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Dear All.
               I had a Bachman Spectrum On30 loco bought for me at Christmas (the 2-6-0). I was very pleased with the quality, smooth running and feel of the model. I bought myself a coach and goods wagon (they're lovely models)and some Peco track and a couple of points and I would like to make a start on a small layout. However I'm a bit lost as to the design of a realistic looking layout as my main interest for the last 40 -45 years has been British Railways OO scale based around 1960. I understand how we Brits think about our track layouts but I think there are some fundamental differences in approach by the US railroad systems. I bought myself "101 Track Plans for Model Railroaders" by Linn Westcott but most of the designs needed more space than I have at the moment. I have a room ~9 feet square which is fine for my "OO gauge" set-up at the moment. I was thinking along the lines of  a branchline terminus situation with run-round loops etc as a terminus to fiddle yard set-up (a situation beloved of a great many space starved Brits) Alternatively I was thinking of a "shelf" type system (~1-1.5 feet in width) that I could fold up and store in my garage.  Can anyone help with a few more book titles for layout design or other suggestions. I'm pretty comfortable with most aspects of woodworking tracklaying, electrics, making buildings etc but I want to avoid just dumping a British philosophy on to an American stage and ending up with something that does "not quite look right"

Any thoughts will be gratefully received

Cheers

Dave
 

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Dave

You are quite right in pointing to the different ideas in modelling approach either side of the Atlantic. Perhpas some of this is driven by available space but I suspect a good bit is driven by our own observations of prototype practices around us.

I would recommend to you a book by your countryman Iain Rice called Small, Smart & Practical Track Plans. It is paperback perfect bound, relatively inexpensive and published by Kalmbach.

Also, the layout design books by John Armstrong, the dean of designers, would be worthwhile.

Another source of ideas is to seek out the designs in Model Railroader that have been published over the years. There are one or two plans in every issue so it helps to peruse a collection of mags close to home.

Regards ... Doug
 

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hello Dave
In designing a layout just remember to keep it interesting just like the real deal it needs to have a purpose. Train companies would build a line to get something from point A to B by the most direct route but of course this in itself would be boring for us modelers hence the circle of track. Be it passenger or freight have a destination for it to get to even if it's it just the other side of the room. If I were you I would plan an oval to provide continous operation and a yard at one side to play around with switching operations and a spur or 2 along the oval route to stop and park some cars to be loaded or off loaded, be it people or product. Plan an area where the train disappears from view to add some suspense as to where it went and suprise when it pops out again from the tunnel or from behind a row of buildings or such. Plus in the long staights add a little curve or slight curve to it to keep it interesting.
Doodle some ideas out on paper and then lay down some track on your bench work or floor and mess around with it to see where it takes you and what will fit in where. Good luck
 
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