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NJHA

My layout - Plan done! Time to start (page 7)

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NJHA

Hi all.

 

Well this is it. After several days searching the web, seeing a lot of track plans, and trying a lot of options i finally made up my mind on a layout/track plan.

It's not perfect, far from it, and i still don't have a clue on several issues but here it goes:

 

1- I want to run passenger and freight trains. Passenger may be express trains or bullet trains or both, not sure yet. For freight its a complete void, absolutely no idea, not even the industry   :icon_scratch: .

2- I got 2 kids. The layout has to be fun for them to watch and even operate, so not many switching, and capable of looping (and tunnels naturally).

3- I figure the longest trains will have about 6 cars + locomotive. They cant be longer than 1 meter.

4- No more space. I'm taking a corner on my dinning room, i am not authorized to take any more space.

5- I plan on going DCC on a near future. 

6- Minimum radius on any curve is 315mm

7- The plan is to be built in steps. I think i will start with the V6 variation from kato and go from there. All track will be kato unitrack. 

 

 

Questions: 

1- I believe that electrically the plan is correct and there are no shorts. Did i miss any?

2- I have a roco multimaus command station for DCC. It was meant for H0. Will it work on N?

3- Will the continuous lighting or all wheel pickup cause any problems on the turnouts (on DC/DCC)?

4- I have some S curves on my plan. Do i need to take any special precaution?  

 

Comments: 

Well please say what you think. Would you change anything? Add anything? Start over? What am i missing/ not planning properly?

 

The track plan (attached):

 

post-2176-0-69037500-1390005763_thumb.jpg

Edited by NJHA

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kvp

It's a nice trackplan. It seems to me that you have a single track loop with a shortcut built to look like a double track layout at some points. However with 2 kids, you might be better off if you provide two loops because your layout doesn't make it easy to run two trains at the same time especially in different directions. It's possible but when someone gets the timing wrong, you will have a few accidents.

 

Kato turnouts are power routing, so for dcc you will need several feed points or have to modify the turnouts to be power everywhere. If you don't want to take up your track when switching to dcc, then just add feeders to every section that can be cut off by the turnouts and connect them together when in dcc mode. This will allow you to switch between dc and dcc mode or even have dc trains sitting on isolated sidings while running with dcc.

 

For N scale, the H0 voltage is way too high, but you can use a diode chain connected serially between the station and the tracks to lower the DCC voltage to be around 12V. (every conventional silicon diode pair connected back to back will take 0.7V off)

 

S curves are not really good for some high speed trains and you have to go slowly over them, so your shinkansens will either be going really slow or you have to add some straights in the middle.

 

Personally i think, that running shinkansens mixed with other trains is not really a good idea either (they are different scales too), so the usual way is to have a separate shinkansen line with broad curves and lots of elevations and a normal line for the rest. The only exceptions are the mini shinkansen lines, where you see standard gauge commuter stock together with the faster trains, but they can not be used by full shinkansen trains and the line speed is really slow. But you can make a carefully planned mainline stand in for a shinkansen line or a conventional mainline by using different trains.

 

My idea would be to make a double tracked elevated mainline and a single tracked conventional line criss crossing under it. That would provide 3 separate (but interconnected) loops for 3 people to play at the same time without the danger of hitting each other's trains. I would also put the freight depot on the single tracked line. This line could be connected in a way into the mainline, that one of the mainline loops could be used to run through both lines in a single loop. (like a folded pattern 8) That would turn the 3 loops into a short mainline and a longer mainline+branchline loops for two people to play at the same time.

 

ps: For freight, the two classics are the conventional container trains and the old mixed freight trains. What you choose depends on the age and area you are modelling. My personal favourite is the super rail cargo freight emu, but it's a bit pricey. Getting a container and diesel freight set is much easier or a small shunter with boxcars for an old time layout. Industry can be as simple as a freight forwarding yard (with a few trucks) or a warehouse.

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Mudkip Orange

This is an *extremely* Mudkip track plan.

 

You've got a twice-around with over-under crossings, and you've got a shortcut that makes it a single loop. Maybe the single loop diversion has an easy ruling grade (e.g. 2%) while the twice-around is steeper.

