KnuT, i really hope i can have the track and everything wired ready within 2-3 years and i rally hope you would join an ops session (I guess no scenery by that time... ) I live Aust-Agder along the coast line. (Tvedestrand). But i have never build a layout of this size before. I have only been dreaming about it for 20 years..
I have now measured exact lengths and designed a new "labyrint" mushroom benchwork. This one is easy to build. Thanks to Joe Fugate's who open my eyes to Mushroom and operations!.
My new drawing are within an inch. Inside the walls: Length: 27.88ft Width: 20.66ft Mainline length: 267ft (Just put in a line to measure the line length (Helix included)). Min radius: 28" Benchwork width: 21.6" (Maybe to narrow?). Benchwork on the upperpart longside the wall is only 12" Ailes width: 35". Raised floor (Inside) : 15"
Green : Low level Red: Mushroom Yellow: Upper Level
If anyone as any comments to this plan please give me a comment here.
Joined: Wed Dec 08 2004, 09:01PM Location: Portland, OR Posts: 2112
Great to see you making good progress with some mushroom designs!
As you can see, the mushroom lets you get much more layout into the space, but it won't have the visual clutter of traditional double-deck designs. Joe Fugate http://siskiyou-railfan.net - 200,000 hits and counting!
Joined: Wed Feb 01 2006, 01:57PM Location: Portland, OR Posts: 342
Hi again Speedbird...
The new plan is interesting. But I think I see a problem in it. You have the lower deck of the mushroom blocking the "door" and stairs leading to the inner/upper deck. I think you'll quickly grow tired of what is likely to be a major duck-under (quack!).
Might I suggest another way to do this? You seem to be using the lower deck as a stub ended line (Coos Bay branch?). Instead of having this track tie into the helix from the mushroomed area have it tie in from the blue area at the bottom. This does two things for you
1) There is no track across the "door" to the stairs and raised inner area.
2) You can put considerable elevation rise in the track running around the walls (blue). In fact with about 70' there 70' @ 2% is 17" of rise. Allowing for 30' of level track for towns in that section leaves 40' which @ 2% is 10" of rise. This could replace 2 1/2 laps of the helix.
Speaking of the helix, how about moving it "up" to occupy some of the space under the yellow area? This space is otherwise unused and the move frees up much space in the "closet".
I'm curious as to the "closet" with the helix? Is this intended to be a staging area (similar to Joe's)?
If so, it feeds the "mainline" on the upper deck? But the "main" track on the upper deck then appears to be short compared with the track on the "branch" lower deck. Or do I misunderstand?
Are you in love with the idea of a mainline on the upper deck with a branchline descending? Or would having a longer over all run be appealing even if it meant the branchline didn't get its own deck?
Have you seen Lee Nicholas's UCW (Utah Colorado Western) website (ucwrr.com)? Lee has sacrificed a bit of sincerity (only one track through a scene) to put a branchline in place along much of his main run. If you want to proto model the Siskiyou line I don't know how well this would work for you, but by having a mainline running around the layout space carrying important trains and also having a branchline (or old main) you can have both worlds without needing to sacrifice a large amount of your limited space for both.
Hope this is helpful.
Finally, read Track Planning for Realistic Operation a couple of times, then start with a fresh piece of paper. But instead of track and benchwork, use the paper to list John Armstrong's Givens and Druthers (things you have to live with like room size and things that you want). Then take a loooonnnnggg hard look at that paper on the Druthers side to see which things you really want versus would be nice to have. Then see how well they fit with your givens (room size, HO scale, etc). You will probably find that some of the things you want are not compatible with your present train room reality and you'll have to readjust your expectations.
Then, armed with a shopping list of what you want, go back to your track plan and see if it appears to fit. And take another blank sheet of paper and try drawing some more track plans to match your revised list of Druthers. And do it again. And again. Joe's layout is pretty well thought out. But Joe's trackplan is for Joe's Givens and Druthers. So you may that altering his plan for your space may not be best for you. Don't be afraid to experiment.
As far as Druthers go here are some examples:
a) I want vast sweeping scenic vistas b) I want a long mainline with long trains c) I want enough towns to make running opposing trains on a single track mainline interesting. d) I want to mimic the trains that actually ran on the real railroad e) I expect to have 6 people to help me run trains f) Linear, walkaround operation g) 36" minimum raidius h) #8 mainline turnouts
(Note that "mushroom design" is not a druther. If anything its a means to enable the things that are druthers.
a) Vast sweeping scenic vistas are, in general not compatible with sincere, walk around, narrow benchwork track plans. Building an island layout will tend to give better scenic vistas. Also, what did I mean by "scenic vistas"? Did I mean Rock Mountain peaks jutting high above the traffic clinging desperately to a narrow shelf carved out of the mountain side? Or did I mean and endless prarie under the noon-day sun of Kansas? Or was it track in New England during the fall when the trees are a riot of color? Or do I mean an Adirondack mountain coal hauler with long strings of coal hoppers snaking their way through tree covered mountains following every twist and turn of a creek?
b) Long mainline run is in conflict with walk around operation. A spaghetti bowl design will always allow much more track in a given room that linear walk around... So this becomes a relative thing. Also I didn't specify what "long" means. Is it in meters of mainline track or is it in the time taken to go from one end of the layout to another?
c) How many is enough towns to be interesting? How will the trains be dispatched? If running under CTC where the dispatcher controls all the turnouts will the same number of towns be needed for interest as when running under TWC (Track Warrants) or under TTTO (Time Table and Train Order). It turns out that TT&TO needs a LOT of towns to make playing that game interesting. I'll have 7 on my layout (including the branchline) and two of the mainline towns are awfully close together so in effect there are 5. This is probably a minimum for TTTO operation. Another question is: "What will be going on in those towns?" Just a main track and a siding? Or some industry spurs? If there will be local switching those industries it becomes more "interesting" for a through train to get by.
d) If you want to mimic the trains that really operated do you have space to provide all the towns they serviced? Were those trains really long in your modeled era? If your prototype was running 100+ car trains but your space available will only let you run 20 car trains will this be a problem to you?
e) How many others are in your area that want to come run trains? If you know of no one locally then its probably a it foolish to build a layout that requires a crew of 20 to bring it to life!
f) Linear walkaround operation is my favorite because I'm next to the train. And I was walk by the scenery it feels like I'm actually out on the track someplace running a train from one location to another. But is this what **you** want?
