We had a good discussion last night regarding layout size and construct. All ideas so far show the layout will be too large. – how to reduce the size yet keep what we wish ?
One idea was the paper-clip, or inverted oval construct shown here:
This construct is based on the idea of smaller scenery with staging on the same baseboard. Rather than having staging on one side, and scenery on another, this construct has about 90% scenery on the outside with all staging on the inside. That 10% is unnatural crossing of the lines. Have a look at the cross section A-A.
There would be no operable triangle.
I have reservations on this construct as it is limited by the width of the baseboard, more staging means less scenery, and obviously more scenery means less staging. To do the coal sidings you need at least 3ft wide baseboards, leaving no room for staging on the back.
To me it limits the amount of train we wish to run. This construct is too limited and is not a improvement over Murranbilla in any way.
However it has in the process got everyone thinking, including me. enough to share this. This Sketch is just that, and it shows probably way too much staging.
And there will be more to this process I’m sure…..that what these pages are, “out loud thinking”.
After being disappointed with Idea 8, I thought of this construct. this one is a little more difficult and challenging.
This construct is based on the idea of two diorama type scenes, one being the bridge, one the coal sidings. At each end a spiral staging yard that gains height to the bridge scene. the triangle is one level. that change of height is not visible “on-stage”
These spiral staging would have say 6 tracks, 3 for each “gauge” at each end. that would allow 4 train per gauge on the layout (since one line at each end has to be a express road). They would be a challenge to construct, being curved and on a grade as well. when pulled apart they would be easy enough to store. Those spiral save all the space for storage.
I’d estimate this layout to be 32 ft long by 15 ft wide.
This in theory would produce a layout a lot smaller than the other ideas to date. It still keeps the yard inside.
This construct took the same boards for the scenic area as in plan 9, and joined them together, and has put loops at each end. Even though looking massive it isn’t when you think that the staging yards are those specially designed curved trays/troughs, that fold and hinge to make for easy transport.
The railway becomes “end to end” with return loops at each end. Like Idea 9 there is a express road at each end. Because there is a limit to the roads, there would be 5 tracks for each end. But there would be ability for single ended staging as well. So ‘ say each line has 8 trains in the main continuous staging.
You can see the effective space taken as shown with the green border. I’d estimate this layout being 50 ft long by 16 ft wide. yes it is long, but not that complicated really. Yes a bit of walking if you follow your train. And because of the return loops, little time for one train to arrive and another to go the other way.
What will be challenging is not to gridlock one end ! And if needed we can set up a auto run circuit that will allow you to leave a train going by itself, even through the reverse loops ! Though the normal practice would be to drive the train to you from the other staging yard (like we did on the old club layout).
There is the issue of the staging yards fully visible at each end. I would simply have some screen made up to hide each end. you could go clear perspex – but we all know how dirty and bad that gets!