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Discussion Starter #1
Just got an incredible deal on a new house and proceeded on designing a track for my backyard, I opted for a nicer newer house instead of having a big backyard (first house :p), so I will deal with my size constraints.


The bottom of the boundary in this XTrkCad file is the house and the other side is this giant hedge I cant go by so those our my boundries.



I designed a 2 run layout, maximum radius I can muster is 13' Diameter, the inner track is 11.75' Diameter, I set it up as a dog bone layout with a raisable section in the middle for the lawnmower (and access).
I didn't add any switches or plans for a steamup bay, Ill leave that up to you all for some ideas on how to design one properly, yes its squished, something to run my own trains until I get the big club
track built at tradewinds park (so when I can afford my bigger engines, slow running on my track, stretch legs at the club track :p


I planning on building this around Jan (after diamondhead of course) - February (too busy in mountains of boxes right now lol), it will be a raised track. All track is seperated by 7.5" from center to center.

0 degree grade, built like my other tracks.
http://www.mylargescale.com/Community/Forums/tabid/56/forumid/11/tpage/1/view/topic/postid/238/Default.aspx#238





(right click, view image to see the full size (might have to zoom in with the magnifying glass))


1. blocked by bushes, I mean you cant walk through, track goes over bushes
2. Tree might be removed, relocated is what I meant lol (its small, bush size)

3. Door brick, is my screen patio door with brick in front on the lawn side.


Thanks for your help (and its fun to design tracks anyway )

Files
PDF:

http://www.livesteamers.org/Backyard-1st-draft.pdf

http://www.livesteamers.org/backyard-railroad-1stdraft.xtc
XTrkCad File:

http://www.livesteamers.org/backyard-railroad-1stdraft.xtc


(if your dont have XTrkCad to edit get it here , learning curve is not bad, plus its open source (free))
 

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Looking good Andrew. Just an idea, why not just run the track parallel with the big wall of bush then you can have steam up bays and sidings on that end, in the middle of the layout. Then the straight track closest to the house could be the raised section for lawn mower access.
Or are you trying to keep the track away from the hedge for maintenance. If its a ficus they need hedged all the time. Is the right away blocked by bushes ficus?
I haven't made it to Tradewinds, we just has a baby girl so its been pretty busy around here, but its nice to see the club track plan is still in the works.

Bruce
 

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Hi Andrew

I would not put the track in the middel of the ground- since you dont have any acces to the other side.
Try to take a look at our layout (the idea, not the track) http://www.havebane.dk/?Bygning_af_Havebanen::Den_nye_bane,_anlagt_2008
Here you have a circle, where you can fiddle (=walk with the engine), and when it is stable you can go for a longer run.
You can use the same set-up on your lawn as well.

regards
David
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The hedge in the back is maintained by the HOA (there very relaxed thank god lol), so is the lawn, I was planning on putting a 5 foot bridge span in the middle to be opened when im not operating, the only issue left would be the center of the 2 ends, I would probably have to mow the lawn myself, (or maybe the whole backyard). I kept the layout away from the back hedge at least as far as the next door neighbors deck. To the right of the door brick labeled area is 10 feet, and I have a 10' X 10' patio that I might be able to put the steam up bays into (make some type of screen door apparatus) if the wife allows me lol. If not it might go over the bush that hugs the house up to the screen door.

David, I was trying to keep the maximum radius allowed so that I can run the bigger engines, just not too fast of course.

Bruce, as a matter of fact I was pulling out all the people I found over the past few months, you, some of the old members of the G-Scale friends and family and more to come out this Saturday for a little bit and talk about the track and show the club our interest! (its a fun run too! No Public, just trains) They need to see the people that are willing to take it the next step.

Also, my father is going to be in town and I told him to bring down the K28 and the C19 to show some of the possibilities of live steam to the people who haven't seen some of the bigger engines before (probably steam the K28 just to show them the weltyk whistle, it wont make it around the 6' curve of the mini track the kids watch while waiting to ride the 7.5").
I will have my usual 3 live steam engines out too.

Anyone else in the South Florida area that is willing to get this club track project off the ground is welcomed to come out this Saturday, November 29th. Give me a call if you decide to come out: 561.901.6181, even if its only an hour, the meeting will be at 12:00 (we will be there at 10:00 am steaming up the small and the big stuff). I need all the support I can get! "If you build it, they will come!"

http://www.livesteamers.org


Yes my topic is all over the place :p, too many things at once.
 

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Andrew:
My first try at a Dogbone layout is below in a tight space behind a cottage. The parallel straight sections need to be separated by a couple more feet to allow ~3' (min) access space. The black square w/white center are "Lift Gates" (along short straight sections) for access to the interior. The layout curves could be a little larger but as is I kept about a ~3' exterior access all around.