And those druthers about minimum radius and turnout size may or may not be compatible with room size. A 1 meter minimum radius isn't likely to be very compatible with a small layout space...
You may have heard the following before. If so I apologize for being redundant...
Go to look at other layouts. Ask lots of questions about why a railroad was built the way it was. Take every opportunity you can get to run trains. Ask more questions. All this will help you learn what it is you want to create in your garage or attic.
Keep reading the track planning books. Learn about why minimum radius selection is important and why easements into a curve are helpful (especially with tighter curves). Which size turnouts will be right for you? 4, 5, 6, 8? Why? There are books about yard design. If you haven't already found it go look at the www.ldsig.org website. Find their FAQ (Layout Design Primer) and read it. Get Tony Koesters book on model railroad operation and read it.
And keep on designing those track plans (heck, designing plans can be nearly as much fun as building a layout! ). And by all means, when you get a plan that seems good to you, come post it here (and post your givens and druthers too so we are able to give better feedback).
You might want to consider joinng the Layout Design Speicial Interest Group (ldsig.org). They publish the Layout Design Journal (Joe: is that the current name?) and back issues are available. Many oif them present interesting layout design concepts.
Sorry this got so long. Sure hope it's helpful to you!
Charlie Comstock Superintendent of Long Winded Responses The Bear Creek and South Jackson Railway Co. Hillsboro, Oregon
I have a limited space: 27.88ft X 20.66ft. In that area there are none obstacles. I can even decide from wich wall and where to put the room access door. The "Closet" is not a Closet, just a room i designed for the layout. It don't have to be there if it's not needed. Bottom right in the "Closet" i have put the room access door.
As you can see from my first post, i am very pleased that i have found a better space for my layout so i have to re-think everything again, but it is fun
Since i do not live in USA and would like to modell something like the Siskiyou it has to be more freelance than prototype. (I do not wan't to modell Norwegian railroad ). My first plan for my new layout was 1890 - 1930 steam era logging etc. But following Joe Fugate's tip going back to why you got interesst with MR i found was large American diesel engines, Cargo. (This was also what i did 17 years ago on a small N Scale layout).
The benchwork i have designed now has been done for a mainline only, but ideal I would like to have a branch line too. For me it is importen that it take some time to go from start to end with operations (Towns), and not in a too obviouse loop. OP session should be done with 4-5 people.
It is walk around i gonna build. I would like to follow the train with wireless DCC. EasyDCC or MRC. (They have not been aproved in Norway yet so i probably have to use fixed wire untiil they do). About the cars length, i have only been thinking about 12-14 cars..eh . Min radius : 28" Turnout: #6 (But i am not sure).
I find scenery to be really fun to build, however not anything vertical special's. (Except the trees..) Just have to be as Joe Fugate says, right color and texture so it seem's "real". Currently trying his crayole coloring mix now.
Summary: 27.88ft X 20.66ft Free space. Min radius 28" Turnout #6 Number of turnouts: Not more that 100. Cars 14 Era: Something like Siskiyou ,freelance Benchwork: Walk around, (mushroom possible.) Main line: As loong as possible Branch line: If possible Town: Some to make the operations Scenery: Importen, but not more than good track layout OPS: By 4 people
I am all open for suggestion about the benchwork or totally diffrent ones.
I will study your reply once more in detail. Thanks again.
The Entry door swing out and not into the room. The celling is 100".
I think the last layout is a step in the correct direction. I have also looked at Lee Nicholas's UCW. That fantastic layout is similar to how my dream layout would look like.I don't have the space for such a layout, but i belive the mushroom helps a lot.
Joined: Wed Dec 08 2004, 09:30PM Location: Stayton, OR Posts: 582
Remember with the Mushroom, half the layout has people on 15" (50cm) risers, which lowers the effective height of the ceiling for them to 85" (7'1" or 216cm). Probably high enough except for any basketball players. Jeff Shultz Willamette & Pacific - Oregon Electric Branch W&P RR Photo Gallery
In Joe's discussion on the Mushroom in MR some ten years ago, I think he mentioned that the mushroom added lots of extra costs. And again, if my memory is right, Joe also once said that if he had room for a single level layout, he would preferred that. But you can probably tell more about the pres and cons of mushrooms, Joe?
An other factor is maintaince. Do you want to spend lot of time maintaining a large layout? Sometimes lesser is more: "Det enkle er oftest det beste" - you know that add, don't you?
There have been a lot of discussion on DCC-systems on this forum. Lets discuss the different system on the apropriate forum, but since you live in Norway, don't forget to consider Digitrax (remember FREMO).
I would love to come one of these years, maybe I'll can bring with me my fellow friends in the round robin club called "US-rails in Ostfold"? I is just a trip over Skagerak And if you ever are in my area, you are welcome! May be I send you a PM on via the MJF-forum one day. regards KnuT see my blog on The Peavine and Santa Fe: