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Layout design and space - Layout Design, Trackwork & Operation. - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Wed Jun 19th, 2019 01:23 pm
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Box
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Hello again and thanks for the welcome. I'm in the planning stages for my layout at the moment, I'd like to model early 70's and early 80's freight operation. I'd like to have a continuous run, twin track with lots of sidings with an emphasis on urban scenery. I have a spare room of approx 11'x9',any thoughts?
Thanks 
Box. 



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 Posted: Wed Jun 19th, 2019 03:10 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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Hi Box and welcome
I am a big fan of AnyRail which is a cheap but very good and easy to use design tool for Windows (no Mac version).  There are plenty of track libraries if you want to use fixed track pieces or flexible across the usual range of scales.

I have come up with plenty of designs simply by starting with a couple of continuous loops and then dropping in features that I like - such as passing loops to incorporate more trains, goods sidings etc etc.  You can set the space you have so that you don’t go too mad!!

There are a good number of model railway design books out there from the Peco publications of Cyril Freezer to Iain Rice to Model Rail Magazine “Design Idea” specials.  I would get as many as you can.  Surprisingly, our local library still has a few model railway books (category 940 something if I recall correctly) and they can have ideas to look at.

Hope you find some inspiration and are able to get started.

Kind regards

Barry

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 Posted: Wed Jun 19th, 2019 04:40 pm
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thespanishdriver
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Hi Dave,

I can second what Barry said about AnyRail. A very small price gets you a lot of useful features.

You haven't said what gauge you anticipate modelling. With the 11X9 room, OO gauge would fit but you may have to reduce the amount and some of the sidings and train lengths. N gauge will fit in no problem and AnyRaill will help you out with your planning in any case.
Also, with a continuous loop you will have to take into account the door opening.



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 Posted: Wed Jun 19th, 2019 08:54 pm
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TeaselBay
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I can third AnyRail!
Just be careful not to go too crazy when using it, I got to design 12 before I stopped overloading my design!!



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 Posted: Wed Jun 19th, 2019 11:14 pm
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Headmaster
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I use a programme called Winrail - but they are all the same principle.  I find it helpful for drawing out a design and printing of a full scale version..... but then I get physical and lay out different options and see what it looks like.  Even then I have changed things once laid.  

Horses for courses I guess, but I do find actually laying things out, even if it is only paper, really helps me to see what it will actually look like and the scale of things.  If you are having buildings, make mock ups (I make boxes and cover them with a photo of the type of building I plan to make - really helpful for seeing what goes together) and place them on your proposed track.  It makes a huge difference.

Of course, if you can envisage things from a computer programme plan, you probably wont need to make a mock up.

If, on the other hand, you were asking for ideas of plans, I'm of no help whatsoever!  I can barely plan an oval...

Michael



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 Posted: Thu Jun 20th, 2019 08:36 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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Good point Michael'

Under the heading of The Art Of Compromise somewhere in the forum is a very good description of how a very good track plan doesn't work when laid out full size on wallpaper!!

Barry

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 Posted: Sat Jun 22nd, 2019 07:38 am
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The Q
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You don't say what scale you are modelling in,Space,  
T gauge  it's humugous, ,
Z gauge,  its enormous, 
N gauge  it's generous, 
00, EM,  P4, its OK, 
0, it's tight
Anything above that it's a micro layout. 


If you are planning a flat earth layout IE base boards with flat tops. I'd build the boards, then get pack of yards of flexi track,  some points and just lay some loosely on top to get a feel of what you want. 

To get best use of the room then a bridge section by the door will be needed,  if the door opens inwards then you'll need to lock it ( if you not the only resident) ,when in the bridge is down,  or re hang the door to open outwards.

Make sure you build the layout boards in sections,  that are removable,
 A, you can pull out section for work, alterations , etc. 
 B, you never know if you may have to move.
C,  you can turn them on their  sides to do some wiring underneath. 
D,  you can put permanent storage underneath.



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 Posted: Sat Jun 22nd, 2019 09:09 am
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Longchap
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Box is working in double oh Queren, as confirmed on the similar thread:

http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=16128&forum_id=171&jump_to=288674#p288674

If Matt is listening, maybe they could be combined, with David's permission of course?

All good advice there Queren, particularly with lift up modules to facilitate wiring and the lifting bridge is a most useful prototype to follow!

Good luck with your layout plans Box and please keep us in the loop.

Best,

Bill



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 Posted: Sun Jun 23rd, 2019 12:23 pm
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Spurno
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Dave,if you want to start a new thread in the appropiate section away from the new members section Matt or I can merge your posts.



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 Posted: Sun Jun 23rd, 2019 01:26 pm
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BCDR
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Hi David,

Fair sized room for OO. Curves will be tight. Resist the temptation to use all the wall space! Less is better with a small room. 

Decide on the depth. Two x four foot modules are pretty standard but that can mean a lot of scenery. Consider using different depths. Determine your ruling radius.

Asymmetric Dog Bone around three walls rather than continuous on four walls? That way means no messing around with the door and easy access, and no lift-outs. Again Bo-Bo or Co-Co diesels can use sharp curves.

As Q says, make it modular. Just make sure a) you can lift them, and b) they go down/up stairs and around corners.

One or two levels? Helix? Gradients and curves again. Storage tracks/fiddle yard on a lower level?

The door? The window? Any building code issues? Ground floor windows usually mean egress issues.

