6x4 in OO. If it has to be...

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Emettman
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6x4 in OO. If it has to be...

Postby Emettman » Mon Nov 02, 2015 11:48 pm

Being a bit less well that usual these last few days, I've done very little at all. Not been capable of it.
But, while stuck even more prone I was able to play with Anyrail and ponder what could be done in that unduly popular starter size of 6ft by 4ft.

Taking one point from C J Freezer, "For my part I would have no truck with the solid 6' x 4'. " (Track Plans, 1964.) He goes on...
"But it is an entirely different matter if a hole is cut in the middle for the owner and operator. He than has everything within arm's reach."

But avoiding another feature of many of his plans, especially the earlier ones... No first radius curves (Hornby R604, R605 or equivalent.)
I didn't realise how much tougher that would make things.

Two here came out the sketching and culling process.
They can both handle three full length coaches plus a smallish tank loco as the longest train, and are designed to maximise operation.
(Shorter coaches would look better and, if compact enough, allow trains with more vehicles.)

Image

This one has two levels, but the main oval is all level.
The through station on the oval can also act as a terminus (it needs to!).
The oval has a hidden passing loop to increase capacity, but all the points are kept in the open.
(little lift-off sections of scenery could be added if preferred.)
The shorter terminus platform is for push-pull or diesel services, as well as being the goods headshunt.


[edit: 2nd layout and comment removed: it didn't get anyone's approval, including mine, on reflection.


An extra 2ft for an 8x4 layout would feel like freedom. The hidden loops and the goods sidings would almost certainly grab at the extra length.

At this point advocates of N may well be declaring these plans as very good at showing why N should be be preferred on a board, say, 6ft by 3ft.
They are welcome to add track plans here to entice those tempted by OO in what is, for it, a very restricted space.

Chris.
Last edited by Emettman on Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 6x4 in OO. If it has to be...

Postby luckymucklebackit » Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:26 am

Hi Emmetmann - I have been toying with a "retirement plan" should the loft ladder even become too much of a challenge, similar idea, use a 6x4 with central operating well, however I would go for one two platform station along one side of the layout with some hidden loops behind a retaining wall, and one Inglenook shunting yard on the other side, with a small shed tucked into a corner. I would avoid a station on a sharp curve, they inevitably look just wrong. Think that would be the maximum you could squeeze into a layout that size without going over to the dark side.

Jim
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Re: 6x4 in OO. If it has to be...

Postby Emettman » Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:17 am

luckymucklebackit wrote:Hi Emmetmann - ...however I would go for one two platform station along one side of the layout with some hidden loops behind a retaining wall, and one Inglenook shunting yard on the other side, with a small shed tucked into a corner. I would avoid a station on a sharp curve, they inevitably look just wrong. Think that would be the maximum you could squeeze into a layout that size without going over to the dark side.

Jim


I fully agree about the appearance of a station on a sharp curve having a dubious appearance.
If I drew for best appearance (again I hear in the distance N-gaugers crying "non-starter!") then rather less could be squeezed in for capacity or varied operation.
The two above I had in mind more for young enthusiasts... I like your ideas and may have a play with them. I suspect the "adult" version of a 6 x 4 may have two "scenes," one either side, with the ends having "off-stage" sections with the tightest curves and necessary rather than prototypical pointwork.

Are you sure the loops belong on the same side as the station? And would you want a turntable with that loco shed?
Hmm, how about 2 unconnected levels? On the inglenook and engine shed side the mainline crosses the scene on a viaduct. (the storage loops would be on the stationside as you thought! On the lower level maybe not a complete oval, but the line running off-scene to a small fiddle yard?

I suspect "tank engine plus three" would still be the limiting length. Small Prairie and B-set?

Chris
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Re: 6x4 in OO. If it has to be...

Postby luckymucklebackit » Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:56 am

Hi Chris - The turntable was a non starter, I envisaged using a fleet of 2-6-2/2-6-4 tanks or type 2 diesels on 57ft suburban stock augmented by DMUs, you could squeeze a two platform station with three loops behind a backscene into a 18" wide board, leaving 18" for the well and 12 " for the yard side. I don't have immediate access to drawing software but leave it with me

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Re: 6x4 in OO. If it has to be...

Postby ParkeNd » Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:31 pm

Sorry to hear you have felt less well than usual lately and that it has slowed you down more than usual. Hope you pick up again soon.

