OO Loft Layout - First timer advice

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mharris99
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OO Loft Layout - First timer advice

Postby mharris99 » Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:13 pm

Hi All

I've finally decided after years of enjoying reading and looking at other peoples model railways to build my own. The only experience I have had in the past is a Hornby Train Set which I played with when I was younger. Since those days, I have always wanted to build something bigger with the ability to run more trains and longer trains with a destination which is different from the departure point. Something I didn't get with the Hornby Track Mat.

Stage One of my project is now complete with the loft being fully boarded and electrical sockets and lights being installed. Stage Two however is causing me more problems. The age old problem of what to build.

So far I have tried several different designs of track plan and I have decided on several features that I would like to include:
    A continuous double track run (I like to watch the trains run round)
    A Station Terminus
    A Train Shed / Yard
    A coal industry

As for the era I will be modeling, I am going to go with something from late 1950's in 1960's however I'm more likely to buy and run something I like then look for locomotives to fit the period. I would like a layout that does work for both Steam and Diesel.

I have attached my initial idea below (Still a work in progress). The double track making a continuous loop. The light blue track an incline to the station terminus on the upper level, with a train yard/depot/shed in the space below. I still need to decide where the Coal Industry is going to go and if I want a second, smaller through station.

As I said before, I'm new to something on this scale and would like some ideas of where to go with this idea next and any operation problems that I have missed.

Thanks in advance for any help or ideas.

Image

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End2end
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Re: OO Loft Layout - First timer advice

Postby End2end » Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:23 pm

Hi mharris99, and welcome to the forum :)
Just off the bat looking at the layout diagram I see a potential problem of track cleaning in the lower middle to right hand side of the diagram due to reach.
Changing them so that the incline is at the back and thus higher will help I would imagine.
Also be aware of track radii. Although manufacturers state that locos will run round 2nd radius and above this is quite tight for longer locos and coaches.
Hope it helps.
Thanks
End2end
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Emettman
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Re: OO Loft Layout - First timer advice

Postby Emettman » Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:18 pm

Hello and welcome mharris 99.

I agree with the comments already given: for running trains of any length with largish engines increasing all the radii by one size would be an definite objective.
But since the baseboards are already worryingly wide for maintenance and scenic work, I'd suggest this sort of design should be built hollow, with one, or possibly two, operating areas allowing better access to narrower boards and easier curves. A simple double track flap, gate, or lift out section would be no significant problem.

A double track running line with a higher level terminus station is a classic design, for good reasons, but it would be possible to deliver most if not all of what you have in mind on one level (perhaps with some cosmetic gradients) unless multiple levels were actually a design requirement.

You will either need a return loop, or a second station capable of terminating and reversing trains of the size coming from the main terminus, if outbound trains are ever to return home.

I'm happy to cook up a few sketches of ideas, but only on request, and they would only be ideas: it's your loft and your railway.
That's one of the big important rules.

(The area you are showing is a 10' by 15' L-shape ?)

Again, hello and welcome,
Chris.
"It's his madness that keeps him sane."

mharris99
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Re: OO Loft Layout - First timer advice

Postby mharris99 » Sat Jun 04, 2016 12:46 pm

Thanks for your ideas so far. I hadn't really thought about access for cleaning so going to have to have a look at what I can reach.

I think that i'm going add a return loop by the right hand return.

I maybe should have also mentioned that in the future, once some storage issues have been dealt with, I hope to run a continuous circuit all the way round the loft, which is why I have left space at the end of the upper terminus baseboard.

My design has used 3rd and 4th radius curves (I believe I haven't got any turns less than 3rd radius, not too sure on the best way to check)

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Emettman
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Re: OO Loft Layout - First timer advice

Postby Emettman » Sat Jun 04, 2016 1:40 pm

That sounds good.
Yes, trying for 3rd radius is a minimum, so 3rd+4th for double track, is a nice aim.
No reason not to go steep for some docks / mine /industrial works, though.

That has some advantages:
it allows use of space otherwise difficult to get to, emphasises how much bigger main-line curves are, and justifies some little dock/industrial locos to work the "restricted" lines.


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

b308
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Re: OO Loft Layout - First timer advice

Postby b308 » Sat Jun 04, 2016 3:27 pm

If you can I'd suggest that running the double track all around the loft at the outset will allow you to do much more. Space taken up by those sharp curves will be freed up. You don't have to make the track scenic, just a double track "through the storage" would be enough with the scenery in the space you have shown! (Hope that makes sense!)

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Bufferstop
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Re: OO Loft Layout - First timer advice

Postby Bufferstop » Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:44 pm

Yes a double track circuit around the perimeter, up and running as soon as possible means you can watch trains running however little is "finished". You can then go on to envisage sweeping curves and see how much space they will take up. My 16 x 12 progressed as far as through station one side, storage the other, sweeping curves one end, bridge over drop section the other. That was the point at which the lack of headroom became a pain in the neck, literally, and I relocated at the first opportunity into a downstairs room.
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markS&D
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Re: OO Loft Layout - First timer advice

Postby markS&D » Thu Sep 08, 2016 7:49 pm

If you want a terminus station, and have plenty of space, an out and back style layout with built in continuous run might suit you, this way, you can have a train leave your station, run round the continuous run for as many times as you like, then return to your terminus station via a return loop.
My layout, only look if you are interested.

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=48422

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NakatsuHime
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Re: OO Loft Layout - First timer advice

Postby NakatsuHime » Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:00 am

Tight turns due to restricted space will always be the mortal modellers' bane.
I needed to add 7in to my baseboard's depth to get my turns 'out of the red'.
It enabled my class-52 to run on my outer curve, but a new Heljan class-17 just makes it round, even with the curves 'officially' in the clear. You just never know which locos will have clearance issues, and it may not always just be the 'long ones'.

My point is, if your layout has tightish curves, then always be mindful of locos that may have issues. People on here would be able to raise any potential red flags. I, for one, would be perfectly happy to give you a list of my locos that struggle with smaller radius curves if you like.

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markS&D
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Re: OO Loft Layout - First timer advice

Postby markS&D » Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:50 pm

What size is the usable area, the op never actually said? The attached picture diagram doesn't work.

Less is more, with a main line setup, go for the largest radius curves you can accommodate, it just doesn't look right if a main line express runs along a straight wall, then suddenly gets thrown into a 2 foot radius curve , don't make the baseboards any wider than around 2 1/2 feet absolute maximum or you will struggle to reach to the back.

Any track that you want to be hidden, needs to have a way of accessing it for maintenance, such as removable scenery.

Hope this helps
My layout, only look if you are interested.

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=48422

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NakatsuHime
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Re: OO Loft Layout - First timer advice

Postby NakatsuHime » Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:19 pm

markS&D wrote:it just doesn't look right if a main line express runs along a straight wall, then suddenly gets thrown into a 2 foot radius curve


That's why I'll not be running any mainline expresses on mine... Past that straight wall... Into a 3 foot radius curve.
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