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I was thinking about how I could make an around the wall layout work but still be able to access the windows.  Maybe have it sit a little lower than most layouts (it is on the second floor so water leaks wouldn't be a problem)? 30" high would be enough for to be able to reach the windows. What do you think?

Justin,

First, my apologies. I missed your earlier post about the windows being 30" from the floor, so thank you for answering that question again. I think a height of 30" would be too low. My rule of thumb is a minimum height of 36".

Some questions to think about:

  • Do you want any part of the layout to be seen in the windows? If the answer is no, then we need to rule out a layout against the windows.
  • Will you have family and guests passing each other when they move around the layout? If yes, we need to look at a 36" to 48" walkway around the layout.
  • What is the theme of your layout? Are you only interested in a yard and turntable? Do you only want to watch trains run in circles, or do you want to simulate trains moving goods between towns/industries?
  • Are you modeling a specific time period, or do you want to be able to run any type of locomotive and rolling stock?
  • Do you plan to model any industries/towns/sidings/scenery?
  • What is the minimum curve your locomotives can run on? Do you have or plan to purchase any locomotives or rolling stock that require O-72 or greater? If so, will they move in and out of the yard?


I'm not a big fan of the layout you posted above as the space can be better utilized. I think a hybrid of an around the room layout (off the walls/windows) and walk-in layout would suit this space better.

Justin,

First, my apologies. I missed your earlier post about the windows being 30" from the floor, so thank you for answering that question again. I think a height of 30" would be too low. My rule of thumb is a minimum height of 36".

Some questions to think about:

  • Do you want any part of the layout to be seen in the windows? If the answer is no, then we need to rule out a layout against the windows.
  • Will you have family and guests passing each other when they move around the layout? If yes, we need to look at a 36" to 48" walkway around the layout.
  • What is the theme of your layout? Are you only interested in a yard and turntable? Do you only want to watch trains run in circles, or do you want to simulate trains moving goods between towns/industries?
  • Are you modeling a specific time period, or do you want to be able to run any type of locomotive and rolling stock?
  • Do you plan to model any industries/towns/sidings/scenery?
  • What is the minimum curve your locomotives can run on? Do you have or plan to purchase any locomotives or rolling stock that require O-72 or greater? If so, will they move in and out of the yard?


I'm not a big fan of the layout you posted above as the space can be better utilized. I think a hybrid of an around the room layout (off the walls/windows) and walk-in layout would suit this space better.

  • Do you want any part of the layout to be seen in the windows? If the answer is no, then we need to rule out a layout against the windows.

I wouldn't mind so long as I could reach a majority of the windows.

  • Will you have family and guests passing each other when they move around the layout? If yes, we need to look at a 36" to 48" walkway around the layout.

I might have a few people now and then, but unless I have company over and they ask to see the layout it would pretty much be just me.

  • What is the theme of your layout?

Good question.  I want to model the western part of the USA.

  • Are you only interested in a yard and turntable?

Not sure what you mean.

  • Do you only want to watch trains run in circles, or do you want to simulate trains moving goods between towns/industries?

I would like to simulate moving goods between towns and industries but not in end-to-end operation.

  • Are you modeling a specific time period, or do you want to be able to run any type of locomotive and rolling stock?

I want to model the 50s.  That said, I wouldn't have a problem running modern equipment

  • Do you plan to model any industries/towns/sidings/scenery?

Yes, I'm stuck on what to do for industries besides a farm; plan to have a small town, and would like the scenery to look a bit like this photo (obviously not as spacious).

SN

  • What is the minimum curve your locomotives can run on?

O-72.

  • Do you have or plan to purchase any locomotives or rolling stock that require O-72 or greater? If so, will they move in and out of the yard?

Nope.

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  • SN
  • Do you want any part of the layout to be seen in the windows? If the answer is no, then we need to rule out a layout against the windows.

I wouldn't mind so long as I could reach a majority of the windows.

