Non-standard compliant "modular" layout

Non-standard compliant "modular" layout

Postby BTTB Fan » Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:39 pm

Here is my first draft of the 4-module basic oval layout.
My consideration/constraints for this project were:
  • 4'x2' modules for easy tear-down and moving - we may be moving at some point in near future,
    so I cannot make a permanent layout.
  • Possibility of a simple/continuous operation - at this point my kids are not particularly
    interested in anything more than watching the train run, or, at most, stopping it at the station(s)
    and then running it again.
  • Some shunting options - for my own excitment, a bunch of sidings/spurs where I can move
    some cars around.
  • Accommodation of Auhagen kit buildings - the thing my kids enjoy even more than runnign the
    train is putting together buildings from kits. We have already built a couple of stations
    (Klasdorf being one of them, hence the bizarre spur in the "front" module), as well as some
    residential, rail-side, and industry buildings. Obviously, the kids demand on having their work
    diplayed on the layout!
  • Possibility of expansion - as I develop skills in scenery building (tunnels, etc.), I may want
    to expand the layout with my creations.
With all of the above in mind, I ended up with the following mock-up.

4M_Oval_Houses.jpg


The track is expected to be on the same level throughout, with the addition of some hills and
a bridge or two where I can fit them. The industry buildings are placeholders (some of them are
HO scale, like the loco shed), I still have to figure out what specific building goes where.
The stations are currently a short walk from each other, but the idea is to add more straight
modules in the diagonal arrangement, pushing the stations to the diagonally opposite ends of
the layout. All the radiuses are pretty tight, due to the size limitations, I'll just have to
live with that.

Any kinds of suggestions/comments are more than welcome!
Alexei
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Re: Non-standard compliant "modular" layout

Postby AstroGoat760 » Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:23 pm

That is about the same idea as what I plan on doing with some "modules". As I may be moving soon due to the strong possibilty of being medically discharged from the Navy, I cannot build a permanent layout as well for now.

A suggestion would be to have a second oval that is connected to the first so that two trains can be run at once, which would make some operations very interesting....
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Re: Non-standard compliant "modular" layout

Postby BTTB Fan » Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:41 pm

AngrySailor302 wrote:A suggestion would be to have a second oval that is connected to the first so that two trains can be run at once, which would make some operations very interesting....

Thnaks for the suggestion. I was actually looking for a way to do that, or, as an alternative to have a point-to-point run, possibly with auto-reversing. I was thinking of using a rail bus on that extra line. The problem is, I still cannot figure out the way to fit the damn thing in - I already have too much track for such a limited space.

I was also considering making a "twice-arounds" layout ("folded dogbone"?), but again, could not work that in while still having some industries and shunting action. I will try to build the things in such a way that the the straight siding running on the outer edges of the 2 current modules align with straight sidings on the new modules, allowing me to make another connection, if desired, and run the end-to-end setup on the 2-module length.
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Re: Non-standard compliant "modular" layout

Postby AstroGoat760 » Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:20 pm

What radii of track are you using?

I bought a 4'x8' layout that had 4 individual lines on it, one of which was a small oval for a railbus.

Perhaps one of the 4'x2' portions could be made into 4'x3' or even 4'x4' to incorporate a transit line for something like a trolley or a railbus.

If I did not suck so much at track planning software, I might be able to cook something up to demonstrate.
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Re: Non-standard compliant "modular" layout

Postby BTTB Fan » Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:03 pm

The plan is to have all the curves done in flex track, but I did the initial planning in software with the radii 310 and 353 (with short pieces of 276 and 396 due to "auto-connect"). I would really like to stick to 2x4 modules for a resulting 4x8 layout, and that ideed creates all the limitations. Your 4x8 layout was a single piece, with multiple levels, right? If so, it is much easier to accommodate more track on that...
Would love to see your ideas, forget the planning software, doodles in MS Paint or a piece of paper and a photo of it would do perfectly.
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Re: Non-standard compliant "modular" layout

Postby ConducTTor » Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:48 am

Right off the bat, I would suggest two things that would allow for future expansion. Move the control tower to the other end of the top middle module and realign the station rails slightly so you could do this:

track_plan_1.jpg
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Re: Non-standard compliant "modular" layout

Postby BTTB Fan » Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:14 pm

ConducTTor wrote:Right off the bat, I would suggest two things that would allow for future expansion. Move the control tower to the other end of the top middle module and realign the station rails slightly so you could do this:

The attachment track_plan_1.jpg is no longer available


Thanks for the suggestion. The reason I place the tower in that location is that I was planning on adding new modules in a diagonal manner, keeping the stations on the opposite sides and pushing them apart, like this:
6M_Oval_NotGood.jpg


Now that I mocked it up, I see that the tower is OK, but the engine shed is in the way (doh!). So, moving the tower, as you suggested, and sliding things the other way, we get something better:
6M_Oval_Better.jpg


The yellow portions are future and will have to be designed, with extension at least one siding at the top but the idea is that the sidings at the bottom and top can be extended (and will be isolated from the main line for independent point-to-point run. To still keep the modules "re-arrangleable" each of those secondary lines will have to have the option of being terminated to form a spur, or to be connected to the other module, given that the offset from the main line match.

I am still hesitant to commit to a uniform 2-track module connection, especially since I failed to design the U-turn modules for that configuration...

Thanks again for your suggestions and making me actually think this through :D
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Re: Non-standard compliant "modular" layout

Postby AstroGoat760 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:40 pm

BTTB Fan wrote:Your 4x8 layout was a single piece, with multiple levels, right? If so, it is much easier to accommodate more track on that..


Actually, the track was all nailed to the plywood, I will have to try to find a picture of what it looked like, before the plywood started to come apart, and all the track had to get pulled off. (A large portion of the plywood was warped and coming arpart from some water damage, most of the track was salvaged.)
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Re: Non-standard compliant "modular" layout

Postby ConducTTor » Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:43 pm

BTTB Fan wrote:....... and making me actually think this through :D


Tell me about it. I'm on like the 12th iteration of my track plan thanks to you guys :lol:
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Re: Non-standard compliant "modular" layout

Postby AstroGoat760 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 7:10 pm

I forget where it was said and who said it, but in one of the books or magazines that I have read over the years, is the "fact that no matter what, a layout is never truly done" or something to that effect.

Expansion is something that every layout should be planned for, whether it be switches that lead to "dead ends" at the edge of the layout, track sections not secured down as much for easy swapping out of trck sections, or something like that.
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