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RudyB
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some time ago I became member of a model railway club. After a while I got the 'itch' to create a layout for myself, at home. I have a room that served as an office, but since I quit working now is available for other purposes.

So ... a 'model railway project' started somewhere in June 2014.

I (try to) keep a website / blog with the project progress. Here's the link to the blog.

Progress of past week: in stead of tinkering with electronics (which is fun) it now was time for some 'real hardware': creation of the wooden tables (which is also fun
).

 

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RudyB
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
This weekend some progress has been made on the layout design.

If you think 'he just threw all the track on the table he had room for' ... then, well ... you might be right
I did read several articles on layout design. About time periods, about setting goals for your layout, about the design of a shunting area ... and what not. The point is, probably I'm not a 'typical model railway hobbyist'. To me it need not be 'prototypical'. My main interest is on the electronics and the computer control. That is what the layout caters for.

Detailed info on the website.

Curious on any feedback / advice / pitfalls you may see.

 

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Hi Rudy,
that's a nice flowing set up you've got there. I looked at your website and noticed that this appears to be a table-top layout in a bigger room, which means that you have access to the outside of the layout to deal with derailments and the like. The only modification I would make would be to double track the loop around the station in the bottom right hand corner so that you have contiuous running for two trains.
Good luck with the computer-controlled running, I'm still switching points by hand!
Cheers
Ian
 

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You voiced exactly what I was thinking there Ian....

I was looking at it as double line would give an Up & down line for continuous running without the single line bottle neck.

That would then alleviate the need for a couple of crossovers, but also the need to create a double junction for the lines coming in from the bottom left.

Another thought being that whilst facing connections did occur, they would have Facing Point locks, especially on passenger carrying lines.

Ruud, a quick question.... What software are you using to create the layout plans with??
 

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RudyB
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Thx for your feedback Ian.

The two long sides of the table are against a wall. There is a manhole in the middle at the left, which makes it possible to reach the area close to the wall. Also the laptop rests on a separate lid that can be taken away. I hope that will be enough.

Indeed I'm still considering dual track for the South loop. On the other hand I liked to have a single track so it is clearly visble trains are waiting for each other.
 

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RudyB
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@Grifter_Guru - the layouts are done with SCARM. Looks like you know the program


With regard to the single or double track South loop ... I'll do a computer simulatien with EEP to see to what extend it acts as a bottleneck that constantly obstructs traffic flow, or if only every now and then a train has to wait.
 

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if you have the SCARM trackplan file and wouldn't mind me having a copy, I could show you what I mean as regards the loop and double junction... If not I can use one of my tricks, but it will 30x longer.......................

What on earth is EEP? sounds interesting..
 

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RudyB
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That would be great if you would take the effort to show what you meant in SCARM. I'll upload it tomorrow when I'm at my PC and send you a PM with the link.

EEP is a PC model railroad simulator. It's originally a German program, but an English version has recently been released, called Railroad-X. An example is over here on my website.
 

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RudyB
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Some very useful feedback on the layout has been received. Based on that, four changes have been made:

1.One lane of the South terminal has been given up. One switch less was needed, which allows longer lanes, which allows longer trains.

2. Lane 4 of the South terminal is allocated to store the loco that is going to pull out the train from lane 3. That got rid of the short sidetrack in the middle of the North bend. This gives the layout a bit more 'calm'.

3. The switch for the West terminal lanes was moved from the main track to the terminal tracks, without sacrificing train length: the whole junction-street was shifted North a bit.

4. Two industry sidetracks are added. Together with the sidetrack that already was there and the inner lane of the North bend this now forms an industrial area with some shunting play possibilities.

 

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Hello Ruud, and welcome to this forum. I think you have an excellent plan there - either version. It's 180cm by 300cm?
 

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I have a feeling the "next" diagram will be a good one!
 

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RudyB
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Haha, G_G ... and I know how come you have that feeling
.

