Just wanted to ask does anyone have any experience with the Moth Lake & Mount Ahab RR layout as depicted in the book "Track Planning Ideas from Model Railroader 58 track plans from past issues. Its an 1' X 18' layout with multiple elevations.
I am considering the possibility of building this layout and wanted input from anyone before I begin.
I seem to remember it being a little more than 1' wide :-).
I have no experience with it, but I've considered building it as well. Seemed like an excellent plan for the space.
If you do build it, post pictures somewhere. And if you haven't already, join the Yahoo layout construction group. Lots of good advice available there. In fact, that might be a good place to ask your question.
H'm. Lessee, that leaves a four foot aisle on two sides, or a two foot aisle on all four sides. Is that what you are thinking of? Four foot aisles are good - lots of room for people to pass each other. Two foot aisles are bad - barely enough room for one person to pass by the layout, with increased risk of bumping into structures and trees near the edge, etc.
Are you looking for another possible town + industry at (say) the lower side of the plan (where the planner shows a "screen of trees hid[ing] grade"?) If so, see comment on access space below.
Think of the plan as a guide, not a prescription. IOW, expand and bend it to fit your space. Fitting a small plan into a larger space is always an improvement, and this plan is an excellent starting point. If you make a few photocopies of the plan, and draw a rectangle of 16x24ft to the same scale, you can cut-and-paste the photocopies. Sketch in connecting tracks and added spurs, etc. The plan as drawn is a very good one IMO - simple enough to be doable, complex enough to permit interesting operation, with a consistent scenic theme.
By this method, you can also get an idea of how much work-bench space, crew/lounge space might be available in the upper left corner. The plan as drawn assumes a duck-under the truss bridge (top left corner), or else a movable panel on which the bridge is built. (Some people have built working drawbridges, something to think about for the future.)
The other access problem is at the lower right corner; your additional space would permit a rearrangement of the tracks along the lower and right sides to make this access area larger (access areas are often too small.) In fact, if duck-unders are acceptable, you could make this another operating area (add a passing siding, spur/branch line from Ahab to a mine or a 2nd lumber camp, etc.)
One way to make duck-unders easier to handle is to raise the whole layout. These days, the recommendation for the "normal" track elevation is about chest-to-chin height for a standing operator, which for most people is around 50-60". (Some tracks can be lower than this.) If you put zero elevation of the ML&ARR at 54" above the floor, the duckunder at lower right can have about 50" clearance - not bad if your back is in reasonable shape, and high enough to allow a roll-under on an office chair in its lowest position if your back is getting as old as mine. :-)