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gavino200

As I get closer to finishing the train room, I'm starting the daunting task of track design. Currently I'm mostly searching for inspiration. I found this design that I really like. What I want is to have a fairly complex plan where I can run a few different trains at once, without it looking like a bowl of spaghetti. 

 

https://www.scarm.info/layouts/track_plans.php?ltp=162

 

This layout runs three trains and a tram at once, and still leaves lots of room for modeling and scenery. 

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gavino200

Looking at this again I realize that the figure of 8 blue line involves an incline. That will drive me crazy. What I might do instead is change this to an ovoid and make this a "lower level" line. I could make it a partially underground line and use my old tunnel piece for it, as well as a station in a straight section. 

 

 

Basically this is U-shaped layout split into one U and two L shaped lines, plus a tramline for the city. My layout may be more of a G-shape so I can extend the idea.

 

I'll have to do a lot of thinking in order to incorporate different terrain levels. It would be ok for the long line to have inclines as long as the gradient were super per low. 

 

Right now I'm leaning toward having an outside walkway. Mostly for convenience and fun. I think that was @chadbag's suggestion.

Edited by gavino200
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cteno4

nice mixup of track plans and lots of scenery room


Any viaduct?

 

jeff

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gavino200
1 hour ago, cteno4 said:

nice mixup of track plans and lots of scenery room


Any viaduct?

 

jeff

 

Yes, I think there'll be viaduct. I really like how it looks and I have a ton of it so it'd be a shame to waste it. Probably part elevated and part ground level with the terrain changing height rather than the track. 

 

I'm on a staycation this week, so I'll probably take out some paper and make a few sketches. 

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gavino200

My first layout design thoughts. Once I have the roughest idea I'll measure the room and start mocking things up on computer. 

 

The basics:

One large mainline.

Three small mainlines

Two tramlines. 

 

I'll start building all the way on the left using two loops from my old layout as teardrop ends. Then I'll build out in a modular fashion. 

 

eWKAtDd.jpg

 

First I have a big decision to make. Whether or not to have an outside walkway. I'm going to set up my old layout and decide whether I like it and whether it's necessary. I won't be able to go any further toward accurate track planning until I know about the walkway. 

 

Pros to an outside walkway. 

1. Ease of access. 

2. Easier to disassemble the modules for access. 

3. Possibly more fun for play. 

 

Cons to an outside walkway

1. It gives less space for track. 

2. An against-the-wall layout may fit my aesthetic better. 

 

Alternative to an outside walkway.

1. Not making the modules too wide in most places. 

2. Perhaps some kind of library type ladder to reach further. 

3. Constructing the segments so that they can each be disconnected easily and slid out. 

 

Any suggestions from experience or otherwise would be very welcome. 

Edited by gavino200

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cteno4

How about putting all the modules on wheels so you could wheel into a corner and get the corner backdrop and a all around peninsula view at the other end. The  pull out like 2’ to get the walk around when working.

 

I should have bought stock in a caster company, I put wheels on everything I can!

 

jeff

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gavino200
2 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

How about putting all the modules on wheels so you could wheel into a corner and get the corner backdrop and a all around peninsula view at the other end. The  pull out like 2’ to get the walk around when working.

 

I should have bought stock in a caster company, I put wheels on everything I can!

 

jeff

 

I'm intrigued but I don't understand. 🤔

 

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cteno4

If on wheels you could pull it out to have the 2’ corridor around the back and 2 ends to get access to work and easier to assemble and take apart modules. Then roll the whole thing into on corner. This gets you more space out front for company, running etc and you can have wall backdrop along the two sides in the corner. The end not in the corner would then have a 4’ viewing area along the end to look down the whole lenght of the layout and not sides of a peninsula that could stick out on that end. That peninsula could be wider as you would always have access on both sides of the peninsula.

 

clear as mud?

 

jeff

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gavino200
3 hours ago, cteno4 said:

If on wheels you could pull it out to have the 2’ corridor around the back and 2 ends to get access to work and easier to assemble and take apart modules. Then roll the whole thing into on corner. This gets you more space out front for company, running etc and you can have wall backdrop along the two sides in the corner. The end not in the corner would then have a 4’ viewing area along the end to look down the whole lenght of the layout and not sides of a peninsula that could stick out on that end. That peninsula could be wider as you would always have access on both sides of the peninsula.

 

clear as mud?

 

jeff

 

Yes, very muddy still. I get most of what you're saying. 

