Proposed 8 x 8 layout - comments appreciated!

Any questions about designing a model railway layout or problems with track work.
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ngresley
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Location: Canberra, Australia

Proposed 8 x 8 layout - comments appreciated!

Postby ngresley » Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:20 am

After some mucking around with an 8x4ft (2.4 x 1.2m) baseboard I came to the conclusion it was too limiting and so for my first "real" OO gauge layout I've enlarged it. Funny shape is to allow to make the most of a free area in the garage. Here's the plan so far (note that some bits, eg freight handling, are still rudimentary and I haven't neatly fitted all connections). I've used sectional track in curves for simplicity, but will be using flexible track in the real thing. No. 1 radius curves are only used on the shunting area. Most points are short radius Hornby.

It is to be BR early '60s (ie steam and green diesel). I've tried to cram a lot into it (too much?). It's essentially a fiddle-yard to terminus layout with a loop option and a branch line.

The branch line should clear the main lines at a height of c. 80mm with a grade of 1 in 40 - I only intend to run short freights or a couple of carriages on it pulled by an 0-6-0, so could I go steeper to get to 100mm (say 1 in 35)? It will then continue to rise at the same gradient, so the terminus should be c. 20cm (ie 8 inches) above the main level.

Going from right to left it features:

fiddle yard - uses curved points to maximise the length of the sidings

main terminus - has twin line platform. No loco escape, as I intend to use a pilot loco. To the left is a siding that combines carriage storage, branch line terminus and access to loco facilities (loco facilities to the bottom of the terminus aren't fully planned yet).

operator "hole"

inner line for shunting (both freight to the left and pilot loco for carriages on the right, with a single slip involved in allowing the latter). Note freight layout isn't fully planned.

branch line terminus.

Note that the top and right-hand areas are only accessible via the "hole".

Control will be DCC.

Any thoughts or suggestions so far? I know it's a lot of track in a small area which will reduce scenic possibilities, but I'm more interested in maximising operational interest than in scenery.

layout.jpeg
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"I'd like to die quietly in my sleep like my grandfather, rather than screaming in terror like his passengers"

nickbrad
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Location: Lincoln, UK

Re: Proposed 8 x 8 layout - comments appreciated!

Postby nickbrad » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:40 pm

Certainly is a lot going on, with the danger that it could look too much like the train set type layouts with trains everywhere and not really having a purpose. (This isn't a bad thing though if realism isn't your main priority.) Operationally it has great scope though, a couple of trains set to run round on the main lines while you operate the branch line or even some shunting and playing around in the station area.

As a home layout with the emphasis on fun rather than realism, I think it would be very successful.

smallman28
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Re: Proposed 8 x 8 layout - comments appreciated!

Postby smallman28 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:21 pm

Overly complicated.
Lots of pointless sidings/points that are too short to be of any real practical use.
There seems to be the idea that you need lots of points to make a layout interesting and that just aint so.
You could probably loose half the track and still have something good.
With the turntable you also have at least one reversing loop that I can see.

locoworks
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Location: isle of man

Re: Proposed 8 x 8 layout - comments appreciated!

Postby locoworks » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:24 pm

smallman28 wrote:Overly complicated.
Lots of pointless sidings/points that are too short to be of any real practical use.
There seems to be the idea that you need lots of points to make a layout interesting and that just aint so.
You could probably loose half the track and still have something good.
With the turntable you also have at least one reversing loop that I can see.



what reversing loop?? that track looks like it goes up or down in height and circumnavigates anticlockwise to the branch terminus at the top left. it never rejoins anywhere to create an electrical issue. but yes, it is a little crowded.

smallman28
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Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 12:54 pm

Re: Proposed 8 x 8 layout - comments appreciated!

Postby smallman28 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:02 pm

locoworks wrote:
smallman28 wrote:Overly complicated.
Lots of pointless sidings/points that are too short to be of any real practical use.
There seems to be the idea that you need lots of points to make a layout interesting and that just aint so.
You could probably loose half the track and still have something good.
With the turntable you also have at least one reversing loop that I can see.



what reversing loop?? that track looks like it goes up or down in height and circumnavigates anticlockwise to the branch terminus at the top left. it never rejoins anywhere to create an electrical issue. but yes, it is a little crowded.


