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Topic: First N Scale HCD Layout  (Read 3338 times)

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Offline Alpharaider47

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First N Scale HCD Layout
« on: April 16, 2018, 11:50:13 pm »
Hello! I'm relatively new to the forum and was hoping to share my layout brainstorm and get some ideas and advice from people with a bit more experience than myself. I'm pretty new to the hobby and put together a first very basic layout that ended up amounting to an oval on pretty shoddy benchwork. It's been a great learning experience, and most of the cost has gone towards things that I can reuse, I'm hoping to learn from and avoid my previous mistakes. With that in mind, I picked up Building a Model Railroad Step by Step, 2nd edition and poked around on the internet for ideas. I stumbled across a video from RG Train Layouts based on the Southwest and really liked the layout and scenery. I'm also a big fan of the Salt Lake Route layout that Model Railroader has showcased. My goal was to roughly recreate the track layout from the video, but I'm aiming for the aesthetic of the Salt Lake Route- sand, scrub, hills, etc. I really like Santa Fe/BNSF, and am hoping to run the Kato Super Chief set with some F7's. I managed to snag the old Heljan/Con-Cor Nuclear Power Plant kit and intend to use that as an industry, as well as one of the Walthers coal mine kits which I will use as a fictional Uranium mine. I have the Woodland Scenics Town and Factory set to use as buildings, but I'm tempted to go with the Merchant's Row set, has anybody used this before? For track I will be using Kato unitrack, and I'm hoping to try DCC for the first time; I had my eye on the Digitrax Zephyr Xtra.

I've attempted to attach the layout file and an image of it. I wanted a small spur in the tunnel that I can use as a point for possible expansion in the future. As of right now it's supposed to fit in a spare room, but I'm displacing some of my wife's things to do so- I'm already pushing my luck with a hollow core door, so the is the largest I can go  :P  Also, I'm not completely attached to the tunnel, do you guys have any suggestions for an alternate use of that space? Otherwise I feel like the arrangement will give me a pretty good amount of stuff to keep busy with. Anyhow, I would appreciate your thoughts and guidance!

Offline Tom Springer

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Re: First N Scale HCD Layout
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2018, 04:58:15 am »
How close do you plan to come to the Model Railroader (2 part) Salt Lake Route article on their 4x8 version?

With a 36 inch width, making sure you can reach all of your track is paramount. Do you have access from all sides of your layout?  Derailments will occur where you can't reach the track.  Same for track in tunnels, so keeping the right side end open might be necessary.  Also decide how you will want to clean the track, so you can plan for any access you might need.

I'm somewhat concerned that the double track curves are a bit too close together; if the outer one could be extended a bit on each end, maybe an S33 put between the last curved segment and the straight track that each curve end leads to might give better separation; I'm not a Kato user, so I'm just guessing here. Unless you only would run one train, then it wouldn't matter.

Regarding the track "spur" at the upper right that is inside the "tunnel/mountain" area, are you sure you can "see" what occurs in there, especially on a turnout within a "mountain"?  (If the right side is open, then you can...)  Unless it's dead track and won't be used, then making sure that the turnout points are locked/anchored in place probably would solve any concerns.

Are you running the Kato Super Chief cars?  I thought that was a passenger train configuration.  And are the engines included in that set DCC capable?

If you are running F7s, I presume you are also running with a caboose, reflecting the practice of the F7 era; have you decided how you will switch your industries, and where the caboose would be left while switching?

Just my initial thoughts.

Offline Alpharaider47

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Re: First N Scale HCD Layout
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2018, 02:51:31 am »
I'm looking at the Salt Lake Route more for the aesthetic than track layout, I don't have the space to pull off the super elevated curves I don't think  :'(

I intend to have open access on the right side, but I think I may scale back the hill towards the back now that you mention access to the switch especially. I'm planning on wiring my switches to a control board with bicolor LEDs to indicate switch status so I can keep track of positions.

I will take a look at extending the loops, right now they are pretty close to the spacing kato uses for their double track so I think clearance will be ok, and I only plan on running one train at a time on the inner loops, but definitely worth looking over.

Yes, i intend to run the super chief passenger train along my outer loop from time to time, with coal porters and freight primarily on the inner loops. I have not given too much thought to switching beyond wanting a few legs to move cars around in- that's an area i am only just starting to explore. Do you know of any good references on use/movement of caboose(s)? At the moment I have a set of FTs, but I'm changing them out for F7s when I make the jump to DCC.

Thank you for the comments!

*edit*
I took a look over my plan again, I think I might place a mountain on the right side between the yard/plant and the inner loop and nix the tunnel. That would give me a view block but leave easy access for any derailments, and it wouldn't interfere with expansion later. And it would mean not having to deal with long stretches of tunnel...
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 02:57:16 am by Alpharaider47 »

Offline Keesoldscool

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Re: First N Scale HCD Layout
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2018, 08:53:56 am »
Hello,

First of al my English writing is not that good. Sorry for that.
It's a nice plan. I'm curious to know for the basic thoughts of the plan. Driving trains or scenery or just being busy to make the track and scenery? In your first post you said space is a problem. Maybe it's possible to consider a smaller track. Take out the curve on the left and make two open accesses. Also on the right side. You are then able to expand the track with various different modules. You can make a module with turncircles, industry and so one. Your track is becoming more dynamic and you can be busy making as many modules you like.
In your plan you have a mountain. You have a very smal table. Consider the need for that mountain. It's not easy to fit a mountain in the right scale.

