Years ago, I used the plans in an Atlas book called "Custom-Line Six HO Railroads You Can Build" to build a layout entitled "Southside Connecting" with very few changes.  After years of running it as is, I've decided to add more track to it for additional fun.

I used SCARM to modify the plans, and I've highlighted the changes in yellow.  I've also placed red numbers near each section to make it easier to understand any suggestions/comments made about it.  SCARM doesn't have Uncoupling sections in its Atlas track library, so I used Rerailer sections instead.  Please note I don't plan on having any Rerailer sections at all---only Uncoupling sections.  The reason I've placed Uncoupling sections at #8 and #18 is because they allow a car to be dropped off so a switch engine can then use the turntable to get on the cars other side for placement in one of the sidings that are entered from a different side.

I see the long straight on the bottom right as a mainline.  Someday when I have more room, I hope to build another layout with loops where the trains go after being built and placed on that mainline section.  I'll remove the bumper then and connect it to the loops layout.

I don't have any long, scale length engines nor rolling stock, so there shouldn't be a problem navigating through the two 15"R curve tracks.  I use Atlas nickel silver track and under-the -table remote switch machines exclusively.

What do you think?

Southside Connecting Update
Southside Connecting Update

 

 

If that pic is too tiny to read, you can click on this link to see a much bigger pic:

Southside Connecting Update

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Rather than adding more track, maybe you should ask yourself why what you have doesn't interest you?  Instead of being anywhere near "realistic," the original plan "design" encouraged you to cram a lot of purchased track into a small place, hoping that just moving cars from one spot to another, with an occasional engine rotation, would keep you happy.  For most model railroaders, that initial happiness won't last long.

Search this forum, or the web, for layout plans, focusing on switching layouts, and you will find many operating interest plans with much less track and a lot more built-in fun.  Think about alternative designs like bending the plan around a room corner and extending both legs.  Create some towns and businesses to be served from a yard, either in the fashion of a Class 1 railroad branch line or a small connecting railroad with an interchange at a Class 1 yard.

Lots of track on a small shelf definitely gets boring after a while, but if all you're looking to do is operate a yard and engine terminal, search those terms on the web also.  I have attached one example of some of the info you might find.

Chuck

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It did, and has interested me how it was originally.  The fun was in putting together trains and then disassembling it in different combinations.  Over the years, I've bought more locomotives and rolling stock to add variety to it.  I'd rather leave more trains on the layout, than have to continually trade them out.  That's why I added more spurs.  I've always wanted to have a scissors crossing too, which is what I added first of all.  I'd always intended on expanding it that way on the bottom to connect at some point to another layout---maybe in 5 years.

Those commandments you attached are very interesting.  There are a lot of good ideas in there.  Thanks for posting them!

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