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Offline Eisenhower  
#1 Posted : 23 July 2004 00:57:50(UTC)
Eisenhower

Denmark   
Joined: 14/08/2003(UTC)
Posts: 432
Location: Midtjylland
Hi
I am in the proces of finalizing my house expansion. I have expanded my house with 62 m² with full basement underneath. In the basement I have prepared [:p] a 8m x 3m room for a new layout. I have been crazy with model trains since my childhood but have never had more space to build than on the dinning tabel. NOW I GOT the space and it will be a permanent layout!! I am 35 years old, have a wife and 2 children (2 and 5 years old). I have prepared the space for them so they will never make claim on my mäklín room in the basement Smile

Now that I have all the space I need for a permanent layout I have startet to trimpel. "How do I start?", "Should I build hidden yards and many stations?", "Should it be a loop or a point-to-point layout?", "What track-type should I use?", "What ERA should I build?"

I need your advise guys!!

What I have at the moment ?:

A lot of M-track (collecting the last 25 years)
Digital starter set 29855 (bought in 2003)
4 digital trains (and 4 to be converted to dig.)
I got alot of digital stuff for christmas for digitalizing my turnouts (C-track) etc.

<ul><li>How do I start building the layout ?</li>
<li>Do you know some nice links to sites describing how to build a layout?</li>
<li>Should I continue using/buying C-track ?
(I love the smooth curves using K-track but I have been reading alot about how easy it is using digital stuff together with C-track)</li>
<li>What should I NOT do?</li>
</ul>
Any suggestions is very welcome Smile
Steen
Digital | C-Track | Epoche II-IV | Railroad & Co. 7.0 Gold | IB 1 | LocoNet
Offline David Dewar  
#2 Posted : 23 July 2004 01:20:58(UTC)
David Dewar

Scotland   
Joined: 01/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 7,001
Location: Scotland
Hi Everyone has their own ideas on a layout and you should build the one that you want. As for era I like to run locos from all eras I just like to ensure they are pulling the correct coaches.
I like C track as it is easy to lay and as you say very good for a digital layout but as I am sure others will say K track can look more professional.
Take your time and enjoy the planning stage and build what you want to operate with the help of some of the track plan booklets which are available.
David
Take care I like Marklin and will defend the worlds greatest model rail manufacturer.
Offline McLae  
#3 Posted : 23 July 2004 03:07:46(UTC)
McLae


Joined: 16/07/2002(UTC)
Posts: 1,575
Location: DeSoto (Dallas area), TX
Step 1.
Get some track planning software. Several brands available, pick the one you like. Play with designs until you find one you like.

Step 2.
Get the book "How to Build Model Railroad Benchwork" from http://store.yahoo.net/kalmbachcatalog/12175.html
This will get you started.

Step 3.
Build something. Run some trains.biggrin

Step 4.
Make notes on what you wish you had added to the current layout.

Step 5.
Make new plans.

Step 6.
goto step 3.

From past experience, you will spend about a year building, then 1-2 years running, then tear everything out and start over. Lots of fun!biggrin
The McLae
IB digital, DB, OBB, SBB epII-V
Providing a home for little lost 'Gators
Offline perz  
#4 Posted : 23 July 2004 03:11:25(UTC)
perz

Sweden   
Joined: 12/01/2002(UTC)
Posts: 2,577
Location: Sweden
Regarding C-track vs K-track vs M-track there is not really any big difference in how easy it is to use digital stuff, at least not on a permanent layout. You can find other good arguments for one or the other track system, but the talk about C-track as more "digital" than the other is mostly nonsense.

It is very difficult to give general advice since the different choices are so dependent on personal preferences. Things like era (or not) and general track plan idea is something you have to choose yourself.

Work with the track plan for some time before you start building. Does it give the operational possibilities you want?

It is a good idea to decide upon a certain maximum train length, and then make sure that trains with that length fit between the turnouts on all main tracks of the layout.

