Hi guys,

I am looking for some advice and general ideas for a layout that could fit in a 23 x 16 foot room that uses at least O-60 curves, so I could run Lionel Heavyweight coaches behind a GP9. I cannot use the entire room, as the sliding door and an air-conditioning unit cannot be blocked. Any advice, tips, and ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Alex

 

EDIT: Room is actually about 22 foot x 15 foot, not 23 foot by 16 foot

Original Post

It seems as though you have room for curves larger than O-60.  Generally, a good rule of thumb is to use the largest curves compatible with space available and railroad activity.  How much switching do you want to do?  What industries do you want to serve?  Do you plan to spot sleeping cars at stations and have the evening passenger train pick them up?  How long will your passenger station be?  On a spur? One or more tracks?  Kindly give your reading public a hint as to what you want your railroad to do so members can build on that rather than wasting key strokes on a blank canvas.  A diagram with dimensions and restrictions would be helpful.

John in Lansing, ILL

rattler21 posted:

It seems as though you have room for curves larger than O-60.  Generally, a good rule of thumb is to use the largest curves compatible with space available and railroad activity.  How much switching do you want to do?  What industries do you want to serve?  Do you plan to spot sleeping cars at stations and have the evening passenger train pick them up?  How long will your passenger station be?  On a spur? One or more tracks?  Kindly give your reading public a hint as to what you want your railroad to do so members can build on that rather than wasting key strokes on a blank canvas.  A diagram with dimensions and restrictions would be helpful.

John in Lansing, ILL

Hi John,

sorry that I haven't provided a diagram. Here's a rough sketch of how the room looks.

Room

(Made an error with measurements: Should be about 22 foot x 15 foot,)

When you are standing in the doorway (foot of the stairs), looking into this room, you will see a small alcove on the other side. To your left, centered on the wall, is a sliding door. On the same wall as the doorway (entrance into room), offset to the left, is the air conditioning unit (don't know what you call it). I have colored, in red, the things that cannot be blocked. The doorway, the air conditioning unit, and the sliding door.

 

Restrictions:

  • I cannot block the doorway, sliding door and air conditioning unit (highlighted in red)
  • Must be a path to easily reach the air conditioning unit, so if someone needs to repair it, that my layout doesn't get in their way
  • Must be a path to the sliding door, if there is a need to open it. Note: Could a hinged section be built in front of it, that could easily be lifted, rotated, or removed in case there is a need to open that door?

 

Ideas:

  • Single or if possible, double track 'mainline'. (Can loop over itself)
  • At least one station, but if it will work, two stations.
  • Drawbridge (could be section that moves out of way of sliding door?)
  • Small engine yard for storing engines
  • A couple of industries, with spurs to park freight cars (tank cars? box cars? hoppers?)

 

General idea - Maybe a track plan inspired by MTH's Tall Timber Mountain? https://mthtrains.com/45-1106

Could that work? I like that track plan, but it's a little too big for the room I have to build my layout. Maybe a smaller version that is similar?

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What ever plan you come up with you will need to decide on minimum curve. Check all cars and locos you have or contemplate ever getting for minimum radius. For instance the GP9 is probably good down to O45 but the heavyweights (if they are the full scale) may be good down to O54 only.


I had to compromise with my 18 x 14 layout. I have O63 outside and O54 inside curves. This locks me out of the big steam locos (O72 min) but fortunately I like diesels more. I do have a couple of 482 Northerns steam that are 054 min. The outside loop is O63 but that is strictly 'watch the trains go around in a circle'. The inside is all O54 which includes all yards and spurs. This is so I can park the bigger diesels and steam locos on spurs or inside sheds or switch with any locomotive in my inventory.

Joe

Joe Fauty

The way I would do it is to build the layout in the roughly 13x20 space ,the 13 being top to bottom and the 20 right  to left based on your sketch. I don't know how far the AC extends into the room, one thing would be the use a 13 foot width, and by the AC have a removable section to allow better access to the AC, or you could have the layout curve in then out with a flowing curve, where the deepest part of the curve is in front of the AC. This would leave a direct path from the door in the room, past the a/c and to the sliding door while giving you decent space for the layout. On the top left of your diagram, above the sliding door, you could build an extension of the 13x20 layout that could be a staging yard or engine terminal,would be roughly a 3x7 area.  In the kind of space you have, you could have pretty large curves depending on your track plan, I recommend designing it for the largest curves you can use on the mainline runs, even small scale equipment looks  great running on larger curves. 

The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

I did a basic plan of the basement and then where I wanted to put the layout and allow access to everything necessary.  I settled on the area in red.  This allowed access to all the necessary stuff, and use all the space in that area that I could.  Bigger is almost always better until you get to really large spaces.   Allowing for a minimum of O72 curves was a must for me.

Layout Location

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Would recommend a minimum of 072 radius curves. If like most of us, you will eventually want a bigger engine that requires 072 curves. This applies to switches also. You have the room. Plan now. Don’t be sorry later. 

Craig

Member TCA, LCCA, LOTS, TTOS

Owner "South Fork Railroad"

I would concur with the comments of at LEAST O-72 curves, especially with as much room as you have.

My last layout was 14' x 17', a O-63/O-54 (gargraves/ross) double-main with lots of sidings (22 RCS turnouts) and a 29" turntable.  It was lots of fun.  Great layout to run my scale Pacifics and Mikados.  Not so great, however, for my scale T-3 (due to an S-curve) and I could NOT run any of my scale passenger cars.     I was in the process of building a 22' x 17' extension to the layout and replacing all the O-63 and O-54 curves when we decided to move.  My current layout in our rental house is a carpet layout in my 12' x 17' trainroom.  This time, I went with the largest Lionel Fastrack curves that I could buy, O-96 and O-84.  Now I can run ALL of my trains!

Jim

Formerly Historic Frederick County, Maryland.  Now close to Baltimore.  Modeling both the Reading and B&O Railroads.

 

Alastar 'Bear' 3/8/06 - 8/24/15, one heckuva great dog!

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