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 Post subject: HO Track plans
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:57 pm 
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A2 class (passenger)
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Location: Baxter, Victoria
Hello all,

I've lately been considering getting back into model railways after a five year break since my previous (very basic) layout was broken up so that the space could be used for other things. I only have very limited rolling stock at the moment (an S class diesel of unknown make and two life-like AN freight diesels of which only one still has a motor in it and both are in bad shape. The only other things I have is a UP 0-6-0 with mixed consist that was once from a train set). No locos have run in over three years due to no layout.

As I am of limited finances and space I'm thinking of a compact modular style route to give me something to practice and run my S class (and all going well future A.60) on. I've always liked the remote small branch lines and it is one of these that I wouldn't mind trying to model.

Does anyone know of any good example track plans and/or layouts that could serve as inspiration?


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 Post subject: Re: HO Track plans
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:38 pm 
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Hi Adem
if you want to model a small VR branch line,you could do Yering,you would only need three points and you would not need that much room. :)

http://www.victorianrailways.net/signal ... ing55.html

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 Post subject: Re: HO Track plans
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:15 am 
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Nod bad actually that, would make a good module route for when I do find the time, finances and space for a larger route.


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 Post subject: Re: HO Track plans
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:33 am 
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I would recommend having a look through here for inspiration: http://www.victorianrailways.net/signal ... alist.html

And the Victorian diagrams here: http://www.signaldiagramsandphotos.com/

The simplest VR 'branchline' yard is simply a through platform with goods loop (the VR also often left room between the loop and the mainline for an extra road, where a station was expected to expand). Protected by either scotch blocks (rodded) at each end, or catch points (depending on how much use it'll see). In the case where room was left for an extra road, the 'loop' is effectively 3 road (mainline is 1 road), and 2 road wasn't actually built. Yering is a good example of this yard, as was Coldstream (both were the same track layout when built).

As above, this can be expanded to a 3 road yard (particularly for crosses, e.g. Yarra Glen), or by the addition of stock siding and 'extra' dead end siding at each end. The dead end sidings can be to the design outlined above (2 roads, but with room in the middle for another road), so as to allow the points to be on the 'ladders' at the end. You could also have these just coming off the 'straight' of the actual siding (effectively extending it to the dead ends). Either method should have the points interlocked to effectively act as 'catch points' (into the dead end sidings).

If you have a bit more room, then a terminus can be interesting operationally. A compressed version of Mortlake could work (e.g. use part of the long dock platform for the stock yard, and shorten the head shunt).

A through layout will really need a bit of run-off at each end to be effective. A terminus only needs that run-off at one end. You could also run the 'terminus' as both a through station and a terminus, with careful design of the headshunt (e.g. have a 2-4 inch removable section on the end of the headshunt, which can be removed to allow connection to another module).

Zec

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 Post subject: Re: HO Track plans
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:16 am 
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Thanks for interesting ideas Zec, they should come in handy both for my Trainz route as well as this HO module. So far I'm thinking the idea of having the main line and a loop with single dead end siding would be a good start to practice my skills as well as being fairly affordable track wise. I'll have to experiment with that terminus to through station idea though and do some sketches to see what might work.


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 Post subject: Re: HO Track plans
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:00 pm 
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N class (goods)

Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 9:21 am
Posts: 246
Location: Chelsea, Victoria
S301 wrote:

A through layout will really need a bit of run-off at each end to be effective. A terminus only needs that run-off at one end.

Zec


Whilst it's true you'll need enough space at each end of the 'through' trackplan to accomodate a loco and possibly a wagon or two, the reality is this isn't a lot of 'wasted space' - we're talking like 40cm in HO at either end or thereabouts. This is easily done on a 6ft module, which is also still short enough to fit most station wagons, or where you can fold down seats in a sedan. Keep it tight - in the end a micro layout should be a bit of a puzzle to shunt - cause you're not going to ever be able to 'highball on the main' to use the US terminology. It needs to be a bit of a tricky shunt to keep up the interest.

It should take about an hour to complete one set of movements on a micro layout. This is, IMOHO, about the perfect time period for an operating session. If it takes much longer, it'll probably get frustrating quickly. If it takes a lot less time, you'll tire of the layout too quickly...... This is also the true beauty of a micro layout. When you do tire of it, or want to do something else, module 1 gets stood up against the wall while you begin working on module 2. Module 2 could be an extension of 1 - but it could also be completely different in location........ Module 1 may be VR country branch, whereas 2 may be a gritty downtown section of LA or a canal dock in Manchester.

Modules take no space to store. They take less time to get trains running on. They're great fun for scenery and for operations.

Hint: Ditch your copies of US mags like Model Railroader for micro layouts. Pick up copies of magazines like Model Rail from the UK for small layout ideas. Theres a big difference between a trackplan for a house basement and a broom closet.