Make sure that all tracks are accessible. If there is one spot to where you cannot reach, you can bet the derailings will occur just there!

Don't build the decoders into the turnouts. On a permanent layout it is more convenient to have the electronics mounted underneath the table where it is more easily accessible.

I would recommend an open framework rather than a closed "table" benchwork. An open structure allows easier access for wiring etc., and gives more landscaping flexibility.

With the size of layout you are planning I think you should design it in smaller sections that can be separated from eachother and moved. Since you build a permanent layout you do not need a "plug-and-play" segmentation, but by planning for it you can at least limit the damage, should a move for some reason be necessary.
Offline rschaffr  
#5 Posted : 23 July 2004 03:18:00(UTC)
rschaffr

United States   
Joined: 03/01/2003(UTC)
Posts: 5,170
Location: Southern New Jersey, USA
Good idea to set aside some space for your layout and stake your claim! I use WinTrack to plan my layouts ( and just to play around with possibilities). It's a great tool to get your thoughts down and easy to change them if you don't like something. Before computers I used to use a layout stencil, but that is a lot of work.

I am firmly in the K track community due to it's flexibility and appearance. It is harder to lay than C or M but once it's down, it's down. I have, however, started a second smaller layout using C-track. I agree it is easy to work with and has great operating charateristics, but looks too toy-like to me. The main motivations for the second layout was to make use of my turntable and dampf loks (my main layout is all catenary and modern) and to have a simpler layout for my grandson to operate. My main one is just too complicated for him right now.

As David says, everyone has their own ideas and that is what makes the hobby so great, but it helps to see what others are doing. You can check mine out by clicking the homepage icon above, or going to http://www.sem-co.com/~rschaffr/trains/trains.html

Have fun with your layout.
-Ron
Digital, Epoch IV-V(K-track/IB), Epoch III(C-track/6021/6036/6051)
http://www.sem-co.com/~rschaffr/trains/trains.html
Offline rugauger  
#6 Posted : 23 July 2004 05:06:30(UTC)
rugauger

United Kingdom   
Joined: 19/12/2003(UTC)
Posts: 1,200
Location: Swindon, Wiltshire
Wow, 8m x 3m is certainly something! How did you get the wife to agree to something like that?!?!?

Anyway, here it is:
<ul><li>Plan, plan, plan. Make sure you have considered everything, including the 3rd dimension! Reduce the inevitable suprises to a minimum.</li>
<li>I'm using M track for my hidden sections and K for the visible areas, and am happy with it.</li></ul>
Richard
Offline luckas  
#7 Posted : 23 July 2004 08:31:32(UTC)
luckas


Joined: 06/02/2002(UTC)
Posts: 177
Location: ,
I agree with all that has been said with emphasis on the following:

Don't try and plan a layout which will never change. You'll find that you want (need) to make fundamental changes during construction / over the years etc. Access is all important, and try to resist the temptation to make things too permanent.

You will definitely want to run some trains during the project. Don't forget to have some fun and get some track up as soon as possible.

Finally - two kids = participation for the whole family. My 3 year old and 5 year old are very active in my layout (with exceptions of course, no one but me touches the Insider 2003 ;-))

The last few issues of Marklin Magazin have had some good layout articles. Worth looking at, particularly if you're starting from scratch with planning etc., and going digital.

Good luck !

Paul
Offline Eisenhower  
#8 Posted : 23 July 2004 12:14:05(UTC)
Eisenhower

Denmark   
Joined: 14/08/2003(UTC)
Posts: 432
Location: Midtjylland
Hi all and thx for your quick and most appriciated replies Smile

I will buy the book "How to Build Model Railroad Benchwork" as McLae suggests.

