Gents-

I am starting a new layout .... I have 3 - 4x8s to work with. I currently am thinking making is a 20x8 but don’t know if its best use of my boards. Looking for some suggestions. 

 

Thanks - SteveB824B9EB-4380-4729-BF06-FD960D0F124F

-Steve

HOME OF THE .. “My2Lefties” RAILROAD

Milwaukee Road,PRR,KCS,UP

 TCA #19-74367

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Original Post

Help us out... what size curves are you planning to use?  (I'm guessing that you have traditional O gauge trains?)  What are the dimensions of the room, where are the doors, aisles, stairs, etc?  Also, is this completely self-contained, or do you have thoughts of eventual expansion.

Would love to help but there are just too many variables to answer your question.

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

Ted S posted:

Help us out... what size curves are you planning to use?  (I'm guessing that you have traditional O gauge trains?)  What are the dimensions of the room, where are the doors, aisles, stairs, etc?  Also, is this completely self-contained, or do you have thoughts of eventual expansion.

Would love to help but there are just too many variables to answer your question.

Good point.... without a doubt expanding..... I can eventually double the size if i would like to. My trains are all MTH and Lionel... 2.0 and 3.0 for the most part as well as legacy. No doors, stairs, or anything for that matter in the way. I would love to have O72 curves as I do have some big steam engines that i would like to run... hope this answers the questions. 

-Steve

HOME OF THE .. “My2Lefties” RAILROAD

Milwaukee Road,PRR,KCS,UP

 TCA #19-74367

I recommend running it around the walls. That would enable you to use O-72 or larger curves and run the largest O-gauge locomotives. In that case, you might consider cutting down each section to 30-inch or 36-inch width for easier access. I have two completed island-type layouts (12'-by-8' with O-72 and 10'-by-5' with O-54) but now think around-the-walls is a better choice because it allows for longer loops, larger-diameter curves and easier access.

MELGAR

Unless you reconfigure things, if you can, you can forget about O72 curves. The Blue tracks are Atlas O72, the Orange O45 and the Green O36. The 2nd photo shows a different configuration where I reduced the width to 36" all around in a horseshoe design. This lets you push things against the walls and still have access to everything except the corners on the left if they're against that wall. You could reduce it further to the 30" configuration in the 3rd photo. I used an Atlas bridge too for the popout/liftup access and you can see it won't fit, but you just need a plywood platform and not a bridge there. Anyway, just some food for thought.

test

test2

test3

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MELGAR posted:

I recommend running it around the walls. That would enable you to use O-72 or larger curves and run the largest O-gauge locomotives. In that case, you might consider cutting down each section to 30-inch or 36-inch width for easier access. I have two completed island-type layouts (12'-by-8' with O-72 and 10'-by-5' with O-54) but now think around-the-walls is a better choice because it allows for longer loops, larger-diameter curves and easier access.

MELGAR

Great points....thank you!

-Steve

HOME OF THE .. “My2Lefties” RAILROAD

Milwaukee Road,PRR,KCS,UP

 TCA #19-74367

DoubleDAZ posted:

Unless you reconfigure things, if you can, you can forget about O72 curves. The Blue tracks are Atlas O72, the Orange O45 and the Green O36. The 2nd photo shows a different configuration where I reduced the width to 36" all around in a horseshoe design. This lets you push things against the walls and still have access to everything except the corners on the left if they're against that wall. You could reduce it further to the 30" configuration in the 3rd photo. I used an Atlas bridge too for the popout/liftup access and you can see it won't fit, but you just need a plywood platform and not a bridge there. Anyway, just some food for thought.

test

test2

test3

 

-Steve

HOME OF THE .. “My2Lefties” RAILROAD

Milwaukee Road,PRR,KCS,UP

 TCA #19-74367

DoubleDAZ posted:

It’s 

Polarxpress3 posted:
DoubleDAZ posted:

What track do you plan to use or haven't you chosen yet?

I am using fast track. 

Ok, that doesn’t significantly change anything I posted.

-Steve

HOME OF THE .. “My2Lefties” RAILROAD

Milwaukee Road,PRR,KCS,UP

 TCA #19-74367

DoubleDAZ posted:

It’s 

Polarxpress3 posted:
DoubleDAZ posted:

What track do you plan to use or haven't you chosen yet?

I am using fast track. 

Ok, that doesn’t significantly change anything I posted.

I appreciate it. I am going to change the set up for sure.

DoubleDAZ posted:

It’s 

Polarxpress3 posted:
DoubleDAZ posted:

What track do you plan to use or haven't you chosen yet?

I am using fast track. 

Ok, that doesn’t significantly change anything I posted.

-Steve

HOME OF THE .. “My2Lefties” RAILROAD

Milwaukee Road,PRR,KCS,UP

 TCA #19-74367

If you're up for it, around the walls also allows you to either paint a backdrop right on the concrete walls or attach separate piece(s) of backdrop to the walls.  Backdrop scenery greatly enhances the look of the layout, and can "visually" move the viewer over wide swaths of territory.

Chuck

So if I go 4x8 then put the other 2- 4x8’s as a horseshoe, what curves would I be able to use....right now I only have the 3 - 4x8s to work with..... thanks Gents!

-Steve

HOME OF THE .. “My2Lefties” RAILROAD

Milwaukee Road,PRR,KCS,UP

 TCA #19-74367

Any answer here will depend on how you plan to operate.  If you plan to run loops with a few sidings for storage or operations, your loop will be governed by the 48 inch width of a 4x8, whether you set them up as a "U" shape, an "L" shape, or an "I" shape.  Thus, you're looking at O42 curve maximums, requiring use of shorter equipment for successful (and less stressful) running.

