First Layout Revamp (HO)

CardScientist Jan 16, 2023

  1. CardScientist

    CardScientist TrainBoard Member

    Having read through the feed back of my first track plan, I decided to fully redo the track plan for something a touch less ambitious. My primary goals for the track plan were:

    1. Not be an oval
    2. have a yard ladder
    3. have an industrial spur
    4. accommodate the 2x2 access hatch already cut in the table

    I feel like this fits the bill pretty well. Still looks mildly like an oval, but it I feel like I broke up the basic shape enough. The track plan is designed for use on a 6'x10' table. The access hatch referred to is the highlighted gray square on the 2D track plan. The entire track plan uses KATO snap track. All turns are R610-22.5 turns. As for turnouts, I have 3 types. Any switch turnout labeled with a "1" is EP867 (L/R) 9.8" turnout. Turnouts labeled with a "2" are HP-490 (L/R) 9.69" turnout. Turnouts labeled with a "3" are HP550 (L/R) 7.28" turnouts.

    The most common suggestion on my previous track plan was to have the yard be double ended to allow for engine escape. I discovered using turns this big mean I either get an oval with a small double ended yard, or a I get a non oval track plan. I can't really have both. So decided to compromise a bit on it. The yard ladder is connected via a small cut through siding, vastly reducing the amount of time a train has to reverse in order to get into the yard. So, while it is not a double ended yard, the train does not have to travel very far to get in or out. I also recently received a KATO HV2 siding set, which I integrated up top.

    An important factor I kept in mind while designing this is that the layout is designed to run DC system with no block sections, so everything runs counter-clockwise. As this is my first layout, the goal was to get an interesting layout up and running that I can easily add to. I have no DCC equipment (yet) and have not done anything with block sections yet. But this should let me add those on later if I so choose. So the fact the yard ladder is not fully double ended should not be as big an issue for me. While I am sad that I lost the elevation changes of the first track plan, I feel like a level layout like this gives me more room to experiment with scenery terrain.

    Anyway, hopefully the minor overhang of track over the access hatch will not be a problem. The entire layout will rest on a base of 1" pink insulation foam, so that should support the track so it is not hanging over nothing. I almost forgot the power track, and got it added to the right of the siding up top so it can still power the main line and all sidings. However, now the layout comes much closer to the edge than I like, but it still works. I can always spread the 3 base tables the layout rests on out a little bit to accommodate. Overall, I like this layout more than the previous, let me know what you guys think

    EDIT: I realized shortly after I posted this I put the access hatch about 1 foot too far to right. So I had to move it over. Thankfully, the only thing it changed was how big my yard ladder was. Yard ladder was shortened a bit when I moved it to the left out of the way of the hatch, but nothing else changed.
    6x10 yard oval 2d.JPG 6x10 yard oval 3d.JPG
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2023
  2. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

    I like it but, wonder how it would be to convert it to DC N. I do have two HO steamers and cars but, this would take up a bigger part of the room and cost more because they are DCC.
    Thinking, thinking, thinking! :rolleyes::coffee:
    CardScientist likes this.
  3. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

    So, which corner of the layout coincides with the corner of the room in which the layout will be located?

    How do you plan to reach the corner of the layout that is in the corner of the room? Or for that matter, reach any side of the layout that will be up against the wall? Will there be room between the layout and the walls of that corner, so you can get back there?

    Is your cut-out hole going to be covered up permanently? 1" foam will not sufficiently span a 2' hole with anything on top of it, without sagging, at least over time. Better plan on 2" or thicker rigid foam (or layers of 1" rigid foam glued together).

    Oval track plans are fine, but unless double-tracked, everything orbits in one direction (especially in DC), unless you add passing sidings and blocks wired with multiple throttles. DCC can run in both directions, but you still need sidings for trains to pass each other (if not double-tracked).

    I would swap the yard in the middle with the industrial spur sidings at lower left. Yards need more length than industrial sidings.

    While you don't need every track in a yard to be double-ended, you do need at least one track that is double ended if you plan to be able to run trains in either direction (you need a way for the locomotive to get to the other end of the train.)

    If this were my layout table, I would build a folded dogbone style layout on it, and leave the hole open for access to the middle of the layout. The dogbone would fold around the access hole, and the two bone-ends (knuckles) would overlap partially. I'd put a yard in one of the knuckles (probably the one on top of the other, that has more space), and industry(s) in the other, lower knuckle, and/or inside the bend of the bone's shank, wrapped around the hole.

    But it's YOUR layout, not mine! You gotta decide what YOU want.
    CardScientist likes this.
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Stub ended yard forces you to operate trains in one direction only, in order to switch it. Needs an escape track. It is a very small yard with minimal capacity. It also appears to be a long reach from outside of the layout.

    Track by access hole would not really be an issue. Just shift the hole slightly.

    Needs a siding somewhere on the near side.

    Perhaps put a small curve into your industry spur, just to avoid the paralleling the table edge effect.

    I am glad to see you are trying to avoid the standard "oval" shape!
    Mudkip Orange and CardScientist like this.
  5. CardScientist

    CardScientist TrainBoard Member

    I appreciate the feed back. The layout will be backed into a corner of the room. I have to share the room, so I cannot keep it in the middle with all four sides accessible (believe I would love to). The top and right side of the layout is what will be back up against the wall, hence why the hatch is the middle right of the layout. As for the hatch/hole, it will not be covered up. At most, it will have some light scenery to make it look nice while the hatch is up and I am not occupying it. The foam will drop away with the hatch so I can stand in the middle of table and reach stuff, hence why I wanted to make sure there was no track that ran over it. I'll see what I can do about switching the industrial spur with the yard. Would definitely make it easier to reach and use it to stage train
  6. CardScientist

    CardScientist TrainBoard Member

    Funny you mention shifting the hole. That hole is already cut in the table. Can't exactly move it, lol. The trackplan has to shift around it. The near side is the bottom of the layout (top and right are up against the wall), so I'll probably follow BigJake's advice and swap the yard ladder with the industrial spur. But yea. I only have access to standard, non-block DC, so single direction running is what I have for the foreseeable future. Anyway, table itself still needs a few finishing touches. I'll post it when its fully ready.
    Shortround and BoxcabE50 like this.
  7. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

    I'm an old timer "Baby Boomer" so yes I agree. DC is what I have in engines in N and have had one since early '90s. We don't often see DC layouts without the usual DCC 'corrections'. :ROFLMAO: I have enough room to make it that large for HO and be walk around for now. Or smaller for the Ns with storage along two walls.
    Keep us posted with updates and soon I will be able to start again. ;)
    CardScientist and BNSF FAN like this.
  8. Mudkip Orange

    Mudkip Orange TrainBoard Member

    I think you’re going to end up putting in DC blocks after a month or two of running. But it’s Unitrack, so easy enough to snap in the insulated unijoiners later.
    BigJake and CardScientist like this.

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