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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

im new here so tell me if i do anything wrong

My dad used to have a huge layout in his loft when he was my age, and now after a trip to a railway museum my little brother and i are hooked.
we have persuaded our dad to let us use 1/2 of our 18' by 8' shed, shown below(1) to create our own, we have got many ideas of the best layout but your advice would be aprieciated.
our baseboards are three to four 8' by 2.5' shelves which are on frames and can easily be moved around, also shown below(2) one shelf fits across the shed.
we have also been busy on a piece of software called WinRail 9.0 we have been busy creating layouts on it and the best one is shown below(3).

any feedback will be aprieciated,

thanks

(1)

(2)

(2)
 

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Hi and welcome to the forum and model railways.

You havent stated what gauge your thinking of modelling in??
Judging by your plan its 'Z' or 'N'. But in N youre going to be very tight fitting in the plan.
As the inner most loop seems to be less than 12inches across, 6inch radius in N is vertually impossible!
 

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Hi
Welcome to the forum!
If it's OO you are going to be tightly pressed for space!
I suggest you change the the layout plan. What CAD software did you use? Normally in that sort of software, you can set the table size, so that you that you don't create outrageously big layouts.
Regards
Ben
 

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Hi and welcome to the MRF. It's good to see some youngsters getting the bug.

I've been using Winrail for years and find it an excellent programme. It is quite simple to set your board sizes but if you need any help I will be glad to give it.

I suspect that Ben and Brian may have misinterpreted your grid spacing. If I understand it correctly your drawing is on a 3ft grid which would mean your overall layout dimensions are approximately 8ft x 9ft. i.e. half of an 18ft x 8ft shed.

This being the case your main board would be over 4ft wide which could present difficulties in reaching across it to do scenic work or, heaven forbid, for the hand of god to help a stalled loco.

A better idea might be to run a narrower board around all 4 sides of your alloocated area and have the control area in the middle. There has been a recent thread with some excellent pictures of just such a layout and I think you will still find it in the "Active Topics" section.

Hope this helps,

Expat
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for all of the advice

to overcome the problems of reaching across the board to model the scenery or sort out any problems the board wont be right up against the wall so if need be my little brother can crawl under and pop up the other side to sort it out.

thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
QUOTE (Expat @ 15 Apr 2008, 17:02) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi and welcome to the MRF. It's good to see some youngsters getting the bug.

I've been using Winrail for years and find it an excellent programme. It is quite simple to set your board sizes but if you need any help I will be glad to give it.

I suspect that Ben and Brian may have misinterpreted your grid spacing. If I understand it correctly your drawing is on a 3ft grid which would mean your overall layout dimensions are approximately 8ft x 9ft. i.e. half of an 18ft x 8ft shed.

This being the case your main board would be over 4ft wide which could present difficulties in reaching across it to do scenic work or, heaven forbid, for the hand of god to help a stalled loco.

A better idea might be to run a narrower board around all 4 sides of your alloocated area and have the control area in the middle. There has been a recent thread with some excellent pictures of just such a layout and I think you will still find it in the "Active Topics" section.

Hope this helps,

Expat

i've had another play on WinRail and come up with a 'U' shaped design its below. the section that isnt on the board itself will be a removable bridge section.

any feedback would be greatly appriciated.

thanks

 

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Hi Guys,

I hear what you say but I still think you should seriously consider going right round the sides.

Have a look at this link to see what can be achieved in a space slightly smaller than you have.

http://www.modelrailforum.com/forums/index...?showtopic=5123

With the space you have you could have some good length trains and a long running length of track. You could also introduce some level changes to a high level track as John has done on Springhead Junction.

Cheers,

Expat
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I looked at the amazing layout which 'Expat' sent to me 'http://www.modelrailforum.com/forums/index...?showtopic=5123' and this inspired me to come up with this layout, i think its probably my best one yet as it allows 3 trains to run simultaneously and has enough room on the board left over for some serious scenery and model village building.
once again any feedback would be appreciated

cheers

 

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Hi Guys,

Two things I think you need to think about.

Firstly the bends at each corner appear to be standard 'Setrack' radii. You have the space available to make these a much larger radius which will, in turn, give a more natural look to the layout and provide smoother running for your trains. Generally in 00 you should aim for a minimum radius of 36" but the larger radius you can use the better it will look. In real life there are very few dead straight tracks. They continually bend left and right to suit the landscape.

For smooth running you will also need transition curves between the straights and the curves. Try taking out the Setrack bends plus a length of straight track either side and then insert a section of flexitrack. This can then be 'optimised' using the "Form Flexitrack' button in Winrail. You can also play around with the slide bars until it looks right.

Secondly, have you thought about how a real railway operates? It's purpose is to move goods and people around so you need to create towns, villages and industries which have a need for rail transport. At the moment I feel you are just trying to cram as much track as possible onto your boards without really considering the purpose behind the railway. It is, after all, intended to be a model, albeit somewhat simplified, of a real railway scene.

Let me give it some more thought and I will, hopefully come up with a design for you to consider.

Regards,

Expat.
 

