The 00 6'x4' trackplans thread

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whistlehead
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The 00 6'x4' trackplans thread

Postby whistlehead » Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:00 pm

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Edit by Admin 1-9-17, This thread contains many broken links to images. Those to Imageshack re-direct the "Back arrow" to commercial advertising.
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Hi, everybody! This is my first post here, so I've decided to try to make it count.

Now, as I'm sure everybody here already knows, 6'x4' is a classic size. It is the size of many, many first layouts - including mine. But at present, almost all 6'x4' trackplans are not terribly good (with a few notable exceptions). The famous 6x4 Hornby Trakmat, the root of many a modeller nowadays, is, after its recent redesign, useless - and the old one wasn't brilliant.

As my tribute to this classic railway modelling icon, I'm starting a thread dedicated to 6x4 trackplans. Post away anything you've got - so long as it's 6'x4' and 00. You are allowed to reproduce existing designs (though not the Trakmat, or if the design is copyrighted)

I have a few to share, to start us off. Most of these are my own design, and the last one is directly adapted from a PECO n gauge plan.

---Plan 1---

Image

In basics: Country branchline through station with bay platform

Description: The smallest, in concept, layout here. This is a fairly typical branch line through station, easily adaptable to any era.

Pros: Continuous 2nd radius run, fairly realistic track layout, bay platform, short section of double track, goods yard can be operated independently of main line without disrupting operations.

Cons: Relatively small amount of track, short curved station, no proper run-round loop

---Plan 2---

Image

In basics: Small 3-track through station

Description: Basically, just what it says on the tin. It is difficult to place this in a real-world situation, so just let your mind run free! The main advantage of this layout is the central scenic space.

Pros: Undisrupted 2nd radius run, 3-track station, spare sidings for stock storage, fair amount of shunting opportunity, plenty of scenic space, run-round loop

Cons: Limited space around sidings in goods yard, short sidings, curved platforms

---Plan 3---

Image

In basics: Large branch through-station with bay platform

Description: This is, in terms of track, the largest layout here, with enormous amounts of shunting opportunity, a long continuous loop, a large station capable of holding a four-car train of MK1s or similar, a bay platform, a large shed, plenty of spare sidings for extra stock to be displayed on and a large goods yard. This station would probably be situated at the connection of two branch lines, or perhaps the junction between the branch and the main lines. As it stands, this line could represent anything from the late 1920s to the early 1970s, but could be quite easily adapted to almost any era.

Pros: Long 2nd radius run, big chunk of 3rd radius, lots of track, plenty of shunting opportunity, station can hold four carriages on the clockwise platform, bay platform, large goods yard, long train storage siding, large loco shed

Cons: Limited scenic space if anything other than railway facilities are required, no proper run-round loop, 1st radius

---Plan 4---

Image

In basics: Small main-line 3-track through station

Description: Basically, an enlargement on the same theme as trackplan #2 - but with a full dual-track loop, a bigger station, a longer run and more storage. This trackplan would be ideal to represent a steam-age main-line in a limited space, or could very easily be adapted to modern times, running HSTs or local units, perhaps with the addition of a large industry in the place of the goods yard.

Pros: Run-round loop, 3-track station, spare sidings for storage, two-track loco shed, plenty of scenic space

Cons: Inner loop is 1st radius, outer platform is only capable of holding two carriages

---Plan 5---

Image

In basics: Branch line through station

Description: This has been adapted from an N gauge PECO plan for 3x2. It is a very simple layout, consisting simply of the basic elements needed for a model railway - a station, a small goods yard and a shed. The loco shed is optional and unprototypical, but most people want to show off their engines a bit. An ideal starter layout, which could easily be adapted for higher purposes.

Pros: Simple track layout, long straights, dual-track main line, run-round loop, goods yard, very long platform and basically everything you need on a railway

Cons: Not much in the way of stock storage

---

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So, what can you guys come up with? I'm looking forward to some beautiful trackplans!
Last edited by whistlehead on Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The 00 6'x4' trackplans thread

Postby Metallicadam » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:36 pm

Hi,

Interesting thread! As someone who only has HVR2 to play with at the moment, i'll try my best to come up with a few 6x4's for you.
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Re: The 00 6'x4' trackplans thread

Postby Metallicadam » Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:30 pm

OK, here's my first attempt:

There's a 3rd radius continuous loop for passenger trains, a 2nd radius inner loop for goods and enough room in the centre for loco sheds.

