Layout design feedback

Hi all,

I'm in the process of designing a layout and was just looking for some feedback on the plan I came up with. I've attached a screenshot and the SCARM file. The area indicated in the screenshot is the maximum space I have to work with.

I just have a few simple goals for this layout, since this isn't going to be that permanent of a layout. I wasn't going for anything too complicated, and I wanted to maximize the length of the mainlines. I wanted a yard for storage/display (3 yard tracks, 2 for an engine shed, last one for cabin cars), plus a couple sidings for industries to give my layout some sense of purpose. I figure I will leave the center mostly open as an aisle, with some space for scenery along both sides of the mains. A duck under will be along the 111" side, probably near the yard throat. I designed it for Atlas O track. The labels are just potential ideas.

Anything look obviously amiss?

Thanks!b_layout_rev3_8a

Stephen

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Slugger posted:

Hi all,

I'm in the process of designing a layout and was just looking for some feedback on the plan I came up with. I've attached a screenshot and the SCARM file. The area indicated in the screenshot is the maximum space I have to work with.

I just have a few simple goals for this layout, since this isn't going to be that permanent of a layout. I wasn't going for anything too complicated, and I wanted to maximize the length of the mainlines. I wanted a yard for storage/display (3 yard tracks, 2 for an engine shed, last one for cabin cars), plus a couple sidings for industries to give my layout some sense of purpose. I figure I will leave the center mostly open as an aisle, with some space for scenery along both sides of the mains. A duck under will be along the 111" side, probably near the yard throat. I designed it for Atlas O track. The labels are just potential ideas.

Anything look obviously amiss?

Thanks!b_layout_rev3_8a

I see the track arrangement.  What is the design?  Details?  

As drawn, it's too wide to reach things.  Are there access opening?  An aisle-way?  

Just a small comment. I do not mean to offend anyone. Have you thought about adding a way to reverse the rotation of the trains? That was my biggest mistake and I now wish so badly I had a way to reverse direction of an assembled train. Also I built my main table area (27' x 8') with no opening for problem access. BIG MISTAKE regardless of how you think you will never need to get to the inaccessible area you will trust me. Mine was an Atlas switch on the back side I needed to change the motor on. Only saving grace was I had not added scenery yet so climbing up on table was not a huge problem just a pain.

John C. posted:

I see the track arrangement.  What is the design?  Details?  

As drawn, it's too wide to reach things.  Are there access opening?  An aisle-way?  

I take it you and some others missed this part of his original post:

" I figure I will leave the center mostly open as an aisle, with some space for scenery along both sides of the mains. A duck under will be along the 111" side, probably near the yard throat."

Stephen, here's a version with the center aisle cut out and duck-under location marked.

As for the design itself, I can't find fault given your stated goals. Obviously, trains can't reverse direction, but that's often the case in small spaces. If that's an issue, you can add some reversing loops using more of the center and then add hatches for access, but that may require tighter curves than you want to use.

You can run trains in both directions, reconfigure consists using the yard, etc., so there's plenty to do depending on how you plan to operate. The one thing I do see is the siding on the right side in this image. Trains going clockwise coming out of the yard will not be able to service it easily, so it will take a train going counterclockwise to drop off and pick up.

As John pointed out, it is hard to see a "theme". As it is, there are just 2 spurs and a town to go through. That doesn't bother guys like me because I just like to watch my trains run vs "operate" them in a prototypical manner with a bunch of switching, etc.

Capture

 

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Hi all,

Sorry for the delay in responding, busy with work, haven't had much time for trains.

Thanks for the comments and suggestions. I foresee the lifetime of this layout not exceeding two years, so this is just something quick and simple to put together to run some trains with some limited operations. There isn't much of a theme to the layout for these reasons. Regarding train reversal, I went through several revisions including a turntable and wye, but felt that it sacrificed too much of the central aisle (and would require me to use smaller radius curves). So like anything, it's a compromise.

Thanks dave for including a render of the top with the duckunder marked; that was pretty much what I intended. This is my first time using SCARM so I haven't quite figured out how to do everything yet in it.

That is a good point regarding the positioning of the turnout for industry 2.

Stephen

Stephen:

Not sure if anyone has mentioned this. I would recommend turning Industry Track #2 around. Right now you have your yard track and Industry #1 track as trailing point spurs, which is good since you want to back cars into them. However Industry #2 track is a leading end spur which means the locomotive is going in first. You should consider turning this into a trailing point spur like the others.

Joe

Leading point spurs make for interesting switching.  You need to have a passing siding to run the engine (and any cars in between) to the rear of the train to push the car into the siding.  Afterwards the engine and cars returns to the head end.

The other way is to switch "on the fly". 

Jan

Slugger,

here's my messing around

O81 & O72 - all O72 except for yard switches.

Clockwise running

Korber 306 engine shed Atlas 6908 oil supply business

Lengthened yard lead to 100"

shortened yard spurs

flipped industry#2 - can be like menards supply warehouse in town

Tables are mostly 30" wide to enable reach

I switched to the larger radius track to enable an O72 4 switch reversing circle to be added in the future at the top right corner with a peninsula extension into the center space. You never know...

Carl

Arctic Railroad

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Hi Carl,

The use of O72 and O81 certainly improves the symmetry of the layout! I'm glad you were able to make it work with the larger radii. Certainly something to consider and play with, although I would probably wind up moving the yard back further to maintain longer yard spurs.

Stephen

Stephen,

I have discovered that I tend to create track plans that are too symmetrical.  The goal was to have all large radius curves and switches to permit running whatever trains you come across.

Look at the MTH ScaleTrax layout plans for the spare bedroom layout.

The shorter spurs were necessary to lengthen the yard lead. Having spurs of 3 car lengths long permits cut and building. 15" per car. The lead is 100" minus 18"-30" for engine would leave 84" - 70" for cars and a "cabin" car. 84" - 70" or 4 and cabin.

Anyway, swapping the #5 and the O72 for the industry spur would permit maintaining the lead length and lengthening the spurs again by moving the yard entrance.

try the simulator by selecting the extensions menu. You can then play with the layout and see if it does what you want. There is also a run timer to check "play" time to do everything once. You only get one train with the free or Atlas version, so one has to imagine one or two trains cruising the loops while you fiddle in the yard. Opens it up to perhaps three operators.

Have fun, however it turns out.

 

Carl

Arctic Railroad

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