Tag: Layout Planning

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Layout shape under construction

Hard to believe, but I have a layout shape I actually intend to see through completion. Granted, most of the benchwork is already built, but this last mile was a real killer for me (figuring out relationship between staging and my railroad, geometry of the staging deck, where to put an entrance to the layout space, and half a dozen other things). Not to mention that earlier this year I switched scales and went (back) to H0 from N that I have been planning to build.

I wanted to re-use as much, if not all of the benchwork I already have, plus stick with the layout shape that is in place (around the walls and a peninsula on the center). Stumbling stone was the helix location and how it ties into the layout plus available space for it.

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Design for the Staging level

Note: This is a living document. It will change as often as this railroad is tweaked and tuned.
Last modified on Nov 6, 2018 @ 4:36 pm

The following is the most recent design for the Staging level. For posterity, the previous entries will be kept below.

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PECO “Creating a Model Railway” Instruction DVD video

A two part video from a PECO Instruction DVD circa 2000, with good advice for anyone entering the hobby.

Dated by timeless information covering the whole process from scale selection, layout design, benchwork construction, laying trackwork, wiring, scenery as well as operating.

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Design for the Staging level

Continuing on, I have the Staging level designed and believe it workable for my needs…201 ft. of flex track (243 ft. total) though, ouch! I loath the day when I finish the design for the two helices and see 1000 feet of track needed 🙂

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Dabbling with LDEs on the 1st Deck

Planning is going ahead and the next thing I thought to tackle would be LDEs (Layout Design Elements) and where could they be located on the layout, focusing on the 1st Deck at this time.

After reading about Mark Lestico’s Cascade Sub on LDSIG Wiki, I found an interesting and new (to me) tidbit in there about determining how many LDEs would fit along the main line.

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Finally, a railroad is born and named

After months of contemplating what to build, and how, finally came up with a name for the railroad:

“Newbridge & Lockport RR”

The two names come from the streets close to the area where the layout is physically located.

This fictional (freelance) railroad features a main and a branch line. Newbridge is a site of the main classification yard, while Lockport a branchline town represented through a port/pier scene. There are other towns on the layout, namely Bramshott and Shorncliffe, although still need to come up with their background and industries within.


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Layout shape selected

Switched back to H0 scale in March 2018. Started working on a new layout shape, finally deciding on it in September 2018. Following that was an intensive construction schedule to build the storage closet, open the new entryway into to layout space and close the room with a diagonal wall on the left.

It only took a year worth of time; 50+ different layout shapes, some of them having half a dozen revisions each; flip-flopping twice between H0 and N scale, and here it is, a shape that the layout is going to be built upon. You’d think it looks pretty simplistic compared to some of the other ones, and it is. After all, the beauty is in simplicity and this being the first big layout, it should be “simplish” to do.