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Old 29th January 2011, 12:43   #1
Paul Mlynarz
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Default Newbie with not enough space :-)

Hi

Desperate for ideas for my first real railroad. HO/OO.

Base is 20ft long but only 34 inches deep, for most of the length. So, stuck with 1st radius if I want a continuous track - which I prefer.

All the track plans I can find seem to be 4ft deep, unless I want out and back (can get a 2nd/3rd radious at wider end).

Any ideas where I can source such odd plans?

I understand most new loco stock doesn't like 1st radius or is this just the manufacturer playing safe?

My thanks
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Old 29th January 2011, 17:42   #2
Roy Buchanan
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Default Re: Newbie with no enough space :-)

Paul, in all honesty, I think you're stuck with an out and back, narrow shelf, layout if you only have 34" width.

You must think not only about running trains, but, you also have to think about your construction access and your maintenance access, as well as access for scenery building. You need a minimum of 2' just for yourself to walk the length and that is tight. A 34" wide area will not allow for even the 18" minimal radius in HO. Don't forget that you also need to allow for the track to be about 3" from the wall.

Build a narrow out and back chainsaw layout and use the layout to practice the various modelling skills that we all need to develop. You'll be glad you did.

Roy
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Old 29th January 2011, 17:47   #3
RW James
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Default Re: Newbie with no enough space :-)

Welcome to AMR Paul. Many will tell you that you should go with a larger radius for a more realistic look and that you don't need a continuous run.

I, on the other hand, will tell you that I agree with your needs and I'm actually envious of the space you have. My current layout is only 30 inches wide and made up of 3 four foot modules. My radius is actually LESS than first radius at 12 inches.

If you run small locomotives and small equipment you shouldn't have too much trouble. I was having a bit of a problem with my grades and had to reduce them. I was still having trouble with grades on curves, but solved those problems by switching to Kadee couplers. But if you are careful with your design you may be able to avoid that. (I actually prefer Kadee's, but I know they don't look prototypical on UK equipment.)
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Old 29th January 2011, 18:43   #4
B-17_Fortress
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Default Re: Newbie with no enough space :-)

Could you add removable or hinge down sections at either end? This would give you more area for a larger radius when operating, allowing continuous running, but they could be removed when not in use, so keeping your floor space available.
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Old 29th January 2011, 20:26   #5
Made in Italy
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Default Re: Newbie with no enough space :-)

Just to say welcome here, as everyone has already said everything, perhaps if you'll send us a sketch of your room we could give you some useful hints.
Franco
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Old 29th January 2011, 22:10   #6
Paul Mlynarz
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Default Re: Newbie with no enough space :-)

My thanks for the replies - so quick and so helpful. Most appreciated.

Re Roy's reply - sorry I wasn't clear enough. The base is 34" deep, not the space - which is actually very wide. Space is ok but family agreement to use it is not. At the wider end I propose to cut a "Man hole" in the middle for access, if need be.

The narrower curve will go in a tunnel - better looking but worried a little about reliability inside :-)

RW certainly gave me confidence as I am very happy with shorter trains - hopefully basing on a small Lancashire town (UK) which I remember as a kid. DMU serviced mid 60s. Add a couple of diesel shunters and thats me, I feel. Not so interested in long rakes of coaches, if correct term.

I hope to also include a shelf-like out and back along the length of the board, some 5 inches above the main board. Shuttle style.

I have just got up (in Australia) and will tidy the area and take some pics. You will see I am not a craftsman, so hinged areas may not be my scene :-)

I had thought of N but not really me as very clumsy!

Have also thought of garden HO/OO but its 38 degrees here to today (celcius) - we don't get many but I suppose just one could ruin track. I do have track outside today as a test.

Thanks for your assistance and replies - really appreciated.

PS Track in pics is for ideas only - it will NOT be used :-)

Paul



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Old 30th January 2011, 05:16   #7
BR60103
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Default Re: Newbie with no enough space :-)

Paul:
It is sometimes possible to persuade a train to go around a curve sharper than the manufacturer suggests but not reliably. Very few are likely to make a suggestion that will lose sales unless they are pretty sure that it won't make it.
But smaller stock will make it. I had a layout on a 2'x4' board once. It used streetcars and small locomotives and 36' boxcars.
Is there any way you can negotiate an extra 8" to a foot of board at the ends? That would get you up to 18" radius (is that second radius?) curves.
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Old 30th January 2011, 05:40   #8
Paul Mlynarz
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Default Re: Newbie with no enough space :-)

Thanks for reply David.
I have 4ft at one end so a good out and back could be easily done, I suppose.

trouble is - to get length, its up against the sliding doors and not keen going wider. Also I have very short arms and cant reach too well - its up against the wall, .

May be best to combine an out and back for larger stuff and a continuous for smaller.

ta!

Paul
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Old 30th January 2011, 19:36   #9
mysterd429
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Default Re: Newbie with no enough space :-)

Hi, Paul. Welcome to AMR. The space you have looks like you have room to get a lot done. You can model older equipment, which is shorter, or maybe some sort of interurban line, and it seems like that's an option for you. I think a lot of shorter equipment will run fine on a 15" radius. I had a layout as a kid with some 15" radius curves, and they the equipment I ran worked just fine.

Best of luck. Thanks for posting!
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Old 31st January 2011, 09:40   #10
Made in Italy
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Default Re: Newbie with no enough space :-)

Well, a curve of 30" diameter can be negotiated without problems by most of rolling stock, perhaps you'll need just to slow a bit!
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