I'm in the process of designing my first layout. I played with HO trains and slot cars as a kid, then discovered dirt bikes, girls then cars before heading off to college. I'm a mechanical engineer but I prefer to be the shop fabricating . We inherited my wife's father's trains more than a decade ago and I set up an oval around the Christmas tree one year but nothing again. The tubular track was in poor shape and none of the cars had been run or serviced in years. Recently I got the bug to do something with the trains again. I mentioned it to the wife and she's all in.
The space is fairly generous at 21.5 x 30.5 feet although it is odd shapped. It is in a unfinished basement and the majority of the walls are concerete. I do plan on painting them and putting some sort of panel on the stud walls. I will also paint the floor. The ceiling will remain unfinished.
I've done some homework, I've sketched a few track plans, sort of figured out SCRAM and have come up with my wish list:
- All new
- Gargraves flex track with Ross swtches
- some sort of digital control system for tracks and trains
- large curves on main lines O72 or better. supersize on perimeter loop
- proper easment into curves
- 2 or 3 mainlines, possibly some sort of intertwined double figure 8 so trains don't continuously run same direction around layout
- mainlines configurable to run as independent loops or one long loop
- smaller O42 "mountain" railroad loop than connects to main line
- try not to run lines parallel to wall and edge of track, too many straight lines more converging, diverging or diagonal lines
- Not just concentric 90 curves in corners, except for double parallel lines
- access areas, no long reaches
- elevation change, not flat
- hidden train storage under main benchwork, drive in, drive out
- Diesel era, current time period
- not modeling anywhere in particular but may take inspiration from everywhere
- big yard with service area
- round house if space permits
- somewhere to go - a place to pick up and drop off loads i.e. forrest, sawmill, furniture factory....
- passenger trains and more than one station, all served by proper siding
- big city, small town, farm and country areas
- small refinery - place to fill tankers, factories to deliver tanks to
- coal mining and coal unloading areas
- passing sidings as needed
- minimize duck unders
- swing bridge okay
- a place for dragons and other mythical creatures, because my 17 year old daughter said so and I agree
Beyond that, I don't know what I don't know. I've been studying layouts for several weeks I've seen a bunch I like and they all tend to be some overlapping and intertwined figure 8s or loops of some sort for the main lines, I definitely don't want the layout to look like it was a catolog design with regular features.
I sketched one up and promptly mangaed to fill the entire room with benchwork with difficult to access areas
I refinied it a bit to get a more realistic look
I still see access problems and it will make the room feel small as the remaing room area gets tight. I've drawn the outline of the room in SCRAM and added some notes. I'm open for suggestions, for track plan improvements and baseboard shapes.
I've attached the SCRAM file for the emply room but I haven't figured out how to go from SCRAM to .jpg, once I do I will post image of scram file.
Thanks in advance