This plan builds a single-track return-loop to return-loop layout, with a elevation-climbing loop in the middle to gain 6" in height.  There are actually three passing tracks, with the smallest about 10.5', so two trains can pass each other in three places, for a number of interesting operating patterns.   With a relay-arrangement using 3-rail detection and slow-down tracks, two trains in conventional-mode can run continuously passing each other in the middle-right passing track.

There is also an On30 elevated train for a third train and more operating interest.   The mainline run is decently long, with an out-and-back run.  The trains can run each reverse loop in the opposite direction each time for more variety.

With the three passing tracks, two trains can be waiting and staged in two of the passing tracks, for four visible trains, two running, and two staged.

The mainline is O48, with three O48 turnouts and the rest O60 and O72.  The grade climbing up and around the loop is 2.5% - reasonable for easy operations.   The inside passing tracks are O36 with some O48 to be almost O37.  The mainlines will support O42 locomotives and equipment operation.

A work in progress:

M616F_02_v1f

The 6' width of the layout needs access around the two long sides, and the tunnel-end, so one can reach into the tunnels from the end.  6' is just a bit more than an easy reach from each side, but otherwise the rest of the layout is easily accessible.

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Seacoast posted:

Once again Very Nice work Ken! Plenty of action!
I was thinking how about a dog bone 7x20’ layout. Ballon's/reverses loop at each end with larger curves and skinny 3-4’ in the middle with big yard? Easier reaching/access.

Good idea George!   That would make a good layout design with the longer 20' length and better access.   A yard in the middle would be great, the layout above doesn't have a space for a yard, the ability to stage two extra tracks is the best it can manage.  -Ken

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

Ken-Oscale posted:
Seacoast posted:

Once again Very Nice work Ken! Plenty of action!
I was thinking how about a dog bone 7x20’ layout. Ballon's/reverses loop at each end with larger curves and skinny 3-4’ in the middle with big yard? Easier reaching/access.

Good idea George!   That would make a good layout design with the longer 20' length and better access.   A yard in the middle would be great, the layout above doesn't have a space for a yard, the ability to stage two extra tracks is the best it can manage.  -Ken

The 7x20’ might be to short as the balloons at each etc would take up a lot of space? 20’+?

George

necrails posted:

Do you think that S curve in the upper return loop will be an issue?

HERE?  M616F_02_v1G-REVERSE-CURVE

For O42 and smaller equipment, no, I don't see a problem going from O48 to O72 LH turnout.  -Ken

One could substitute an O60 for the O72 turnout, and put a 1-3/8" section between the O48 curves and the turnout, but I don't see that as an improvement.  Trade-off a tighter turnout diameter for the 1-3/8" spacing - no clear effect on what the train experiences.   My intuition is the O72 wider curvature is the better, but I cannot prove this, nor have I run any experiments to verify.

It will work to swap the O48H&Q with an O60 curve, and swap the O72 turnout with O60LH turnout, with no spacing between.   Not sure if that would be better either, but maybe.   The siding lengths would become 1-3/8" shorter.   These are the shortest passing sidings in the plan, and I was interested in maximizing the train length that can fit.  

           M616F_02_v1G2-reversecurve

Certainly reverse "S" curves are to be avoided, but can be acceptable if the curve radius is substantially wider than the equipment specs.   For the above, O42 running through an O60 "S" (of 22.5 degrees in each direction).

There is a solution that fits, with a 1-3/8" fitter between the O60 curve and O60 turnout, but requires that the two turnouts at the right end of the siding meet WITHOUT a fitter section - meaning that the roadbed has to be trimmed on the O60 turnout.   Might be worthwhile.

M616F_02_v1G3-reversecurve

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Here is the revised layout plan with the improvements to the reverse curve, adopting the O60 -- 1-3/8" -- O60LH; with roadbed trimmed on the right side turnout connection. 

M616F_02_v1G3

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Here is a try at a partially hidden yard coming off the lower level beneath the upper reverse loop.   Has a short yard lead and run-around track, using O60 turnouts.  Deleted the On30.

M616F_03_v1a-exposedM616F_03_v1a-upperloop

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Number 90 posted:

Your plan looks like it has good features.  Just curious: Have you figured the grade in per cent?

Yes, its about 2.5%, going to 6" where it crosses over itself.

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

The outside O48 route around the spiral comes in at 226", or 18.83 feet.   Works out to about 2.55% grade using 8' (96") increments (Woodland Scenics inclines).   If you were to make the run at 3% you get to 7" in height.  With the hidden yard, I would go with 3% to 7" to give more room underneath for access.

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

Interesting plan !   

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

                                                                                                                                        

A large oval cut-off can be added, connecting a yard track with the lower reverse loop under the mountain.   The turnouts are actually accessible from the open mountain-end, and hidden-yard side.   FasTrack turnouts are very reliable, but still, one would have to seriously test these turnouts before installing them in a difficult to reach area.   They COULD be accessed and even replaced, but it might not be fun!

M616F_03_v1d-hidden

It would add a lot of operating variations, so might be an idea.  Trains staged in the yard, could enter the layout from underneath the mountain, as well as through the right side tunnel.

And it gets you running trains on the level, while building the grade and elevated section.

I might continue the grade from the spiral loop across the elevated line at 1-2%, to gain another 2-3" beneath the mountain for easier access beneath, at 9-10" in elevation (perhaps 8.5" of clearance).  Install some maintenance lighting.

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After connecting the hidden loop above, I saw perhaps an opportunity to build a lower-level route that is all O60 (running O54).   Made it work fine, but had to make some changes.   

