Author Topic: MVW: A blank slate  (Read 3339 times)

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MVW

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MVW: A blank slate
« on: July 13, 2014, 03:24:29 PM »
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On Friday, we signed a purchase agreement on a house which will allow me to relocate my layout from a nearly unusable hellhole to this room:



The room is approximately 12x20, with an alcove of about 7x5. This shot was taken from the entrance, which is essentially flush with the right-hand wall. "Negotiations" over this particular piece of the property aren't complete, but I think I can get away with just leaving a 3-foot walkway along the left wall, and a 4-foot open area at the far end. That would allow a small workbench under the lone window in the room for both myself and my wife's stained-glass activities.

And that would leave me with an L-shaped area that's about 180 square feet. Not huge, but not daunting, either. More space is usually better, of course, but this is probably a good size for the amount of time and money I'll have to spend on it.

I'll post more on my givens and druthers shortly. In a nutshell, I'm primarily interested in operations, and looking for the longest possible mainline run possible, with one large division-point city and 3-5 smaller cities. (Obviously, I'm looking for a multi-deck solution, preferably with a nolix.) Set in southwest Iowa in 1954-55 (for reasons I'll explain later).

I've never built a multi-deck layout, so I'm hoping to gather some learned wisdom here. And I've seen many a track plan vastly improved through the back and forth here on TRW. Everyone's participation is welcomed.

Jim

Denver Road Doug

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2014, 07:34:25 PM »
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That's a nice space.  Can't wait to see what kind of plan you come up with.
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Cajonpassfan

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2014, 09:31:08 PM »
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Well, I've heard of "duck unders" before, but "buck overs", never :facepalm:
Nice room though, have fun...
Otto K.

MVW

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2014, 10:43:52 PM »
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Thanks, guys.

Here's what I'm thinking as far as the benchwork footprint. Just using squares and rectangles for now, but I'm thinking of using open grid construction, so the finished product will be more streamlined and free flowing, based on the track plan. More importantly, that will allow me to squeeze a few more inches out to increase aisle widths. It's too tight, for the moment. I could live with some 30" aisles, but 36" is preferred.



This is my second stab at a rough plan. My first plan (different benchwork footprint) provided about an 80-foot mainline run. But even with grades running between 1.25% and 2%, I was limited to as little as 6" of separation between decks in places. That won't work.

Sketches show this arrangement might nearly double the mainline run. I'm going to rough out the mainline and see how the clearances work out.

Thoughts?

Jim

Denver Road Doug

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2014, 11:21:44 PM »
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Well, that's pretty tight quarters.   I think it just depends on what you're trying to do.   It is certainly workable, and if pure mainline run is your deal (which it sounds like it is) then I think I would go for it.  I would do the same thing--or at least something similar--since mainline operations are the biggest part of what I'm shooting for.

Also, it depends on how many (if any other) operators will be in the mix.  2.5ft aisle pinchpoints wouldn't be the end of the world if it's just you or maybe just 2 operators.  But any more than that and you really want to make sure it's 3ft.

I do think you'll find that you can get by with far less than 2ft in certain areas and even less than the 18 inches you have on that back wall...12 or 14 is often plenty. (no TWSS jokes, please  :RUEffinKiddingMe: )
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MVW

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2014, 12:01:48 AM »
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You're 100% right, Doug. I think I'll be able to slim the benchwork down a bit, and open the aisles to a more reasonable distance.

While I want a long mainline run, I also want to provide some switching opportunities, both industrial and in the main city's classification yard.

I've mostly been a lone wolf operator, but we're moving to a much more heavily populated area, so I'm hoping to eventually find a crew. Ideally, I'd like to have room for 4-5 operators and a dispatcher, but that might be wishing for too much. If I can find room for 3-4 operators to move around without tripping over each other, I'll be lucky.

I'm about halfway done roughing out a mainline. So far, so good.

Jim

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2014, 12:52:46 AM »
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Interesting, I would do almost the polar opposite:
Layout around the front, and left wall.
Small peninsulas in front of the alcove and near the entrance.
Isle way along the right wall, opens into a lounge area along the back wall.
Alcove used as a workbench. Bookcase over workbench can hold a DCC program and feeder track to the peninsula sprouting from left wall.

This would have the following advantages:
Layout mostly along wall, good for backdrops.
Isle ways not along wall, not as claustrophobic.
Easier access to door in case of fire.
Open area in room for lounge while preserving the same square footage of layout space.
You've crossed the walls, excelled
Further along through their hell
All for my heart, I watch you kill
You always have, you always will
Now spread your wings and sail out to me

MVW

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2014, 01:48:41 AM »
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All good points, Daniel. In this case, though, it's a near (if not total) necessity to provide the workbench under the window. That will likely keep all parties happy.  ;) And to be honest, I'd rather the workbench be there, with the natural light, than anywhere else in the room. Easy ventilation there, too.

