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LandNnut
Fireman

USA
1517 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2012 :  12:55:40 AM  Show Profile  Visit LandNnut's Homepage  Reply with Quote
@Mike(Tyson Rayles)
Do you think Train Clown would help with this layout design? Is he still around? I haven't see him in a while.
L&N nut
Jon

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Schoolmaster
Fireman

USA
1581 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2012 :  02:13:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
LandNut Thank you for saying what I didn't have the guts to say.

HurleyStation. If you let the board members know what you want to achieve, perhaps in the form of an Armstrong-like set of Givens and Druthers, they will be be able to better assist you. Tyson Rayles' less-is-more reflects real railroads using 'just enough' (often not quite enough).


It seems that many areas will be difficult to reach for construction, repair, or in the case of inevitable accidents.

What are the room dimensions?

N scale has been my indoor scale for the last 20 plus years and I understand where you are coming from.
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Tyson Rayles
Moderator

USA
11036 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2012 :  07:32:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LandNnut

@Mike(Tyson Rayles)
Do you think Train Clown would help with this layout design? Is he still around? I haven't see him in a while.
L&N nut
Jon



Good question, TC has been quiet before but it has been awhile, hopefully everything is O.K. and he is just busy.

Mike
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HurleyStation
Engine Wiper

USA
257 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2012 :  08:39:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks guys. I'll study some more plans and get a little more planning into it. The room dimensions are 21'-6" deep and 12'-6" wide at the largest. My intent was to have a double mainline that can run around the layout. The small loop with the crossover will be a small passenger or tram running around and through a town. The crossover going to the helix is actually to pass under the other loop and through a wall(there is a 30" wall section seperating the layout and the helix. The blue lines indicate a river flowing into a waterfront area. Except for the yard area which would be fairly flat, the wall side would be a higher elevation in the back with a slope toward the inside. Will give this some more thought
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Schoolmaster
Fireman

USA
1581 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2012 :  09:10:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
HurleyStation: Thanks for understanding our good intentions.

Here are questions I would want answered.

What sort of trains do you want to run?
The length and nature of trains affects siding and yard trackage length.

When is the railroad?
This affects car length and type.

Where is the railroad?
This affects terrain.

What prototype if any?
Affects many details.

ALWAYS plan for serious operation. You can always just run trains if you want to, but if you have NOT planned for serious operation, you cannot add it effectively to a completed layout.

You have a great space and can do big things with it.

How many N scale layouts have you built before?
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HurleyStation
Engine Wiper

USA
257 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2012 :  1:14:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey John. Here are some answers to the questions you posed.
1)What sort of trains do I plan to run. Basically all steam. 4-8-4's and some Pacifics will be the largest. Will run freight and passenger. Passenger being heavyweights and freight being wooden box and reefer most 40' or less (I do have a few 50'). Some hoppers and old tank cars.
2)Time frame -hmmmm - that's harder to pin down. Basically spanning 1900 through 1950.
3) Topograhy - (terrain) Hilly area near waterfront alot of steam powered industry, well worn and weathered. Few paved roads, mostly dirt and/or gravel.
4)Prototype - What's that?? Just kidding. Actually no prototype. I plan on having Mobile & Gulf, Warrior River Terminal Co, Southern, L&N and Mississippi Export. The passenger lines will be the Crescent Ltd, The Alton Ltd and the Rebel.Whatever I like
5)Previous layouts - None. I have never actually had a place to build one. I have worked up several plans and have been refining what I like since I was about 10 (now 54). I have most everything I need for my layout now, and am looking forward to getting started soon.
The thing I'm having trouble understanding is the reaction to the plan, not offended by it, just trying to see whatever it is I am missing. Thanks to everyone for the input and trying to help
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Schoolmaster
Fireman

USA
1581 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2012 :  1:31:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the info.

Most of the members of this board, if not prototype modellers, follow prototype practices. In N scale, in particular, when you have plenty of space, as you do, the track plan of your layout should resemble the track plan of a real railroad. Experienced modellers should be able to look at the plan an get a sense of what you intend.

10 out of 10 experienced modellers would say pretty much the same as LandNut being more or less polite about it. your layot design is very '50s, or even earlier, before prototype practice became the norm.

Do you intend to double deck? It appears that you have a helix.

You want a 'big' double track main-line, it appears, and a division point yard. Would you be interested in a passenger terminal and or a port and warehouse district?

My last room-size N Scale layout was double decked, although the room was a bit smaller than yours, about 17' x 11'

Another reason for all these questions is for me to avoid pushing my 'style' on you. Forunately, I model the Santa Fe in the late fifties; from the end of steam to the end of the Zebra stripe scheme.

What, if any, track planning books.

