I have been out of the train hobby for a few years now but I am now ready to build a new layout. I had one that was decent size but I have since moved to another location and its time to build a new layout. The room I have to use is in the basement and its a little awkward but it has a good size. My desires are at least two main lines and a yard. I also have an old lionel drawbridge that I would like incorporate into the layout and I plan on going with either Ross or Gargraves track. Would also like some elevation in the layout as I think it is so cool when trains are running side by side and one is higher than the other. I have attached a picture of a blank SCARM. The room is roughly 17 feet by 13 feet with an additional space of approximately 10 feet by 9 feet. I have been beating my head against the wall trying to come up with a plan on SCARM but so far nothing even close so I am asking for some help.
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When I started my layout here in my new house, I had similar expectations. I wanted a long mainline so I could run 50 car trains and not have them look silly. What I ended up with is a 23 x 12 layout with a folded dogbone mainline that is over 130 feet of track. I have several other smaller loops that can be run independently or be accessed from the mainline. The main table level track is down, working on the grade in the back. Trains come up, go around the elevated loop and then down the other track around the turntable and another loop under the elevated loop and back around and up to complete one lap. The elevated loop will have an inner loop that can run independently as well as an independent lower inside loop. The while lines in the foreground are the Mianne power lift-bridge.
Maybe some ideas here?
You can start by sketching out a 24" to 30" wide table around the walls of the room, with a drawbridge or drop down section at the door. You will also have to allow for access to the furnace area, which may affect the type of train table you design around the furnace. You may even be able to run a single main line track behind the furnace if there is room.
This train table layout phase will give you an idea to the isle width you will have, and the ability to reach all areas on the train table. This reach access is needed to build and maintain the layout, track structures, scenery, cleaning of the track and scenery, fixing derailments, etc.
This will also help determine if you will have room for a double main line, or possibly a twice around the room main line, which would give you a very long main line run.
Once you have a rough train table concept, you can start playing with the main line track plan. After that, you can look for options on where to put "the yard", industrial spurs and buildings/scenery.
Vitto - for what its worth - just some initial thoughts. I tried to look at your space thinking about having at least one 072 loop. You could lay in a second main line parallel. With the entrance doors on the right side you will need space for visitors, this gives between 4 to 6 feet before getting into the layout. Above and below the doors would give you room for sidings and yards. The one below the doors could be a dock area or other industry. The area above the doors has a lot of room to play with - maybe a town with subway loop or trolleys. Since this is an around the room configuration the middle would be open. There are possibilities for reversing loops. If you can get away with tighter curves you shrink the curves by 20 inches, which gives a lot more room. I am kind of thinking the long run adjoining the furnace could be sectional so could be moved out of the way if necessary. You could also work in a peninsula to take advantage of the large middle area. You have plenty of run for an elevation change. (scarm file is attached)
As I built my layouts, I found the curves took up way more space than I realized. And became the primary reason I bought Scarm - so I did not get halfway through laying track and benchwork and realize my design wouldn't work.
This is more than likely nowhere near where I will end up but after spending hours on SCARM, this is what I came up with so far. I'm sure it has numerous flaws but it's a first attempt. The area at the bottom by the shelves has to be clear to the extent of at least 3 feet, preferably 4. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks.
I think this is one that my son and I could enjoy as we could run two trains at the same time and also do some switching. I will still need to do some work on the yard, add some sidings/spurs (not sure what they are called), and also make everything line up but I think something like this might work. Does this look better than the first two?