Scarm Fastrack design

I have done a design using Scarm with Fastrack for 12x5 benchwork. After many attempts I finally was able to complete a design without any gaps or non connections on the track. There are a couple of very small gaps that shouldn't be a problem. I would like to get comments on this desgin before I head to the hobby shop to purchase the track. My goal was to be able to run 2 trains with loops for reversing as well as to provide sidings. I had to use many small track sections to get rid of gaps in the track so I realize I will be paying the price. 

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Original Post

...in a few spots you use (2) 5" where you'd save money with a 10"

... same with all the 4 1/2" in a row...use 10"s and fill in with a cut piece...

It's not that hard to cut and splice if you do it in the middle of a piece of track.  Search for " cutting Fastrack"

Nice design... I like it! Lots of operating options!

Home of the Union Eastern, Thomaston & Williamstown Railroad

I'm still getting gaps on the long stretches. The most is  about 0.17 inch. What in your opinion is the maximum gap I can get away with? I know the fastrack doesn't give much but I don't have much experience with anything more than a Christmas tree layout. 

My SCARM tolerances are set at .3".  I'm not sure why I settled on that but it's worked out so far.  I pieced together a 15'x20' layout without any problems using that setting.  You shouldn't have any gaps in SCARM though.  Set your tolerances for .3" and see what you think.  Go to Tools > Settings > Edit

I tried raising the tolerance but the gaps still show up in scarm. The only change is the connection error symbols go away. Hopefully I won’t have a problem when it’s time to assemble the track. If there is a problem I’ll deal with it then. Possibly taking a longer track and cutting a section out to make it fit as described elsewhere in the forum.  Thanks for your help.

Beachhead2, I would suggest a smaller tolerance than 0.3" - more than 1/4" is a large gap that will be apparent in the track plan "on the ground" in the small gaps at the Fastrack joints.   Set your tolerances to 1/8" or less (0.125") for Fastrack, which does not have much "give".

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

You might try to revise your plan to move the cross-overs between routes to the edges of your curves in order to remove the reverse "S" curve made by the curves of the two turnouts.

Here is an example:

M616-01_6X16_v3f-turnouts

 

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

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Ken-Oscale posted:

Beachhead2, I would suggest a smaller tolerance than 0.3" - more than 1/4" is a large gap that will be apparent in the track plan "on the ground" in the small gaps at the Fastrack joints.   Set your tolerances to 1/8" or less (0.125") for Fastrack, which does not have much "give".

yes sir

shamed

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Barry

My layout is 12' x 5'. The benchwork is about completed and I expect to start laying track within a few days. Still lots of work ahead. I decided on Fastrack because I may be moving in the future and I want to be able to save the track. The benchwork is Mianne so I will be able to easily disassemble it for moving. Attached is a copy of the Scarm layout design. Keep in mind there still me be minor tweaks.

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Good design.   If you are looking for ideas for improvements:

  • You could look for places where you can substitute a wider-diameter turnout (unless you have already purchased those)
  • The passing siding at the top of the plan will be useful and fun.   You could consider a revision substituting O-60 turnouts for the O-48 in order to minimize the space between the two mainlines.   An O-60 is 22.5 degrees, while an O-48 is 30 degrees, so you would use a 7.5 degree O-48 section before the O-60 turnout to make the curvature match.   You would need to make other adjustments in length.
  • Your plan works nicely without a lot of annoying "fitter" tracks, so the above two suggestions might increase the overall number of track sections (and cost).   So you would be OK to reject the ideas on that basis    .
  • I noticed one opportunity at the bottom of the plan to replace three 10" sections with one 30" section.

--Ken

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

Ken

Thanks and good suggestions, especially the one about minimizing the space between the 2 mainlines. I will check out other locations where I could use wider turnouts but don't have too much hope as I did originally try wider turnouts but couldn't get the plan to work. I'll give it another shot anyway. At the bottom I used the 10 inch tracks because I was thinking about special tracks. I'll probably end up going with the 30's. 

Dan

Hi DRE1945, I know you moved away from the O-60 switch's, so just FYI. I believe you left off the small 1 3/8 pieces that the switch needs. It's one of the things I like about Anyrail, when you pick the switch, it lays down all of the pieces. I'm always forgetting them myself in SCARM. I like the plan, I a big fan of reversing loops to give interest and opposing train viewing with multiple loops.

