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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I am new to these boards and somewhat new to railway modelling in that I have never created my own layout, only helped on my dad's. I've been researching a few prototypes in order to create a layout which encompasses many different aspects of the modern railway, and not finding a particular location in real life which includes all of my wanted features I decided to amalgamate them all onto one freelance layout.

I initially intend to build the layout as a station-only and expand on it further as my abilities in track wiring and layout operation improve, so the picture below would be my ideal layout, however I won't go all out right away! Sorry about the quality, i've drawn it on MS paint so it's no masterpiece! I would scan in the original pencil drawing, but....I don't have a scanner!

Layout picture

Here is a rundown of the features:

The top left diesel depot is based on the Ispwich prototype in track layout, and that it has a steep bank to the top left which will be covered in trees and foliage. This will enable me to store DMUs, and larger diesels etc.

The original plan was to have the station as a run through and model the entire thing on Ipswich, however due to space restrictions I had to turn it into a terminus to avoid the harsh turns into the fiddle yards at each end of the layout. The track plan does however match that at Ipswich without the middle line, and obviously it is a terminus.

Further down i've included a railtrack type depot much like the one on the approach to Manchester Piccadilly. I hope to include stock like rail tampers, ballast hoppers, stone blowers and the odd shunter, depending on how it develops. I like the idea of having my own shunting yard, so we'll see!

Top right will be a town scenic suggesting that the station is in the middle of a small city. I intend to drop it a few inches below the baseboard with a grass bank running down to the gardens etc. so that you can just make out the top floor and roof of two story houses.

Finally the scenic break will be a road bridge to the right of the layout. The yellow squares to the bottom represent the operating space.

I hope to run 2000 onwards stock, including local DMUs (the setting is South Yorkshire, e.g. Sheffield area) then class 08s 66s, 57s and perhaps a few 220 voyagers depending on how much length I can get on the station, I'll see once it develops as a layout.

Let me know what you think, I am only learning so any constructive criticism is very welcome. Particularly concerning track layout and fiddle yard operation (I'm yet to design the fiddle yard). If anyone has any pics of terminus prototypes like this one I would be very interested in seeing them, just to get a better idea of their layout etc.

Many thanks!

Dave
 

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It looks promising for a first attempt. I assume it's H0/OO gauge where the constraints on space are much tougher than in N. What is your plan for the fiddle yard? It is important to get this right otherwise operation won't be as much fun as it could be. Presumably you will want to be able to move trains from the top area to the bottom which could be tricky to fit in with long enough storage sidings for EMUs etc. in the middle. My advice is to make the fiddle yard longer relative to the platform length, or better still build it underneath the visible layout with a connecting 180 degree spiral. (Sorry, my solution to everything is to move up a dimension and make some hideously complicated benchwork...!
)

I prefer to use Corel Draw for track planning but then in N scale one can use lots of flexitrack for long sweeping parts and this is hard to model in track drawing programs I have tried. Whatever you use with practise it becomes easy and results will get better and better. Here is a recent plan from my website for an ÖBB container terminal in N:



There's also nothing wrong with using paper, or better still the track itself! Especially when using set track you can just plug and test, making adjustments until you like it and then glue/nail/chewing gum it down.

Goedel
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
QUOTE (goedel @ 16 Apr 2007, 21:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It looks promising for a first attempt. I assume it's H0/OO gauge where the constraints on space are much tougher than in N. What is your plan for the fiddle yard? It is important to get this right otherwise operation won't be as much fun as it could be. Presumably you will want to be able to move trains from the top area to the bottom which could be tricky to fit in with long enough storage sidings for EMUs etc. in the middle. My advice is to make the fiddle yard longer relative to the platform length, or better still build it underneath the visible layout with a connecting 180 degree spiral. (Sorry, my solution to everything is to move up a dimension and make some hideously complicated benchwork...!
)

I prefer to use Corel Draw for track planning but then in N scale one can use lots of flexitrack for long sweeping parts and this is hard to model in track drawing programs I have tried. Whatever you use with practise it becomes easy and results will get better and better. Here is a recent plan from my website for an ÖBB container terminal in N:



There's also nothing wrong with using paper, or better still the track itself! Especially when using set track you can just plug and test, making adjustments until you like it and then glue/nail/chewing gum it down.

