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Building the basics in the attached drawing. I  have been dabbling for a year using fast track and I am now going to build a permanent layout.
current plan -

z4000 transformer 1 handle for each loop

TIU and Lionel command

AIU and separate power for switches and accessories. (Power suggestion?)

8-10 power blocks for the 200’ loop (does this sound right?)

gargraves track with powered Ross switches.

what roadbed??? Was going to go with flexxbed but they are not filling orders.. what to use?

anything else I should keep in mind for build? Most the long track will be on wall shelf. Any suggestions on keeping noise low?



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  • 08C9433A-5B28-4102-98FC-8DAA18A84980: Track sketch
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Well, it looks like you just like to watch trains run, but you can surely do that with a lot less cost by making your loops much smaller.  In addition, it seems like you are OK with lifting the current running trains off the track and placing the other trains you wish to watch "run" on the track since you have no provision for storage on the boards.

Before you actually build this, I highly recommend 2 activities.  First, and probably best, visit some already constructed layouts and think about what you like and what you don't like about each.  In addition, ask the modeler what he or she did differently on earlier layouts and what would they do differently if they were to start again.  Second, read some books and/or articles and/or forum posts about railroad operation (both real and model), about track planning, and about scenery construction.  There are many good ideas freely given, but some info has to be purchased, even if 2nd hand.

You have a lot of available space; plan well before you build something poorly designed and become so frustrated or bored that you leave the hobby.


I agree with readily accessible storage, one of the early shortcomings of my layout that I had to work to correct!

There is a seller on eBay, sparks00033.  He has foam roadbed very similar to FlexxBed and a lot cheaper.  I used it on my layout and I'm quite happy with it.  It comes in 6 foot sections so it's easy to lay, and it comes in gray or black.




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On my old layout I had “ok”on table storage for cars and engines, in my new design, I am planning on improving this ten fold.

That's pretty much where I was.  My latest addition was a 10-track yard, that really upped my parking!  Prior to that I just had three sidings at the rear of the layout and a couple of separate loops that I could park trains on if I didn't want them on the mainline.  I've come to the realization that you can't have too much yard space, I'm sure I could use more!

New ten-track rail yard


This was my only true siding area previously.



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