How Many Times Has the "Nope, Not Enough Space" Thing Bitten You?

tehachapifan Apr 7, 2013

  1. tehachapifan

    tehachapifan TrainBoard Member

    You've got what you think is a big space to put something neat on your layout, you picture how it will look in your mind, maybe you even purchased some of the supplies...only to find out when you start actually laying it out that there's not even close to enough room for what you had in mind. Been in this hobby for about 25 years now and I can't tell you how many times this has bitten me. Right now I'm trying to layout the track in my container port area and, where I thought there was enough space for an autorack loading/unloading spur, it turns out after lying out the curves, locating an uncoupling magnet so there's enough of a straight section to work properly, leaving enough room for an unloading ramp, etc., that I only have enough space for about 1 1/2 autoracks! :headspin: Fun fact: Those autorack unloading ramps are almost as long as an actual autorack...and the vehicles would need to be able to negotiate the bottom of the ramp....
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Never counted them, but for certain, plenty of times... :(
  3. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    Everytime I,...(expletive I can't use here but rhymes with mucking)...turn around.

    Visit my signature and you can see what I did with 100 square feet.

    Gosh, what a maintenance night mare.

    However, upside it does give me hours of railroading fun. A great railroad to rail fan.
  4. traintodd

    traintodd TrainBoard Member

    Yep, was going to put in a steel mill to represent the CF&I mill outside Pueblo, Co, had basically a 4'x8' space set aside for it, still wasn't enough room to do it justice. So the blast furnace, coke ovens, and rolling mills are still in their boxes. Oh well, stuff happens.
  5. WPZephyrFan

    WPZephyrFan TrainBoard Member

    lol Rick, I'm right there with ya!
  6. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

    Yes it was hard fitting in everything I wanted on my 2 x 3 foot Navy blimp base layout. This end unloading ramp, sharing a curved spur with a flatcar unloading area, took some tricky engineering to fit it.
    The sailor assigned to driving equipment off a flatcar will need someone watching both road and railroad traffic, and around the visual obstruction of rr equipt on other tracks and around the end of the building at right.
    Like the Seabees say, "The impossible takes a little longer."
  7. Fluid Dynamics

    Fluid Dynamics TrainBoard Supporter

    Just trying to get a good representation of a 12 car passenger train threading through a mountain pass can take an entire room! Just getting it to fit in the station takes nearly 10 feet.

    On the flip side, you only need to show it once. The real world has duplicity and droning minutiae that are quickly forgotten.
  8. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

    My entire town is an example of this. I think it's a "necessary evil" for lack of a better phrase of the hobby. Even in Z scale a single mile of track is 154 feet, and there are plenty of prototype trains that long. Curves, turnouts, all of that take up a LOT of space.
  9. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Umm, an N scale mile is 33ft, a Z scale mile is 24ft. Still, takes up a lot of room.
  10. Pie39

    Pie39 TrainBoard Member

    Every day. "Ooh, a branch would be nice...NOPE." "Ooh, a yard would be nice...I DON'T THINK SO!" You get the idea.
  11. TrCO

    TrCO TrainBoard Member

    Just last night in fact. Decided to relocate helix, opened up tons of space. I thought, awesome, I can fit my old mine scene in here now! Pulled out the old scene, started placing it on the layout to feel things out... Denied! *sigh*
  12. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    Thirty Plus &&^%$*#@ years. I've never liked the concept of shelf lines stacked over each other, just my personal thing, so everthing has been one level and thus a lot less running room. Long ago I gave up on complete EBs and NCLs because there just hasn't been the room for 12 and 14 car trains of 80 foot cars and 3 or 4 Fs on the front. Even now in designing the new layout I'm having to make some tough choices. Even the small town where the branch line is supposed to take off takes more space than I will have to model thus another compromise has been made on where the branch takes off. Were two sawmills located in that town so changed the era slightly so I only have one and changed the mill to being flume supplied thus getting rid of the log pond and its space needs. I've tended to build some of my industries too large, as in too many buildings. Thus when I get around to building again there will end up being a lot of surplus structures. Most structure spurs will only be sized for 3 or 4 cars at the max. Only the mine will get more and they will be the 20 plus foot ore cars.