This is where we need to start. Create a a 4' x 2' x 36" module and place it against your windows. Try to open and close your windows. Step back from the module 6" and try to repeat the process. If you can't open and close the windows, then we can rule an around the room layout against the walls out.

Also, I was thinking last night about the number of windows and the distance between them. In short, you will be building a large oval with peninsulas, but I'll discuss this after you make a decision on the location of the layout.

This is where we need to start. Create a a 4' x 2' x 36" module and place it against your windows. Try to open and close your windows. Step back from the module 6" and try to repeat the process. If you can't open and close the windows, then we can rule an around the room layout against the walls out.

Also, I was thinking last night about the number of windows and the distance between them. In short, you will be building a large oval with peninsulas, but I'll discuss this after you make a decision on the location of the layout.

Will let you know what happens when I do this.

This is where we need to start. Create a a 4' x 2' x 36" module and place it against your windows. Try to open and close your windows. Step back from the module 6" and try to repeat the process. If you can't open and close the windows, then we can rule an around the room layout against the walls out.

Also, I was thinking last night about the number of windows and the distance between them. In short, you will be building a large oval with peninsulas, but I'll discuss this after you make a decision on the location of the layout.

I was able to reach the window with 4' between the edge and the window, but my reach bottomed out at 50".

Last edited by Justin Acuna

I was able to reach the window with 4' between the edge and the window, but my reach bottomed out at 50".

Sorry, have been super busy with outdoor projects (what a vacation, lol) and just popped on and saw your reply. I have a lot of work to get done on the house, so if I don't respond in a couple of days, shoot an email to me.

Are you modeling a specific railroad, or a combination of western railroads?

Now that we know exactly how much room we are working with, it's time to get busy researching your western region in the 1950's. Take a couple of days to do some internet searches on the big western railroads to see what they were hauling. Try to find various pictures of big and small towns along their routes and save pictures and take notes.

I think an oil field, a small farm and a couple of other scenic pieces along the 3 loops will work. I think adding two towns on islands will add interest and provide you with point to point operations so you don't get bored with loops.

Sorry, have been super busy with outdoor projects (what a vacation, lol) and just popped on and saw your reply. I have a lot of work to get done on the house, so if I don't respond in a couple of days, shoot an email to me.

Are you modeling a specific railroad, or a combination of western railroads?

Now that we know exactly how much room we are working with, it's time to get busy researching your western region in the 1950's. Take a couple of days to do some internet searches on the big western railroads to see what they were hauling. Try to find various pictures of big and small towns along their routes and save pictures and take notes.

I think an oil field, a small farm and a couple of other scenic pieces along the 3 loops will work. I think adding two towns on islands will add interest and provide you with point to point operations so you don't get bored with loops.

Are you modeling a specific railroad, or a combination of western railroads?

Gonna try to model a mixture of the Western Pacific, Southern Pacific and the AT&SF (though I will be leaning more towards the SP since that was the dominate road where I live before UP bought them).

Last edited by Justin Acuna


Justin, here's a tip on how to locate scenes and structures. I came across this video on YT searching Southern Pacific 1950's. I snapped a couple of screen shots as examples. The first is the Phoenix station. Notice how busy it is and the architecture. The second is an SP hotel. Take note of the surrounding area, the cars and the hotel itself.

Screenshot_20210417-175514_YouTubeScreenshot_20210417-175443_YouTube

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  • Screenshot_20210417-175514_YouTube
  • Screenshot_20210417-175443_YouTube


Justin, here's a tip on how to locate scenes and structures. I came across this video on YT searching Southern Pacific 1950's. I snapped a couple of screen shots as examples. The first is the Phoenix station. Notice how busy it is and the architecture. The second is an SP hotel. Take note of the surrounding area, the cars and the hotel itself.

Screenshot_20210417-175514_YouTubeScreenshot_20210417-175443_YouTube

That's very helpful, thanks.

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