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  1. #1
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    N Scale HCD Layout Plan

    Hello all,

    After going to a small local, train/hobby show today, the fever for moving forward with my layout has intensified.

    I tried to create a few different plans on Atlas RTS 8.0, but none to my satisfaction. Actually, I had trouble trying to create a loop and some switching on it without it looking too crowded. Maybe it is just me. So I tried a point-to-point with some yards and switching.

    Here are my "givens and druthers":

    Era: Transition (late 50's to late 60's)
    Locale: Small fiction shortline off the Pennsylvania Raliroad mainline.
    Purpose: Passenger service between the two towns I intend to have on the layout.



    Industry/(ies):
    1. Coal. I do not have to necesarily HAVE a coal mine on the layout. I can always have a line that goes into the mountains that delivers the full hoppers and take the empty hoppers to and from the mine. But it would be nice to model!
    2. One or two local manufacturers that rely on the shortline. One will make furniture (this manufacturer makes the most demanded name in furniture) and the other will make widgets. Both are a nice excuse to have box cars of all different roadnames on the line at different times. Eventually, this manufacturer will have its own box cars!
    3. Beer manufacturer. Come on, what better way to sit there and switch around some tankers and beer reefers than to sit back and enjoy a frosty cold one at the same time?
    4. "Expert" Loco Repair Facility. Different locos from neighboring lines will be coming here for repair. (Thanks to Glenn Woodle for this idea! )
    Geography: There will be some inclines, hills and cliffs. Plus a small river/large stream can make for some intersting modelling.
    Layout dimensions: L-Shaped layout. 66" x 90" x 32". (The 32" depth is what I am shooting for right now.)

    Without further adieu, here is my plan. Please critique and suggest away! (One layout has the height markings on it, the other doesn't so it is easier to look at.)
    TrainBoard Attached Thumbnails TrainBoard Attached Thumbnails N HCD Layout v1.0.jpg   N HCD Layout v1.0 no height.jpg  
    Last edited by StrasburgNut; November 17th, 2008 at 01:20 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Well, I'm no expert on designing layouts, but a couple things jumped out at me. remember that these are based on my likes, and may not be applicable to what you're thinking about.
    1. Although you say transition era, I'm assuming you plan on using only diesels as there's no provision to turn steam locomotives (wye or turntable or reversing loop).
    2. Do you plan on more spurs for your industries? The plan appears to have two small yards, with the only spur coming off the yard on the right side. That wouldn't be my choice for where to locate industry sidings.
    3. Just my point of view, but I find pure point-to-point tough to do on a small layout as the run is so short. If you do stay with point-to-point I'd reduce the size of both yards. Add an interchange track (even if it's just for show) so that you have some source for cars coming from or heading to the outside world.

    Good luck, I'm sure you'll get a lot more and better comments.

    Ed

    .
    "Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid." - John Wayne in "Sands of Iwo Jima"

    See my RAILIMAGES album

  3. #3
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    Ed,

    This is a work in progress. I posted for any and all criticisms as I am hitting the wall when it comes to designing on RTS 8.0. I can draw on paper and all, but I am never to sure if the scale is right or if the curves are the proper radii (overly hard on myself?). I guess all beginners have this problem.

    Thanks for the comments. I will consider them when I have time to sit down for version 2.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrasburgNut View Post
    I am hitting the wall when it comes to designing on RTS 8.0. .
    I did my layout design using an earlier version of RTS. It works well for small layouts like this. It takes a while to get the hang of using it, and I never did get beyond the basics. It had a lot more features that I never worked out. But once you get more used to using the basics it makes revising designs and moving sections around or inserting new stuff a lot easier than using pencil and paper.

    Regards

    Ed

    .
    Last edited by Ed M; November 17th, 2008 at 02:12 AM.
    "Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid." - John Wayne in "Sands of Iwo Jima"

    See my RAILIMAGES album

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    South Central Kentucky
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    Hi,

    A few questions


    • Is this a walk around layout or along the wall? If the layout is against the wall you are going to have a very hard time reaching the yard on the left side and the track on the back. The original section of my layout is a 24 inch deep ell. Reaching the corner is a pain.
    • Do you have children or plan to have? I know that is getting personal but children want to see trains go around and around, they don’t understand the point-to-point operation
    • Are the trackside customers the two located in the 2nd row, 3rd column next to the yard?
    • No passing siding? One could be put below the track on the top edge. Another customer could be located there.
    • How do you plan to turn the steam locos?


