tmctiger

Layout: plan fo new layout

59 posts in this topic

Hi guys,

I currently have a small city/train layout. It is currently getting to small for my trains and modulars. (if you are interested you can find it here: http://www.brickshel...ry.cgi?f=554588).

This made me think over a redesign of the layout where I have more space for the trains and the modulars, and where I have more "track-space" to move the trains on the layout (with the current design I can move 4 trains independently on the layout).

complete.png

I have now to describe what you can see in the image above:

First you see the whole visible track of the layout. You can also see that it consist of three levels:

  • gray baseplates = level 0
  • green baseplates = level 1 (20cm above level 0)
  • tan baseplates = level 2 (only streets and houses, 20cm above level 1)
  • All blue baseplates are placeholders for modular houses.

You can also see, that this layout only works with modified points.

The tracks on the red baseplates are the ramp where the train can go from level 0 to level 1.

In the picture above you can also find the dimensions of the layout.

In the pictures below, you can find the track layout of each single level (for reference the track ramp is shown in all thee pictures):

Level 0:

level_0.png

Level 1:

level_1.png

Level 2:

level_2.png

Now my Questions are:

  • What do you think in general of my layout?
  • What would you change/ what didn't you like?
  • Do you think the given ramp is doable with PF-Trains (height difference = 20cm)

BR, Guenther

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Looks ambitious, but I like it!

With regards to the ramp, it's a little steeper than I normally like, but you might be ok. I typically do 1x plate/track segment, which means you'd need about 62 pieces to gain 20cm in elevation. If I've counted correctly, you're doing about 1.4 plates/segment. Before you get too far along, might not be a bad idea to mock up the ramp (including the curves) and try it out.

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Is the ramp going to be covered? If so add an access area to reach derailed trains. If it were me I would go for a large radius (ME Models curves to be specific).

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Looks ambitious, but I like it!

With regards to the ramp, it's a little steeper than I normally like, but you might be ok. I typically do 1x plate/track segment, which means you'd need about 62 pieces to gain 20cm in elevation. If I've counted correctly, you're doing about 1.4 plates/segment. Before you get too far along, might not be a bad idea to mock up the ramp (including the curves) and try it out.

Hi, thanks!

Yes a mocup is planned anyway and I also plan to add the last curve on level 1 also to the ramp to get the inclination a little bit down (then it is ~51 track pieces).

Is the ramp going to be covered? If so add an access area to reach derailed trains. If it were me I would go for a large radius (ME Models curves to be specific).

Yes the ramp is covered/not directly accessible, however a access from below the layout table is planned (also needed for derailed trains on the track loops covered by layer 1 and layer 2).

Unfortunately larger radius curves won't work for the ramp, since lack of space.

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I think it would be cool if you joined the Upper level road plate sides with tall bridges.

Edited by gotoAndLego

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I think it would be cool if you joined the Upper level road plate sides with tall bridges.

Hi, actually I had this idea also :classic: ... so in the future it might happen. Before I have to see how the surface below with the fright station work out, and I have space for the pillars...

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I would at least cut the corner of the right side level one track so you can do the same with the inclining track and make that corner radius bigger. It should work.

Also: Doing inclines with 1,5-2 plates pr. track is possible on straight tracks, and I've been doing leveled curves where thers is one plate higher on the outside of the curve than the inside. Makes is possible to go a bit faster down wards without derailing/tipping over.. ;-)

Do you plan to make the incline with bricks or wood? First is easy to test with, second might be able to support better, and you can screw the tracks to the incline..

Oh, and look out for the points where you co from incline to flat.

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I would at least cut the corner of the right side level one track so you can do the same with the inclining track and make that corner radius bigger. It should work.

Also: Doing inclines with 1,5-2 plates pr. track is possible on straight tracks, and I've been doing leveled curves where thers is one plate higher on the outside of the curve than the inside. Makes is possible to go a bit faster down wards without derailing/tipping over.. ;-)

Do you plan to make the incline with bricks or wood? First is easy to test with, second might be able to support better, and you can screw the tracks to the incline..

