Seeking track plan advice

Discussion in 'Freelance' started by Bruce Adams, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. Bruce Adams

    Bruce Adams Member

    I've decided to recycle Layout 2 and convert it into Layout 3.

    My main reasons are: 1) unresolved issues with signal wiring; 2) vertical alignment issues in the track
    that cause uncoupling where modules connect; 3) create a more comfortable and usable layout room.

    In addition, I hope to gain a bit more main line run, increase industry opportunities for pick-ups and drops, and maintain an option for continuous running.

    The current / old layout (#2) was to follow this plan:
    The main line loop, as well as the main deck track at the 6, 8, 10, and 12 o'clock positions were complete, and the (too steep) incline to the red upper deck tracks were complete. I never installed the upper deck.

    Here's what I have right now for Layout 3:
    I already see a few issues: 1) too close to the layout edge in spots; 2) a lot of tight radius curves; 3) no clear purpose for industry tracks.

    Suggestions would really be appreciated. Thanks, in advance!
  2. Bruce Adams

    Bruce Adams Member

    Joe Lovett likes this.
  3. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Bruce, I would be willing to work on something for you. Does your computer have access to Excel? All of my experience in my layout planning has been using Excel and pencil and paper. I could draw up something and email it to you if you want me to. The first thing I need to know is how much room you have to work with and where you want isles to go.

  4. Bruce Adams

    Bruce Adams Member

    Hi, Joe.
    What a generous offer - thank you!
    Are you able to see the image posted above your message? That is on a 12" grid (1 square = 1 foot).
    I have a space about 9' x 24'. What isn't shown is that there is furniture and walking space that must be included.
    I'll post another image that shows "where the furniture is."
    I'd want 3' minimum clearance - 4' is better. To improve the room, I was thinking of an around-the-walls design, so my first thought is a "J" or "F" or "E" shape (or some other variation) with a long, one-sided run.
    I really appreciate your considering this!
    - Bruce
    Joe Lovett likes this.
  5. Bruce Adams

    Bruce Adams Member

    PS - Yes, I do have Excel!

    Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 6.09.56 PM.png
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
    Joe Lovett likes this.
  6. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Bruce, do you have access to Excel? I can start working on this tomorrow morning and hopefully have a basic layout done by Sunday morning. This comes at a good time for me with my layout being on hold for now.

  7. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Bruce, is your layout HO?

  8. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    Pretty interesting stuff here, I am in the planning stage also. Again !!!!!!
  9. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Plan on long meets, going DOL, every body laying off in front of you, and payroll not paying you what you have coming. LOL
    But really. How much room will the Supt OP give you?
  10. Bruce Adams

    Bruce Adams Member

    Crud, I had stated that in an original draft of my post, then it was lost .... Sorry! ... Yes, it's HO.

    Also, yes, I have Excel.

    Joe Lovett likes this.
  11. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Thank you Bruce!
    If you will please send your email address to me using the PM function on this website!!!

    I've started your layout drawing earlier this morning and I have finished drawing the individual modules. I'm drawing the track on the far right end of the layout at this point in time and will work to the left from there.

  12. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    Tom, On "Held Away" and then to make it worse " runaround" Whew! Their starving me!
  13. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Bruce, your reasons for starting anew sound valid and well-thought out. I have one vertically deflected area that could be a lot worse. Thankfully, it's only aesthetically disturbing, so I haven't ripped it out. Yet.

    Any thoughts to including any Frisco-specific prototype location or locale? The initial draft of your new plan looks like a good start, but variables such as "what geographic area of the Frisco should I model, what types of industry would fit for that geographic area, what interchange opportunities are plausible if desired, or do I just want to run trains in a loop and watch them pass through a prototype Frisco setting?"

    While it looks like "freelancing" the modeling genre of choice, I still think there are plenty of Frisco locations and industries that could be mashed up into a fun, achievable "proto-freelance" layout.

    Based on his work that I've seen shared here before, I think you will be very pleased with Joe's finished Excel drafts!

    Best Regards,
  14. Bruce Adams

    Bruce Adams Member

    Hi, Chris.

    There's not one specific must-have location I want at this time. It's in my head that in order to faithfully represent a real location, I'll need more space. But I also know I'm wrong about that.

    A centerpiece I'd love to have (someday) is the triple crossing of the Frisco, Santa Fe, and Missouri Pacific at Winfield, KS. There was a lot of industry switching and interchange there, once upon a time.

    Modeling that area might allow for the neat embossed concrete Frisco overpass on the way to Beaumont, plus street running in Arkansas City. And a yard (and interchanges?) in Wichita .... See, now I need a bigger basement!
  15. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    I've generally thought that one could incorporate key scenes in even a small, quasi-prototype based arrangement even in a small space. Starting with the Frisco overpass near Beaumont: I think that there are a lot of Frisco fans and modelers who'd recognize the location right away if you modeled it. And, even if it doesn't display 100% fidelity to the exact location, the street running in "R-Kansas City" could be a way to incorporate another element.

