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Mudkip Orange

Mudkip Dentetsu 2.0!

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Mudkip Orange

After several months of living in a tiny studio apartment, I've devised a way to construct a permanent layout without impairing the functionality of the rest of the space. To do this, I'll need to run the trains in and around a couple of Ikea "Billy" bookshelves. The table needs to be high enough to clear the cable box and DVD player, but low enough that the trains can pass under the TV table. It's a lot of constraints for a layout, but I figure if the Japanese can figure out a way to tunnel one more subway through Shinjuku, I can certainly find a way to run my 1:150 EMUs through similarly confined conditions.

 

The attached picture shows the space.

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Mudkip Orange

And here's a few track plans I'm considering.

 

The original "proof of concept" track plan (which made me decide this layout was feasible) is the jellybean. The primary feature here is that the yard is long enough to accommodate 10-car EMUs on straight track, and up to 16 cars if you're willing to keep the train parked on a curve. The tradeoff is that the mainline run is flat and boring.

 

The next obvious track plan is a folded dogbone. There's a number of different ways to route this, but given my space constraints every plan I'm considering has the double-track horseshoe curve at the rightmost end of the layout, with one independent loop under the TV and another loop further forward. In any event the TV loop will probably be the lowest elevation on the layout.

 

If you swap a couple of the tracks on a folded dogbone, you end up with a twice-around. The downside of a twice-around is that you end up with all these track segments where it *looks* like double track, but the trains always run in the same direction. The upside is that the clearances are less exact, so it's easier to add more track - spurs, yards, etc - as I'm constructing it.

 

I don't know that I'll pick any of these plans - I might think of something else - but this is where I'm at right now.

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qwertyaardvark

I agree with you on the mainline being rather boring on the first plan. I personally would vote for the second plan for MD v2.0. If possible, maybe you could add a yard in the area beneath the TV, assuming the supports for the upper-level track arent too much in the way. Out of curiosity, how much space are you working with between the Cable/DVD player and TV table bottom? Could you also take pic of the actual area you are working with? (just to get a better idea of area; I'm curious about the brown areas of your drawing)

 

Good luck with v2.0!  :grin

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Mudkip Orange

I'm thinking less yard, more "various random spots in which to store trains." In the future if I have more space I'll have a proper yard with enough capacity to store all my trains, 8 and 10 cars each. This layout I'm designing for 6-car platforms, so some things will never leave the bookshelf cases.

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KenS

I like the long right-hand curve of the middle plan, and the two levels of the left-hand side could allow you to build two distinct scenes on that end, if the rear curve isn't completely hidden from view.

 

Updated: I misremembered one of the plans, corrected my comment after seeing the plan again.

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disturbman

I too prefer the middle track plan. I think you could add a very small yard located in the upper left corner, not the sweetest spot but still some unused real estate, and you could maybe add a third track at the station. It's always nice to have more than just two trains on a layout. And if both can be added (I imagine that the third station track would be the one leading to the yard), then you will have some more operations and maybe up to four trains on the layout.

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Kabutoni

Why don't you make a hidden yard where you can store some trains. From what I've experienced, this is more satisfying then just letting them sit in station yards being all visible. That's how modern European layout planning works: a station on a main line, branch line and a hidden fiddle-yard where you can store 'through' trains for the main line (and maybe a loop for the branch, if they also do services on the mainline).

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Mudkip Orange

I think you could add a very small yard located in the upper left corner, not the sweetest spot but still some unused real estate,

 

I'm thinking this is a good idea. Here's a screencap of where I'm at now in AutoCAD. At this point I'm thinking of trenching the lower-left to upper-right diagonal *under* the siding and the row of houses fronting it.

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IST

I like your track plan. Maybe I try to add plus one or two tracks to the station, but this is just my oppinion, I like to have more trains on the layout. But this is just my oppinion.

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Mudkip Orange

Except that I don't really own that many trains... I can always force in a couple more spur tracks if some sudden cash windfall causes me to go on an HS/HW/PJ spree.

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Mudkip Orange

The one I posted earlier is the "Katoized" version - if I use flextrack, I can shrink the size of the board a little bit while lengthening the siding (either way it accomodates a 6-car train, but this way the clearances aren't as tight).

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disturbman
Here's a screencap of where I'm at now in AutoCAD. At this point I'm thinking of trenching the lower-left to upper-right diagonal *under* the siding and the row of houses fronting it.

 

Love the new plan, you really are using the space as efficiently as posisble... and the idea of entrenching a part of the layout appears very sensible to me. I'm not sure you would be able to pull this off with a viaduct design. At least with a trench you could have some urban scenery.

 

If I were you, and if it's possible, I would transform this yard into a two track yards. It will allow you to have three train siting on the layout instead of just two.

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Bernard

Except that I don't really own that many trains... I can always force in a couple more spur tracks if some sudden cash windfall causes me to go on an HS/HW/PJ spree.

