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How to connect a loop outside of usual oval

Started by MandrakeMan, June 30, 2020, 01:21:58 am

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Newbie to AnyRail, and to track designing. I have a couple of OO loops, which my 3 year old son (he can put track together and put locos, carriages on - which is pretty amazing) and I enjoy building and playing with, with a couple of fifty year old locos I've inherited and some newer ebay purchases.
Setting up and putting away is a hassle though, so I want to get a 6 x 4 foot board and pin the track to it, so I can just store it up against a wall out of the way and speed up the whole process.
I add a small straight to the curves, so the outside loop will push to the edge of a 4 foot board both sides, which is fine, but as there will be space at the top end, I thought it would be fun to add some easy to use extra features, so an extension loop of the large loop, so it can go around the other side of a possible station (marked on the attached with 1 station block, but would obviously extend that slightly each end), plus a siding up to the end and across the top, so we can do some shunting and park anything not in use, out of the way, without having to remove it.
Here comes the question... I have tried fifty ways with AnyRail, to get the extra parts to connect in to the existing loops, but it seems impossible using the stock Hornby parts, no that I care if we use Bachmann or any other to make it work, as the inner loop is Bachmann and the Hornby points don't seem very good at all - being kind!
Would any wiz out there, be able to look at the attached and tell me how to connect the extra parts you can see, ideally just using available OO points of some description?
If you happen to be wondering why I don't just do larger loops and put the sidings inside the loops, it is because I expect my 3 year old son to sit in the middle of the layout whilst enjoying it. He has asked me about a turntable, like the one at Tidmouth Sheds, so maybe down the line that will come in to play, but for now, just getting a list of the parts I need to complete the attached simple layout, would be great.

I intend to get 9 or 12mm ply for the base board, and then some extra wood struts to go around edge and across middle to strengthen it. Any pointers on best way, or a design, trying to keep it as thin as possible, 3 or 4 cm if that would be able to cope with not warping when lifted up?

Thanks for reading and in advance for any advice you can give.


p.s. does anyone know a OO loco repair service, a shop or via post, in the London, U.K. or beyond that they would recommend?
p.p.s. I know the double crossing sticks off the board, I will make that work somewhere... :-)

Current track:
R609 x 8
R8072 X 3
R601 X 4
R600 X 6
R8208 X 1
R607 X 8



I copied and mirrored the outside loop on right. Then swapped switches/road crossing. Finally added spur at top.

Anywhere you have a straight w/same length as switch, you can put a switch. But it may not work so well.

I used a small piece to fill in gap.  Sometimes you need to fiddle a bit.


Wow, thank you for taking the time to look, download and solve the issue. I will look at how you did it, particularly the small links, as each time I tried, I'd get a small gap that I couldn't get a piece small enough to close it.

I should say, although this layout will clearly be mainly used by my son, I have an older daughter who enjoys the tracks and I have bought ballast, paint, you name it, to make a decent looking job of it, something they can keep for years to come. At least until we get in to a larger house where we can expand beyond the 6 x 4 boundaries.

Much appreciated.


July 03, 2020, 01:26:30 am #4 Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 01:35:57 am by MandrakeMan Reason: forgot to add question and jpg
Had a play with it and unless anyone can see any glaring errors, this will give us a good start?
Cars can come in over double crossing, then go through small goods / shunt area, over single crossing to station car park. We get two full loops, one with longer extension and can possibly go in to a tunnel etc. so plenty of interest areas. Keeps centre clear for controls and eventual cricket green, pub and housing. :-)

p.s. forgot to add, to get trains to pass from one loop to the other, i need to isolate??? I know it currently trips the controllers if they are both on and you open the points to both lines, but will work if only one controller is on. What is the proper set-up for this issue? To be honest, I don't think we will be switch tracks often, but it's nice to have the option in place.


The sidings are not very useful.

In curves, coupling and uncoupling is hard. Also, there's not enough clearance.
If you switch on 'Trace' in the SHOW Tab, and set the trace width to about 60mm, you will see where the problems are.

David Hoogvorst. Founder and Owner of DRail Software. Creator of AnyRail.


You can also "show" Roadbed. This can give you a good view of the space between the tracks. It's good to have a bit of white space between the edges of the roadbed.


Also consider a double-track outside loops with the crossovers.  Have the inside loop provide the siding and switches to stubs.


I noticed a Dublo and Standard track templates. Not sure what is different about these two. Look, compatibility?  There is also flextrack which you should be able to cut to fit. That would let you customize how things fit. More work, but might be good direction.


Hi both, thanks for your comments, they have made me have a think about the sidings.

You can ignore the Dublo track sections, as I will simply cut some track to size for these small sections, I just didn't know how to do it in AnyRail - if you do...?

I am happy with the two loops, the outside loop offering the extended loop, which I may well set in a tunnel etc. The two smaller loops offer a place for the station. The siding is a bother, as I like the layout I have but beyond storing locos at the end of the sidings, or a full train along the main siding, which will block the road crossing, I know they are limited and cramped.

I don't want to have the sidings in the middle of the board, as my son will be clambering on to the board, he is careful, but I want a good space, for now, for access. I t could be filled in months / years to come. I am thinking that the siding could go at the other end of the board, as it then wouldn't interfere or need to work with the road which will run in from the double crossing to the station. I will have a play. I will also make sure I purchase a length of flexi track, in case it is needed.

If you have any workable suggestions for the sidings, I'm all ears.



To cut flex track, start with a longer piece of flex. Right-click on a spot on the track and select "cut flex here".  You can then disconnect the cut piece and use it.

You can also right-click and select "straight flex" and set the length.

Flex pieces can be connected and stretched/shrunk to fit between existing pieces.



Thanks for the tips about cutting and setting lengths of flexi! Has enabled me to remove the dublo and patch with one piece of flexi. I have moved the sidings to the other end of the layout, it is less fussy and more usable. Your thoughts / experience welcome and appreciated.



p.s. only thing looking at this attached, I might reverse the two sets of sidings, so that you can run straight off the outer loop in to the sidings.

p.p.s. I did post about controllers, I currently have two, but what is going to be the best way to control this layout. If kept DC (I've only just heard about DCC! which does sound good) would a double controller be enough and where would any isolators need to go?



Having those sidings end that close to the track of the inner oval, well how about this instead?

TrackLayout_OO_working 3mod.any

This way one can also use the RH part of the inner oval as a drill track to do the switching, while using the rest of the oval to leave the remainder of the train.
Hans-Joerg Mueller
Coldstream, BC   Canada


My train videos

Win7Pro 64bit; 8 GB RAM; i5 2.67GHz; 1920x1080 22" display


Hi RhB_HJ,

Thanks for your suggestion, but I'd already ploughed on and put the track down. It works pretty well for our needs currently.




I need to get platforms, but can't find the usual Hornby platforms in AnyRail (or any others), just Skaldale, so are they hidden somewhere? Are r462 and r8643 the same dimensions? I am happy to get Peco or other brand, but it would be good to see it in AnyRail first to make sure it fits.