Suggestions for 4 x 4 HO layout

Can anyone point me to some layouts for a 4 x 4 HO layout. And what radius track should I use to maximize the layout? Thanks!

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snipped-for-privacy@excite.com wrote:

In 4' x 4' you are VERY restricted in terms of track layout. Firstly, you need to start thinking in smaller dimensions; inches assuming that's what you understand. You now have 48" x 48"! Your tracks should be 2" (in terms of track centre-line from the edges, so you've got 44" x 44" for laying track.
Now you have to decide what sort of layout you want and what sort of trains you want to run. - Bigger models need larger track radii, so you'll want 22" radius - there, your layout is already designed! A single circle of Atlas 22" radius set-track. - Smaller models; 4-6-0 steam or Bo'Bo' Diesels will manage 15" radius so you can (just) fit an alternative route on a 30" x 44" oval.
You could add industrial sidings. Further, you could put a scenic divider across the layout, diagonally or 24" back and have two scenes. Then you can shuttle goods wagons from one industry to the other. You could make an 'end to end' layout in a "U" shape. (2' x 8' would be a more practical size) You could make a double (or more) level layout, which would really be two seperate layouts one above the other. Using a Fleischmann rack locomotive and track you could join those levels using a 1:3 or 1:4 gradient.
If you wanted to use tiny industrial 4 wheel locomotives (and short wagons) you could reduce the track radius to about 10-11", that would allow much more track.
If you're a complete beginner I'd suggest you buy some Atlas 15" radius curves, a dozen standard straights, a good pile of short makeup straights and say four small radius turnouts and then play with them on your table. If you're experienced but want ideas try <http://carendt.us/
Regards, Greg.P. NZ
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snipped-for-privacy@excite.com wrote:

"101 Trackplans" has a few designs this size (and smaller). On a layout of this size, the scenic theme and design is even more important than the the track plan, since there isn't much scope for track planning in such a small space.
Basically, for the track plan you have 3 choices:
a) "Folded figure eight", or round and round and over itself, which entails steep grades (around 4%). A couple of spurs can be fitted in. Difficult to deal with scenically, though.
b) Circle/oval with perhaps a passing siding (or else double track), and a couple of spurs.
c) C shaped point to point. Problem is very short yard tracks at each end. Advantage is that one leg of the C can be a fiddle yard. Industrial theme or small station would work best with this IMO. Lots of room for spurs.
If you build your own track, you can insert turnouts wherever you like, building them to fit. Otherwise, you're pretty well limited to 15"-18" radius track and #4 turnouts.
One attractive theme is a seaside layout: imagine a bay cutting across the layout, with a hill high enough to warrant a tunnel at one end, and a small fishing village at the other. A single track line with a spur or two will fit nicely.
An alternative is a central ridge that divides the layout into two (or even three) scenes, with tunnels separating them. One scene could be s spur leading to a mine, another a small station in the middle of the mountains, the third a trestle bridging a small gully between the tunnels. Gary Courtemanche's portable Blood, Sweta & Tears RR (6'x3'3") shows how this works (NMRA Bulletin, April 1999).
You could do a city scene (perhaps with double track) and several spurs, with tall buildings and overbridges acting as scene dividers. If you use an 0-4-0 tank engine or small diesel switcher and 40ft or smaller freight cars, you can use 15" radius curves, and run quite a nice switching operation.
Also, go to carendt.com. Car Arendt specialises in micro layouts. He has lots of designs on his website, mostly much smaller than 4'x4'. Pick one of his small layouts, and enlarge it to fit your 4'x4' space. Enlarging a small trackplan to fit a larger space will always work better than trying to shrink one to size. ;-)
Have fun!
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what

If space permits, you might want to consider splitting the 4'x4' sheet in half and building a 2'x8' switching layout on a shelf. The operating posibilities are far greater than you'll be able to get from a 4'x4' square.
Len
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Or Go N scale

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tex shalter skriver:

Exactly.
4x4 H0 scale is just way too small.
Klaus
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Thanks everyone. I realize I'm up for a chalenge, but a 4 x 4 is all I have room for. And I have A WHOLE BUNCH of HO tracks, trains, and everything else. I need to go HO right now. Maybe in the future, I can pass this on to someone and go to N scale.
But I do appreciate to suggestions from everyone. Keep them comming.!! Thanks !!
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snipped-for-privacy@excite.com wrote in

