N, Nn3, Nn18 layout design help

B-T May 14, 2024

  1. B-T

    B-T TrainBoard Member

    58
    180
    4
    I am trying to design a layout that fits in a 33-34"x27" or smaller that has double track for standard gauge using 33mm double track as the basis. for reference, I am using SCARM to design the layout.

    My requirements:

    • 15 stall roundhouse - MINIMUM
    • 33"x27" total size
    • standard gauge being 11" minimum radius
    • Standard gauge double track run at 33mm
    • Standard gauge vertical track clearance of 4"
    • double track turnout to double track siding (my calculating, two Fast-Tracks #6 and a Fleishmann double slip)
    • Nn3 loop (either as a third rail on the standard gauge or separate)
    • Nn18 (T-gauge) loop - same requirements as Nn3.
    I have generated at least 10 different ideas, but every design I come up with, there is some problem, primarily yard space. I have tried making a multi level layout, with a different track gauge per level - with an elevator connecting the levels with the turntable and roundhouse.

    One of the designs that seems to possibly work is attempt #4 which is what I am showing below:
    upload_2024-5-13_16-27-20.png
     
    MK and BNSF FAN like this.
  2. DeaconKC

    DeaconKC TrainBoard Member

    1,398
    4,817
    45
    I would look up Sumner's Roundhouse for 3D printing on Thingiverse. That way you can modify as needed to fit your space.
     
    B-T, BNSF FAN and tonkphilip like this.
  3. B-T

    B-T TrainBoard Member

    58
    180
    4
    I am currently looking into that roundhouse, although I will be doing code 80 rail as I am running older rolling stock with pizza cutter wheels.
     
    DeaconKC and tonkphilip like this.
  4. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

    2,961
    6,404
    63
    If you guys do some building I'd like to see pictures and could always post some on my site and thingiverse.com. I've got mine all printed, 14 stalls but won't paint it and glue it together until...

    [​IMG]

    .... I get some track to that part of the layout.

    For anyone interested more info and print file links for....

    [​IMG]

    the roundhouse (HERE).

    Turntable is also ready to go in when I get to the roundhouse. More info and print file links for...

    [​IMG]

    .... the turntable (HERE).

    Sumner
     
    tonkphilip, DeaconKC, B-T and 3 others like this.
  5. B-T

    B-T TrainBoard Member

    58
    180
    4
    What approximately is the total area that the turntable and 14 stall roundhouse takes up? I might be able to do that, especially with a larger turntable, but size constraints is one of my problems.
     
    tonkphilip and DeaconKC like this.
  6. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

    3,521
    7,085
    75
    Good Luck.
    It looks like your plan could have what you want, if you replace the first straight in the lower stub yard track with a switch to a new, third yard track. You'd also need a RH-curved inner-to-outer crossover at bottom left (inner to outer track, travelling clockwise.)

    But the first rule of model railroading is honestly defining which 'requirements' are negotiable (i.e. goals), and which are iron-clad. Think about what is driving your requirements. Do you just want a layout to hold your loco collection, and provide some freight cars in a yard for the locos to shuttle around the layout and back into the same yard?

    A layout should have a purpose (e.g. moving people and/or freight from at least one point to at least one other point.)

    All you can do with this layout as it is, is decide which of the 15 locos you are going to use to move railcars from the one yard around (and around) the layout, back to the same yard (maybe a different yard track?)

    Add an industry (even if it is just a false front, against a backdrop.)
    Things I might try:
    1. You might have room for a small industry or two if you rotate the roundhouse clockwise around the turntable, so a train can travel straight across the turntable, from the feeder track to an industry track (or more, fed by a switch on the far side of the turntable) without rotating the turntable.
    2. Add fuel/water/caboose* track(s) to the turntable. These are all functions a train needs to perform to get freight/passengers from one place to another on the railroad.
      1. (* if the turntable is long enough to hold loco and caboose, or if the caboose track is opposite the feeder track (which then cannot be used for an industry.) Otherwise, the caboose track will be off the turntable feeder track, or perhaps a track in the nearby yard.
    3. Push the lower left, outside track tunnel portal back, abreast of the inside track portal. There isn't enough rock between the tracks to support the roof of a real tunnel over just the outer track. This change also opens up a(nother) corner in which you can place a small industry/scene to add more interest. The two right-side corners provide the same opportunities for small industries to add operating interest.
    These are only what I might do, if I were building a layout with the same constraints. But not necessarily what you should do... Take what you can, use what you need.
     
    B-T, BNSF FAN and tonkphilip like this.
  7. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

    4,411
    1,744
    80
    Will this be connected to a larger layout as your picture above seems to suggest or will it be a separate stand-alone mini layout?
     
    B-T, tonkphilip and BNSF FAN like this.
  8. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

    2,961
    6,404
    63
    Probably not going to fit, especially if you have the extended stalls like are show off to the right. One doesn't need to have those.

    [​IMG]

    Sumner
     
  9. B-T

    B-T TrainBoard Member

    58
    180
    4
    I have added two more tracks to the yard (off of the one track that you suggested as well as another crossover. I have also added in tracks to connect to one or two industries which will probably a mine(s) of some sort plus shrinking and rotating the turntable slightly in order to allow for a industry track to come out - which I probably will do a DRGW Tennessee pass-style station (I am sorta going Colorado mountain railroading style with it) on the tunnel side of the track with a freight depot on the other side. I slightly reduced the size of the roundhouse in exchange of fuel/water/caboose tracks - except for the most part I will not be able to fit both a caboose and a loco on the turntable at one time.