Is this the work room as well? If so you will need adequate space under the boards (see first point), which will dictate their height. Working with one foot above your head is better than two feet.

Urban usually means embankment and bridges. often with one line going over another. Consider open frame modules rather than flat earth ones.

Have a peruse of maps to get an idea of what the real thing did. 

Build a plank or a module to get back into the techniques. 

Time spent on planning is better than redoing work.

Nigel






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 Posted: Mon Jun 24th, 2019 05:27 pm
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Barchester
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If it would help I should be able move the entire topic into members layouts and re name it to something suitable ? Doesn't matter if you dont have a name yet, it can be re named later. You can then post any questions in the one place rather than starting new topics in the members welcome area  ;-) so any answers are in one place.
Cheers

Matt

Could also just move this topic to  HERE in layout design, getting you started ?  Probably a good place to ask your initial questions until you firm up your layout design etc   :)




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 Posted: Mon Jun 24th, 2019 08:16 pm
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Box
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Hello Alan, that would be great, I'm still trying to get to grips with it, I must say how much I'm enjoying the club. Many thanks. 




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 Posted: Tue Jun 25th, 2019 04:31 am
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xdford
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Hello David,
Apart from my own plan, I am a fan of the "Heart of Georgia" Railroad plan as being a room size around the wall layout. The original was cut for a standard 4x8 ft or 1200 x 2400mm board to keep the same area but have a far bigger radius curve possibility than is possible on a standard sheet of ply. 

While it is a single track plan, there is no reason why you could not adapt the idea to a double track plan with a more British look about it.  There is a link here https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/16747  to show one version of it.  

You can always run any ideas you do come up with here (and we will all offer critiques... mostly helpful I hope) but I suggest you come up with a slightly more specific wish list that you would like to put into the layout with the must haves, the nice to haves but maybe not so important and peripheral stuff that would be good that you could easily live without.   The actual space available would also help .

I would also suggest that you read through the thread http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=10671&forum_id=6&highlight=sunil  probably more as an example of keeping your ideas achievable and realistic as many of our initial ideas can be unrealistic with what we want to achieve!

Cheers from Australia

Trevor


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 Posted: Tue Jun 25th, 2019 01:06 pm
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BCDR
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Hi David,

COG illustrates several points very well. It's modular, doesn't have to be two feet deep, doesn't have to be all double track, watch the ruling radii, needs tight turnouts (#4's!).  And it uses DCC power with sectors (blocks in DC). Even although it is continuous it is meant for end to end operations between two termini with an exchange track. Hence the runaround.

The layout was designed to show what can be done with an 4 x 8 feet surface area. Normally regarded as the minimum acceptable starter model railway over here. Keep in mind that HO designs are meant for 3.5 mm scale (HO), not 4 mm scale (OO). Best to scale up any dimensions by 14% (or even 20%.).

I recently came across COG while researching for an article on small layouts.

Nigel



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 Posted: Wed Jun 26th, 2019 07:00 pm
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Longchap
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Hello again David,

I see you are getting plenty of advice, so I don't want to add too much, as it's a lot to take in all at once. However, I've been reading some wise words by Lance Mindheim, initially with my research on lift off sections for room access, but then on overall design considerations, which can easily be overlooked in the mindset of rushing in and building a dream railway.

In essence, it embraces the 4th dimension of time in order to concentrate the mind on how much to design into a model railway. It rather depends on how the railway will be run and of course on the area available. For a solo modeller, one can really enjoy an operating session for about 30 minutes before the operation itch is sufficiently scratched and one risks getting bored. If operating with another modeller, or indeed with several others at a club session, much more layout interest will be needed and longer sessions desirable.

The essence of the thinking is to design the operating characteristics to suit what you are likely to do with the railway, aka your attention span and why build in over capacity that's not needed?

I think there's some good thinking here, although personally, I'll include sufficient capacity for varied operational interest over several sessions, even if it doesn't get used in every operating session and of course, I'll enjoy building it.

However, I've seen several very ambitious layouts started on forums, never finished and prone to abandonment due to lost interest with a complex project.

''Less is more'' springs to mind with good reason and is certainly worth some thought. There's nothing wrong with complex however, but best used with expert help.

Lance's own words can be read on his blog here:

https://shelflayouts.com/2019/06/the-thirty-minute-three-hour-rule/

Best,

Bill



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 Posted: Thu Jun 27th, 2019 04:44 pm
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thespanishdriver
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Very wise words Bill.

Mine is getting more complex and I find myself switching from landscaping to signalling to running.

I thought it was a good idea to incorporate loads of points - I now have 43 on a basic room sized oval track which includes the TMD, goods yard and general running.
To make matters worse and more expensive, I am doing away with the seep point motors in favour of Cobalt Omega tortoise ones.
Given that my signalling is of the lit variety, I am now realising just how much each signal costs to get operational.

Planning is a must. Decide what you really need and decide on your budget.
I didn't but I am kind of enjoying fitting it all in!



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 Posted: Tue Jul 2nd, 2019 06:58 am
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tynewydd
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Especially for any Mac or Unix users, a reminder that XtrkCAD is available for planning layouts (it is also available on Windows, of course). It is completely free to download and use and is maintained by a few of us volunteer folks as an open source project. 
V5.1 has been out for over a year now - so it is pretty stable - both V5.2 (additional functions) and V6 (UI redesign) are being worked on whenever we have a spare moment.
Adam



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