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Old 01-06-2012, 09:44 AM   #1
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First Layout - Opinions Required!

Hello fellow N scale people! Seeing as this is my first post here, an introduction is in order. My name's Pete and I'm an Australian who has recently got back into this fine hobby. About 20yrs ago I had a HO layout as a kid, but it got torn down when my brother & I wanted separate bedrooms and we never touched it again. Until now!

My layout is going to be a 2x3.5m L shape built on three modular 1m² tables and one 1mx1.5m table in the middle. It was originally going to be four 1m² tables but I just extended it. The setting is a steep mountain route in a thick coniferous forest area. I'm going to be a master at making trees when I'm done. I'm modelling early Burlington Northern, including plenty of pre-merger stuff. The building of the benchwork has been a bit delayed due to lack of a car to move stuff about, but my engine roster is already off to a nice start. From Atlas I have a BN SD24 and GP39M, three BN F45s from Athearn, and an ABA set of GN F7s in Empire Builder livery from Kato.

I've gone for a deep baseboard design rather than something thin with wide peninsulas because I just prefer the "diorama with trains" look rather than modelling only where the trains are going. Majority of the running will be solo, and I like to watch 'em roll more than doing operations, but there will be plenty of both going on. The layout will be DCC using the NCE PowerCab, and most likely through JMRI at a later stage.

Now, the layout. So far it's already gone through three revisions, the latest one I just did today.

First version

Second version

Latest version. The below is copied from a post on another MRR forum so apologies if it doesn't all make sense.

As you can see I've kept the deep baseboard design, but I will probably end up having a walkaround area for convenience. The main reason for the redesign is that I wanted a staging area of some kind even if it's small. To help with this I've extended the middle table by 50cm, and I've removed the turnouts at the bottom of the L. These will come back, but probably right at the start of the corners so that they're not taking up space. Other changes-

-The industry yard has been expanded, and a wye has been added.
-The crossroad that was previously in the middle of the layout has been moved to the bottom of the L. I used curved turnouts so that wider radius curves can be maintained immediately before & after the crossroad section. It also makes for a much smoother transition from one loop to the other.
-The inner loop has had the front tracks shifted to the rear to allow for the staging yard. I chose not to have them directly connected because (to me) the layout feels bigger if you have to travel further to get between the two yards.
-The center yard is now the staging yard at the front. Easier access there and with the larger baseboard I can have the sidings on both ends. I may still add another track or two if needed.

With the center yard moved there's tonnes of space in the middle for the town, and perhaps a railway crossing on the inner loop. I'd like to have a wye on the outer loop too so that a train can turn around twice without having to reverse, but I'm not left with many options of placement because of all the gradients. I thought perhaps have one start from the left side of the staging yard and then loop around in the inside space, but I'll see.

Now, a question. How would you wire the wye I currently have on the layout? I know how an autoswitcher works with a simple wye design, but what happens when there's two turnouts connecting it back to the main and a yard there too? Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm thinking I could isolate the track immediately after it diverges from the main at both turnouts, then have the wye and all the sidings connected from the autoswitcher? I've run it through my head and I think this would work a long as one train doesn't enter the wye precisely as another exits it. I'm assuming that if I do put in the 2nd wye as described above it would not make things any more complicated, I'd just need a 2nd autoswitcher.

So, thoughts?

Last edited by TrinityJayOne : 01-06-2012 at 10:09 AM.
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