I'd originally planned for the top left and right bits to be where the loco sheds could go and was going to have a second station in the centre but it was too close to the main one.

The offshoots at the bottom are just for the sake of having more rail if i'm honest and would probably be put there with the intention of future expansion links.

Could cover the back bits to create a bot of staging?

Main negatives i can see are that the station kinda looks a bit naff? and there's not much room for scenary. Also it's clearly a layout for someone like me who just wants to run trains...but then again...i can't imagine a grand prototypical layout on a 6x4 (ignorance of course!)

I may have a play after tea and try something else...
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Re: The 00 6'x4' trackplans thread

Postby whistlehead » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:47 am

After a while, I'm back - with something a bit different this time! I'm pleased with this one...

---Plan 6---

Image
Image

In basics: End-to-end country branchline

Description: An end-to-end line with runaround facilities and goods yards at both ends, to represent a country branch line. This could be used on its own, or with a fiddle yard to (a) complete the loop or (b) feed main-line trains into the inside tracks of the grand terminus station, giving the impression of a branch line breaking off from a main-line. Personally, I recommend option b, as this will ad operational interest, viewing interest and a purpose to the layout, rather than simply running trains from end-to-end. However, I have experimented with running trains on a virtual version - and I am happy that it can be comfortably used on its own.

Pros: Model a full working railway in 6x4! The headshunts for the runarounds can house large engines, large goods yard, impressive terminus station, bay platform, engine shed.

Cons: Passenger trains have to be two-car, or they won't fit in the runaround loops (no great disadvantage on this kind of layout), not much scenic space for anything other than hills, station throat requires a section of flexitrack to work (not a real problem), no continuous run

---

I'm very pleased with this layout, and I think it would make an ideal starter layout for the modeller who wishes to move away from the simple oval track.

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Re: The 00 6'x4' trackplans thread

Postby Metallicadam » Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:30 pm

Gotta say, i really like that one - at first i was turned off as i'm not really for end to end, but i kept staring and i reckon thats quite a nice lil' playset there.

I'm working on a shunting one as i type...
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Re: The 00 6'x4' trackplans thread

Postby locoworks » Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:26 am

Metallicadam wrote:OK, here's my first attempt:

There's a 3rd radius continuous loop for passenger trains, a 2nd radius inner loop for goods and enough room in the centre for loco sheds.

I'd originally planned for the top left and right bits to be where the loco sheds could go and was going to have a second station in the centre but it was too close to the main one.

The offshoots at the bottom are just for the sake of having more rail if i'm honest and would probably be put there with the intention of future expansion links.

Could cover the back bits to create a bot of staging?

Main negatives i can see are that the station kinda looks a bit naff? and there's not much room for scenary. Also it's clearly a layout for someone like me who just wants to run trains...but then again...i can't imagine a grand prototypical layout on a 6x4 (ignorance of course!)

I may have a play after tea and try something else...


:-)

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Re: The 00 6'x4' trackplans thread

Postby NEvans » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:26 am

Metallicadam wrote:There's a 3rd radius continuous loop for passenger trains, a 2nd radius inner loop for goods and enough room in the centre for loco sheds. I'd originally planned for the top left and right bits to be where the loco sheds could go and was going to have a second station in the centre but it was too close to the main one.
Main negatives i can see are that the station kinda looks a bit naff? and there's not much room for scenary. Also it's clearly a layout for someone like me who just wants to run trains...


As someone who also just wants to run trains, would say looks good.

If not then plan 1 the basic loop looked fairly good to me.
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Re: The 00 6'x4' trackplans thread

Postby tom_ibiza » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:15 pm

hello i thought id throw in a picture of my layout design as its 6x4 and 00 gauge so here you go

Image

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Re: The 00 6'x4' trackplans thread

Postby kebang » Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:47 am

I submitted this one to the free rail plans forum a month ago. In my opinion its not as interesting as the original 8 x 4 I drew, but that wouldn't fit in this thread!

