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102 Realistic Track Plans

102 Realistic Track Plans

The special issue showcases easy-to-use plans in a variety of scales, shapes, and sizes — from very small and compact, to medium and large layouts that fit in rec rooms and basements.

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United States
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
€ 8,93(Incl. btw)

in deze editie

2 min
design inspiration

When you’re in the process of building a house, at some point you’ll likely look through books of house plans for ideas. Having built two homes now, I’m well aware of what The Home Depot, Lowe’s, and the local libraries in two states have available on the subject. While most of the plans in those books never get built exactly as drawn, I expect that they are, in fact, gleaned for their best features, which end up in new homes all over North America. I suspect that track plans for model railroaders are very similar to house plans for home builders. In talking with people at train shows around the country, it seems that track plans are a favorite feature in Model Railroader each month. From my own experience, I always…

5 min
introduction to track planning

One of the most fascinating parts of model railroading is designing a layout. You can build a fine model railroad by following a plan out of a magazine like this one, but to get the system you really want you’ll probably need to make changes or additions. When you understand the basic techniques of layout design, you can make sure that your ideas will work. Some basic mechanical drawing is involved because the only way to know for sure that your modified plan will fit is to draw it accurately to scale. Even if you move on from pencil-and-paper to computer-aided layout-design software, you’ll still find it helpful to know how to make a scale drawing. Your layout space The beginning of any model railroad design is knowing where the layout will be…

7 min
very small layouts

Not every model railroader has a basement. Not everyone can spare a bedroom or is willing to give up parking in the garage to make room for trains. These space-challenged modelers don’t have to remain armchair hobbyists, though. Almost everyone can find room for one of the railroads in this chapter. From layouts that store under a twin bed (plan no. 1) to those designed to occupy a closet (plan 6), you’ll find an answer for every space issue here. We’ve even got plans for layouts that fit inside a coffee table (plan 4) or pack up inside suitcases (plan 11). Even if space isn’t an issue, a small layout can be great for a new hobbyist just getting his feet wet, or for an experienced modeler who wants to experiment in…

3 min
curves, turnouts, and track centers

Among the first choices you’ll need to make in designing or selecting a track plan are the sharpness of the curves and the angle and length of the turnouts (track switches). Curves are defined by radius and turnouts by the number of the frog. Or you can decide on what will be the longest cars and engines you want to run. You pretty much end up in the same place either way because your rolling stock will require a certain minimum radius and corresponding frog size to operate reliably. In fact, your trains will look even better on curves and turnouts larger than the minimums they need. The sectional track in a typical HO train set forms curves of 18" radius. That’s measured from the center point of the curve to…

1 min
curvature by scales

Matching rolling stock to curvature Broad: almost all motive power including most articulated steam engines, full-length passenger cars, and scale 89-foot freight cars Conventional: medium-size steam engines (2-8-2, 4-6-2), six-axle diesels, full-length passenger cars only with easements and modified running gear, and all freight cars except 85- and 89-footers Sharp: small steam engines (2-8-0, 4-6-0), most four-axle diesels, short (60-scale-foot) passenger cars, and freight cars under 60 feet in length For more-detailed recommendations for matching rolling stock and curves, see National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) Recommended Practice RP-11, at www.nmra.org/standards/rp-11.html…

7 min
4 x 8s and a little more

The traditional beginner model railroad is a layout built on a 4 x 8 foot sheet of plywood. The easiest explanation for this is that plywood, as well as foam insulation board, is sold in those dimensions. One can simply buy a sheet of ¾" plywood, set it on saw horses or an old table, and run trains. For a more stable layout, try senior editor Jim Hediger’s all-plywood benchwork plan shown at right. The plan calls for two sheets of ½" plywood. One is ripped into 13 strips 3½" x 96", which are used to make the legs and frame. The other is used for the layout top. From there, you can add the roadbed, track, and scenery materials of your choice. Just because 4 x 8 plans are commonly used…