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Good evening all and thanks for letting me join the forum! Getting ready to build my first real layout. I have a 9X12 spare bedroom to work with. Using Gargraves track and ross switches.  Freelancing the Pittsburg and Shawmut mostly for flavor, a local, now abandoned short line western PA coal hauler, as a modern day op using "restored" steam and classic EMD diesels. I will be running passenger cars as well as coal trains and mixed freights of 4-6 cars on the inner branch lines to 8-12 cars on the mainline freights. I like a mix of scenery and light ops with at least one continuous loop for sitting back and watching the train run. Spurs to hold 1-4 cars. Small truck dump/conveyor type coal loaders and a small generic industrial plant to take box cars/covered hoppers. Attached is my attempt at a scarm layout. O72 outside main minimum. 054 inside main with O42 turnouts to mine spurs for my SW9s and one warehouse/factory spur with an 054 switch for my premier berk.  Bottom left corner with the bridges will be the lift out for access. Track going into the tunnel on the far left will be going down below the main level to the staging yard so I can change trains and have them reappear with a new consist after heading down the line. One thing I don't like about my current design is the spaghetti look on the inside. That being said, a complete inside loop isn't necessary and I'm open to suggestions!

Thanks,

Shane

Edit: Also realized the spur track is projecting into the cut out area. That was unintentional and will be fixed.



snapshot9x129X12layout v1

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Current scarm plan
Last edited by P&Sfan
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Snapchat-1106358248This was a rough draft I sketched up earlier without the inside loop, roughed in with a pair of calipers as a compass. Unfortunately I couldn't get SCARM to cooperate with the board layout and track alignment. I had no template for switches so that doesnt help. This allows me to leave the door attached to the room but leaves little space for an inside loop but I do like the simplicity.

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100_1304

This little attic room is exactly 9'-0" (16' long). On the double mainline I opted for 084/096 curve arcs on the far end and 072/084 on the hinged "Drop Gate" entry end. The right side is a Service Yard with Engine House in the foreground. I thought this might give you some idea of what can be achieved in 9' if you favor wide curve arcs for running trains round and round.(photo from Feb 2010, layout was never finished due to illness). Good luck Shane-- you can do a lot of railroading in 9'.IMG_1580IMG_1634

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Dewey, John,

Thank you, I went with a 3' wide cut out figuring it would leave a little room to move within. So 2-2 1/2' should be good? At most I'll have two people in the cut out at once. I could probably gain a foot to a foot and a half on the back wall as well I was just worried about reaching the switch where the siding reconnects with the main. But a step stool would probably work just fine in that case.

Early 12' X 12' layout.  Each block is 1 ft.  Important components, any layout, tunnels and bridges.   Bedroom, remodeled to a train room.  Door is lower right, swings in against the right wall.  Bottom on the picture, room closet.  Eventually this layout opened to the next room.  Cloud wall paper was a Sherwin-Williams product.

Track%20Layout[1]

There is an access, green building.

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Last edited by Mike CT

You may want to consider converting the bedroom swing door into a pocket door. this can be done if the wall beside the door is "empty" of pipes or electrical wiring. I did this to my kitchen, so the kitchen door would not interfere with the fridge door.

Be mindful of the width of the table. It looks like it may be 36", which is quite a long reach. 24" to a max of 30" makes it a little easier to get to the back track. The small center space may seem OK on paper, however a little larger may be more comfortable. Its tough to choose between people space and track space. The hardest to reach part will be the corners, regardless of your chosen table width.

You could also consider adding a switch at the first corner curve, with the straight section going into the corner to add another industry. The track will only hold 1 or 2 cars, however it adds to you switching possibilities. I used building flats and kitbashed buildings to create "thin" industry buildings in the corners.

Mike,

That layout looks great, packs in operations and multiple main with great looking scenery! Really shows what can be done. That wallpaper looks great as well!

Joe, I would love to modify the door but unfortunately this is a large apartment that I'm renting and the owner doesn't allow such drastic modifications. I considered reversing the door so it swings into the hall. He might not remember which way it swung by the time I move out!

Returning to the layout, life happened as it does and I ran into a mental roadblock trying work a design I actually liked. I ended up buying a bunch of HO track and some power and rolling stock, and started construction on that before stopping and pulling the plug on it as well. I realized I don't really have the spare time to build all of the kits for the buildings and bridges and strip/DCC convert/paint/decal the locomotives and rolling stock I purchased in any reasonable amount of time.

And I couldn't stop buying O scale stuff I liked in the meantime!

Anyhow I just recently went back to the drawing board and I finally roughed in a design I like. Gives me an outside O54 loop to run my bigger power with turnouts into the upper yard track to double as an interchange, while also allowing me to give trains a start and end point and a reason to run, with an engine shed to start the day from, flood loader on the outside loop, a small aggregates loader & power plant on the peninsula, and finally an industrial gas plant that receives coal and ships box cars(which are actually tank cars on the inside). These were all actual customers on the P&S, though much further apart than I have room to model. It is tight on people space but it covers my wants well. The light green shapes are view blocks(hills).

