So last year I built a 4x8 table in my garage for o gauge fastrack.  I built a layout but was never really fond of it.  I am thinking of expanding it to 5x9, but is there really that big a difference in layout design by taking the time and $ to go out one foot bigger?    I have spent two weeks look at different layouts for a 5x9. I want to have two levels and I'm pretty good at Mt design. But just thought I would throw this out to you all if there is any input that might help.   Doug

"We are all, once a man, but twice a child"  Proverbs.  

May we all still heard the bell........

Original Post

Dougie, the answer comes down to one's personal preferences. I believe it is possible that every additional foot of layout space for some hobbyists could be monumental.

However, it would not be a significant difference for me because I like my trains to go to different places. That is why I much prefer my long and narrow around the walls layout in which my trains travel to different places in my basement playroom, leave that room and go through a tunnel into the laundry room, go to different places in that room, and then return to the playroom. I also prefer having backdrops on the walls to enhance the scenery. 

My wife, who is not involved with, but tolerates, my trains. also prefers my layout design because the layout does not completely dominate either room. My kids had enough space in the playroom to do other things with their friends besides trains in the playroom, and we also had and have enough space to do other things besides trains in the laundry room, namely the laundry. LOL.

It boils down to doing what most appeals to you that is doable when considering one's space and resource limitations, and what the family is OK with.

Arnold

 

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

Keep in mind with 0-36 fastrack, the diameter of circle to the outer edge is around 40 inches.  So on a 4 ft width, you can basically only get the curve and at best a very short section of straight track. Regular O gauge has the advantage of a tighter curve, so on a 4 ft wide board you can easily get 1 full section, which allows for a passing siding along the length.

Last edited by ed h

I'll jump in,   So first congrats on your layout, good luck with the new one and hope you'll post some pics.

I believe the biggest difference in jumping up in size from the 4x8 is you will get wider, more realistic curves with smoother running trains.  You can run also run slightly longer equipment (if desired).  From what I've seen the biggest jump is to the 8x8 size layout.   Lots of action, two levels, lots of scenery options.    

Best of luck and enjoy the process

Larry DiG

With O27 I suppose 4 x 8 is fine, but that's a sub-standard radius and very limiting.  I wouldn't even build a layout with O31 these days, unless you are totally committed to Postwar.  Since O36 is the new O31, I would use that and *definitely* choose 5 x 9 if you have the space.

With either of these sizes you are talking about a free-standing "island" layout.  48" is too wide to reach across, so in either case you should leave a maintenance aisle between the long side and the wall.  36" is considered the limit of arm's reach, so in theory you could even build 6 x 10 or 6 x 12.  As long as you have a maintenance aisle on the back side, you would still be able to reach the center.

5 x 9 used to actually be more common because it's the size of a ping-pong table.  I think most people use 4 x 8 to save space, or because it's all they can get at Lowe's or Home Depot.  My vote is 5 x 9 if you can get it, and if you have the space.

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

Thank you all for your inputTrain layout garage to this. I have posted one picture of what I built last year.  The outside was 036 and the in 031 fastrack. I had not problems.  This was built on a rolling legs so I can move it out into the garage or back under the Kayaks when finished..  If I do go up with the 5x9 I think I will have to reframe. 

"We are all, once a man, but twice a child"  Proverbs.  

May we all still heard the bell........

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FWIW, layout I built for a pair of my grandkids, before adding control panel.  Used PW 022 Lionel switches and all Gargraves flex track.  They run 2 locos with DCS.TH&SG RR

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For a 5 x 9 layout, I have always thought this design to offer plenty of action and a relatively long run in a small space.  If you want to stick with a 4 x 8 footprint, the outer loop can be eliminated.  Sorry about the size of the picture.  

 

Unknown 

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Last edited by Dan Padova
ed h posted:

Keep in mind with 0-36 fastrack, the diameter of circle to the outer edge is around 40 inches.  So on a 4 ft width, you can basically only get the curve and at best a very short section of straight track. Regular O gauge has the advantage of a tighter curve, so on a 4 ft wide board you can easily get 1 full section, which allows for a passing siding along the length.

Lionel is now also offering Fastrack in 031 curves, I believe, so two ovals should be possible with a little planning.

