Friday, July 17, 2015

New Layout Plan

After a year in the new house I've finally found some time to come up with a first draft for the new layout. We've had many remodeling projects take priority, and while I can't start the new pike just yet, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. My wonderful wife has granted me trackage rights in the rec room in our basement. The space is 30' by 27' and only has a pair of posts in the middle of the room.  It's finished and I get the whole room! My wife even thinks the new plan is really neat. What an angel I married!

I've spent quite a bit of time in the basement with the tape measure, trying the visualize where to put the yard, staging yards, peninsulas, branch line, etc. Here is one rendition I've actually put down on paper. This plan is a two level layout with staging underneath. I can have continuous running by connecting the staging yards. While all of the individual tracks aren't set in stone, the plan shows the general scheme.

Like all plans, there are pros and cons, the biggest con is I've included a helix. I do have room behind one of the walls to get rid of it, however I'd lose about 35 feet of running on the lower level.  There are a few spots where the isle narrows to 30" but most are 42" to 48". Minimum radius was set at 30". This plan has approximately 140' of running on the lower level and approximately 152' on the upper level branch line. I figure this layout should keep 4-5 operators entertained for a few hours.

I'm open to comments so please feel free.


  1. Well. This is encouraging. Looks like a good start - especially knowing you don't do track plans. I'm sure it will evolve so keep us posted.

  2. Nice to hear it will be coming together soon. Looking forward to some work sessions?
    So... are these prototype scenes or free-lanced?

  3. I was never happy with any of the prototype plans I came up with, they just never would fit the space very well. I wanted a lower level to run the big K's and a long branch line on the upper level, however Durango is too big, it would be really compressed. I haven't ruled it out, but I don't think it's going to work. By "proto-freelancing" like the old layout, I can include the things I like.
    For me this is a hobby, and putting strict restraints on the layout kills some of the fun for me. My old HO layout was a strict prototype, it was fun doing the research and following the operating scheme, but after a while it got boring.

  4. That makes all the sense in the world, Patrick. At what point does a layout stop being a hobby pastime and become an historical project?

    Ever once in a while I get out my collection of old MR and review all the great model railroading that went on in the '60s and '70s. Most of the greatest layouts were freelance! It takes skill to create a truly prototype layout not to mention a lot of craftsmanship. On the other hand a convincing freelance layout takes a lot of creativity. They say true art must contain an abstract element - in order to be art. Perhaps that is what is so appealing about those great layouts of the past.

    When it comes down to reality all model railroading has the same basic fundamentals - flanges and rails - in common with the prototype. What else do we need in order to have fun?

    I appreciate your creativity. Have fun - and get rid of the extra wheels!