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Hi John,

As promised I have designed a layout to fit into your available 9ft x 8ft space. It's actually a simplified version of my own layout but I think I have incorporated all of your requirements and it should give you plenty of operational interest. It still need some refinement yet but that can easily be done if you like the general idea.

Rectangle Parallel Circle Slope Pattern

I would suggest that the Main Line Terminus is built about 2 cm higher than the twin track main line loop as this will make the gradient up to the Branch Line Terminus a bit easier (about 1 in 40). You could also incorporate a canal on the left hand side with a girder bridge on the Main Line and a viaduct on the branch line (This is what I am doing)

Let me know what you think and if you want the Winrail file I will e-mail it to you.

Regards,

Expat.
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum, As I was reading through the thread and got to your last design I was thinking you need to soften the rads on at least one corner to take out some of the symetry. Then I got to Expats design and thats what he had done !! IN all I think he has offered a pretty comprehesive idea.

For what its worth I would advise thinking about what you would like in the way of scenery, and ensure you have included them in the plan, for example if you really want a viaduct you need to plan for that early on as you may need a section of the baseboard lower !?

John
RJR
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok then,

after taking in all of your advice i thought about changing the layout to a 'U' shape, this would allow me to come up with this design
any feedback would be appreciated.

cheers

 

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QUOTE (Expat @ 20 Apr 2008, 15:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>At the end of the day a layout is a very personal thing and only you can decide what you want and how you will operate it.

Good luck and keep us posted on progress.

Expat.

Hello Hornby-Gloucester,
What Expat says is very true.....it is your layout and you can do what you like.
Although you will probably enjoy operating a layout based on your final design in the short term I have my doubts if this enjoyment will last.
When the model railway bug well and truly bites you will want to be able to recreate what you see happening on the real railways and will wish that you had built a more prototypically correct layout in the first place.
Sorry for being so blunt.
John.
 

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Building a first layout is always a challenge. On one hand you want something that you can run trains on and play with. On the other hand you ask advice from forums like this.

Personally my ideal layout is based on a prototype station, preferably a terminus that goes to a hidden staging area. This is probably way beyond most first time builders desires.

Ultimately as a first time builder you want the biggest circle that you can get so you can run long trains. If this means that you have to compromise of curvature then so be it. Laying flexi track is an art, first off using set curves makes a lot of sense. As time and experience grows you may elect to go the whole 9 yards and move into something like P4 or accept the compromises of using RTR equipment and build something that suits your needs and abilities.

Prototype railways from Terminus to Terminus, model railways generally run around in circles.

John
 

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QUOTE (john woodall @ 21 Apr 2008, 12:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Building a first layout is always a challenge. On one hand you want something that you can run trains on and play with. On the other hand you ask advice from forums like this.

Personally my ideal layout is based on a prototype station, preferably a terminus that goes to a hidden staging area. This is probably way beyond most first time builders desires.

Ultimately as a first time builder you want the biggest circle that you can get so you can run long trains. If this means that you have to compromise of curvature then so be it. Laying flexi track is an art, first off using set curves makes a lot of sense. As time and experience grows you may elect to go the whole 9 yards and move into something like P4 or accept the compromises of using RTR equipment and build something that suits your needs and abilities.

Prototype railways from Terminus to Terminus, model railways generally run around in circles.

John

Hi John,

I generally agree with you though it is possible to combine a little of both into a layout, particularly the first one and, if the knowledge gained by others is taken on board and utilised, there is no real diffiulty in laying Flexitrack. Which is why when you are asked for advice you try to give the best advice you can, bearing in mind the particular circumstances.

However, if that advice is ignored then there is little more to be said or done. As the old saying goes "You can take a horse to water but you can't make him drink it".

Cheers,

Expat.
 

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Hi Expat,

If we are honest, manufacturers don't help at all. I admit that I am not an expert on Hornby track, but why don't Hornby show transition curves. Building a 180 curve by going r3, r2, r1, r1, r2, r3 is going to look and run a lot better than six r2 curves to do the same thing (note that I assume that each curve is 30 degrees, the radius for the example is irrelevant).

IMHO bad track work is going to frustrate more than a badly (I am being subjective here) designed track plan.

When I designed my layout, the first thing I did was to work out what I wanted (a terminus station, a engine servicing facility with turntable and round house, a freight yard, a passenger yard etc) and went from there. Even then I was constrained by the size of the room I have (roughly 20 feet by 16 feet) because I wanted to run 7 to 9 foot long trains. If I had another 10 feet in length I would still build the same track plan, but use wider radius points.

My layout is functional, the return trip from the station and back again is about 225 feet, which is quite a long run, and I have plenty of opportunity to shunt (I don't but the ability to do so is there!)

I think the best idea is to start off small with something simple, learn the necessary skills then progress. I have put my original through station (its about 6 foot long) into my existing layout. The passing loop is about 1 foot to short, and I am considering pulling it out and building something else, but because it was my first serious attempt, I will keep it.

John

Would anyone understand if I said the room was 5m x 6m and the branch line station was 1.8m, and the total track length was 52.5m?
 
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