    Fortunately the majority of my freight cars are in the 40 foot or under class with some 50 footers. Thus I will be able to run trains with more cars. And as for motive power my mainstays of the mainline will be the 2-8-0 and 2-8-2 and smaller. I've dropped the idea of big steam and the passenger will be held down by 4-6-2s and smaller. Any diesel will remain at 4 axle with a single E unit on occasion.

    Over the years my mind and fantasies have created and wanted more than what space and practicality have dictated, even working in N scale. Hopefully over those years I've managed to come back down to earth and reality. What I hope to end up with is more smaller structures with more switching opportunities, and running a few more shorter trains of varied equipment and enjoying the hobby a lot more with less frustrations.

    So in the next year or so I expect to be selling off a lot of bldgs. and a few locos, trimming down to something far more manageable in my later years.
  13. Rob M.

    Rob M. TrainBoard Supporter

    When you're into modular railroading, you're constantly coming up with great ideas that would almost fit in your car... :)
  14. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

    When I consider this topic, I often think of my fantasy of modeling the entire state of Rhode Island in N scale in only 35 acres (or 18 acres in Z scale). That would allow me to model every manhole cover in an entire state. There's got to be a hanger that big--well, no, there is not, and outdoor N scale, which I once considered, isn't quite realistic.

    I've modeled track plans very conservatively for the past 25 years and the two last layouts. But I've had big spaces-- 12 x 19 and 11 x 23. Even in those spaces, I've decided that modeling a few features very well outweighed squeezing too many features into too small spaces. I've had a lot more fun hoofing a simple 5-car milk train, behind a Bachmann Connie, up 5.5 miles of single track to the dairy--the single industry on one stretch of track--than switching five industries through umpteen switches in my city. I started with umpteen industries and track configurations, whittled them down and down and down, and ended up very pleased by choosing just a very few.

    I've built six layouts. The first was very sparse and linear. The next three were spaghetti bowls in smaller spaces, although the smallest and simplest was most satisfying. The fifth was sparse but complex, and ultimately scrapped due to the complexity--no one, even myself, could really figure out where trains were running, and which block controls to throw next. The last, the Portsmouth Branch, was bone simple, though large in space, and was the most satisfying by far.

    My experience is to stop trying to squeeze stuff in. Live with the constraints and model a few things well.
  15. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    Sounds like I have a lot of company on this topic too.
    I've stopped and demolished a few small layouts because my expections... didn't meet my layout size.
    The sad part of this is that I have grand plans and a relatively small area to accomplish them in... not a good combination.
    The fact I like long trains and passenger consists means I need long runs to do them justice.
    I have dozens of structures and vehicles to do a few large towns... but that would limit the amount of railroading space available.
    Sadly... no solution in the visible future for a large space.
    Of course... I could just do what I can in the space available and get on with the hobby.

    NAAAAHHHH... that would just make too much sense for me! :teeth:
  16. Traindork

    Traindork TrainBoard Member

    I try and try to design a nice yard with an engine servicing facility but I just can't get it to fit in the available space. Drives me nuts!
  17. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    Pete those two short simple sentences really sum up anything that can be said. Bravo!

    I would rather spend a year and go through reams of draft paper and boxes of pencils than build another layout that leads to frustrations.
  18. ogre427

    ogre427 TrainBoard Member

    The Boeing plant in Everett WA is 98.3 acres, so you never know...:teeth:
  19. WPZephyrFan

    WPZephyrFan TrainBoard Member

    One thing that works in my favor is I model the Western Pacific/Tidewater Southern in the early 70s. The California Zephyr in February of 1970 was often only seven cars long with an FP7/F7B for power with one of WP's cool steam generator cars. Works nice on a HCD.
  20. Rossford Yard

    Rossford Yard TrainBoard Member

    While certain things truly limit us, others shouldn't. One, of course is long trains. I would love 50-60 car trains but even when space isn't a problem, physics is, as longer trains just tend to have more problems.

    As to big industries, I wanted oil refineries and steel industry on my last layout. If you are willing to model just the loading tracks of ingoing or outgoing materials, and use backdrop photos of the rest, you can simulate large industries without all the complex track work, no? Creativity can overcome many of our compression challenges.

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