M616F_04_v1aM616F_04_v1a-hidden

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The colors show that most of the base/flat level track is now O60 - running O54, with the gray track color.   The red track is the last of the O36 diameter, on the spiral loop passing track.   The regular brown ties are O48-limited, even through the turnouts are O60 and O72.

M616F_04_v1b-hidden

The elevated branch and loop is all O48-limited.

I regret giving up most of the yard to complete the O60 loop, but perhaps that is worthwhile in being able to run O54-Legacy locomotives, and to have the additional operating patterns thus created.

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With more scenery and structures.

M616F_04_v1b

I raised the interior terrain inside the spiral loop to 2" in elevation, with the track climbing around that at 3%  from 0" to 7" at the peak.

So there are three levels to the layout, the base at 0", inside the loop at 2", and the upper level loop going from 7" to 9" at about 1% grade, to allow clearance and access to the tracks under the mountain at the left element.   The mountain is a fourth element, with the narrow gauge 5-6" above the level of the O gauge, and then the mountain peak above that, at about 18-20".

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More work on the scenery.  And I was able to increase the separation between the passing siding and main on the upper level, in order to have a bit more room for the supports for the elevated On30, between these tracks.

M616F_04_v1e

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I decided to look at an addition to the elevated ridge in the back center.   The On30 now runs along a ridge, with one arm of the O passing track in a tunnel, with additional rocks/ridge and trees behind it.   I am preserving the open access over the one track of the hidden RR, so that locos and cars can be easily added and removed from the layout with this vertical open access.

M616F_05_v1a

Makes for an interesting scenic view.   The long run of elevated girder or trestle supporting the On30 for 10 feet or so, might look unrealistic, I was thinking.   Still a nice long trestle and two shorter runs.  Better?

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This next version creates two separate routes: an outside-loop at O60; and a loop-to-spiral_loop-to-loop route.   It gives up the original idea of a single-track with three sidings, for these two routes.

For continuous running, a train can run on the O60 (O54), and two trains on the O48 passing in the spriral-loop siding (automated stop and wait).   And a fourth train on the On30.

M616F_05_v1a2M616F_05_v1a2-level1

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Ken, yours is similar to a layout I have been I have been building in my head for years.  Differences being, I want to use O-72 minimum curves, limit the grade to 2% and want an 11" elevation at the loop crossing.  By my ciphering, the loop has to be 550", or about 46 feet!  Can you figure out a way to fit this into an approximately     15' x 20' space?

Tom Mohr posted:

Ken, yours is similar to a layout I have been I have been building in my head for years.  Differences being, I want to use O-72 minimum curves, limit the grade to 2% and want an 11" elevation at the loop crossing.  By my ciphering, the loop has to be 550", or about 46 feet!  Can you figure out a way to fit this into an approximately     15' x 20' space?

The way I calculate is to use 2" in 8' (96"), like Woodland Scenics users for their inclines for about 2%.   11" at 2% is 5.5x8' lengths, or 44'.

Do you want 11" between the tracks when they cross, or just 11' in height. at the crossing.  That is, could the inclines start earlier, and have, say, 8" in elevation difference between tracks where they  cross, and 3" in elevation leading to and from the spiral??

What track system are you thinking about?

What about a long spiral oval of O72, with one return look at the base level and inside the long oval, and another elevated return loop.   That should do it.   Roughly, the oval would have two 20' runs plus the some curve length to make the 44'.

-Ken

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

Tom, this sketch has 611" between the crossing of the loop.   It doesn't use the entire 15' of width, so much more could be done.   This is just to try the loop length.  O72 & O81 curves.

15x20

Would have to modify for access and reach.   Interested in an "around the walls" style"?   Or a layout with lift-up bridges into a center access area?  Where is the door into the room?

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Ken-Oscale posted:
Tom Mohr posted:

Ken, yours is similar to a layout I have been I have been building in my head for years.  Differences being, I want to use O-72 minimum curves, limit the grade to 2% and want an 11" elevation at the loop crossing.  By my ciphering, the loop has to be 550", or about 46 feet!  Can you figure out a way to fit this into an approximately     15' x 20' space?

The way I calculate is to use 2" in 8' (96"), like Woodland Scenics users for their inclines for about 2%.   11" at 2% is 5.5x8' lengths, or 44'.

Do you want 11" between the tracks when they cross, or just 11' in height. at the crossing.  That is, could the inclines start earlier, and have, say, 8" in elevation difference between tracks where they  cross, and 3" in elevation leading to and from the spiral??

What track system are you thinking about?

What about a long spiral oval of O72, with one return look at the base level and inside the long oval, and another elevated return loop.   That should do it.   Roughly, the oval would have two 20' runs plus the some curve length to make the 44'.

-Ken

 

Sorry for the delayed response Ken, I can't get on the forum a much as I'd like.  The 2" rise in 96" WS uses gives an incline just over 2% (2.083%}; close enough for the girls I go with.  I was using an actual 2" per 100".  I thought I wanted an 11" height between the tracks, that this would be enough height to let  husky stacks or auto carriers clear the tunnel.  But recently I've determined that this is more than enough (actually way too much, considering the length of track needed to keep the grade at 2%).  I don't have any of these modern cars, but somebody may bring them to run, so I want to be able to accommodate them.  Do you think an 8" rise is adequate?  That would only be 32' of run to get that elevation.

As far as track system, I will use Gargraves/Ross track and Ross switches.

In your track plans, the entry door into the room is at the left end of the lower 20' section, where the curve straightens.

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