Rethinking a Basement Layout Track Plan

GP30 Mar 30, 2020

  1. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    I am preparing to build a fairly large basement layout. I have gone through well over 100 different designs and settled on one. However, I keep feeling like I'm not making the best use of space available.

    Here is the Lower Level (Click to Enlarge):
    KY&N_Plan35_Bottom_scenic.png

    Upper Level:
    KY&N_Plan35_Top_scenic.png

    My railroad is a freelanced regional carrier base in the early 1970's in the Southern and Central part of West Virginia. Primarily a coal hauler with plenty of steel, manufacturing and chemical traffic. Also features bridge traffic from the PC and N&W. My design is a two-level layout that mostly runs around the walls from point-to-point. The current track plan is of a nolix design, but if I proceed with this design, I believe I will be building a helix instead to maximize scenic space around Big Chimney and Elkview. The basement ceiling is about 86" and 80" at the center beam and lowest ductwork, so a mushroom design may be out of the question.

    I feel like I'm not maximizing the available space, especially in the area of staging yards. Questions, critiques, changes all accepted.

    I am also attaching a blank floor plan in case somebody wants to try sketching something totally different.
    Blank_Floorplan.png

    I'm an open book, thanks in advance for your input!
     
    BNSF FAN likes this.
  2. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    NOTE: The length of staging tracks and the classification yard at Charleston are based upon 50' car lengths with a maximum train length of 24 cars. I would like to have freight trains to typically be around 20 cars and coal trains at 24, as hoppers tend to be shorter.
     
  3. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    UPDATE: I made some small changes on the lower level; adding the helix between Big Chimney and Elkview, as well as building in a pair of turn backs so that I had the option of continuous running for the kids to be entertained. I also managed to work in a 6'3" stone arch bridge that was bought from a friend of a friend from the estate of a Pennsy modeler who had passed a few years back.
    KY&N_Plan37_Bottom.png

    At the Upper Level, I rearranged Elkview and the mile at Wills. I also redesigned all of the track work at Spencer and Grantsville. It seems to have better flow, I didn't note any elevation changes here, but the grade should climb just a little over 1% from Speed, clockwise through Spencer and gain about 4-1/2" of elevation before reaching Grantsville and leveling off into staging. To minimize the helix, there is a 2% grade from Big Chimney into the helix from the lower level and around 1% from the helix to Wills on the upper level.
    KY&N_Plan37_Top.png

    I did start from scratch on a whole new plan, but stopped when I realized I needed three helices to split up staging. I don't think so, scooter!
     
  4. Ashpit

    Ashpit TrainBoard Member

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    Sometimes you just need to say: "That's enough designing" and just start building! During the process of building it will probably come to light that a change of something might make sense. Be ready to make that change, because it will make your design even better. I have given your design a cursory look and it appears to be an interesting design. It is a point to point, so no continuous running is planed. It also appears to have plenty of industries providing for operating interest. Have at'r and have fun!
     
    GP30 likes this.
  5. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    I can say with a great degree of confidence that I have absolutely way over-thought the track plan. Heck, I even made a schedule and typed up all of the waybills!

    Unfortunately, there are about 12-15 more steps I have to take before I can focus on construction, but hopefully I can make some headway soon!
     

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