Alas, this week there is no more time for doing any layout planning work. Possibly next week either. Well ... that maybe gives some time to let evrything 'sink in'.

The choice for single or double track ... I plan a sim to check out if it is a bottleneck.

Thanks for all the feedback and help.
 

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RudyB
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Based on some useful and constructive forum feedback, a few more revisions have been made to the layout. Also a small turntable has been added, where the locs that are going to pull the cargo trains out of the terminals can be turned around.

Traffic wise, I decided on having 2 'Intercity' trains. They run only on the mainline and they have a stop at station West, lane 3 and 4, and sometimes at North lane 4. But they never enter the terminal stations. Then there are two shuttle passenger trains and two cargo trains that can drive everywhere, they also enter and stop at the terminal stations.

The layout is simulated with 'Eisenbahn-X'. That way traffic flow can be visualized and possible problems or bottlenecks can already be found before building the layout in real. In the sim train traffic is fully random, with the only restriction that the two Intercity trains never enter a terminal station. For those who own EEP-X, the layout and LUA code can be downloaded here.

The videos shows that train traffic actually runs quite smooth. Please don't look at the backward driving of the cargo trains. Decoupling and coupling of another loco is not included in the sim.

Some times trains have to wait a bit, until the block they want to enter becomes free, but not in a way that it looks disturbing. The South loop single track does not seem to be much of a bottleneck. It more looks like station West lane 3 and 4 (where all trains halt) are the bottleneck of the layout. Also it canbe noticed that there is very little traffic at terminal South lne 3 and 4. My bet is that with some tuning of parameters in PC control software this might be improved a bit.

All and all I think this is the layout that is going to be built ...

Here are two video's:
- This one has comments that explain things a bit.
- This one just shows some minutes of LUA controlled train traffic.

 

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RudyB
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
To make space to set up the tables for the layout, 2 large bureau tables need to be sold first.

In the mean time some investigative work has been done on how to mount the servo drives for the points under the table.

There are many ways to do it ... this is possibly one of the simplest and cheapest ways. Link to the video.

 

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RudyB
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yesterday some good progress has been made ... the tables are placed. I really have to thank hobby club friend Richard. Without his help it would not have been possible to accomplish this.

The two pictures show the metamorphosis. A few more pictures can be found on the blog via this link.

The tables are not finished yet. A 7mm soft top layer is planned for sound damping and I'm also planning a heightened edge along the sides, such that rolling stock can't fall off the table and it probably will also improve the looks a bit.

From:


To:
 

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To my mind the best of both worlds; end to end and continuous running.

May I ask for some clarification please?

Can you print the plan with some dimensions please?

What track are you using please?

I was going to raise a topic which no doubt has been raised previously.

I have never been able to decide which type of layout is best for sheer, "playing at trains" but I would imagine yours to be very close to an ideal?

I hope some dimensions can be added and I can see if I have the room for something similar.

Sarah Winfield
 

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Nice work Rudy, looking good


Interesting info on the servo setup - i'm intending to use servos to drive the points on my layout ( as yet unstarted
) Be interested to hear how you intend to power the servos. I was thinking of using 555 timer circuits as they are simple and cheap if possibly a little old fashioned
 

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RudyB
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Hi Sarah.

'Ideal'? Well ... yeah ... close!


It's all in the eye of the beholder. The design greatly depends on the purpose one has with a layout. This layout is totally unrealistic and it has too much track on too small a surface. But I like to play with the electronics and the computer control, not so much with scenery or 'exact' representations of real world. This layout caters to my needs.

The outer dimension is 300 x 300 cm. The top-left blob is 180x180 and the bottom-right blob is 120x120. I uploaded the SCARM file, please feel free to use it to your liking. You can find it here: https://app.box.com/s/w3di09c2sk8frf6rbeh7

The track is Peco HO 75. The points are electrofrog SLE191 and SLE192.

Space constraints always are an issue. I hope you will be able to find, or to figure out, your 'ideal' layout. I'm curious to see what you're going to come up with, will you let us know?
 
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