Oh, and look out for the points where you co from incline to flat.

The incline is planned with wood - like you would do it on a H0 layout. Banking the curves is not planned.

The current incline is roughly 1.4 plates per track element.

Unfortunately I do not have tracks with wider radius e.g ME Rails, so I can't change the radius (using flex track might be no option since the trains run not very well on these and might derail or get stuck in the inclination)

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Hi All,

I have a little update: I currently managed to order all needed parts for the ballasting of the visible track. So I am currently waiting for the orders. Once they are here, I'll start building the table and starting with the track layout.

I'll post some images of the progress from time to time.

Br,

Guenther

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Hi All,

I have now an update again on my progress on my layout.

I have now started with building ... sort of ;-) ... actually I am currently building the table which will hold the layout. Here you can see some pictures I took during building (once they are publicly available): http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=565253

I started also another task which is very important to make the layout happen: the modification of some track points: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=565324

img_6859.jpg

As always I'll appreciate your feedback.

BR,

Guenther

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Looks Nice. Actually it looks like an airport. If this is a permanent display, I guess It takes a big room.

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Looks Nice. Actually it looks like an airport. If this is a permanent display, I guess It takes a big room.

Hi,

yes it is indeed a permanent display. it is about 3.5m x 2.1m in size.

You are right. It looks a little bit like an airport, but only in 2D. :grin: ... Since it consists of three different height levels, the final layout can not be confused with an airport. :classic:

@all: stay tuned for some WIP update shortly ...

BR,

Guenther

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Hi all,

as promised here some updates about the layout I am planing, no actually I am building it - I don't believe it :blush: ...

Ok, as I had my vacation the last two weeks I had plenty of time ad I was able to put it into the layout.

1. I managed to complete most of the needed track modifications (switches, curves (1/2), straights (3/4, 1/2, 1/4). Some straights (3/4 and 1/2) are still open to build, due to lack of straight track pieces.

2. The most important part is now finished: The table holding the complete Layout. With roughly 3.5m x 2.1m it is quite big an was constructed out of four parts. This means that the first and second level (all levels where a train track will be) are ready. During construction the table looked like this:

img_6958_small.jpg

You can find more images about the table in my brickshelf folder once it went public.

3. The second most important part is also finished. The track ramp, connecting level 1 with tracks with level 2. This was somehow a tricky part, since the ramp has to overcome 21cm hight difference in about 6m track length. This results in roughly 1.2 plates per straight track piece. As you might know I often got the advice to not exceed 1 plate per track piece height difference to not run into problems with my trains.

The most problematic train I have is the Emerald Night, which is quite famous to not climb really easily. But for my surprise, it took my track ramp very very well, and also all my other trains .... so I am quite happy with how the ramp worked out.

Here is a picture of the ramp during construction:

img_6933_small.jpg

You can find more images about the table in my brickshelf folder once it went public.

4. Since the table and the ramp are finished, I went to test-layout the tracks and test the ramp, and free space beside and above the track to make sure each train will fit through the tracks. Thankfully I did this test run because some pillars holding the level 1 where to close to the track and the Horizon Express didn't fit *oh2* ... but moving the pillars a little bit to a different position all worked fine again :grin: . Here I have to say, moving the pillars was not that easy, since the complete layout is planned to be walked on and therefore I just were able to move the pillars but not to remove some of them completely.

Here is a picture of the test layout:

img_6976_small.jpg

You can find more images about the table in my brickshelf folder once it went public.

5. Last but not least, I managed to even start to staple some bricks :grin:. I started with the ballasting of the tracks where I do not have to remove them again due to some additional woodwork.

img_6982_small.jpg

And if you believe me or not, this was for sure the hardest part during construction so far :sceptic: ... it is relatively easy to plan this ballast (since there are already some instructions out there in the web), it is also quite easy to order the parts via bricklink (but not cheap :wink: ), but I completely forgot how painful it will be to put all those 22000! pieces on their places. I can't tell how much my thumb hurt. :cry2: ... but finally I think the result is worth the going through this "pain" :grin: ...

