4ft x 3ft roundy-roundy in N gauge

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roganty
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4ft x 3ft roundy-roundy in N gauge

Postby roganty » Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:10 pm

Hi all,

I'm just starting out, and I have an initial design that I am reasonably happy with, but I think it needs some tweaks from people more in the know than me.

My ideas for the layout is a main loop around the outside so that I can set up a train and let it run (that'll keep the boy happy!) and a middle section where I could do some shunting work.
The board will be foldable and split into two 2x3 sections. The dimensions are based on 'standard' sizes you can buy from the diy sheds.

The hinge section will be disguised as a viaduct, and a removable road deck section added on top to further hide the hinges.

I would like to keep the industry to one side and leave the other side clear for 'scenic developments'

I have tried to avoid using R1 curves and curved points as most of the advice on this forum is to avoid them if possible.

mylayout1-small.jpg
My first attempt
mylayout1-small.jpg (66.75 KiB) Viewed 1722 times

This is my first attempt, I like it, but it just doesn't seem right, and I just couldn't get the bottom right crossing correct (it is just two rails crossing - not good)

mylayout2-small.jpg
Second attempt
mylayout2-small.jpg (61.28 KiB) Viewed 1722 times

Second go. On my first go I had the trains running anti-clockwise, by switching to clockwise I could eliminate the R1 curves.
I also got rid of the crossing and put in something more conventional, but I'm not all that happy as one of the points would be right on the edge of the join.

mylayout3-small.jpg
Third time lucky
mylayout3-small.jpg (56.7 KiB) Viewed 1722 times

By moving where the goods yard/industry area leaves the main line I can create a larger passing area on the bottom line. I have also redesigned the middle section


I really like the Minories layout, but I am unsure if it would work in this layout.

I would also put in the outer loop first and use that to get the measurements for the viaduct, and then add in the industry rails around the supports, which should hopefully add a more realistic touch.
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b308
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Re: 4ft x 3ft roundy-roundy in N gauge

Postby b308 » Fri Mar 04, 2016 2:07 pm

Initial thoughts...

On the first two the sidings may look nice but would be impractical to work in real life, so would be for show, though the second does look better.

On the third much better but the head shunt on the top left hand corner is too short to be of any use. You really need a head shunt to be of at least two straights so as to be able to take a loco and one or two wagons...

Re Minories - I'm not sure which one you mean, CJ Freezer's original Minories layout was a double track terminus not a continuous run:

Image

Do you have a link to what you mean?

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Emettman
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Re: 4ft x 3ft roundy-roundy in N gauge

Postby Emettman » Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:11 pm

Interesting...
And your ideas are developing, but I'd suggest you do need to visualise how trains would actually operate on the tracks.

4 x 3 is not that large a board such that it has to be split in two to be move around.
And as for hiding it, do you have a nice piece of wall? If the the layout hung there, no more than about 3" thick, which is quite possible, then either its reverse side could be finished smooth and a print or poster added, or the same print or poster could be on the surface of a "lid" type box, so the picture is still in place when the layout is taken out for use.

No hinges.

Just one of those mad ideas.

Chris
"It's his madness that keeps him sane."

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roganty
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Re: 4ft x 3ft roundy-roundy in N gauge

Postby roganty » Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:42 pm

b308 wrote:On the first two the sidings may look nice but would be impractical to work in real life, so would be for show, though the second does look better.
[...]
Re Minories - I'm not sure which one you mean, CJ Freezer's original Minories layout was a double track terminus not a continuous run:

Do you have a link to what you mean?


@b308
Yes I was on about CJ Freezer's original Minories layout. I saw it mentioned on here, went off for a look and liked the concept.
But in relation to my layout, it was just too 'busy', and probably more suited to an end-to-end layout.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minories_(model_railway)


b308 wrote:On the third much better but the head shunt on the top left hand corner is too short to be of any use. You really need a head shunt to be of at least two straights so as to be able to take a loco and one or two wagons...

Thanks, that is good to know.
I did try flipping that point so that it ran up the board, but it didn't quite work for some reason...

In reality, the middle section will be put in after the outer loop has been laid and the viaduct has been built, hopefully making it look like an intentional after thought.

Anthony
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Re: 4ft x 3ft roundy-roundy in N gauge

Postby roganty » Sat Mar 05, 2016 12:04 am

Emettman wrote:Interesting...
And your ideas are developing, but I'd suggest you do need to visualise how trains would actually operate on the tracks.

