I am using HORNBY OO scale I think...this may sound daft, but what are the
differences from a trainset and a model railway? I am a complete novice
with the hobby, so still learning the ropes :)
OK, I know what I mean but it's not too easy to explain.
Trainset - basic concept often a oval-based layout on a board generally
around 6 or 8'0" x 4'0".
Model railway - a more serious attempt at producing something which is based
on prototype track formations and train operation.
If you're looking at the former then some along the line of the Peco OO
Setrack Planbook at GBP1.75 will almost certainly fulfil your needs. It's
cheaper than the Hornby equivalent (and better in my opinion) and includes
some sensible progressions from the basic oval.
There are other cheap book in the Peco Publications range (all priced around
£1.60) which could be useful if your ambitions are more towards the model
railway concept. 60 Plans for Small Layouts is one of them.
You might want to try and get hold of a copy of The Model Railway Design
Manual by C.J. Freezer - it's published by Haynes and is a hardback book
about A4 size with an orange cover.
It covers a lot of aspects of making a model railway, and does give some
complete trackplans but more often gives individual sections such as
variations on stations, depots, sidings, etc...
I'll second that, my current project is a variation of a plan from that
book, and taken as a whole - for a beginner the book provides an excellent
introduction to the whole process of building a model railway. Since I got
back into the hobby last year I found it to be extremely useful.
I think I would like to have something which is fun to build, and looks nice
afterwords - I would be come very bored with just the oval trainset, so I
will be attempting to create a more substantial layout including scenery,
I will get a hold of the PECO publications you mention and get started!
=>Whats the Best Track Planning Book for beginners?
Firstly, think "layout design", not "track planning." Secondly, anything by
Iain Rice. Thirdly, John Armstrong's Track Planning for Realistsic Operation.
Despite its North American prototype base, it's full of good general
principles and how to implement them, from how to utilise space efficiently,
to how to adapt prototype practices to model railway designs..
Beware: layout design can become a hobby in istelf. :-)
If you didn't want to go to Chicago, why did you get on this train?
Sensible advice on the "trainset" starting point snipped.
If you want to see what the other side of the fence (model railway) looks
like, I suggest purchasing one of Iain Rice's layout design books (he's
written quite a few). Its a very small investment to get an idea of what the
other half do, if you like the "model railway" side, you can then take it
As a fellow neophyte,
both seconded. Good stuff. Also browse your local second-hand
bookshop for inspiration. I found some nice layout design books and
some good photographic histories with inspirations for odd corners for
a few pounds each or less.
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
I will second that. Armstrong's book is, to my mind, the best A to Z
guide to layout planning that exists. From philosophy to nuts and
bolts of calculating your own civil engineering standards. It is
North American, but the principals are the same.
Me being a Yankee, I found going to British outline a trip down the
rabbit hole. All of my instincts were wrong. The research is a big
part of the fun for me, learning something new and all that. I
latched onto CJ Freezer's book, mentioned by someone else in this
thread, and that filled in a lot of the basic gaps for me. Armstrong
covers more ground, more thoroughly. Freezer references and explains
British prototypes. For my purposes, I rely heavily on both and could
live without neither.