Mark:  Just a short note:  you don't have to worry about the window.  On the Glacier Line there are three (3) windows that you never see.  Two are behind the backdrop.  The pieces of backdrop in front of both windows may be removed in seconds.  You can do the same.  It will save you the expense/trouble and the "next" people who live there would probably prefer a window to a train layout.  People have no taste!

Mark, I always get concerned when someone says they have a small space where they want to run O72 curves, especially for a passenger train. Unfortunately, O72 doesn't leave much room for anything else when it comes to things like logging and coal operations. Since your better half suggested joining up with the ceiling layout in the other room have you considered expanding the ceiling layout into the new space and using it for your passenger run? You could come into the new space where there'd be a cityscape on the wall, perhaps with bas relief storefronts, etc., and a passenger station. Moving the larger equipment off the main layout would free it up for the logging and coal operations, perhaps on separate levels. Using O54 or even O42 curves gives you a lot more space for loop2loop, folded dog bones, etc. Here's a very early design I did for 10.8x12 using O31 ScaleTrax to show how much or how little track will fit that space. I don't have it in SCARM, but could convert it easy enough and change it to GG/Ross O42/O54, but I offer it just for idea value. FWIW, the bridges were going to be lift-outs and the blue would have been a fold down panel.

Capture

 

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Hi Mark.

I've done designs for small rooms that support O-72 down to 10x10. Spurs could be added to the straight sections as desired and the layout could be re-done as a single lap tri-oval. This particular one is 48" radius (O-96)

12.0x12.0_two-lap_o-9612.0x12.0_two-lap_o-96_3D

Matt Jackson
"The best service you can provide for the hobby is to pass on what you have learned."

 Angels Gate Hi-Railers San Pedro, California

"Celebrating over 20 years of moving freight and passengers from Point A to Point A!"
E-mail

YouTube Channel

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I appreciate all responses!  I put out the list of all I would like just to see what responses I would get.  I agree, the list is too much for the space.  Yes I could stack levels, but I think it would be a bit overwhelming, both to build, but to operate too.

I agree the big passenger trains would overwhelm any scenes in 12x12.  I am not happy with how I did the corners on the Ceiling Central and have seen some ways to improve them.  I could make them a little wider to handle the big passenger engines and cars.

Mark Boyce posted:

I appreciate all responses!  I put out the list of all I would like just to see what responses I would get.  I agree, the list is 

The list is...???????????????????????  :-)  Don't keep us in suspense man!

John C. posted:
Mark Boyce posted:

I appreciate all responses!  I put out the list of all I would like just to see what responses I would get.  I agree, the list is 

The list is...???????????????????????  :-)  Don't keep us in suspense man!

Ha, ha!  I hit the wrong button and it posted.  That's what I get for using the cell phone to type.  lol. You got the first part.  I'll post more in a bit.  It is good.

I'm back.  John, have you been in my mind or have some kind of surveillance into my past?    Your information about the Western Maryland, the Blackwater Canyon and the action around it is something I researched many years ago.  Long before I worked at Mt. Storm Power Station not far from Davis in the early '90s, I had come upon the WM and liked it.  Once we moved to Keyser, WV and I started working on the mountain, I did quite a bit of investigation.  So much so, that once we moved back to Pennsylvania in '96, I planned an HO layout based on a lot of what you have shared.  I got some benchwork up and a little track, bought some HO Western Maryland engines and freight cars, and ran them on the first track.  Alas, we decided to buy a smaller house, and with our family's growing activities, I never went any further.  Then in this house without a layout, I started looking at O scale, bought a building kit and liked the larger size.  Then I bought a Bachmann On30 shay and a three-pack of log cars.  I liked it.  However, I kept realizing I liked the B&O, and the N&W, and our local Bessemer & Lake Erie, and, and...

