6x12 Track Plans

Discussion in 'Layout Design Discussion' started by dbwv69, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. dbwv69

    dbwv69 TrainBoard Member

    I'm looking for 6'x12' HO scale track plans of any type, to be used as inspiration for new ideas.
  2. cajon

    cajon TrainBoard Member

    Put "HO scale track plans" in your browser &/or Google search & you'll get a bunch of hits. Are you looking for a walk around or around the wall (shelf) plan?
  3. dbwv69

    dbwv69 TrainBoard Member

    I've Googled (and others) it MANY times before posting this request. The layout will be a walk around type but I didn't specify that because other track plans can be modified to suit my needs.
  4. ratled

    ratled TrainBoard Supporter

  5. Mudkip Orange

    Mudkip Orange TrainBoard Member

    Dude, 101. It's the Gold Standard. The plans are all 55-75 years old, so with a few exceptions they're ALL table layouts and they're ALL spaghetti bowls. I keep a copy on my bedside table for nighttime reading, alongside the Kamasutra and C.S. Lewis.
  6. dbwv69

    dbwv69 TrainBoard Member

    Dude, I know. I bought that book (and many others) over 15 years ago but it was of no help in this case.
  7. PW&NJ

    PW&NJ TrainBoard Member

    Is 6x12 your layout space or available room space? If you could give dimensions of your actual train space (especially with details about where any obstructions might be), that would make it easier for us to help you out.
  8. dbwv69

    dbwv69 TrainBoard Member

    The room (garage) is much, much larger (18'x32'). However, I have decided on 6'x12' as the space I am willing to allow for the layout. There are no obstructions with room for a full walk around layout. The modular benchwork has already been designed and will be built very soon.

    I only need to settle on a track plan at this point and I'm good to go.
  9. PW&NJ

    PW&NJ TrainBoard Member

    Hmmm. One thing that comes to mind immediately is that you say that the modular benchwork has already been designed and will be built very soon. How do you know it will be compatible with the track plan you want? How do you know that it will be able to properly support the load of the tracks, scenery, electronics, etc.? If my memory serves me correctly, you had an interesting design for a folding sub-frame, but a layout of that size will have specific needs depending on how you build the layout. Anyway, I'll see what I can think up to suggest, but meanwhile, I would highly suggest not putting the cart before the horse. I can certainly understand wanting to jump right in and get it done, but I think you'll be much happier knowing you got it right, rather than feeling like you should've just waited a little bit more.
  10. dbwv69

    dbwv69 TrainBoard Member

    Because I will design the track plan to fit the space allotted for it, in much the same way as someone who has a room of X and Y dimensions would select a track plan to fit the room.

    Because I know what I am doing when it comes to structural engineering using wood. Having designed and built several homes over the years, a layout is easy by comparison. It's not exactly like I'll have to do live load, joist span, or hip jack angle calculations, but I could if I had to. Trigonometry, especially the pythagorean theorem can get quite interesting.

    I respect your opinion and fully understand the rationale behind it. One (not all) of the main reasons for building the smaller layout is to ensure that I get it (the main layout) right, the first time. I have the time, space, and materials so I see no reason not to proceed as planned. I see it as a no-lose or a win-win scenario.
  11. dbwv69

    dbwv69 TrainBoard Member

    I only wish I could post the scanned image from MRR that I've been playing with but that pesky little thing called copyright prevents me from doing so. It's of the Allegheny Midland Coal Fork Extension by Tony Koester, featured in the June 1998 issue of MRR.

    However, there is a way I can show it without violating copyright, or so I believe anyway.

    Here is a link to the image at the The Allegheny Midland Historical Society, who does have permission to display the image according to their website. The version I am playing with has a peninsula (not shown here) that was shown as a caption in the original MRR issue.


    BTW: Tony Koester has came closer to capturing the "spirit" of the Appalachian Coal fields in a model railroad than anyone I have ever seen. IMHO
  12. PW&NJ

    PW&NJ TrainBoard Member

    If you don't mind working with that kind of limitation, then that works for me (not that what works for me is what's important, of course!). In that case, I'll just consider your layout a gigantic N-trak-ish sorta thing. :)

    That's the kind of answers that work for me!

