Monday, December 15, 2014

Simplify? Get Larger?

I've actually made decent progress on the benchwork and subroadbed top (more to come on this), but since our 3rd addition to our family, I feel like I may never get this double deck layout up and running in a decent amount of time. As a result, i've been looking around at "simpler" layout plans online and in my magazine/book rack. Basically, I got advice on this from a few of my local operators that, other then just put down track, said go around the walls and then figure out if you want a peninsula of the main line, switching, both. So with that in mind, I played around with a few configurations for a single-deck layout. The first is an HO scale layout based on someone's design on, I think, a thread on the Model Railroader forums. I had to adjust it to meet my smaller space, but still have the flow.

Basically, a train would start in staging, go around into the yard, then run a loop around the walls, pass the yard again, then go back into staging. In looking at the plan, there are 2 large-ish switching areas outside of the yard, which I would imagine having industries behind it, and two smaller ones in the short peninsula and the other over at the bottom of the stairs. Obviously being in HO, not sure how much I'd be able to put in each area, but I'm sure I could find help in designing something there. I'm the only N scaler in my operating group so moving up to HO would allow me to have assistance on things like building construction, DCC wiring, etc. I'd also be starting from scratch so any purchases I made would come with knuckle couplers, DCC ready locomotives, etc., and there wouldn't be a large backlog of that work to do in my current N scale collection. Downside is I'd be selling all my N scale items and that could take a while.

I did this outlay first and then said, what about this as a footprint for an N scale layout? So I did a rough in sketch of the same twice around loop.

In this case, I'd separate the two scenes on the one wall. My thoughts were a yard on the front with perhaps a road or some building separating and maybe a TV terminal on the back. The two lines would be separated unlike the HO plan, totaling about 3 scale miles of track. There would be 2 switching areas on the long peninsula, 1 more then is probably doable in the HO plan, and the short peninsula would obviously have a larger industrial base then the HO. Same with the switching area at the bottom of the stairs. Basically, the layout could have what I call 3 mainline switching areas and 4 industrial complex type/branch switching areas. The more operating I do, the more I like the concentrated switch areas where you bring in a local and then do some jigsaw puzzle figuring out to move the cars on the train into spots and the cars in the spots to the outbound train.

So these are some of the thoughts I'm having right now as we approach the holidays and a few days off.


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Welcome to the my Conrail Model Railroad site. I will document the research, design, construction and operations of my N-scale model railroad based on Conrail's Ft. Wayne Line in Ohio.

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