help for loft layout

Any questions about designing a model railway layout or problems with track work.
Woody1969
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Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:46 am

help for loft layout

Postby Woody1969 » Sat Mar 07, 2020 4:29 pm

Afternoon all,

Ok i have decided that i will be using E-Link & Railmaster as a lot less wires etc. for such a large potential layout.

What i need is ideas for how i can best lay this out? The attached Anyrail file is the area that i have and i dont want it to be too complicated as will require a LOT of accessory decoders etc.

On the left hand side then this will be where the operator is so i will have sidings / turntable etc.with ideally kind of a double loop (so i expect the track to go over the top possibly along the bottom part)

I can send the Anyrail file to anyone.

Any ideas / help would be VERY much appreciated


Carl
Attachments
Loft.jpg
i can send the Anyrail file to whoever asks. its in CM's

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Mountain
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Location: Somewhere in Wales, UK.

Re: help for loft layout

Postby Mountain » Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:27 am

I am not really used to making track designs via the computer. The method I used was to lay out the track I had, and then mark it down where it goes in pencil or pen etc, and then remove the track and use it to mark down any track that I didn't have so I had an idea of what fits and what I needed to get.
I did make up many plans in the past using graph paper, but it didn't give me any more then a rough idea of how things pan out, as in reality, things either don't quite fit or don't look right somehow.
But the new technology available looks great.

To plan a track layout you need to have some idea of what you want to achieve. A busy mainline station? A lazy branchline? A small but busy city station? A goods depot? A shunting yard? A locomotive depot and maybe a carriage shed? Some sort of industry?
Obviously space is an issue so just one of those ideas may take up most of your plan, but without ideas like that we don't know where to start.
Another aspect which may influence the plan (Especially the track formation) is what period one is wanting to model in? Even if one has a variable stock covering many periods, it is easier to aim for a rough date so one has an idea of what buildings and structures to use, along with the type of track formationslikely to be seen.

I don't want to over complicate things. Keep it simple is easier.
But whatever ideas you pkan, do make sure you have plenty of space for scenery. Masses of track everywhere (Been there and done that!) does jot givemuck room for signals and other structures, and relies too heavily on thw backscenes to give the desired effect.
Of course, there's nothing wrong with a non scenic layout just to have fun with! I've had plenty of those in the past! Haha.
But yes. Scenery... Is only the last decade or two I came to think of the scenery in my plan... Though I do make things up as I go along. I am like my Dad was in that way. Have a general idea, and work towards it. A different approach to pre planning... It depends on ones preferences, as for me, the trial and error method works better then pre planning, but there again, without a plan we do not know what to aim for.

I like the baseboard idea. What size is it and what scale are you using?

Someone
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Location: Somewhere on Earth

Re: help for loft layout

Postby Someone » Tue Nov 16, 2021 9:29 pm

Woody1969 wrote:Afternoon all,

Ok i have decided that i will be using E-Link & Railmaster as a lot less wires etc. for such a large potential layout.

What i need is ideas for how i can best lay this out? The attached Anyrail file is the area that i have and i dont want it to be too complicated as will require a LOT of accessory decoders etc.

On the left hand side then this will be where the operator is so i will have sidings / turntable etc.with ideally kind of a double loop (so i expect the track to go over the top possibly along the bottom part)

I can send the Anyrail file to anyone.

Any ideas / help would be VERY much appreciated


Carl


If it's your first layout I recommend not bothering with code 75 or any finscale track, keep it simple and use code 100, there is nothing wrong with it if you know what your Buying, if it's not your first layout you may want to give finscale track a try.
Someone is stealing wheels from Police cars, The Authorities are working tirelessly to catch them.

Dad-1
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Location: Dorset - A mile from West Bay.

Re: help for loft layout

Postby Dad-1 » Wed Nov 17, 2021 9:32 am

First Layout ?
I wouldn't build big, that will probably break you, if not financially, then the sheer
amount of work which can take years to do well.
Do something smaller using your ideas and layout. You could at the same time make
in such a way it could be joined into a larger layout when you've learnt what you're
doing.

You know the saying about learning to walk before you can run.