    Just need to come up with an excuse on why a Gustav railway gun is coming out to Colorado in the 1890s-1910s with some modern diesel locomotives...
    Now the tunnel its going to be extending slightly over the second part of the crossover, but SCARM would not let me. Below is my updated design - I will be adjusting several of the other turntable tracks to be slightly shorter or longer as needed:
    upload_2024-5-15_13-7-31.png
     
    DeaconKC, BNSF FAN and tonkphilip like this.
  10. B-T

    B-T TrainBoard Member

    58
    180
    4
    As of now, it will be a separate stand-alone mini layout, although now with the new tracks added, I may eventually make it connected to a larger layout.

    Now, if I had the room that I don't have, then I would for sure use this roundhouse/turntable combination, but considering the size would probably take up ~80% of the layout, and I am not planning on running any loco larger than a pacific or a SD40, I think a smaller roundhouse/turntable will work okay. But I will keep it in mind once/if I ever have more space.
     
  11. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

    3,521
    7,085
    75
    Well I give you an A for creativity on a turntable; the straight/curved turntable bridge is unique!

    The short spoke tracks on the left are next to useless, and could be dispensed with. In addition, except for clearance from adjacent spoke tracks, there's no rule a spoke has to be straight. I think you can get by with a single, straight turntable bridge if you remove adjacent spoke tracks for a curve right off the the turntable to a straight caboose track (coupling is easier on a straight track.) Ash/fuel/water can be on any spoke(s), not just opposite the turntable lead. They are often on sidings of the lead approaching the turntable, but there's no reason they couldn't be on the other side of the turntable.

    I really like the crossing tracks you added in the upper right corner! They smartly imply another 'elsewhere' for railroad traffic. I might try and see what that looks like if the crossing were in the lower right corner, and the bottom track extended all the way across to the left edge, and to the top edge. I think it might 'balance' the layout a little better too. This might visually "balance" the mountain in one corner, with the crossing in the opposite corner.
     
  12. B-T

    B-T TrainBoard Member

    58
    180
    4
    I would like to claim the title of coming up with the straight/curved turntable bridge, but I ran across some photos of some random turntables in Europe with that design. Looking at design more, I agree on the useless spoke tracks, and have removed them. I have also moved the second crossover as suggested to the right side.

    I have also added a water tank to one of the spokes as well as a Tennessee Pass-style station, although I am pretty sure that there wasn't a roundhouse/turntable next to it though. I will put the coaling tower somewhere, although, I don't know where, and then the ash pit will be on the connection from the main to the turntable.
    upload_2024-5-16_10-6-5.png
     

    Attached Files:

  13. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

    3,521
    7,085
    75
    I like the attached version better: you don't want a grade crossing in a tunnel!
     
    tonkphilip, B-T and BNSF FAN like this.
  14. B-T

    B-T TrainBoard Member

    58
    180
    4
    I mainly put it on for looks, although, I very much agree with you on that part.
     
    tonkphilip and BNSF FAN like this.
  15. DeaconKC

    DeaconKC TrainBoard Member

    1,398
    4,817
    45
    What if you moved the station to the lower left corner? It would also give the impression of that spur branching off the layout. Just add a water column near the station.
     
    Hoss, BigJake and tonkphilip like this.
  16. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

    3,521
    7,085
    75
    This, especially if you move the 90 degree crossing to the lower right corner.
     
    DeaconKC, Hoss and tonkphilip like this.
  17. B-T

    B-T TrainBoard Member

    58
    180
    4
    I have moved the station/water tank on to the spur going to the left, as well as removing/shortening/replacing the one longer track where the station was previously on the design.
    I have swapped the 90 degree crossing to be in the lower right corner with a wye accessing the lower track due to the station/roundhouse. I am also working on doing a separate Nn18/T gauge loop/yard due to the completely different track system (my understanding is the track is magnetic vs Nickle-silver)

    upload_2024-5-17_13-41-3.png
     
  18. DeaconKC

    DeaconKC TrainBoard Member

    1,398
    4,817
    45
    That lower Right corner looks really good.
     
    BigJake and tonkphilip like this.
  19. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

    2,961
    6,404
    63
    How about...

    [​IMG]

    .... moving the roundhouse/turntable complex up just a tad and to the right? Maybe the track you are working with won't work like that?? One reason I like working with flex....more flexible with what you can get away with ;).

    Sumner
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2024
    DeaconKC, B-T and tonkphilip like this.
  20. B-T

    B-T TrainBoard Member

    58
    180
    4
    I modified the track plan as you recommended, and I actually really like how it turned out, defiantly not what I would have thought of, but looking at it now, it makes a whole lot of since especially considering, I can fit a ~30" long train instead of a 10 in train. and then I moved the 90 degree crossover back to the top, primarily due to the fact that I/everyone that sees it will be seeing it from either the left edge and primarily the bottom edge.
    The escape track/headshunt at the end of the roundhouse complex it pretty short - about two inches, but I probably will run the trains into the station with a railcar mover instead of a standard, larger loco - considering that the track connecting the headshunt/turnout to the TT is ~7" radius - which presently, most of my locos can handle that radius.
    I still have some more work on the Nn18/T-gauge loop although it will end up in the upper left corner with a small elevator connecting it to the roundhouse.
    upload_2024-5-17_17-30-39.png
     

Share This Page