N Scale HCD Layout Ideas - Opinions please!

CBQguy Dec 26, 2017

Tags:
  1. CBQguy

    CBQguy TrainBoard Member

    18
    6
    2
    Hello all!

    I'm attempting to get a running layout built for the first time in about 30 years - I have N scale rolling stock and have settled on a 36x80 hollow core door (small house with limited space). As I don't want to spiral into paralysis by analysis and attempt to create the "perfect" layout (and never get anything built), I'm looking at using the classic MR Carolina Central plan - seems pretty easy yet provides for looping trains and some switching.

    I'm planning on Kato Unitrack and have created three options: #1 is the classic version. #2 is a double-track main, but with tighter curves. #3 is the classic, but with a curved viaduct that allows me to have a planned river go off gracefully instead of having to make it disappear behind the hill that hides the staging at the top of the layout.

    Any thoughts on which seems like the best version to go with, both from an operational standpoint AND giving me the best chance of getting something built in the near future would be so greatly appreciated.

    Thanks and looking forward to hearing thoughts from some experienced operators!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

    4,333
    1,498
    64
    I would go with either single line version, the Carolina Central is now a classic, either that or the Turtle Creek
     
  3. CBQguy

    CBQguy TrainBoard Member

    18
    6
    2
    Had another thought last night - took the Kato Manning Oaks and tweaked it a bit - this gives me almost a full loop to do a constantly running passenger train, with local freights and switching on the inner loops. So now my choice is between my Carolina Central version 3 or Manning Oaks. Thoughts/input on either one? Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

  4. dualgauge

    dualgauge TrainBoard Member

    161
    35
    14
    The broader curves you can will be more reliable. There are a lot of door size layouts to choose from. MR did the Red Oaks layout a few years ago, can find several on you tube. Do you want switching or just running. I would go with what you prefer to run.
     
  5. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    4,653
    1,352
    70
    Either could be good. If you want to have multiple trains running, the Manning Oaks will give you what you want. Now for the real kicker -- DON'T DECIDE YET! It is Unitrack! Why not lay one out on your HCD for a week or two, and see how you like the operation of it. Will also give you an opportunity to visualize your scenery, etc. Then switch to the other and play with that.
     
  6. CBQguy

    CBQguy TrainBoard Member

    18
    6
    2
    Ah, that's the eternal question isn't it? ;-). I guess I prefer a bit of both. I don't want to get bored just watching trains go around (even though that is just fine for now for my young nephews). But I also just don't want a pure switching layout. I think I'm leaning towards the Carolina Central plan at this point. Appreciate your thoughts!
     
  7. CBQguy

    CBQguy TrainBoard Member

    18
    6
    2
    That's a good idea - I will lay out the plan and see how I feel about it before I make it "permanent". Thanks!
     
  8. CBQguy

    CBQguy TrainBoard Member

    18
    6
    2
    Just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for their feedback - it has been very helpful! After some more thinking and playing with layout design software, I think I have settled on a plan. I have taken the Kato Manning Oaks and tweaked it - eliminated the tight inner-most loop and broadened out the main loop to 15" radius. That will be the loop my passenger train takes - I also managed to squeeze in a small yard by substituting #4 turnouts in place of the #6 on the original plan. I think this gives me a nice mix of running trains and switching - also gives me some room to do some nice scenery. I'm thinking some river-type feature on the far left and making some dramatic hills like you would see along the Mississippi River in SW Wisconsin. Now time to order track, DCC system and decoders!
     

    Attached Files:

    JimJ likes this.
  9. CBQguy

    CBQguy TrainBoard Member

    18
    6
    2
    Hello Again!

    After taking a few steps back to determine how my HCD layout would stand (went with folding adjustable table legs), I was finally able to get all of my Unitrack put down according to plan. In the attached photo, I'm not sure about the small yard in the foreground. Not sure if I just want to reduce it to an industrial spur. Would appreciate any thoughts you have on it.

    Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

    pilotdude and RBrodzinsky like this.
  10. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

    158
    59
    4
    Interesting watching this.
     
  11. CBQguy

    CBQguy TrainBoard Member

    18
    6
    2
    One more change! I like the previous revision, but felt that I didn't have enough space for the scenery I wanted. Moving the spurs closer to the main lines will now allow for a scene-dividing bluff, such as you find in western Wisconsin along the Mississippi River. I can now also model the river on both ends. I really appreciate how easy it is to make changes with Unitrack!
     

    Attached Files:

  12. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    4,653
    1,352
    70
    That is definitely one of the great things about Unitrack
     
  13. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    2,475
    3,200
    56
    Nice work Q! Has your Unitrack crossover been reliable? I'll need one for my 36" Wide HCD railroad. It'll be a very important component in my trackplan and will be located at the rear of my layout away from easy reach. I recall reading elsewhere on TrainBoard that these are No. 6 turnouts, so I'm assuming that it will work well. Rick (and others), what have your experiences been with this piece? Thank you.
     
  14. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    4,653
    1,352
    70
    I have never had an issue with any of the 5 double crossovers on the JACALAR (that wasn't my fault - like when I managed to glue one of the point rails while ballasting)
     
    Hardcoaler likes this.
  15. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    2,475
    3,200
    56
    Oh, very good news then. (y) With five of these in operation on the JACALAR, the Roadmaster of the Delaware, Susquehanna & Northern RR is convinced that one on the DS&N should be up to the job.
     

Share This Page