4 x 3 is not that large a board such that it has to be split in two to be move around.
And as for hiding it, do you have a nice piece of wall? If the the layout hung there, no more than about 3" thick, which is quite possible, then either its reverse side could be finished smooth and a print or poster added, or the same print or poster could be on the surface of a "lid" type box, so the picture is still in place when the layout is taken out for use.

No hinges.

Just one of those mad ideas.

Chris


I'm sure that's not the first time you've suggested hanging a layout on the wall! As much as I like the creativity we don't really have much wall space available to allow me to hang anything!

4 x 3 may not seem large, but in our little mid terrace house it would be huge! And at least in two 2 x 3 sections, it could be reasonably concealed behind the sofa.

Emettman wrote:No hinges.

Umm... I'm assuming you mean having the baseboards butt up against each other... I hadn't considered that.

But then, by 'folding', the layout could be protected from knocks and bumps without the use of additional structures/boards.

Anthony
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Re: 4ft x 3ft roundy-roundy in N gauge

Postby Emettman » Sat Mar 05, 2016 9:06 am

roganty wrote:
I'm sure that's not the first time you've suggested hanging a layout on the wall! As much as I like the creativity we don't really have much wall space available to allow me to hang anything


No, it's not. I remember the advert where they first thought of making a central heating gas boiler small enough to hang on the wall, and sometime in the past year I was looking at possibilities for fold-down layouts that were cosmetically satisfactory when folded up.

OK, 2 pieces it is.
Patternmaker's dowels and suitcase catches may be a better option than hinges:
it may depend on what you intend to do for scenery (how deep).

4 x 3 may not seem large, but in our little mid terrace house it would be huge! And at least in two 2 x 3 sections, it could be reasonably concealed behind the sofa.

Oh yes. I had to take over the whole of the lounge when I was building my first exhibition layout (5' 6" square) and once completed it was never assembled inside the house again, just one or two (of 4) boards at a time for repairs and testing.
Advantage me: I didn't have anyone who could object.

This is a sketch, 4 x 3, with no points crossing the divide.
2nd or 3rd radius curves, electrofrog streamline points (small) and setrack curved points.
Image

It gives a running oval with passing loop and another inner loop intended to operate as a bidirectional terminal line.
(loco sidings at top, short loco refuge at bottom.)
Also a branch terminus, with a couple of short goods sidings,
and a couple of goods sidings with their own headshunt at the main station, so a goods train has somewhere to go.

That's possible. If it's too complicated (and I was aiming for the maximum operation potential) perhaps lose the branch terminus completely but put another passing loop on the left side of the layout (an island platform, for space?)
Add a siding or two, and have the scenic divide down the join, (acting as end spacers when the two pieces are apart.

Just ideas and thoughts
Chris
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roganty
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Re: 4ft x 3ft roundy-roundy in N gauge

Postby roganty » Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:26 pm

Emettman wrote:This is a sketch, 4 x 3, with no points crossing the divide.
2nd or 3rd radius curves, electrofrog streamline points (small) and setrack curved points.
Image

It gives a running oval with passing loop and another inner loop intended to operate as a bidirectional terminal line.
(loco sidings at top, short loco refuge at bottom.)
Also a branch terminus, with a couple of short goods sidings,
and a couple of goods sidings with their own headshunt at the main station, so a goods train has somewhere to go.

That's possible. If it's too complicated (and I was aiming for the maximum operation potential) perhaps lose the branch terminus completely but put another passing loop on the left side of the layout (an island platform, for space?)
Add a siding or two, and have the scenic divide down the join, (acting as end spacers when the two pieces are apart.


Emettman, Thanks for that, that is certainly food for thought!

After looking at your plans mine seem so childishly simple in comparison. At least your plan would allow additional running and multiple shunting locations and would allow many hours of happy play... oops I mean operating :)

I think I was getting my inspiration from viewtopic.php?f=22&t=47243 (Dragonfly's Clatter - N gauge in a coffee table) or viewtopic.php?f=22&t=26513 (Dad-1's St. Oval)
But I should have been looking at PinkNosedPenguin's Table football layout (viewtopic.php?f=22&t=43874) which is coincidently the same size as my planned layout (minus the additional fiddle yard)

And a mad one from me; Split the line going around the top into a double track, and add an incline to the line going to the terminus (I'm assuming that's the platform in the middle?) And then the main line could go in a tunnel.
Only one problem (among many!?) Is that it would become one large bleeping spiral!!