It was about that time, I picked up an O Gauge Railroading magazine in a grocery store of all places.  I had never seen the magazine before probably even as a 12-year old I shied away from "toy trains".  Scale modeling was my thing.  I was impressed, I saw the article on Dave Minarik's layout in his Mercer Junction Train Shoppe, just 45 minute drive from home, which I visited a week or two later, and the rest is how I ended up here.

I initially had thoughts of having an On30 logging line along with O gauge 3-rail, but as I got so interested in Premier and current Lionel offerings, interest in the On30 waned and I sold it to buy 3-rail.  

So, I wrote all that to say, you have opened a concept for a layout that I have already researched pretty thoroughly, but need to refresh my memory.  I am with you on basing the operations on something like the Blackwater Grade, Davis, etc.  I can picture Davis in my mind, and where I saw where the trains went is if I had taken photographs.  I have plenty of smaller engines and cars.  The only things long are the Premier N&W J and 4 Lionel Powhatan Arrow cars and the Cincinatian with 5 cars.  I never intended to buy anything that big, but I had seen the J under steam back in the early '90s, chased it on the old Southern route from Alexandria to Charlotesville.  I loved that train.  While living in Keyser, I also researched the old 17-mile grade to Oakland, Maryland, and met an old timer who modeled B&O in HO.  He lived a block from the old B&O tracks, and said he used to watch the Cincinatian.  He had an early brass model of the train in Ho and ran it for me.  That along with reading about it, made it special.  In both cases, I just happened on fantastic deals on the O gauge models I bought.

I need to rebuild the Ceiling Central RR in the corners, which I am not happy with.  I just need to make them a little wider to handle the broader curves for the two passenger train.  Everyone is correct, they don't fit into a concept for the main layout in the new room.  I could run them through the door into the ceiling area of the new room, or leave them just in the small family room.  Either would work.

Now on to the operating accessories.  Guess what?  The temporary Christmas layout is built on the top of a 4x8 x2" sheet of foam, sitting on top of a heavy duty folding banquet table; the kind of table churches and fire halls like to buy.  Just what you mentioned.  My wife already suggested I keep tat layout, reconfigure it as I want.  I could keep it as a Christmas layout for now, and since no grandchildren are on the way, I would have time to make sure all the accessories are in operating order.  I could then set that up anywhere for kids on something lower or even the floor.  I might like to put a log unloader, sawmill or something on the main room for fun.

I see it is 1:00 again.  Well at my next chance, I want to respond to Dave, Jim, and others.

Thank you so much for joining me on this adventure!!  

Okay Mark....so we are on the same wave length!    I loved the Blackwater Canyon concept and how cool is that you know about Davis and the Canyon!  Even in your space, you CAN come up with an ultra realistic look!  I can picture some stone arch supports as the train(s) makes it through the canyon.  I will work on a track arrangement for you.  I've got a couple of ideas envisioned.

I need to know:  Can you build a life out, hinged or otherwise swing section across the glass doors?--the side that slides open.  EXACTLY, where is the glass door positioned on the wall...how long is the wall that it's on and at what point from the corner does the door the sling door start--from BOTH sides.  I need to know exactly.  If you can't construct something like that--no problem just considering ALL options.

HOW TALL ARE you?  How high is your ceiling?

I'm planning the track arrangement in mind with a Western & Maryland 44 tonner or an old time 0-4-0 pulling a string of 4 to 5 cars, no longer than ten inches in length (shorter better), plus a caboose (A bobber 4 wheel caboose) hauling open hoppers and flats with logs) up street grades and sharp curves.  Those two MTH PREMIER engines will go around ridiculously tight curves and look decent; which is EXACTLY what you need in that space.

I'm excited about the idea of the Blackwater Canyon Line (BCL)!   

I would recommend keep the ceiling central in the other room.  If it runs the ceiling it will distract from the BCL.  Your backdrop should go to the ceiling---how high is the ceiling?

And the two-inch foam issue with Christmas layout is perfect for future grandkids in ANOTHER room.  You should keep that room floor to ceiling SOLEY dedicated to the BCL.  

