2 X 8 ft. Modules

Jags Jul 31, 2022

  1. Jags

    Jags TrainBoard Member

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    Is anybody else building layouts on 2 X 8 ft. modules? I find this to be the perfect size for Z scale. These modules effectively work as a "shelf" layout that can be mounted on the wall around a room. The 8-foot length gives plenty of space for longer train compositions, and the 2-foot depth gives plenty of room for a full turnaround and space for track layout detail.

    Here are 3 modules that I have designed and hope to be building soon.

    MODULES-1 SM.png
     
  2. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    My n scale layout is built out of 2 X 8 ft sections.......not sure you can quite call them modules, but the sections were all built in the garage and the hauled to the train room and assembled. Like you mention, it works great for an around the room shelf layout.
     
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  3. mdvholland

    mdvholland TrainBoard Member

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    I’ve started to build a layout of just under 2 feet by just over 8 feet (55x180 cm) as I found it (hopefully) the maximum size of a single section that is still portable (at my place it will have to pass through a curved staircase) and yet offers enough space for a basic roundy rounder layout. It will be a single section, not one of more modules. There is no room for more than one :)

    Matt
     
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  4. Jags

    Jags TrainBoard Member

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    Do you have a layout diagram you can share?
     
  5. Jags

    Jags TrainBoard Member

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  6. sidney

    sidney TrainBoard Member

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    if you build them into two 2x4 foot sections it would be super easier to move them when an if that day arrived.
     
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  7. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I used to build 2' x 4' mostly modules, but even those got hard to setup, so now I am doing T-Trak-Z modules. I will include some of my big ZBT modules into my TTZ modules when I setup my layout room.
     
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  8. mdvholland

    mdvholland TrainBoard Member

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    Hi, I am currently on holiday and away from home without access to my hard drive, I’ll post it when I get back next week.

    @sidney, I wanted to avoid having to connect two sections/modules, but indeed, smaller units are much more practical. Btw, still working on the woodwork, no wiring or track yet.

    Matt
     
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  9. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    The Z-Bend Track 2’ modules we started in early 2000 were 1x4 pine and ply. As Rob said, hard to set up’ primarily weight. Then I built a few with 1/2x4 kiln dried pine (same 2’ wide (or or should I say deep). Much lighter, but it depends on what you put on it. Running long trains and looking for a better (larger) End radius lead to 3’ wide modules. But this was all for shows.

    Now that I’m retired, new house 11’x14’ bedroom, the best I can do is a 10x11x11 ‘U’, 24” deep, 36” ends.

    For the shows, the heavy stuff will have to do. But your plan looks good, lots of potential running routes.
     
  10. Jags

    Jags TrainBoard Member

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    Good idea but I find with a four-foot length you can't really develop any sort of realistic layout. That four-foot point on the layout will usually have a lot of trackwork and scenery happening. Just look at my diagrams.

    The eight-foot length is perfect to be able to create a full scene, like a station or industry, with an entry and exit point at both ends.

    As far as moving the layout is concerned, I do plan to use one inch foam board that will just sit on a wooden shelf structure. The foam board is extremely light and easy to move. Yes, you do need to deal with and be careful of the length if you need to move the pieces, but with a little care it shouldn't be much of a problem.

    Here is a cross section diagram of how I plan to build the shelving. Like I said the foam board will just sit on the plywood shelving. The wiring is simply sandwiched between the foamboard and plywood shelf and is routed to the front edge of the shelf. There will be a long piece of slotted angle iron mounted to the front edge of the shelf so that any control switches can easily be mounted along the front edge of the shelf with the wiring running in the "trough" created along the front edge of the shelf by the angle iron.
    Shelf Cross Section Labled.png
     
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  11. sidney

    sidney TrainBoard Member

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    i see the ply warping in time with out some sorta support..........
     
  12. Jags

    Jags TrainBoard Member

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    That's a good point and a possibility. It would be no problem to move up to some thicker ply or simply run some 2X support sections under the ply attached to the shelf brackets. Plus, if the ply does warp a bit, it really doesn't matter as it would not affect the foam board in any way as that is simply sitting on top of the plywood.

    Here is an updated diagram:

    Shelf Cross Section Labled BRACE.png
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2022
  13. Jags

    Jags TrainBoard Member

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    Here is a quick example how my three modules could be set up in a corner of a garage.

    Modules in Garage.png

    And here are the same three modules on three walls of a room.

    Modules in Room.png
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2022
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  14. tjdreams

    tjdreams TrainBoard Member

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    What is your plan for dealing with the foam board shrinking and warping over time?
     
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  15. Jags

    Jags TrainBoard Member

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    I've never heard of that being a problem. I use Owens Corning Foamular NGX 150. I built a small 3 X 4 foot layout on a piece of Foamular board a few years ago and it's been sitting on my coffee table in the living room for all that time. No warping or shrinkage. I also have a couple extra pieces stored in my garage for many years and it's still good as new.

    [​IMG]

    Here is my small 3 X 4 foot layout sitting on my coffee table:

    03.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2022
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  16. mdvholland

    mdvholland TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Jags,
    This is my layout plan. Base is in the making, no track been laid yet.

    US layout plan mdvholland - aug 2022.jpg
    Dimensions: 180x55 cm, effectively 5 feet 10 inches by 1 foot 9.5 inches - not so close to 8x2 as I initially figured.

    I took a lot of inspiration from Steffen's 'Newcomer layout' (https://www.trainboard.com/highball/index.php?threads/newcomer-layout.89953/)

    Matt
     
  17. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    Make sure the Wye (near to Yard) is isolated on each inner track. And each leg is short so very few cars/wagens +Lok

    You will need a polarity reverser for those tracks.
     
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  18. mdvholland

    mdvholland TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, indeed, Jeff. I hope this will add more options and fun to the switching. It is "inspired" by the wye that used to exist (in part it still does) in Exeter, CA.The legs there are very short too, only switching of locs and maybe one or two cars.

    I think I can solve the polarity question by switching poles on the stretch of track left of the turnout south of the carbarn, along with switching that same turnout.

    Matt
     
  19. Jags

    Jags TrainBoard Member

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  20. Jags

    Jags TrainBoard Member

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    Matt,

    Going back to your plan I would recommend that you stretch it out to 8 feet if you have the space. The longer the runs the better. Also, it is my experience playing with Z scale that it is best to keep things simple and mostly have space to simply run your trains. Unlike the bigger scales, it can get a bit finicky in Z scale if you are trying to do any complex movements of Loco and rolling stock.

    For me personally I like to be able to display as many as possible of my various train compositions. I like layouts that have a lot of isolated track sections and sidings in which my various trains can be "parked" but be easily brought on to the main lines to be able to run them. I am attaching a quick 2X8 foot layout I just created that gives you a double line so that you can run two trains simultaneously and independently. It also has a container train yard at top that can hold two container train compositions. It then has an oil tanker train yard below that that can hold two oil tanker trains. Below that is a main passenger station with a center double mainline pass through. It has 5 main boarding tracks and 2 extra shorter sidings. The station can accommodate 7 passenger trains.

    So, this layout will be able to display 11 different train compositions and have the ability to run two of these compositions simultaneously. It's a great way to show off your trains and be able to run them all at the same time!!

    COMPLETE DOUBLE 2X8-1.png
     
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