Railroad Line Forums - Rocktown & Olympus RR
Railroad Line Forums
Save Password

Forgot Password?
  Home   Forums   Events Calendar   Sponsors   Support the RRLine   Guestbook   FAQ     Register
Active Topics | Active Polls | Resources | Members | Online Users | Live Chat | Avatar Legend | Search | Statistics
Photo Album | File Lister | File Library
[ Active Members: 4 | Anonymous Members: 1 | Guests: 156 ]  [ Total: 161 ]  [ Newest Member: BlackDiamond1964 ]
 All Forums
 Model Railroad Forums
 The On30 Line
 Rocktown & Olympus RR
Next Page
 New Topic |   New Poll New Poll |   Reply to Topic | 
Author Previous Topic: Wooden Gondola repaint (Bachmann 18) Topic Next Topic: Family Farm
Page: of 3

Section Hand

Posted - 11/23/2020 :  10:08:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello everyone,

New member here from Greece, and I thought of starting up a layout thread for a project that I hope to start as soon as possible (lockdown here so… no ability to get raw materials).

It is a small island type layout, with it’s dimensions dictated by the empty space I have in the middle of my HO scale (around the walls) layout. Dimensions are circa 5.5' by 3.3' with a 1.5' extension for the steamboat landing scene.

Theme: Freelance RR, set in 1870s somewhere in the American Southwest, inspired to a great extent by Frontier Land in Disneyland Paris. (I have a long list of proto-locations that inspired me, like Canyonlands, Chelly Canyon, Nine Mile ...Marble Canyon, Silver Reef etc…).

Concept: The main idea is to have a small freight/ore train serving 3 mines and connecting the mines of Olympus (at a higher level on the larger future layout) with a stamp mill* (*to be modelled in a future module… see large layout track plan). A 2nd mixed train, will bring in supplies to the mines, merchandise and passengers to/from a steamboat landing at Rocktown, practically connecting Rocktown with Olympus. I haven’t finalized on the ops yet so this is work in progress and your advice is more than welcome.

Ops plan: The current small layout will model a large part of Rocktown (where the steamboat landing is) as well as 1 mine. If I opt for the plan on the left (most probable), I ll have the Porter locomotive serving the mine (and going to staging inside the tunnel to unload ore), and the mixed train with a Mogul, going the other way around to bring passengers to/from Rocktown and serve the riverside merchant.

Some specs:
Peco Code83 HO tracks, converted to On30, #5 and #6 turnouts, minimum radius 40cm (something like 15.75”).
DCC (Z21 Roco system).

This small layout in the following track-plan will be a module (with removal of the left side 180 degree curve), to be added to other modules in making a much longer island type layout for a future house. I will post a track plan of the future layout for the sake of completeness and in order to put things in context.

I originally thought of not having a passing siding, but then I thought that having one might give me an excuse to have a 2nd train with a Mogul (backdated) hauling a single coach and a freight car. I currently have just 1x 0-4-2 Porter and 2 gons and 1 coach….

So apologies for the long intro, here are the track-plans, and soon I hope that I will be able to start working on some projects in order to be able to post actual modelling work.

Many thanks in advance for your time and replies!

This is the currently proposed small layout track-plan. I ll opt for the one on the left most probably.

The larger extended layout is like a loop to loop design, there is a thought of eliminating the lower loop and having a helix for lower level staging but nothing is set in stone yet. This larger layout has been designed in order to provide a better guide for how to build the smaller one...

Download Attachment: On30LayoutPlanCompFinal.jpg
72.08 KB

Download Attachment: RocktownOlympusOn30.jpg
44.34 KB

Country: Greece | Posts: 91


Premium Member

Posted - 11/23/2020 :  10:59:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I will be following along. Welcome to the crew.

Country: USA | Posts: 11982 Go to Top of Page

Crew Chief

Posted - 11/23/2020 :  11:10:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yannis that is a very interesting concept and I agree with you the plan on the left would make for better operations. Have fun!

Country: USA | Posts: 905 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 11/23/2020 :  12:12:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit Philip's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Welcome aboard! Following along also!


Country: USA | Posts: 3494 Go to Top of Page

Section Hand

Posted - 11/23/2020 :  1:16:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you all for the replies and interest!

Quick (or sort of...) question. Does it make sense to have a Porter do the ore-run between mines and mill, given it's shorter range and power and have a 2nd train with a Mogul or 4-4-0, handle the passengers and supplies/merchandise? Or it would make more sense to also have a couple of freight cars assigned to the Porter and have the Mogul just handle passenger service?

I am trying to sort out the potential trains on such a layout.

Country: Greece | Posts: 91 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 11/23/2020 :  2:39:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit thayer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I grew up along the coast of Maine, and the 2-foot narrow gauge rail lines were much as you describe in the first option. Short line service from the limestone quarries to the kilns used locomotives like the Porter, while local freight and passenger service were more commonly run on mixed trains, with a larger locomotive as you describe.

Of course it is your railroad, so your rules. You can run it however you like.


Country: | Posts: 331 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 11/23/2020 :  3:53:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yannis, you've got some good ideas and plans.
I will also follow along as you start construction.