I also like your latest track plan, it has your trains change direction giving the viewer more to watch.

As for not having a lot of trains now.......always think in the future because I think eventually you will start building up a roster.

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westfalen

Not a bad plan for the available space.

 

I don't think having room for only two or three trains on the layout a once is a bad idea, anything more on such a small layout, to me at least, would make it look too crowded. An advantage of Japanese model trains is that they are easy to take on and off of the layout compared to say, a fifty car coal or double stack train. I'd put a bookshelf for my train cases under the layout near the long siding on the right so I could swap trains easily.

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qwertyaardvark

The layout plan is looking great! :) Though I am unsure about how exactly everything crosses each other and at what heights. Is the loop and track behind the portion that is being trenched going to be above the height of the siding/house? If so, how steep is the gradient going to be for that loop portion that will swing under the siding/houses? My interpretation of your track plan height is attached with the numbers equating to "levels" or "floors," not inches.

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Lawrence

As it is all one continuous loop you will only be able to run one loco at a time though, if that is what you plan to do then it is ok, but you certainly appear to have the space to have two interconnected but separate loops, allowing you to run two trains.  Perhaps a little tweak is required to give you more operating potential, have a look at this guys website to give you some inspiration http://www.cke1st.com/m_train2.htm#topopage

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KenS

If I were you, and if it's possible, I would transform this yard into a two track yards. It will allow you to have three train siting on the layout instead of just two.

 

I'll second that. You don't want it to look crowded, but having the ability to pull one train out of the yard while parking another (which needs two yard tracks) is going to add a lot of operating variability.  You could still do that with the plan as shown, using the passing siding in front of the houses (as long as your turnouts are power-routing so you can isolate the main or the siding by throwing both switches), but it's going to be smoother if you have two yard sidings.

 

Plus, my experience is that you'll always want more yard tracks than you have.  My first Japanese layout went from a two track yard to a four track yard to four passenger tracks plus a small freight yard I could stuff a couple more passenger trains into when I got desperate...

 

But it did make for what felt like realistic operations as I parked one train and pulled another another out onto the line, whereas playing musical trains with the passing sidings (which I also did), just felt annoyingly complex. Then again, I was never a big fan of "switching puzzles", and some people enjoy that kind of operation.  In the end, it's what feels "right" to you that matters.

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Mudkip Orange

Another week of wrangling with this and I think I've settled on a plan.

 

Instead of lots of flowing single-track, I've squashed the mains together to get more sections of double track action. I killed the spur line and instead have a double track yard hidden under the landscape. Also I killed the double-ended station siding in favor of a stub.

 

Basically what this does is allow point-to-point operation, with the hidden yard serving as one end and the station terminal serving as the other. Also, by squashing the tracks together there's a lot more open space, so if my financial situation magically changes there's room to add in more trackage after the fact.

 

The design length for all trains is four commuter cars. I would've liked to fit five (E531: both cabs, both green cars, motor) but it just wasn't going to work in this space constraint. As it is I can probably fit a six- (or seven) car train in the hidden yard if I extend the R249/R216 curves around the right hand side of the layout.

 

I'm gettin' my lumber next week.

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qwertyaardvark

Looking great~ Very much liking how you did the underground storage/"station". And a three-track tunnel would definitely be something I haven't seen before! Can't wait to see this get started :grin

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disturbman

Mudkip, you should try to add levels to this layout. I like the general idea but I'm concern that you won't be able to have this secret yard. There isn't much space between the tracks and you might have some clearance issues.

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Bernard

One question how would you have access to the hidden yard area in the scenery? Would it be a re-movable mountain or hill?

Same question for the single line that is also hidden?

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KenS

One observation: you didn't show heights, but I'm presuming the track crossing immediately in front of the tunnel remains at +1 level relative to the track entering the tunnel, so the both tracks of the double-track drop together towards the rear.  If that's the case, are you going to get them level before entering the rear tunnel? Having a hidden slope would seem like a potential operational problem to me.

 

Also, with them dropping down, they'll be partially obscured by any structures or scenery around the station. Is that the effect you're going for?

 

Also, how do you plan access to the left-rear tunnel (to clean track or deal with derailments)? As qwertyaardvark suggested for the storage tracks, lift-off scenery is probably the best way.

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Mudkip Orange

After receiving my first Tomytec scenery last week I decided that I want an eye level layout instead of the 18"-off-the-floor deal I've been planning for the last couple weeks. Those little cars are way too cool not to look at in side profile.

 

So today I Lowe's I bought all the material for a 2x4 layout which will go up on top of my dresser. I have no idea what the track plan will be; I'm just going to build it and see what happens.

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disturbman

lol!

 

So we will soon see Mudkip Dentetsu 3.0. Too bad for 2.0, it was a swell layout.

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IST

Too bad for 2.0, it was a swell layout.

 

I agree, I liked the plan of Mudkip Dentetsu 2.0.

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