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 Need help on small layout design for 1880s
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Author Previous Topic: Key Line Fast Freight Line (modelers coop) Topic Next Topic: My 1:55n3 Civil War layout Kennesaw 1863
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nathperjupiter
New Hire



Posted - 05/06/2017 :  4:35:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello all!

I'm currently attempting to come up with a good late-1800s layout design, but it has to fit in an extremely small space, namely 30"x5'.

I run mostly 4-4-0s, and occasionally a 4-6-0, but the majority of my fleet is all Americans. I model the Central Pacific/Southern Pacific, so something that would be accurate to that era and railroad but fitting in my space would be wonderful.

I've considered making a variation on an Inglenook Sidings, but I'd love for it to be something more than a switching layout.

I know N scale would be preferable for this layout, but HO is my ideal scale and I already have a large fleet of HO engines that I'd rather not let go to waste.

Any ideas?

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jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 05/06/2017 :  5:13:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
If the 30" dimension is absolute, you should make a 14" radius curve to test your engines and cars on. If they won't go around it, or you don't like the way they look on that radius, your layout must necessarily be switching: a yard, terminal, junction etc. Five feet will be between 10 and 12 carlengths, depending on the length of your freight cars. With the 30" width, you can do much more than Inglenook, but a runaround track will hold 2 or 3 freight cars at best in the 5' length.


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Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 05/06/2017 :  5:53:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
If you are looking for nice kits of a small boxcar, Bitter Creek Models has a Central Pacific 25' boxcar. He also has an early 32' gondola. BTS has some even shorter flat cars and a short radial-roof boxcar.

Mike


_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

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railman28
Fireman



Posted - 05/06/2017 :  8:23:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The problem with a switching layout is that only large industries had their own spur. In the 19th century most industry use a teamster (the horse power ones) to get their products to the team track at the town's depot. A station scene with a team track, stock pen and a large flour Mill would keep a local crew hopping. Especially if (even temporary) staging on each end so you can interrupt the local crew with freight and passenger trains.

It's only make-believe

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OK Hogger
Crew Chief

Posted - 05/06/2017 :  9:07:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
An urban switching theme might work in such a small space. Many urban industries had short spurs here and there that were worked around the structures, some even having a track going inside the structure. For the period you're talking, perhaps 0-4-0's or 0-6-0's would be more appropriate, but would seem to me that it would not be outside the realm of reason to use 4-4-0's.

Best of luck!



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dave1905
Fireman



Posted - 05/06/2017 :  9:52:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit dave1905's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I would look up the Epithet Creek series in MR, "Epithet Creek" and "Epithet Creek gets a Terminal". Both are very small layouts with an small steam orientation.

Dave Husman

Iron Men and wooden cars
Visit my website : www.wnbranch.com

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jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 05/06/2017 :  10:26:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
As railman28 (Bob) says, a lot could be gained with temporary track at one or both ends. Even a 2 foot by 3" removable shelf with a single track you can attach to one end of the 30"x60" space would add a lot of switching interest.



Edited by - jbvb on 05/06/2017 10:28:19 PM

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robchant
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 05/07/2017 :  05:28:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Nathaniel,

As all ready suggested, adding a removable cassette to your layout would pretty much be a requirement, if you wanted to take full advantage of your space. As James mentioned, even a 24"-long removable shelf would help a great deal. If you can add one that was at least 48" long, you could start the session with the train in staging, instead of parked in front of the station. With that in mind, I gave designing a layout for your space a shot, and here's what I came up with:



To make the passing track as long as possible, I used the turntable for run around moves. While not ideal, using a turnout and adding a tail track would greatly reduce the length of the passing siding. The rest of the design is pretty much straight forward, and the industries included on the plan offers a good mix of car types to switch.

Take care,
Rob.



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jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 05/07/2017 :  10:30:21 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
That's a nice little layout, Rob. The turntable/runaround trick goes back a long time, but building one can be complicated. Did you choose a turntable size that's commercially available? Also, I'd put the coal bunker to the right of the depot, or in another location where it's straightforward to spot a gondola so men can shovel it into the bin.


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robchant
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 05/07/2017 :  10:51:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi James,

While the TT size shown is 10", there is room for any size up to 12". I have also saw a 9" gallows TTs, but whether that can be used depends on the length of the 4-4-0s (the ones I viewed were around 8", but I wasn't sure). I also wasn't sure if the locos needed coal, or would be wood burners. If they required coal, your idea of moving the coal chute would be worthwhile for another car spot. Thanks for looking.

Take care,
Rob.



Country: Canada | Posts: 1199 Go to Top of Page

railman28
Fireman



Posted - 05/07/2017 :  11:38:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I really like the excellent track plan. For the 1880's the oil dealer is a little early. The coal dealer would also carry cord wood and an occasional load of Kerosene (a couple of drums a week to keep the lamps burning). You might swap the location of the coal dealer to the back where the oil dealer is and use the front spur for the team track and enlarge the freight house. It and the team track would get most of the action. A 9" turntable will handle all of the engines that are available for HO railroading in the 1880's. The outside storage track isn't really needed. The area would better serve for fuel service.
Just MHO's, use or discard as you like.


It's only make-believe

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nathperjupiter
New Hire



Posted - 05/07/2017 :  12:25:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, this was certainly a thread to wake up to!

jbvb, I'd be willing to give 14" radius a shot, but I feel like that's an incredibly tight radius to try, even for my smaller engines.


Robchant- I really like that layout! even though it's a switching oriented layout, I think it would provide a lot of interest. You're right in assuming my 4-4-0s are all around 8 inches.

I have done some more measuring and space consideration, and I have found that I have enough room in the bottom left portion of the layout (if looked at from the top as robchant has propsed a design with) to add a small shelf that's 1 1/2' deep towards the wall and 3' long going away from the layout, to make the layout more L shaped. I think this could provide a lot more room for a staging area or more industry/available area for scenery in general. What do you all think?



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robchant
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 05/07/2017 :  12:50:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Nathaniel,

Just so we are all on the same page, is this the space available?



Take care,
Rob.



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Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 05/07/2017 :  1:56:59 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
As regards online industries in the 1880's . . . I am currently modeling a small city in upstate NY in 1888. Some online industries early in the decade were a couple of large farm implement manufacturers, a carriage maker, and Standad Oil. A decade later in the early 1890's, add a malt house or brewery, Armour meat packing plant, lumber dealer, and Auburn Power and Light Co. Throughout this period there were many coal dealers served by rail.

Of course, I would expect commercial and industrial activity to differ from place to place.

Mike


_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

Edited by - Michael Hohn on 05/07/2017 1:59:38 PM

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nathperjupiter
New Hire



Posted - 05/07/2017 :  2:03:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rob, yep, thats the space.


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robchant
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 05/07/2017 :  4:25:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Nathaniel,

This is the plan for the L-shaped space. Of course in order to use the entire space, a 90 curve had to be used somewhere, which totally changes the dynamics of the space. Doing so required a complete re-design, but there were a few gains.

On the downside, the minimum radius had to be dropped to 20", and the depot had to be placed on a sharp curve (which I generally try to avoid). There was also still no room for hidden staging, but the mainline is extended enough so the plan works without the need for an attached cassette.

Here's the design:



Take care,
Rob.



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