 

I'd really only suggest two (okay, three) changes.

 

(i) You're probably going to use the twice-around functionality a lot more than the once-around, so the curve at the bottom right should align with the outside track and the S-curve switch should go inside.

 

(ii)/(iii) I would suggest adding a couple more passing loops and platforms. This gives you more passing abilities. And putting stations that can only be accessed via one of the two loops (twice-around or single-around) gives you more operating variety... you have to make at least three circuits to serve every station with a single train.

Edited by Mudkip Orange

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Mudkip Orange

Here's what that looks like...

 

q1gFu3S.png

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macdon

Merely as a suggestion, elevate the outer tracks for a dedicated shinkansen line. Connect Mudkip's red and blue line below for separate ground level line for commuter and freight.

If you have industrial sidings for freight, you can integrate 2-3 industries on that part with isolated joiners and a separate power pack. You can do freight work on those sidings while the commuter is running around the line. 

When freight is ready to use the line, park the commuter train on a station siding.

 

Mardon

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NJHA

Thank you all for your valuable input. 

 

Now to address your points/suggestions. 

 

@Kvp :  The track plan is an attempt,still in "beta version". I did however missed the point on my kids. I was considering doing a double track initially but i seem to have lost my bearing somewhere along the route. And you are correct, this layout is accident prone with children due to the turnouts. I am sure they would love seeing two trains collide head on, but i know for sure that i wouldn't.

Also the power routing situation on the kato turnouts. I didn't consider it but it seems to me that changing the turn will disconnect a huge lot of track, i'll have to take a deeper look at it.

I will rethink about the double track viaduct for the shinkansen. Having 90cm on the smaller sides i can use curves as large as 450mm radius so i think i can manage.

And thanks for the industry idea. I am planning on modern era trains so the warehouse with containers seems a  great idea. 

 

@Mudkip: What is an extremely Mudkip track plan? The way it is setup? Or similar to one of your own? It can be similar to one of yours if you ever posted one on the net. I have looked at a few hundred layouts over this past week i believe , so one or few of them may be familiar. 

Thank you for your idea on the extra platforms and general track rearrangement, i'll consider them.  

 

@Madcon: Shinkansen are a possibility but not a certainty. I am not that excited with the most recent models, i prefer less aggressive/aerodynamic lines so they are an open choice.

 

I have to go back to my plan and rework it, now that i have a clearer set of goals and your advice.  

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NJHA

Hi again.

 

Over the past few days I have been working on a new track plan trying to achieve my original goals.

I have now my mind made up on the kind of trains i will be running and several other open issues.

I came up with a "no fuss" track plan, although kind of big in terms of track. It's simply 2 concentric tracks allowing for 2 trains to be run independently.

 

Then i stepped up a bit and upgraded the plan to a bit more complex plan. 

I tryed to max the available space, getting a rather long station (my calculation is 7 to 8 cars capacity) while at the same time allowing for some liberty on the scenery latter on. On the "upgrade" plan i tried to identify areas i will use/model. 

 

Layout has 3 "levels". Station is at 70mm height level, tunnels are ground level, viaduct are at 130mm level. Inclines are at most 2,6%. Minimum radius is 315mm.

I will not run shinkansen as i don't feel i have a layout made for them. I will be running express passenger trains and freight (container) trains. Trains will have from 5 to 8 cars max, although i will be aiming for 6 car trains. I will not be modelling any particular station/area, and trains will be modern age electric trains.

Now, please let me know what you think. Would you change anything? Add anything? Comments are again welcome. 

 

post-2176-0-80560700-1390348559_thumb.jpgpost-2176-0-96231800-1390348571_thumb.jpg

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cteno4

nice. i take it the first plan does not have a braid in the xover in the center right there! that would be an interesting escher crossing!

 

i like you can get a very long run in a tight space with this and have trains hidden in some of it. perhaps in the bottom right against the wall a mountain and another tunnel to break it up visually there as well. would be nice with a tunnel mouth just past the bridges and steep mountain in bg with bridges in foreground.

 

lots of good space for scenery even with all the track.