Lastly, there's just so much to ask:  "How many light fixtures are on the ceiling of that room?"  Depending on the track configuration, it would be IDEAL (not required) to have spot lights that can be dimmed and brightened so that you may adjust according to your needs.  

Too much to digest already...

John C. posted:

Okay Mark....so we are on the same wave length!    I loved the Blackwater Canyon concept and how cool is that you know about Davis and the Canyon!  Even in your space, you CAN come up with an ultra realistic look!  I can picture some stone arch supports as the train(s) makes it through the canyon.  I will work on a track arrangement for you.  I've got a couple of ideas envisioned.

I need to know:  Can you build a life out, hinged or otherwise swing section across the glass doors?--the side that slides open.  EXACTLY, where is the glass door positioned on the wall...how long is the wall that it's on and at what point from the corner does the door the sling door start--from BOTH sides.  I need to know exactly.  If you can't construct something like that--no problem just considering ALL options.

HOW TALL ARE you?  How high is your ceiling?

I'm planning the track arrangement in mind with a Western & Maryland 44 tonner or an old time 0-4-0 pulling a string of 4 to 5 cars, no longer than ten inches in length (shorter better), plus a caboose (A bobber 4 wheel caboose) hauling open hoppers and flats with logs) up street grades and sharp curves.  Those two MTH PREMIER engines will go around ridiculously tight curves and look decent; which is EXACTLY what you need in that space.

I'm excited about the idea of the Blackwater Canyon Line (BCL)!   

I would recommend keep the ceiling central in the other room.  If it runs the ceiling it will distract from the BCL.  Your backdrop should go to the ceiling---how high is the ceiling?

And the two-inch foam issue with Christmas layout is perfect for future grandkids in ANOTHER room.  You should keep that room floor to ceiling SOLEY dedicated to the BCL.  

Lastly, there's just so much to ask:  "How many light fixtures are on the ceiling of that room?"  Depending on the track configuration, it would be IDEAL (not required) to have spot lights that can be dimmed and brightened so that you may adjust according to your needs.  

Too much to digest already...

John,

You're recommendations do sound good.  I still can't get over your suggestions of this theme that I researched and planned for over 15 years ago!  Remarkable!  I still like the overall theme at heart!  I will answer all the questions you asked in a day or two.  When I get the chance, I will look for my books, articles, etc.

"Too much to digest already" is right!  

DoubleDAZ posted:

Mark, I always get concerned when someone says they have a small space where they want to run O72 curves, especially for a passenger train. Unfortunately, O72 doesn't leave much room for anything else when it comes to things like logging and coal operations. Since your better half suggested joining up with the ceiling layout in the other room have you considered expanding the ceiling layout into the new space and using it for your passenger run? You could come into the new space where there'd be a cityscape on the wall, perhaps with bas relief storefronts, etc., and a passenger station. Moving the larger equipment off the main layout would free it up for the logging and coal operations, perhaps on separate levels. Using O54 or even O42 curves gives you a lot more space for loop2loop, folded dog bones, etc. Here's a very early design I did for 10.8x12 using O31 ScaleTrax to show how much or how little track will fit that space. I don't have it in SCARM, but could convert it easy enough and change it to GG/Ross O42/O54, but I offer it just for idea value. FWIW, the bridges were going to be lift-outs and the blue would have been a fold down panel.

Capture

 

Dave,

I do recall this plan that you were doing before you decided to make the plan for in the garage instead.  I was captivated by what you were putting in a room the same size as mine.  Also, it was very much like I had envisioned in my mind.  Please hold off converting it to SCARM for now.  I may ask you to later.  As you can probably tell, my preliminary plan I attached at the beginning of this topic has a resemblance to yours.

 

AGHRMatt posted:

Hi Mark.

