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Train length information?


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I'm planning a new layout, and I want to estimate the length of some long trains so that I can plan station length and yard length. Unfortunately my trains are all packed up due to a construction project. 


Does anyone know of a reference for the length of various N-scale trains when all hooked up together on track?


Specifically I'd like to know the length of. 

1. The E5/E6 Hyabusa/Komachi when combined

2. The N700 16 car nozomi

3. Full length ICE4

4. M250 Super rail cargo train

5. Any other long train that you know of. 

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I made a picture of the M250's and an E531 in full length with a measuring tape.


Comes to 218 cm for the M250, and 202cm for a 15 car E531.



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Hi Gavin,

if you plan to use trains in real lenght formation, in the real life passenger trains in Europe and Japan can't measure over 400mt, that's the max lenght of station platform (2,5mt in 1/160), indipendent form the number of coaches (20 cars TGV or Eurostar, 16(8+8) cars ETR 1000 or 16 cars N700 are all around 400 mt, maybe a little more but is all nose)


freight train platform lenght is not normalized (too many variables), but for trains that exeed the platform lenght in the real life the train will be split in 2 or more parts (but I think is near to impossible to reproduce in N scale a real freight yard excluding a small one owned by private company)






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Thanks guys. I mocked up those numbers on SCARM. Three meters is really giant. I may compromise as a station that long will really dominate the layout. My yard should be able to hold anything. I'm hoping my depot will hold the Super Rail Cargo but it wouldn't be a disaster if I had to shorten it.


Thanks for all your help.

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This has been central to our first two club layouts of having the full 16 car shinkansen, then on the second also a full container yard and platform for the m250 and larger container trains of like 10-16. Min was 3m and our whole center section basically with curves on the ends. Our loops were always warped so it wasn’t a simple oval, but those long straight sections are big. On the m250 yard we did bend the back track so one went straight along the front of the yard and the back of the yard was a big arc and that made things feel less rectilinear. But they are big!


on our latest we’ve been tinkering on we reduced the usual station and container area to 8 car trains on the minimal layout, but have expansion sections that can push it out to 16 car trains. The old layout was like 5m+ long so we needed a space at least 8 or 9m long to display so that was hard or impossible in some places. When we did the grand central display we had to get the layout down to 3m long and why we got onto smaller stations and yards it actually made us focus more on a lot of interesting scenes all over and the big yards and stations didn’t come to dominate!


over the years I’ve wrangled with home layout designs for myself and have gone back and forth on this issue of wanting the 16 car trains (I’ve collected a lot of them over the years and love them) and fitting the space needs of them into the potential spaces and shapes for the layout. Unless you have gobs of space (and time and money) you have to compromise somewhere as you can’t have your cake and eat it too! I’ve also usually come to the G shaped layout designs like you’ve been doodling with.


one thing to play with is to use some graph paper and cut out some station blocks at various sizes and place rhen around with some connecting tracks then drawn in and see what it leaves for scene spaces and visual balance. I’ve also done this with locked blocks in xtrakcad a long time back to whack out whacky ideas (one was a huge double tracked dumbbell shinkansen line folded into a huge Z that had a 16 car shinkansen station in the middle with 4 thru traks and 6 passing tracks, massive station!). They were fun exercises but I kept finding the huge stations end up being the focus of the whole layout especially if up against walls. In the club layout we get away with it better as you can walk around it easily and have two very different sides to look at and even do interesting things with what you see on the backside of the far area. Your slim walk around area in the back will be good for working on things, but may not get you a lot more viewing and the gap to the back wall kind of takes out doing backdrop stuff as well.


always tradeoffs.





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Thanks Jeff. I've been trying to lock the station into one block in Scarm. I can to it for one move with Ctrl G but I have to do it each time which is a pain. But I'll catch up to that on the tutorial I'm following. I may just make a outline on tracing paper and move it around the old fashioned way.  I'm going to build the station in the first one or two modules, so won't finalize anything until I see it "in person". 


I'm not a huge fan of backdrops, so I wouldn't be using them anyway. But being able to play with the layout from all sides will be worth it for me. The only reason I was thinking of an "against the wall" layout was to maximise the space. But after mocking it up and doing a little imagination it was clear to me that it would drive be bonkers if I had to break apart the modules anytime I wanted to reach the back. 


The assembled parts of my old layout have been a huge bonus. I've been able to arrange them to mockup different dimension setups. They'll also function as teardrop/balloon ends to complete the loops while the modules are growing. That way I can play as I grow. 

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Excellent gavin! Sometimes the simplest way is the easiest and gets the best results. I use to have big locked chunks in xtrakcad that I would mess around with but always was forgetting the manipulation keystrokes and would default back to paper and pencil for a while as well!


I agree backdrops are a challenge and have to be done right. Taking it away from the wall will let it float and having access to the back side is critical fir easy work and lowers depth limits a lot. Just will get a more on top of view when viewing from the back side, but rolling bar chair might be nice to be able to get a lower view while back there and more viewpoints on the layout.


great to play 1:1 when you can like that, perfect use for your old modules! Your going to find your ultimate combo that gets you the most happiness!





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Martijn Meerts

Tomix 0 series 20th century is 2.541

Tomix 0-2000 series is 2.528

Tomix 100 series last run is 2.551

MicroAce 100-9000 series is 2.558

Tomix 300 series is 2.539

Kato 500 series is 2.522

Tomix n700-3000 series is 2.555

Kato E5 series is 1.588, Kato E6 series is 0.935, combined is 2.523

Kato M250 is 2.179

Tomix EF66 + Wamu380000 is 2.483


Kato Morning Daylight (GS4 + 18 coaches) is 2.664

Kato Broadway Limited (GG1 + 14 coaches) is 2.436


Just some examples.


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17 hours ago, gavino200 said:

Thanks guys. I mocked up those numbers on SCARM. Three meters is really giant. I may compromise as a station that long will really dominate the layout. My yard should be able to hold anything.

Just ask @Martijn Meertsto come build a few helixes for you. He can be paid in Haribos.

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