Because I had that in mind, I left the direct route open along the wall; that walkway also enables the layout to be two-sided in those areas, which adds probably 30% to the mainline run.

With that being said, I'm not at all certain what I have is the best arrangement. So I appreciate the suggestion.

Jim



Denver Road Doug

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2014, 10:06:11 AM »
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Here was one of two ideas I had when I first saw the space...just another one to ponder maybe.



-Still a decent mainline run
-Much more "user-friendly"/comfortable/open
-Larger aisles
-Larger radius curves
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 10:11:28 AM by Denver Road Doug »
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MVW

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2014, 10:18:56 AM »
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Ooh, I like the looks of that, Doug. And it makes a lot of sense for all the reasons you cited.

Tonight, I'll finish off and post what I've been working on, then I'll take a crack at this arrangement.

Thanks for the tip!

Jim

MichaelWinicki

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2014, 11:10:25 AM »
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Really like DRD's rendition. 

Far less "Claustrophobic".

Trying to stuff 10lbs of model RR into a 5lb space usually ends up reducing the amount of enjoyment operating the pike.

MVW

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2014, 12:16:45 PM »
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Just doing a quick estimate, Doug's alternative looks like it would produce a mainline run that's about 30% shorter than my arrangement.

That's far from being a deal-breaker, however. It looked like my plan was going to come in at around 150' of mainline, so "settling" for 100' wouldn't be hard to do. Using a fast clock would allow me to simulate more than 30 miles of trackage, and squeeze in 4-5 cities.

Throw in the much more open and user-friendly nature of Doug's arrangement, and this is starting to look like a no-brainer.

OK, back to work, damnit.

Jim

conrail98

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2014, 01:51:26 PM »
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Jim,

You mention multi-deck in the original post and hopefully using a nolix. Is the use of a helix a deal breaker? If you want a nolix, you're going to be pushing a constant 1.5% to 2% grade with very little level spots for the handful of towns you indicated as well as most likely need a duck under or lift gate. I actually don't like DRD's at all, too many blobs and the only real tangent has a blob at it's end which will cut down on useful area as you want the largest tangent to be for the yard you indicated you wanted. Also, is the 3' and 4' spaces available for use by road crews? Looking at the plans laid out so far it looks like it but just wanted to make sure,

Phil
- Phil

MVW

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2014, 02:47:51 PM »
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Hey Phil,

Yes, the 3- and 4-foot areas are open to road crews.

The blob issue is something that occurred to me, too. That's one of the reasons I went with a spiral approach -- more 90-degree turns but fewer 180s. However, the blobs in Doug's arrangement are something I could live with, if everything else works out.

I did a quick estimate over lunch. Looks like Doug's approach would yield a mainline run of around 120'. If I leave level areas for four cities (one large, three small), there's around 80' available for grades. So yes, an average of at least 1.5% over those areas would be required. I think that's going to be the reality with any arrangement in this space if I want to avoid a helix.

A helix isn't necessarily a deal-breaker. But I'm not a fan of trains disappearing for extended periods, and ease of maintenance is an absolute necessity.

With that being said, I'm open to anything that will produce the best results. Got any ideas?

Jim

MVW

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2014, 09:54:03 PM »
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Here's the rough draft of the lower-level mainline. Very rough. I'm really only trying to check clearances here.



Elevation starts at 0 in the staging yard at left. There are four grades, ranging between .75% and 1.5%, bringing the mainline up to 9.25" at right. (I'm not saying these would be the final grades, just what I computed for. For instance, the mainline passing over staging could be elevated to 5" without a 2% grade. I realize there's a problem here.)

The mainline run is 80' from the staging yard exit to the end.

At the end, I'm a bit up in the air, so to speak, in regards of what would be best. A helix is one option. Or the mainline could simply begin its loop back along the right-hand wall. My original thought was to have it loop back around the blob at left and reverse course all the way back to the upper staging level, which will be located directly above lower staging.

Passing tracks denote city locations. The longest passing track could hold a 20-car freight train.

The major city would be located along the back wall of the second deck.

The staging yard holds a little over 150 40-foot cars. I would expect to stage 5-6 trains of various lengths at each end, so this should be plenty.

As discussed earlier, it should be easy to expand the aisles at least 3-6 inches.

I'm going to play with Doug's idea a bit and see how it looks. Thoughts on this one?

Jim