Hello i am planning on building my first layout. The size space that I have is 4x8 or possibly 5x8 max. I would like to use Lionel fastrack and would like to be able to run 2 trains at once, any track suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! 

Original Post

My FastTrack layout is 5x8. This allows me to use maximum curves for my passenger cars. 4x8 makes things a bit tight. I have 2 loops (NOT joined). The inner loop has a siding. This has given me the entire center area for scenics. 2/3 is a city scene, 1/3 a carnival/rides area. Lots of action if you plan it right.

The extra width of 5' wide permits using O48 and O36 curves for a double loop. 

4' wide would be O36 and O31, but it doesn't fit as nicely -

I think if you search the forum there are some threads on this size layout to give you some ideas - an internet search may help also 

get some sidings or a couple of cross-overs to avoid the boredom of loop only running

Carl

Arctic Railroad

Casper posted:

should I have more than one power hook up from my transformer to the track or is that not necessary on a layout this size?

The trains would tell you that answer by hitting a slow spot - so, avoid the discovery  and put at least two pair of feeder wires on each loop - perhaps 9 and 3 o'clock on the ends of the outer loop and at 12 and 6 o'clock on the inner loop.

This would be for constant voltage to operate command controlled engines 

Carl

Arctic Railroad

John H posted:

I had a lot of fun with this 5X9 as my first layout.train1 Dec 08

That track plan and variations of it, is one of the better plans I've seen, over the years.   It offers a long run in a small space.  

I had something very similar back in the '80s.  I was able to cram alot of operating accessories into the 5' x 9' area.  Sorry for the picture quality.

IMG_0190

IMG_0199

 

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

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My layout plan came from The Fastrack Book. With the two reversing loops it did make for a long run. They were O36 manual switches and changed direction each time on the reversing loops without operator assistance.

John

Located in the real Upstate NY

'Good decision to increase your layout to the 5 foot width. With Fastrack a 4X8 is too restrictive and many passenger cars and engines would have problems with the 36 inch curves.

My latest layout is 5'X10' and has a double loop using 36 inch and 48 inch curves.  My priority was to have a large "city area" set in the late 1950s.  I only had 5 feet of depth available and built the benchwork/table on casters so that it could be rolled away from the wall for building and access to the track and trains when finished.

I wish that I had a 6 foot depth available...

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i have an outer loop that is just a oval using 048 that is controlled with a cw80 transformer. The inner loop has some switches and is controlled by another cw80. I currently only have the power attached at one point of each track. I read that it is good to add power to the opposite side of the layout also. It also said it is good for your transformers to share a common ground, so would I only run one line to both outer rails of the loop or should I do one for each? Any information on this would help great, thank you all!

Casper posted:

i have an outer loop that is just a oval using 048 that is controlled with a cw80 transformer. The inner loop has some switches and is controlled by another cw80. I currently only have the power attached at one point of each track. I read that it is good to add power to the opposite side of the layout also. It also said it is good for your transformers to share a common ground, so would I only run one line to both outer rails of the loop or should I do one for each? Any information on this would help great, thank you all!

In your case, all is good as it is. The loops are separate, keep them that way. One feed is fine if the trains like it. Only add another if it is needed. Remember that the 8 driver Berk, like a Polar, will slow a little in curves (O36) from wheel bind and not power loss.

You could drop a second set of feeders if you are making the installation permanent, as in putting landscaping around the track and such. 

Carl

Arctic Railroad

On one of my cw80 transformers the bell button is stuck on, I am thinking about getting a new transformer. Any suggestions on what to get? I will be running an TMCC commodore Hudson and a Lionel chief plus engine. I want to have enough power.

Did the CW80 come with a set? If it did, call Lionel and tell them the button failed. Have the set # available. They may replace it for you.

Another CW80 or an MTH Z-1000 will handle your needs.

You could also power it with a PH-180 direct with 18 volts for a few more bucks. Do you need a controller?

Carl

Arctic Railroad

Casper posted:

On the one line I am just running the TMCC controlled engine and the lionchief plus. The other line does have some conventional engines on it.

Sounds like you need a controller for the ability to run conventional.

Carl

Arctic Railroad

Not sure if this is possible but could anyone get an image of my track layout in one of the track building programs so I could make a control panel for my switches? I don’t anything that can run those track building programs. Thanks in advance if possible

Alright, let's see about this version. Now it fits into 5 feet by 8 ft.

I guessed that your extension was about 18 inches wide with about 2 ft off the table.

Plus I made the picture with and without the roadbed so you can pick which one you like better.

Casper v2a

Casper v2

 

 

Mike Lewis

Grew up in Ironton, OH

(that's the I in the DT&I RR)

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Another style is the symbol style that looks like the railroad control board. I built this for forum member Larry3Rail with micro center-off toggles.

I used what I could find at Staples - vellum, I believe it was called to print on and placed it top of the painted box. The whole thing was about 8.5" x 5".

Carl

Arctic Railroad

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