This only just fits on 6x4, but it uses 2nd rad curves throughout. It would fit very comfortable by using 1strad curves.

6x4dumbellsplit.png
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Re: The 00 6'x4' trackplans thread - new layout!

Postby whistlehead » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:06 pm

Thread revival 8)

This one's a little bit special, I think. :idea:

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Upper layer
Image

Lower layer
Image

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Needless to say, it's a two-level layout with a small terminus and a continuous run below.There is possibility for (minimal) goods activity, and if carefully co-ordinated, I think this layout could just about handle three trains! Th split level arrangement of the layout allows for a much more ambitious scheme, as most flat 6x4s only have room for one station. Thanks to the fact that there is no visible link between the two stations, the eye can see them as entirely independent, maybe at a crossing of two branch lines, adding a much-needed sense of reality to the humble 6x4. This arrangement also creates a far more interesting visual effect than a flat board with some trees and houses on it.

The upper layer contains the terminus. It is raised to a height of three inches, to allow for a train plus the thickness of the upper board between it and the track below. It has a curved platform, room for a goods shed, a short spur at the end of the runaround and a loco shed/spur. It is connected to the lower level by a gradient section.

The gradient begins at the upper station throat and ends at the tunnelmouth on the lower layer, allowing a gradient of 3% - easily acceptable by most standards, especially with this kind of train length - all the way down and more than enough clearance for it to fit into the tunnel.

The lower layer has a small island platform, like the ones on many Scottish lines, which could be connected to the world outside by a pedestrian crossing or a footbridge, perhaps. The building on the plan is the Hornby Skale Regis Great Northern Waiting Room, to prove it fits, but this is only for illustration. It also has a goods siding.

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In terms of scenery, I've come up with two possible ideas.

First, a country scene, perhaps based on the Scottish Highlands, there the lower station platform fits in a treat, and the steep hills are easily acceptable.
Image

Secondly, a more urban location, which could be in any city in the UK.
Image

Take them as they stand, modify 'em or scrap 'em and re-design the scenery wholesale! Maybe switch the upper goods siding and loco spur around, and paint an industry of some sort on the backscene for trains to 'deliver' to. Or perhaps fill the central space of the urban layout with a gasworks, I dunno! Whatever you like!

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Due to the multiple stations, this layout allows the trains somewhere to run to, creating a form of true layout operation!

In operation, I'd recommend using two trains. Rolling stock depends on era and location, though the trackplan is probably not suited to the modern day. a four-or-five wagon goods train and a two-carriage passenger train (loco-hauled or DMU). Here's a sample session:

1 ) Beginning on the upper level with the passenger train in the station and the goods train split with the loco in the loco shed, the brakevan in the short spur by the platform end and the wagons in the goods siding, the passenger train would run down to the lower level station. It would circulate the track clockwise for some time, then run around in the platform and circulate anti-clockwise.
2 ) Meanwhile, the goods engine would collect the wagons and back them onto the break van.
3 ) The passenger train would then ascend the incline to the upper station. Upon arrival, the goods train would set off for the lower level.
4 ) The goods train would then leave the brakevan in one of the platform loops, and pull the wagons forwards, before reversing them into the goods siding.
5 ) Meanwhile, the passenger train runs around.
6 ) The goods engine then collects the brakevan, backs it onto the wagons and draws them out of the siding.
7 ) It reverses them into the station, and runs around, then waits in the platform.
8 ) The passenger train then descends the incline, and stops in the other platform.
9 ) The goods train sets off for the upper station. When it arrives, it runs around, then draws the wagons backwards before pushing them into the goods siding. It then deposits the brakevan in the spur, before retiring to the loco shed/spur.
10 ) The passenger train circulates the lower loop for however long you like, before running around and heading back up to the top.
11 ) The passenger train runs around, and the fun starts all over again!

This is only an example of how to run it, I'm sure there are other (probably more prototypical) ways! Or you can just watch trains run around until your eyes start to swivel! :D

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In more technical terms, the layout has a minimum curve width of 2nd radius, with 3rd radius on the incline curves. to avoid problems associated with tightly curved inclines. Track is PECO Setrack throughout, as I believe this to be of a better quality than the Hornby standard track (especially the points which have smaller 'dead zones'), though if this is what you prefer then a conversion table is avaliable here: http://www.newrailwaymodellers.co.uk/track-conversion.htm. You might need a little bit of flexitrack in the station though, as the curved points don't quite match up.