    But, since you did bring up building homes, doesn't it make sense to plan out the home you want, rather than make do with what you've got? You yourself just said you want to "ensure that [you] get it (the main layout) right, the first time". With a layout that size, unless you've got some sort of fancy crane or rigging system, you'll certainly need some access holes. What if your benchwork ends up in the way of logical access points and forces you to choose lesser ideas for what could otherwise be a really cool section of the layout? On an actual N-trak module, I don't have to worry about that. I can reach across the 2x4 without any trouble. But on a 6x12, that obviously doesn't work.

    If you've got the time, space and materials, why the rush?

    I've got that issue. GREAT layout! And I'm glad you're respectful of copyrights. I'm a stickler when it comes to that (used to be a musician, and I currently run a company that builds websites, including copy writing and editing services for clients, so that's part of my required understanding). Is that the style you're looking for (as in a slice of main-line with sidings and industries)? Or do you want a roundy-round option?
  13. dbwv69

    dbwv69 TrainBoard Member

    But, I don't really consider it a limitation. To me, it's a design and engineering challenge.

    It makes very good sense.

    In fact, I did that with the home I am living in at this very moment. I also happened to learn a very painful, and costly lesson about proper planning and taking the time to "get it right" during the construction phase. In my plan for the bedroom, I had placed the closet along one wall, in a position that I thought was "perfect". However, as I began to see it take shape in the real world, I didn't like it at all, the flow was all wrong. As a result of that experience, I went back to the blueprints and suddenly saw everything in a completely new light. I had to tear it all out and replace it with what turned out to be a much more spacious design that even allowed more room for a larger master bathroom.

    Believe it or not, I do have a crane of sorts. It's a girder hoist that is attached to an I beam skate which I use to lift heavy loads (2+ tons) off the bed of my truck. I won't need the hoist though, because I've already tested a full scale mockup of my proposed benchwork design and have no difficulty reaching virtually anywhere on it except for a couple of places in the corners which is easily mitigated by careful planning and/or angling of the corners. It helps to think of a 6'x12' as being two 3'x12' sections when speaking in terms of accessibility.

    That's just it, there is no rush. Despite appearances, I'm just planning for the future.

    I don't always like copyrights because they can be inconvenient but I always try to respect them. I'd like to say that I blame it on my day job (Web Programmer & Database Administrator) but people put a lot of hard work into their creations so I'd rather not take or use them without permission or at least some sort of credit in certain cases like this one.
  14. PW&NJ

    PW&NJ TrainBoard Member

    I think we're on the same page here. The "limitation" is the challenge, and that part's fun! :) This is what I came up with within the confines of an N-trak module. All of that crammed into 2x4. :)

    I can also see your point of view here. Even tons of 3D models can't really give you what something is going to be like "in person". Sometimes you just gotta see it for real to get a better idea of how it's going to turn out. For example, this boxcab project I'm working on. I was originally going to build it using a roof section from an old Con-Cor RPO car. But when I saw someone else's idea of using a caboose, cut up as a body for a boxcab, I remembered I had one and gave it a look. Once I saw it, it was clear that that was a better route. (just finished gluing the sides together after shortening it, for that matter, hehe). But, I did measure it about 10 times, compare diagrams of the motorized chassis I'm going to use, and took photos to mock it up in Gimp (photo editor) before I picked up my saw, knife, and files. The photo mockup is what sold me on it. And I started cutting almost immediately afterwards.

    Actually, I'm specifically thinking of it as two, 3x12 sections. But when you factor in mountains, valleys, structures and any other scenery, that 3 feet can get deeper very quickly. Now if you're modeling a nice Australian line, then you're all set. :tb-tongue:

    Planning for the future, but building the benchwork now? Which one is it?

