4x4 layout in N

Discussion in 'Layout Design Discussion' started by Mudkip Orange, May 6, 2011.

  1. Mudkip Orange

    Mudkip Orange TrainBoard Member

    I'm considering doing a 4x4 this summer. I have a couple plans on paper but wanted to hear y'alls suggestions.

    Givens and druthers:

    - At least two main lines, so you can have two trains "idiot running" continuously at once.

    - Ability for two-train, opposite-direction operation on at least one of the mains. Basically this means having at least two separate sidings/passing tracks on one of the mains. More is okay.

    - Absolute bare minimum passing loop length is 4x 20m EMUs, or about 23". Preferred length is 6x 20m EMUs, or about 34".

    - At least one connection between the mains (crossover, etc) so I don't have to use the 0-5-0 shunter.

    - Some spur tracks where possible.

    - Minimum radius 11", prefer at least one mainline to be 12"

    I have no real scenery preferences at this point and figure that will just flow naturally from whatever plan is chosen. Suggestions?
  2. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

    Square layouts can be a little odd. I have looked at planing quite a few. If you can do 3x5 you might get a little more length for spurs and such.

    What prototype are going to model?
  3. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

  4. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

    4'x4' is an awkward shape, so was messing around with the challenge.
    Came up with "Four Square City & Thensome":


    The key is the zig-zagging scenic divider. The inner loop rises (max 1") & threads through it & so takes part in both scenes: a overpass truss bridge and raised retaining wall on the city side, with an appearance on a bridge between tunnels on the mountain side. The spaces on either side can be adjusted (if you wanted a longer mountain bridge, etc.).

    I tried to set it up for photography or at least viewing that would focus on smaller scenes: The odd-angled buldings, canal and city flats create the illusion of crowded urban space, with some of the central buildings acting as mini-scenic dividers.

    The Main has two passing sidings, one in each scene. Outside main is 12" radius minimum, though that's only in short sections. Inside main is 11"r min.

    Too many sidings / industries? Remove whatever you want & expand the main accordingly.

    For this plan, I limited myself to Atlas C55 track & turnouts (curved & #7, with a few #5s for industry spurs). This plan uses quite a few curved turnouts. Atlas curved turnouts are rather large, so using custom built curved turnouts (like Fast Tracks) could open up a little more space & finnesse a better flow. Depends on what kind of motive power & rolling stock you're partial to.

    Not sure if this is close to what you're thinking, but at the very least it was fun to play around with & maybe will give you a few ideas.

    Have fun!
  5. Mudkip Orange

    Mudkip Orange TrainBoard Member

  6. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

  7. Mudkip Orange

    Mudkip Orange TrainBoard Member


    Attached Files:

  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Nice. I like how it avoids the often seen 'around the edge' type looping.

    Boxcab E50
  9. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

    Makes absolutely no pretension to any switching ops at all.

    It's the ultimate 4x4 roundy round.

    You spin me right round, baby, right round, like a record, baby, right round, right round. ;)

    Should be fun to build & watch trains go
    [for awhile] ;)
  10. Mudkip Orange

    Mudkip Orange TrainBoard Member

    Yeah, I don't own a single piece of N scale freight, just commuter EMUs... and the next 5 trains on my "list" are also passenger trains or trams.

    Prototypical operations thus mostly consist of cramming as many trains into the existing network as possible. It is not uncommon on Japanese singletrack lines to have three-way meets, e.g. westbound express passes westbound local while both pass eastbound local. Most rural stations were built with one side platform and one island platform for this purpose.

    On a layout this small there isn't enough linear track distance for any kind of overtaking, but a single station served by multiple lines provides the same visual interest. The thrice-around (the line that is the innermost track at the main station) has a second station with a passing loop (the one in the top right corner), so it's possible to run this singletrack with two trains in opposing directions, alternating meets between the main station and the secondary.
  11. PW&NJ

    PW&NJ TrainBoard Member

    Wow, scary how much alike we seem to be. Even have the same internal mental music database...:tb-wacky:
  12. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

    When I lived in Kyoto for awhile, I remember sitting in the local on the siding while the rapid limited express, the limited express, the rapid express, the express and the semi-express passed by.
    (ok, maybe not all at the same station, but it felt like it)

    Are you modeling Japan here?
    (do you have enough non-rail real estate to model a place? ;) )
    If you are, I have a bunch of Japanese n-gauge mags with finished modules and small layouts for ideas on buildings, landscaping, etc. PM me if you want some pictures.

    One concern I have for your roundy-round is length of train & visual blocks: is the scenery as such that you trains disappear long enough from one view point, or you don't mind seeing heads & tails at the same time?

    (instead of a dogbone it's a dogtail ;) )
  13. kursplat

    kursplat TrainBoard Member

  14. Mudkip Orange

    Mudkip Orange TrainBoard Member

    Indeed, all of my N scale stuff is Japanese prototype. Whatever track plan I decide on will become my entry in JNSforum's Summmer 2011 Project Party.

    I also have a decent amount of HO, and I'm working on a 10x14 layout with my Dad in his basement which is probably 3 or 4 work sessions away from having trains running. (I really need to update that thread.)

    Good question. Essentially what I'm thinking about right now is a tram/interurban layout that also has curves broad enough to accommodate 8- or 10-car EMUs. "Realistic" operation would be possible with the former; with the latter I'd be quite satisfied with a "train set" look, since you need at least 8 linear feet to get a realistic setting for 8-car EMUs and I simply don't have that space in my current quarters.

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