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Hey all,

I'm pretty new here. Been creeping on the forum for a bit now trying to get inspiration for the Layout I want to build, however I cant seem to come up with anything that would look good, make sense and fit in the area that I'm trying to stuff this in. I'd really like to build a 8x12 or a 12x12 layout with O72 curves because I do want to pick up a 2-10-4 Texas and a UP Big Boy. Some of my more "decent" designs have O54, while I don't have an issue with O54, I would like the ability to run larger engines and not worry about them running of the tracks. Definitely want to have spurs for industries and a yard to house my many diesels and Steam locos when I get them. Possibly a reversing loop of some sort. If anyone has any designs that could help me or would be willing to draw something up, that would be greatly appreciated. This is my first attempt at a layout in over 12 years I'd say, so this is definitely a massive undertaking and daunting for sure.

Thanks everyone in advance,

Eric (MRTUNNELMOTOR)

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These photos show my 12'-by-8' layout completed in 2004 on Mianne benchwork. Perhaps they will give you some ideas - although I think my layout differs from what you're planning. There are three independent loops (Atlas O-72, O-54, O-36). The two outer loops each have two switches into a passing siding. The middle loop also has a switch leading to a stub track beneath the coal tower. I can run three trains at a time, have two others parked on the sidings and another under the coal tower. Conventional operation with power controlled by SPST switches. Beneath the bridges is a non-operational four-track yard used for parking cars and locomotives.

At the time I built this, Atlas O-63 was not on the market. Today I would use O-72, O-63, O-54.

MELGAR

MELGAR_2019_0714_02_12X8_EMELGAR_2020_0201_12X8

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Last edited by MELGAR
@MELGAR posted:

These photos show my 12'-by-8' layout completed in 2004 on Mianne benchwork. Perhaps they will give you some ideas - although I think my layout differs from what you're planning. There are three independent loops (Atlas O-72, O-54, O-36). The two outer loops each have two switches into a passing siding. The middle loop also has a switch leading to a stub track beneath the coal tower. I can run three trains at a time, have two others parked on the sidings and another under the coal tower. Conventional operation with power controlled by SPST switches. Beneath the bridges is a non-operational four-track yard used for parking cars and locomotives.

At the time I built this, Atlas O-63 was not on the market. Today I would use O-72, O-63, O-54.

MELGAR

MELGAR_2019_0714_02_12X8_EMELGAR_2020_0201_12X8

Wow, that layout looks amazing! Did you have difficulties with the O72 tracks as far as spacing on the edges of the table?

The Atlas switches come with a two-position switch controller (straight or curved route). 12 volts AC from the transformer (red-black wires) is applied to the controller. Three wires run from the controller to three terminals on the switch. The switch itself is like any other piece of track and gets track voltage through the center rail that powers the locomotive. You're getting ahead of yourself. Buy whatever switches your track plan requires and read the wiring instructions and diagram. If you have a question, ask it on the Forum and you will get help.

MELGAR

Last edited by MELGAR

I think you need to decide on a size first, then start tinkering with track layouts to accomplish what you want to do.  In a 12x12 layout, you should be able to have a couple of O72 (or preferably greater) dual tracks to allow you to run your big stuff.  That still leaves a lot of area to work with inside.

Depending on the space, you can get wider curves with an around-the-room format vs. a table format.  If you do a 12x12 table, consider having the center open with a lift bridge to access the inside.  Remember, you're going to have to reach stuff anywhere on the table, consider that in the planning.

Not to be critical, but Melgar's design is only one way to design a railroad and works best if you primarily like to watch trains running, even if you also prefer scenery to be included.  Another important option is to design for operation, giving your model railroad a reason to run, even if only fictionally.  You could model a branch line off of a Class 1 railroad (obviously requiring a junction and yard), built just to serve a few major industries with maybe some small passenger service.  Or, you could model a major industry like steel, chemical, or auto manufacturing requiring constant car movements inbound, outbound and internally.

Check the track planning areas of this and other model railroad fora, and look at the NMRA's Layout Design SIG. for ideas before you start nailing wood together.

Chuck

I think you need to decide on a size first, then start tinkering with track layouts to accomplish what you want to do.  In a 12x12 layout, you should be able to have a couple of O72 (or preferably greater) dual tracks to allow you to run your big stuff.  That still leaves a lot of area to work with inside.

Depending on the space, you can get wider curves with an around-the-room format vs. a table format.  If you do a 12x12 table, consider having the center open with a lift bridge to access the inside.  Remember, you're going to have to reach stuff anywhere on the table, consider that in the planning.

You’re right. I am leaning more towards a 12x12 because that’s going to give me plenty of room to work. As for access panel, I’m for sure going to put them in.

@PRR1950 posted:

Not to be critical, but Melgar's design is only one way to design a railroad and works best if you primarily like to watch trains running, even if you also prefer scenery to be included.  Another important option is to design for operation, giving your model railroad a reason to run, even if only fictionally.  You could model a branch line off of a Class 1 railroad (obviously requiring a junction and yard), built just to serve a few major industries with maybe some small passenger service.  Or, you could model a major industry like steel, chemical, or auto manufacturing requiring constant car movements inbound, outbound and internally.

Check the track planning areas of this and other model railroad fora, and look at the NMRA's Layout Design SIG. for ideas before you start nailing wood together.

Chuck

I definitely want my model RR to be somewhat prototypical. I know I want to do multiple spurs with each of them being a different business as well as having a yard I can use to stage the different rolling stock for said business. I’d love to have a double track main but I think with the size restrictions and curves I wanna use, I’m very limited. But I’m probably also limited by my imagination too haha.

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