For anything bigger, you minimally need one more 4x8 sheet and materials to fill in the corners to make an "O" shape layout.  With that structure, you should be able to run O72 or larger curves, allowing for the use of much larger equipment.  However, now you have to find some way to get into the middle (or be willing to crawl on top of) the layout to fix issues that arise.

Another option would be to create a "U" shape layout with bulbs (maybe 8x8) at each end of the "U" shape.  Now, instead of running pure loops, you are running what I call "fake point-to-point" because you can put large reversing loops within each bulb.  In this scenario, you can also utilize O72 curves and larger equipment, but your trains could still go round-n-round after passing through the reversing loops created with non-derail switches.

On the other hand, you could run true point-to-point with your basic 3-panel 4x8s and use O72 curves, but this would have to be a short-line railroad designed to do a lot of switching; maybe a transfer yard on one end, a large industrial complex on the other end, and some industries to be switched along the way.

I highly recommend you search for the term "givens and druthers" on the internet.  You will find that how you want to operate your trains is just as important as the space you have available (along with many other factors) in determining how to design you layout.

Chuck

PRR1950 posted:

Any answer here will depend on how you plan to operate.  If you plan to run loops with a few sidings for storage or operations, your loop will be governed by the 48 inch width of a 4x8, whether you set them up as a "U" shape, an "L" shape, or an "I" shape.  Thus, you're looking at O42 curve maximums, requiring use of shorter equipment for successful (and less stressful) running.

For anything bigger, you minimally need one more 4x8 sheet and materials to fill in the corners to make an "O" shape layout.  With that structure, you should be able to run O72 or larger curves, allowing for the use of much larger equipment.  However, now you have to find some way to get into the middle (or be willing to crawl on top of) the layout to fix issues that arise.

Another option would be to create a "U" shape layout with bulbs (maybe 8x8) at each end of the "U" shape.  Now, instead of running pure loops, you are running what I call "fake point-to-point" because you can put large reversing loops within each bulb.  In this scenario, you can also utilize O72 curves and larger equipment, but your trains could still go round-n-round after passing through the reversing loops created with non-derail switches.

On the other hand, you could run true point-to-point with your basic 3-panel 4x8s and use O72 curves, but this would have to be a short-line railroad designed to do a lot of switching; maybe a transfer yard on one end, a large industrial complex on the other end, and some industries to be switched along the way.

I highly recommend you search for the term "givens and druthers" on the internet.  You will find that how you want to operate your trains is just as important as the space you have available (along with many other factors) in determining how to design you layout.

Chuck

Thank you Chuck... you gave me something to truly think about. I have some bigger equipment that will require O72 curves.... need to figure this out for sure.

-Steve

HOME OF THE .. “My2Lefties” RAILROAD

Milwaukee Road,PRR,KCS,UP

 TCA #19-74367

Steve,

If you're unwilling to do some cutting and add support, you're looking at Option 1. The problem with this approach is access to the center.

However, if you're willing to do some cutting, etc., then IMHO you're looking at this wrong. With 3 sheets of 48x96 plywood, you actually have 8 panels that are 30x48 and 2 that are 30x24. With these you can make a configuration close to the one I posted earlier, Option 2. With this you have full access and can add sidings, even a passing siding so you can run a 3rd train.

Option 1
2019-08-23 steve-daz2

Option 2
2019-08-23 steve-daz1

 

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DoubleDAZ posted:

Steve,

If you're unwilling to do some cutting and add support, you're looking at Option 1. The problem with this approach is access to the center.

However, if you're willing to do some cutting, etc., then IMHO you're looking at this wrong. With 3 sheets of 48x96 plywood, you actually have 8 panels that are 30x48 and 2 that are 30x24. With these you can make a configuration close to the one I posted earlier, Option 2. With this you have full access and can add sidings, even a passing siding so you can run a 3rd train.

Option 1
2019-08-23 steve-daz2

Option 2
2019-08-23 steve-daz1

 

Thanks Dave.... I appreciate your input. Very good points i need to consider.

-Steve

HOME OF THE .. “My2Lefties” RAILROAD

Milwaukee Road,PRR,KCS,UP

 TCA #19-74367

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Dumb question:  Since you state you have the space, why are you limiting yourself to three sheets of plywood?

Great question actually John, I am not.... just have this ready to go.... should probably go get a few more ....lol!

-Steve

HOME OF THE .. “My2Lefties” RAILROAD

Milwaukee Road,PRR,KCS,UP

 TCA #19-74367

6262BE0D-2C4A-4FAA-B6DA-48431335E238I designed this to fit inside a 10’x11’ room with a closet door opening inward.

It uses MTH RealTrax with 0-42 turnouts. It could surely be modified for Fastrack if so desired.  

Its in a larger room now and I have plans for a 0-72 addition built around it. 

American by birth. Southern by the grace of God.  

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CoolHand posted:

6262BE0D-2C4A-4FAA-B6DA-48431335E238I designed this to fit inside a 10’x11’ room with a closet door opening inward.

It uses MTH RealTrax with 0-42 turnouts. It could surely be modified for Fastrack if so desired.  

Its in a larger room now and I have plans for a 0-72 addition built around it. 

I would love to see what you come up with for the 072 ADDITION...Thanks for sharing

-Steve

HOME OF THE .. “My2Lefties” RAILROAD

Milwaukee Road,PRR,KCS,UP

 TCA #19-74367

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