Since it has no reversing loop, the layout has no complex wiring issues to face, especially in DCC form, so I think even a beginner could achieve it without too much difficulty. For DCC operation I recommend inserting power in both lower platform roads, the middle of the incline and at the end of every terminating track (sidings, headshunts, spurs). In analogue form, you'd want isolating sections in the loco shed/spur, at the top of the incline and at the ends of both lower platform roads, or perhaps a dual-controller setup, one for the upper level and one for the lower level.

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To sum up.

This layout is a dual-layer, single-track secondary/branch line with plenty of scenic potential.

---Pros:---
- Minimum 2nd radius
- Two stations - proper operation possible
- Plenty of scenic potential
- More interesting than a flat 6x4
- Can be made wholly with Setrack parts (easier for beginners)
- Loco storage for one long or two short engines
- Goods operation potential
- Simple wiring
- Suitable for analogue and DCC operation
- Looooooop (for those who like to sit and watch the trains go by)
- Can be operated as a train set or a true layout

---Cons---
- Not a lot that isn't purely due to the bulk of a 6x4 as an object, but I guess that the lower loop could do with a brakevan spur
- Not much stock storage

I would recommend this layout to anyone looking to build a 6x4 and doesn't need too much on-track storage.
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I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions, and would be honoured if anyone actually built this layout -I'd love to see it in reality.

Cheers,

Chris N :D

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Re: The 00 6'x4' trackplans thread

Postby Dragonfly » Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:05 pm

Holy moly, whistlehead... that's amazing!
When I saw just the trackwork, I thought "meh", but with the ideas of scenery it really falls into place. Great work!
Especially with the inner city work, well thought out and well detailed scenery and buildings on that would really make that a spectactular layout.
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Re: The 00 6'x4' trackplans thread

Postby whistlehead » Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:22 pm

Dragonfly wrote:Holy moly, whistlehead... that's amazing!
When I saw just the trackwork, I thought "meh", but with the ideas of scenery it really falls into place. Great work!
Especially with the inner city work, well thought out and well detailed scenery and buildings on that would really make that a spectactular layout.


Ta very muchly! :D The scenery would make the layout, I agree.

Glad you appreciate it!

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Re: The 00 6'x4' trackplans thread

Postby Essex2Visuvesi » Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:39 am

whistlehead wrote:
Dragonfly wrote:Holy moly, whistlehead... that's amazing!
When I saw just the trackwork, I thought "meh", but with the ideas of scenery it really falls into place. Great work!
Especially with the inner city work, well thought out and well detailed scenery and buildings on that would really make that a spectactular layout.


Ta very muchly! :D The scenery would make the layout, I agree.

Glad you appreciate it!


Thats amazing to see what can be fitted into a 6x4 area!
What Track planning software did you use?
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Re: The 00 6'x4' trackplans thread

Postby whistlehead » Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:10 am

Essex2Visuvesi wrote:Thats amazing to see what can be fitted into a 6x4 area!
What Track planning software did you use?


I'm surprised myself - I just started with the curved crossover and worked from there.

Software was Anyrail http://www.anyrail.com/download_en.html which is free for designs up to 50 objects, then you have to buy the full version. I find that if you use the shape tools instead of objects to represent buildings and foliage, 50 is normally enough.

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Re: The 00 6'x4' trackplans thread

Postby D2850 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:19 am

My contribution:

Image

The basic layout consists of the two towns on a small branch or light railway, somewhere in a rural area. Each occupies half of the board, and are separated by a backscene in the centre of the board.

The plan is adapted from an S scale plan in 8x4, intended for larger US outline stock, and published in Model Railroader magazine in 2004. With a smaller scale and shorter UK stock, the plan should give similar operation.

The upper half shows the interchange with the 'main' line, which crosses the entire board. Aside from the exchange point work I've put this in flexitrack - since it's a straight section and doesn't need power for operation, this shouldn't be a problem for most beginners. The main line is not used, although if room becomes available fiddle yards could be added at a later stage.