And not that the broom closet layout is anything to scoff at - all mine have given *countless* hours of enjoyment!

Paddy


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 Post subject: Re: HO Track plans
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:42 pm 
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Hi Paddy
Very good point, however no matter what, build a run-off area in! I highly recommend having at least 2 tracks on it, just so you can alternate trains without the 5 finger crane (E.g. to run the goods out, then another goods or a passenger in). Sadly, I neglected this with my shunting layout. Very annoying using the platform/'visible mainline' as the 'fiddle yard' :( Shunting onto the 'visible' layout to move stuff between sidings can be ok (especially if you design your layout as a small section of a larger yard). Better yet would be to run it as if a previous siding needed to use the 'visible' yard to run around (e.g. it only has access for down trains, and has no run around facilities, so the trains for that siding then run to your station to run around).

I do, however, recommend Model Railroader for scenery. UK mags are very good for track design, however I find the US mags are better for tips on doing scenery, particularly VR branchlines (US tend to have grungier style layouts, which can be adapted by having 'less grunge' to VR branchlines). Both are fantastic for tips on doing rolling stock (just wish I could find my MR mag on how to weather/'beat up' a US gondola, wanted to try it on some VR stock!).

Zec

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 Post subject: Re: HO Track plans
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:57 am 
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N class (goods)

Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 9:21 am
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Location: Chelsea, Victoria
Ive always 'stressed' the gons using a soldering iron wrapped in foil to push out/warp the sides so they look beat up from dropping heavy loads in, such as a bridge girder or similar.

Paddy

EDIT: Also, I don't subscribe to the 'MR for scenery tips' as a golden rule these days. Once upon a time I did..... And would have said that the US mag "Model Railway Craftsman" was another level above "Model Railroader" at the time, especially for scenery techniques.

Take another look at mags such as "Model Rail" from the UK - they've a stable of industry leaders as contributors, absolutely top of the game! Look at the center page spead in the March 2012 issue....... Don't tell me that isn't some of the best loco/rolling stock weathering and general scenery you've seen!

Ian Rice is Model Rail's usual trackplan designer. He is, IMOHO, the most switched on track planner around...... His work is starting to be used in MR as well - and don't forget that a LOT of MR's scenery technique contributors are Europeans anyways ;)


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 Post subject: Re: HO Track plans
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:23 am 
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G'day folks,

I'm just gonna put this here, no point starting a new thread.

I am once again in the planning process for a model railway and would like some feedback on my latest idea, a small port town...

...heres what I have come up with...

Image

...what I ask is for people's opinions on the running/opperations aspect of my plan. The miniature loop in the center will be for a small loading bay to a small factory. The platform is the length of a small passenger train with the station building resting on the block extending from the front. The jetty towards the back of the layout will be a factory with distribution to boats and trains, while the jetty towards the front will be for loading/unloading goods from ship to rail and vise versa. The engine facility, including turntable, is for the service of one loco at a time, not that many more will be in the town at the one time. The three roads at the front will serve for, in order, passenger trains, run-around and freight/storage...

...so what do you think about the enjoyment that is up for offer with shunting/opperations on this layout, should it be built? Are there any flaws with the design? Should anything be added? Are there any ideas for scenery ideas?

...Its so handy to have trainz to test out all the different plans :)

Cheers
Stevo

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 Post subject: Re: HO Track plans
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:47 am 
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Wow, nice little layout design!

A few thoughts which you might want to test in Trainz.

Maybe try having land on both 1 end, and 1 side of the jetty at the end of the station. This would allow you to extend the headshunt from the platform (e.g. if you run a mixed, you can shunt the freight out from the front of the train, without needing to move the passenger car). At the same time, you might be able to put a small warehouse or loading bank here, where another freight wagon can be left (hence making the headshunt shorter if you want a challenge!).

Also, try putting the turntable further around the curve, with the watering/coaling facilities on the lead into the turntable (doing any work around the loco with that setup would be a pain, as the water tower and coal stage could make accessing the loco difficult for a crew). This would also allow you to service 1 loco whilst another is sitting in the siding off the turntable :)

At the same time, you could also run a dead end siding off the turntable end of that 'goods loop' on the track going to the top jetty. Either have another industry (small coal merchant, or fuel merchant?), or use it as dead end storage.

One thing that does seem to be missing is a stockyard. It's fairly rare to have a station without some sort of stockyard. Even just a short (1-2 car) dead end with a 'movable' cattle/stock ramp (possibly the one I suggested off that goods loop).

The more dead end sidings for freight stock, the more operation you'll get IMO :)

As you said, that's the wonderful thing with Trainz. You can try it out, and start again if need be!

Zec

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