Help with tweaking my planned revision

As stated in the title, I am were I want to redo my layout.  I have a struggle with designing a layout idea. If anybody has any suggestions or better way I can utilize the space. I am including a image and the scarm file. This aspect is not my area of expertise.


The far left side that doesn't have a measurement near it is 120" long. The far right side that doesn't have a measurement near it is 84" long.


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Original Post

Let's start with some questions for you.  Are you a runner (just like to watch trains run?) or do you want to be an operator (run somewhat like real world?)?  Assuming you plan to make up a train from cars in your yard and back up a steam engine from the roundhouse to run the train, how will you pull that train out on to the mainline? Once you fix your yard connection to the mainline, how will you get your engine from the front of the train to the roundhouse after it pulls a train into the yard?  Think arrival/departure track(s) with an engine escape at the other end of the yard.

Next, are you only planning to run one train at a time?  Without passing sidings somewhere, that's really all you can do on an out-and-back layout.  Your other choice might be to do a double track mainline with a double-ended yard attached to the mainline in two places.  Have you tried the SCARM "run a train" feature?  How did you like the results?

Is your overall available space only the 120" by about 280" or do you have more space at the ends of your length and width?  If those are your nominal total room measurements, then your proposed layout will go wall to wall in many spots.  How will you get to derailments in you yard or engine areas? 

Where do you plan to put the operator controls and what will be the most prevalent view of an operational layout?  If the "front" is near the bottom of your picture, then your up-and-over reverse loop will block the view of your turntable and roundhouse which are often times the most important (and costly) scenic elements of a layout.  Why not put the up-and-over on the other end?

I strongly suggest you buy a track planning book (or see if you can borrow one from a local library) like "Track Planning for Realistic Operation."  Even if you don't want to be an operator, it will explain ways to incorporate whatever features you desire into the space you have.  I also strongly suggest you look at some of the other layout planning threads on this sub-forum and read the discussions about features included or skipped and the rational for each choice.

Read, learn, put into practice, and enjoy this hobby.  You have a lot of space at you disposal (I envy you) to develop something that meets your needs (not just any old layout diagram), once you identify them.


Columbus, OH Union Station
Columbus, OH Union Station



That seems to be my problem, I am not sure exactly what I want I like to see train's running constantly, but I would also like to be able to park at least passenger consists (I mainly run passenger trains) so I can easily hook up and get it going fairly quickly. I like the idea of two track main lines, but I can not seem to get it implemented decently. My biggest downfall is the actual design of the track plan, I can do electrical without too much issue. I did purchase one of the books used for layout planning. Unfortunately my library doesn't have much in the way of Model Railroad books.

I would like to have at least a small rise to increase the interest on the layout. This is also a semi-permanent layout cause I do at some point plan on using most if not all of the basement in my house.  I think one of my biggest problems in I need to run at least 0-72 or I can't run my big boy, which I like to run that one.

You are correct in the dimensions on there go to the wall, I am not against climbing up on my layout to fix derailments, and cutting in access hatches as well. I think some of my problem lies in that I have areas that comes out into table causing some weird cuts in my table, and since I can not remove those currently, I need to go around them.

Under your current design the only way to couple main line engines to a consist would be to build a  train two cars at a time out on the main line with a switcher locomotive. Not really how it is done. It seems like you need some kind of go around to get your round house to "play well" with your yard. JMHO. Good luck, Nick


You have only on reversing loop (red and blue track).   Once trains reverse they cannot reverse again without having to back up the slope.

Consider flip/flopping tour turntable and the yard, I think you can extend one  of the yard leads to make another reversing loop,  I'll try to work on it.

There's a lot of resources on the web about design a model railroad.  Goog;e it.


Jan, I think what you put up is what I was trying to get to but I just couldn't get the concept in my head. I have never been the best with the planning aspect, at least when it comes to model railroads. So I will probably go with what you have come up with, unless other people post thoughts or ideas, if that happens I may try to combine multiple aspects of each together. Now to solve my other problem, when to be able to actually work on my layout again, with school and work, time is very much constrained now.

Jan posted:

I had a chance to play with your layout.  I added a pair of passing sidings on the ground level main line.  I swapped the turntable and yard which allowed the second reversing loop.  I added a small passing siding in the yard to allow a switcher to swap ends on a car.



This one will work perfect. Nick


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