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Re: 6x4 in OO. If it has to be...

Postby Emettman » Tue Nov 03, 2015 9:35 pm

luckymucklebackit wrote:Hi Chris - The turntable was a non starter, I envisaged using a fleet of 2-6-2/2-6-4 tanks or type 2 diesels on 57ft suburban stock augmented by DMUs, you could squeeze a two platform station with three loops behind a backscene into a 18" wide board, leaving 18" for the well and 12 " for the yard side. I don't have immediate access to drawing software but leave it with me

Jim


A fleet on a 6 x4 ? What an imagination you have! A pool, possibly.

I suspect you will need 8ft rather than 6ft. it's the end curves that make the problem.
Looking at some of CJF's trackplans for themes and ideas, I was surprised how much things bulged if disallowing their 1st radius, 15in curves, and making R2 ones the minimum.
It felt a bit like a WW1 dogfight: "turn harder, turn harder!"
And if there isn't a continuous run (or two) there's no real reason for the 6 (or 8 ) by 4 format at all.

15" (or even tighter curves ) can be more acceptable in 0-16.5 , but the extra height of locos and stock almost eliminates any chance of a two level track plan in such a limited space.

Chris
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Re: 6x4 in OO. If it has to be...

Postby luckymucklebackit » Wed Nov 04, 2015 7:29 am

..or possibly I have had the luxury of a sprawling 16ft x 12ft for so long that I have forgotten how to cram stuff into 6' x 4'. I did start out there, but that was in the 1970s when everything I had took a 15" curve without complaint. :D

Jim
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Re: 6x4 in OO. If it has to be...

Postby Emettman » Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:00 am

ParkeNd wrote:Sorry to hear you have felt less well than usual lately and that it has slowed you down more than usual. Hope you pick up again soon.


I just have this suspicion that I should have been buried a couple of weeks ago.
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Re: 6x4 in OO. If it has to be...

Postby Kentishman » Thu Nov 05, 2015 8:36 am

Hello Chris,
Commiserations and I hope you pick up again soon.

I like your first plan, number 2 looks too tight and cramped. Re No1, the curve on the right bringing the climbing track round and up to the top terminus looks to have a radius of about 18”. This could be eased if the top right siding were omitted; you might gain 2” to 3” at a loss of 2’ of siding. To make up siding space, add a new siding off the bottom part of the run around to the left of the goods(?) shed. This would give you an extra 3’ of siding with a minimal reduction to the operating well. Edit: However, the points on the lower level would be masked ... I'll just shut up.
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Re: 6x4 in OO. If it has to be...

Postby Emettman » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:13 am

Kentishman wrote:Hello Chris,
Edit: However, the points on the lower level would be masked ... I'll just shut up.



No, that's right. It is very much a matter of choices. For choosing to have open access to all points, it cramps on the possibilities for the upper station.
and that second plan, yes, it's universal (even from me ) that it's not pretty, but it gives the most *operation* that I've got so far with the added beginner-friendly feature of a no-gradient single level plan.
If one had total freedom in space, time, money... well I'd probably go off and buy a real railway.
In some respects it's the constraints that make for the challenge, and the selection of priority features is a big part of that.

Jim, luckymucklebackit, poiinted me to some different objectives in his postings, and some interesting things (to me, anyway) came out of it.

A good "three coaches plus tank engine" through station with storage loops behind I thought would be impossible in 6 x 4.
And indeed my first attempt seemed to prove that I needed seven feet.

(edit: image lost in tidying up. Not the best effort anyway)

This above seemed a bit "toy train set" anyway, and I tried what can be a space-saver, using the end curves for the station.

Image

The station has R3 and R4 curves and the rest of the main oval is R4
The biggest " don't like"for me was having wrong-road running for the (hidden) connection from the inglenoook sidings. With no track above, I allowed some hidden points to give more townscape, and the geometry let me avoid an island platform. This still at 7ft wide, but having looked at this "sideways station " arrangement I wondered what would happen if that foot was "reclaimed".

It surprised me.

Image

The sidings can still be set up an inglenook, but the headshunt should be appropriately shortened by a van or something at the end-dock (milk, newspapers?)
The engine shed loses its kick-back (nice for an obvious coal and water point.)
But still, in 6ft, if 6ft it has to be.
A very different take from my first drawing.

