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Hi
Following on from my first post in the Welcome forum, i have some more questions - as I haven't yet made up my mind on what scale to work in I felt this was the best place to ask these questions.

I am returning to the hobby after many years of not having the time etc.

I will openly admit despite not being great at these things i find the model making aspect of the hobby as rewarding, if not slightly more so, than running the trains.

So - i am looking to build a new layout - nothing to grand, but am planning to put it in my loft as this is the only room i have. I have several questions that i would be grateful if members could answer me...

What books of track plans are there, that you would recommend? I ask as i have seen some negative comments. I understand it is highly unlikely that i will be able to copy one verbatim, but i think it may be able to give me some ideas of what i can get in the space available.

I would look to do something with a shunting/ goods yard of some sort, but if possible may put a loop in (i have horrid memories from my childhood, of getting engrossed trying to un-couple some wagons whilst letting my dads favourite engine run straight though the buffers taking a full rake of carriages with them... it gets wore as most of them ended up going though the open loft hatch to the floor below - this was a painful experience in more ways than one...
- so this is realy just a safety thing to protect against my absent mindedness!

Scale - i think from a detail point of view the OO scale is probably best for me, but i would appreciate comments. I have also been reading about P4 but am a little confused on this - i know this mainly to do with track guage - but does it affect line side accessories and buildings - or are HO/OO building kits acceptable?

Hand built track - while i am at it - does anyone know of any good on-line tutorials on how to actualy build track? I have seen Templot which designs track and other track layout software, but i have not seen anything on the actual mechanics of building the stuff. I have seen some very expensive templates from a company called "Fast Tracks" but this is way more than i think most individuals would want to spend... so how do you go about laying hand built track - curving rails etc??

Sorry if these are real 'noob' questions but i am getting hung up on them instead of splashing the cash and diving in...

Any comments greatly received.

Greenboy
 

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I build my own track & to be honest i dont find it to difficult once you understand the basic principles of track construction. The new dvd see here http://www.model-railway-dvd.co.uk/ is all about trackwork &by the main man Norman Soloman. Great dvd &their is a little video on that site to show you what to expect. You can buy a point kit from either www.marcway.co.uk which is copper & rail or www.finescale.org.uk where you can buy C & L point kits which are 25 pounds each. They contain all parts to build a point with greatly detailed parts including chairs etc & the point blades & crossings are ready built. They are not very hard to build &come with roller gauges in 3 scales depending on which you want to model. Personally i dont like the C&L kits their expensive & flimpsy.
You can build ply & rivet points but their more for p4 & em gauges i will in the near future be building a em point using a plan drawn on templot & using ply & rivet construction.

Hope that helps.

Alberta
 

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Hi there

there are lots of questions there so i have broken your post down a bit.

QUOTE (GreenBoy)What books of track plans are there, that you would recommend? I ask as i have seen some negative comments. I understand it is highly unlikely that i will be able to copy one verbatim, but i think it may be able to give me some ideas of what i can get in the space available.

There are books out there, but really i woudlnt buy one. Go through as many websites as you can find and look at track plans and look at other people's layouts. if you really want some bedtime reading then Cyrel Freezers track plan book is still in print i think. its available from peco or just about any decent model shop.
I have never seen a layout built to a track plan in a book. they are always adjusted to one's own tastes.

QUOTE (GreenBoy)Scale - i think from a detail point of view the OO scale is probably best for me, but i would appreciate comments. I have also been reading about P4 but am a little confused on this - i know this mainly to do with track guage - but does it affect line side accessories and buildings - or are HO/OO building kits acceptable?

In short, OO and P4 are the same scale (4mm:Foot) but OO is incorrect in that whe rails are too close together, P4 corrects this. Continental models are built to the slightly smaller HO scale (3.5mm:Foot) but the track is the correct width. Both HO and OO use a track width of 16.5mm. so if you have mates with OO stuff or fancy doing a bit of continental or think one day you may want to get a german loco on holiday then i suggest you stick with OO/HO.
in theory it does effect the lineside buildings. but i find the difference in scale small enough that it dosent bother me in the slightest.

QUOTE (GreenBoy)Hand built track - while i am at it - does anyone know of any good on-line tutorials on how to actualy build track? I have seen Templot which designs track and other track layout software, but i have not seen anything on the actual mechanics of building the stuff. I have seen some very expensive templates from a company called "Fast Tracks" but this is way more than i think most individuals would want to spend... so how do you go about laying hand built track - curving rails etc??

I dont know of any tutorials, but i would suggest you get a C&L kit and just get some real hands on experience. its really not difficult. the kits come with the frogs and switch rails ready made but i think thats a bit lazy as its really not difficult to make your own by pressing a rail against a large carborundum disc in a mini drill. the first one you make will probably not be good enough for a layout, but the second probably will be.
incidently i find some of the C&L kits have enough parts for 1.5 points. so with 2 kits you can usually make 3 points.

i would suggest you get a set of templates (or invest in temlot). they are very usefull for planning and will also give you a better idea of whats involved.

Next time you are stuck on a cold wet station because your train is running late, take a look at the line. see the positions of the check rails and how evrything seems to flow.

google earth is also good for track plans. see how the big boys do it!

QUOTE (GreenBoy)Sorry if these are real 'noob' questions but i am getting hung up on them instead of splashing the cash and diving in...

No problem. Its what we are here for.

You need to think very seriously about what scale you choose. i dont know how old you are but you may be able to model in N gauge now, but will you still be able to see those tiny parts in 5 or 10 years time? if you choose P4 then you are basically building kits. you may enjoy this but there will be times when you just want to see things run to unwind at the end of a stressfull day. i suggest you go for OO/HO.

Peter
 

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The whole range of those dvd,s are great they are good simply because they run you thru the whole sequence start to finish & make sure they point out the tricky bits. I really enjoyed them & they help you no end. But the best way to learn is to have a go try to find the old smp kits their about a fiver & come with a plan , copper & rail & instructions & if you mess up it is a fiver wasted & alesson learned.
 
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