    I just went back to reread your post and I see that Ed addressed some of my questions also.

    As of drawing with paper and pencil, you can get a template for model railroad design. Most hobby shops that have a larger train section will most likely have one. Check out this website http://www.¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤.com/product_p/ctt-6000.htm The common scale that I have seen and have one is ˝ inch = 1 foot. It will give a good idea what will work on paper. After you get you scale drawing the way you like transfer it to a 1:1 drawing if you can. I have never been able to get the RTS to work for me.:thumbs_down:


    The above comments are my thoughts and they are for consideration only. I do not mean to imply that what you have drawn is wrong.



    Gary
    N Scale the Normal Scale© Greenbriar Delta & Rutland web site So many projects, so little time, The GD&R on TrainBoard. My other interests.

  6. #6
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    I've used RTS7.0 for my layouts but I'm noexpert. Why I can't even do flex, elevations, or any of the fancy stuff. Just the basics.

    I like the point to point layout. It's well done, with room for industry and scenery.

    As far as suggestions go, here's something for your consideration.
    1) On the north central side perhaps a bypass track to allow an outgoing to wait for an incoming train
    2) On the west-south side in square two perhaps add a single industry spur at about 45% angle.
    3) The east side two track spur opposite you yard. Perhaps changing it by splitting it, one north-east and one straight east.

    These suggestions are for your consideration only. It's your railroad.
    See ya
    Ron

    Ecclesiastes
    1:4 — "Men go and come, but earth abides."
    Please visit my TrainStore Adds Rail Image albums My Blog

  7. #7
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    I forgot to mention that you properly will not get the track plan correct until after you have laid some track and made changes after running some trains. I recently added a section to my layout. I had spent the better portion of a month doing full size mock ups. On my first attempt to operate on the new section, I removed two turnouts and relocated a third. Operation is now better in the addition.

    What I'm trying to say here is to plan on making changes.:confused3:

    Gary
    N Scale the Normal Scale© Greenbriar Delta & Rutland web site So many projects, so little time, The GD&R on TrainBoard. My other interests.

  8. #8
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    Welcome to the HCD Layout Society! :D :D

    I like the ides, but I noticed that at one town there is no way for a locomotive to run around its train. It's good to have escape turnouts for your locomotives so they lead each way. I would also try to keep the yard tracks and sidings level- looks like you're planning that.

    Are you planning to run steam or diesel?

    Ship IT on the FRISCO!
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  9. #9
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    Wow, the more I think about it, I wonder what I was thinking when I posted those plans. Horrid!

    Well, it looks like I have some serious work to do.

    I think I know what one of my problems is. When laying the track in RTS, I see a 6" straight and a nice long stretch of board and I think that stretch should be as straight and long as possible. Not true! I need to re-adjust my thinking.

    Also, a few of you so far have mentioned run arounds/escape turnouts, passing sidings and additional spurs. Can some help me determine what length is a more realistic but more importantly pratical looking siding? A 40' reefer is a little over 3" if I recall correctly. So If I want to put 3 40' reefers on a siding to serve a warehouse/distributor, I should plan on two six inch straights and maybe a 3 inch straight and then a "bumper" section? Am I making my sidings for industries too long?

    What about passing siding length? Will three six inch straights be too long?

    I will try my hand at a few more plans tonight. Let the fun continue!

  10. #10
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    What about passing siding length? Will three six inch straights be too long?

    Too short. A passing siding needs to be able to hold a complete train (barring exotic "sawby" maneuvers). So you need to think about what would be a typical length train for your railroad (including locomotive and caboose). Obviously some will be longer and some shorter, but it you want to pass two trains, one needs to be able to fit into the passing siding.

    If you say that a typical train on your layout would be 3 cars plus locomotive and caboose, then you're talking about a siding of at least 20". 40' cars are really 3-1/2" over the couplers, plus allowing at least 6" for the locomotive.

    Maybe on a small layout you can just decide that you'll only run one train at a time (not unrealistic for a small railroad) and therefore not need a passing siding.

    Regards

    Ed
    "Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid." - John Wayne in "Sands of Iwo Jima"

    See my RAILIMAGES album

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