Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Directional Leaning

As I mentioned in my post a few months back, I've been working with a few individuals on other possible configurations for my layout. Most have centered around a G-shaped layout. The only question really left to answer at this point is do I modify the double-deck benchwork I still have up or tear it down and put up simpler lower level benchwork. Before I answer that question, however, I thought it would be wise to work with the general layout shape and really see the total number of people that might be able to fit comfortably in the space provided. To do that, I drew out the shape I keep coming back to and added what I call people blobs to it. These blogs are 30" x 15" ovals, well, really two 15" circles and a square joined in XTrackCAD. Here is what I ended up with:

As you can see, there could be 6 operators on this layout and that would probably be the max allowable for the space available. I added these people blobs to my other designs and concluded that double-deck spacing for towns/operators would be much greater then if I did single-deck. In fact, I think I'd lose potentially one or two areas in order to keep the operators separated. I haven't ripped out the double deck benchwork yet (mostly because there's still a ton of stuff on it) but I'm thinking I will just after Memorial Day.

Now the question goes to the type of layout for this space. I want a continuous run. Sometimes you just want to sit back and watch trains go around while enjoy a nice drink or having visitors over to see the layout. One option is to run the turnback loop behind a low backdrop all the way back around to staging. Not bad, except that could be a lot of limited visibility/hidden trackage. Another thought I had was essentially a folded dogbone with the top and right-side being multi-pass areas. I operate on a layout that has a similar configuration but has staging essentially below the left-side and some areas that are about half a train length of visible trackage so your switching in tunnels. I can get away with making the staging on the left-side of the wall, thus eliminating that type of hidden trackage and I'd probably limit myself to 3 areas of the layout on differing levels where the two lines would parallel or cross each other.Transitions would be key in that type of design but I've visited and participated in enough layouts that while operating, you don't really notice the other "levels" when things are clearly marked. So that's where the planning/decisions stand right now. I've completed the dresser, crib and beds. Now just need to stain them. Hopefully by June I can get back downstairs and get this all straightened out before the next hurricane comes here and I repile stuff on the benchwork.


Shaun said...

I like this plan you have above. I'm closing on a new house in two weeks and even though I probably won't get "COO" approval for a few years I tossed around the idea of how to build a new garage room layout but with duck unders. And your's hits the nail on the head.

Looking forward to see how it progresses as I hope one day to get something similar going again.


Phil D said...

Thanks Shaun! Glad to hear your situation's getting more settled. Just build a little 1x4 section, then add on, keep adding, then before you know you'll have a layout and the COO might not have noticed, :)

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