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jskirwin

If you could do it over, what would you do?

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jskirwin
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train.PNG

 

Any recommendations before I commit to this layout? I'm modeling in foam, and there will be a mountain coming from left->right in the center where the green board is. There will be a one-man train to a temple complex - like Kurama in Kyoto. Elevated line will be shinkansen. On either side of the mountain will be small towns with one-man trains similar to the Kyoto-Yamashina line before the subway was built. A subway will be embedded in the first layer front of the foam with a station, then come out the left side of the mountain, join the inner loop, then descend at the right-hand switch.

 

I plan on making plenty of mistakes, but just curious what people would do if they could do it over.

Edited by jskirwin
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cteno4

That’s an ever evolving question!

 

The best thing is setting the track up like this and playing with it before committing. Playing with it really helps find the things you like and don’t like.

 

jeff

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Kiha66

Jeff has the right idea!  Scenery makes the layout look pretty, but not any more fun to operate.  If you like running it without scenery, you'll probably enjoy it just as much when finished.

My one suggestion to consider is the addition of a small yard somewhere.  I find I have a lot more fun if I can park and change trains without having to take them off the tracks immediately.

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JR 500系

It's like Jeff said, it's an ever evolving process! I see that you have an overhead line and an at grade line, my suggestion is to add an incline and a decline, it really adds more fun running the trains up and down!  🙂

 

Have fun building! 

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jskirwin

Thanks for the suggestions.

One thing I had planned to do was use DCC extensively. The last time I was into trains was about 15 years ago when the kids were little, and at that time DCC seemed to be taking the hobby by storm. So I was surprised to get back into it and find that the Japanese of all people - serious train-fans who take their hobbies to the next level - hadn't seemed too interested. Aside from the shinkansen, I'll have to wire all the other Japanese trains I'm buying.

I'm using Kato as the base to avoid issues of hand-laid track and because of the quality, but I had visions of popping in chips into locos and running them. Now I have to break out the soldering iron and so surgery on expensive locos with eyes and fingers that are much worse than they were 15 years ago.

 

Still, I'm excited and glad I found you guys.

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chadbag

I think you will find that, outside of Japan, DCC is still taking the industry by storm.  A lot of the European trains are coming with only DCC hardwired in (and running DC in the DCC mode for DC use).  And on another (US focused) train forum, many of the guys are doing DCC, sound, etc (they are mostly H0).   Even KATO is making more and more of their stuff DCC compatible.

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Madsing

I agree with Kiha66 about adding a small yard. I overlooked that on my layout (I just didn't know) and I miss one.

About DCC: My layout is entirely DCC. I mostly purchase Kato trains that are DCC friendly (either using Kato EM13, FL12 and FR11 decoders, or other Digitrax decoders for freight locomotives) and they can be installed quite easily without soldering!

 

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Sir Madog

I am in the hobby for over 56 years now. One of the major mistakes I made (and still keep on making) is that in all of my layouts, I never made provisions for a staging yard, thus giving the trains on my layout a destination or a starting terminal. The British call that a "fiddle yard" - the place not only to store trains ready for the layout, but also to make up or rearrange your trains.

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Martijn Meerts

I'd try to stick to 1 scale of modelling instead of multiple scales 😄

 

And probably stick more to a certain era or region.

 

 

As for your layout, a small yard, or a train station with several tracks could be added. Especially if you go the DCC route, and (partially) automate your layout. It adds quite a lot of variety to even a small layout.

 

Of course, you could go totally crazy and integrate the fish tank, just put a clear plastic tube through the sides and have the trains go through there 😄

 

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