South Pacific Lines layout plan

KiwiRail Jan 16, 2004

  1. KiwiRail

    KiwiRail TrainBoard Member

    i hope if I publish this plan, I'll stop changing it and get on with building it. [​IMG]

    having said that, feedback is invited....
    The staging yards are in a 3" deep trench behind the buildings. The backdrop is at the edge of the table, so all buildings are separated from the backdrop by the trench, which i like. the buildings may overhang them a bit to further conceal them, and the streets will dip down to them and then reappear painted on the backdrop (a brilliant idea I pinched from a recent Model Railroader article that i can't find right now. Young bloke, architect, from Washington I think. i'd like to give him credit, sorry.)

    Accesss will either be through gaps at the base of the backdrop, or by standing on a box and reaching over the backdrop. trains should be made up on the fiddle yard, not the staging tracks, so access should only be required in emergencies [​IMG]

    the fiddle yard is a set of storage shelves with a fiddle shelf, which i have already made to house my fleet.

    "Hillside Workshops" is named after a famous New Zealand loco construction and service facility. it is my workbench

    I would have prefered not to align the tracks with the front edge so strongly but :rolleyes:

    There is an interchange track just behind the station where through trains drop cars for a local to switch up an imaginary branchline. See here South Pacific Lines for more info on the rail companies operating. I'll post the layout's "narrative" one day which sets the scene.

    There is a yard lead separated from the mainline, a switching runaround also separate, a good sized classification yard, a good steam service facility with opportunities for superdetailing such as a RIP track, and an urban street switching area with lots of industries and lots of structure modelling. I plan to also have a loop to loop "track" to run the Faller animated cars, so there can be some real road traffic too.

    The big industry in the middle adjoining the yard is a freezing works, or as Americans woudl say a meat packers. Stock (sheep) in to stockyards, frozen meat and byproducts out.

    in addition to sheep, the (virtual) branchline also hauls out agricultural produe and logs for interchange to the mainline, and carries in fertiliser and general goods for the farming community

    there is through passenger traffic, connecting with a daily passenger run up the branchline

    All in 12' x 6' not counting the fiddle yard!

    [ 27. January 2004, 09:40: Message edited by: KiwiRail ]
  2. virtual-bird

    virtual-bird TrainBoard Member

    looks good, looks busy though, what are the elevations on there???

    Now get to it ;) !!
  3. Fluid Dynamics

    Fluid Dynamics TrainBoard Supporter

    I like it! There are many key areas to provide operation interest and the main line curves are quite gentle. I'll be lucky if I squeeze 15" radius main line through my SP layout (cuesta pass N of SLO).
  4. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

    If you like it....I say go with it no matter what anyone else says. After all, everyone say in unison's YOUR railroad. ;)

    With that said, it's a little busy for my tastes, but I'm more of a rural kind of guy. I like less track with lots of scenery. Even with that though, a few people have told me I had too much track in my track plan.

    It looks like your plan is well thought out and you've put a lot of time into figuring out exactly how you want things to work. I don't see any major track planning flaws so I'd say if you're happy with it then go with it. [​IMG]
  5. Barry

    Barry TrainBoard Member

    smart to also have planned 'city' area with streets etc. I hope you have access to both sides of table with such a full layout.
  6. KiwiRail

    KiwiRail TrainBoard Member

    thanks for the comments guys.

    yes it's busy. switching operations is one of my top priorities, enough for two or three guys not just one. Since I don't have much space (yet) something had to give, and it was mainline running. bit cramped for any heavy scenery work either, but at least I have room to do some urban scenes. Once I have this town built and the missus used to having the layout around, I can start extending if the lack of train running bugs me.

    The elevations are not too bad. The three staging tracks drop down just enough to be out of sight behind the buildings, so maybe three inches max. Everything else is flat. I'll make it on risers above a grid or L-girder base and cut out as much as i can to enourage me to drp the scenery below track lelvel ocassionally, but it is going to be fairly flat. Not much of New Zealand is flat [​IMG] so there will be much suggestion of hills and mountains on the backdrop and the front fascia.

