Track Help

Track Planning a Running Layout

Written by David Head. Posted in Track Help

More to add later but here is a real time example of track planning. These plans were done on paper, then scanned in and altered. They are not strictly to scale.

One of our members is in a redesign phase where the existing Railway can no longer keep his interest. Two other members are keen to assist as Layout Design is a hobby unto itself ! The requirements were to have running trains and no extensive switching. It was to take up his original train room and now a adjoining rumpus room, but have to allow a stair to a door access for normal day to day movements.


Another consideration - both rooms are not the same level, the only common access is a old window (the rumpus room was constructed next to the train room as an extension) So the original train room is viewed to be more for staging his trains.

The main room is 17&1/4 ft by 12&1/2 ft wide. The train room I think is 10&2/3 ft by 12&1/2 ft. The plan shows the aisle and the stairs. The stairs obviously affect the access to the old train room depending on height, and bending down will not be good, so a high as we can go.

 

Plan 1

This plan is quite simple - a long single loop, folded and twisted. The staging yards are in the old train room. The simple station is on the longest side with it not finishing until it goes into the old train room. Keeping the station thinner, and after all handling the passenger train is not of great concern at the platform - and switching that may happen will happen in the yard.

It is not a flat railway, the station is the lowest point, either side it goes up to a 20cm max height where the track ducks under the stairs opposite the station. minimum radius is 30 inches.

The track plan is basically the station - then a passing loop, then the 3 track staging, then back to the station. In the old train room the room is half scenic-ed as it is there for viewing not operating. The operator xan see his railway and the staging yards with out them being too obvious - you can see the staging hidden to a extent by the mainline coming down beside it. You do get a good run on the layout.

The staging is on the grade, but is not a fiddle yard - complete train will just be stored there, any fiddling would be done in the main station.

The plan is not perfect. the baseboard takes up all the room in the 'new' train room. Access panels will be needed, and the old train room remains with effectively 2 duck-unders. But when trains behave you will not need access to the old room anyhow.

There is a small tunnel, which is near the sides if access is needed.

What do you think?

Plan 2

Plan 2 is basically plan 1 with the complex loops taken out, and more space in the room.

It is a lot simpler, less mainline, and not as hard to construct or maintain.

Plan 3

This plan is a development of plan 2, but putting the staging hidden under the main layout. It is still a long single loop, folded and twisted.The simple station is on the longest side with it not finishing until it goes into the old train room. Keeping the station thinner, and after all handling the passenger train is not of great concern at the platform - and switching that may happen will happen in the yard.

It is not a flat railway, the station is the lowest point, either side it goes up to a 20cm max height where the track ducks under the stairs opposite the station. minimum radius is 30 inches.

The track plan is basically the station - then a passing loop, then the 3 track staging, then back to the station. In the old train room the room is half scenic-ed as it is there for viewing not operating. The operator can see his railway and the staging yards with out them being too obvious - you can see the staging hidden to a extent by the mainline coming down beside it. You do get a good run on the layout.


The plan is not perfect. Staging is close to the surface but is accessible under the station. But really the accessibility is still poor. The old train room remains with one duck-under. But when trains behave you will not need access to the old room anyhow.

 

Plan 4


This plan is a development of plan 3 which had staging rather close to the surface of the station above. plan 4 puts in a spiral helex in the oldd train room where the track goes down another turn to ensure easy access to the trains in the staging yard.

It is still a long single loop, folded and twisted.The simple station is on the longest side with it not finishing until it goes into the old train room. Keeping the station thinner, and after all handling the passenger train is not of great concern at the platform - and switching that may happen will happen in the yard.

It is not a flat railway, the station is the lowest point, either side it goes up to a 20cm max height where the track ducks under the stairs opposite the station. minimum radius is 30 inches.

The track plan is basically the station - then a passing loop, then the 3 track staging, then back to the station. In the old train room the room is half scenic-ed as it is there for viewing not operating. The operator xan see his railway and the staging yards with out them being too obvious - you can see the staging hidden to a extent by the mainline coming down beside it. You do get a good run on the layout.

The plan is not perfect. Staging is noe well away from the surface station accessible under the station. What is the main problem with this plan is the time taken for the train to go down through the staging then back up. I think this makes this plan unworkable.The old train room remains with one duck-under. But when trains behave you will not need access to the old room anyhow.

Plan 5

I like this plan for many reasons. The staging yards is partially open and partially hidden It still has easy access and the track is still not flat, but not representing a mountainous terrain. The staging is also increased to allow for a good sized storage of trains. The feature is the semi hidden staging, the hill above the staging is optional but is not a mountain, just a nice hill similar to the hill on EMRC's main layout at Broughton. The staging is accessible in the main room easily.

The staion is not much to write home about - 3 track plus a rail-car bay on the station. The track plan is basically the station - then a passing loop, then the 5 track staging. There is that passing loop - this time relegated to the old train room - after all it is a passing loop and you can see it to pass trains.

It is still a long single loop, folded and twisted.The station is on the longest side with it not finishing until it goes into the old train room. Keeping the station thinner, and after all handling the passenger train is not of great concern at the platform - and switching that may happen will happen in the yard.

It is not a flat railway, and not a mountain railway either. The station is on the mid point grade wise , one side going up t go over itself and the staging, the other going down direct to the staging. It is not that hard to build and has minimal hidden track-age. There is a tunnel but again easily accessible. everything is accessible - the staging, the tunnel, the station. The passing is in the old train room since there is no shunting.

You get a good run with little hidden running.

Plan 6

Following a showing of one of my plans to my "client" (grin) - a simpler plan was desired, and got some more info on the room, which made staging easier.

This plan has the staging and the main station on a single figure eight plan. The station is entirely in the main room. The operator cans see the staging easily - it's not hidden, but does not stand out.

It is not a flat railway, the track is on a rise through the staging to go up 10cm only. The other side down to the station is a long and easy grade.

The simpler peninsular lends itself to a easier scene, I have suggested a river and farm houses.

The station is still a simple 3 track station with 2 sidings & a rail-car bay. I have included a goods shed and a container terminal, inspired by a real facility at Boman (just north of Wagga Wagga) - a very simple place to model.

The staging is in the old room and still needs a duck-under - this depends on how high this railway is built. I'd say as high as possible. That means the main peninsular can be built with a decent fasia board ans storage underneath.

Plan 7

This plan is based on plan 6.

This plan has the staging and the main station on a simple oval. The station is entirely in the main room. The operator cans see the staging easily - it's not hidden, but does not stand out. It is flat railway, The simpler peninsular lends itself to a easier scene, I have suggested a river and farm houses.

The station is still a simple 3 track station with 2 sidings & a rail-car bay. I have included a goods shed and a container terminal, inspired by a real facility at Boman (just north of Wagga Wagga) - a very simple place to model.

The staging is in the old room and still needs a duck-under - this depends on how high this railway is built. I'd say as high as possible. That means the main peninsular can be built with a decenf asia board ans storage underneath.

 

 

 

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