Don't forget the Marx 034 option; on a 5' x 9', you can get 034, 042, and 054 ovals or some variation thereof.

Frisco, MoPac, and T&P near Rolla, MO

Dan Padova posted:

For a 5 x 9 layout, I have always thought this design to offer plenty of action and a relatively long run in a small space.  If you want to stick with a 4 x 8 footprint, the outer loop can be eliminated.  Sorry about the size of the picture.  

 

Unknown 

Dan, your above tresled layout, without the outer loop and using 027 Lionel tubular track, is the one my Dad built for me on a 4 by 8 foot plywood board when I was about 11 years old (57 years ago). I loved it. Arnold

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

Last edited by Arnold D. Cribari
Arnold D. Cribari posted:
Dan Padova posted:

For a 5 x 9 layout, I have always thought this design to offer plenty of action and a relatively long run in a small space.  If you want to stick with a 4 x 8 footprint, the outer loop can be eliminated.  Sorry about the size of the picture.  

 

Unknown 

Dan, your above tresled layout, without the outer loop and using 027 Lionel tubular track, is the one my Dad built for me on a 4 by 8 foot plywood board when I was about 11 years old (57 years ago). I loved it. Arnold

As you can see, alot of action can be had with this track design.  Plenty of room for operating accessories.  This was my last Lionel layout before I started messing with large scale trains in the early nineties.  It is the same track plan as the one I posted.

IMG_0190IMG_0199

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If at ALL possible, would you have room for a 5 x 12?  Or a 6 x 12?  Or (gulp!) a 7 or 8 x 12???

With 4 x 8 sheets commonly available anywhere, along with 8', 10', and 12' 1 x 4's, makes utmost sense to use them to their fullest advantage.

Paul  

Ship Rock Island ROCKET FREIGHT

 

2 Rails?  3 Rails?  Doesn't matter, I can't count that high in either case.

I love the smell of fresh-brewed creosote first thing in the morning.

If the government knew how much fun O-gauge railroading was, they'd outlaw it!

Common sense is my second best trait.  Nonsense is my first, of course. 

Dougie, I would go with a 5x9 because it provides more options with track work and scenery. 

Trains and DC Power Forever...WooWoo

Hmmm.  What about another rolling 4x8 that could butt up to that one modular style, or be connected bridges, etc. keeping "stand alone" running an option..?

4 x 10? 4 x 12? (straights are nice, so are long snake-y S curves)

Yep, every inch counts. That foot = near a mainstreet plus the buildings if not more room for track that isn't an exact oval.

  Or room for reverse loops, longer sidings, etc..

After running for a while, what have you learned about how you actually run your trains and what changes would enhance running "DF style" ?

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Mixed Freight posted:

If at ALL possible, would you have room for a 5 x 12?  Or a 6 x 12?  Or (gulp!) a 7 or 8 x 12???

With 4 x 8 sheets commonly available anywhere, along with 8', 10', and 12' 1 x 4's, makes utmost sense to use them to their fullest advantage.

No I do not have the room as this has to stay in the garage.  Under Annie's Kayak, next to my M/C. LOL

"We are all, once a man, but twice a child"  Proverbs.  

May we all still heard the bell........

palallin posted:

Don't forget the Marx 034 option; on a 5' x 9', you can get 034, 042, and 054 ovals or some variation thereof.

yes..but then I'm buying more track..and I have sooooooooooooo much Fastrack.

"We are all, once a man, but twice a child"  Proverbs.  

May we all still heard the bell........

Dan Padova posted:

For a 5 x 9 layout, I have always thought this design to offer plenty of action and a relatively long run in a small space.  If you want to stick with a 4 x 8 footprint, the outer loop can be eliminated.  Sorry about the size of the picture.  

 

Unknown 

Dan Padova,

Can you tell me what publication you got this plan from? I really like it, but you drawing is a little bit small. If I could look it up myself, I could see it better.

Thanks,

George

4x8, running 3 trains and a Bump and Go Trolley....all in an extra bedroom in a condo, 19 stories up in the sky! 