 

The whole thing is on wheels. The floor will be smooth tile so that would facilitate movement. I'm still not sure how easily the whole thing will be to move without knocking of a million things. But it might be.

 

I agree that the against the wall with two peninsulas arrangement would look good. Access to both sides isn't necessary most of the time. 

 

It would allow me to make the sections wider (than a fixed-against-the-wall arrangement) in exactly the same way as having individual pull out pieces. 

 

It would not allow me gain any overall layout length or width. But thinking about it, it's not the overall lengths that matter. It's the module section with that limit how creative you can be with track curves and loops. 

 

If the walkway were only for construction and maintenance, I probably wouldn't need two feet. I'm average size and don't keep a store of extra fuel onboard, so I probably could make do with 1'. Also if surrounding access t's only for maintenance,  and the sections/layout are on wheels, then it only has to be moved in one direction at a time. 

 

It's a real possibility.

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cteno4

With slow movement you won’t have tons knocked over except maybe trains but easily righted. If each module is well supported it’s easily put on wheels. The alternative is narrower stuff against the wall non movable. The nice thing about big long scenes you have is backdrops can really be stunning and magnify the scenes. Also looking down a long scene can be cool and many built in layouts that go wall to wall prevent these views.

 

yep of you moved it to the minimum for access you could probably get away with 18” when pulled out for work.

 

it’s always about tradeoffs and it’s about getting the combo that makes the best of all overall as rarely one thing rules.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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gavino200

I might as well start thinking about making a sample module. I've had time to let many of the ideas discussed earlier in the thread settle and mature. 

 

Since we opened up the room I'm not so concerned about incorporating furniture into the layout itself. The room with feel nice and open and will have other comforts. 

 

I'm also more comfortable with the idea building the thing mostly myself. Though I still am not going to use a power saw. Likely I'll collaborate somewhat with a cabinet builder. 

 

How I'm imagining a module right now.

 

1. Simple, sturdy table-top frame and top surface. 

 

2. Simple sturdy legs. Ideally removable. I'd want to be able to move with this thing if necessary.

 

3. Sturdy, smooth, lockable, wheels on the legs. ( wonder about sound properties) 

 

4. One or two layers of removable shelves in some if not all modules. I want these shelves to be completely removable so they won't be in the way when I work on the underside of the layout.

 

5. Smooth fascia covering the front  that can be easily removed, and replaced. Perhaps some could be slide open/close for storing often accessed items. I'd paint the fascia. Not sure what color yet. 

 

6. Junctions between modules that would be very sturdy but easy and quick to disconnect. Also, quick connect electrical connections between modules. 

 

7. I'd like to keep vibration and resonance factors to minimum in all aspects. 

 

Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.

 

Edited by gavino200

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cteno4
25 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

I might as well start thinking about making a sample module. I've had time to let many of the ideas discussed earlier in the thread settle and mature.

yes do a prototype before jumping into this level of project. I’ve always done this and always learned some important improvements and gotchas that greatly helped in the greater project.

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Since we opened up the room I'm not so concerned about incorporating furniture into the layout itself. The room with feel nice and open and will have other comforts.

yes I was thinking this stuff could easily move while you had it pulle out and working on it and move back in when against the wall and playing having more “fun” room in front then with furniture back in.

Quote

 

I'm also more comfortable with the idea building the thing mostly myself. Though I still am not going to use a power saw. Likely I'll collaborate somewhat with a cabinet builder.

good thought, they may be able to help with engineering and cut out and you do a lot of the assembly.

Quote

 

How I'm imagining a module right now.

 

1. Simple, sturdy table-top frame and top surface.

Simple framework system will do this. Cabinet maker or carpenter can do this well. Again that 1/2” Baltic birch 7 ply cabinet plywood is golden for this

Quote

 

2. Simple sturdy legs. Ideally removable. I'd want to be able to move with this thing if necessary.

yep smart

Quote

 

3. Sturdy, smooth, lockable, wheels on the legs. ( wonder about sound properties) 

Actually no issues for sound as the wheels will be like legs and usually hard rubber or urethane so a bit od sound absorption if anything. Locking not needed as folks are not leaning on the layout to move it. All together it’s going to take 2 or 3 people together to move it.

Quote

 

4. One or two layers of removable shelves in some if not all modules. I want these shelves to be completely removable so they won't be in the way when I work on the underside of the layout.

