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moawkwrd

Time to a build a layout

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moawkwrd

Hi all,

 

I've owned a few bits of Kato for a number of years, I even built a baseboard with the hope that I'd end up with a nice layout, but unfortunately real life got in the way. Well now I have some time and funds to dedicate to continuing it.

 

At the moment I have the following:

 

Kato D51 SL Starter Set (M1 track)

V1+V3 Track Sets

Kato 6 car freight set

Kato C11 SL set

Pack of R249-15s

 

And the baseboard I built a few years ago is 7.5ft x 2ft roughly - made up of 1x 4x2 section and 1x 3.5x2 section held together with coach bolts.

 

As you can probably guess, my setting would be 1950s/1960s Japan with Steam and early Diesel. I'm happy to stick with DC control for the time being also.

 

It's not wide enough to get the R315 curves in I know, so I figure I have two options - stick to a terminus shunting layout in the space I've got or expand the space with another section of baseboard. As I'm renting at the moment, ideally I would be able to take the boards apart to move/put into storage if necessary.

 

My room layout is like this:

 

a5Ow5UJ.jpg?3

 

But with another a baseboard of 5x2 or 4x2 I could have something like this:

 

C1SpQ21.jpg?2

 

And then I could have a medium sized terminus that runs through mountainous terrain in the corner to a small terminus round the corner. I think I'd also put in some kind of connection to a mainline for further expansion.

 

Any thoughts or ideas for a shunting layout would be much appreciated! :icon_scratch:

Edited by moawkwrd

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kvp

2 feet is just barely enough to squeeze in some 282mm curves, so you can have a single track oval with the smallest mainline curves. This could be used to form a dogbone at the back of the layout and you can add a through station this way with a yard in front. The L shaped layout allows even more.

 

For a shunting layout you could have a smaller and a larger station and could even make a balloon loop with the smaller station being a through one and the larger being a terminus or even a switchback station with two lines going out on the same end. (the two being the two ends of the baloon loop) The latter arrangement is for the L shaped variant though.

 

For the steam trains, a turntable is almost a must and i would add a small roundhouse and some yard tracks. You could also fold the line in two and place the stations at different elevations and connect them with an S or C curve ramp.

 

Many country station buildings in that era had combined passenger/freight buildings with stub tracks next to the buildings serving as freight tracks, mostly also with high platforms on at least one side.

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velotrain

A few thoughts.  I know that US N-scalers, and I'm quite sure Euro (certainly UK ;-) N-scalers do shunting, but I gather that very few Japanese are interested.  It does require quite high levels of reliability for both track and rolling stock (standardized car weight, high-quality wheels, accurately mounted couplers, etc.)  I suspect the biggest question, certainly for someone like you who is interested in technology and animation, is how to handle the mechanics of it.

 

Here in the US, and I gather much of the world, those interested in operations will use Kadee/Micro-Trains couplers, either with their under track magnets or skewers, etc. for uncoupling.  I know there are other magnetic-based systems in the UK, and perhaps Europe.  Many operations-minded modelers enjoy the physical contact with the trains often experienced in shunting, while others wish to maintain a remote hands-off relationship.  One approach that some use is to keep their trains (including freight) permanently coupled, but have working couplers on the engines and end-cars to facilitate run-arounds, etc.  This works particularly well with sets of cars for specific industries - oil, cement, beer/sake, etc.

 

How certain are you that you'd be satisfied without a loop, or would you be willing to restrict your loop running to the club layout?  There is a potential way to cheat on the radius problem, assuming the issue is more visual than operational.  You could use 348mm (or 315) track for the visible portion of the end loops, but hide half of the curve on 249mm radius in tunnels, or otherwise camouflaged - if your stock would take it.  I'm not familiar with the Kato track sets, so have no idea how what you have may or may not fit this approach.  It may be an issue for steam engines.

 

You could build most of the boards as a terminal / shunting layout, but still have the luxury of a loop when you just feel like running trains.  I'd suggest a scenic approach that hides the existence of the loop as much as possible - say a mountain tunnel at the country end and buried in urban scenery on the terminal end - perhaps hidden under a higher level yard / urban landscape.  Since you're aiming for what I take to be considered mid-Showa ("transition" in US modeling terms), it should be easy enough to make it look convincing.

 

Also be aware that a turntable + roundhouse and other steam servicing facilities will take a fair amount of your limited real estate.  Perhaps consider a smaller combined steam/diesel facility - if those existed ?  Or, perhaps place the coaling tower and maybe other components in the country?

 

 

 

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kvp

For steam era shunting i would suggest rapido couplers as this is what most cars have off the shelf and the only thing compatible across all manufacturers and they work pretty reliably without fine adjustments. There are remote uncouplers for them too. (both mechanic and electrically operated)

 

In rural Japan there were no fully separate steam/diesel facilities just the same small roundhouse for both. Often with most facilities inside for weather protection.

 

ps: Why i mention rural Japan? Because most urban areas did a steam/electric transition and skipped diesel altogether. Most japanese modellers choose big city EMUs, so while steam era layouts are rare, even Kato has one in one of its shops with a nice shunting yard next to the main station.

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moawkwrd

Many thanks for the extensive replies! Gave me a lot to think about.

 

I've decided to stick with the space I've got and I've come up with the following layout:

 

psuNhY0.png

 

Which is probably bit too packed for most British modellers! It combines the Kato plans for the station and yard taken from here:

 

http://www.katomodels.com/unitrackplan/index.shtml - "N Gauge Additional Section Plan"

 

Which I've tweaked slightly to accommodate the space I have. The curves I've used (249mm) are the smaller size than 282mm but I found it quite difficult to get the larger radius to fit in with those two sections. I also understand from some Googling that Kato rolling stock is probably quite unlike British manufacturers in that it's quite happy with tighter radius.

 

Sadly I don't think there is space for a turntable and roundhouse... I could possibly fit in the turntable like this?

 

2VkbCAt.png

 

Or I can could use the smaller manual Peco N gauge turntable?

 

I'm going to continue tweaking it as I'd like to stick with the number 6 points if possible to avoid any potential problems as I've heard they can cause derailing - I could probably shorten the station length somewhat (as this plan makes use of both 23-130 and 23-131 platform sets - does anyone know how many sections the extension set includes?).

 

Criticism welcome!

Edited by moawkwrd

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kvp

Number 4 points are good as long as you have a half car long straight between the point blades and any sharp curves. The layout isn't cramped based on the japanese prototype. Imho the turntable/roundhouse can be used to replace the shed as you don't really need both. Diesels and steamers were both housed in there and straight sheds are more for emus/dmus/electrics. A few rolling stock sidings and the roundhouse should be enough for a country station.

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moawkwrd

I think I've finalised the plan so far:

 

EalktRp.png

 

With a few changes, it sure makes purchasing easier!

 

I only need to purchase 3x V4 variation sets, 1x V1 variation set, 2x 249mm curves 4pc, and 2x 62mm buffer stop 2pc and of course the turntable... but I think that will have to wait until funds allow! This way means I end up with minimal track wastage.

 

I tried to fit in the 3 track roundhouse as suggested but it would eat into my plans for the scenery as well as being an extra cost, so I've decided against it in favour of the use of the sidings and the engine shed.

Edited by moawkwrd
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velotrain

If you move the turntable access up to say the third "yard" track, you'll have plenty of room for a roundhouse below it, and perhaps the engine shed in addition - it could just be shifted to the right with slightly shorter lead tracks.

 

It mostly causes a space problem because you have it in the center of the board, instead of to one side, which would be a more economical use of space.

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moawkwrd

As I said though, that eats too much into my plans for scenery which include a thick-ish forest leading up to the mountain side on the left, further dividing the station side from the yard side. I also don't think a roundhouse is really appropriate for my setting of a busy but ultimately small country layout on a single line track. I spent a lot of time last week researching stations on Google Earth trying to get ideas for layouts and existing roundhouses were much rarer than just existing turntables on the sort of line I'm trying to model. Of course I'm not an expert, but that's my impression. I'm trying to find the balance between cramming as much in as possible whilst still not being too busy.

 

bKR0IgC.png

 

Another option is to place the smaller Peco NB-55 turntable on the siding next to the engine shed, as motoring kits for those are much cheaper than the Kato set.

 

http://modeltraincatalogue.com/downloads/arduinoturntable.pdf

 

Seems like a good plan, rather than purchasing a motor set and a separate DC controller.

Edited by moawkwrd
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velotrain

In any event, moving the turntable provides more room for the forest.

 

I take it your industries are all served by trucks?  It would be easy enough to add a siding or two into that area.

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kvp

The lack of roundhouses are the result of dieselisation, but in the early years each station had one that had engine servicing equipement. Turntables were often used at smaller mountain stations with a watering crane only to turn back banking engines. Many roundhouses were demolished while keeping the turntable which could come handy with rolling stock and dmus too.

 

The stepper motor is a good idea, but any slow geared dc motor and a polarity switch running from accessory power would also work. You'll need a polarity switch for the turntable and the easiest is using a rotary for selecting a track for power. If a roundhouse doesn't fit, you can still add an open air track or two for storage or connect two parallel sidings to provide a runaround.

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VJM

Do you REALLY have to fit the baseboards into that recess in the room?  Why not let the layout stick a little bit further into the room to allow for the deeper size and so the wider curves?

 

I know I wouldn't be happy having a great layout like your proposed design above and needing severe restrictions on the type of locomotive/rolling stock, especially after you have put in all that work building it.  Just a thought.

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moawkwrd

In any event, moving the turntable provides more room for the forest.

 

I take it your industries are all served by trucks?  It would be easy enough to add a siding or two into that area.

 

Yeah, that's what the siding is below the area marked Industry, for the Kato Freight Platform set. Not sure what industry will go there yet, probably a couple of smaller ones to allow for some variety in the rolling stock.

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moawkwrd

Do you REALLY have to fit the baseboards into that recess in the room?  Why not let the layout stick a little bit further into the room to allow for the deeper size and so the wider curves?

 

I know I wouldn't be happy having a great layout like your proposed design above and needing severe restrictions on the type of locomotive/rolling stock, especially after you have put in all that work building it.  Just a thought.

 

The baseboard was built a few years ago for an entirely different layout design as I said in the opening post.. It fits just so that I can have my computer desk and chair fit opposite. It's a small house so this is the only room with space for a layout and my computer desk can't fit in any other room.

 

Not sure what the severe restriction would be though... there's enough room in the platforms and sidings for 6 passengers coaches and the full 6 car freight set, and apparently Kato locos are just fine with 249mm curves? I ran a little test yesterday with my D51 and C11 on the four pieces of 249 15 degree curves I have and couldn't foresee any problems.

 

kFORTwq.jpg?1

 

Of course I'm going to buy a few more locomotives, coaches and freight cars... but nothing crazy. I won't be running any EMUs of course. This is a rural station remember. Running full length trains is something I can aim towards in the future when I have space, time and money for a big OO British layout (which is where my main interest lies - LMS particularly). The idea with this layout is to build something that I can actually complete with my current circumstances that satisfies my interest in Japanese railways.

 

RE: The turntable - a passing loop is a good idea but I think I'll have to use some flexitrack to make it up as it's going to be a challenge using unitrack and the Peco turntable.

Edited by moawkwrd

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VJM

Ah, sorry, I missed that you were working with boards that had already been built. 

 

I've checked all the locos in the Kato catalog and all will pass R249, with the exceptions of the C62, EF56, EF57 and possibly some other rarer locos like the E10 from Micro Ace.  Shinkansens obviously won't be able to get around and some of them run on reasonably rural looking lines like the E6, but as you say, probably not appropriate.

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Rod.H

What about using a 180deg curve made up of 2 R249 & 2 R282, a curve like that is recommended by some to improve running. I'm just not certain on what the arrangement is meant to be, it's either R249-R282-R282-R249 or the reverse of that.  Though doing that's probably going to eat up space and require a redesign as a R282 curve just fits in a 600mm wide space.

It's a suggestion in case you find something that baulks on R249. Of which you shouldn't find too many that's not a Shinkansen. Though I did have troubles with a Kiha 110 on R282, R280/315 curves till I changed a setting on the coupler.

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velotrain

I had earlier suggested using 348 or 315 radius for the visible part of an end curve, if the other half of it was 249 and hidden, but that was for appearance reasons, not operational.  I believe what Rod is talking about is known as an easement - providing a wider radius curve at the transition from straight track to a curve, and at the end of it.  The idea is that the gentler curve gets the trucks / bogies used to being in a curve so that the transition to a sharper radius (or straight track) is less dramatic.  Folks who use flextrack will generally incorporate this into their trackplans, often using multiple radii for short distances to provide the smoothest transition possible.

 

This is very similar to the suggestion of having a section of straight track when transitioning from a curve to a turnout, which greatly decreases the potential for derailments at the latter.

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moawkwrd

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone!

 

wicJIAx.png

 

G4vLvTy.jpg?1

 

I managed to get some track packs over the holiday and revised the layout a tad... My next job is to start drilling holes for the point wiring. I'm not sure how I'm going to mount all the point switches yet. I do have some plywood and PSE left over so I could make a control board that fits to the side of the baseboard. My idea for the turntable is to have it built into the mountain side with retaining walls behind.

 

All of my rolling stock is fine. I've been running in my two locos and haven't had any derailments.

Edited by moawkwrd
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Khaul

For inspiration:

 

Edited by Densha
Fixed YouTube embed
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Heiko1

 

@moawkwrd, Do you have a rail plan with the numbers of the kato rail pieces

Edited by Heiko1

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defor
Posted (edited)
On 2/28/2018 at 9:33 AM, Heiko1 said:

 

@moawkwrd, Do you have a rail plan with the numbers of the kato rail pieces

I'm a bit confused with the connection to the turntable (specifically the curve at 15°), but there's likely a bug in RailModeler Pro.

I've been looking at a lot of compact layouts in order to get a better feel for what I can do in the space I have for my layout, so I transferred his layout to RMP:

 

moawkwrd_layout.png

 

I'm not sure which short bumpers he was planning to use, so swap 20-060 for 20-048 for Japanese bent rail bumpers as needed.

Edited by defor
notes.

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