I've done designs for small rooms that support O-72 down to 10x10. Spurs could be added to the straight sections as desired and the layout could be re-done as a single lap tri-oval. This particular one is 48" radius (O-96)

12.0x12.0_two-lap_o-96

Matt,

That certainly is what I was thinking for an upper level.  As I look at it more, a 27" Premier J pulling four 70' cars will always be on curves.  I'm not saying that is bad. I just want to ponder all possibilities, including running the big trains on the Ceiling Central RR which already has some straight always.  Thank you as always!!

Mark, I just offered it to show how much track you can get in the space using smaller curves. I'm having a hard time visualizing a lower level for logging/coal and an upper level with a raised over/under run using O72 curves on top of it. But, I look forward to following this thread to see how things develop.

Dave,

I have a hard time visualizing things too, but we all have seen layouts that folks have pulled off tremendous vertical effects, whether track at many levels or just mountain scenes that are taller than you and me.  

As one of my daughters always says, "I'm looking for some sanity" What is practical? 

I am glad to have you following my project!!

Mark Boyce posted:

Matt,

That certainly is what I was thinking for an upper level.  As I look at it more, a 27" Premier J pulling four 70' cars will always be on curves.  I'm not saying that is bad. I just want to ponder all possibilities, including running the big trains on the Ceiling Central RR which already has some straight always.  Thank you as always!!

Mark, keep in mind that straight (i.e. tangent) track is really pretty rare compared to curved.  Oh, I know that we like to see our trains on straight track--for me, it's a legacy of the ovals I had as a kid with only straight section on each side and n unfulfilled desire to see the train all stretched out.  But, as a percentage of the total mileage, there really isn't as much tangent our there as we imagine.

Frisco, MoPac, and T&P near Rolla, MO

palallin posted:
Mark Boyce posted:

Matt,

That certainly is what I was thinking for an upper level.  As I look at it more, a 27" Premier J pulling four 70' cars will always be on curves.  I'm not saying that is bad. I just want to ponder all possibilities, including running the big trains on the Ceiling Central RR which already has some straight always.  Thank you as always!!

Mark, keep in mind that straight (i.e. tangent) track is really pretty rare compared to curved.  Oh, I know that we like to see our trains on straight track--for me, it's a legacy of the ovals I had as a kid with only straight section on each side and n unfulfilled desire to see the train all stretched out.  But, as a percentage of the total mileage, there really isn't as much tangent our there as we imagine.

You do have good points,  You made me think about where do we see the most dramatic photos?  Leaning into a curve.  Thank you!

Mark,

One thing to keep in mind is that your N&W J will operate on 0-54 curves. I have a SP 4449 and now NKP 765, both of which are about the same size as the J. If you can achieve 0-54 on your new layout, you'll at least be able to run all of your smaller stuff in addition to select larger locomotives. The overhang will be your biggest issue. It won't look prototypical, but it at least will fill the desire to run your big trains on the layout if you want. You have seen my layout in person. It is 7'x10'. I have achieved a decent amount in a small space using 0-54. The consolidation that I traded to you will look very nice on 0-54 as will any of your other shorter engines. 

There are a lot of cool ideas posted so far. I like the thought of expanding your ceiling central to accommodate your biggest trains, but also keeping the minimum requirements for the main layout. Best of luck in selecting the winning design!

-Marc 

I disagree with a general statement that tangent track is "rare" compared to curves.  An NS track man told me the Pennsy had a policy of laying out tangents connected by curves. My time taking photos along the NS main line confirms that idea.  Even in hilly Pa. state there are lots of tangents.

Mark Boyce posted:...

 

AGHRMatt posted:

Hi Mark.

I've done designs for small rooms that support O-72 down to 10x10. Spurs could be added to the straight sections as desired and the layout could be re-done as a single lap tri-oval. This particular one is 48" radius (O-96)

12.0x12.0_two-lap_o-96

Matt,

That certainly is what I was thinking for an upper level.  As I look at it more, a 27" Premier J pulling four 70' cars will always be on curves.  I'm not saying that is bad. I just want to ponder all possibilities, including running the big trains on the Ceiling Central RR which already has some straight always.  Thank you as always!!