If I had your space I'd put in the above dogbone to get the max space retained as open yard area. I would want to retain as much yard as possible for entertaining. I don't think the back hedge poses a problem if you allow ~3'-4' for HOA or your maintance access.


I started with the above layout in the cramped fenced in space behind our cottage on 2 acres. At first I didn't want to build a big layout. Start small then build a bigger one later. Well there is all that land on the other side of the fences; balance of 2 acres. And the cost of one is part of the cost of the other - so why pay for it twice. The land is very flat; trees, shrubs, bushes and flowers yet to be added.


Below is my first idea for a bigger layout. Probably 20ft radius curves for those long fast highball freaks.
I plan on using construction steel studs for the ladder frame with gravel ballast to save on the high cost and labor of putting on a solid deck. This website will give you an idea of the construction method but they use different custom material for the frame: Interlink Garden Rail Systems (UK) Maybe some food for thought?

Anyone feel free to comment or feedback on the shape as it's only my first try. It's a pain trying to figure out the best shape for a layout.
Enough straight sections? Are the straight sections long enough? How many curves? What part should face North, South, East or West? etc. etc. (Below; West is left, South the steamup bays and rail yard.)


 

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Discussion Starter #6
That first layout chris almost looks exactly like Norm Saleys layout in orlando, FL lol. Ill do some changes tonight, got 2-3 months to figure out my plan hehe, I was going to leave 2' along the back edge, where the bedroom juts out on the left its only 13' from house to hedge, widest it gets is 17', its really cramped hehe, I am still going to try to hold on to the 13' diameter radius, going smaller is just too painful lol. The cad file I put up (pdf and pictures) is to scale, yard measures only 17' X 50' (with the house squishing some mid section to 13'), I was out in the backyard measuring everything!

The club layout I was proposing, was minimum 20' radius!

I put up the new layout in my scale drawing, and continue from there.


Thanks a lot for your suggestions and help!
 

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My layout is a double loopback. I run only Live Steam so if you want ot run track power it would pose problems electrically (there are methods to handle the reverse loop wiring automatically).

But you could eliminate the switches and double-track the straight section.

I did it this way to get the maximum length to the straight section for "Highballin'!". The curves are all the same radius and liftout sections could be put in any of the straight places or in the reverse curve area of each loop.

I considered completing the circle on one end as a starting layout but decided to just go whole hog at once and I am glad I did. Now I want to put a roundhouse in the middle of one of the loopbacks with one or two switched leads to it from the straight section. That would eliminate the need to mow inside one of the circles.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Im starting to like this idea better.

Gives me the center of my lawn back (right click, view image to see it in a bigger size).

Ask me if u want the cad files.




 

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Andrew:
Thanks for the cad file offer. I use AutoCAD as a sketch pad. I make my own curve sections, much like sectional track, to build track designs.

Maybe this tip will come in handy for you. I've found I can select a group of objects or parts of a drawing (all the lines, curves, dim. marks, etc.) and Copy them (Cntl C or the Copy function), then paste it into a drawing or Photo app (I use Adobe Elements) and save it as a .jpg file. I often ahve to resize the .jpg image to smaller because the AutoCAD copy from model space is 1:1. Then I upload/insert the .jpg file into a MLS post. Gets around the CAD file format issues.


Your dog bone, you might want to separate the two straight sections by ~3'-4' so steamers can walk between the two loops. Otherwise they will have to exit (maybe crawl out) one loop and then maybe crawl under the other loop to get to to his train.

I also added a straight secrtion in the curves of my dog bone or the larger layout plan for 2 reasons; 1. a place to put a Gate(s) and 2. So a train did not simplly follow a continuous round or circle of track. I want the train to change its path of travel for visual interest and because I think rarely does a 1:1 train actually complete a circle. I will probably add more straight sections within the large layout curves so there is always of mix of travel. The other reason to add a straight section near the curve exit into the straight is to be a place to put switches or turnouts for shifting a train from main line into the steamup bay or out onto the mainline. It saves ahving to get curved swiches which are expensive. But that's just me.

I also plan easements into curves, even with 15' or 20' radius curves, so a highball takes the curve without a sudden shift in direction but goes through a progressive transition just as real track is laid.

I do not plan to super elevate my track on curves since a G1MRA member did all the math and tests showing there is no benefit at our scales. Too much work for most, but what the heck! I ran across a recent article that showed how to calculate easements for specific radius curves. I'll have to go searching for it when I need it; I cannot remember where I saw it.(?)

It would be great to have trains traveling in different directions on a layout, but this is inherantly dangereous on a small scale layout. I've sen a number of head-to-head hits or near crashes. So it seem required that everything has to travel in the same direction.


So that all shows I have too much time on my hands and thinking about it too much.
 
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