Offline Tom Springer

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Re: First N Scale HCD Layout
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2018, 09:01:58 am »
Alpharaider47 (sorry, don't know your name),

If running passenger cars, you'd want the largest radius on your curves that you can get, being that the cars are long.  It might be better to change the outer curves from the 20132 13 11/16 radius track to the 20140 15in track; someone who is better at passenger ops and/or Kato track layouts might be better to advise on this - I'm not a big passenger ops guy.

YouTube has many good videos on model railroading - just take them for what they are worth - free advice is worth what you pay for it, usually.  Some of the layout construction videos are pretty useful, as well as operating session videos various people have provided.  Search for "caboose operations" and you should find some that show how others do things.

Model Railroad has an interesting video by the late Andy Sperandeo (http://mrv.trains.com/how-to/operation/2015/12/model-railroad-operations-caboose-operations).  Most of his body of work was good stuff.

Hope this helps.

Offline mrsax2000

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Re: First N Scale HCD Layout
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2018, 01:42:05 pm »
Check out the double track with concrete ties.  The curves are super-elevated and have (3) sizes with inner radius of 11 3/32", 15", and 17 19/32".  With the broader curves, you'd need more than 36" width.

The double track straights line up with the double crossover.  There are also single crossovers with partial concrete ties.

Offline Alpharaider47

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Re: First N Scale HCD Layout
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2018, 11:15:26 pm »
Thank you all for the responses!

Keesoldscool:
Overall I'm looking to build something that I can run my trains in loops on, with the option of parking and moving freight cars. Currently I have a small layout with an oval using the 12" radius curves. It functions for running trains in circles, but once I started playing with switches I realized that I was missing out on a more dynamic experience. I put the layout in this topic together based on a video I stumbled across that had much of what I was looking for, and adapted it to the space that I can work with and the kits I have on hand. When we move in a couple years we will ideally have more space, and at that point I would like to attach another door module to the right side of this one assuming all goes well. For now I'd like this layout to function as a compromise of sorts, I get a couple of switches and a loop to run my passenger train around, with the potential to do more with it in the future.

Tom:
No worries, my name is Charles. I intend to run the passenger train along the outermost loop almost exclusively and I've put the 20140 track on the left side for that. The right side is a bit tighter, but I've reworked the mountain into more of a hill/cutting on that side. I was having trouble getting everything to line up and connect while still keeping the spur on the right side, so I went with a slightly tighter curve along the right, but I was able to get everything to connect. Right now I run my super chief on that small oval with the 12" radius curves, I think they are 20120's. On one side I put viaduct track, before I really knew what I wanted or did research  :-[ The passenger cars run pretty close to the lip on the viaducts, but otherwise I can live with the overhang- wider curves would be preferred, but I don't think I can go much wider and connect everything. I went ahead and removed the tunnels and am opting for cuttings instead. I'm hoping those will keep the scenery interesting, but also draw less attention to the tighter curves.

I will definitely check out the link and poke around youtube for some ideas, thank you.

mrsax2000:

I will look into the double track. I read somewhere that the super elevated curves have a "lead in" curve piece, or something along those lines, do you know much about working with those? I'm assuming those are the 20182/20184 R and L track options in the program?

Offline mrsax2000

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Re: First N Scale HCD Layout
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2018, 02:36:03 pm »
The concrete curves require easements. These pieces are next to the main curve sections in AnyRail. They are right and left handed. 

Kato sells them as a pair.  The curves come 2 to a box.  It takes 3 curves and a pair of easements to turn back. 

You can mix and match to do something other than a 180, even use the RH + LH without a main curve piece.

Offline mrsax2000

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Re: First N Scale HCD Layout
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2018, 02:38:13 pm »
Check out Model Railroaders Salt Lake Route.  They did a nice job with unitrack and concrete ties.

Offline drbnc

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Re: First N Scale HCD Layout
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2018, 12:06:31 am »
If you are looking for something a little different...  38" wide x 96" long.  You can modify to fit 36".

Offline Jeff

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Re: First N Scale HCD Layout
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2018, 03:51:37 am »
Please keep in mind the intention of running passenger trains! American passenger cars make using Japanese curves difficult, especially if there are other objects/scenery close to it.

Offline mrsax2000

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Re: First N Scale HCD Layout
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2018, 06:04:29 am »
Japanese curves aren't any different than American curves.  A curve is a curve is a curve.

Offline Yamakai

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Re: First N Scale HCD Layout
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2018, 09:03:47 am »
American broad-gauge passenger cars would struggle on my Japanese layout's curves - being unable to clear my curved platforms, tunnel portals and line-side accessories.

Many Japanese railways adopted a track gauge of 1,067 millimetres (3 ft 6.0 in) and major Japanese N-scale models adopted 1∶150 with the 9 mm gauge track.  Shinkansen adopted a 1,435-millimetre (4 ft 8.5 in) track gauge, and models are scaled down to 1∶160 to fit clearances.  I understand that in the U.S and Europe a scale of 1∶160 is used for models.

Obviously not a problem with this proposed layout, but something to think about if also adding stock Japanese accessories.