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Planning a large layout

4014 Views 28 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Adrian
Hello all,
I am planning my ultimate layout and I have a few problems to overcome!
I think space isn’t really the issue, the main problem I have is that I simply have too many interests.
I love railways from all around the world and so I have collected models from the UK, America and European countries.
I’m only at the earliest design stage as my future house isn’t built yet! The layout will be in a basement underneath the future house.
Well I have considered numerous options simply for the shape of a new layout and I guess the simplest thing is to show you;

I should be able to have a portion of an area of 100 square meters, I have to divide the whole thing into my wife’s hobby area, my own hobby area and a decent sized workshop.
Fortunately, my wife is very understanding and suggested that I take an ‘L’ shaped portion of the basement - this would give me approximately 10m x 10m or say, 12m x 8.3m or say, 14m x 7.14m - you get the picture, I hope.
For ease of planning, I’ll stick with 10m x 10m so if you look at “2” on the rhs of the picture, this gives me the overall shape of layout that I can work with.
Don’t forget that I have to also fit into this area another two rooms/workshops!
Therefore, I can only reasonably take say, a two metre strip along each wall but this still gives me a very substantial area for a layout! In imperial measurements, that’s over 32’ x 32’ and the legs of each ‘L’ being over six and a half feet deep!

Now, going back to my various interests, I have searched the internet and my soul to find a way of running British or American stock on a Germanic scenery layout, for example.
I can’t do it!
My only answer is to build separate decks for each interest and because I want to store trains separately off stage, I can only think of having a large helix to connect the various levels to the storage roads.
This way allows me to run British trains through British scenery and so forth. I was trying to assemble a collection of British H0 stuff together and over the last two decades, have a fair bit but it’s nothing like enough to show a segment of the East Coast main line for example. This forces me to look at 00 once again.
I only mention this because an added problem if I was trying to run a British mainline steam express through a German station (or vice versa) would be fouling of platforms! Similarly, American double stack container trains wouldn’t pass under even European bridges, let alone British ones.
Okay, gotta go now,
John E.
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1 - 8 of 29 Posts
One thing here puzzles me, you have 2 metre boards pushed against a blank wall? you cannot reach across this far so 1 metre is as far as an average bloke can reach. Given your interests I suggest a visit to minature wonderland in Hamburg as this has loads of layouts and all sorts of devices such as spirals.

design for access as if it goes wrong I can guarantee it'll be in the least accessible place.

In terms of gradients 1 in 60 is easy, I use 1 in 33 and that works so you are pessimistic there should be no bother at all.

As to track then I have no experience with bullhead but I like the idea of it.

As above 1 in 87 German and 1 in 76 British comes out the same size pretty much, thus German kit buildings/bridges etc seem happy running OO stock.
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Surely bullhead rail is deeper than code 75 flat bottom rail? in which case code 75 is out and the only product to use is code 100? I went this way because of a large amount of legacy product and in particular my hundreds of Wrenn wagons with their pizza cutter wheels, I do run some German bogie hoppers and I must say without issues on my Totton the Brent coal trains (being a bit similar to those used on this traffic) and I suppose the German manufacturers using code 100 confirms all that
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certainly looks more like the railway I remember quite impressed, I'll have to try some, only issue is the noch underlay which is designed for code 100 and which I find easy to use with an acceptable overall look.
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The track fan at the end of the Towcaster Station using Noch underlay. I do not use the point flat system as it is naff but cut and shape the regular line track to fit, bit of a knack but hope you think it looks OK. Might be useful for John to think about as choosing track is the biggest issue to face and he will have a lot of it
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Me - jealous that size is fabulous, you'll be popular with the maker of track as well as well as the wood supplier. so a great challenge.
Through all this I would also suggest you buy
1. vertical track cutter
2. Sideways track cutters
3. Selection of files
4. Pin hammer and pusher
5. Mini screwdrivers
6. A Dremel is very good. with small drills
These are the basics but you may need some others, the vertical track cutters are vital.
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The Xuron is either one or the other, so which ever you got get the other one as well
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Over a year now and we are all waiting with baited breath, well actually with a few bottles of Golden Champion in my case, anyhow given the scope of your project and the decisions you needed to make just wondered how you have got on and what you decided in the end? even more so whether we can comment on any photos you may have.

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Sounds like there is a lot going on and you have your hands full, hope you can get things sorted out and get back to railway modelling but I would judge this to be some time away, I do have a wooden cabin in the garden out back and this makes a good home for the railway but avoids any clashes with domestic VIP's. In the meantime it might be a good time to start the preparations for when you can get a railway built for real.
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1 - 8 of 29 Posts