Perz:
Good point in considering maximum train length and accessebility. I thought of building and open framework as the basic stucture as you suggests Smile. (The layout will not be moved - I have been moving my layout the last 25 years but now it will be bolted to the house Smile )

rschaffr:
Nice pictures from your layout and also very nice work!
There I can see how to construct the frames supporting my future layout. It helps, as you say, to see how others build their layout.

rugauger:
"How did you get the wife to agree to something like that?!?!?"
I simply build everything else around that room which then ended up with 62m² on ground level with full basement underneath Smile

luckas:
Im glad to see that it is possible to have small kids around and have them play an active role in the play. (I think my wife have to bring me the beers - she can play the waitress in the dining car [:p] )

Thanx alot guys....My conclusion is as follows:
I will try to plan to some extend - but not too much as I have to have room for changes in the furture.
The planning will be on maximum train length and I will invest in some planning software to see it I can create "my" layout Smile
I will continue to use C-track because of the easy-to-use characteristics.

I will defently be back with alot of questions in the nearest future which will be more specific.


Best regards
Steen
Steen
Digital | C-Track | Epoche II-IV | Railroad & Co. 7.0 Gold | IB 1 | LocoNet
Offline john black  
#9 Posted : 23 July 2004 16:17:17(UTC)
john black

United States   
Joined: 22/04/2004(UTC)
Posts: 12,139
Location: New York, NY
Hi Steen Smile

Everything said - there's nothing to add but this one: with M-track in stock from 25 years you are definetely a case for Francisco biggrinbiggrinbiggrin

Congratulations - 8 meters x 3 meters is GREAT [:p][:p][:p] !!!

Much fun,
John

I hope no one visits a poor Southener's layout in Brooklyn. Intruders beware of Gators.
AT&SF, D&RGW, T&P, SP, WP, UP, BN, NYC, ARR, epI-III - analog & digital Marklin Classics only.
CU#6021 FX-MOTOROLA DIGITAL SYSTEM. Fast as lightning and no trouble. What else ...
Outlaw Member of BIG JUHAN's OUTSIDER CLUB. With the most members, worldwide

Offline rschaffr  
#10 Posted : 23 July 2004 21:09:43(UTC)
rschaffr

United States   
Joined: 03/01/2003(UTC)
Posts: 5,170
Location: Southern New Jersey, USA
Steen:

I derived my benchwork for a Model Railroad Magazine published book on benchwork. The book is at home and I don't know offhand who the author was, but it was excellent advice and easy to follow. The result was an extermely sturdy and stable base to build from. It is also remarkably adjustable to support just about any configuration you may desire. I think the thing is so strong that it would support a REAL lok!
-Ron
Digital, Epoch IV-V(K-track/IB), Epoch III(C-track/6021/6036/6051)
http://www.sem-co.com/~rschaffr/trains/trains.html
Offline McLae  
#11 Posted : 23 July 2004 21:25:12(UTC)
McLae


Joined: 16/07/2002(UTC)
Posts: 1,575
Location: DeSoto (Dallas area), TX
You might try a staged approach. Build a small layout to test techniques, get familliar with local materials (lumber, plywood, etc), and try out ideas from books. With that much space[:0], you might even have one test layout running while you test ideas on another.biggrin

Just remember, this is an ongoing project. Like software, as soon as you are finished, it is time to work on the next version.biggrinbiggrin

Keep the questions comming. (So we can look like we know somethingwinkbiggrin)
The McLae
IB digital, DB, OBB, SBB epII-V
Providing a home for little lost 'Gators
Offline Eisenhower  
#12 Posted : 24 July 2004 16:37:25(UTC)
Eisenhower

Denmark   
Joined: 14/08/2003(UTC)
Posts: 432
Location: Midtjylland
When I have bought myself af digital camera I will post pictures of my progress on the layout.