 

two tracks will give the kids lots to play with and not crash trains! 2.6 is not too bad for 6 car trains. 

 

looking good! 

 

jeff

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miyakoji

I really like it because it has loops turning in both directions, I think this adds something to it.

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katoftw

looks awesome.

 

you could potentially expand that upper loop/siding and make a freight yards also come off it.

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KenS

I like the track plan as it is. The double loop seems to me to be more kid-friendly than a more complex design (although that depends on the specific kids involved; older ones might enjoy a more complex layout's challenges).

 

If you want to run container trains, it might be worth changing the passing siding at the back into two one-ended sidings and making a small container yard, where you could bring one train in, and take another out.  Or take a long train and split it across two sidings. Normally a container yard wouldn't be associated with a passenger station, so the tracks adjacent to the station would be less appropriate (although you can always apply "modeler's license" and decide you do have the two together).

 

The two stub tracks at the passenger station are more likely to be used for extra passenger cars, or maintenance of way equipment (like a short train with some ballast hoppers or flat-cars for welded rail) than freight if you're going for a modern Japanese design.

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kvp

I like this. A clean mainline with a place for 5 trains to stop and 2 to run. I would like to add, that freight sidings are (or at least were) very common at smaller passanger stations. Not to mention that it can also be used to store extra passanger trains that are not in service.

 

Btw, this layout can be used for shinkansens too, because the main station layout is good for them too. With the right scenery, you can switch from conventional to shinkansen by just swapping the trains. The same is true for the yard, which can double as a freight depot or as a passanger train storage siding. It even allows some limited shunting.

 

My guess is that the top siding is for an urban/suburban station with a single island platform, where suburban trains can stop while express services overtake them. This is a nice way to add 3 train operation without the dangers of a head on collision.

 

The 3 areas (farmland, city, hills) are perfect, since the tracks divide them and they can be used to model all types of scenery. It's even possible to add water (like a lake or a seashore to one of the edges/corners).

Edited by kvp

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NJHA

Hi. 

 

Thank you all for the ideas. Now for extra information: 

 

@Jeff : The mountains/forest/temple area is still under "creative" development. I still haven't decided if i will put the train on a tunnel,exiting over the viaduct or if i'll make the train run in a canyon. Nevertheless i will make a mountain, some forests, a lake/water body and i even plan on designing a waterfall. To sum it up i'll place a temple or two. I've seen some pictures of waterfall areas so i get some ideas on it.  The mountain area is partly against a wall so it will help.

 

@Miyakoji : Thanks. It wasn't easy to come up with this. I wanted broad curves so i end up doing a LOT of trial/error iterations. And even when you get the 2D plan, then you have to think on 3D and clearances. I suffered a bit because of the center crossing and then i was faced with the daunting task of dropping from 130mm to 0mm in a small space without going into 3 or 4% grades.   

 

@Katoftw and KenS : That upper sidding was there just to allow passing and i was considering on doing the freight yard near the station. However i believe your idea is better. I think i'll maybe cut one of the sidings on the station and create a freight yard on the upper area. I wanted to reuse the 2 entrances but that track has a 2,5% grade so cars will not stay put. I can sacrifice one of the entrances and level the siding. Something to think about.

 

@kvp : Even though i wont be going the prototype road, i want to make things as close as possible to reality. I had considered the sidings near the station for freight but as i said to katoftw and KenS i think their idea is better. I will still have someplace to stop a train.  As for the shinkansens, i'm not planning to run them,since either loop has a mix of 315 and 348mm curves without banking. Running shinkansens requires a different track plan. The long station will allow me to harbor 2 trains on the same track when i change from DC to DCC.   

 

Now, to choose for the trains. We have already seen a few that we like (yes, wife and kids opinions are considered) but i want other options.

What would you put on this layout?

cargo train:

passenger train (no shinkansen):

 

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kvp

cargo trains:

-de10 with boxcars

-ef64 with containers

passenger trains:

-103 series

-113 series

-485 series

-583 series

 

This seems consistent enough for a layout, but since you can swap out the trains it can be anything.

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Mudkip Orange

I like the first plan better. It has options. The revised plan is just a twisty roundy-round. Trains go backward and forward, but there are no branch lines.

