M510-08A_V1a

A traditional track plan but a "nice" implementation in 5x10 using Atlas-O track:   The outside oval is O54 minimum diameter with O54 turnouts, and connections to a continuing mainline to the left and right.   The inside route is a return-loop to return-loop plan, with O45 diameter and O54 turnouts.  The route climbs to 6" in height crossing over the lower-level tracks, with a grade of about 3.5%.   No 'S' curves on the mainlines.   Using three lengths of flextrack, the rest is sectional.   The ridge-lines crest at about 13" in elevation.

The 10' length is just enough to let a 10-12 car train stretch out a bit.   The minimum center-rail distance is 5".

There are opportunities for attractive scenery and good views, with the ridge-lines, bridges, tunnels, and cuts through elevated terrain.  The 5' width allows a comfortable reach into the layout from each of the long 10' sides.   5x10 is small enough to allow a table on castors to be built, which can roll into a corner and then pull out for viewing, construction, and maintenance.

Ballasted Atlas-O track can be very beautiful, but requires more work to ballast (compared to Lionel FasTrack).   The turnout switch machines can be unattractive and unrealistic (FasTrack switch machines are integrated in the roadbed, and can be purchased with command control), so under-table machines might be used - more effort and work.

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

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I started with the intent to try for a 5x9 layout, but the track almost by not quite fit, too many compromises and the grade became steeper, so I ended up with a 5x10.   I might look at an extension to make 5x12, and see what that does.

Still to add a couple of streams, and perhaps a waterfall.

Subjectively, the plan has a satisfying balance between track-work, scenery, and structures.

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

Ken, nice design,  If you were to make this layout a 5ร—12 what is the best way to stretch it out.  I am trying to figure out a area on our main layout,  that is 6.5 by 17ft. Something like this would fit in the center nicely.  Also how hard is it to make your plan 3D like you have done in the past.  It helps in determining the grade for me.

Thanks for posting this,  it has given me a few ideas. Nick T. 

Don't get in my way. "Boba Fett."

Ken your efforts always amaze me.  But I think this one would work better in 5x12.  The right lobe of the inner loop gains 6" (which doesn't seem like enough vertical clearance, taking into account thickness of the sub-roadbed) in about 141".  That's an AVERAGE grade of 4.2%.  If the transitions to and from level are eased, the maximum grade would be closer to 5%, which is Lionel trestle set territory.  With rubber tires and speed control you can get away with murder, but for me, 5x9 is a single-level layout.

Also, you've obviously mastered AnyRail.  SCARM is now highly evolved, and capable of producing beautiful 3D renderings.  The software is more stable than RR-Track (support is MUCH better!) and you can actually playtest in 3D with up to three locos moving at once.  I showed one of my layout creations to a friend, and he said, "Why build anything.  I would have a great time just running trains in the simulation!"  Just saying!!

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

Ken, that's really nice.  I think I could easily adopt it to a 6' x 12' table with MTH ScaleTrax (or any other track system too for that matter, not a big deal).  Not so much enlarging the track footprint as simply enlarging the table itself for more room around the outside.  Better safety margin and more scenery opportunities. 

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. 

Rick posted:

Was this track plan created with AnyRail or SCARM? Licensed or freeware version?

Thanks,

Rick

 

Rick, I created this plan with AnyRail.   The licensed and freeware versions are the same, EXCEPT that the free version is limited to creating a plan of 50 track sections.   The free version will open plans created with the licensed version that exceed 50 sections, but will not allow adding additional sections.   The license is not expensive, and AnyRail has a forum that is monitored by the designer/creator, who has responded to my posts within 24 hours with thoughtful and informative replies.

Nothing wrong with SCARM, but for me, AnyRail is faster in putting together plans, and with FasTrack there is a lot of time spent in finding small section combinations and different track diameters to make connections.   So any time advantage pays off with FasTrack.   I have played with SCARM a good bit, and have been working with it more recently.   SCARM has much better 3D.   

As discussed at length in another thread, the designer of AnyRail actually purchased batches of Lionel Fastrack and measured the track sections, and included the "as manufactured" FasTrack section lengths in AnyRail.  As an example, Lionel's 4.5" section is actually 4.55".   That small variation seems minor, unless multiple sections are connected:  it doesn't take long for the variations to add up to 1/8" or more, which was explored in that other thread.   So for FasTrack, with ridged plastic ballasted sections and no flextrack, AnyRail is more accurate than SCARM.  Manufacturing variations in other track types with flextrack are less important, this only pertains to Lionel's FasTrack.

In AnyRail I have a set of terrain textures that I use for layers in elevation.   And I have a set of structures I can pull from.   I think that the learning curve is much easier with AnyRail, which was a factor for me, as my time to play with layouts is limited.

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

M512-08A_V1a

It took 8 minutes to revise the plan for 5x12, track, terrain, framework, trees, structures.   Including the time to create this image, edit it, and post it here: another 2 minutes, or 10 minutes.

M512-08A_V1b

With grades analyzed by the software, and my markings in blue.   The main grade is 3.7%, with a 2% elevation change easement section at the bottom, and a 1.5% elevation change easement at the top.   The elevation of the bridges and elevated plateau is raised to 6.5".   There is a 1-1/4" section at the grade changes, from 2% to 3.7%, and from 3.7% to 1.5% to ease the grade change transitions.  Two O54 turnouts are on grade, at either 2% or 1.5%.

Replying to Ted's comment above, in the first 4x10 design, the grade continue through the two sections that I have now made as the grade easements at 1.5% and 2%, so that added length with the shorter elevation (6", now 6.5") made the grade 3.5%.

If I recall correctly, my scale SD60M loco measures less than 3.5" in height, with the addition of 1/2" for roadbed and tie and rail height, that comes to 4".   So 6" is pretty reasonable (no double-stacks), and now 6.5" is nice.  

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

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M512-08A_V1c

With the added length, I worked in Lionel's animated Freight Station with a platform directly across the track, and the Oil Derrick with "nodding donkey".   With the Cattle Pen, that makes three animated structures.   The rotating beacon could be added on a ridge for a fourth operating accessory.

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

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Mixed Freight posted:

Ken, that's really nice.  I think I could easily adopt it to a 6' x 12' table with MTH ScaleTrax (or any other track system too for that matter, not a big deal).  Not so much enlarging the track footprint as simply enlarging the table itself for more room around the outside.  Better safety margin and more scenery opportunities. 

Interested in Paul's idea of a large space with a 6" terrain border.  A simple expansion without much effort in detailing terrain around the layout.

M613-08A_V1d

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

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