Best regards
Steen
Steen
Digital | C-Track | Epoche II-IV | Railroad & Co. 7.0 Gold | IB 1 | LocoNet
Offline rschaffr  
#13 Posted : 24 July 2004 17:18:46(UTC)
rschaffr

United States   
Joined: 03/01/2003(UTC)
Posts: 5,170
Location: Southern New Jersey, USA
McLae: Finished???? I don't think my layout will ever be finished. There will always be something to add or change.
I'm already looking at the next area of my basement and wondering where I can put all that stuff so aI can expand.
-Ron
Digital, Epoch IV-V(K-track/IB), Epoch III(C-track/6021/6036/6051)
http://www.sem-co.com/~rschaffr/trains/trains.html
Offline john black  
#14 Posted : 24 July 2004 17:49:17(UTC)
john black

United States   
Joined: 22/04/2004(UTC)
Posts: 12,139
Location: New York, NY
Ron: How BIG is your layout? But please - type that slowly for preventing poor me getting shocked ... biggrin (saw your web site yesterday - your Main Station Track alone measures 2 meters - GREAT!!!)

Best Regards
John
I hope no one visits a poor Southener's layout in Brooklyn. Intruders beware of Gators.
AT&SF, D&RGW, T&P, SP, WP, UP, BN, NYC, ARR, epI-III - analog & digital Marklin Classics only.
CU#6021 FX-MOTOROLA DIGITAL SYSTEM. Fast as lightning and no trouble. What else ...
Outlaw Member of BIG JUHAN's OUTSIDER CLUB. With the most members, worldwide

Offline rschaffr  
#15 Posted : 24 July 2004 19:28:43(UTC)
rschaffr

United States   
Joined: 03/01/2003(UTC)
Posts: 5,170
Location: Southern New Jersey, USA
John. Thanks. We wanted to have the main station capable of handling a long consist. Right now the layout is occupying approx 6m x 4m, but will expand. Where the temporary platform is now will be a platform with a 5 or 6 track schattenbahnhof on the bottom with a mountain range above. On one side of the mountains will be an extension of our current Rhein theme, and the other side will be based on Switzerland, probably on the Berner Oberland. The layout will eventually extend down the back wall towards the water heater after I get some of the stuff we have stored there somewhere else.
-Ron
Digital, Epoch IV-V(K-track/IB), Epoch III(C-track/6021/6036/6051)
http://www.sem-co.com/~rschaffr/trains/trains.html
Offline john black  
#16 Posted : 24 July 2004 20:06:23(UTC)
john black

United States   
Joined: 22/04/2004(UTC)
Posts: 12,139
Location: New York, NY
Ron you're really happy with that much space in your basement, that's fine Smile! Our house is very old, quite big and in reasonably good condition but the basement is wet [xx(] and I'll not become younger [xx(] so I had to stay with a modest size layout (2.0 meters x 1.5 meters) in my study (the good news is I have instant access Smile!!!)

My little grandson's future layout is another story. Told my older son & his wife they should plan one big and well heated extra room in the base for Little Enzo's layout when building their new house and so they'll do, good kids biggrin. And this one I'll fill to the line with C-track for him [:p][:p][:p].

Best Regards
John
I hope no one visits a poor Southener's layout in Brooklyn. Intruders beware of Gators.
AT&SF, D&RGW, T&P, SP, WP, UP, BN, NYC, ARR, epI-III - analog & digital Marklin Classics only.
CU#6021 FX-MOTOROLA DIGITAL SYSTEM. Fast as lightning and no trouble. What else ...
Outlaw Member of BIG JUHAN's OUTSIDER CLUB. With the most members, worldwide

Offline rschaffr  
#17 Posted : 24 July 2004 20:41:17(UTC)
rschaffr

United States   
Joined: 03/01/2003(UTC)
Posts: 5,170
Location: Southern New Jersey, USA
John: When we bought the house in 1982 the basement was quite leaky in the rain. I spent about a year chasing leaks with hydraulic cement. Once I had them all, I coated the entire wall surface with thoroseal. The only place we get water now (in a very small amount) is down the chimney when it rains really hard.