I understand. This one is the 48" radius (O-96) version. You'd obviously gain more tangent track using smaller curves such as 36" radius (O-72).

Matt Jackson
"The best service you can provide for the hobby is to pass on what you have learned."

 Angels Gate Hi-Railers San Pedro, California

"Celebrating over 20 years of moving freight and passengers from Point A to Point A!"
E-mail

YouTube Channel

Wow! A lot of great ideas here Mark. Your thoughts and those from others have me thinking I could make my 8' x 8' layout much more interesting if I enlarged to a 11' x 11' platform with 2 or 3 levels. I'm looking forward to see your results, this thread is going to be a great catalyst for others. Good luck!

I have been following this thread with great interest.  I am moving into a new house this weekend and will likely have a similar sized space to work with.  And of course, I want it all!  

Tons of great ideas everyone.

May God Bless us all.

Here's one I spotted online and one I designed for 2-rail that would probably work in a 12x12 room for 3-rail:

12x12b

2-RAIL SUGGESTION

I've never been fond of too much track, the spaghetti bowl look.

MODELING SOUTHEAST VIRGINIA

4+ years and STILL Having A Blast Running BPRC

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Everyone,

I have watched numerous plans develop here also.  I really enjoy it, and get ideas for myself.  They have been of special of interest when folks are designing layouts for areas similar to what I was looking forward to having.  Now that we are actually discussing a layout for my room, it is almost overwhelming in a good way!  I appreciate all the encouragement and interest!  Through the development of my layout, we can bring ideas to others!

Matt,

I got it, I hadn't noticed what size curves were on your plan.  You bring good news.

Bob D.

Those are good plans.  The published one with the island in the center certainly brings in a lot of interest, and with John C.'s idea of a lift out/swing out would work with the sliding glass doors.  The light that came in the doors was great for my daughter's art studio, but they are something to work around for a layout.

JHZ,

Congratulations on the new house!  I hope you have good weather for your move, and that it goes smoothly.  We have moved more times than I would have liked, and it has always been a challenge.  I know you are looking forward to a new layout in the new house.

Icytrains,

I'm glad to see you here.  It has been a while since we chatted on a topic.  I hope we can give you some ideas as well!

Mark:

Don't forget please:  Need to know the length of the wall the sliding glass door is on.  How far is each edge of the sliding glass door from each end of the wall and how tall are you and high high is the ceiling?

I need clarification Mark.  I think I'm beginning to understand.  I see 2 doors unfortunately.  The sliding glass goes outside?  It must remain accessible, correct?  I see the opening...into the house I believe...correct?  The "opening" goes into your house correct and must be accessible as well, correct?

John,

Yes I don't doubt you need clarification.    Surprisingly the sliding doors are not the main entrance out of the basement.  That door is right beside the door that enters the room from the rest of the basement.  I will show it on a drawing that I will send with the room dimensions tonight, I hope.

The layout room is an addition that supports the sunroom above.  After my in-laws moved here following the death of my wife's grandmother (the original owner) they decided to replace the small deck with a sunroom.  The trainroom was only built to support the sunroom so to speak.  So the door to the train room and the door to the outside take the place where the sliding glass which were originally the only way out.  My mother-in-law insisted on reusing the sliding glass doors even though all they were going to use the room for was storage.  My wife and I thought it would have been better if they just put a window there and discard the sliding glass door.

So, the sliding glass door is seldom opened, but I want to keep access in case we want to open it at some time.  Blocking the door with a removable bridge or section would be fine.

I'll show it on the drawing.

Some "high line" inspiration might be found in the old N&W line that parallels parts of the PA 43 toll road North of I-70. 

Also remember that not every "coal mine" has to have a monster tipple. A 1-2 car siding with a truck dump or the Lionel conveyor coal loader could simulate a small "off layout" industry.