The outer loop will be graded up 2% or so either side of the interchange to the flood loader to get it above the inside loop.9x12 Shawmut

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Last edited by P&Sfan

Shane, I didn't see your initial post last year.  I like the new layout plan a lot.  My room is 11x11, but because there is a big sliding door on one side, the layout ended up being 8x11 with a little side section in the far nook.  You have packed in more switching and operating interest than I have.  The plan gives you switching and familiar P&S locations.  The 054 curves should handle the Berkshire well.  I run Consolidations and a Russian Decapod as well as smaller engines on my Western Maryland Railway based layout's 054 curves. 

Mark,

Thank you! The first iteration I conjured up definitely left a lot to be desired, and I ran into a mental roadblock trying to come up with something better. It took me stepping back for a year, reading about and watching videos of other layouts to get my mind wrapped around it. I've followed your layout build with great interest since 2019 as you had a lot of the same goals and roughly the same space to work with. It really helped following along with the thought process and methodology you used to construct your pike.



Sitting back and looking over the new design, I'm debating adding a curved lift out/duck under off the end of the "empties" track of the powerplant connecting back to the inner main to allow the train to flow from the Linde Plant / Glacial Sand around through the power plant and back to the yard. Otherwise it seems working the plant would be rather clunky.

@P&Sfan posted:

Mike,

That layout looks great, packs in operations and multiple main with great looking scenery! Really shows what can be done. That wallpaper looks great as well!

Joe, I would love to modify the door but unfortunately this is a large apartment that I'm renting and the owner doesn't allow such drastic modifications. I considered reversing the door so it swings into the hall. He might not remember which way it swung by the time I move out!

Returning to the layout, life happened as it does and I ran into a mental roadblock trying work a design I actually liked. I ended up buying a bunch of HO track and some power and rolling stock, and started construction on that before stopping and pulling the plug on it as well. I realized I don't really have the spare time to build all of the kits for the buildings and bridges and strip/DCC convert/paint/decal the locomotives and rolling stock I purchased in any reasonable amount of time.

And I couldn't stop buying O scale stuff I liked in the meantime!

Anyhow I just recently went back to the drawing board and I finally roughed in a design I like. Gives me an outside O54 loop to run my bigger power with turnouts into the upper yard track to double as an interchange, while also allowing me to give trains a start and end point and a reason to run, with an engine shed to start the day from, flood loader on the outside loop, a small aggregates loader & power plant on the peninsula, and finally an industrial gas plant that receives coal and ships box cars(which are actually tank cars on the inside). These were all actual customers on the P&S, though much further apart than I have room to model. It is tight on people space but it covers my wants well. The light green shapes are view blocks(hills).

The outer loop will be graded up 2% or so either side of the interchange to the flood loader to get it above the inside loop.9x12 Shawmut

Shane,

A few questions - I'm so unhappy with the layout I have now, that I want to redo it and add bigger curves. I have about the same space you do - 9x12ish and want to model the eastern PA coal roads - RDG, LV, etc.  What track brand are you going to use and how wide did you make each section of the board?  What size curves did you go with for both loops?   I really like your plan and it may work for me with a few mods.

Last edited by Christopher2035

Mark,

I know I don't want to get hung up again. Though with the limited room I have, the benchwork has to be built very conservatively around the track to maximize standing room as the aisleways are going to be 20" wide or less towards the rear of the layout so some careful planning is required on my part to get the most out of the limited space available.



Chris,

This particular plan is drawn up with Atlas track and switches on their free planning program as my SCARM program is on a friends computer I used before I purchased my own. I have to switch it over to mine one day. The outer loop is O54, the flood loader turnouts are O54 as well as the double leads into the top of the yard so I can back larger power in to grab "interchange" cars. The inner loop is all O36 switches and curves. The Shawmut used 4 axle diesel power so I can run my road specific engines down there. I'm going to go back and see If I can work in O42 switches instead, that would open me up to running Mikados down there as well, and in the steam days that was the biggest power they had. I originally planned to use Gargraves track and Ross switches and am going to rework it with that set up as well to see what it looks like.

The benchwork will be tricky, I think I'm going to attempt a sort of combination L girder/table design. 15",18", and 24" wide tables with "joists" on top overhanging to extend the bench out where it's needed(each dot on the picture of the track plan is 6"). Also in modules 4' long so I can disassemble the layout when I inevitably move as it's in an apartment.

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Last edited by P&Sfan

It's great to see someone building a layout to represent the Pittsburg & Shawmut. When I was a kid I toured the locomotive shop at Brookville, PA and climbed around on one of the short line's SW-9s. Now I have a customized Lionel Legacy version on my Happy Valley Railroad layout. I repainted a (purple!) Atlantic Coast Line model and used aftermarket decals. 20201112_152842

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Shane, I saw that one aisle narrows quite a bit.  You should be okay, though you could replace the curved section just below the current switch with a switch, so you would be going through the straight leg of the switch to the engine house and caboose track to make the aisle a little wider.  I knew the Shawmut used 4-axel diesels so I assumed your inside loop curves are quite adequate.  However, if you have Mikes to run like you mentioned to Chris, then you may want to try 042 curves and switches on the inside loop.  I went with nothing smaller than 042 on my layout in the 11x11 room.  They are just on my sidings.

Bruce, I'm glad to see you here!!!!  That is a really sweet looking SW-9 you painted!!  It and the caboose look great along your rock wall!

Last edited by Mark Boyce

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