As to space, my younger son (31) is living at home saving for a house downpayment. When he moves his furniture and boxes out I'll have some room to expand. My older (married) son doesn't have a basement at his house so he stores some stuff at ours. Eventually when they both move their stuff out, I'll have LOTS of room to expand into!biggrinbiggrin
-Ron
Digital, Epoch IV-V(K-track/IB), Epoch III(C-track/6021/6036/6051)
http://www.sem-co.com/~rschaffr/trains/trains.html
Offline franciscohg  
#18 Posted : 25 July 2004 01:37:08(UTC)
franciscohg

Chile   
Joined: 10/07/2002(UTC)
Posts: 3,126
Location: Patagonia
Hey, my M's have been in the family for 44 years now John, at least the principal core.
Don't waste your M's, use it, and for future expansions buy K, never C.....arrrrgh.
The ideas that all have gave to you are good ones, get a good book, a good trackplanning soft and experimentation,experimentation and more experimentation
UserPostedImage German trains era I-II and selected III, era depends on the mood, mostly Maerklin but i can be heretic if needed XD, heresy is no longer an issue.. LOL
Offline john black  
#19 Posted : 26 July 2004 11:17:54(UTC)
john black

United States   
Joined: 22/04/2004(UTC)
Posts: 12,139
Location: New York, NY
Quote:
[size=1" face="Verdana" id="quote]quote:Originally posted by franciscohg
<br />Hey, my M's have been in the family for 44 years now John, at least the principal core.
Don't waste your M's, use it, and for future expansions buy K, never C.....arrrrgh.
The ideas that all have gave to you are good ones, get a good book, a good trackplanning soft and experimentation,experimentation and more experimentation


Francisco since I'm not owning a single piece of M-track anymore I'm certain you adressed STEEN with that one biggrin


I hope no one visits a poor Southener's layout in Brooklyn. Intruders beware of Gators.
AT&SF, D&RGW, T&P, SP, WP, UP, BN, NYC, ARR, epI-III - analog & digital Marklin Classics only.
CU#6021 FX-MOTOROLA DIGITAL SYSTEM. Fast as lightning and no trouble. What else ...
Outlaw Member of BIG JUHAN's OUTSIDER CLUB. With the most members, worldwide

Offline john black  
#20 Posted : 26 July 2004 11:32:55(UTC)
john black

United States   
Joined: 22/04/2004(UTC)
Posts: 12,139
Location: New York, NY
Quote:
[size=1" face="Verdana" id="quote]quote:Originally posted by rschaffr
I spent about a year chasing leaks with hydraulic cement. Once I had them all, I coated the entire wall surface with thoroseal.
Eventually when they both move their stuff out, I'll have LOTS of room to expand into!biggrinbiggrin


Ron if you intend to keep that house such cost intensive investments make sense, naturally Smile. In our specific case we'll move back home to Texas some day as soon as we'll get new assignments and then we'll sell this old house, that's for sure (our home in the South is dry as a Martini [^])

Yep, when your sons have moved their stuff out ya'll have space for THE REALLY BIG LAYOUT biggrin

I hope no one visits a poor Southener's layout in Brooklyn. Intruders beware of Gators.
AT&SF, D&RGW, T&P, SP, WP, UP, BN, NYC, ARR, epI-III - analog & digital Marklin Classics only.
CU#6021 FX-MOTOROLA DIGITAL SYSTEM. Fast as lightning and no trouble. What else ...
Outlaw Member of BIG JUHAN's OUTSIDER CLUB. With the most members, worldwide

Offline Eisenhower  
#21 Posted : 30 July 2004 23:19:55(UTC)
Eisenhower

Denmark   
Joined: 14/08/2003(UTC)
Posts: 432
Location: Midtjylland
Hi all

My dad just bougt a digital camera - so I rushed down the basement and took some pictures Smile when he came on visit.

UserPostedImage
My son (2 years old) and I couldnt help ourselfs - we just need to get some train up and running. So here you see my son Christian playing with our 29855 digital starter set.

UserPostedImage
I havnt finished the electrical part of the ligtning yet Smile

UserPostedImage
I DL wintrack demo version and started to 'play around' - this could be my first layout in the basement (proportions is not correct!)

