Joined: Wed Dec 08 2004, 09:01PM Location: Portland, OR Posts: 2112
My first impression is your version is too symetrical ... a layout will look larger and more interesting if you don't line all the tracks up parallel with the walls. Notice on Charlie's plan the tracks kind of "flow" through the room, with very few tracks being parallel to the walls.
Your plan, on the other hand, lines everything up parallel with the room walls. In the real world, there are no "room walls" for the prototype to align their tracks with, they have to follow the terrain.
In short, Charlie's plan looks like a railroad designed to fit into some terrain, your plan looks like a model railroad designed to fit into a room.
Joined: Wed Dec 08 2004, 09:30PM Location: Stayton, OR Posts: 582
Hmmm... admittedly, I designed my layout to fit in a room, but then again the Willamette Valley has very little terrain to speak of. Jeff Shultz Willamette & Pacific - Oregon Electric Branch W&P RR Photo Gallery
I totaly agree Joe, i just wanted to finish my started benchwork. However this plan is finished so i can see all the diffrent options later. I thought the symentrical effect would be smal if i've includet a bit more long s curves and the facia a bit unsymetrical lengths from the wall. But from this view i can see it does not look natural. I am currently working on Charlie's plan now and will post it when i have it ready
Here is Charlies version. I still have to fine tune it a bit, but it's starting to look like his. If anyone have any tips / ideas about this plan please give me a comment. Stuff like branch line, staging, upperdeck along the wall.. etc.
Joined: Wed Feb 01 2006, 01:57PM Location: Portland, OR Posts: 342
One thought I had about staging was to turn the innermost aisle on the lower deck of the mushroom (labeled yard A) into mole type staging. Put a number of drawers under the yard area to hold rolling stock not in use. This dynamic staging would give you the same kind of "unlimited" staging that Lee Nicholas's UCW has. the drawbacks are:
1) takes away a bit of mainline run - but there's still quite a lot left!
2) extra handling of rolling stock means that highly detailed freight cars won't stay that way (at least the ones with styrene details like red caboose and intermountain).
However, another siding could be added around the end of the peninsula between town B and yard A.
If you make the mole an aisle island on the lower deck that would allow expanding the min radius plus much widening of the aisles in front of town B (which might be a good yard location). But then you'd be needing to crawl into the mole pit. But a 36" radius for the helix would do a lot for lowering the apparent grade on that track.
I'd also suggest double tracking the helix between the decks. The outer track for "up" traffic and the inner for "down" traffic. This would avoid a potential bottle neck while a train negotiates 5 laps of helix blocking that track from other use.
And only one "yard", either top or bottom. The other "yard" should become a crew change point. Yards take lots of room, lots of time to lay the track, require an extra operator or two to operate, and cost considerable money for the track and turnouts.
You need to work out how you'll operate the layout with the yards. Are you thinking of having classification going on there? What are the classification destinations? Which trains will arrive and from where? Which trains will be built and where will they go? Which trains will be passing through doing at most a block swap?
Perhaps the steps to the upper deck could be replaced with a ramp? That way there's no cliff for people to stumble off.
I was going to suggest moving the top track all the back into the upper right corner to open up the space inside the turn for access but I see you've already done so!
If you want a branch line perhaps run one out of town B along the top and left wall to serve some industries? Perhaps this was the "old" mainline which was relegated to secondary status when the new improved track was installed?
Another alternative would be to put a branhline under the main deck along the left wall. Accessing it either by going right from town B into a loop in the upper right corner or by running from town A losing elevation over to the upper right corner before diving into a tunnel and loop then emerging under town B.
This of course is plain double decking - not a mushroom.
But if you do this, where will you put your workbench area since now almost all space in the train room is occupied?
Have you decided how modern you want to get yet? If you're talking 1980's with SD40, SD45, and tunnel motors then a 28" min radius is fine. If you're talking 90's with monster 6000hp diesels, tri-level auto racks, and 85' hi cube cars then I'd suggest going as much extra radius is possible. My original plan had a 30" radius...
Have you tried posting your current track plan at the layout design special interest group wiki? www.ldsig.org?
Charlie, Thank you for your great help. I belive my project have allready improved a lot thanks to you.
I am modelling 1980's, i was looking at 1970's but i am still searching up facts about the industry and engines, cars. My general main interesst is the lumber industry and i will focus on that, beside other's ofcourse. At roseburg i belive siskiyou line delivered a lot lumber.. and to other nearby places like Dillard. (Joe Fugate has something about this in his Hirstory section i belive). I am not sure how this was operating around 1980 so i still have to figure it out.
About the yard. Flat Classification Yard for sure. That is a kind of operations i really like and will give me a lot of challenges and a realistic operational feeling. I have not enough knowledge about the industry and special the lumber freight to set up an operations plan yet. I hope i will find some good info or books about the subject. I am currently studying; "Track Planning for Realistic Operation" third edition, by John Armstrong, for general knowledge and searching the net about the siskiyou.
This layout area will be in my second garage, but it is merged 90 degree with my first garage. So i will be able to enter this room directly from my first garage. My second garage are merged at bottom left and up 580cm with my first garage. My workshop are behind the left wall. I will put the room entry door at bottom left wall so i can enter the room directly from my first garage. I have also the possibility on the 580cm area to put a helix and staging area behind the wall and it will be located in my first garage. Maybe have the mole there?...
A ramp insted of stairs sound smart.
I can not start building the benchwork until April 08 so i have some time to plan, but i guess i will need the time
Joined: Sun Nov 04 2007, 10:02AM Location: Germany Posts: 34
His new and rather large Sunset Valley layout (yes Eckart - that is a large layout ) ...
Oh yes, that's really a big one ... thank you for the link! I immediately stored the pdf in a newly created directory "Sunset Valley" near to the "Siskiyou Line" ... may become my next TrainPlayer project ...
@speedbird: I just compared your first layout design with the last one in this thread and think you're on the right way. On the other hand it might be a better approach to develop a concept of the stations/industries and the needed/possible operations between them before planning benchwork and routes. And it also might be a good approach to test some operations using TrainPlayer before laying tracks. To compare your available space with that used by the Siskiyou Line (or other layouts) just open the layout plan with a graphic program and move an rectangle in the size of your room over it ...
Joined: Sun Aug 19 2007, 03:48AM Location: Millmerran, Southeast Queensland, Australia Posts: 95
Sppedbird, i noticed in one of your earlier posts that you were going to use Peco code 75 for your track. I've used a lot of it over the last few years but I find it has few drawbacks mainly the size of the turnouts (points). I'm not going to use it on my next layout instead I'm going to use Peco code 83. Bigger turnouts and a better arrangement for the frog. The code 75 looked really good with steam era stock but as I'm going to be mixing era's I'm going for a more universal track.