There was a layout in "101 Track Plans" that would be approximately 10x10 in O scale. As I recall, in H.O., it was 18" radius (approximately 33"-36" in O scale) and used a couple of bridges and scenic elements to disguise it's small size. Can't remember if it was two or three laps. I'll have to find my copy of the book, but the point is that even with a small spare bedroom in basement-deprived areas you can have a continuous-run O scale layout.

Matt Jackson
"The best service you can provide for the hobby is to pass on what you have learned."

 Angels Gate Hi-Railers San Pedro, California

"Celebrating over 20 years of moving freight and passengers from Point A to Point A!"
E-mail

YouTube Channel

Mark:

I've got an awesome idea for you to consider!  I've been drawing on my C.A.D. for hours (my birthday gift to you.  :-)) today for you.  Things keep falling into place.  too bad I didn't charge, I could retire!  :-)

The main line run is over sixty feet of non-repeating, non-circling-main and travels along sharp curves with steep grades.  It mimics the actual run!  I was reading about the real "Big Run" today and read that the curves were so sharp that they had many derailments.  Your curves will certainly be a prototypical correct "model" for that canyon.  You should as part of your operating plan have RESTRICTED SPEEDS throughout the canyon.  No more than 15 MPH.  That will be prototypical and make your run feel even longer.

In addition, your track is on 3 levels!  This is going to be really cool!  The train may be passing through the same wall area twice or three times, but all on distinct different levels.  A canyon is PERFECT for distracting viewers that the train is in the same generally vicinity.

I hope that you have some skill with bench-work and backdrop construction.  I'm giving you an advanced prototypical track arrangement that will require flex track and the need for ensuring spacing between lines thru the passing siding and several clearance issues.  There are 4 places where the main passes over or under itself on its long and winding road. 

The best part of my plan is I've left your doors both unobstructed.  You may simply walk up to and in or out either one.  Life is good.

After receiving your measurements, and getting your blessing, I may want to put some layout in front of the sliding glass door section that does NOT move.  Maybe and maybe not--it's entirely up to you.

The "ends" of your line (Blackwater Canyon Line), are the town of Davis (elevation 3100 feet with 600 and some odd people) and the town of Hendricks (elevation 1700 and having 250 people.)  The canyon is "between" those two points.  YES!  Even on YOUR LINE, Davis is higher up than Hendricks at 60 inches and Hendricks at 41 inches.  Your grade is 6%, which is steep but ideal for the look you are attempting to capture and allows for between 60 to 70 feet of running without circling.

Currently, I don't have these "ends" drawn, because I could put reverse loops at both ends which would allow a train to run unattended; (My "ceaseless" pattern) so that you could operate the other making it more challenging passing through the canyon.  You will have one long passing siding between Davis and Hendricks allowing "opposing" trains to pass by one another.

Because of your room size, and because reversing loops take up a lot of space and aren't that interesting--limit scenic possibilities, I think you should consider a WYE configuration at Hendricks and a small (24 inch) turntable at Davis.  Both these configurations are interesting to operate/control vs. just looking at a train run on a turn-around loop.  You would stop, switch consists, drop off, pick up, and have some staging drawers near by.  

However, I understand that at times it's more convenient to have the reversing loop arrangement.  It's up to you.

I will post the main line run tonight for you to observe.  It will probably require a phone conversation between us so that you may gain a clear understanding.

You will be able to see my color coded lines and markings on the drawing and trace the main line path.  However, you will need a verbal explanation of what I envision as scenery and an operational scheme for this line.  This is going to be fun to operate!  Two or three people could operate this system at one time.

This DESIGN PROCESS theme theme will require you to investigate more details for your future acquisitions.  Also, regardless of what you decide, PREPARE THAT ROOM FOR A LAYOUT COMPLETELY before you start construction.

I think your ceiling is painted already.  I would do a very light blue if it isn't.  But, the BIGGEST thing I'd do is settle on a track arrangement and then install overhead spotlights that may be controlled by separate dimmer switches so you may set your lighting any way you wish easily.

