Best way to approach this space.

SKMoss Aug 15, 2021

  1. SKMoss

    SKMoss New Member

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    Good Sunday mornin' to all.

    After being an N Scale guy for a time, it's time to add HO. I run my N Scale at my club so my requirements for a home layout are different. I'd like to run one train continuously, and have some switching available, but won't do OPs sessions at the house. Mostly I want to take advantage of the much higher level of detail capable in HO vs N.

    Being kind of new to HO I don't know all of the things I need to be concerned about.

    I have an area in my sunroom I can invade. Roughly, It's 9 1/2' wide by 13' long. [​IMG]

    Green shaded area is my area. The swing door is fine to be blocked. The green lines in the wall are windows. The yellow/red lines are doors. 3 sliders and one swinging.

    If I do an island I can fit 5 1/2 by 13' Because there's an angle in one wall, I can have full access to 3 sides and 1/2 of the 4th side. I see the benefit here because I can do 24" curves. And can reach the entire layout without issue.

    It's pretty easy to imagine a walk-in U shape. My concern is that with just 9 1/2' wide I'm going to have to be careful with teardrop ends and minimum radius curves on the ends. Or deal with reach issues. I'm 6' tall with a decent reach, but still dealing with anything much more than 36" is quite a stretch.

    All ideas are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Steve
     
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  2. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Looks like a sweet space. Do those four windows face south? If they get much sun, you're going to have to cut that UV down somehow, or stay too far away from that wall. I've seen blue film window tint. No more gray skies?

    U shaped is nice. You don't have to worry about the curves being too tight if you stagger the ends, making it more J shaped. The ends don't have to both squeeze the aisle at the same place.

    Put a key lock on the door on the right, and you can access that one part of big U and J shaped layouts that six footers usually can't reach without making themselves three feet tall and crawling under. Just go out in the weather and walk around the house.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2021
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  3. SKMoss

    SKMoss New Member

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    Good catch on the windows. The face west, but between the patio cover outside and a small hill to the west we get very little direct sun in the windows.

    The door works well for access when needed and is where I store all my smoker supplies under the bench work.

    If I use 22" radius on the ends, I can use a 48" tier drop and still have room to get into the "U".
     
  4. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    I am somewhat hesitant to admit it in public, but I have a minimum mainline radius of 22" in HO. It does allow for a nice variety of lengthy equipment. But it pushes some of that equipment to its limit, and does lend a toy train look to the proceedings when you use long equipment.

    Staggering the ends could result in one side being three and a half feet longer than the other. That's the price for the serpentine aisle that makes wider curves possible. It's a lot of main line to lose. But, you know. Tradeoffs are part of life, and this one comes with a bonus. "Honey, I don't want to be selfish, so I'm using a little less space and leaving room for one more chair by the patio door."
     
  5. SKMoss

    SKMoss New Member

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    I like the way you think....

    That would solve one small problem. I have a wicker TV Stand that matches the sunroom furniture. TV is now mounted to the wall so the stand holds all the trains. But if I move my desk to where I indicate on the diagram, that displaces the TV Stand from its current resting place.


    Hmm....

    Thinks start to look like this. Right now my era is going to be mid 50s, steam and box cars. I have a bunch of nicely weathered HO cars that came off the big HO layout at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum and a couple of sound decoded steam engines. I won't run much if anything very long, so things ought to look ok.

    As thought out so far, this is a minimum 22" radius curves. And only a couple of minor reach issues.


    [​IMG]
     
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  6. SKMoss

    SKMoss New Member

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    Another basic option.

    4" seperation @ 1.5%.

    The ledge at the top right could easily be Summitville. I've been eyeing the Faller Car System and wonder if that could be cool up there for vehicles moving around a small city.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Remember you have to reach the track in the back too.

    That said, do those west windows open? If you remove the screens, and have something to work the lock from feet away, then you'll hate yourself for derailing on a rainy day.
     
  8. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    I'm new to HO so I may be a bit off. I like the first layout. I would have the top loop go around more to move the tracks closer and add a switching yard in there.
    Or do that to both loops and add an island in the middle for a switching yard. But it would be single ended.
    I used to have N so I could do such but then started HO DCC. Now looking at going back to N.

    Rich
     
  9. SKMoss

    SKMoss New Member

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    Feels like a typo in there somewhere and I'm not 100% sure I got your meaning.

    Yes, the windows open. Actually, they slide left/right and either side can open. I can use them for layout access. Being under the eves of the house, access if (it only rains here like 5" per year) it rains wouldn't be bad.

    But you hit on the reason I have an island in the middle on the options list. Reach. With a 24 aisle around 3 sides of an island, I can make it like 5 1/2 by 14'. And easily reach 100% of the layout.

    I think I have a start of a plan.

    THANKS!!!!
     
  10. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    I like the layout plan so far, I think my main concern is blocking the side door. That may be a building code violation, and in the event of a fire, not having access to this exit could be dangerous. You may want to have a duckunder or liftout section in that area of the layout to provide a pathway to get to the door.

    I think the trackplan is fine, and 22" radius will not be an issue for 40' and 50' cars of the 1950s. As long as you avoid massive steam locomotives that barely fit on 22" radius, you should be fine. The only pinch point may be that 18-20" opening in the center. You may want to avoid having structures near the edge, and even the track looks a bit close to the edge there. It may be a bit of a squeeze for the operator to walk through, and I can see trains and things getting carelessly knocked by a stray elbow, especially if you are going through there often.
     

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