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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm about to be "evicted" from my computer/railway room to make way for my son moving out of his small room so that the daughter can move out of *our* room and get her own room (confused yet?) - upshot is that while the OO gauge railway will still be there and I will still be able to work on it, it won't be near my PC after I move which is going to make developing railway interface software more time consuming as I'll need to upload each build on to my sons computer (which will be in the railway room) for testing instead of just running it as I do currently.

I'm being moved downstairs on to what used to be the dining room table, it hasn't served that purpose for a couple of years already as my wife used it as a crafting table. She's going elsewhere so i've got a reasonably sized table - I won't have a huge amount of room on that table beyond the PC and other bits, but it does occur to me that a smallish N gauge layout ought to be quite plausible. If placed on its own board it could be easily moved for when family or friends visit and expect to eat in a civilised manner but for other times, it would be readily available for testing. I can use the Li-101f and Compact for the downstairs interface (doubt son will let me have his Elite somehow
) so really what it boils down to is - does anyone have any pointers to sites, suggestions etc for something interesting and small in n-gauge.

Period etc I don't really mind or care about, it won't be much of a model railway more of a train set but I do want to capture some interesting elements on it to help me when I'm doing the software. It'll obviously be DCC, so largely will be getting whatever kind of stock comes in DCC ready format, I expect it'll be things like 37's and 66's plus maybe an occasionally borrowed Q1 or 9F.

Another option is something creative in OO gauge (which may be preferable given that's what all my stock is) though this would probably best be an end-to-end style layout.

Space-wise probably looking about half a normal sized dining room table, I don't have dimensions to hand.

Suggestions greatfully received!

Matt.
 

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Hi Matthew,

Suggest you get hold of a book from Railway Modeller entitled '60 Plans for Small Locations' by C.J. Freezer. The plans are all 00 but can easily be resized to suit N Gauge.

Regards,

Expat.
 

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CJ Freezer also did an N Gauge Track Plans book.
There are half a dozen 4' by 2' layouts at the begining.

One thing to watch for is that some of the newer models have a recommended minimum radius of 12".
My experience is that most models will work on 9" curves but sometimes a little reluctantly. Your track laying skills have to be pretty good as well with tight radiuses. It is worth investing in some track setting curves if you are using flexible track.

I have a portable layout that usually runs on top of the dining table. It is 2'6" by 5'6" with a hinged fold down fiddle yard making it another foot wider.
When not in use it sits on end taking up only 1' by 2'6". I can get away with this lurking in the corner of the dining room without causing too much strife.

My layout is a simple continuous circuit with passing loop and a couple of sidings at the scenic front and a fiddle yard at the back. I let my kids (age 5 and 7) play with it pretty much as they choose so it helps that it is robust. The Lydle End buildings can take a fair bit of hammer.

It is worth looking out for Tomix n gauge Thomas trains if your son is small and you want to get him interested. I always show a few of the Tomas engines when I am exhibiting and the under fives love them. The are occasionally for sale on eBay or you can import them from Japan.

I'd also recommend joining the N Gauge Society if your new to N gauge. Their handbook is pretty useful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Jon and others,

Thanks for the feedback. My 4 yr old son is already a dab hand with the OO gauge railway upstairs, hence why he won't let me take his Hornby Elite downstairs with me
He has gone through the Hornby Thomas phase, and is currently enjoying a combination of prototypical (Eurostars, HST's, Class 90's etc) and Underground Ernie


Only really planning on using set-track to be honest, probably start with the peco starter kit and then buy some other bits to make it hang together, it won't get scenery or anything - it'll be purely a functional layout to test my software on.

I'll try and find that CJFreezer book and look for some other ideas at Ally Pally this weekend as well.

Thanks again!

Matt.
 

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I prefer Kato track for N scale. No ballasting to do, fits together securely and has integrated point motors. No need to cut holes in the dining room table. :)
 

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Completely agree re the Kato track. It is by far the best set track on the market.
It is robust enough to take apart and put back together again and again.
Why not ditch the base board and have a different layout everytime!

We use Kato track for our local club meetings at each others houses. We use Kato track to set up a temporary circuit on the dining table to show off our latest purchases winding their way through a forest of cups of tea and mountains of cake. When we are done it all goes back in a wee box.

MG Sharps of Sheffield is a good place to get it from.
 
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