I know that Im throwing a ton at you at once, but I put the layout higher to get better spacing between the points where needed while leaving that baseboard heater unobstructed.  Heat is good.  :-)  Fire is bad!  I hope that you are taking notes.  :-)  I wish that I lived closer, because this will be a great project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greg Nagy posted:

Also remember that not every "coal mine" has to have a monster tipple. A 1-2 car siding with a truck dump or the Lionel conveyor coal loader could simulate a small "off layout" industry.

I built one from one of the Lionel coal Depots on top of two Plasticville coaling towers.  It doesn't operate, of course, but the footprint is small (for O scale, anyway).

Frisco, MoPac, and T&P near Rolla, MO

palallin posted:
Greg Nagy posted:

Also remember that not every "coal mine" has to have a monster tipple. A 1-2 car siding with a truck dump or the Lionel conveyor coal loader could simulate a small "off layout" industry.

I built one from one of the Lionel coal Depots on top of two Plasticville coaling towers.  It doesn't operate, of course, but the footprint is small (for O scale, anyway).

Great suggestions Greg and Palallin!  The small or a suggestion of an off layout industry is defiantly a plus the smaller space you have.  Greg, the N&W high line off 43 sounds like what Pittsburghrailfan Dan suggested earlier, just he may be thinking of a different section.  I am not familiar with the area off 43 other than I know from the map it is there.  I will look into it.  Thank you!

AGHRMatt posted:

There was a layout in "101 Track Plans" that would be approximately 10x10 in O scale. As I recall, in H.O., it was 18" radius (approximately 33"-36" in O scale) and used a couple of bridges and scenic elements to disguise it's small size. Can't remember if it was two or three laps. I'll have to find my copy of the book, but the point is that even with a small spare bedroom in basement-deprived areas you can have a continuous-run O scale layout.

I almost wore out my copy of 101 Track Plans when I was growing up!  I built one of the simple 4x8 plans back about 1970.  I still have my copy, but it is packed away in a box along with my information on the Western Maryland Blackwater Canyon.  Trouble is, the boxes are in the closet under the stairs to the basement, that I will have to empty to get to them.  Well, that is a project I planned to do once I got the room in question.  Thank you for the tip.  While those plans lack accuracy, they at least can provide ideas.

John,

Wow!  You have been busy!!  I am attaching the room drawing.  I'm not good with CAD, so I just wrote on a copy of the SCARM room border drawing I fought through a few evenings to make.   All the dimensions are there for anyone who wants to can take a look.  Here are answers to questions I wrote down last night when I was finishing the measurements.

I can build a lift out.  Hinged lift up or swing in would be more challenging

Glass door starts 31” from the far corner, 36” from the near corner, and is 71” long, Opens from the far end.

My height – 5’ 11”

Ceiling height – 89” Last 16” by pink wall – 77 ½”

One – three-bulb light fixture, yes I defiantly plan to put in more light.

I will send you an e-mail with phone number and some other comments.

Anyone, feel free to comment any way you wish.  

Thank you everyone for your interest!!  

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Okay Mark:

Here is my first DRAFT.  I have NOT yet looked at your dimensions.

GREAT NEWS!  DOORS COMPLETELY UNOBSTRUCTED!  MORE THAN SIXTY FEET OF MAIN LINE UN-REPEATED!

The tour of the BCL is as follows...4 to 5 car train departs highest point the Town of Davis at 60 inches on the way down the mountainside toward Blackwater Falls which is painted onto the backdrop.  The steady LINE OF GREEN IS AT 60 INCHES.  I will complete town of Davis track arrangement with some turnaround alternative for an engine, turntable, wye or reverse loop.  Also, there will be a few sidings.  You could switch cars on/off there.  I really like the idea of a wye track.  Not too many people use them.  The arrangement would be interesting and serve a critical purpose as well. 

