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  1. This is just a little exercise I did for the sheer fun, a little layout to run Z Shorties on (indeed, I have a serious crush on those little critters!). And this is my reasoning behind it: Most microlayouts seem to consist of a mere continuous loop, which at times can become a bit boring in terms of operation. So people sometimes also include a siding to add a possibility for some action (like, e.g., on Takashi's adorable southern coastal railroad). A train, however, can depart easily from that siding, but to arrive you'd have to reverse direction. Therefore I've added yet another siding, which gives the possibility for point-to-point operations. And, because it's not easy to build a believable scenery with two termini on such small layouts, I've cheated shamelessly and put the two end points into one single station! Furthermore, I've added a yard of a respectable size, so while one train happily turns its circles others can be conveniently parked in sight. And here's the result of my little execise: For this execise I wanted to use standard track only - no flex nor cutting to length. The upper variant turned out a bit stiff in its appearance, but the lower one already looks quite ok. The length of the various sidings should be sufficient for 3-car-trains (this seems to be the standard for EMUs/DMUs), and the platforms a dawn with 150mm length. Of course, these track plans work much better for EMUs/DMUs than for locos, but even then you can abuse them for the odd game of inglenook sidings! Michi
  2. Hi all! I've been away from the forums for a few years, and didn't have an actual layout (or the space to put one) at the time. Now, however, I own my own house with a large-ish 20x11' area earmarked for all the N-Gauge stuff I have in storage. Unfortunately, that space is locked behind a couple of more important projects and a set of extensive renovations, so I won't get getting to it any time soon. Sadness. I've decided that, since I have the train bug NOW, I need something to work on while my full sized space is unavailable. I should also do some practice layouts before I get into a huge, complex thing and find out I'm doing it all wrong. To that end, I've found another layout-able space and started planning around that. Since Rokuhan came out with Shorty-Z stuff since the last time I looked at train stuff, it looks like a great, cheap way to ease myself in. I've got an 8' by 11" shelf to run on, and I'd like I'd like a looping layout loosely (very very loosely) based on the Enoden. I care more about miniaturized things than prototypical accuracy, so I'll be doing as much lighting, etc as possible. Unfortunately, the closest thing to a tram is a Kiha52, so I'll be customising a couple of those to run on it. I'm planning on using Rokuhan track. I'd consider Z-scale flex track, if anyone around me had any in stock. I'm also planning on DCC, hopefully using the DIY arduino DCC stuff. The Shorty Z is a super cheap way to experiment with DCC, so I'm quite excited to play with it. I've spent some time playing with track in XTrkCad, and I've tried to make it not boring. I'd love feedback on what everyone thinks on this. The top one is the bare track layout, and the bottom shows some rough road/station layouts. The blue line is a drainage channel - one of the things I saw when wandering down the Enoden in Google Maps was a dual road bridge/single rail bridge in a row, and I'd like that on the layout. There's also a short section with in-road running.
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