Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Nice Diversion

Every now and then someone on a mailing list or forum I subscribe to posts a design challenge. Chris Abbott, co-host of Model Rail Radio, put out a design challenge to its mailing list earlier this month on coming up with a design using the same square footage of a 4x8 sheet of plywood, but not necessarily just the square sheet. I took up the challenge and made a few quick decisions. I thought back to a thread on  The Railwire Forums where a poster was looking at some layouts and mentioned he saw a raffle layout made by making a few cuts on a sheet of plywood. I do not recall who made the layout but I believe it was a division of the NMRA as part of a fundraiser. It was called the Coal River Branch RR. Here is the drawing and completed layout as posted on The Railwire:

The overall plan is nice, but it has some rally tight curves. For my solution to Chris' challenge, I really didn't want too many grades or any over-under portions for each of construction. I used the same cutting diagram for the 4x8 sheet as shown below as the base of the design:
Of course, me being in N-scale, the layout design was done in it. It has a minimum radius of 14" which is only in the passing siding of the lower blob. All other curves are 15" or greater. All turnouts are #5 based on the FastTrack PDF dimensions. The major industry is a paper mill in the top blob with a brewery in the bottom one. Some other smaller warehouses and a team track are scattered throughout the rest of the layout on the ends of the sidings. Some influences I used (stole?) were:
So, since you've scrolled down this far, I guess I should post a picture of the drawing.

As you can see, you'd most likely need to have the back against a wall but access to each side. The overall size of the layout is 8x7 so a room of 11x11 would be a good fit, giving some aisle space around the edges.


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