6. What is still open to due beside the obvious? The level 2 table still needs to be built, this means again some woodwork. Once this is done I can proceed with the ballasting of the tracks on level 1 and also start to build the city on level 1 and 2. I mostly use the Lego CC Modulars, but also MOCs. One Town house MOC and several landscaping MOCS. The Town house is mostly complete (you can find some overview here) but there is a lot of work to do for the landscaping MOCs.

Please let me know what you think of the project so far. I am also very glad to receive some feedback what you like and what you think can be done better or should be changed at all.

BR,

Guenther

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Looks great. How steep did you make the grade up to the second section?

Thanks!

The inclination is roughly 1.2 plates per single straight track element. (about an inclination of 1.7°)

Edited by tmctiger

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Looks good, looking forward to witness the progress!

Thanks! Yes I'll post updates from time to time here in this topic.

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Now that's a great layout. Did you use some kind of tool for the planning (the pictures in your opening post) or just photoshop / some other image editor / vector editor?

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Now that's a great layout. Did you use some kind of tool for the planning (the pictures in your opening post) or just photoshop / some other image editor / vector editor?

Hi, Thanks!

I used the software "BlueBrick" for the general layout design. You can find the software here.

For all other Lego related stuff I use the offical Lego Digital Designer (LDD). E.g. for the track ballast.

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Hey cool, thank you for the info!

Actually I forgot to mention one Software that I also used: This is LibreOffice (or Excel) for calculating the numbers for the ramp inclination (anyone who plan also to have an inclination on his/her layout you can use my spreadsheet (LibreOffice file) as a reference).

Another information: If you plan to use Bluebrick seriously make sure to load a different track skin; because when you print the original track skins you can't distinguish single tracks, and this may cause you problems during building your layout.

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Hi All,

since I was building last time the ballast for the tracks and therefore my fingers are hurting now :wink: I have now switched interimistically to LDD Layout planning again (to rest my fingers :wink:) and planned some of the stone/rock wall connecting the upper most layer with the middle layer of the layout. I have also updated the upper layer to get more free space for MOCs and some space for a little creek(upper layer) with waterfall and pond(middle layer). At first have a look on the updated layout plan:

complete_small.jpg

Here you can see all three layers combined: the upper layer in tan, the middle layer in green and the lower layer in gray baseplates, the blue ones are placeholders for houses.

I am now showing you the draft design of the rock/stone wall area near the little pond:

waterfall_1_small.jpg

You can find the high-res renders in my brickshelf-folder.

I am now very interested in your feedback. What do you like, what do like not so much...

BR,

Günther

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Love the layout! I wish I had the time and money to do a setup like this, I have the room now! :thumbup:

Hi Pyro,

Thanks for the nice words!

yes Money is, when it comes to Lego, always an issue :wink: ... but actually for me, finding a suitable room and having time, was/is the biggest problem. When it comes to money I see Lego as my hobby, and for sure there are more expensive hobbies out there. Even building a H0 model railway is more expensive. And I also think on heavy smoking people: they literally burn a lot of money which I can invest in Lego since I don't smoke (and of course they harm their body, but this is a different story...)

So I have a rough budget I can spend yearly on this project. So the worst case for me is, that the budget is consumed early ... but the consequence is only that the project takes some time longer, but I don't care, because building is the most fun - I think most here will think the same ... :classic:

I have also some WIP news: I am currently find some time to work on the landscape and I am currently refining the lake area. I hope I can post some new LDD plan pictures soon. So stay tuned :classic: ...

BR,

Guenther

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Hello All,

there is a short project update: I manged now to complete all the track ballasting for the lower layer:

img_7478s.jpg

img_7477s.jpg

The next step now is to complete the ballasting on the middle layer. To complete this task I also have to build the upper layer (some woodwork).

BR,

Guenther

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