And a wretched part of my brain still keeps coming up with very different ideas.
Ah well, it's a hobby. or part of one.

Chris
(23/3/16, edited to put back (some) of the photos whose links got lost in a reshuffle.
Text slightly adjusted to suit.)
Last edited by Emettman on Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 6x4 in OO. If it has to be...

Postby kebang » Sun Nov 08, 2015 6:13 am

This thread inspired me to redraw Freezer 'Small & Simple' 6 x 4 layout.
My version is 2 x 1.1 metres. It uses nothing smaller than 2nd rad curves & places all the points within 16 inches of a single edge of the baseboard, making the layout is easy to operate even if the points are not motorised. I've not shown access holes but 2 are possible if you think you need them. The only problems I seem to have are stalling & derailing over points so, once the layout is built, IMO it could be located in the corner of a room without the inclusion of access holes.
Its obviously intended for small branch line traffic. The incline (according to 'Anyrail') is 3.2%, which should be within the capabilities of a tank loco hauling 2 or 3 coaches.
The 'lightbulb' moment came as I studied Chris's plan & the cutaway of the upper baseboard to access the points.
The design is entirely set track. I've shown a huge amount of R610's (1.5in straights) but I think to save money most people would replace these with flex track. I've not drawn the upper baseboard station to keep the track visible.

small and simple 04.png
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Re: 6x4 in OO. If it has to be...

Postby Emettman » Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:46 am

The curved points... I do keep neglecting them.
(I have seen feedback here that occasionally some people, or some locos, are not keen on them, but it's more that they didn't exist in my childhood, when Triang Hornby track geometries became embedded in my brain.)

The "Small and Simple" design was in more than one edition of CJF's track plans books (some interesting or odd designs get no recall at all)
I like this reworking, Kebang. Tiny variations can make big differences in these "against a limit" layouts.
Here, although there is no room for a passing/storage loop on the lower level, the arrangement of the points mean that the return loop can hold a whole train, something not possible on the original.

In considering the gradients, and whether introducing them onto the lower track would help significantly, something very odd turned up: that it would be an advantage to build the entire layout on a slight slope. (not so much as would make wagons leave their sidings unprompted. or they could have light axle drags*). If the right hand-end hand end is an inch higher than the left, giving approximately 1: 60 the actual incline has one inch less to climb going from the low level at the high end of the board to the high level at the low end of the board.

At the lower end of the slug, the pink and blue tracks are level so the platform could have a bay road on its other face, coming off pink.
(also a siding or two, if desired.) That would still leave the possibility of an inside operator (child) in the left-hand central area. Or some actual scenery!

Chris,


*I did this, once. Outside, the wind would blow goods vans out of sidings.
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Re: 6x4 in OO. If it has to be...

Postby kebang » Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:15 am

small and simple 03.png
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An earlier version included a terminal road at the small station, provided by a Peco SL 92, which fits into the space vacated by the 5 short straights. I personally rejected it as I was drawing to keep all the points within easy reach

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Re: 6x4 in OO. If it has to be...

Postby kebang » Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:37 am

Altho I suppose if you continue to carry on the upward incline of the top board you could end up with a 5in clearance under upper platform at the point where you insert the Peco point. This might be enough to get a hand in to fix problems....
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Re: 6x4 in OO. If it has to be...

Postby Emettman » Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:28 am

kebang wrote:An earlier version included a terminal road at the small station, provided by a Peco SL 92, which fits into the space vacated by the 5 short straights. I personally rejected it as I was drawing to keep all the points within easy reach


If operating outside from the top edge you've be right, but if the operator is inside, that does not apply. That potential left hand hole is 3ft by 2ft on major axes, without begging for a bit more length.

If the station continued the gradient's gradient, yes, tons of room but the sidings don't work too good.
My plan was for the upper board to parallel the lower one.

(Aside: for limited space and tightish curves, bring back the Hymek: always was a cute shorty loco.)

It not looking at the moment like being a day when I should trust myself with a scalpel blade or a soldering iron, I shall have a play with Anyrail on a couple of other ancient CJF 6 x designs.
Though I've just noted a statement of his: ".. "this is a plan which would be a great deal more effective with a little more room on each side."
I think you have to get to a fair size before that stops applying.

Chris
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