Train Room 7Train Room 6Train Room 5Train Room 4Train Room 3Train Room 2Train Room 1

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Like Mr. Cribari said, I too like trains that go places. A benefit of using shelf type layout lies in less scenery requirements as compared to a loop of your choice that can required 54", 60" or more of real estate. I currently have an L-shaped layout where one leg is 5x9 and the other is 5x8 making the longest edge 13'. Minimum track diameters are 54". No, it's not a shelf type layout but I wish it were. It's taking a long time to populate with structures and scenery. And, costing a small fortune.20200205_194736 [002)

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With a little creative carpentry, you can easily convert your current 4x8 into a 5x9, by simply adding wider shelf boards to one side and one end of the layout. Then you do not have to rebuild the support structure. I suggest not going over 5' wide, so you can reach into the middle of the layout from either side. Any wider, and you will need some kind of pop-up hole cut to reach the middle.

Jeff

I would go for the 5' X 9' Ping Pong table size over a smaller 4' x 8' plain Jane sheet of plywood.  Ping Pong size gives better options for track plan and therefore more operating and fun options.

Charlie

Last edited by Choo Choo Charlie

Not to disagree with my friend Charlie, but I had an HO layout many, many years ago that I recall was wobbly. (edit--I should have mentioned it was on a ping pong table)

If possible, opt for something more sturdy with no wobbling. 

Either way, enjoy and post pictures.

Tom 

Last edited by MNCW
mowingman posted:

With a little creative carpentry, you can easily convert your current 4x8 into a 5x9, by simply adding wider shelf boards to one side and one end of the layout. Then you do not have to rebuild the support structure. I suggest not going over 5' wide, so you can reach into the middle of the layout from either side. Any wider, and you will need some kind of pop-up hole cut to reach the middle.

Jeff

5 feet wide is my max for the area I have to store it....  I will post some before and after pic...

"We are all, once a man, but twice a child"  Proverbs.  

May we all still heard the bell........

Question; do you have the ability to hoist it up to the ceiling of the garage on pullies with a manual or electric winch?   If ya do, you could go larger.   Bring it down when you wanna play with it, crank it up when you are done.

Another option if you don't want the layout always up and running would be to build a layout using the Lionel Modular Layout sections.   Take them out when you wanna run trains, put them away when done.   This would give you easy access to the layout and allow for very wide curves.   

Just a thought

Larry DiG

5x9 has a huge increase in layout possibilities. The increase from 4x8 or 32 square feet to, 5x9 or 45 square feet, that is about 39 percent more space to work with, is a strange boundary in layout design.

There is always something new to learn and greater understanding in the quest for wisdom.

 

Dougie fresh posted:

So last year I built a 4x8 table in my garage for o gauge fastrack.  I built a layout but was never really fond of it.  I am thinking of expanding it to 5x9, but is there really that big a difference in layout design by taking the time and $ to go out one foot bigger?

Here is a 4 x 8 in "O" that will adapt nicely to 5 x 9 with FasTrack O-36 for an over-under setup.

O 4 x 8

Rob

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tncentrr posted:
Dan Padova posted:

For a 5 x 9 layout, I have always thought this design to offer plenty of action and a relatively long run in a small space.  If you want to stick with a 4 x 8 footprint, the outer loop can be eliminated.  Sorry about the size of the picture.  

 

Unknown 

Dan Padova,

Can you tell me what publication you got this plan from? I really like it, but you drawing is a little bit small. If I could look it up myself, I could see it better.

Thanks,

George

Sorry about the delay George.  I believe I found it on line.  I typed in Lionel track plans for 5 x 9 platforms.  

Here's my 5x9, a version of one of the Lionel Dealer Display Layouts. As you can see can get a lot of action on the space allotted. Of course that's because of the planning that went into these by Lionel.IMG_20190106_195312190

IIMG_20190106_195243441

TCA, LCCA

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RJR posted:

FWIW, layout I built for a pair of my grandkids, before adding control panel.  Used PW 022 Lionel switches and all Gargraves flex track.  They run 2 locos with DCS.TH&SG RR

So this is my finished 5' 3" x 8'  table.  I have rollers on it to roll it around the garage and then push it back in place for the wife to get her car in.    I do wish that I had painted it green instead of brown and I may change it.  I have decided to to go with two levels so to get more out of it.  So I will post pic's as I go....Doug

"We are all, once a man, but twice a child"  Proverbs.  

May we all still heard the bell........

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