But given the turntable will only turn 180 degrees to change a locos direction wouldn't that create a reversing issue?
Maybe "loop" wasn't the best choice of words :D

locoworks
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Location: isle of man

Re: Proposed 8 x 8 layout - comments appreciated!

Postby locoworks » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:45 pm

smallman28 wrote:
locoworks wrote:
smallman28 wrote:Overly complicated.
Lots of pointless sidings/points that are too short to be of any real practical use.
There seems to be the idea that you need lots of points to make a layout interesting and that just aint so.
You could probably loose half the track and still have something good.
With the turntable you also have at least one reversing loop that I can see.



what reversing loop?? that track looks like it goes up or down in height and circumnavigates anticlockwise to the branch terminus at the top left. it never rejoins anywhere to create an electrical issue. but yes, it is a little crowded.


But given the turntable will only turn 180 degrees to change a locos direction wouldn't that create a reversing issue?
Maybe "loop" wasn't the best choice of words :D


i see what you mean now, reversing loop is something totally different. the turntable may need modding to make it suitable for DCC, but that is a different issue.

Bigmet
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Proposed 8 x 8 layout - comments appreciated!

Postby Bigmet » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:30 am

This will work operationally, as long as you are happy with the trains being symbolic of reality. There were plenty of cramped suburban service terminii in the UK where small engines were all that could be used, simply to make the most of platform space. Two 50' to 57' coaches to represent the trains, behind an N2, M7 or Jinty could represent a Moorgate, London Bridge or Broad Street type service. Diesel or electric replacements in the form of a two car DMU or EMU (Bach having announced the 2EPB) can also be got RTR. A small Bo-Bo or rod coupled diesel for the goods (and are you ever spoilt for choice now, classes 03/04, 08, 14, 15, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 33, 35, 73) of perhaps half a dozen wagons max, to shunt into all the rail served industries along an urban line. The important thing is not to overload it with stock. There is only space for about six small locos, four short coaches, and about a dozen wagons, as it stands. Lose the turntable (the tank engines that would have worked in such an environment and any diesels don't need it) and there is more space for a little goods yard and a stabling siding for the locos.

Scenically you could do a surprising amount with a layout like this. In cramped city environments the track really was packed in, on brick built viaducts (with little businesses occupying many of the arches) weaving through industrial, office and warehouse structures.

One thing I would advise, try if at all possible to use the small Peco streamline point. The live frog is so worth having on what will be a slow speed layout, as short wheelbase locos can go at the dead slow speed DCC makes easy to achieve with no risk of stalling; and it really isn't that much bigger than the set track point, yet the running reliability is way better.

rocketman
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Re: Proposed 8 x 8 layout - comments appreciated!

Postby rocketman » Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:11 pm

What is happening here now?
rocketman

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ngresley
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Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:18 am
Location: Canberra, Australia

Re: Proposed 8 x 8 layout - comments appreciated!

Postby ngresley » Sat Apr 17, 2010 11:35 am

rocketman wrote:What is happening here now?
rocketman


I've been reading, reading, reading, asking questions on this site, building up stocks of stuff (eg ballast and tools), making card kits of buildings and doing some experiments with set track. Finally I'm starting construction proper with the branch terminus, as it's (a) simple (b) there's umpteen examples to check out (c) it involves most of the skills I'll need on the main part but on a smaller scale. You can see the mockup at viewtopic.php?f=44&t=27136.

Since then I've cut the ply sheet to shape and started glueing down cork underlay. I'll post further developments when I have something to show!

I've taken on bigmet's advice to make the main line part of the layout urban, and to help plan this have just gotten a long-awaited copy of Iain Rice's book "Designs for Urban Layouts" from the UK. The main line design has changed considerably and will undoubtably change considerably more. Note, however, that I've had the main line baseboards completed for ages.

cheers,

Malcolm
"I'd like to die quietly in my sleep like my grandfather, rather than screaming in terror like his passengers"


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