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Our basement layout


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So I just had a layout-related thought (try not to be shocked) that I'd like to hear some thoughts on.


Up until the recent out-of-the-blue redesign, the two loop lines had 3 stations between them--the main station and a small station for each of the loops. Now there's the main station and a smaller station (yet to be built) at the back side of the layout. But in real space, the second station would be just behind and slightly to the right of the main station. (This has been bugging me for a long time.) Plus it's up against a wall, so there's no good way to build a town behind it, and I'm thinking a short backdrop photo might look cheesy.


So what I was considering was just having the one main station, and having sidings out on each of the loop lines so trains could pass each other. (In reality, one would be waiting and the other going, since this is a DC layout.) That way I wouldn't have more biggish towns to build/imply (meaning a lot less work and expense), and we wouldn't be shuttling trains back and forth between two stations that in reality are almost right next to each other. Also, it might free up a turnout or two for the ends of the point-to-point line to make that more interesting.


So, any thoughts--would just having one main station for the two loop lines seem weird?

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The two stations adjacent to each other do look a bit odd. But why passing tracks rather than small two-track stations that allow trains to pass? Then you'd have an excuse to park one train there for a while when the other passes.

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That'd work, but then the question becomes where to put them. I'll work on that and see what I can come up with. (Or I could just go without for now, in order to just get things running, and add those stations in later.


In the meantime, here are some very rough re-sketches of the trackplan.


[orig_tp.jpg] - The original track plan from years ago


[tp_now.jpg] - Actually shows the track plan just *before* I extended the red line onto the right-side peninsula.


[tp_singlestation.jpg] - Shows the "true" current track plan with the extended red line, but with the back station downgraded to a siding. Eventually the idea is to have the red line slightly above the blue line (as if it was built at a different time), to make the trains more visible than they are right now (behind and below the blue line, partly in a tunnel under the back station).


[tp_singlestation2.jpg] - Shows the above, but with the left-side red line station replaced by a passing track at the back. Also shows the blue line slightly longer, and the green line extended into the back corner to get it away from the central town.


[EDIT] For comparison's sake, and leaving out the insanity of the original track plan:


* tp_now would require three main station towns

* tp_singlestation would require two main station towns

* tp_singlestation2 would require one


All of these would need two small villages, one at each end of the green line. I don't expect to change that number.





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you seem to have a pretty decent plan currently. perhaps think about finishing up scenery with what you have and maybe leave some rights of way through your scenery that you could come back later and do an addition. i think you may be driving yourself crazy trying to improve something that is already usable. and fun to play with.


you might also think about getting this one up and going quick and then doing the plan for layout II. you could probably do a new layout next time a lot faster knowing what you know now and you will have the flexibility of starting from scratch than seeing what you can squeeze in the old layout. know it sounds like a big effort, but might be more focused and a better bang for the buck in the long run. when you were really rolling on the layout construction you guys seemed to really move quickly.


i think doing little revisions is great on a layout, but when it comes to some major tear ups i think it can get more daunting than starting over and with less payoff and that frustration of the whole layout being 'down' in the process and things that were working stop working, etc...


just a thought.



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...and definitely a good thought. But really the question here is whether or not to simplify what I already have put down. Essentially I'd be removing two stations (which would require buildings, backdrops, etc.) and replacing them with passing tracks (which I already have the turnouts for) and open areas that I could put scenery into later. I was just wondering if simplifying things that way would make the operations too simple or boring.

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i kind of liked your two separate loops that overlap. perhaps just a few additional sidings and passing tracks where easy would give you some easy additional running options.


is there easy row for double tracking the red line? might give you more running with 3 lines w/o huge shredding if there is row. this line feels more like a shinkansen line and the blue line a local route.



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is there easy row for double tracking the red line? might give you more running with 3 lines w/o huge shredding if there is row. this line feels more like a shinkansen line and the blue line a local route.


Yeah, the fact that I didn't double track that line (or replace the two separate loops with a single double-tracked route) is my biggest regret about this layout. But doing that now would might mean both redesigning the main station and/or digging out another tunnel route under the mountain on the left peninsula. The tunnel route might be doable eventually, but I can't deal with undoing the main station design.

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couldnt you just leave the main station tracks with the two red lines going through as you have it? would mean a little fiddling with the approach routes, but that looks doable.


for the tunnel just get one of those big 2' long auger drills and go at your hills! seriously it may be easier than you think to carve the wider tunnel. if you are using unitrak it could just float in the tunnel.


after doing the new jrm layout im sold on making mountains/hills that cover tracks removable! when there is an issue under there we just lift the mountain off. makes you fell strong like bull!



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I like the double-tracking idea (but then, I like double-track). But have you considered a link between the blue and red lines?  With or without double tracking that would give you some more operational scenarios, treating the blue line like a rural line feeding into the red main, or a mini-Shinkansen line feeding into a Shinkansen main.


If you can fit a pair of switches in near the station to connect them that would be best, but you could also connect them somewhere else.

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But have you considered a link between the blue and red lines?  With or without double tracking that would give you some more operational scenarios, treating the blue line like a rural line feeding into the red main, or a mini-Shinkansen line feeding into a Shinkansen main.


That has come up before, but I think I'll save that option for later, after I get things working and learn more about electronics.

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Mudkip Orange

Yeah at this point you should either (i) finish the track and scenery as exists, then think about remodels/expansion, or (ii) burn the entire plaster castle and go with Unitrack on piers on a "play table" that can be rearranged as desired.

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I made a little progress on the layout this weekend. First step was to finish re-connecting all the track so that the loops are complete. This also involved removing a bunch of turnouts and raising both loops 2 inches at the back of the layout, so that they're more visible and look like a double-tracked line. Then I Shop-Vac'd the whole layout.


Now all I need to do is add supports to a couple of bridges and clean the track, and we should be able to run trains again.


Here are some pictures. Sorry to post so many, but given the way our basement is laid out, it's impossible to get the whole layout in one shot.




South end with the new track arrangement (lower viaduct is the line that used to go under the mountain)



Looking toward the middle area where the main station and town will be -- I finally cleared all the crap off the town area so you can see where it will be -- and so the layout doesn't look like so much of a trash pile.



Looking toward the north end, where the outer loop bends around the hill at the left to come back to the station. At the rear, you can see the new-but-unfinished alignment of the point-to-point line, which will loop over the two main lines and end at a small station at the back of the picture.




Aerial view of the south end

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scott - The layout looks really good, I can see where this is coming together.....some hydrocal cloth with smooth out the and blend the certain areas....it is coming along.

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Boy, I hate when I get that "this thread has not been posted in for more than 120 days" message when I go to do an update. :-P


Not much progress lately, except that I put a second coat of blue paint on the wall, so the old yellow doesn't show through anymore. I also put a ~10-inch-high wooden barrier at the south end where the track runs close to the edge, and painted that sky blue as well.

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I love your layout Scott!


Nice looking snowy feel! Wish i had a basement like you for such a nice layout~~


Hoping to see the finished end product with all the beautiful trains running around soon!  :grin

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Great to here things are happening!


Yeah--I'm hoping to get things running fully again, and at least plop a bunch more trees down soon.


I love your layout Scott!


Thanks! We have a long way to go, but it's very fun.

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