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How to incorporate switch yard and round table.

490 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Tdreabe
If you read my signature, you'll appreciate that my plans are never set until they're built. Even then plans change.

I built my mainline last summer and will be laying the parallel track in the next few weeks. For the short term I will stick with the two lines.

This link is the build log for where I am so far.

I am starting to plan my next phase of construction.
My original plan would have a resemblance to this drawing.
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I have since put more thought into the layout, especially after seeing the current difficulty in getting to the inside of the layout to follow the trains around the loop.
I currently have no difficulty hopping over the structure. But I want the layout to be accessible and inviting to hobbyists of all levels of mobility, and to hedge against any possibility of my future mobility being limited.

I have drawn this possibly and would like input from others.
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Hi Tyler build the layout you want and as to access you will need access to both inside and outside so keeping the access lift bridge is essential and keep it as wide as possible whatever design you have. Inside running is always easier in my opinion and a railway viewed from the inside always looks better than looking at an oval of track from the outside, not as toy-train like.
Something I noticed on your plans is that you have all your running lines and sidings together that would make the reach to an engine on a far track near impossible due to huge width of the 7 tracks across. My suggestion would be to keep it only 3 or 4 tracks wide at the widest and place other sidings and passing loops elsewhere. This also promotes more prototypical operation with making up trains and switching moves with easy access to switch levers.
I would also suggest keeping your 'steam-up' area's away from the sidings as with visitors the running groups around your sidings will physically clash with the steaming group. Maybe do a take off line for the turntable and steaming bays so they point in the opposite direction you have now or maybe take off from a curve or even on the opposite side of the layout.
My experience has been that single track still gives good running, keep steaming bays separate from running areas and by placing sidings on both sides of your layout or in different places this keeps the width to reach a loco or coupling up to a minimum and also much more interesting switching when not doing just around 'n around runs.
All this is just food for thought and make whatever layout you want but your personal use of your railway will change over time and for old age keep the railway raised, keep all the tracks and switches in easy reach. Remember Murphies law says "your live steam loco will always stop where you can't reach it."
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