    As a bonus, if/when a bigger layout "land grant" is available, you can always move some of the existing structures and layout elements into a larger layout.

    However you go about it, just keep moving forward. I've found it's much more enjoyable to actually have tracks laid and trains running than to continue agonizing about how to model this town or how to represent that element!

    Keep us up to date, and share more details whenever you'd like.

    Best Regards,
  16. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    My max layout square footage is roughly 11.5' x 5.5'. You are beyond blessed to have 24' x 9'. I'm not sure what you have in mind. I'm about the farthest thing from a MMR, but since you asked, I would do a dog bone if I had that much space. Now if you wanted to go industry/turnout crazy, here's an idea I played around with to fit your benchwork in post #5. I used 18" radius curves although I prefer 22" or 24". You could have as many or as few turnouts as you like. My first question is where is your door and which way does it swing? My door placement and swing was the only thing I had to work around with the planning of my layout. If only I could have moved my door, I could have done what I really wanted to do... a dog bone. Remember to include enough yard track for the yard switcher to operate without getting on the main. Don't foul up the main. I didn't really do that too well for the center yard in this plan because, honestly, I would use that yard mainly just for holding different trains. If I had your space, I think my main yard would be as long as you could make it and have as many tracks as you could make it. My advice is to push back the urge to get started too soon. My plan changed several times. I was just fortunate I didn't have time to get started building from my first few plans. After about 15-20 plans on paper, you should have a good idea of what you want. If YOU don't have what YOU want, YOU won't be happy. Layout 01.GIF
  17. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Bruce, get Mark Davidson involved. He will help you maximize usage of your space for best effect. He is a wizard at it. My track plan gets what I wanted in the space I have thanks to Mark.
  18. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    Here's a "tweak" of my first idea. You might have to modify it a little here and there to fit your recycled benchwork.
    1. It looks "cleaner."
    2. The yard is about 5 feet longer, allowing for longer trains.
    3. The lead yard track extends past the yard in both directions, allowing switchers room to do there thing without blocking (fouling up) the main.
    4. There is a 10"-11" space between the industrial tracks in each top corner and the lead track. You could put as many industries as you can fit in between them. You could omit the top corner tracks for more industry space, or bend them down then out to parallel them with the outside of the yard. Personally, I like having a track on both sides of industries.
    5. There's room for industries in each end of the dog bone, as well as room for a smaller industry between the two parallel straights on the left side above that end of the dog bone.
    6. Although I prefer 22" or 24" radius curves, I'm not sure you would be able to reach every thing on your layout with curves that large. I stuck with 18" radius curves to minimize the maximum "reach distances." Just make sure all of the equipment you plan to run can handle 18" radius curves.
    If you don't already use flex track, I highly recommend using it everywhere possible. Every 36" piece of flex track eliminates 3 rail joints vs. 9" sections.
    I included some straight sections in the S curves. I read somewhere that S curves cause derailments. Putting some straight track in between the curves might help with that problem.
    You may be able to rearrange your furniture to come up with even more R.O.W. (if the Supt. allows). I took some free-standing shelving and some filing cabinets out of my layout room/storage room to make my new layout 3.5' feet longer than my last one. I utilize the space underneath my layout for storage to make up for the storage space I lost from removing the shelving and filing cabinets.
    You may not want a yard, but I highly recommend it since you clearly have the space for it. If you have other ideas that you'd like me play around with, I'd be happy to make changes. I actually enjoy planning as much as building. I've never claimed to have the best ideas, but I like to think I do O.K. for my limited level of experience.
    Layout 01.GIF
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
  19. Bruce Adams

    Bruce Adams Member

    Thanks, Keith!
    I'll do that.
  20. Bruce Adams

    Bruce Adams Member

    Thanks, Brandon. This is cool, and I will study it further. I really appreciate your comments, too.
    You've really maximized the continuous running option, and longer freight or passenger trains would look great on this plan.
    * Some yard / staging would be really great to have. "Visible staging" and a yard could probably coexist in the same space.
    * You're absolutely right about "reach distance." I set my layout pretty high (54"), and I'm only 5'8, so I've had to do some work on step stools.
    * All day today was dedicated to moving bookshelves. They're the kind that are sturdy when you first assemble them and leave them in place ... but when you go to move them, they become quite flimsy. But all survived, and I like where they've ended up.
    * After dinner, I unbolted the layout sections and pushed them against the walls, into something near their future locations. A bit sad - I was able to run trains on it. But it will be a while before I can do that again.
    * I won't share any photos of today's work. There's far too much "stuff" out at the moment. But I hope to soon - maybe tomorrow I can make it look presentable.

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