Mike Lewis

Grew up in Ironton, OH

(that's the I in the DT&I RR)

Mike

I did give up on the O-60 switches because the rest of the layout could not be adjusted. I tried numerous changes but nothing worked. The missing pieces you mentioned wouldn't have made any difference. I figure the 36 and 48 switches have the same radius used in the two loops so they should be fine. I appreciate your information. 

Dan 

Dan, I worked out this version, which has some cool and interesting features for you to consider.   The number of fitters is not too bad, and there is no roadbed trimming, and the O-60 turnouts all use the included 1-3/8 fitter with the notched roadbed.   Track is color-coded so you can see the different diameters.   Brown track is either straight or O-60.   The other diameters are shown in the key.

So all the mainline turnouts are O-60, for smooth running at high speed through the mainline turnouts.   There are four O-36 turnouts for the spurs.  There are easements before each of the large "turns" at each end of the layout - either O-60 easement curves or turnouts in front of the O-48 turns, OR O-60 and O-84 easements into the O-36 turns.   The approach curves to the crossing are upgraded from O-36 to O-48 coming off of the O-60 turnouts so that you can run the crossing routes and reverse loops at higher speed.   I used some O-60 and O-72 in the spurs, for smooth curves for backing in cars - and I eased the reverse curve off the second O-36 turnout with a 1-3/4 straight and a O-60 section.

M512-07_V1e

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

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Where will the layout be physically located?

I would position it with the passing siding in the long side front if there is a rear wall. In SCARM, double click a track to select all of the layout (turns red) , then right mouse click and select flip vertically.

You could also elevate the long straight of the outside loop a few inches for some scenic value.

Post your SCARM file and I'll show you.

Carl

Arctic Railroad

DRE1945 posted:

I plan to have a town in the open area and wouldn't want it obstructed by having the sidings in the front.  

I don't believe that it would be obstructed. That's what 3D view is used to determine.

Switches inevitably bring derailments. Reaching across the 5' and buildings and such won't be fun.

Anyway, it's good looking plan with play value.

Carl

Arctic Railroad

Moonman posted:
DRE1945 posted:

I plan to have a town in the open area and wouldn't want it obstructed by having the sidings in the front.  

I don't believe that it would be obstructed. That's what 3D view is used to determine.

Switches inevitably bring derailments. Reaching across the 5' and buildings and such won't be fun.

Anyway, it's good looking plan with play value.

I will have 2 feet behind the layout to access the rear. However, I like the idea of flipping the layout and elevating the long section of the outside loop so I plan to take a closer look at your suggestion.

Ken-Oscale posted:

Dan, I worked out this version, which has some cool and interesting features for you to consider.   The number of fitters is not too bad, and there is no roadbed trimming, and the O-60 turnouts all use the included 1-3/8 fitter with the notched roadbed.   Track is color-coded so you can see the different diameters.   Brown track is either straight or O-60.   The other diameters are shown in the key.

So all the mainline turnouts are O-60, for smooth running at high speed through the mainline turnouts.   There are four O-36 turnouts for the spurs.  There are easements before each of the large "turns" at each end of the layout - either O-60 easement curves or turnouts in front of the O-48 turns, OR O-60 and O-84 easements into the O-36 turns.   The approach curves to the crossing are upgraded from O-36 to O-48 coming off of the O-60 turnouts so that you can run the crossing routes and reverse loops at higher speed.   I used some O-60 and O-72 in the spurs, for smooth curves for backing in cars - and I eased the reverse curve off the second O-36 turnout with a 1-3/4 straight and a O-60 section.

M512-07_V1e

Ken

I was successful in creating your suggestion using O-60 switches with Scarm and am very thankful for your help. There were more small pieces but I think it’s a small price to pay for the benefit of the improved turns through the switches.

That is great Dan, I am glad that you got it to fit together in Scarm.   I look forward to some pics as you put this together, with the easements and broader turnouts, this should be a sweet-running layout where the curves feel a bit wider than the actually are.   The eye has trouble judging diameter of curves, so tends to use the departure from a straight into a curve for its estimate of sharpness, which is where the easements make a difference.   And besides, its what the prototype does.

Best, -Ken

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

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