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=32187 and Another on viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28436&start=60&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

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Mountain
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Re: help for loft layout

Postby Mountain » Wed Nov 17, 2021 10:57 am

A simple single or a double track loop around the attic will be ideal. I would later decide on a station or storage sidings as it is easy to change plans later as long as one has not done any scenic work. Drilling holes in the sleepers and lightly pinning down the track (I use Hornby or Gaugemaster track pins. Avoid Peco pins as they are far too thin unless one is pinning into a very soft board).
As long as one has not pinned the track down too tightly, then it can be easily removed for making alterations at a later date.
I also say to use code 100 if one is not sure what trains one is likely to buy (If one models in 00 gauge) as most 00 or H0 locos will run on it. Using code 75 and one has restricted what one can run by around 25% less than if one had used code 100. This is the main reason why I say to use code 100.
If one does want to keep to just newer finerscale steam locos then go for code 75. If one is into modern era diesels then I would carefully mix the two. Cose 100 for the main running lines and code 75 for the visible sidings. Why? If one looks at the real railways, where lots of heavy goods trains pass such as the main lines around Port Talbot heading east through Newprt and beyond as a perfect example, the rail profile at those locations is extremely high and heavily built, but look at the sidings and branchlines and they use much thinner profile rail. In the steam days they just used thin profile rail which code 75 gives the more realistic look. Diesel era onwards and I would use a mix for the perfect effect. (One will need to get the converter railjoiners or converter track (Or shim up and solder instead) to go from code 75 to code 100 and vice versa. The real railways usually just welded them where they meet, or use converter fishplates if I recall correctly (?) for where the two different rail profiles and types meet).
When I say "Modern era" I mean from the 1960's onwards.

Bigmet
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Re: help for loft layout

Postby Bigmet » Wed Nov 17, 2021 1:58 pm

Back a few steps, apologies if you have already dealt with all this!

Some basic physical aspects of the loft.
Where's the access relative to the planned layout space, and how large an item will it admit once a safe ladder has been installed?
Are the ceiling joists of adequate bearing strength for access to the planned area?
Is there a power and light electrical fit in the loft space?
Finally is the loft clean, in the sense that nothing showers down from joins - or worse yet holes/gaps - in the sarking? If not, you really have to fix that.

(I was allowed into my parent's loft in my teens - sometime in a past millenium - and while the space to build a good sized layout was welcome despite the 'so cold' in winter, semi-broiled in summer; the constant shower of dirt from austerity build period sarking was a total PITA on the layout, major clean up regularly required. I 'paid' for this access by working with my Pa, to install a new loft access with installed ladder, loft floor joists in the load bearing access area, the insulation, and then the floor boards, before we could commence on layout construction. The P&L wiring was designed and the installation then inspected by one of my Pa's colleagues who was an electrician, a requirement even back then so as not to invalidate the house insurance policy.)

Later learnings. It's a damn sight easier to install points and motors on the 'board' as a loose piece off the layout, in a workshop where you can sit down comfortably and access both sides of the board by flipping it over, and then all tested before installing it on the layout framing. (DCC has made this much simpler as only the track power and accessory bus connections have to be made in situ on the layout, instead of the copious knitting of a switched section with powered points layout. Got that particular sweat soaked T shirt...) This requires careful design in two respects: that the framing avoids fouling point motors and any other underside tackle on the board; and that the board's finished dimensions can pass without damage through whatever access has to be used.

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luckymucklebackit
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Re: help for loft layout

Postby luckymucklebackit » Wed Nov 17, 2021 3:45 pm

Hi - assuming that the points made by Bigmet are OK, I would not be put off too much about the negativity around "big" layouts provided you approach it correctly, I totally agree with Geoff's comments that big layouts cost a lot and take a long while to build, I also agree with Montain that some of these computer based systems are not the best, pencil and paper caonnot be beaten in my view.

I would approach this in a modular way, set out your grand scheme then tweak it so that it can be built as a series of smaller projects that can be completed and enjoyably operated before moving on to the next bit, that way you can avoid losing interest and thinking that it will never be finished, another very important question to ask is how long will you be staying at that location? If this will be your permanent home for a long time then you can plan ahead, think about eight to ten years to complete a major project, if it is possible that due to other reasons you will likely move home in that period, go for something smaller that would be portable, or you risk haveing to rip the whole lot up and start again - not pleasant - I have been there.

Jim
This Signature Left Intentionally Blank, but since I have written this and I intended to do it, this Signature is intentionally not blank. Paradox or What?
My layout - Gateside and Northbridge
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