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Layout Choices


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#1 TheBrickster

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 08:17 PM

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Over the past several months, I've been exploring different layout designs for my Train Town and it got me thinking...

Do you prefer a simple loop around your town/city with perhaps a small shunting yard? (simple layout)

- or -

Do you prefer a layout with a number of switch tracks and alternate routes for your train(s) to follow? (complex layout)

Both options provide a few advantages and disadvantages including more space with simpler loops, but more switching fun with a more full and complex layout.

To provide a tip for aspiring train fans and beginners, what do some of you more seasoned train builders find more useful/enjoyable?

#2 asleepatheswitch

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 09:08 PM

It seems to come down to how much room is available.  I like to watch the trains go around so I have a double track with switched sidings for trains in waiting while two run.  I hope to build a bigger layout, with multi levels so I can have three trains running and do switching operations.  If I ever get the storage area cleaned out, I am going to build a 20'x10' layout.  I currently have 6 or 7 8-wide trains so I need a bigger layout.    :grin:    While I plan to add buildings, I only build trains :devil: I hate to waste bricks!

Edited by asleepatheswitch, 27 August 2009 - 09:09 PM.


#3 Richie

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 09:27 PM

 asleepatheswitch, on Aug 27 2009, 11:08 PM, said:

It seems to come down to how much room is available.

I totally agree with you. I don't have much space, and because of that my layout will be a simple one. Maybe there is space to create a large shunting yard, but then there will not be any space left to add roads except for a single straight one. If I had room for a bigger layout, then it would be a so-called complex layout.

Edited by Richie, 27 August 2009 - 09:29 PM.

It's multifunctionomical.

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#4 muffinman42

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 10:01 PM

i have a U of track, with a sideing at one end, so i guess it counts as simple, im planing to move it to an area where i can make a full loop.

#5 Captain Zuloo

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 10:25 PM

I have never used anything less than 2 loops and I don't plan on doing so in the future. Just expanding the loops and adding more branchlines. I currently have 3 sets of points, but I have a friend waiting to sell me some more.

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#6 Piranha

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 04:26 AM

I have only had a simple circle track, which is nice because it doesn't need alot of space to set it up
Room is very limited and I keep my trains not on a track, but on display, whereas I take out the track occasionally and run the trains

Now as I wait to motorize my EN and order some additional track I have been busy wondering all the possibilities :oh: \
I now have decided to make this  layout
Would that be considered as a simple or complex?
On a side note, I found ngltc very helpful for choosing layouts (Thx Brickster for those links  :wink: )

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#7 TheBrickster

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 04:38 AM

 Piranha, on Aug 27 2009, 09:26 PM, said:

Would that be considered as a simple or complex?
I'd say simple based on the fact that you only have the one side rail, that isn't too long.

 Piranha, on Aug 27 2009, 09:26 PM, said:

On a side note, I found ngltc very helpful for choosing layouts (Thx Brickster for those links  :wink: )
Oh, great!  It is a good site. :thumbup:

#8 aawsum

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 08:06 AM

I guess everybody starts easy with a small oval track.

I quickly started with some ideas to go up in the air because I wanted to build my train shed on a mountain.
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Next up was to make a bridge to the other side of the room where I had a 50cm deep layout (3meters wide) to have the train drive around it and make a quick turn at the end.

Considering the room available this was the maximum layout I could have. As a real track fan my goal was to have a very large track where I could have severals trains running without having them to hit each other.


At the moment (with everything in boxes) I am just thinking about digital track designs (a bit more here). Also there everything starts with the available room and the wishlist you have yourself. (and my wishlist is a bit long)

So my advise would be to start designing digital, and see what you can achieve with the space you have available.

Edited by aawsum, 28 August 2009 - 08:07 AM.


#9 Davey

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 01:26 PM

I really don't know whether our layout would be classified as simple or complex.

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I guess base on the definitions you gave, ours would probably be simple.  As you can see, we currently have three main loops and the freight loop that encircles the whole layout has a good sized shunting yard attached to it.  As others have said, the level of complexity is directly related to amount of space for me.  The switch points take up a lot of room and using them in a "crossover" scheme is a pain (at least with 9V  track).  That's one thing I really like about the RC and PF stuff.  The new double-crossover is a nice space saving tool allowing more complex layouts to be easily designed.  As I start to incorporate more PF stuff, I may start to get more complicated with the layout due to having access to that piece.

When it comes to shows, I build a new design each time based on the amount of space we are allocated.  The complexity of the layout is governed by that.  At Brickworld 2008, we have 4 operating loops that were pretty small.  This year we opted to extend some of those loops to longer runs and dropped down to three loops.

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#10 Piranha

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 11:53 PM

 aawsum, on Aug 27 2009, 10:06 PM, said:

I quickly started with some ideas to go up in the air because I wanted to build my train shed on a mountain.
snip
Next up was to make a bridge to the other side of the room where I had a 50cm deep layout (3meters wide) to have the train drive around it and make a quick turn at the end.
Very Nice layout in the pic  :thumbup: My only question is does the train when going downhill derail and fall off? One way I might prevent it would be to power in reverse to slow it down. Or do you only run it uphill in one direction so it never encounters that problem
I also see you are using RC tracks, have you considered trying the new flexible track, because I never thought RC could be bent that way

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#11 AFOL12v

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 09:29 AM

If I had the room to place all 30 trains in my layout, then I will make a complex one. With airport and harbor. Only I'm limited with space and forced to make simple loops to run 6 trains without problems with eachother.

#12 Klaus-Dieter

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 02:59 PM

That's a great and very interesting topic, TheBrickster! :thumbup:

I of course prefer a
complex layout
since it offers more playability and more realism and simply looks much better.

But since the regular town/city sets are for me more important than the train sets - which does not mean that I'm not interested in train - in contrast I really like trains and surely will buy some more train sets in the future - I will never have that much place to build up a complex layout. Nevertheless two train stations, a small cargo train station and about three trains are necessary for every bigger and better city layout anyway.


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Edited by Klaus-Dieter, 31 August 2009 - 03:00 PM.


#13 TheBrickster

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 04:30 PM

 Klaus-Dieter, on Aug 31 2009, 07:59 AM, said:

I of course prefer a
complex layout
since it offers more playability and more realism and simply looks much better.
Interesting thoughts KD.  I don't know how real a more complex layout looks with lots of alternate lines, unless created in a more shunting yard style.

 Cyclone Breezerider, on Aug 28 2009, 06:26 AM, said:

I really don't know whether our layout would be classified as simple or complex.
That is definately a great layout Dave.  I bet it certainly provides a lot of fun watching a few different trains running at the same time.
Looks like an awesome layout!  I'd probably say complex.

BTW: No Market Street in that layout?

#14 Matt Dawson

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 01:35 PM

I haven't got a layout...yet.

But when I've got enough money (or had long enough tp buy everything), I'm buying 2 emerald nights, one set of RC points, one set of RC straight and curved track, and PF stuff to motorise a loco.
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