Like to have advice

redbaron8 May 9, 2002

  1. redbaron8

    redbaron8 New Member

    Hi to all,
    I have just joined and would like to have some advice.
    Have a shed,16x10 and been thinking of a
    U shape layout.4x10 on both sides and 8x4 on the top.(upside U) or would be an island 12x6
    better.I am building in HO.
    Any advice,maybe an idea with a plan would be a great help.Got a Faller saw mill and would also use the Faller Car system.
    Thank you
  2. rsn48

    rsn48 TrainBoard Member

    I hope you can get a hold of this book at your local hobby shop. It doesn't have to be the third edition, because all the editions carry all the basic shapes a layout can be. The book is "Track Planning for Realistic Operation" by John Armstrong. I would highly recommend you get this. I am currently using the third edition after successfully losing the second one.

    You have a great space for doing lots of stuff. You can double deck, single deck, triple deck with the bottom deck for staging. According to John A, you will have a medium size layout (small, average, medium, large, club - p. 85 of third edition). The title of the chapter is "Layout locations and shapes." The shape I am proposing is called the "Broad E" found on page 90, figure 7-8 "an alphabet of walk-in pike shapes."

    Two other shapes you can look at - again in the same location in the book - is the J and the G.

    Having 4 foot wide sides is to deep and is away from the trend today. You are more likely to find narrow waists - around 2 feet - then bulging out. The John Armstrong book has been out since Jesus was in diapers and is still - THE BOOK - to own. The US price on it is $19.00 but of course is higher in Canada, and probably a bit more down under.

    Even if you do a single deck affair, I really recommend you consider part of an area under your layout for staging. As my buddy says: "You can't be too thin, have to much wiring, or too much staging."

    There are some excellent posts in the layout forum. If you set aside some time and start at the beginning and read through many of them I know you will be much further ahead than you are now. You will also see some great pictures.

    If you absolutely can't get a copy of the book I have suggested, I will fax down to you the chapter out of it, its only 10 pages long, as long as you don't tell But the best money you can spend right now on your layout is for that book. Forget the U design.

    If you look at the top of the forum area, you will see you have choice as to whether to show topics for the last 30 days or longer. Select the one that says "show all" or something like that, then start reading. LOL... you better have time on your hands.

    [ 09 May 2002, 02:11: Message edited by: rsn48 ]
  3. rich m

    rich m E-Mail Bounces

    am in the same baot am putting my layout in the shed about the same size as the redbaron
    but i want to be able to move it back in the house when the kids move out (many body want one or two :rolleyes: )
  4. my UP

    my UP E-Mail Bounces

    Red Baron: Welcome!

    I am also building a layout (HO scale) in a shed. Mine is 8x10 - smaller than yours. I have opted for a "hollow donut" shape. I sit in the middle and the trains go around me. I accomplish this with a lift our section at the door.

    I do not have the ability to post the trackplan here, but I would be happy to email it to you if you have the rts software from Atlas. (its free)

    In a nutshell, my layout models a modest yard and engine facility. I use staging to run trains in and out of the "scene". Engine changes and light switching are the most common activities while through freights do shoot by on the main.

    I'd be more than happy to share anything I'm doing with you and look forward to hearing what your doing.

    Again, Welcome !
  5. Mark_Athay

    Mark_Athay TrainBoard Member

    I too am looking at building a layout in a space about that large. 9'6" X 14'. I spent months working out a U-shaped layout, trying to fit in everything I wanted, broad enough curves, .... I finally came to the conclusion that I couldn't have a layout I could work on and maintain reasonable curves. 24" radius curves dictate a layout almost 60" deep where the curves are. throw in two of those if you have continuous running and you get the idea. Not pretty.

    If you want continuous running, I'd definately say you need to seriously consider an around-the-room layout. If you only want point-to-point then your idea of a U-shaped layout can work. If you ever want to convert your point-to-point to continuous running you can extend it around the room.

    Now I just have to finish the basement so I can use the room for my layout.... [​IMG]

  6. rsn48

    rsn48 TrainBoard Member

    Rich M,
    Build your layout in sections that can be recycled. Lets say 2 by 4's or 2 by 6's. Even if you have to modify the original plan when you move, the benchwork is still salvageable.
  7. my UP

    my UP E-Mail Bounces


    Your observation of turn radius is correct! Thats why I went to the hollow donut with the lift out bridge.

    In order to do a "U" plan it would have had to be N scale. And I knew I wanted to do this layout in HO.
  8. Western Valley RR

    Western Valley RR TrainBoard Member

    My benchwork consists of a frame of 2x4 legs(2 in an L shape) and runners of 2x4's attached to each leg...that in turn has 2x4 stringers layed flat on top every 2'-1 1/2". My modules are made from 2x4 frames...although quite heavy to some people, they can hold up under alot of stress. I just lay each module done on the open benchwork and attach it from below with wood screws, I have found if the frame is off or lower then the previous one, I can adjust the height with the screws and a great and I have had no problems.

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