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new layout - questions

1574 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Chinahand
hello all

i am plnning a new layout and found this website and been looking for a while

When i was a kid had a 6 x 4ft OO layout in the bedroom however now want to get back to modelling, however with space an issue i decided to go N gauge. modern layout is plan - virgin voyger, 2 and 3 car DMU's (mixed liveries as i like SWT and a few others), frieght etc

i would like a 2 track mainline (oval) with a branch line cutting across middle from mainline and then returns to mainline.

close to branch / mainline will be a fiddle yard

main Question i have is what would be the minimum size needed for this - i was planning 6 X 4 ft or would this be to small (otherwise will need to go to single mainline).

i have a rough sketch but couldn't figure out how to paste it in.

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also forgot to say that for mainline i would like the equivilent of 3rd / 4th radius turns.
also what is the gradients for n gauge as i am planning for the brach lie coming of main to go up and over
N gauge can go down to below 1ft radius so 4ft is wide enough for the main line. If you used the maximum radius of just under 2ft you would have only 2ft of straight track between the curves, so it might be better to have a tighter radius to get a longer straight (or nearly straight) section for your station and fiddle yard. A 4-car Voyager is about 2ft long, so about 3ft would give you room for points at either end of the station.

It is good to have cuttings or tunnels to hide the sharper curves as they do not look very realistic. Possibly you could put your fiddle yard on one of these curves with points on the straights either end?

I have a gradient of about 1 in 40 including a 90 degree curve of less than 18" radius. Farish diesels happily take 6ft freight trains up this, Farish 158s and 170s could do the same if it was prototypical for them, so obviously have no problems on their own. However my Dapol Voyager only just copes, this is known for having problems with gradients. The Dapol Super Voyager or forthcoming Farish Voyager/Meridian may be better.

For gradients you need to allow for a vertical curve rather than a sudden change between level and sloping - again Dapol Voyager is particularly sensitive to this. My vertical curves are about 1ft long and they need to be on straight track. If you avoid the Dapol Voyager you can probably go to 1 in 30 for the length of train you are likely to be able to fit, but even then I think you will struggle to get one line to climb over another one in the space you have available.
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Hi Scooby,

That's a hell of a lot to get onto a 6ft x 4ft board but I have had a go and come up with the suggestion below.

As you will see it is a double circuit twin track which will allow you to rise and fall at a maximum gradient of approximately 1 in 45. Virtually all track is either on a rising or falling gradient. Lots of scope for scenery. The sharper curves are 2nd and 3rd radii and the smoother ones, including the curved Main Line Station are flexitrack.

I know you specified a Branch Line returning to the Main Line but I have incorporated a Branch Line Terminus which rises up and crosses over the Main Line Station as I think this would provide more operational interest. The Fiddel Yard could also be made longer if necessary. Obviously I have not shown all pointwork yet but that can easily be added if the overall concept is OK.

Let me know if this fits the bill and if I can be of any more help.


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Hi Scooby,

I have tidied the design up a bit to show the hidden sections and the approximate track levels at particular places. Let me know what you think.

Rectangle Slope Font Parallel Circle




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