Some additional pictures from my digital starter set Smile :

UserPostedImage

UserPostedImage

UserPostedImage





Steen
Digital | C-Track | Epoche II-IV | Railroad & Co. 7.0 Gold | IB 1 | LocoNet
Offline john black  
#22 Posted : 30 July 2004 23:59:25(UTC)
john black

United States   
Joined: 22/04/2004(UTC)
Posts: 12,139
Location: New York, NY
Hi Steen, Christian (you are a really big boy, already) Smile:

This is one great layout room you have there, congratulations !!!
Very nice photos - you 2 will have lots of fun, surely [:p]. This is just another proof a little boy or girl can never be too young for M Smile

Best Regards
John

I hope no one visits a poor Southener's layout in Brooklyn. Intruders beware of Gators.
AT&SF, D&RGW, T&P, SP, WP, UP, BN, NYC, ARR, epI-III - analog & digital Marklin Classics only.
CU#6021 FX-MOTOROLA DIGITAL SYSTEM. Fast as lightning and no trouble. What else ...
Outlaw Member of BIG JUHAN's OUTSIDER CLUB. With the most members, worldwide

Offline Eisenhower  
#23 Posted : 31 July 2004 01:06:37(UTC)
Eisenhower

Denmark   
Joined: 14/08/2003(UTC)
Posts: 432
Location: Midtjylland
Hi again

I have created an asp-page where the present and future pictures can be seen.

http://www.mraccess.dk/maerklin/eistrain.asp
Steen
Digital | C-Track | Epoche II-IV | Railroad & Co. 7.0 Gold | IB 1 | LocoNet
Offline rschaffr  
#24 Posted : 31 July 2004 01:52:12(UTC)
rschaffr

United States   
Joined: 03/01/2003(UTC)
Posts: 5,170
Location: Southern New Jersey, USA
Steen: Great pictures. Great to have a clear space to start to build in, too. I have to move stuff and make room everytime I expand my layout!
-Ron
Digital, Epoch IV-V(K-track/IB), Epoch III(C-track/6021/6036/6051)
http://www.sem-co.com/~rschaffr/trains/trains.html
Offline Hannu  
#25 Posted : 24 August 2004 12:16:47(UTC)
Hannu


Joined: 23/08/2004(UTC)
Posts: 73
Location: Helsinki,
Quote:
[size=1" face="Verdana" id="quote]quote:Originally posted by Eisenhower
<br />Hi

Now that I have all the space I need for a permanent layout I have startet to trimpel. "How do I start?", "Should I build hidden yards and many stations?", "Should it be a loop or a point-to-point layout?", "What track-type should I use?", "What ERA should I build?"


I can't give any recommendations, because I think that these are very personal choices. However, I tell what I have done and what I am going to do.

In next summer I will be in quite similar situation than you. Now I am building a new house where will be a railroad room in basement. I have at least 6250 mm x 2250 mm room to my layout. It's much more than I have ever had Smile.

I want more to play with trains and build electric and technical systems than make finely detailed sceneries. I chose a loop layout with three main stations. I will use C-tracks in main routes and M-tracks in railyards at least before I will replace them with C-tracks. I planned a big layout in four layers. However, I don't have very much tracks (and my wife does not necessarily like expensive track expansions when we have a house mortgage and twin babies Smile) and I will build the layout in few steps. At first step I build only one level and a little railyard. I use trains from all eras.


Quote:
[size=1" face="Verdana" id="quote]quote:
<li>Should I continue using/buying C-track ?
(I love the smooth curves using K-track but I have been reading alot about how easy it is using digital stuff together with C-track)</li>


I considered K-track because with bendable track section it is possible to make realistic clothoid curves between straight and curved track sections. However, then more of my tracks would be in tunnels and I do not like that. I made my layout plans for only C-tracks but probably I will make at least some test plans with K-track and clothoids before I will build top layer with large radius curves and long turnouts.
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