Country: USA | Posts: 24529 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn

Posted - 11/23/2020 :  4:15:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote

Welcome to the Forums. I like the plan on the left; a passing siding provides a lot of operational potential. The only change I would make is to shorten the siding. That would make the layout look larger and also require opposing train movements to be coordinated.


Country: USA | Posts: 7497 Go to Top of Page

Section Hand

Posted - 11/24/2020 :  01:55:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rick, Thayer and Mike many thanks for your replies and the motivation provided!
Thayer many thanks for confirming that my ops idea makes some sense.
Mike, now that you mentioned it... one of my original versions for this track plan was actually having a shorter siding, with the right side turnout being symmetrical to where the left side is... (roughly at the 4 o'clock position for the right one, and 8 o'clock for the left). This way, I can have room for a trestle right up the corner (upper right corner).

The only problem i see as is, is that if the Mogul mixed train tries to switch the merchant, then the locomotive will have to go into the tunnel and then back up in order to clear the left side turnout... (mixed train clockwise, Porter train counterclockwise). Maybe in this version of the trackplan (small layout) I will just have the Mogul hauling a coach and have the Porter handle the freight/ore. Open to suggestions here...

Country: Greece | Posts: 91 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 11/24/2020 :  02:41:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yannis, great to see you jump right into the Forums. Good start on your project, and you see how many members chime in to give you ideas and answer questions. It's a pretty fun group here. I'm curious, where in Greece are you located? I spent 10 days at Pireus <-> Athens about 50 years ago road testing cars with BMW on mountain and city roads. Very memorable and great food! Welcome again.

Jim in Indiana

Take the red pill

Country: USA | Posts: 6340 Go to Top of Page

Section Hand

Posted - 11/24/2020 :  03:11:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Jim.

Many thanks for the reply and welcome! Indeed the replies and interest by fellow members is very encouraging and much appreciated! Hopefully soon I ll get some time and materials to be able to materialize the paper thoughts presented here.

I am in Northern Greece, Thessaloniki. 50 years ago was a totally different experience/city from what i hear (I am from Athens), which is partly why I chose to model that era (among other reasons) for my HO scale layout (set in 1969, East Los Angeles - Pasadena). Interesting to hear about the road testing! True that the food is nice (but i hear it is great across the pond!).

All the best

Country: Greece | Posts: 91 Go to Top of Page

Tyson Rayles

Premium Member

Posted - 11/24/2020 :  08:43:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Welcome Yannis! Neat project, hope the lockdown ends soon so you can get started.

Country: USA | Posts: 13458 Go to Top of Page

Bill Gill

Posted - 11/24/2020 :  08:44:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yannis, welcome to the forum. I like your plans for the small layout and its future potential to expand.
I have a small layout 4 ft x 5.25 ft. with no potential for growing, but I enjoy it a lot.

Even though it is HO scale, standard gauge and set in New England in 1954, it has several features similar to your plans:
There is a small town on one side with a "mainline" that runs off the end of the layout on the right "into" a wall in the room.
On the other side, instead of a mine, is a small part of a granite quarry and a loading area for pulpwood.
In between the town and the industries is a view block "mountain" running through the center of the layout. That really helps the illusion that the layout is much larger than it is. There is a short tunnel at one end (sometimes the engine has to work the town by backing into the tunnel) and a rock cut at the other. I think the mountain is the best feature on the layout.

There are also two short passing sidings on opposite diagonal corners which helps a lot when I try to run two trains.
For operations I usually begin on the mainline at the town side so it is possible to also stage two more very short trains out of sight on the other side of the mountain and bring them in when I want.

Your layout will be set in the Southwest and you mentioned Disneyland's Frontier Land as one inspiration, have you checked out Dave Meek's On3 Thunder Mesa RR here on the forum?

Edited by - Bill Gill on 11/24/2020 08:52:56 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 3295 Go to Top of Page

Section Hand

Posted - 11/24/2020 :  11:42:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bill many thanks for the heads up on your layout! Do you have a layout thread I can check? I plan to have a towering mountain acting as a scene divider on the two sides of the layout as well. I ll have to upload a 3d sketch of what I am talking about.
I have seen Dave's excellent Thunder Mesa layout and check out the progress starting some years ago (I have also seen the great work of Verne Niner)! Both layouts are really admirable pieces of work (and great articles written by both!).

Tyson thank you for the welcome! I really hope that things improve over here and the lockdown lifts.

Edited by - Yannis on 11/24/2020 11:43:42 AM

Country: Greece | Posts: 91 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 11/24/2020 :  12:52:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yannis I really like the track plan! Looking forward to your progress.


"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." A. Lincoln

Country: USA | Posts: 13394 Go to Top of Page

Section Hand

Posted - 11/24/2020 :  1:06:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you Jerry!

In the meantime I modified the trackplan a bit to make the passing siding shorter as Mike suggested and I changed the orientation of a spur (mine)

Download Attachment: RocktownOlympusOn30small.jpg
59.33 KB

Country: Greece | Posts: 91 Go to Top of Page
Page: of 3 Previous Topic: Wooden Gondola repaint (Bachmann 18) Topic Next Topic: Family Farm  
 New Topic |   New Poll New Poll |   Reply to Topic | 
Next Page
Jump To:
Railroad Line Forums © 2000-2020 Railroad Line Co. Go To Top Of Page
Steam was generated in 0.44 seconds. Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000