two levels, a viaduct, tunnel, turntable, station, goods yard etc etc. AND with the added complication of a completely isolated loop and sidings for some Dublo stock. Is this possible practically or am I just being too ambitious?

If anyone has the current Peco Setrack plans book, something like Plan 17 would be good, but with a turntable and, somehow, a raised section. Can anyone think of a neat way of achieving all the above in the area I have available. I also bought the Railway Modeller book of 60 Plans for small locations, but there is nothing that really enthuses me in there that is achievable for my situation.

I hope people don't think I'm just a 'dreamer'! I built a large layout about 20 years ago, so I know the basics. Things at our house tend to take ages to happen, but one they do there is no going back!

BTW I have arleady made a start by sorting and cleaning all my old locomotives, rolling stock, buildings etc. I intend to use the Bachmann DCC suggested previously. Depending on how the project goes I am looking forward to bying a few new locomotives and some rolling stock too, since most people agreed that trying to upgrade old locos to modern standards would be uneconomic and time consuming. I intend to have electric points and some LED lighting too. One step at a time though...

Thanks very much ,

Garth,
Sheffield
 

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Hi garth,I cant give you the advice you asked for but can say that maybe build a small section to see how you get on,then add sections once you are confident.Im just telling it from my point of view as 17'x8' may have been a bit ambitious for me and thinking that I should have started one board at a time.Currently Im working on a 4'x1' o gauge layout which is providing me with build experience and pointing at possible weak areas of my modelling.
hope this is a small help...Andy.
 

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Dogsbody
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1,387 Posts
The size of the layout doesn't seem over big for a first layout but your description of what you want to do maybe is a bit much, especially if it is to fold up in the garage.

Perhaps start with just a small station and a fiddle yard on one wall of the garage and then extend it around the walls (avoiding vehicles !) to begin with ?

Great news that the little one's first word was train ! I've got my grandson with us at the moment, he doesn't speak English, only Russian - he associates me with "paravusics" - his word for trains !
 

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Bog Snorkeller
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Sorry to sound totally negative Garth but you really are being far too ambitious in a 7' x 4' area with 00.

Assuming you run a track to within a couple of inches of the baseboard edge this would provide a maximum radius of 22 inches at the ends, with any inner tracks being much less.

A turntable would take a space of at least 14 inches and, if you could get on to it, you'd have difficulty getting any feeder or storage tracks off it. Having a raised area would add further space complications in your already tight area.

I think you have to do one of two things:-
Firstly, lessen your ambitions considerably or, find some way of providing an off board running line (say an 8 inch plank running round the garage) and have your main station complex on the fold down board.

Sorry, just saying it as I see it before you start spending some of your hard earned on something that seems doomed to failure, unless you just want a double oval train set.

Mike
 
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