ideas for 4'x8' layout

Does anyone know of a source for layout ideas for an HO that would fit on a 4'x8' maximum area? I'm hoping to have a combination of a figure
8 with 18" bridge to the inside with 15" radius curves at each end and another track (I'll be running two engines hopefully) running parallel at 18" radius (simple oval for outside, maybe some switches connecting the two. thanks!!
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Brodk,
If you have access to a hobby shop, stop by and see if they have any track planning / layout diagram books. I read somewhere that, because of its popularity in the lumber industry, that the venerable 4x8 is the most common size layout built. There are probably hndreds of plans designed for that size.
One suggestion... if you are going to use 15" curves, don't plan on running any really long equipment or bigger locomotives on it. Most of the bigger models today require at least 18" and in some cases, even 22" radius curves to operate. With 15" radius curves, I'd try to stick with smaller, shorter locos and 40' or shorter freight cars.
Good luck!
dlm
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The OP didn't specify scale. In N, 15" woiuld not be to constricting.
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On Wed, 20 Aug 2008 08:19:32 -0700 (PDT), "video guy -

You didn't even read the part you quoted...he did say HO Scale! Look at what you quoted above.
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A 4 x 8 requires at least an 8 x 12 foot space, if you want all around access and even then that is tight which is why a 4 x 8 is just about the worst thing you can build.
Think about going around the wall of the room with perhaps an 18" to 24" wide shelf. You'll find it much more satisfying to build and to operate than a 4 x 8 foot tail chaser
-- Cheers Roger T. See the GER at: - http://www.islandnet.com/~rogertra /.
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Hi,

Actually I did think about two smaller layouts right and left of the sofa with a track connection behind the sofa. My space would have been a bit too limited for that, but it might work for you?
Or actually build 2x4 feet "pieces" which connect to each other via hinges or clamps, so you can later add "middle pieces"...
In any case, try to add a few tracks which terminate at the very edge of the layout ("leaving the layout") so you can later expand it in that direction (and meanwhile can tell everybody this is the connection to the "United Global Rail Network" ;-)
Have fun!
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The "sofa" idea is great. I'm thinking a 48"x48" on each end of the sofa with a 96"x12" "connector". The 48"x48" would have 18" & 22" radius loops and the connector would be like a mainline with a small switchyard. I'd put my 18" Atlas arched bridge on the connector.
I'm guessing I need to avoid the temptation to go out and buy 3/4" plywood and go with an open grid-style benchwork (correct my terminology please) made of 1"x4" boards about 12" apart, then cutting 3/4" plywood to mount the track. (?)

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1/2" plywood is plenty strong. one or two legs to suport the mainline.
Brock wrote:

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I'm guessing 1/2" smooth plywood cut in the shape of my track would be sturdy enough for mounting to the 1"x4" gridwork? Thinking of using some type of "blue" dense insulating foam to support the in-between areas that will have just landscape, no track.
Also, hypothetically, if I had a 48"x96" (remember this is for a kid so they like a train that goes round and round) grid made of 1"x4" spaced 12" apart could I create a up-and-over figure-8 within this space using 18" or 22" radius track?. That is would the roughly 90" of distance from each end of the figure-8 afford enough linear track length to enable me to use my Atlas 18" arch bridge?
I'm doing the math in my head and for the "over" loop I'm figuring 100" from the low point below the bridge to the bridge overpass. Assuming that the bridge would rise above the base surface about 3" would I be correct that I'm looking at a 3 percent grade?
I'm just trying to figure whether my Athearn F7 or SW-1 switcher with about 9 40' cars could make it up such a grade (?).
I guess you can tell I love my Atlas bridge and want it in this layout somewhere! What would really be nice would be to find room for a separate line using the smaller radius 15" to form some type of oval meandering inside the area formed by the 18" radius figure-8.
I'm going to a huge model rr shop tomorrow to first get some layout books. I'm new to this so I want to make sure of the basics before I start screwing 1"x4" sections together although the idea is great that you mentioned to start by building a few 24"x48" sections to be assembled as modules. This way I could move them around before settling on a design which may well evolve into two 48" square ends with 2 24"x48" "connectors" between the two.

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I'm guessing 1/2" smooth plywood cut in the shape of my track would be sturdy enough for mounting to the 1"x4" gridwork? Thinking of using some type of "blue" dense insulating foam to support the in-between areas that will have just landscape, no track.

Also, hypothetically, if I had a 48"x96" (remember this is for a kid so they like a train that goes round and round) grid made of 1"x4" spaced 12" apart could I create a up-and-over figure-8 within this space using 18" or 22" radius track?. That is would the roughly 90" of distance from each end of the figure-8 afford enough linear track length to enable me to use my Atlas 18" arch bridge?

I'm doing the math in my head and for the "over" loop I'm figuring 100" from the low point below the bridge to the bridge overpass. Assuming that the bridge would rise above the base surface about 3" would I be correct that I'm looking at a 3 percent grade?

