6x6 Model railway

Any questions about designing a model railway layout or problems with track work.
Someone
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2021 8:19 am
Location: Somewhere on Earth

Re: 6x6 Model railway

Postby Someone » Mon Nov 08, 2021 9:44 am

Bufferstop wrote:Do you want this to be a scenic model railway, or an extended train set layout with the odd station or other building placed but not fixed down. If it's the latter you might get away with reaching the centre of the board from one side or the other, but not reaching one side from the other. You'll then need between 18" and 2' clearance on 3 of the sides unless you can crawl under to reach the far side, then you don't need a walk space on two opposing sides. You might put it on castors, big free swivelling ones like a hospital trolley has then you could push it into a corner and pull it out if you need access, any smaller wheels and you'll have steering problems (think supermarket trolley).
When it comes to what you can put on there, well any thing that will fit in 6X4 with a bit of extra width on the sides with the straight bits, but you still won't be able to make mush use of the centre other than putting in a turn table with tracks radiating off it. The Hornby turntable has the dubious advantage of being able to accommodate Hornby's largest loco so will take a big bite out of that central space. Depending on how you can position it, you may be able to extend the road opposite the entrance to take a train longer than will fit on the turntable. What else will fit depends very much on where you can fit it, the format doesn't leave much choice of where things go.

I would say it's a scenic trainset.
Someone is stealing wheels from Police cars, The Authorities are working tirelessly to catch them.

b308
Posts: 5125
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 5:48 pm
Location: North Worcs

Re: 6x6 Model railway

Postby b308 » Mon Nov 08, 2021 11:43 am

Then as I said earlier, take a 6x4 layout and add two foot to the 4ft sections! As others have said it's unlikely you'll get many (any?) 6x6 plans because it's not a recognised size. 6x4, 8x4, etc., are.

User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 13484
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: 6x6 Model railway

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Nov 08, 2021 12:16 pm

With a square board you get basically two or three concentric circles, but railway's are long thin things. Some of the trains you quoted eg. Eurostar need curves of around 15-18"radius. Take ithat as a starting point. As I originally said getting in everything on your original list is just about impossible.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

User avatar
pete12345
Posts: 1097
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 7:53 pm
Location: Coventry

Re: 6x6 Model railway

Postby pete12345 » Mon Nov 08, 2021 6:25 pm

A steel table really isn't very suitable as a foundation. You'll need a plywood top on which to build the layout itself, and any wiring will then have to pass through the steel top as well as the plywood. The baseboard is the fundamental base from which the rest of the layout is built, and using an unsuitable structure is asking for trouble from the start.

Rather than taking an existing table of an awkward size and dubious practicality, it's far better to consider the available space, and build a proper baseboard to fit in it- it isn't difficult and only requires quite basic carpentry and tools. As I said, you need a suitable top surface anyway, so buy some lengths of 2x1 timber while you're there and build a proper baseboard from the start. If you're short of funds, you could always weigh in the steel table as scrap metal!
Once an engine attached to a train, was afraid of a few drops of rain...

Someone
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2021 8:19 am
Location: Somewhere on Earth

Re: 6x6 Model railway

Postby Someone » Tue Nov 09, 2021 2:28 pm

pete12345 wrote:A steel table really isn't very suitable as a foundation. You'll need a plywood top on which to build the layout itself, and any wiring will then have to pass through the steel top as well as the plywood. The baseboard is the fundamental base from which the rest of the layout is built, and using an unsuitable structure is asking for trouble from the start.

Rather than taking an existing table of an awkward size and dubious practicality, it's far better to consider the available space, and build a proper baseboard to fit in it- it isn't difficult and only requires quite basic carpentry and tools. As I said, you need a suitable top surface anyway, so buy some lengths of 2x1 timber while you're there and build a proper baseboard from the start. If you're short of funds, you could always weigh in the steel table as scrap metal!

It has a hollow openframe surface so my Plan is to place a wood board on top of it.

I don't think selling my table will get passed my parents.
Someone is stealing wheels from Police cars, The Authorities are working tirelessly to catch them.

User avatar
pete12345
Posts: 1097
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 7:53 pm
Location: Coventry

Re: 6x6 Model railway

Postby pete12345 » Tue Nov 09, 2021 4:03 pm

It then depends on the support structure provided by the table frame. Most likely, an additional support frame is needed, and the table becomes a sturdy set of legs on which the actual baseboard is then built. If it's just an edge frame which is truly hollow in the centre, that works quite nicely. Build a more traditional baseboard on top of this, with a central well in which to stand.