I would just go with shelves and furniture that could roll under the layout and pull out easily for work under the layout as well as better access to the storage.

Quote

 

5. Smooth fascia covering the front  that can be easily removed, and replaced. Perhaps some could be slide open/close for storing often accessed items. I'd paint the fascia. Not sure what color yet.

curtains or thin plywood panels with Velcro to the leg system could do this easily.

Quote

 

6. Junctions between modules that would be very sturdy but easy and quick to disconnect. Also, quick connect electrical connections between modules.

few dowel pegs for alignment will allow quick alignment and assembly and then a coupe of bolts with wing nuts to secure it all. Wiring can using a buss style design for track and accessory power where possible to reduce the connections needed thru modules. Motorcycle connectors are pretty cheap and easy to pop apart when you need to split modules apart.

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7. I'd like to keep vibration and resonance factors to minimum in all aspects.

pretty easy to do with a good sub frame work under your surface. I really recommend a lap joint grid system (think wine case insert)as it really is strong and prevents vibration, it creates the waffle design used in parking structures and office buildings. Easy to do in woodworking when doing something at scale like this.

Quote

 

Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.

 

Cheers

 

jeff

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gavino200

Thank you much Jeff. 🙂

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gavino200

I measured out the room and made a mock up of the room in anyrail. I also tried out some ideas using my old layout parts. 

I'm definitely going to use a walkspace of 18 inches. 

The widest part of any benchwork will be twice the length of my comfortable reach (30 inches). That way there'll be no derailment I can't easily reach. 

I'm also going to add a small long yard section.

 

So here it is. The main track plan will be a large C and two L shaped lines, plus some trams and maybe a narrow gauge. After I come up with a track plan, I'll design the final shape of the modules and start building. 

 

YpgFf16.jpg?1

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gavino200

I made a baseboard model in Scarm and drew out a very basic concept. Nothing is set in stone. 

 

The left will be the high side. A mountain at the far side. The blue and red lines will be ground level. I'm going to put my "visible tunnel in the mountain. 

 

The right side will be the low side, possibly with a dock or beach. The red line will be elevated on this side. The green train will be a ground level commuter train for most to this side except for where it goes "underground" to be a short segment of visible subway. 

I'm hoping to have the three lines meet in a two level station in the middle.

I'd like the station and the yard to be long enough to accomodate 16 car trains. 

 

The pink line will be one of those two car commuter trains (a new collection) that goes between two town teardrop loops. 

 

The orange will be a simple tram loop (another collection). 

 

I'll have to find some place for a sagawa/ container depot. 

 

Once I have a basic concept that I like, I'll start mocking things up in SCARM

 

TIR3e6C.jpg

 

Th8bZ1Y.jpg

 

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gavino200

I did a mockup of the dimensions and with input from the family we decided to alter the dimensions. Surrounding walkways increased to 2 feet and layout depth decreased to 4 feet. 

 

I also made a preliminary sketch using SCARM. I don't really know the program yet so I didn't fine tune this one. I think I need to change the terrain before I do anything else. 

 

It's a very simple track plan. I'll try to enhance it without turning it into a bowl of spaghetti but I'm learning that it's a real art. 

 

While I continue to remodel the plan, I'm going to turn my attention to constructing the first module - a 4 foot by 6 foot rectangle. 

 

Any suggestions are always welcome.

 

mGQjbFl.png

 

u6vbPVn.jpg

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cteno4

One trick I do in track cad is for first pass I dont bother getting complex curves just right to fit with all the proper pieces, I cheat and just throw in approximate tracks and overlap and don’t make them lock up all the time. If I like how the approximation looks the I will go back and spend the time to figure out the exact perfect track to do it. But I find like 3 out of 4 approximations I toss before getting to proper track. It’s kind of one step past doodling with pencil and paper and one step before real track cad, but save some time and frustration (although some of the track layouts can be fun puzzles if you are in the mood).

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Kiha66

I like the large yard/station area, that'll both be very helpful for running sessions without spending 50% of the time swapping out trains, and also will be a nice focal point of the layout for visitors to look at your collection while not in motion.  I've found they're quite popular with visitors even without scenery during shows and at open houses.  

 

While it might be a bit more pricy, if you're having issues with the self built modules one of the T-trak kit manufactures has started making freemo modules that could work as a base.  Their largest size is 3' by 4' but if you asked they might possibly do larger. 

 

http://www.masterpiecemodules.com/FreeMo.php

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