General layout shape - more curved of more straight sections?

TrainzLuvr Nov 14, 2017 at 10:53 PM

  1. TrainzLuvr

    TrainzLuvr TrainBoard Member

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    Hi

    What is the general rule of thumb for N scale layout shapes: are long straight sections preferred over more curved, or more peninsula areas?

    I have narrowed my selection down to 3 choices, and I would say, one is traditional, one is modern and one is club like. The first two have long straight sections, while the third has 3 peninsulas thus more curved.

    For your reference here they are:

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

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    It depends on the prototype you are modeling. My line is straight, only 2 curves in 36 miles. I wish I didn’t have to have corners. A friend of mine models the Clinchfield, straight sections are few and far between.
     
  3. TrainzLuvr

    TrainzLuvr TrainBoard Member

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    I'm freelancing this one so no real prototype - it's set in transition/post-transition era.

    There won't be any excessively long trains, I decided on a 7' maximum length. This offers me, what I believe to be, a nice ratio for the space I have. At 90 ft average track length per deck, I could fit up to 6 LDEs/sidings (2x train length + 2x 6" turnouts = 15').

    Question is, do I go with long straight sections and then snake the track around, creating separations, or do I go with 3 peninsulas, where each could becomes a separate LDE?
     
  4. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Supporter

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    Depends on where your railroad is set. Flatlands, mountains, etc.? Curves need a reason to exist, although you could disguise the turnback curves with a backdrop or follow a river in the last plan. It does have a certain attractiveness and would allow for a number of various LDE's.
     
  5. TrainzLuvr

    TrainzLuvr TrainBoard Member

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    I'm thinking more from a practical point of view. Some layout shapes are dictated by the space they are in, and I feel mine is a bit awkward (I do not have 4 walls in a room). I guess what I'm asking about is whether, in general, one puts flatlands on curved benches, and mountains on the long straights?
     
  6. trainman-ho

    trainman-ho TrainBoard Member

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    I would think it is the other way around. The rails run pretty straight across the prairies, because a straight line is the shortest distance between any two points, until they come to a geographical feature that they have to go around. Railroad tracks are laid down as economically as possible.

    Mountainous, or even hilly topography means the rails go around hills as much as possible, and often through mountains. Because they have to!!

    Geography determines the route of the railroad, so as modelers, especially us freelancers, have to build the scenery to match the route by installing hills where it will appear that the hill caused the line to deviate from straight.

    Oh many of the curves were put in so the line could service a community that was just a little off the proposed ROW.

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017 at 5:01 AM
  7. TrainzLuvr

    TrainzLuvr TrainBoard Member

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    I'd love to be able to make the layout the way real railroads do, built track into the nature. Just not sure how feasible that really is. :)

    In any case, I opted to build the first one, or the second one as an alternative. They seem much easier and more manageable for my first big railroad.

    Thanks.
     
  8. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    I like the first one cause when entering room easy to go left or right to your layout, than I noticed on second one that flat area right to the left entering room would be great for a town or industrial area. What does the black text say there? Option 3 looks really complicated to my simple mind

    Sent from my SM-G550T using Tapatalk
     
  9. TrainzLuvr

    TrainzLuvr TrainBoard Member

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    The second one at the entrance, text says: "double track helix, 1st deck to 2nd deck, 2nd deck to staging"
     
  10. Doorgunnerjgs

    Doorgunnerjgs TrainBoard Member

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    I think the people access is better in the first one.
     
  11. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Supporter

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    Excellent point. Easier navigation and fewer bottlenecks.
     
  12. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Sorry, I was on cell phone at the time. I see it now on the computer. I still like the first one as everyone mentioned, you and other people access. Is it going to be multiple levels? Your diagrams are really nice, which program you use?
     
  13. TrainzLuvr

    TrainzLuvr TrainBoard Member

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    I do like the first one as it is "traditional" and simple to build. You stand at the entrance and it divides the space into two halves, giving you have a choice to go one way or the other, yet it does not show the entire layout all at once.

    Here's an alternative to the first two, with a bit more curving around:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. TrainzLuvr

    TrainzLuvr TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, they are designed to be double-deckers. The helix in the first two is on the left at the entrance and the third one is in blue. I should've made that more clearer, I'll update the images...

    I used AnyRail to make these and they are just simple drawings, did not go into detail at all. AnyRail is very flexible and fast to make layouts, although it lacks some of the features seen in other planning software, the developer is constantly adding new things and fixing bugs which is a great bonus.
     
  15. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Ultimately it's your choice of course :) And I am just like wow, the amount of space you have is great. And I enjoy seeing even basic plan's as well as your's are, even if just fast and basic, they look really good. Any idea about a control panel area? Will you have one I am guessing, if so does that help you to decide. Sorry, I have a tiny layout so I am probably asking too simple questions. I just like your idea a lot and have already subscribed to your YouTube channel, looking for benchwork on the channel, not done yet :) Just kidding btw!
     
  16. TrainzLuvr

    TrainzLuvr TrainBoard Member

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    Your layout might be tiny but at least you have one built. Look at me, after a year still struggling to come up with a plan. :)

    It was a long road to come to this space, though. Used to live in an apartment where there was no space for anything. They are built only for sleeping overnight during the breaks from work. Sigh.

    I spent the past year trying to come up with a decent plan for this space, and as everyone else, the space never felt big enough (it still doesn't...I could really use 2-3 ft more on the depth - 12' is just not enough for around the wall and a peninsula, to account for generous aisle space).

    The idea is for the operators to control the trains via wireless DCC throttles, or even smart phones - there wouldn't be a central location for a control panel.

    At some point in the future I would like to automate the layout and add computer controlled trains for more diversity and complexity, if the operations are run on Time Tables. But we'll see, I need to start building something or I'll go crazy. :)
     
  17. Joe D'Amato

    Joe D'Amato TrainBoard Member

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    I like the third layout...lots of zones that block views and narrow focus.
     
  18. TrainzLuvr

    TrainzLuvr TrainBoard Member

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    Would you think of that layout being mostly hills and mountains, due to the constant turning nature of the track? Is it going to be awkward if there are flat stretches but the benchwork turns around?

    Here's another version of what I posted later that's being discussed on another forum:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Railroads follow geography. The terrain through which they travel can vary, greatly. It depends upon the region which you choose to model.

    One problem is that too many modelers tend to have their tracks parallel the straight edges of their benchwork.
     

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