6x6 Model railway

Any questions about designing a model railway layout or problems with track work.
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6x6 Model railway

Postby Someone » Tue Nov 02, 2021 7:20 pm

I have been given a 6x6(ish) steel table, which is perfect for my model railway, looking online I can find almost no Plans for 6x6 Layouts, has anyone here ever built a 6x6 before, or can someone give me suggestions for a 6x6 roundy Roundy.
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Re: 6x6 Model railway

Postby Someone » Tue Nov 02, 2021 7:55 pm

Apologies to the Fourm moderators for some reason it posted it twice.
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Re: 6x6 Model railway

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Nov 02, 2021 8:13 pm

We delete double posts all the time, they "just happen". I'll delete the other one. You say it's a steel table, if it's a steel top you'll need a thick layer of something sound absorbent or the noise will drive you bonkers. You'll also have to use surface wiring and point motors((if used)..
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Re: 6x6 Model railway

Postby Someone » Tue Nov 02, 2021 9:08 pm

Bufferstop wrote:We delete double posts all the time, they "just happen". I'll delete the other one. You say it's a steel table, if it's a steel top you'll need a thick layer of something sound absorbent or the noise will drive you bonkers. You'll also have to use surface wiring and point motors((if used)..

I mean its a stable table but the top is an open frame. I plan on putting wood and a thick layer of foam on top.
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Re: 6x6 Model railway

Postby Ironduke » Tue Nov 02, 2021 9:13 pm

In OO Scale?
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Re: 6x6 Model railway

Postby Someone » Wed Nov 03, 2021 6:06 am

Ironduke wrote:In OO Scale?


Yes
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Re: 6x6 Model railway

Postby b308 » Wed Nov 03, 2021 8:33 am

Your main problem will be "reach", anything in the middle of the table will be out of reach if things go wrong, such as an engine stalls or derails. Normal maximum reach for us humans is about 2ft and that allows for the fact that you'll be stretching over other stock/scenic items which could be broken or knocked. That is probably why there are no plans for 6x6 layouts. So either just have scenery in the middle of the layout or cut a hole in the middle to operate from! (Probably be quite difficult with a steel table!) If you are happy with just scenery in the middle take a 6x4 plan and expand the 4ft sides to 6ft!

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Re: 6x6 Model railway

Postby Ironduke » Wed Nov 03, 2021 8:55 am

I think a photo is called for
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Re: 6x6 Model railway

Postby Someone » Wed Nov 03, 2021 9:49 am

b308 wrote:Your main problem will be "reach", anything in the middle of the table will be out of reach if things go wrong, such as an engine stalls or derails. Normal maximum reach for us humans is about 2ft and that allows for the fact that you'll be stretching over other stock/scenic items which could be broken or knocked. That is probably why there are no plans for 6x6 layouts. So either just have scenery in the middle of the layout or cut a hole in the middle to operate from! (Probably be quite difficult with a steel table!) If you are happy with just scenery in the middle take a 6x4 plan and expand the 4ft sides to 6ft!

I have 6x4 but I got bored of it after a while. I want a bit of a bigger run.
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Re: 6x6 Model railway

Postby pete12345 » Sun Nov 07, 2021 12:55 pm

Someone wrote:
b308 wrote:Your main problem will be "reach", anything in the middle of the table will be out of reach if things go wrong, such as an engine stalls or derails. Normal maximum reach for us humans is about 2ft and that allows for the fact that you'll be stretching over other stock/scenic items which could be broken or knocked. That is probably why there are no plans for 6x6 layouts. So either just have scenery in the middle of the layout or cut a hole in the middle to operate from! (Probably be quite difficult with a steel table!) If you are happy with just scenery in the middle take a 6x4 plan and expand the 4ft sides to 6ft!

I have 6x4 but I got bored of it after a while. I want a bit of a bigger run.


Unsurprising really- regular users will by now know that I'm quite anti-6x4/central table when it comes to model railways. It's simply too small for a decent run, needs a larger space of at least 8x8 once the need for access is considered, and is far too large and heavy to be considered portable. They stem from the days of Tri-ang train sets built on the kitchen table and packed away again later, and are peddled by the likes of Hornby as a way to sell you track packs to expand the basic train set.

Rather than going for a slightly larger table which will be even less practical, consider the space you need for said table and turn the layout inside out. Build a set of shelves around the edge of the space, with the operator standing in the middle. The continuous run is longer, the centre of the room is clear, and the space beneath can be used for storage. By standing in the middle, the effect of the curve is lessened as you are looking out along the radius, and you always have your back to part of the layout which helps the illusion that the train is going somewhere.

