Track layout evaluation?

Hey all-
Playing around with RTS 7.0, and came up with a kind of basic layout
for an N scale railroad.
From a complete n00b status, its a kind of "fantasy" layout. Large
outer basic loop, at the left end of the loop is a complete circle
(helix?) moving up one level. It parallels the outer loop around the
corner after the climbing loop for a short bit, then curves towards the
"top" of the outer loop. Midpoint at this juncture it crosses over one
side of an inner loop. The inner loop is another oval, with one spur?
coming off. The inner loop goes down at the left side to a turnout that
you can either go back up the backside of the inner loop, or to a
turnout that goes to the outer loop.
It's kind of a visualization of a small remote mining town (spur on the
inner loop) on a plateau near a mountain (Where the helix? would be.)
It's intended to be a single train layout, in a somewhat limited space.
Anyone interested in taking a peek at the layout, or commenting on it?
Given that I haven't figured out how to put in bridges, etc. yet. I'm
also trying to figure out xtrkcad too. I can email the .RAL file.
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Could you perhaps link to a picture so we could all see it? I'm having trouble visualizing it.
(Save as bitmap, convert to jpg using Paint, upload somewhere free like
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Ok, got it converted and posted to my photo album.
formatting link
Outer loop is flat, highest point of the inner loop is the right side, left point of the inner loop is same level as outer track.
Entire dimensions are about 40" x 86"
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Any feedback?
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What's your concept? That is:
What is the locale? What is the purpose of the railway? What is the operating plan or scheme?
As drawn, the plan is OK for running trains in circles, but one will have to stop while the other traverses the common strecth of track. Is that what you have in mind?
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"It's kind of a visualization of a small remote mining town (spur on the inner loop) on a plateau near a mountain (Where the helix? would be.) It's intended to be a single train layout, in a somewhat limited space."
As far as locale, I grew up in Colorado, so "somewhere" in the Rocky Mountains. I'm thinking of flip flopping the plan, and putting the helix on the right and the inner loop on the left, since the far right of the outer loop will be a "main" town where the train gets supplies for the mining community and/or drops off ore.
This is my first train layout, other than just a basic oval. I don't really want to get too much into switching, yards, etc. This is intended to be a single train, a couple basic track branches, to get used to laying track, and some of the basic wiring needed. I'll get more ambitious as I have more experience.
Mostly I'm concerned about the track merge/split on the "upper" part of the inner loop (Leading into the spur), as I think that will be midway up the slope from the low part of the inner loop, and if that should be on the right end of the upper loop instead.
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Standard plywood comes in 48' * 96" sheets. Let's do a layout to fit same. First thing I would change is the long straight tracks running straight down the sides of the table. Such a run emphasises the edge of the table. Was it me, I'd put a few gentle curves on those long straight tracks to make them follow contours in the land rather than the edge of the table. Makes for a more realistic scene. This track plan gives you a long mainline loop, so you can run a single train, and make it long, That's a goodness. You should consider adding some spur tracks leading to factories at which you can drop off and pick up cars. Consider some staging tracks, concealed, from which you can send a whole new train out upon the main line, and take to existing train in and store it for a while. Consider a passenger station somewhere, with a passing siding which allows a an express passenger train, or a commuter train, to stop and discharge passengers while express freight trains keep moving by. And, read "Track Planning for Realistic Operation" by John Armstrong.
David Starr
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David Starr

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