    The thick lines are the basement walls, so I can duck (crawl) under and pop up in the triangular area when need be. this should only be to re-rail cars on the staging, or fix the Faller automobiles. I reckon I can reach to uncouple on the street industries from the front - it's about ... er... 30-35 inches. I'll have the benchwork low, say 42", to allow reaching.

    there's a lot of compromise here, but there always will be unless i get a million bucks and a basement to match ;)

    I'll be posting progress reports on the working the layout thread or here

  7. virtual-bird

    virtual-bird TrainBoard Member

    Could you straighten the board out, or maybe use a bit more of the 'triangle' where your going to pop up for a few more sidings maybe? Along the wall, do you need such a big triangle. You could then make a popup section of the buildings that lifted up on a hinge, or on something like struts, or just removeable, to come up on the board itself.

    The curves where the buildings are look sharp?

    Im also in the struggling for room thing, annoying as sh*t... Got most of the track pinned down today to see what its going to look like, and yea, could do with a 40x40 room!

    Man when you look at Colonel's layout, about 100ft long or what ever, the coffee shop on his is bigger than my whole room!

    Good luck with it!!!

    [ 17. January 2004, 11:44: Message edited by: virtual-bird ]
  8. Catt

    Catt Permanently dispatched

    Well I can solder,it ain't nothing to brag about but the joints so far are strong.Now I need to start pulling track (only pinned down) and start soldering the feeders.

    Once I get that fun job out of the way I will start laying more track and installing feeders as I go.
  9. KiwiRail

    KiwiRail TrainBoard Member

    Plenty of Aussies on TrainBoard, VirtualBird! I lived in Melbourne for many years myself, until recently.

    The urban curves are very sharp, by design, to simulate that crammed-into-the=streets feel and add a bit of challenge to switching - small locos, take it slow ...

    The board is designed to be semi-portable. We are going to renovate the basement area next year, so i'll lug it out and back again when the builders are finished (haven't talked to my folks about borrowing half their garage yet....), so it is a nice square slab. Part of getting myself to stop iterating and come up with a finished plan was to set some bounds on myself. One was to keep to a single level on a "standard" recatangle.

    I could use more of the triangular access area at back but not for sidings. I don't want to be crawling under there as part of regular operations. If I use it, it will be for scenery.

    i may do this layout as just a "quickie" for the learning experience, then scrap it in a couple of years for a more permanent one. I've got a way cool two-town multi-level plan to fit the proposed new rec room going in this location. Once I see the final plans for the basement, I'll be negotiation with the builder for track openings in the wall to be built in from day one!!

    thanks for the ffeedback
  10. Wolv_Cub

    Wolv_Cub TrainBoard Member


    I have looked over you layout plans looks like you will be rather busy or I should say you and your freinds will be rather busy.

    I can see why you would go with DCC with all those switches.

    Looks like it will be alot of fun. :D :D
  11. KiwiRail

    KiwiRail TrainBoard Member

    Thanks for checking it out. Much as I love scenery, on a layout this small everything goes towards operating [​IMG] Having said that there will be lots of buildings and urban detailing. And I'm considering later on adding some scenery over the access area at the back.

    Yes operating will be busy. The town is the junction of the national mainline and a busy branch line. The fiddle yard has shelf storage for 70 cars (already built it), so with a dispatcher/fiddle yard operator busy loading and unloading the three staging tracks, we'll be firing in mainline through trains (passenger and freight) and local mixed trains returning from the hypothetical branch line. What with the half-a-dozen switching destinations and the engine service facilities, I reckon we can make it one busy town!! I see a full operating session being dispatcher, fiddler/mainline driver, yard switcher. One day there will be two towns (one further up the branch line) and we'll keep four guys busy.

    I also intend to automate the trains coming in and out of staging, so I can genertae through traffic while switching the yard myself, for those solo sessions.

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