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katoftw
I like the first plan better. It has options. The revised plan is just a twisty roundy-round. Trains go backward and forward, but there are no branch lines.

some turnouts/point could go before the tunnel entrances to create a 3rd underground line???

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NJHA
I like the first plan better. It has options. The revised plan is just a twisty roundy-round. Trains go backward and forward, but there are no branch lines.

That's true. But i needed a plan simple enough to be operated by kids without the risk of head on collisions. My kids were never allowed to operate trains before (too young) and are excited with the prospect so i don't want to take that away from them.

The original plan was a more adult track plan, where you had to be careful in operation. It presented several challenges on the operating aspect not that much compatible with small hands, and poor hand/eye coordination typical on a small child.

 

So, to prevent tears over damaged material, i choose to make the track plan simpler and easier to operate by children. In that i lost part of the original complexity and a lot of the operating challenges, but i gained the possibility of enjoying a hobby with my kids, without worries that they might throw a switch wrong and set precious little trains on the disaster path at full speed.  

All things considered i believe i win more than what i loose, and i can always rework the track on a latter stage to make it more complex. 

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NJHA
some turnouts/point could go before the tunnel entrances to create a 3rd underground line???

They could. But the line would be 100% underground, or have high grades. High grades is something i want to avoid at all costs, witch leaves only the 100 % underground option. Underground lines are subway lines, urban in context, but my layout will have urban, country side and mountains so i don't know if a subway line would fit.

Something to consider, but not for now i believe.

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Guest keio6000

Sorry, what was used to make this layout plan?  I know there are many choices...

 

Thanks!

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NJHA
Sorry, what was used to make this layout plan?  I know there are many choices...

 

Thanks!

 

Sorry, my bad as i forgot to add that. 

 

Track is (will be) kato unitrack n scale. As for the software its wintrack. 

Is this what you wanted to know?

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Guest keio6000
Sorry, my bad as i forgot to add that. 

 

Track is (will be) kato unitrack n scale. As for the software its wintrack. 

Is this what you wanted to know?

 

Yes thank you!  I will check out wintrack

 

EDIT:  "To use the english version of WINTRACK you have to order the German version first. It will be delivered via mail on CDROM without printed manual. Then you can download the "English version" files for free (see below). The price is 99,50 Euro + 6,50 Euro shipping and handling in Europe (for all other countries shipping and handling is 10 Euro)."'

 

 

Or, rather, I won't.  Even if nice, a product that hasn't improved its web page since *windows 2000* is unbuyable.

Edited by keio6000

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NJHA
Yes thank you!  I will check out wintrack

 

EDIT:  "To use the english version of WINTRACK you have to order the German version first. It will be delivered via mail on CDROM without printed manual. Then you can download the "English version" files for free (see below). The price is 99,50 Euro + 6,50 Euro shipping and handling in Europe (for all other countries shipping and handling is 10 Euro)."'

 

 

Or, rather, I won't.  Even if nice, a product that hasn't improved its web page since *windows 2000* is unbuyable.

??? the software is compatible with all windows operating systems starting from windows 2000, that is to be expected from about 99% of the software. As for improvement... my version is about 3 years old and it's version 8 and i run it on a win7 professional 64bits edition with no issues. The software is now on version 11 so i believe it really has improved. 

The cost, well... it's worth it. 

 

I have tried out several other rail design software, but to me wintrack is the best one. It's easy to use, with robust tools. I like the grade auto-calculator and most of all the clearance checker. There is nothing worse than designing a full track plan just to find out that your trains can´t enter a tunnel or pass under a bridge.

You can always try the demo and see for yourself if it's worth it or not. 

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Densha

*Anyrail*

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Martijn Meerts

Wintrack is by far the best program for designing a layout really. The price is also reasonable for what you get, and it runs on pretty much every version of windows.

 

Their site, and the fact that they don't have a downloadable version does make it look like it's terribly outdated though.. I've been considering getting if for quite a while, but my machines don't have a CD-Rom anymore ;)

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Densha

I wonder, do they update their track library? Anyrail does so very regularly so every piece is up to date.

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