If going around all four sides permanently isn't an option (perhaps you have the corner of a larger room) then build an L-shape in the corner, with collapsible sections to complete the circuit- these can be stored underneath the fixed sections when the extra space is needed. Otherwise, all you need is a simple lifting section across the doorway.
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Re: 6x6 Model railway

Postby Someone » Sun Nov 07, 2021 3:19 pm

pete12345 wrote:
Someone wrote:
b308 wrote:Your main problem will be "reach", anything in the middle of the table will be out of reach if things go wrong, such as an engine stalls or derails. Normal maximum reach for us humans is about 2ft and that allows for the fact that you'll be stretching over other stock/scenic items which could be broken or knocked. That is probably why there are no plans for 6x6 layouts. So either just have scenery in the middle of the layout or cut a hole in the middle to operate from! (Probably be quite difficult with a steel table!) If you are happy with just scenery in the middle take a 6x4 plan and expand the 4ft sides to 6ft!

I have 6x4 but I got bored of it after a while. I want a bit of a bigger run.


Unsurprising really- regular users will by now know that I'm quite anti-6x4/central table when it comes to model railways. It's simply too small for a decent run, needs a larger space of at least 8x8 once the need for access is considered, and is far too large and heavy to be considered portable. They stem from the days of Tri-ang train sets built on the kitchen table and packed away again later, and are peddled by the likes of Hornby as a way to sell you track packs to expand the basic train set.

Rather than going for a slightly larger table which will be even less practical, consider the space you need for said table and turn the layout inside out. Build a set of shelves around the edge of the space, with the operator standing in the middle. The continuous run is longer, the centre of the room is clear, and the space beneath can be used for storage. By standing in the middle, the effect of the curve is lessened as you are looking out along the radius, and you always have your back to part of the layout which helps the illusion that the train is going somewhere.

If going around all four sides permanently isn't an option (perhaps you have the corner of a larger room) then build an L-shape in the corner, with collapsible sections to complete the circuit- these can be stored underneath the fixed sections when the extra space is needed. Otherwise, all you need is a simple lifting section across the doorway.

I'm using my 6x6 Table, that's a definite, I don't want to buy any more table as I don't have an easy spendable income, so I will be sticking to my 6x6 Table. And building baseboards it just over ccomplicating stuff, besides that metal table was expensive and since it's former use was invalidated it would go to waste. Besides I seem to find no issue reaching the middle with my arms.

As for the 6x4 layout, I think it's a Alright for starters but I'm that person that wants to let my creativity fly and that trakmat layout really restricts, and I've discovered the amount of points on the running loops really decreases reliability on DCC
Last edited by Someone on Sun Nov 07, 2021 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 6x6 Model railway

Postby Someone » Sun Nov 07, 2021 3:20 pm

b308 wrote:Your main problem will be "reach", anything in the middle of the table will be out of reach if things go wrong, such as an engine stalls or derails. Normal maximum reach for us humans is about 2ft and that allows for the fact that you'll be stretching over other stock/scenic items which could be broken or knocked. That is probably why there are no plans for 6x6 layouts. So either just have scenery in the middle of the layout or cut a hole in the middle to operate from! (Probably be quite difficult with a steel table!) If you are happy with just scenery in the middle take a 6x4 plan and expand the 4ft sides to 6ft!

I seem to be able to reach the Middle of the board easily.
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Re: 6x6 Model railway

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Nov 07, 2021 4:52 pm

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.
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Re: 6x6 Model railway

Postby b308 » Sun Nov 07, 2021 9:39 pm

Someone wrote:I seem to be able to reach the Middle of the board easily.


You can without anything there but I can assure you that if you have a few tracks in between you and the middle with stock on them it's not so easy, but it will be easy to knock stuff off. And as I said before when stretching across you are likely to also break scenic items such as signals, etc. It's your choice but I'd suggest that it's not a good idea. You asked for advice, we've given it!

Having said that didn't you say somewhere that there's a hole in the middle of the table and so you can sit in there? If so you would have any reach issues!

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Re: 6x6 Model railway

Postby Someone » Mon Nov 08, 2021 9:43 am

b308 wrote:
Someone wrote:I seem to be able to reach the Middle of the board easily.


You can without anything there but I can assure you that if you have a few tracks in between you and the middle with stock on them it's not so easy, but it will be easy to knock stuff off. And as I said before when stretching across you are likely to also break scenic items such as signals, etc. It's your choice but I'd suggest that it's not a good idea. You asked for advice, we've given it!

Having said that didn't you say somewhere that there's a hole in the middle of the table and so you can sit in there? If so you would have any reach issues!


I know, but I said I have a metal baseboard, and that's what I have to use.
It's not as simple as putting a Hole in my board or getting new boards, I am using what I can get.

Besides i have already come up with a solution for the reaching issue with scenery.

What I meant was for advice for track plans. That's the only place I have a problem figuring out.

In all honesty I should have originally said this is I have to use and this is all I can get. A baseboard with a Hole in the middle is a good idea. But I simply don't have resources or cash for new boards, even if it were cheap.

Even just putting a wood board over the hollow frame is gonna be costly.
Last edited by Someone on Mon Nov 08, 2021 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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