Too much info...

LTCTerry Jan 25, 2020

  1. LTCTerry

    LTCTerry TrainBoard Supporter

    I have a 10'x16' shed (outside dimensions). It's wired for power. I had istspray foamed this summer when I had my attic done.

    My basic idea is a shelf around the walls with a peninsula along part of the long axis. I'm primarily interested in running N Scale passenger trains. I'm interested in the southern roads that eventually became CSX and NS. The concept I have is double track representing ACL and SAL from the SC-GA border to the FL-GA border.

    I'd like to use data from Railroad track guides and Sanborn maps to make it fairly authentic. I have a good bit of scanned info.

    I'm not interested in two levels with a helix between. But I'd like to maximize the running opportunities. The current (Feb 2020) issue of MR has an L-shaped shelf layout that goes twice around the layout - once near the front and then near the back of the shelf - about two inches higher. The loop to climb the couple inches from one level to the other is half behind the backdrop. Scenes alternate between upper and lower.

    There are interesting bits of track work and bridges across GA. I'd like to be able to replicate some of that. I don't need a perfectly accurate sequence.

    I can look at maps and follow the tracks. I see towns, rivers, bridges, junctions, etc. How the heck to I whittle this down to 1) something I can build/enjoy, 2) have a bit of operating variety, and 3) not be overwhelmed.

    I'm a retired Army officer. I'm used to gathering data and making decisions. But this has just lead to "paralysis of analysis." I'm retiring from my civilian job in about a year, so I'll have more time soon.

    I am NOT interested in "operations' as typically understood in the model railroading world today. For me, freight cars will be set dressing to make the passenger trains' environment more authentic. "Operating" the passenger trains in terms of a coach yard, head end cars, etc is of interest to me.

    So, looking to have two or three stations - including something that represents a union station. I'll have a variety of southeastern roads operating, even if they strictly don't belong on SAL/ACL tracks. CofG, GaRR, SR, etc. Also, I'd like to occasionally change eras and run Amtrak and a couple CSX/NS trains to capture what we see today.

    If you're still with me at this point - what suggestions do you have?


    Trains, planes, and a few automobiles - my videos on YouTube
  2. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter


    What you need to do is to think about how LONG the passenger consists you wish to run would be. A normal consist (say a Santa Fe Super Chief, or a California Zephyr, or a Daylight, can easily be 8-10 feet long (>12 cars). So, how would you like those named trains to run? If more interested in shorter “local” trains (5 to 6 cars), then you don’t have as much to worry about.

    Do you want to be able to reverse the trains (i.e. loop back onto same track)? This could be a bent dog bone, with crossovers in the “narrow” sections. Do you also want to be able to circle the shed, with a lift up/out bridge? Or both (my JACALAR layout does this).

    My first love is passenger trains, as well, with freight for variety. I heartily suggest starting to draft out the simple outlines of your space and first guess benchwork, and rough sketch how you would like your mainline(s) to be. Mark where you want your towns and stations. This will help get the visualization going. And remember, even in N scale, a real life Union Station takes up a lot more space than your 10x16 space allows :sneaky:
  3. kingpeta

    kingpeta TrainBoard Member

    You can also use the “givens and druthers’ list on paper what you must have in your layout (the givens) and then list the things you would like to have (the druthers). Then you start paring down the list into something that works for you. 10 X 16 is a nice are but it’s not huge enough to do everything. Then again I’m finding that after building what I thought was my dream layout, I tore it down and am planning something small & simpler.
  4. LTCTerry

    LTCTerry TrainBoard Supporter

    You both ask good questions/make good comments.

    Rick - I'd kind of like to have a generic mid-western city located in Georgia that saw transcontinental service from UP, SP, NYC, PR, and all my favorite SE roads. I envision one or two trains from each road with perhaps as unique a locomotive as possible. J-3, GG-!, Purple E6, NW J, PA, FT, etc. I know it's crazy, but that's what I find interesting.

    I know a 20th Century Limited or City of... is 20 cars long, so ten feet. Not really supportable except for fun. How do you turn something like that?! The reality is that a ten-car train is relatively long though supportable. Five or six is realistic. Long passing sidings? Hmm?

    A one-foot shelf around my shed is only about the same area as 1-1/2 sheets of plywood, but much, much more straight running.

    I've thought about all around the room - crossing the door which is inconvenient. Also considered a loop on each side of the door - essentially a C-shaped dog bone with a loop on each side of the door. Loops will take a lot of space. That would interfere with a central peninsula.

    I like the idea of just doodling designs. As I was looking at Google Earth today I grasped that I could doodle until I found something that worked, THEN decide where to locate towns rather than the other way around. I like it. Thanks!

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