GazK 1

Train layout on a 2.4 x1.2m plywood sheet

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Hi, can anyone help me please. I want to do a train layout with my kids and I want to try and squeeze it onto a 2.4x1.2 sheet of ply. I already have a display model that is 1m x 1.1m at one end so by the time the track goes around the perimeter of that I have lost approximately 1.2m x 1.2m or half of my sheet. It would be very easy (and boring) to run the train track around the entire perimeter leaving the inside of the other end of the sheet of ply for another construction that end but I want to make it more interesting. I would love to have an 'L' shape but that would require enough room for 4 no. 90' bends. The specs I can find have the track radius at 37cm which means the only way that would work is on a sheet width of about 1.5m and I only have 1.2m. I had the idea of running along the back long side then doing a full 180' turn using 74cm, then using another 1 or 2 bends to continue bending the track back towards itself before bending back to parallel to the top long side. This hopefully gives me enough room for a 90' bend across the short side in the middle of the board and 90' again to return along the lower long side. This would make the 'L' shape I'm after but the middle part of the 'L' would run on a bit of an angle. Sorry for the wordy description I did a sketch but I can't seem to make it a small enough file to upload. If anyone has the pieces lieing around it would be great to see it assembled if you have the ability to upload? Thanks in advance,

Gaz 

 

 

 

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Have you used "BlueBrick"? With it you can input your "table size" and make available only your track parts.

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Posted (edited)

I'm an 'old timer' and I still use Track Designer. Here is my design - trying to follow your instructions and fit on a 1.2 x 2.4m board. As you can see there is a small 'gap' in the track 0- but is shouldn't matter. It is not very 'L' shaped. As it says there is a 4 stud border - if I had the track right to the edge I may have been able to fit more in.

 

Layout

 

Edited by Dav1d

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Thanks Dav1d, that's definitely an eye opener seeing it drawn up like that. To have any chance of fitting my existing display in the loop on the right hand side of your plan I'd need to have no straight pieces on the thin part of the 'L' (basically going from a 180' turn, into an 'S' bend, a 90' left hand corner, then a 90' right hand corner). It definitely takes up a lot of space on the board but I think it adds more than having it go around the perimeter of the board.

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Here's a long thread on Bluebrick, it is amazing software. Or cut to the chase and go here to download it. For building in a small space some of the TrixBrix switches might be of help. Bluebrick has a library of TrixBrix parts so you should be able to try any unusual geometry before you buy.

Regardless, if you plan to put baseplates below the track that curves and switches will generally not align with the studs on the baseplates. So you will either need to put tiles under these elements or let them be loose above them (my club does the latter). There is also an advantage to just letting your track float (as I do at home) because you can easily close a few stud gap in a non-perfect loop, e.g., Dav1d's example above. If it is semi permanent and kids are playing on it, you might want to screw down a couple of the track segments, since the track will slide a small amount with each time a train passes a curve.

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Does the have to be a closed circle of track? If so, I'd add a siding, but I'd suggest hinking about a yard layout for switching. That allows for a, in my opinion, more intersting play and theme that can be enjoyed for a longer time than simply watching a train doing circle after circle.

But as the others suggested, definately try using Bluebrick! It's an amazing software. 

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Thanks everyone for your help. I have decided to go with a straight loop keeping it as close as I can to the edge of the ply sheet and leaving as much room as I can in the centre. Unfortunately the 'L' shape was going to occupy too much of area. I already have a monorail with a loop at each end, climbing 2x regular height which takes up roughly half the board and now the train will encircle it. 

The theme of the layout is an environmentally friendly one, the train will collect trees from the plantation, deliver them to the monorail which climbs the hill using 1 carriage to carry the trees to revegetate the hill and 1 carriage for the workers. Other items I want to build will be a dam for hydro electric power, wind turbines and a solar farm (not sure how to do the panels at the moment). Also some high density housing, lots of bikes, recycling truck and bins and anything else I think encompasses the future I'd like my kids to enjoy 😃

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