Author Topic: Layout Pre-Planning stages  (Read 1607 times)

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Cajonpassfan

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Re: Layout Pre-Planning stages
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2016, 04:51:29 PM »
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Brian, lots of ways to do this, but I think you have more space than you think. The bad news is no room for a peninsula (unless you go with like a 12" radius, which I wouldn't recommend). The good news is N scale in three dimensions is a lot smaller than most people realize, and you can do a lot. Your era and theme, I would think 18" mailine minimum would be good. I don't fully understand your space, but for conversation purposes, I sketched out a "real estate study" for optimal space use, just to see where one might put return loops or a helix while leaving generous isles, see below.

One thing that bugs me about the other plan is that the main yard is at a higher elevation than the coal branches; to me that's backwards. In my mind, dead end mine branches generally went into the mountains, empties up, loads down. If I were doing this, I would put the branches on the top level, the yard and small towns on the lower (main) level, and the staging on the bottom, perhaps at your workbench level. With that concept, I'd look at staging at about 30", bottom of main deck at about 42" with main yard at about 46-48", and a narrower upper benchwork supported by 1x2 joists and slimmer fascia above that, with several mine runs in the 55-64" territory... But again, that's just one of many ways to lay this out, just food for thought.
Best, Otto
« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 04:54:15 PM by Cajonpassfan »

6axlepwr

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Re: Layout Pre-Planning stages
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2016, 06:03:20 PM »
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Thanks Lee for your advice and encouragement. I best not even start anything. Give it all up and sit on the toilet all day and crap.  :facepalm:

Obviously and with understanding, you have absolutely no idea who I am or what I am about or how I approach my modeling efforts.

I am not upset or offending. You are the darkness that makes darkness even darker.  ;)
Brian

Spades

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Re: Layout Pre-Planning stages
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2016, 07:51:14 PM »
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Brian

Having operated on a few double deck layouts a cardboard mock up is a great idea.  Include the fascia and your deepest depth in your mockup. There is nothing like a tall man doing a one arm push up on a stool bent to 3/4 height  viewing the task at hand at an offset angle.

If you are going to use ME flex watch this video from Tony Koester via Ian MacMillan.  I've been doing it wrong all these years. https://www.youtube.com/shared?ci=zBtvr_3mWK4

ednadolski

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Re: Layout Pre-Planning stages
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2016, 01:21:57 AM »
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Brian I am 54 myself and I totally get where you are coming from WRT wanting to concentrate on building one layout without spending time on false starts or distractions.  With my new Tehachapi layout I was reluctant to commit to it because of the size & scope.  But since my back surgery I realized that if I didn't start something soon then there would always be that ever-growing chance that I might never get any kind of effort off the ground.  What made the difference for me was the realization that the layout itself while large and ambitious (at least for me), the complexity factor was actually pretty minimal.  With only three mainline turnouts and very few structures, I could focus on the areas that interested me the most: detailing and weathering, long trains, and open scenery.

So based upon what you've said so far, and knowing some of the projects you've done in the past, my impression is that the HO plan that you've posted seems like something that should serve you really well.  It is significantly less complex, and it avoids all those issues that come with a helix and multiple decks.  The N scale plan seems rather like an exercise in forcing something into a space where it doesn't really want to go, and compression compromises made in the planning stages are usually at risk of becoming greater issues as things go further downstream.

Another thing that seems key:  will you be happy using the oversize/slinky MT N-scale couplers?   I ask since I recall your efforts at developing a Sergent-like coupler for N, but that seems like it would be hard to make work on an N scale layout built to conventional curvature dimensions.   So the MTs would be your only practical option, if you intend to build something that operates with any amount of switching.

Anyways this is all just fodder for thought, and of course you know the old saying about free advice being worth what you pay for it ;).
I'm very sure that no matter which way you go, the results will be spectacular.

Ed

Rossford Yard

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Re: Layout Pre-Planning stages
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2016, 01:03:34 PM »
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Brian,

I didn't follow this too closely, but after reading, maybe able to offer some advice about the helix if you go N.  You can go to the Indiana Harbor Belt of Texas thread in this section to see my now former helix, from which I answer some of your questions:

First, desk height is 29, counter height about 35".  I think a desk, and maybe some lateral filing cabinets for storage work great, and keep the next levels lower. 

my storage level was 16" below and 2.5 deep, and quite accessible, although the back tracks could have used a little more room.  At shallower depth, 16" will be great.  Also, I spaced my staging tracks at 2" so that any derailment tip overs didn't catch the next cars, sacrificing a bit of capacity for ease of use.

I believe a max elevation of about 60-62" is the most visually satisfying, so 30" (plywood on top of desk) is pretty good, maybe go to 15" separation from staging to lower, and maybe 18" between visible decks to max out at 63 might work out.

Keep in mind you will probably be accessing your helix from the INSIDE given your preliminary scheme, and my 20" radius was tight enough that it was hard to stand up and move around for derailments, etc.  Depending on your ultimate size as you age, you fitting inside may be a bigger issue than the actual radius.  I also recommend two sides have enough room for a re-railer track, making it slightly oblong.  At 20" radius, it worked out to a 2.1% grade, and I wish it was less, as I weight my cars and ran long trains.  In an earlier era, lower grade and broader curve is still better, but with shorter trains, could work.

Ditto access.  Crawling under the 35" base is not impossible, but I am fairly limber for 61.  Crawling under at 29" would be harder every year.

Keep us posted on progress!