I'm going to see if I can get an hour on my computer after work and work on something

Until then real life is getting in the way and I need to go to work

Anthony

*Edit*
PS - I was looking to only using Peco settrack (code 80)
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Re: 4ft x 3ft roundy-roundy in N gauge

Postby Emettman » Sat Mar 05, 2016 2:20 pm

roganty wrote:
Emettman, Thanks for that, that is certainly food for thought!

After looking at your plans mine seem so childishly simple in comparison. At least your plan would allow additional running and multiple shunting locations and would allow many hours of happy play... oops I mean operating :)


And a mad one from me; Split the line going around the top into a double track, and add an incline to the line going to the terminus (I'm assuming that's the platform in the middle?) And then the main line could go in a tunnel.
Only one problem (among many!?) Is that it would become one large bleeping spiral!!

I'm going to see if I can get an hour on my computer after work and work on something
Anthony


Yes, Peco setrack for all the curves is fine, I only used flexitrack for convenience where parts of straights and curves would be needed to get the same result,
But you might well find a length of flexitrack handy as a source of little pieces.
There is absolute consensus (anyone dissenting speak now...) that electrofrog points should be used wherever possible.
I don't think I can get the same capacity using code 80 electrofrog curved points, but I may have a play to see what happens.
What might be very useful is a three-way point or two. Yes, code 55. but joining that to code 80 that is hardly a problem: ask some of the real N gauge people

Adding a gradient increases track possibilities considerably, but adds complexity in the build and bulk to the boards, making the layout bigger when stored.
And as you say, length. A 2" climb at 1:40 will need about 8' of run, 5' if it is done with split inclines (this allowing for incline transitions ans a bit of "on the safe side" slack.

A high level terminal with a continuous run at a low level is popular idea, with either a return loop or a passing station with a terminal bay to head trains back to the terminus. (Unless they are all two-faced multiple units., which only need a training crossover.)
In 4 x 3 a return loop would cramp possibilities considerable. A terminal loop of bay is likely to do better.

The other possibility with gradients is the looped 8, to get a longer main-line run.

Given time and energy I'll have a play over the next few days, if that's OK.

Chris
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Re: 4ft x 3ft roundy-roundy in N gauge

Postby roganty » Sun Mar 06, 2016 9:04 am

Emettman wrote:Yes, Peco setrack for all the curves is fine, I only used flexitrack for convenience where parts of straights and curves would be needed to get the same result,
But you might well find a length of flexitrack handy as a source of little pieces.
There is absolute consensus (anyone dissenting speak now...) that electrofrog points should be used wherever possible.
I don't think I can get the same capacity using code 80 electrofrog curved points, but I may have a play to see what happens.
What might be very useful is a three-way point or two. Yes, code 55. but joining that to code 80 that is hardly a problem: ask some of the real N gauge people


I was only going to use code 80 as that's the only one I've been looking at prices for, but I am open to suggestions

Emettman wrote:Adding a gradient increases track possibilities considerably, but adds complexity in the build and bulk to the boards, making the layout bigger when stored.
And as you say, length. A 2" climb at 1:40 will need about 8' of run, 5' if it is done with split inclines (this allowing for incline transitions ans a bit of "on the safe side" slack.

A high level terminal with a continuous run at a low level is popular idea, with either a return loop or a passing station with a terminal bay to head trains back to the terminus. (Unless they are all two-faced multiple units., which only need a training crossover.)
In 4 x 3 a return loop would cramp possibilities considerable. A terminal loop of bay is likely to do better.

The other possibility with gradients is the looped 8, to get a longer main-line run.


Having an incline would be nice to have, and if the track plan lends itself towards having one it would be a goer. Of course the track doesn't have to cross over each other.

Emettman wrote:Given time and energy I'll have a play over the next few days, if that's OK.


That would be grand! At the moment I'm getting evils to hurry up, so I'll have to see when/if I can get some peace and quiet!

Anthony
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Re: 4ft x 3ft roundy-roundy in N gauge

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Sun Mar 06, 2016 3:02 pm

Thanks for reference to my layout above. Some interesting designs coming out on this thread. My advise would be:
  • keep the track plan simple for a first layout
  • for better running, use electrofrog points (I have used Peco code 55 and flexible track, in preference to set-track)
  • avoid the join if at all possible - I decided against one as I didn't think I would get reliable operation across it
Good luck, and keep us posted on progress :D

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Re: 4ft x 3ft roundy-roundy in N gauge

Postby roganty » Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:41 am

I managed to get a couple of hours on my computer last night. Using Emettman's plan and a couple of others I gave a few little tweaks.