Goedel

Hi Goedel,

yeah the layout is HO/OO, should have mentioned that:). I have considered an 'N' layout (something about real length rakes is very appealing), especially looking at what can be acheived on layouts such as "Law Junction", but I like the detail in HO/OO, maybe N is a future project for me? I've been using XtrkCad this evening and after a few goes I managed to produce my track plan and it all fits into the space i've assigned in the room which is good. I've no plans for the fiddle yard just yet. My previous attempt saw really sharp curves on a horseshoe shaped layout (which I would have preferred to be honest, and may try once the baseboard is cut) into fiddle yards at either end. I've never designed one before so I may have a look at some already made and tinker around with them. The prospect of a spiral does sound appealing, however I was planning on modelling semi-accurate coach spacing and coupling which would mean that my locos couldn't take the sharp turns which I can imagine are involved.

Thanks everyone for the help and watch this space!!

Dave
 

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Hi Dave,

Welcome to the forum - I quite like the look of your layout plan, it could prove interesting operationally. Good luck with the project.

Regards

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks John,

everyone is so helpful round here! I thought as the newbie my layout would be ridiculed!

Anyway, I had a play around with XtrKCad last night and this is what I came up with:

LINK

I'm looking for a prototype which has a shunting/ ballast yard trackplan similar to mine so that I can model mine a bit more accurately, can anyone help? It is based slightly on the yard on the Westbound approach to Manchester Piccadilly so if anyone knows where I can find pictures of this yard I would be very greatful. I tried to get a few on the way back home from uni, but to no avail.

Cheers,

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just a quick update, I had another go on Xtrkcad this morning and outlined the layout that I had originally intended to build to see if it would work. I'm still not sure if the curves into/ out of the fiddle yards are too harsh, but that'll be something to experiment with a bit of track later on. I have to say I like this layout better as i'd like to run a few freight trains through the station every so often


Second attempt

So, comments, ideas, criticisms welcome!

Dave
 

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Curves on to the fiddle yards are always a bit of a problem. I see you are looking at higher ground to the right, one solution here could be a cutting with a road overbridge at a skew angle this will take the eye away from the curvature. Hope this suggestion is of some use.

Regards

John
 

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One thing I can't find is the dimensions you have available
Are you limited by the size of room, room fabric (doors, heaters, etc)?

Personally, let the track plan be flexible
Know roughly what you are looking for, in this case a terminus
A terminus is actually very difficult in N gauge, and you will notice at exhibitions there are very few for this very reason!
You either need easy access to couplings (hand of God) or a very good and reliable electrical uncoupling system
As a result most are based on an expanded oval, and incorrectly trains just travel in the same direction all the time!
I got round that on my design, although the trains reverse completely to go back in the opposite direction, but its as near as you can get

Once you know the dimensions and track plan you can then start baseboard construction
Do not scrimp, construct a good solid frame and use good quality surface
Also take into account point motor location
If you want under baseboard mounted point motors then you will need AT LEAST 9mm baseboard thickness (otherwise you will need to use glue to fix the point motor mountings into place
A solution to this is to use 12mm baseboard and specific point motor mounting plates, most of which also come with screws of the required length
Buying a full set of these in advance will make sure you know which tickness of baseboard to get

Apart from that, some general hardware and carpentry skills are then required!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks to everyone for the pointers and the help, very useful indeed! I'm going to do another Xtrkcad design in the coming week with possible fiddle yard config. Can anyone give me any quick pointers on fiddle yard construction?
 

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QUOTE (DieselDave2007 @ 21 Apr 2007, 00:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks to everyone for the pointers and the help, very useful indeed! I'm going to do another Xtrkcad design in the coming week with possible fiddle yard config. Can anyone give me any quick pointers on fiddle yard construction?
Your fiddle yard can either be a set of rolling tracks, a run round, or a complete set of terminating tracks

You also need to into account the length of trains you plan to use and this is your limiting factor for each of the above designs

Rolling tracks are best used for limited space, but really only suitable for single track entry / exit

A run round is a large loop which then feeds off into various tracks
This allows trains to operate continuously, but uses up a lot of space

A complete set of terminating tracks is the best option
You can share incoming and outgoing tracks (being careful with electrical continuity)
Each track then terminates, which means the outgoing train loco may need to be swapped
A kick back siding on each side of the fiddle yard will allow this operation
As each train leaves the fiddle yard the spare loco is the returned back to the kick back siding, allowing change over of locos between trains
 
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