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Selecting a Track Plan

1905 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  the volebender general
Unlike our four wheeled friends a model train layout does not lend itself to temporary layouts or heaven forbid running on a rug. Given that limitation there must be at least a a couple dozen books with nothing but track plans that vary anywhere from a simple oval to huge walk-around plans. Being limited to my library I was on the lookout for a decent bookshelf layout that I would not soon tire of.

I had always thought of myself as more of a "passenger guy" rather than a "freight guy". That is until I canvassed my roster and found that most of my locomotives would be happier hauling freight. In the United States and I suspect the same goes for the UK and Europe it is the freight customer that pays the bill. In the US more than other country train travel is a shadow of what it once was and most modellers being more familiar with seeing long freight trains lashed to multi-unit consists naturally choose to represent the same type of trains on their layout.

What I have decided upon is a layout that would support both freight and passenger traffic, a fair bit of switching yet would allow me the pleasure of just watching the trains run. Now it was just a matter of finding that "perfect" layout. Oh did I mention that it had to fit on a bookshelf? The layout pictured, with some modification should fit the bill.

The yard and staging tracks have been reduced and squeezed in the middle. Continuous running is provided through the use of return loops on each end to give the illusion that the trains are returning from where they had traveled to earlier rather than circumventing the earth as in an oval. Since the track length is so short this is still somewhat up to the imagination of the viewer. The roundhouse is obviously an important feature of the layout as I have a bad habit of collecting locomotives.
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QUOTE I have a bad habit of collecting locomotives.
First of all, let's straighten that right out - it's a GOOD habit.
Don't let anyone tell you any different!

A very attractive drawing, but I can't quite figure out the reversing loops - or is that modification still to be applied?
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I need to modify the layout to fit my finall design. The "reversing loops" still need to be added. They are actually more like return loops to be exact. The important feature that I want to use from this layout is the freight yard.

I know this is very late. But I think your plan Ozark Lines is fantastic. I should do! When i saw it something struck me straight away. It is an enlarged version of mine!! Down to the staging curving to make more space and the yard opposite the MPD. Even more, the choke points either side of the staging!!!

How many feet did you have to play with? I only had 15 by 8 Feet?Hence no large through yard for me, just a double exchange line.

Your thinking is very much like my own too in most matters. Long, (er, 9 foot)passsenger trains, The Americans call it 'the varish', lots of Locos and me working the smaller freight operations.
Mine is BR Southern in circa 1965.

To do this by myself, the computer will be running four passengers, the varnish, and a handed over freight, while I shunt the yards or just watch.

In my planning I was influenced by the great I. Rice here of course, but clearly reading the US Railway modeller for three years and Lynn H Westcott had a profound effect on me. I can see it in your design too.

Is it built yet?Once you tell me the layout size I should be able to guess your train length.

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This is where dreams hit reality! My actually layout will only represent a miniature version of the track plan as I only have a fraction of the space. like 30" by 12 ft. It's still in the build stage though I am determined to laydown the yard when I return from Orlando this weekend. Also remember the scale that I am operating is N and not OO or even HO.

But the idea is as you relate. It's all about having points of focus and how do I accomplish that in a small layout. I hope to have three points of interest. The yard, the passenger station and a freight station.

Now you say N, I can see the size detail in N scale writing in the datum section. Its funny what Americans call small. In OO this is a mediun to large layout.

As I said for one person operation this type of design is just about as good as it gets. Can you send the pic again so it can be enlarged?

Re choke points.

In the old days it would be pointed out that (You/ me) have created a choke point either side of the yard that requires constant point changing and only one train.
For me, the great merit of computer control dcc for single handed operation is that these choke sections of track are not a problem. Indeed, I quiet deliberately made my two track main line in effect a passing loop in order to have the computer stop and start trains for my amusement. I only hope it works.

Re Station.

In my small space that was the first thing to be designed out!

Re turntable in MPD.

This went second!

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