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Hello Everyone!

I have a huge village on a 4' X 10' platform with mountains (Styrofoam & plaster)  ~2 feet on the left side and across most of the back.  It won't be difficult to carve out tunnels or alter the mountains as needed.

I just received a LionChief O-gauge train with FastTack from Lionel and am so excited to FINALLY add a train to the project --- let's just say that I've learned some.valuable (and very very  expensive) lessons about train shopping through "new, never used" on eBay and 'too good to be true' deals on Amazon and  even full price online at Wal-Mart with surprise third party sellers that don't have working phone #'s! Agh! lol.

I've also purchased several risers and incline sets, but am having trouble coming up with a layout that's not just a basic oval for what I need.  Does anyone have an idea that is fairly simple and would put the track elevated ~4-6" in the background (I'll carve a notch\ledge) so it can still be seen with  houses in front of it),  and ~1 or 2" in the very front?  I know the train can easily climb from 1 to 4 inches with the inclines and track I have.   Is an oval my only option? 

I'm just kinda stuck :-) and hoping to find some ideas from the experts here. Appreciate any help.you could offer.

Thanks in advance!

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You need to let us know what you want or don't want.  Such as, do you just want to watch the trains run or do you want some sidings to run accessories or do you want 1 main line or two? And if you want two do you want them connected or can then be independent (ie: one elevated)? Give as much information as you can.   Go to this site for some ideas:

http://thortrains.us/

  All can be adapted to 4x10.

-Greg

Last edited by Greg Houser

I’m so sorry. I’m new at this and didn’t realize it could be so complicated. :-)

What I have is a Christmas village so I’ll only have room for one train.  I’d like the main focus to be on the train, so ideally would like it to be visible as much as possible….. which means that it’ll need to have an incline and be elevated in the back.

I’ll try to add a photo of my village from last year….just please keep in mind that I’m going to expand the length of the platform at least 2ft and will be redoing everything in the back and on the right side… the large mountain on the left side will stay.
I had an oval On30 track down too, but could never get the train to work.  Also, it was hidden in a tunnel for most of the loop which I really hated.

I’m just having so much trouble figuring out a layout that would work here, and hoping to get some ideas so I can start getting everything togetjer.A7C00FC3-A192-4B43-AD27-80FFDFF4A8D3.

Thanks so much for your response.

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Ugh! I hate the way that village came out because everything was so chaotic and badly spaced out.  I waited too late to get started and was rushed.  

I’m taking my time and really thinking this next version through and hope it’ll be much much better (🤞).  

I’m open to any and all ideas and advice about how to do this better. . It won’t hurt my feelings at all

Wow, Holly, I love your mountain village, great job and magazine worthy in my opinion!

If I understand correctly, you want to add 2 more feet to the right side of the platform and have a train that runs on the rear-most elevated parts?

You mentioned trestles or risers? That is one way: the train travels in the front of the layout via elevated tracks supported by trestles and then it joins the mountains in the rear; or it travels at base level in the front of the layout and then ascends via risers to an elevated section and then descends on the opposite side. That is possible, just don't make the grades too steep otherwise the train wheels will slip.

My former Christmas/year-round layout (still miss it...divorce is painful in many ways) had 4-levels and 3 can be seen in the picture below, in addition to some jerk who is standing in the background. One method to accomplish elevated trains in back of layouts is through the dogbone or eyeglass shape layout design. Picture a viewing a dogbone from a plan view that is wider on the ends and narrower in the middle. The wider parts, such as the raised mountain ends, facilitate track turnarounds, i.e., the circular part needed to get the train going in the opposite direction. The 2nd picture below shows the left-end of the dogbone. My layout was very complex due to the 4 levels with grades and turnouts connecting each -- each level of train action was essentially a concentric circle, with wider diameter tracks on the outside and each subsequent level had a smaller diameter track. Yours would not need such complexity.

You can also use a reversing loop at each end - but that will still require the dogbone shape. The easiest method I've seen in elevated rear-layout action is a bump and go trolley, whereby the trolley simply travels back and forth, hitting a bumper at each end which automatically reverses its direction.

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Last edited by Paul Kallus
@Paul Kallus posted:

Wow, Holly, I love your mountain village, great job and magazine worthy in my opinion!

If I understand correctly, you want to add 2 more feet to the right side of the platform and have a train that runs on the rear-most elevated parts?

My former Christmas/year-round layout (still miss it...divorce is painful in many ways) had 4-levels and 3 can be seen in the picture below, in addition to some jerk who is standing in the background. One method to accomplish elevated trains in back of layouts is through the dogbone or eyeglass shape layout design. Picture a viewing a dogbone from a plan view that is wider on the ends and narrower in the middle. The wider parts, such as the raised mountain ends, facilitate track turnarounds, i.e., the circular part needed to get the train going in the opposite direction. The 2nd picture below shows the left-end of the dogbone. My layout was very complex due to the 4 levels with grades and turnouts connecting each -- each level of train action was essentially a concentric circle, with wider diameter tracks on the outside and each subsequent level had a smaller diameter track. Yours would not need such complexity.