I'm just trying to figure whether my Athearn F7 or SW-1 switcher with about 9 40' cars could make it up such a grade (?).

dlm
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wrote in message >> You will only have about 25% of your locomotive's flat tractive

I'd go for a Walthers Trainline locomotive if you're going up grades. They are excellent pullers, last month I took a 54 car train all around the steep grades on my club's layout with two GP9Ms. The ruling grade is probably about 2.5%. I didn't take the train up the steepest grade, though... but did take it down it.
They're a little more expensive than Athearn locomotives, but the difference is only like $5-10.
Puckdropper
--
If you're quiet, your teeth never touch your ankles.

To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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"Puckdropper" <puckdropper(at)yahoo(dot)com> wrote in message wrote in message

Anyone remember right off hand what the incline is on a set of plastic trestle risers? I'm thinking that they were designed to raise the train about 3" on a semi-circle of HO, 18" radius track. I don't think you could use 22: and still have a loop of track outside of that. So,if that's the case...
pi (3.14) x 36"3.04 113.04 / 2V.52 3 / 56.52=.053 or a 5.3% grade.
Add to that the 18" radius curve and you have a real pull.
dlm
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snip

To get the plastic risers to work correctly on a figure 8 layout, you start with the crossing straight. Then you start the rise with the next piece of flex track. Continue the risers to the other crossing straight. Then start down. That works out to about a 3% grade.
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I'm not sure but I think the original poster talked about a loop outside of that track. If you had a pair of turnouts to connect the two, they wuld have to be near one of the "sides" of the figure-8. That's why I estimated that a portion of the 8 would have to be flat on the layout.
I'd agree that with just a figure-8, you would start immediately after the corssing point...
dlm
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The "sofa" idea is great. I'm thinking a 48"x48" on each end of the sofa with a 96"x12" "connector". The 48"x48" would have 18" & 22" radius loops and the connector would be like a mainline with a small switchyard. I'd put my 18" Atlas arched bridge on the connector.
I'm guessing I need to avoid the temptation to go out and buy 3/4" plywood and go with an open grid-style benchwork (correct my terminology please) made of 1"x4" boards about 12" apart, then cutting 3/4" plywood to mount the track. (?)
Brock,
First thing is that you need to try to decide what you want to do. If you just want some trains to run round & round, that will take a different approach than if you want to do intircate switching moves. Usually, most of us settle for something in between.
Second, you need to decide if this is going to be your only layout. I'm on my third one right now. I learned a lot from the first two so you can think of early efforts as learning experiences. As you might guess, you will include skills learned and ideas tested in subsequent projects as you go along.
Third, as to whether or not you want to lay track on 3/4" plywood... that is kind of determined by how many hills / mountains you want in your model. If you were modeling the midwest, you would want to be much more flat than the Rocky Mountains. Even the road that you model won't always determine this... the Union Pacific goes both over the mountains and across the plains; the C&O went through the mountains of Virginia and across the flatlands of Ohio. Decide what you want to do then go from there.
As you have already learned, everyone has an opinion. And, with few exceptions, most all of them are "right" depending on what you want to do. Is a plywood base "right" for you? If you are going to be content to just have a couple of loops of track with some buildings, then probably so. My current layout is built with plywood strips in kind of a gridwork fashion with 1/4" luan plywood on that, topped off with a sheet of 3/4" blue foam insulation. That isn't right for everyone but it suits my needs perfectly.
Finally, and I'll take some real flak here from others: it is YOUR railroad so do what YOU want to do. If you want to haul modern Amtrak passenger cars with old steamers, go for it. It won't be "right" based on what really happened on the railroads, but if it's what you want, do it. If your first building efforts don't look like those that you see in MODEL RAILROADER magazine, don't despair. Keep the building as a measuring stick to judge the improved skills you acquire over time. Take your time, accomplish little things to accomplish the big things and remember that a layout is never done... once you think you are totally done, you will realize that cars may need weathered, buildings may need painted, trees may need improved... this is a lifelong hobby and you will probably have plenty of time to do all of the stuff you want to try. You don't need to do it the first day.
A friend of mine tried model railroading... he went out and bought a very expensive building kit and gave up about a third of the way into it. "Too hard & too expensive..." he says to me. No, he just bit off more than he could chew with that first bite. Start simple but dream big. Most of all, HAVE FUN!
Ask questions here or contact us individually; most of us are willing to share.
dlm
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I'll probably be wanting a few modest hills. and some dropoffs or rivers but I'm sure up or down from the main plane will not exceed 4".

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Brock wrote:

Good concept.

I _strongly_ suggest you acquire one of the following, all by Kalmbach Publishing. Your local public library may have copies, too.
Building Your First Model Railroad ($12.95) Basic Model Railroading ($117.95) HO Scale Model Railroading ($19.95) Project Railroads You Can Build ($16.95)
These will answer your current questions, as well as those you haven't thought of yet. As your experience grows, many of of Kalmbach's other books will be of interest, as well as those published by Railroad Model Craftsman.
Enjoy!
--
wolf k.

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Bernhard Agthe wrote:

<snip> I'd recommend the latter, also. For one thing, when you move, it's a lot easier to transport.
mark, moved with trainset halfway across the country three times
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Oops! Sorry, just re-read post and saw HO. [hangs head shamefully] Carry on.
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Good point on the 15" Radius... I'm running just an F7 loco, SW-1 loco, all 40' boxes, 34' hoppers, etc... era will be the 1940's-1960's.. Southern Railway small mill-town so I'm trying to keep everything 40' or less... Thanks!

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