New Layout concept Sketch

Joe D'Amato May 23, 2017

  1. Joe D'Amato

    Joe D'Amato TrainBoard Member

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    I've been trying my hardest to come up with an HO layout that will work in my spare room...but 10x10 and HO is pretty unsatisfying if you are trying to do a run through. I've looked up and down the internet and even mocked up several concepts but the curves are just too sharp for my liking. If I were doing some industrial site or trolleys you can pull it off, but that's not the direction I wanted to go. So, I've got a functioning HO switcher built on a hollow core door and that seems to be enough. So I have traveled back to my N scale roots (and profession) and started looking at what I can do with a 10x10 run through in that scale. I found a basic double loop and did some rough sketches and I think this is something I can work with. At the moment it's an SP theme, possibly Chatsworth to Ventura, heavy on Oranges and Oil given the boxes of cars I have that fit that bill. Modernish...now that I have 150 of our 65,000 tank cars I have become enamored with cars like our 110,000 and an unlimited supply of SW1500 parts :) I wanted a smallish yard, possibly the one in Oxnard but sandwitched between packing houses and freight buildings..the rest, just running through landscape. More to follow[​IMG]
     
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  2. Joe D'Amato

    Joe D'Amato TrainBoard Member

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    Here is a framing study. 3/4" ply lapped for grid and then 2" Pink Foam attached with adhesive. I am trying to keep this as light as possible for movement from my house to the local train show each November. The exposed foam on the edges will have a plastic laminate attached for a finished look.[​IMG]
    The 2x8 unit is a finished extra module that will anchor the layout...foam will be attached to the top of that. End plates will be made our of thicker material with keys for alignment.
     
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  3. HOexplorer

    HOexplorer TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hi Joe, Jim O'Connell here from back in the day. I like the basic track plan much like mine in the same space.. Take it from me HO is not simple in 10x10. The corners are probably 15" R, but HO has a surprising number of locos that can make that curve. If you can step back 60 years you might have less issues. I will check back from time to time to see how this is going.
     
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  4. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    Joe, can't wait to see what you come up with...I am going backwards in time while you get more modern.
     
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  5. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Do you want to have a relatively level u-shaped dog bone, so track elevation from the floor has little variation from one side of the room to the other? Or, would you like to have enough change in track and terrain elevation, so that tracks or terrain at the back of the shelf (against the walls) could be approx 2 inches higher than tracks or terrain at the front? The changes in elevation could be confined to the turnback loops at either end of the U and, with careful placement of removable buildings and (permanent or removeable) viewblocking trees or hills, could hide large portions of the tight curves.

    Good modelers give some forethought to how they will transport modules that have large track and terrain elevation differences. For what it's worth, our NMRA division has a trailer with custom-built shelves that our 2x4 ft HO modules (with legs and buildings removed) can slide onto...and the separation between shelves varies to accommodate the 4" high (permanently attached) foam hills/bluffs overlooking the tracks on 4 of the 8 modules.
     
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  6. Joe D'Amato

    Joe D'Amato TrainBoard Member

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    The track heights are incorrect...I only plan on raising 1" around the back side.

    Joe
     
  7. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    The 26" reach to the siding turnout above the lower right corner might be reduced by 6 to 10 inches if you position the left hand turnout so the diverging route is a continuation of the turnback loop and the end of the diverging track runs straight into the siding track that runs parallel with the closet doors. The straight route of the turnout would connect to a mainline curve that is equal to the curve of the turnout (or slightly larger, if you wish); and this mainline curve would have an arc that is equal to the diverging route arc, so the track after the mainline curve would also end up running parallel to the closet doors. In addition to reducing the reach to the turnout (for any future adjustments or repairs), this arrangement would eliminate the s-curve onto the siding immediately after the turnback loop.

    Because the straight part of the turnout in the above arrangement could increase the overall diameter of the turnback loop by 2 or 3 inches, the centerline of the turnback loop track on the inside of the U may need to be moved 1 or 1.5 inches closer to the front edge of the shelf, OR the turnback curve radius before the turnout may need to be reduced by 1 or 1.5 inches, OR the shelf under the widest diameter of the turnback loop could be deepened by 2 or 3 inches.

    When the layout is on display, are most of the viewers on the inside of the U, at the bottom or top of the U, or on the sides? If the majority of viewers will be viewing the layout from the outside of the U (the sides and top of your plan) and not from the ends of the U (the bottom of your plan), then a 4th way of incorporating the above turnout arrangement in the turnback loop is possible. Although a modeler may set a minimum mainline radius of about 19 inches (which is also the radius of a Code 80 N-scale Atlas #4 turnout and the sectional track that often comes with it), most locos and rolling stock can reliably handle curves that are 2 or 3 inches tighter, especially if there is an easement into the tightest portion of the curve and the tighter radius is only held for a car length or two before widening out to a larger radius. In the arrangement described above, it would be possible to start an easement into the turnback loop a foot or so sooner than the curve shown in your plan, make the tightest curve radius about 17 inches at the very end of the U (bottom right of your plan), and then widen out back to 19 inch radius by the turnout. With careful placement of trees, hills, or structures, most of the tightest portion of the turnback loop can be hidden by trees, hills, or structures from viewers outside of the U, as well as from operators standing inside the U.

    Regardless of whether you adopt the alternate position proposed for the turnout and turnback loop or not, I suspect the right hand turnout from the siding in front of the closet doors to the industries (Oxnard box, packing), will be difficult to reach, and even if it is controlled electrically or with a mechanical linkage from the fascia, uncoupling cars on the siding running parallel to the closet doors will be a long reach. Would it be a shorter reach to the cars and TO, if the turnout from the siding to the Oxnard industries is moved up a foot or so (to where the shelf is only 2 ft deep)?
    It may be helpful to shift the Oxnard industry tracks to the left and down closer to the aisle at the end of the U (bottom of your plan), so that an operator is looking at the sides of the cars instead of the ends of the cars. Changing the angle of these tracks with respect to the bottom aisle will make it MUCH easier to see the couplers when aligning them over a magnet on either of those two industry tracks, and bringing them closer to the bottom aisle will make it easier to use a pick for uncoupling or aligning couplers.

    Are you planning a pop-up for access on the left side of the U?...Maybe above the road, near the tunnel by the turnout to the left side (passing?) siding? Would that siding still be long enough for your operations, if you move the turnout up a foot or so above the tunnel portal, so you could reach it for maintenance and repairs across a 24 inch deep shelf instead of 30+?

    Regarding pop-up accesses:
    What height do you expect to set your benchwork at?
    When I was in my 30s and 40s, crawling under benchwork wasn't fun, but was tolerable, so crawling under a lower deck at 36 inches and popping up into a helix from 36 inches to the upper deck at 58 inches was workable. When I built my current layout in 2003--at age 54--to avoid having to crawl into helixes on my hands and knees, I made sure my benchwork was high enough that I could sit on a dentist's stool, bend over, and wheel myself under the lower deck and pop up into the helixes. My lower deck is set at 48 inches (which gives me 42.5 inches of clearance from floor to underside of the lower deck supports). Now, in my late 60s, my increasingly creaky joints really appreciate wheeled access to pop-ups instead of crawling.
     

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