Consider a switching layout for operation, or go modular. There's not (as far as I've seen) a whole lot of HO modular activity, but if you build according to the NMRA's standards someone's bound to have another module...
Your 4x4 space can fit two 2x4 modules, giving you a layout to work on and a sense of possibly expanding. Right now, I've got 12' of layout, 3 2x4 modules. As I get time and inspiration, I'm going to expand that. My advantage (and the thing that's holding me back) is that I can bring everything to a decent state of completion before going to the next module.
For more layout space, you could join an area club. The club I'm in has a large HO layout and I've put more route miles on most my rolling stock there in the last 2 weeks than I had on my layout total.
Puckdropper
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snipped-for-privacy@excite.com schrieb am 27.11.2007 06:07:

How about 8 x 2 made in two segments easy to be assembled to be operated? On 8 * 2 you can have a nice operating industrial yard with a lot of switching. If you do hand lay track (Code 70) with some special switches as often found in industrial areas and superdetail the buildings there will be work for some years.
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snipped-for-privacy@excite.com wrote:

By "all I have room for", do you mean that you have space for a 4x4 layout accessible from two or more sides? If so, you have a great deal more space than you think. IOW, what exactly is your room size or allocated space? I'm pretty sure it's larger than 4x4, right?
Assume 2ft minimum aisle space along any side of the layout, which also means that you are pretty svelte person. ;-) Then a 4x4 layout accessible from all four sides requires 8x8 minimum. An L-shaped layout about 12-16" wide along two sides of such a space turn-back loop (18" radius) on the third side will actually provide a central walk-in space about 3ft wide! Plus about 40ft of mainline run end-to end.... Think about it.
HTH
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David Starr wrote:

Look at my thread called 'FREMO Module design + Marklin K-track', where I detail exactly such an approach.
Cheers, N.F.
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I did up a little 4 x 6 mining layout in HO. It was mostly on the cutsie side so i sorta made it way too cutsie. Some kid has it now but it was fun to do. A small 0-4-0 or small diesel switcher, ore jennys shorty tank cars etc might be the ticket... An On30 industrial setting also might fit.there is a website totally dedicated to timer saver and similar layouts. I'm sure you can find something there. If i find the address i'll pass it along...
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On Wed, 28 Nov 2007 01:20:08 GMT, Big Rich Soprano

In the files section of the yahoo group small-layout-design, about two thirds of the way down,there is a link to what I think is the ideal 6' by 4' plan. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/small-layout-design/files /
This is the Rev. W. Awdrey's Ffarquar branch. Yes, that W. Awdrey, the Thomas the tank engine man.
He took this layout round the British exhibition circuit in the 1960s. It had a terminus with freight yard, fiddle yard, continuous run, and village all in a 6 by 4 layout with plenty of accurate operation.
Obviously the engines were small and the trains short but it was a fairly realistic example of a minor country branch line in the 1830s when the last of the 4-wheeled passenger cars were still being used.
You didn't even notice the faces on the engines because apart from that it wasn't toy like.
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"Christopher A.Lee" wrote:

That would be 1930s, presumably, when the last 4 wheelers were running although I would have thought it was later than that.

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wrote:

Yes.
I saw the layout at the Central Hall, Westminster show in the early 1960s.
I found this link. They're short bogie coaches in the picture. The entrance to the fiddle yard was disguised by the trees behind the train.
http://www.pegnsean.net/~railwayseries/ffarquhar.htm

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See: http://carendt.com /
Rob

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On Nov 25, 1:34 pm, snipped-for-privacy@excite.com wrote:

MCD:
My first HO layout was 4 x 4. I dunno about operational possibilities. (Back then, I dunno about benchwork. It was 1/4" plywood laid across two old dressers. No, they weren't the same height. Thank goodness for encyclopedias. Knowledge is strength.)
Limited, sure, but I had fun.
Here's a simple plan you could use:
http://www.geocities.com/kezelak/tinymr/L4x4a.jpg
It's a lot better than mine, which was "Oval with One Spur Economy Special". Operations would involve traffic to and from the interchange (simulated by an attached 1-track fiddle yard, or by 0-5-0 switching the station's siding) and local customers.
Switches are Snap-Switches with plastic frogs. I have lately found that these actually work very well if the rail adjacent the frog is kept clean, even with short- wheelbase engines. Where I get problems, it seems, is with unpowered metal frogs that are higher than the railhead...that's another story.
I have built some small shelf switchers, but I find this kind of layout more fun. You can get an infinitely long run. You can simulate multiple stations. You can watch 'em run. You've got room for scenery. All these, and you can still have fun switching.
Cordially yours: Gerard P. President, the Venango & Erie.
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