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October 24, 2020, 06:13:12 am


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Complete Newbie - Any advice on the track I have planned greatly appreciated

Started by helpingtheoldman, July 14, 2020, 04:50:02 pm

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Hello all,

I'm new to this forum and model railways so please bare with me.  Any advice / critique VERY welcome  ;D

I am trying to design a track based on what my Dad (age 75 - retired engine driver of 35 years) is saying he would like. Whilst he does have knowledge of engines and railways etc, I do not and neither of us have any experience building model railways apart from a Hornby kit I had some 25 years ago..

I have attached version 3 of the current design which I am still adding to / amending. I appreciate that it is quite basic compared to what I have seen designed elsewhere, however we would like it to be easy to use. Again, happy to take any advice.

If anyone would be willing to take a look and tell me:

- First of all, is it any good?
- Will it work?
- Are we making best use of the available space (4m x 2.5m)?
- There are a few joints that are not quite meeting, I assume we can use some cut track at the correct length just to make up the extra distance, or is this just wishful thinking?

Any help greatly appreciated.

Thank you,



You have a nice space to build a layout.
What you've drawn is a lot of track!

In some places, the track is too crammed, and cars will hit each other on parallel tracks.
To check for this, you can use the Trace function on the SHOW tab. Tick the checkbox and set the width to at least 5cm (a little more is even better to make sure, for instance 5.5cm, this is for H0).
Where the traces touch or overlap, you should widen the distance.

I'm not as old as your father yet, but I already hate it to crawl under the table. It is just annoying.
Is the centre area a man hole, or even the control area? Is this a layout along the walls? In that case, I would prefer an L-shaped or U-shaped table, so you can get everywhere without too much gymnastics.

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


Less could be more!

BTW is your Dad dreaming about a layout that he never had as a child?
A lot changed in the past 65 years, if you get a chance take him to some of the various Model Railway Exhibitions -- which hopefully will be on again next year.
Hans-Joerg Mueller
Coldstream, BC   Canada


My train videos

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


I think I would ask your Father about the the engines he drove, the places, businesses, schedules and other things that he remembers. I think he would appreciate the personal touch.

If you can't find a model, you can just place a picture on your layout. 
MP 525.25 on the Prosser Subdivision of the North Kansas Division of the MOPAC Railroad.