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Lionel Fastrack with O-36 minimum.   The design goal is a track plan for multiple train routes with multiple trains and layout automation fun.   This plan will support many three and four train operating patterns that can run under layout automation.  There is also a small yard, and five industry spurs, and a number of buildings.

8X12X8_v3c-automation

The simplest operation is two trains on the outside route in the same direction, and two trains on the inside ovals, for four trains total, not requiring layout operation.   

The middle horizontal connecting line has two O-72 "Y" tracks making two Wyes, allowing trains to reverse direction and make the connection between the inside ovals and the outside route.   The inside ovals also have their own connection at the top of the plan, making a third horizontal oval that overlaps with the two inside ovals (and also overlaps with the outside route), with the possibility of FIVE trains running at the same time!:  three trains on the inside ovals, and two trains on the outside route.     Pretty tricky timing to make this work, and requiring some turnouts to be thrown automatically.

Even more interesting and challenging would be routing 3, 4 or 5 trains making a "Grand Tour" using the wyes to route over the entire layout, under layout automation control!

A project commissioned by a forum member.   -Ken

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  • 8X12X8_v3c-automation
Last edited by Ken-Oscale
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Great plan, I am also doing an 8 x12 plan with three levels. 2 loops on bottom one each one levels 2 and 3 with tubular track. Lionel book state 6 inch clearance center rail to center rail. Would this equate to 3 inches from center rail to outer edge? Concerned as an outer edge runs against wall. I am using O84 for outerloop.

Joe Gozzo

Joe, no, not the same (center rail to outer edge).   With a wide diameter of O-84, you can consider coming in tighter.   Depends on the equipment you will run, but likely 5" center-rail will work at O-84.   My  equipment works with 4.5" center rail on O-42 with no problem, but I don't have the big scale stuff.

So what will you be running?

Hi Ken, I really like this layout so much so I’ve started to build it. This will be my second and hopefully the start to my last layout. I actually made it a little wider 13.5’ and I’m going to extend the two outside loops to give room for coaling equipment on one side and a lumber yard on the other.

Question: should I make power blocks and where would you recommend they be? I have several conventional and some newer MTH PS3 and Lionel blue tooth locomotives.

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  • image: Tried to get whole layout
  • image: Middle
  • image: Middle
  • image: Left
  • image: Right

Here is a list of parts for the original layout. In Scarm some sections had to be modified because i used lionel fastrack and some K Line supersnap track with 6- K line 42" remote turnouts. The file that says original layout i the one you're looking for also have parts list included. The file that says Adams Track is where i'm at now. Just finished the yard, now working on the turntable.

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