You can also use a reversing loop at each end - but that will still require the dogbone shape. The easiest method I've seen in elevated rear-layout action is a bump and go trolley, whereby the trolley simply travels back and forth, hitting a bumper at each end which automatically reverses its direction.

DSC_1117-1

DSC_0903-1

Paul.

That was absolutely one of my favorite layouts!!! Hope one day you can recreate it.Paulslayout

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OH wow! I mean WOW!

I really don’t know what to say about your village except that it’s amazing and on a whole other level than that what I’m trying to do.  I can’t even imagine the amount of work you had to put into creating something that incredible.  Wow.

Thanks so much for your idea —-and for the very helpful dog bone analogy that allowed me to picture what you were saying. :-)   I’m definitely going to explore what you said.  

Thanks!

Holly, As I see it (and I'm often called 'blind-as-a-bat'), you are trying to cram a 10' dream into a 4' space.  Try thinking of your space as a place to run trains that will then have a village around them.  That is usually how the real world worked, and in a 4x10 space, it's going to be real hard to get a train up and down a mountain with any cars being pulled.

Chuck

Holly

None of us can tell what you might like or want for a layout for your village and we do not know your skills with construction, planning, painting, etc.

You have a great chance to explore layouts in magazines, U-tube, this forum, friends in your area etc. that can show you possibilities or parts or ideas of what others have done for their layout.  Take your time, take notes, bookmark or note things or layouts that interest you.  Make sketches and later make scale drawings to be sure all will fit and do what you want.  You need to do this exploration and be open to all ideas and try to think how you want a layout to look, how you want to operate it, who will get to or you want to enjoy or share it with, how much time, effort and money you want or can spend.  It is important to do a good, complete, well thought out plan for your layout as is a lot work, frustration and possibly money that will have to be spent to tear some of it down and start over.  Also try to plan for expansion, moving to another house, etc. for the future as best you can forecast it.  I was able to expand my layout by 40% from one rectangle with two loops and a homemade $10 turntable, to an L shape with little revision the the original as more space came available at new house to us.

As I hear it you only have three criteria:   to utilize your beautiful village, a LionChief O-gauge train and some FastTrack from Lionel.  You can add how much space you have or how big you want the layout to be.  So now you get to chose how high the layout will be from the floor, how you might want the track run and what it is to do, how you will learn how to construct the layout (or who you know who can and will help or advise you).  More are less an open book to work with.

Lots of us have more fun and joy in the planning and/or building the layout than running or showing it off to friends and family.  Others just like to run or operate their layouts.

I am envious of you getting to build a new layout.

Have fun, learn and enjoy.

Charlie

Holly

I like the way the train in your pictured village just makes an appearance and goes off into another tunnel. A simple oval with an operating train would highlight your village just fine. You want access to the track inside the mountain in case of a derailment.

I would put up some kind of backdrop though. The busy curtain fights for attention when just trying to admire the village.

Last edited by GVDobler

Holly,

I believe that before you get started again, you need to do some soul searching here.

Ask yourself:  "Am I trying to build a nice and versatile train layout, with Christmas buildings added as a scenery theme? "

"Or, am I trying to build a really dense, jam-packed, Christmas village, with a train that is just one of the cute featured accessories?"

I believe that right now, you are on the second option. 

Mannyrock

Hi Holly,

Here’s a track plan for my 3’ X 9’ layout. I prioritize running trains over structures. You may want to consider using a single figure eight track arrangement.  It provides some variety over a simple loop. I used the AnyRail track planning software trial download. It’s limited to 50 pieces but that should be sufficient for your needs.  2B9ACEC0-7448-45D8-9618-AFA0928F1393
Is it a coincidence that someone named Holly has a gorgeous Christmas Village?  I don’t think so!

John

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In 4x10, it would be impossible to have a train climb a big grade.

    It occurs to me that forum member Mark Boyce had a Christmas display layout close your dimensions and style. Unfortunately, I don't think there are any links to it as it appeared in a magazine other than OGR. Perhaps Mark can chime in here with a description. The trick that might help you, is that his had two ovals, with one at base level, and the other running above it on a trestle. Both loops had tunnels, but you could make the top loop run across the mountain top for the back half of the loop.



Just a thought.

Greg, Thank you for mentioning my 4'x7' layout that was published elsewhere.  The only restriction with that publisher is that I can't show any of the photographs that were in their article.

Holly, The layout was actually developed on a discussion here on the OGR Forum, so we can go over all of that again.  Many folks contributed ideas.  I started discussion a couple pages before on the long standing topic What Did You Do On Your Layout Today This link is at the bottom of Page 610 dated 11/7/18, and I posted my progress there for several days until the layout was done.  Here are some samples.

2018-11-15 16.55.412018-11-18 16.22.242018-11-21 17.20.392018-11-21 17.21.03

One thing I will point out is that I made all the supports out of left over plastic porch railing stock.  Here is how I did that.

2018-11-07 10.55.462018-11-07 10.37.01

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Last edited by Mark Boyce

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