Downsizing from a HCD... New 32x60 N scale

routeofthechiefs Sep 12, 2016

  1. routeofthechiefs

    routeofthechiefs TrainBoard Member

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    Hello all! I had an HCD layout well under construction (initially started here) until I found out I would be relocating to the railroad capital of the US in Chicago for work. It was an excellent opportunity, however the sacrifice of living in the big city is a smaller apartment and I have a 10'x10' spare room which is where all the storage/guest room/study must go. I commandeered about 32"x62" for an N scale layout that will be suspended from the ceiling to keep utilization of the room.

    The two layouts providing the most inspiration are the Havaphew Central from 05 MR and MRR books and Dave V's Colorado Midland. My old layout was based on the double mainline HCD trackplan.

    This is the new one I came up with based on what I learned with the last layout which got to the base scenery before heading to the dumpster. Notes:

    - As with the prior layout: Transition Era, Rockies ATSF/Rio Grande trackage, built around passenger trains.
    - Prior use was Kato Unitrack, but with such a small layout and attention to detail I am going to venture with Atlas C55 sectional because of the tight curves
    - In the below design I kept the outer loop with 15" radius for the longer cars while shorter locos/cars can navigate the branch with 10" radius curves.
    - Wanted multi-level action as the prior layout felt very flat despite the scenery elevation changes
    - Appearance of a small yard and switching operations at the mountain terminus
    - The "wide" curves do not allow room for a switch for an interchange running off an edge

    I would love to hear your thoughts or suggestions... I feel like it is a significant amount of track crammed in to a small space. I really enjoyed the recent 24"x48" layout thread as well as Mike's small trackplans, but if you have any other ideas or track plans for that have stood out to you please share!

    ATSFlayout.png
     
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  2. JimJ

    JimJ Staff Member

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    Looks fun to me. You could let a passenger train run the outer loop while you work the branch and so forth. Scenery will make the track plan look less crammed. Just some thoughts
     
  3. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    Dr. Dave comes up with some nice ideas. I would be leaning towards the Rio Grande using Atlas RS3's and GP9's
     
  4. Rocket Jones

    Rocket Jones TrainBoard Member

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    I like the plan, this definitely gives me ideas for my next small layout. The only thing I'd try to include somehow is an interchange down below. You need some place for those upper level freight cars to go.
     
  5. Chuck Finley

    Chuck Finley TrainBoard Member

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    Have you figured out the grade(s) to get to and on the upper portion?
     
  6. cajon

    cajon TrainBoard Member

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    Gorre & Daphetid Plan by John Allen.bmp.jpg
    Sort of looks like the same concept as John Allen's Gorre & Daphetid. Your plan has more action at the end of the branchline.
     
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  7. routeofthechiefs

    routeofthechiefs TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks all! I did some more work in the second bedroom and found the official space I can dedicate to the layout is about 50"x30"--cutting down the run needed in the first plan.

    Andy ironically I had been looking at the G&D as inspiration as well as Jeff's 2x4 layout floating around the forums here. I drew a revised track plan:

    However, the inside bowl grade is a little too steep at 2.7% and need to reconfigure a few aspects. Thoughts? I want to hammer the plan down before purchasing track as I will be selling all my Kato Unitrack to fund more realistic track with Atlas C55.
     
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  8. cajon

    cajon TrainBoard Member

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    What are the spurs for off the bottom siding?
     
  9. kingpeta

    kingpeta TrainBoard Member

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    Don't forget that if you go with Atlas code 55, they have curved turnouts available.
    One other comment: beware the "bowl of spaghetti" type of plan. I did that on my first HCD layout and quickly became unsatisfied with it due to lack of space for scenery. My current layout is much sparser and looks more realistic to me.
     
  10. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Not sure if it matters, but you'll have to always run trains counterclockwise to enter the interior trackage and when you reach the end of the line, there's only a very short runaround to work the train and head back. You might wish to rework the plan and extend the length of the runaround siding. There's ample room to the right for this. You might also think about inverting the mainline siding at the bottom, so that a train arriving off the branch will arrive on the longest siding to be worked or picked up by a mainline train.

    Congratulations on the new job! Best wishes for success and getting settled in.
     
  11. routeofthechiefs

    routeofthechiefs TrainBoard Member

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    Hey all, wanted to reboot the thread as there has been significant progress and a change of trackplan as we always want to know how the initial designs turn out.... I appreciate everyone’s feedback!

    Have made significant landform/rock, bridge, and tunnel progress! Moved to a Pacific Northwest locale as the “Santa Fe and Northern” - If the Santa Fe went to the Cascades sooner than BNSF. I just love the environment and abundant greenery and have been experimenting with base colors and ground cover in the corner along with rock work. This change to Cascades allows for GN and NP traffic alongside a large roster of Santa Fe and I’ve been collecting a large collection of GN steam and of course the Empire Builder. Rather than a tight fit of the G&D trackplan went to a branchline off the base oval with some operations potential and interchange.

    With the holidays over and Chicago winter setting in, next up is to paint, weather, and ballast track and finish the road/sidewalks into town.
    58D425F6-17D4-42F4-8321-0A0F73D727D2.jpeg F21950A5-2F7C-412E-A529-3B93B77A7FC2.jpeg D90572F4-6141-49DC-96A1-90A63F23E245.jpeg A36BFA71-E9FC-4E9E-BF92-6B3FF0558F48.jpeg 0E1AFFFC-1867-4D46-8AB1-F276ACB22DCA.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2019
  12. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

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    Looking good
     
  13. Mo-Pac

    Mo-Pac TrainBoard Member

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    WOW! Very nice!
     
  14. jdetray

    jdetray TrainBoard Member

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    Nice work! I wish I had incorporated a couple of additional bridges on my 2x4 layout.

    - Jeff
     
  15. routeofthechiefs

    routeofthechiefs TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks all! Has anyone used that Krylon "weathered wood" for track weathering? That one photo is the weathered wood on the inside branch and camoflauge on the outside. Have Pink Lady ballast to emulate the GN mainline and Empire Basalt for the branch for ballast colors.
     
  16. routeofthechiefs

    routeofthechiefs TrainBoard Member

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    Got the backdrop installed and rock staining started this weekend. What a difference!
     

    Attached Files:

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  17. routeofthechiefs

    routeofthechiefs TrainBoard Member

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    And got the dry brushing done!
    Really happy with how the wet scultamold method turned out. I think my colors may be a bit off for Cascades granite though, might add some faint blue...
     

    Attached Files:

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  18. routeofthechiefs

    routeofthechiefs TrainBoard Member

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    Bridge and scenic work continues!
     

    Attached Files:

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  19. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    I love the rock work! Excellent job!
     
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  20. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

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    Agree with Hemiadda2d
     

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