With a square baseboard, one thing that works well is to build the entire layout on a continuous curve, getting away entirely from the usual straights and curves arrangement. By overhanging the table itself somewhat at the outer edge, the main line could be built on a 3' radius which looks good- especially as the whole layout is curved which lessens the perceived effect. As you don't need to access all four sides, the extra board area can be offset by pushing it into a corner against the wall.
I'd assign a third of the circle (perhaps the section which is in the corner of the room) to the non-scenic storage yard in which to keep trains off stage, and the normal operating view would then be with your back to this section. The remaining 2/3 of the layout forms your scenic area- equivalent to about 12' of linear track- and any observers can watch from outside the circuit.

Three-coach passenger trains, and equivalent goods trains of about ten or eleven wagons would be about the maximum length without it appearing too squashed in. With this in mind, you could build a nice single-track branch line station, dividing to two platforms plus some sidings alongside or in one corner, and some scenic development in the other corner to represent the town served by the station. This gives you operating interest with trains passing each other in the station, and pick-up goods traffic being shunted in between. With a rural setting, the surrounding countryside doesn't change that much over time, so you could potentially swap eras occasionally for more variety- though the post-Beeching eras tend to be less interesting as far as this type of layout is concerned.
Once an engine attached to a train, was afraid of a few drops of rain...

Someone
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2021 8:19 am
Location: Somewhere on Earth

Re: 6x6 Model railway

Postby Someone » Tue Nov 09, 2021 9:17 pm

pete12345 wrote:It then depends on the support structure provided by the table frame. Most likely, an additional support frame is needed, and the table becomes a sturdy set of legs on which the actual baseboard is then built. If it's just an edge frame which is truly hollow in the centre, that works quite nicely. Build a more traditional baseboard on top of this, with a central well in which to stand.

With a square baseboard, one thing that works well is to build the entire layout on a continuous curve, getting away entirely from the usual straights and curves arrangement. By overhanging the table itself somewhat at the outer edge, the main line could be built on a 3' radius which looks good- especially as the whole layout is curved which lessens the perceived effect. As you don't need to access all four sides, the extra board area can be offset by pushing it into a corner against the wall.
I'd assign a third of the circle (perhaps the section which is in the corner of the room) to the non-scenic storage yard in which to keep trains off stage, and the normal operating view would then be with your back to this section. The remaining 2/3 of the layout forms your scenic area- equivalent to about 12' of linear track- and any observers can watch from outside the circuit.

Three-coach passenger trains, and equivalent goods trains of about ten or eleven wagons would be about the maximum length without it appearing too squashed in. With this in mind, you could build a nice single-track branch line station, dividing to two platforms plus some sidings alongside or in one corner, and some scenic development in the other corner to represent the town served by the station. This gives you operating interest with trains passing each other in the station, and pick-up goods traffic being shunted in between. With a rural setting, the surrounding countryside doesn't change that much over time, so you could potentially swap eras occasionally for more variety- though the post-Beeching eras tend to be less interesting as far as this type of layout is concerned.

Thanks for the tip, yes it is hollow, but with several metal bars across in the middle for support.

My mom and dad are alright with me cutting a Hole in the middle of the metal board, just not getting a new board.

I will probably be using PECO or Hornby sectional track because using Flextrack for my first layout is making it way too advanced for a beginner like me.

At the end of the day, this metal board will probably not get used again on my second layout, as by then I will have the means to invest in proper boards.
Someone is stealing wheels from Police cars, The Authorities are working tirelessly to catch them.

User avatar
pete12345
Posts: 1097
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 7:53 pm
Location: Coventry

Re: 6x6 Model railway

Postby pete12345 » Wed Nov 10, 2021 7:06 pm

If you intend to use sectional track, one of the HO continental systems is probably a better option. It tends to be better engineered and have more generous radii than the Hornby/Peco type. You can get realistic looking track formations by using short sections of a different radius, Y-points etc rather than a simple constant-radius curve and straight points. Just avoid Märklin as, despite appearances, their track is a 3-rail system.
Once an engine attached to a train, was afraid of a few drops of rain...


Return to “Track/Layout Design”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests