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Need help creating a 4x8 layout

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Hello everyone! I'm very new to the hobby and brand new to the forum (you can read my introduction post here


I have been enjoying it a ton so far, but I suffer from one huge problem: Layout indecisiveness! Below is a picture of my current layout:



(apparently I can't figure out how to insert images into my forum post. I'm very ashamed.)


It's great and I'm having fun with it, and then I had a crushing realization: I can only run one train! I have a Kato Shinkansen I love to run, but I can only have one going around at once, which I am not a fan of, so I'm thinking of building an entirely new layout.


I have 4'x8' to work with, and I can't go bigger than that at the moment. I need have space to keep my Kato Unitram on there, of course. My idea layout has at least two running loops, uses my bridge, and has room for at least one yard. Not easy for 4x8, I know! 


There's also the question of DC vs DCC... I'm open to either. I'm not a big fan of the wiring, so DCC seems much easier to me, but there's the problem of not many Japanese trains being easy to convert. If I do go DCC, I would be willing to pay a service to insert decoders for me, but, of course, that would make the layout even more expensive. I know DCC would be easier in terms of wiring and running multiple trains, but maybe a lot more expensive. What would be a good idea for me?


Does anyone have any recommendations of some good 4x8 track plans, or perhaps anyone here who has a 4x8 layout that could give me some inspiration? I'm terribly uncreative, and it's stifling my enjoyment... As soon as I have a layout I'm happy with, I'll be in heaven!  


Thank you so so so much, everyone! I can't wait to have some more fun! 

Edited by cteno4
fixed imgur embed

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Sorry this one slipped by me, but I think a lot of it was discussed over in your intro thread.


The kato plans are a great start and many fit fine in 4x8. Keep playing around with the track you have as well, it will get you thinking better on track plans.





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Hello Tim, sorry I missed this the first time around!  I recommend taking a look at kato's free Unitrack plans website. I find it to be a good inspiration for things you can do with unitrack


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JR 500系

Yes Kato's website are by far the best for layout ideas, especially track laying...


If you like to take a look at the finished products, you can also see some of the layout others have done here:




Much can be done in a small space as show by the maker above!




I love this one, the amount of details are just amazing!




Tons of ideas here with the layouts made by others.


Hoped that help!


Have fun building!

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Oh my! I completely forgot about this thread after the initial posting, haha. 


You're right, cteno4, a lot of this was discussed in my introduction thread. All this time later, I'm not much closer to deciding, but I'm going to try and keep my progress updated in my other layout thread :) These are amazing resources and I am having a blast looking at these, but I'm also getting a case of layout envy! Well, no matter, I can just keep working at it :)


Thanks a ton, guys! Sorry for not responding sooner!

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