Below this is the junction yard. The line crossing the main would likely have an industry - I'd suggest a brewery, for reasons I'll get into shortly. Below the run-around loop is the goods yard - one road would have a goods shed whilst the other would be a coal siding. The siding on the right can have a loading platform.

Trains leave the station to the left, and if passenger trains are run there would be a platform between the main line and the branch to allow people to change trains. The train then heads around to the other station. If a platform is provided, it would be below the line, beside the loop. The siding to the left would have an engine shed, whilst that to the right would have the goods shed. The sidings inside the oval would consist of a loading platform and another industry, which is the line's main traffic source. For this, I suggest a Malthouse, which will supply the brewery on the far side of the layout. The last siding will hold the brake van and coach when not in use.

The line ends here, and the continuous circuit is only used for running in or entertaining visitors. Instead, the line beyond this has a cattle dock, and the coal yard is located beyond this, 'off scene'. On the far side, the loop is used to drop coal wagons from the main for the branch off, and leave the empties for the main line trains to pick up. This allows the coal wagons to run loaded and empty in the right direction - loaded wagons shunted into the invisible coal yard become new empties left by the main line, whilst empties left for the main line become unloaded wagons from the coal yard.

You'll probably struggle to fit standard hornby buildings on this layout, as there isn't all that much space. It is, however, a good excuse to try kit-bashing or scratch-building, and there is plenty of information online and in books and magazines regarding this.

Operation is quite simple. At the start of the day, the locomotive will come off shed and collect wagons and a coach for the first run. It then runs around the the junction, where it drops off it's wagons to pick up those left by the main line engines, and brings them back up the line. The process repeats as long as there are wagons to be moved, and as the wagons will be loaded/unloaded or swapped with others on the main line there can be more wagons as long as you want. Further, there may not be enough room at the appropriate terminal for all the wagons, which will have to be left for a later trip.

In terms of rolling stock, the line needs one small locomotive (although this can be changed between sessions). For a branch line, a small tank locomotive is recommended. The Hornby 'Terrier' is ideal, or for lines set elsewhere the Bachmann 57xx, 'Jinty', or Hornby J94 would substitute. For pre World War II LNER lines, the Bachmann J72 is probably best, although the Hornby J52 or J83 would substitute. Finally, the Model Rail/Dapol sentinel is perfect for this sort of line. A line like this would almost certainly have closed by 1968, but if you do prefer diesel power the Bachmann 03/04 would be most likely to be used for this work. As a light railway, again the Terrier or Sentinel are ideal, or for those on a tighter budge any of the Hornby 0-4-0s or a Bachmann 'Junior' tank eninge can be substituted. Again, the Bachmann 03/04 would suit for a diesel era layout, as would the Junior Diesel.

There's only a need for a single coach, and that only if you want a passenger service. The easiest option for this would be the Hornby 4-wheeler, but it's quite short and tall. The ratio plastic kit for the GWR 4-wheeler has better proportions and should go together fairly easily, or for those in the US Henrietta or Emily's coach from the Bachmann Thomas range would suit this sort of line quite well. In any case, don't go for the break coach - the guard will ride in the separate brake van. For the van, LMS, GWR and SR vans are available, as well as BR vans (which can be used for the LNER as well) are available, or for the more ambitious Smallbrook Studios do some nice resin kits for road vans (brake vans with space to carry goods or luggage) that fit on dapol chassis.

Goods stock is mostly vans and open wagons. At a minimum you'll have a wagon of coal in each direction, two vans for general merchandise in and agricultural produce out, a cattle wagon, possibly some building supplies in an open wagon and whatever other industries you have. With a Malthouse and Brewery, you can have bulk grain wagons running between each location, as well as some heading out to the main line. There's also casks and bottles into the brewery and the finished product out, which would most likely in vans or special wagons. For further interest, a small quarry or mine could exist beyond the unseen coal siding, which would switch empty and loaded wagons about in the same way.

Overall, you get a lot of activity and realistic operation in a small space, whilst retaining a continuous run. However, you only have a short run and can only really use one engine at a time (a second could be placed on the main line platform to represent a passenger train, but might disrupt the illusion of trains passing through unseen whilst focus is on the other end).
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