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I am brand new to this and I just keep buying cars and playing on the floor. I need to build me a 6 x 9 or possibly a 5 x 9 table. Then I need a track layout. I would like to run passenger cars with an O 60 loop from what I can see on the cars I would like to purchase in the future. Can anyone help with the design layout?  Itcan be elevated or not but I definitely want some dead ends if that’s what you call them.  Thank you in advance

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Resist the urge to "just start building" unless you are also capable of "destroying" what you have just built because of "mistakes."  Being "brand new" in most any hobby means you will have a lot to learn which can be part of the enjoyment.  So, here's a few pointers:

1.  Just because O gauge track is labeled O60 does not mean it will fit on a table 60 inches (5 feet) wide.  Some track manufacturers measure diameter from the middle rail, leaving, in the case of O60, about an inch and a half to two inches hanging off each side of the 60 inch table.  Obviously, that's not good for your equipment.  Indeed, even if they measured from the outside of the ties, you will still want to leave at least 2 additional inches of table (probably more) on each side in case your train derails.

2.  Building a "table" as you describe is called an island concept, but there are many other layout concepts available.  At those sizes (6x9 or 5x9), you will either need to be able to walk completely around the layout, include access hatches (probably 2), or build it on rollers so it can be easily moved away from walls when necessary.  Additionally, tables those sizes generally limit your operation to "loop" running of some sort which can get boring very quickly.  Determining maximum available space and hinderances is necessary before construction begins.

3.  In developing your hobby skills, you will find yourself becoming a carpenter, electrician, janitor (cleaning up after yourself), artist/painter and computer nerd (to some extent).  However, you don't have to be an "expert" in any of these fields; just be willing to learn and apply the basics so you can have fun and not hurt anybody (including yourself).

Because there is so much to learn, read, read, and read some more.  Browse through this forum and other model railroad fora (there are quite a few besides this one) and don't be afraid to look at those that deal with other scales and gauges.  If you think about it, many model railroading concepts relate to all scales and gauges, and often, those that don't can be adapted to the scale and gauge (NOTE: THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SCALE & GAUGE!!) you choose.  Doing all of this will also make the hobby gentler on your wallet and more fun for you.

Chuck

Last edited by PRR1950

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