I would appreciate your design ideas for my new 6' x 16' Fastrack layout (complete transition from O-31 tubular.) I have some things in mind, but many of you are very experienced with Fastrack. Here's what I have to lay on the table:
Plenty of Fastrack to make two separate mainline loops - outer O-60 and inner O-48 (will buy more for sidings)
3 Fastrack command control O-60 Left Hand switches
3 Fastrack command control O-60 Right-Hand switches
Major focal point buildings are:
MTH 30-9014 Red Stone Passenger Station w/dual platforms
MTH 30-90267 Pennsylvania Single Engine Shed
MTH 30-90112 Dry Goods Terminal Warehouse
MTH 30-9031 Pennsylvania Switch Tower
I would like to have
1. some type of yard with a switching lead
2. a spur to the engine house for standby locos
3. run passenger and freight trains with my 5 TMCC diesels (but not all at once!)
It's a lot to try to do in the allowable space and with just six switches. I read daily this Track Plans and Layout Design forum with great interest and enthusiasm, and I hope you can help me with a design that will "work just right" for my table-top layout.
located on the abandoned Erie RR New York to Chicago mainline
After reading Rich Melvin's suggestions for switching leads, I came up with two rough designs for my Fastrack 6' x 16' layout. May I ask which of these two designs you like best, or, can you suggest improvements to one or the other. Thank you for your assistance.
Just a couple of comments from my experiences with my 6x12 Fastrack layout...
Being able to move between loops will add a great deal to your options.
Likewise being able to reverse direction from either direction of travel adds a lot to your operations.
I deeply regret not planning an O72 mainline.
I'll write more later but no O72 mainline on the layout means my PM1225 is running on a 7x11 floor oval. Better than nothing but not fun. Since I will need to severely redo my benchwork anyway to accommodate O72, I am also looking into what I'd have to do for O84 and O96.
Thank you for the suggestions, and especially for the layout diagram, Bruce. That is pretty much what I had in mind and I think I will loop the switching lead around as you designed. Connecting the mainline loops will require four more switches, so I will have to save that step for later.
Hatches aren't necessary because the benchwork legs are equipped with heavy-duty caster wheels. The entire train table rolls away from the back wall easily for 360-degree access.
I wanted a switch yard so I can operate the Lionel PRR Legacy NW-2 Switcher that I ordered from the new catalog!
I don't have plans to buy a big steam locomotive as I like to stick with Erie/E-L, B & O, and PRR around 1959-1960. I grew up in a house situated alongside the Erie NYC-Chicago mainline in Tallmadge, Ohio and watched high speed passenger and freight trains fly past our dinette picture window. There were SO MANY trains running on those tracks back in the 50s and early 60s! I only wish I possessed the foresight to take pictures of the many styles of locomotives that were a routine part of daily life back then. Memories will have to suffice.
For your initial layout, you can use filler pieces (green) as place holders, and replace them with 060 switches at a later time:
The PRR Legacy NW-2 Switcher should be able to handle the 036 curves on the switching lead.
If you plan on running all Legacy Scale locomotives, the Mikados and K4 Pacifics should negotiate the 048 & 060 turns just fine. The scale Berkshires will be relegated to running on the outer 060 loop as they have a 54" radius minimum.
I can email a layout manifest to you if it would be helpful.
Look forward to some pictures once it's up & running.
The track manifest would be great. That will help me figure out what short spacer pieces I need to make everything fit correctly. All my locomotives are diesels, but if I decide to buy a steam engine, I will look at the Mikados and K4 Pacifics
I am going to proceed with construction just as you have the layout designed. I already have the switches and almost all of the track. Will need to add a few pieces here and there.
That is a great layout design ready for lots of action, but unfortunately it has many more switches than I plan to buy. I am in the process of constructing the layout Bruce designed above but without the four crossover switches connecting the mainline loops. Will add them at a later date.
Thank you for the detailed design and track manifest. I really appreciate your assistance.
The layout by PRR Bruce Brakeman is exactly what I want to build. Two lines connected by switches and access to sidings.
I am late on this post, I discoveered it while looking for layouts 6' X 16'
I am new to O gauge, just purchased Lionel Lagacy Pa K4 Tuscan Red.
I desire is to operate two locomotives running oposite directions. I plan on using Fast track
I want outer line 072 curves inner line 054 curves. Question, I will go with 7' wide table is that enough room using 072? Can Fast Track be cut when smaller pieses is needed?
I also like the photo of casters that allows table to be moved away from wall.
Bob 7' table should be good as fastrack is 72 inches center rail to center rail. Lionel would prefer you buy the smaller pieces, but check out this thread that demonstrates how to cut your own smaller pieces: