Planning for the new HO scale layout

Rahul Sep 2, 2020

  1. Rahul

    Rahul New Member

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    Hi,

    I recently joined the TrainBoard forums. I posted in Member Introductions titled “Hello from Central Florida” regarding my stop and start, short journey in Model Railroading. I would appreciate you all to take a look at that to get some background on my journey till date. I am looking forward to have conversations with people who share the same dreams and zeal for world’s most wonderful hobby.

    I do have a 4’ x 8’ temporary layout, but that is mainly used to experiment and get used to track configurations. I am in process of starting a new layout and posting here to get some feedback/suggestions/recommendations.

    Attached are shots of my layout as designed in RailModeller Pro. Scale: HO
    • Baseboard section includes 120” x 36” on left and right flank joined by 24” x 48” board on top and 6” x 48” lift-out section at bottom.
    • Lower Deck includes most of the tracks in light blue shade with
    • Single Main line for Freight trains
    • Maintenance Yard containing Program Track and Loco Sheds for the locomotives
    • Industrial Spurs on both flanks, which will be redesigned as I move forward. Rest of the layout is pretty much set in stone, unless a better recommendation is made.
    • Freight Car Parking on the right flank.
    • Passenger Car Parking and platform on the left flank
    • Crossover section on top connected to incline sections to upper deck.
    • Possible Issue: Switcher taking freight cars from Industrial spurs to Freight Car Parking will need to go through lower deck mainline. There is no way to switch without getting on the main line. This is another issue that might have me redesign the plan. I am looking for some guidance in this matter.

    • Incline Sections - 3% grade incline/decline section in red shade to connect lower deck(0”) to upper deck(3.6”). I will be using Woodland Scenics 3% grade Inclines.
    • Upper Deck will serve as Passenger trains mainline in light green shade on a 6” wide platform. I am hoping to extend it to a 2 line mainline with crossovers between 2 lines, but that is a long-term goal.
    Track to be used: Atlas Code 83

    I have procured most of the track except some Flex track, 22” radius sections and most importantly, Curved Turnouts with 30” outer radius and 22” radius. These are not available anywhere, so I am patiently waiting for them to be available to buy. All the other turnouts are ones with 10.5” length and 22” radius on diverging route. All these turnouts are remote snap switches and I plan to control them using Digikeijs DR4018 16-Channel Switch Decoder. Any 90 degree arc with a curved turnout is 30” radius, otherwise outer radius is 36” to facilitate better tracking for passenger cars.

    Lift-out section: I plan to use Lionel HO scale MagneLoc ( https://www.some train store.com/lionel-ho-871818020-9-straight-magnelock-4-pack/ ) magnetic connecting 9” track sections to align tracks on the lift-out sections. Has anybody used them before? Although they are very expensive I intend to only use them for connecting sections on both sides. I expect to use 16 sections on 4 different tracks on lift-outs, which will cost me close to $80. OUCH!!!!

    DCC System: NCE PowerCab - Will this be enough or would I need SB5 to boost signal?

    Please let me know what you think
     
  2. Rahul

    Rahul New Member

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    Lower Deck with connected incline sections

    Lower-Deck-With-Connected-Inclines.png
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2020
  3. Rahul

    Rahul New Member

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    Upper Deck with connected incline sections

    Upper-Deck-With-Connected-Inclines.png
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2020
  4. Rahul

    Rahul New Member

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    Combined View

    Combined-View.png
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2020
  5. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Member

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    Does the 3.6" difference in deck height give you enough clearance for the tallest rolling stock you plan to run ie; double stacks, bilevel passenger cars, wreck crane, plus the thickness of the roadbed, sub-roadbed and bech work support members?
    Do you want to have other buildings in addition to the engine shed? I model in N scale and even in that scale the amount of space buildings take up can be suprising.
    I've started building quite a few layouts over the years only to scrap them part way through construction because I did not leave enough room for buildings or scenery.
    Do you have a list of things you would like on the layout?
    I like your using a small test layout. Thats a great way to see how your equipment will handle certain grades or turn radi.
     
  6. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Member

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    will you be able to access the lower mainline tracks for maintenance, including cleaning trouble shooting and repair.
     

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