    Figures you do the same thing (I've been a web developer for over 16 years, system admin for close to the same, and database admin for about 11). Indeed, it can be inconvenient sometimes, but property is property. It's inconvenient when I don't have money to buy trains, but that doesn't give me the right to go take one from someone else. Fair use doctrine has it's place when using portions of copyrighted materials in editorial context (which sometimes applies here on TB), but I certainly like to provide credit and links when doing so. Gotta give peeps their props (wow, I'm such a geezer). Nevertheless, I'm always glad to meet someone else that respects a person's copyrights. :thumbs_up:

    Sounds like you'll have a good time with this layout, one way or another. I'm glad to offer suggestions (N-SCALE N-SCALE N-SCALE... subliminal message there, in case you missed it) and I'll see what comes to mind.
  15. dbwv69

    dbwv69 TrainBoard Member

    That's a lot to fit in such a small space. Good job!

    A little of both actually.

    I'm not quite ready to build the benchwork but plan to build it in 1-3 weeks at most. Otherwise, I'll continue planning until I have something I'm happy with. As I've learned the hard way, it's always better to wait than to rush in and end up with something I'm not happy with. A lot of people advocate a "just do it" approach but I prefer to take my time and get it right (or as close as I can) the first time.

    Thanks, and I am sure it will be an interesting experience. They say building it is half the fun so I would imagine I have a lot of fun ahead of me. Suggestions are always welcome as I am sure I will make more than my fair share of mistakes along the way.
  16. ZiggySpaz

    ZiggySpaz TrainBoard Member


    I take it that you've also looked at 101 More Layout Plans...and MR's Layout Plan database (which I believe has some duplicate content to 101 More but obviously includes the plans since publication...), 48 Top Notch Track Plans...43 Track Plans from the Experts...all of the Great Model Railroad editions...etc.

    Has your space alottment changed dramatically, or is this a different project than your coal/logging pusuit of recent?...which, BTW, I still really dig what you had down just before the bathroom shrank...
  17. steinjr

    steinjr Passed away October 2012 In Memoriam

    It is a different project. Concept was first to make a temporary test sectional layout in his garage while he got the room ready for his larger layout. Mission creep seemingly occurred (happens to all of us) and the idea of a temporary test/chainsaw layout seems to have morphed into an idea about having this layout also being a permanent layout, albeit made in sections so it can be put away.

    The OP has posted threads about this new 6x12 foot layout on the Kalmbach Model Railroader Magazine forums (http://cs.trains.com/TRCCS/forums/t/196196.aspx), at the modelrailroaderforums.com (http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24092) and here.

    He has gotten most concrete (and most frustrated) in the Model Railroader forum. Last I saw from him in the Model Railroader forum thread he was attempting (in vain) to lock his thread and declared that he would go make a blog about his plans instead :)

  18. dbwv69

    dbwv69 TrainBoard Member

    I either have or have seen most of the books you mentioned and while there are a few decent track plans in them, they just didn't suit my needs. Honestly, I really didn't think any of the track plan books were all that great. Most of the plans seem to have been created by making minor changes to much older plans without much thought or true creativity put into creating new designs. IMHO

    Most of the track plans in the MR Track Plan Database are labeled as MR+ (Subscriber Only Content) which means you've gotta pay to play. They use it as bait to get you to become a paid subscriber. I have very specific interests so I prefer to not subscribe to any magazines and buy only issues which have content of interest to me.

    My space alottment for the train room (to house the main layout) has increased dramatically but this is a completely separate project that will be kept in the garage adjoining the train room. When I realized it would take so long to get the train room finished, I decided to create a smaller layout to allow me to tinker with trains and improve/refresh my skills until the train room was ready and the larger layout could be constructed.
  19. dbwv69

    dbwv69 TrainBoard Member

    I wasn't attempting to lock the thread. I know the lock feature of that forum only locks a post, not the entire thread. I'd appreciate it if what happens on other forums could be kept on other forums. If I feel the need to mention it here, I will do so myself.
  20. cajon

    cajon TrainBoard Member

    Haven't seen this discussed here but have you given any thought to building the garage layout modular then using the modules as parts of your permanent layout?

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