As the line CHANGES TO BLUE in color it begins its steep descent thru Blackwater Canyon (pink wall).  There are MOUNTAINS PAINTED ONTO THE BACKDROP--OR PHOTO REALISTIC IMAGES OF BLACKWATER CANYON.   The first sharp curve (36 diameter) is BIG RUN CULVERT.  Many trains derailed there in historical times.  Restricted speed is a good idea.  After rounding Big Run Culvert over some of the many stone arch supports (SCENIC HIGHLIGHT), the train comes to the lone, but long, passing siding.  It's outer curve is a forty-two diameter curve.  The track switch (turnout) is flat and level with the track attached to it flat/level at least for a foot.  The train continues its steep descent enters a tunnel, goes around a hidden horseshoe curve, and as it emerges from a tunnel the track shortly becomes flat and level at the turnout at the end of this lone passing siding.

The line becomes brown in color at the lowest level.  It is now 41 inches from the floor...19 inches less than where it started.  It runs behind the Big Run Culvert and emerges out of a tunnel onto a short straight section of track leading into Hendricks.  Exactly as with Davis, there will be some turnaround alternative for an engine, turntable, wye or reverse loop.  I envision a turntable configuration here as a turntable is a highly impressive feature of any layout!  It will be the first thing people see upon entering the layout and since this area is "centered" access to the turntable area is easy.  There would only be two or three "spoke" tracks and maybe a custom-built roundhouse--two or three stall--very small--maybe.  This would be a scenic highlight.  I would add a few spurs as well.

There will be STAGING DRAWERS at both Davis and Hendricks.  

I may add a short spur inside the passing siding to drop off or pick up some flats to transport logs.  I think the coal should be "off stage" with coal loads passing through.  However, both towns will need coal for power and to replenish.  Both towns should have water tanks as well.  I would buy HO scale water tanks.  These give the illusion but do NOT overwhelm a small layout.  

I will wait for your feedback.  Just FYI:  The curves are 36 diameter.  An 0-4-0 and 44 tonner would fit like a glove and work great.  I picture old time, older era 40 foot boxcars, hoppers and flats being pulled in small strings.  Buy a "Bobber" caboose or two!  :-)  Ideal and interesting.

The spacing of the track from the walls are 3 inches.  On the pink wall the 1st track is three inches from the wall.  The second is 6 inches further in, the third is four inches in.  Your spacing on the passing siding is 4 inches.  With short cars, it will work fine and look awesome!  I left six inches between the highest track and the second track so you could use screen wire, foam, paper mache, whatever to build canyon side rocks with grass and weeds growing out of the rocks.  There are tons of actual canyon photos.

Your Aisle Ways will be 36" wide minimum.  You will have two ACCESS POINTS as the track in the rear will need to be installed, and maintained.  Your main line has two turnouts which will minimize your issues.  You will easily be able to walk up to either turnout to maintain it.

This track arrangement maximizes the space and provides exceptional alternatives for exceptionally interesting and dynamic scenery.

You will have to let know what you would like to see in Hendricks and Davis.

 

PS:  The track looks like a spaghetti bowl, but it's not.  The track is at different levels and using scenery as scene dividers will give the illusion that the train is traveling from point to point and not circling, because it isn't.   

NOVEL OVER.Mark Blackwater Canyon Line

 

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John,

A Novel?  Yes!    Illustrated too!

I printed off the drawing to better follow along the story.  It is not what I had in mind when I made my initial post Sunday, but it does have striking similarities to what I was planning in HO between 15 and 20 years ago.  It is just I had it more strung out in a little larger room in HO.  Amazing!!

I am going to search my stored documents for a written description I made of my plan then, similar to the description you just posted to refresh my memory.  I also need to dig in that closet for my books and articles.  Come to think of it, the articles may be in a box in the garage.  That is easier to get to.  I will get back to you tomorrow, after I have had a chance for it to sink in, and come up with comments.  Right now, I am almost overwhelmed, not just the work you did, but the similarities to my thoughts before we got too bust with our girls' activities in high school and then college.

Thank you again!!!

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