Firstly, I liked the idea of two lines going through a station, I could have one train stopped and speed another through. I also liked the idea of a siding along the front of the layout

mylayout4-small.jpg
4th attempt!
mylayout4-small.jpg (63.71 KiB) Viewed 1607 times

By removing the right most platform the track could be shimmed over and fill the board (Ok yeah, I forgot to place the platforms!)
By moving the junction to the branch terminal I can get a tunnel in the top left corner.
I also played about with the lower siding, and 'squared off' the lower length of track.

I'm liking it, but I don't like the spacing between the tracks on the right, and I just could not work out all those damn angles.

I'll have another go, and see if I can get a second line in along the bottom and sort out the right hand side.

Anthony
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Re: 4ft x 3ft roundy-roundy in N gauge

Postby Emettman » Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:42 pm

It comes!
(I reckon at about 50 sketches or plan attempts idea and practicalities are about coming together.)

Yes, you've used up space where you really want a platform, the small kickback siding at the bottom is of little use, it would be better placed going into the lower right corner and as drawn locos running round at the terminus have to foul the main line taking the junction from the left top edge tather than the left side would solve this.

I had a go with, as PinkNosedPenguin suggested, all electrofrog points. (those curved setrack points are space-savers, as this proves.)

Image

The terminal was not really possible, so instead we have an extra passing loop on the LEFT, shown as hidden under a higher level townscape.
Also shown a suggested road/bridge with high level station building "explaining" why the inner loop is not so snug.
The signal box would want to sit on the other side of the road from the station building, again helping this look "right".

Two sets of sidings, one with its own headshunt and one using one of the loop platform lines for its shunting.
Three loco sidings.

The easier point curves do make it more difficult to use the central area and get so much in, but the electrofrog points will give more reliable running, and PinkNosedPenguin knows N better than I. (just a bit!)
I think I'd also suggest one level track for this space as a first run, but it is your call.

Chris
Last edited by Emettman on Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 4ft x 3ft roundy-roundy in N gauge

Postby roganty » Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:55 pm

Emettman wrote:It comes!
(I reckon at about 50 sketches or plan attempts idea and practicalities are about coming together.)
[...]
The terminal was not really possible, so instead we have an extra passing loop on the right, shown as hidden under a higher level townscape.
Also shown a suggested road/bridge with high level station building "explaining" why the inner loop is not so snug.
The signal box would want to sit on the other side of the road from the station building, again helping thisng look "right".

Two sets of sidings, one with its own headshunt and one using one of the loop platform lines for its shunting.
Three loco sidings.

The easier point curves do make it more difficult to use the central area and get so much in, but the electrofrog points will give more reliable running, and PinkNosedPenguin knows N better than I. (just a bit!)
I think I'd also suggest one level track for this space as a first run, but it is your call.

Chris


Thanks Emettman.

I've been mulling things over for the past couple of days. I'm unsure whether to go for your plan, unchanged or to see what other tweaks I could make.

Do you have a list of parts you used?

Anthony
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Re: 4ft x 3ft roundy-roundy in N gauge

Postby roganty » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:38 am

roganty wrote:Thanks Emettman.

I've been mulling things over for the past couple of days. I'm unsure whether to go for your plan, unchanged or to see what other tweaks I could make.

Do you have a list of parts you used?

Anthony


I've had a little play, and by combining your first idea with your last one I came up with this:
mylayout5b-small.jpg
mylayout5b-small.jpg (60.63 KiB) Viewed 1543 times

By bringing the three lines going into the station together, a smaller crossing/bridge could be used.

With the passing line on the left covered by a town scape, my original idea of a viaduct straight across the middle can be used to explain the connection between the 'upper' and 'lower' sections.
The lower siding splits so late to avoid a viaduct pillar. Or it could of been part of the original line before the viaduct was built!

I don't know why I keep going on about a viaduct, but that and a tunnel I have had in my head since I started planning this layout, and they are something I want to incorporate.
But then a viaduct could be used as a scenic divide down the join, and as end spacers when the board is split.

Ideas? Thoughts?

Anthony
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Re: 4ft x 3ft roundy-roundy in N gauge

Postby End2end » Fri Mar 11, 2016 1:53 pm

Ideas? Thoughts?

I notice a number of curved points on the diagram and although I do not use them myself I think the common consensus is not to use curved points.
Hope it helps.
Thanks
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