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Thread: Narrow switching layout?

  1. #1

    Narrow switching layout?

    I am now in a new living space, but not much room for a layout. Negotiations with the lady, for space in basement would be fruitless.
    There is this 8" deep x nearly 6' long shelf in garage, above workbench. Got me thinking of just putting something together to run new locos when released. Also will use Peco C55 Electrofrog switches for first time. If it's all stub-ended, will I have problems with live frog, if not insulated from rest of track.
    I have been somewhat inactive, especially with model trains. Just want to keep my feet wet till things hopefully improve with my health.
    Any ideas to bounce around? Especially when it comes to eliminating spiders!!!
    Thank,
    Joe D

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Age
    31
    Posts
    490
    I recommend the books that Lance Mindheim has written on switching layouts. He has released dedicated books on designing, building and operating a switching layout. I have bought and read the first 2 and I really enjoyed them.

    He also puts a lot of information on his website, although it's sprinkled throughout his blog(s). It takes some time but there's a lot there.

    I'm in the middle of constructing a 12" wide 6' long industrial park switching layout. I've gotten as far as laying tracks, soldering feeders, wiring Tam Valley servos but have not made progress in many months. I just bought a new house with a 1600 sq ft basement and determining just how much can be annexed for a new railroad

  3. #3
    Thanks Dave. Forgot about Lance. Still remember that beautiful Monon winter layout.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
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    1,138
    My daughter and I built a 12"x6' switching layout based off of Byron Henderson's Alameda Belt Line design.



    Ours folds into a box, as well as can sit on a shelf I built in the garage.

    You could eliminate the carfloat, pull the right yard back and add a third track.
    Don't curve the interchange as much and you could fit it in 8".
    Otherwise Steinjr has some groovy HO 18"x8' switching layouts that you could adapt for N.

    Hope this helps.

  5. #5
    MC, I looked at your 12x6, and that is what inspired me to do this little project to help keep my sanity(?).

  6. #6
    Take a look at Tomix Mini Fine track. You won't have to futz with wiring frogs and the radii are 103,mm, 140mm and 177mm with turnouts with 140mm radius. The wyes are 280mm but like the 140mm left and right only 70mm in length.

    With some negotiation you might be able to get the width up to nine inches for a full loop.
    Cheap and Nothing Wasted

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    But he's not looking to do a loop.....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    North Bend, Washington
    Age
    38
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    1,976
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    The things I like about shelf layouts are the following:

    1-mainly switching operations keeping an operator busy for hours on end
    2-small and compact and easily transportable to take to shows (providing it is designed right)
    3-easily adaptable into a bigger layout in the future with minimal or no changes

    I had a plan drawn up where the main layout was 4 modules. Then there was a small dog-leg that was a shelf design that was behind and above my workbench. It was small enough that it did not interfere with the workbench but yet was also big enough to allow for some operations. And the best part was, the only loco on this section was a GE 44tonner and was essentially a RR on its own.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by mcjaco View Post
    But he's not looking to do a loop.....
    He may not need a loop, but the extra square footage would be nice for scenery. The space could be used for a turntable.

    Then again why not go for broke and get a full foot of depth. That way the structures don't have to be flat.
    Cheap and Nothing Wasted

  10. #10
    I am using an existing shelf, no loops, no expanding it. Scenery would be minimal. It's on a garage shelf, where spiders abound. The home I'm living in maybe for sale in a few months, and my GF wants to get a townhouse. Saw a model for one over weekend, and agreement in place for a corner of basement family room for layout Going to use Peco C55 flex and Electrofrogs that I have.
    Months can turn into years, though. So this could get incorporated to a larger layout. Have to unpack track, and just see how things work out. In meantime, I have plenty of other chores to do around house.
    Always wanted a little switch layout.
    Thanks,
    Joe D

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