Edited by - Schoolmaster on 02/03/2012 1:38:06 PM
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HurleyStation
Engine Wiper

USA
257 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2012 :  10:14:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, the plan is to build a double shelf, the helix going to the upper shelf which would house logging and mining. The mainline will make a run through and have transfer stations from the industry. The industry on the upper shelf will be basically N and Nn3 with Shays, Climaxes, and maybe a few other smaller steam engines. The lower shelf is basically the mainline and the yard. The blue lines at the top represent a river mouth flowing into a bay. I am planning on a having a waterfront area there with docks and waterfront industry.This area needs some more work but I'll have to layout the waterfront before I finalize that area. Some stations along the way but no major passenger terminal. The end of the yard area is a roundhouse with turntable.
I have looked at layouts on the Model Railroader database,and these are some of the books I have been looking at:
1)N SCALE BASIC LAYOUTS
2)THE MODEL RAILROADERS GUIDE TO FREIGHT YARDS
3)THE COMPLETE BOOK OF MODEL RAILROADING
4)DESIGNING & BUILDING MULTI-DECK MODEL RAILROADS
5)MODEL RAILROADERS GUIDE TO MOUNTAIN RAILROADING
6)MODELING RAILROADS OF THE 1950'S
7)THE MODEL RAILROADER'S GUIDE TO LOGGING RAILROADS
and of course some of the layouts on the Forum.
This is purely a freelance project as you see, but am far from finalized and am thankful for the input.
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LandNnut
Fireman

USA
1517 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2012 :  10:28:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit LandNnut's Homepage  Reply with Quote
"3) Topograhy - (terrain) Hilly area near waterfront alot of steam powered industry, well worn and weathered. Few paved roads, mostly dirt and/or gravel."

That Sounds a lot like Chattanooga in the 1900-1920 era. Chattanooga even had a trolley.
L&N nut
Jon

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HurleyStation
Engine Wiper

USA
257 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2012 :  07:58:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

The few times I've driven through Chatanooga has been on the interstate and from what I could see it still is an industrial town well weathered and worn, with better roads (no offense to anyone from Chatanooga) Actually what is in my mind is a blend of Upstate New York, West Virginia, Bremerton Washington, Tennessee mountains,Birmingham and Mobile Alabama with some Pascagoula Mississippi thrown in for good measure.
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Tyson Rayles
Moderator

USA
11036 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2012 :  08:50:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rhett if you allow for 50-60 square inches of scenery for every foot of visable (not counting staging) track you should have enough room for effective scenery. My own layout figures out at 57.3 inches per foot of track. I was shooting for 60 but didn't quite make it.

Mike

Edited by - Tyson Rayles on 02/04/2012 10:09:17 PM
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Schoolmaster
Fireman

USA
1581 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2012 :  09:31:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the additional information.

LandNut had it right earlier, buy a copy of John Armstrong's Track Planning for Realistic Operation, it is essential for a project of this scope. I have all three editions (different photographs) It will help you in a hundred little ways.

Completely freelancing a railroad, both in place and prototype is very difficult, as easy as it might sound (it's a zen thing). Either your final product ends up looking cartoony (sometimes that's what you want) or it looks like a three dollar bill; OK on the surface, but there's just something wrong with it.

Good layout planning is usually about making difficult choices. like real railroads, and it is the results of these choices that makes the railroad look real.

With the space you have available, and allowing for realistic transitions between them, I would not attempt to represent more than three different geographic locations on each deck.

Step 1: Locating you Railroad.

Get out a map of the USA and come up with a route for your railroad. Where does it start (NYC, DC, Buffalo, Pittsburg), where does it end (Mobile, New Orleans, Miami) and what intermediate cities does it pass through (Charlotte, Cincinnati, Chattanooga, Brirmingham, Montgomery, Louisville, Atlanta, Pensacols)?

If your railroad has a major (or several) branches or secondary main lines, where do they run to (Vicksburg, St Louis, Chicago, Detroit, Baton Rouge)?

If this process is difficult, then I suggest that your route should generally parallel modern Interstates or major State Highways.

This route will have a strong influence on the layout, it will determine major features, topography, the order of things and opportunities for interchange with other railroads.

Without this grounding (pun intended) in the real world, it is very hard to organize things and make meaningful decisions. The process also helps organize your thoughts.

When this process is complete, you will be able to choose what sections of the line you wish to model.

Edited by - Schoolmaster on 02/04/2012 09:33:36 AM
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HurleyStation
Engine Wiper

USA
257 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2012 :  09:33:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
!Thank You Mike Now that is something I can sink my teeth into and work with. A couple of questions if I may: 1) When running two parallel lines do you figure them as one line of tracks or maybe a different ratio, say 50-60 square inches to 1.5" of double line?
2) Do you count hidden track (tunnels or what have you) ?
The feedback has been great here. Thanks!!
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Schoolmaster
Fireman

USA
1581 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2012 :  09:51:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Tyson Rayles: I kind of disagree with that, unless I misunderstand. I have built N scale layouts on 12" wide shelves, fairly high up, one square foot of such shelf is 144 sq inches and has at least 12 inches of track.

For a 12" length of benchwork with mainline, your ratio would need 720 square inches of space; that's 60 inch wide benchwork!

Thinking about it more, I must have misunderstood. I have never built a railroad in and scale even close to that. The pier I plan for On30 will be on a baseboard 2' x 18'; 36 square feet. I expect it to look fine scenery-wise, but it will have over fifty feet of track on it.

Edited by - Schoolmaster on 02/04/2012 10:02:30 AM
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HurleyStation
Engine Wiper

USA
257 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2012 :  11:32:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Besides Mobile, Montgomery, Birmingham, New Orleans, Nashville, Chicago I may add Chatanooga now that Jon has put it in my head
Hey, this is good. Maybe we can get a good brouhaha going over the ratio of scenery to track! It might rival whether to model nail holes or not
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