# Long Trains [layout space needed]

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Re: [HO Scale] Train lengths

I have been limitring my planning to trains under 10 cars in length due to the space requirements. How are you able to handle a train that exceeds 8 feet in length?

My latest theory is to have a huge, around the room [around the layout] loop of track that meanders in and out of tunnels, around hills, through some canyons, and over several bridges with no switches. This loop would begin and end in the hidden staging area appearing [in view] on this outside loop through a tunnel and then disappearing into another tunnel to conclude its visible run.

The idea is to allow me to run l-o-n-g trains along this route as if they are approaching the on-stage layout. As the l-o-n-g train ends its visible run and enters the tunnel approaching its return to the hidden staging area, I can cut off a large portion of the cars in hidden staging. After a short delay in hidden staging, the train will then appear through another tunnel onto the on-stage layout. The *idea* is that this train, during the delay, reached an interchange, dropped off a substantial portion of its cars, and it is now completing its run with the remaining cars in tow: 10 cars or less in all.

How do you accomodate a l-o-n-g train on your layout?

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If there are enough tunnels, nobody sees how long a train actually is.... Your idea sounds good, though.

Jim Stewart

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A 500ft mainline, 22ft sidings, 35ft staging yard. (Huge Basement...)

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On my old HO layout, I used an old MR design trick of having a coal tipple on one side of a peninsula and a power/pumping station on another. The two were linked by two hidden tracks (behind the main line) which curved around the end of the peninsula, the inner one at 24" radius, outer at 26". It turned out that a twenty car train (40' 4 bay hoppers) could fit in there with the end of the cars just "on stage" at each location, with the end car projecting from sheds at each site. By having two such trains, one full and one empty, I could switch empty cars into the tipple and remove a full train. After travelling around the main, I could then switch full cars into the power station, and remove a string of empties. This was not only great fun - everything else had to take to the hole when the drag was running* - but also avoided the odd site of taking full cars from a tipple and then putting them back into the tipple.

Steve Newcastle Oz

• - I know this is the exact opposite of the superiority of trains, but hey, it was my layout!
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=>My latest theory is to have a huge, around the room [around the layout] =>loop of track that meanders in and out of tunnels, around hills, through =>some canyons, and over several bridges with no switches. This loop would =>begin and end in the hidden staging area appearing [in view] on this =>outside loop through a tunnel and then disappearing into another tunnel =>to conclude its visible run.

...snip....

For long trains, you need a long mainline run and long sidings. For a reliable staging yard operation, use #6 switches, or longer if you have the space. But keep in mind that it's difficult to seee more than 10-12 cars at typical viewing distances, so as long as both end of the train arnet't visible, it will seem to be l-o-o-ong.

HTH&GL

Wolf Kirchmeir ................................. If you didn't want to go to Chicago, why did you get on this train? (Garrison Keillor)

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A hidden yard with 8 tracks that are 20' long. On the layout there are three other passing tracks of similar length. 7 trains are pre-assembled on the hidden tracks ready for their appropriate appearance in the time schedule.

BUT, personally, I have found that unless one has really expansive scenery that can be viewed from a ways back, shorter trains look better. It is sort of the same deal as with selective compression on buildings. Most structures are too large to re-create on a layout so they are made smaller. Same thing with the trains next to those structures. If the same train goes through two scenes it can ruin the effect. Because of how the scenery is, a normal train is 5-8 cars.

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Long trains basically need a long railroad with sidings and so forth to fit the long trains. When you build a layout so that the sidings and yards handle 20 car trains then that is pretty much the standard long train for the layout. Longer trains do look nicer as they tend to start looking more like the prototype with multiple locos and a train that rolls on for a while. I've operated on layouts where a 10 car train was standard and on layouts where 50 cars or more are easily handled and found that the actual train length really didn't matter if the layout looked right.

-- Bob May Losing weight is easy! If you ever want to lose weight, eat and drink less. Works evevery time it is tried!

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And you could join a club. We have run 100 plus car trains on both the HO and N scale layouts in Casper.

Homer

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Dear folks, Dropping off the cars to shorten the train sounds interesting. If you build the kind of railroad that requires trains to take the siding & wait for another one, I find that the length of the train becomes pretty unimportant once the game of working a train along takes over. Perhaps you could also discover some iron ore. Ore jimmies are short. You could even dig a molasses mine and use 27 foot tank cars to haul the molasses from it, or build a cement plant and use short covered hoppers. Cordially yours, Gerard P.

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