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· Registered
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good day,

Been awhile since I've been here, but with some new ideas and starting to work on some new plans, I thought I'd pick the brains of some of you more experienced RR'ers. The last few years I've ran a Christmas train layout in my front yard to coincide with our Christmas lights display. This layout has not gotten a lot of round the year running, but with a new plan to extend a single track around the side of the house and connect to the future back yard layout, it could get some more running possibly in the future.

I have narrowed my space for the front layout. Instead of taking up a lot of area near the front door and the middle of the yard, I am going to make my boundaries to the northern most end of the yard, a space that is roughly 34 feet long and 24 feet wide.

This will have a loop, minimal sidings (3 at the most) with one turnout connecting to the line that will run to the back yard.

So my question is; what would some of you suggest for a smallish looped layout area, mainly used for Christmas running, but that can be utilized year round as an addition to the back yard? I guess my basic question would be, for some of you that have smaller layouts, would you mind possibly posting some pictures of your smaller pikes so I can garner some ideas to help?

The land is flat. I am thinking of experimenting with the ladder roadbed set in subbase of crushed 1/2 gravel, then fill in with a 1/4" granite ballast.

The layout is track powered with the Train Engineer system.

So, thoughts? ideas? questions? suggestions?

I'm all ears.


· Premium Member
4,483 Posts
"a space that is roughly 34 feet long and 24 feet wide"

Thats considered SMALL???? Thats downright spacious you lucky...

My available outdoor area if I ever gain the property rights from SWMBO is a paltry 15' x 20' or so...

· Premium Member
197 Posts
MIchael - I have been playing around with RR-Track for over a year and creating many different size layouts to try and get some inspiration for a small area layout that would fit inside my 28x28 ft. basement.  I took an N-scale plan that I saw on the web and re-created it in G-gauge track, using Aristo-craft sectional track along with a few custom sized pieces.  Here is the layout to give you some idea of what could fit in that size space.  The dimensions of the layout as show are 28 ft wide by 24 ft high.  You could easily stretch the 28 ft dimension to 34 by adding straight sections and making some minor adjustments.  That would even reduce the few grades on the layout by lengthening them.  The highest section is at the bottom - and the future connections to the rest of your yard could easily be taken off the lower right.  Anyway, enjoy and I hope it provides some inspiration to help guide you into a workable plan.


· Premium Member
1,023 Posts
Check my posting this PM where I posted my new and updated design: 24' x 8' and I am pushing it.

YOU have a LARGE chunk of real estate by comparison.

I will be building in stages, starting with the basic loop and growing from there. I will be building a laddered and elevated system 1- 2 feet above grade and backfilling / bridging / tresseling in as appropriate. Landscaping is not fixed however will be modified as construction proceeds and fresh ideas pop up.



· Premium Member
823 Posts
I will be building this layout in 3 weeks, getting my track now :p

My backyard is 56' X 18' , I pushed the outer track to 13' diameter curves, the longer the curves the better/less problems you will have. I will be running live steam+electric on this one.

The switches will be #6's. This track will be elevated.

If this picture is too big., edit it dwight/mod :p


· Premium Member
197 Posts
There are a variety of radii used in the curves on this layout; all are Aristo-craft standard sizes save a very few custom-bent curves just to make a more perfect fit. 
Here is the parts list:

QTY P/N                         DESCRIPTION
10 ACUS 20030 straight 12 inch
5 ACUS 20031 straight 6 inch
6 ACUS 20035 custom curve
9 ACUS 20060 straight 24 inch
10 ACUS 20090 straight 36 inch
4 ACUS 20115 curve 8ft 22.5º
2 ACUS 20117 curve 9ft 30º
16 ACUS 20121 curve 11.5ft 22.5º
7 ACUS 20122 curve 12.5ft 22.5º
15 ACUS 20123 curve 14ft 22.5º
4 ACUS 20124 curve 15ft 22.5º
11 ACUS 20125 curve 20ft 22.5º
6 ACUS 20130 curve 16.5ft 22.5º
4 ACUS 20193 straight 54 inch
2 ACUS 20195 straight 60 inch
5 ACUS 20330 #6 righthand turnout
10 ACUS 20335 parallel curve 9.5º
3 ACUS 20340 #6 lefthand turnout
2 ACUS 20370 wide righthand turnout
1 ACUS 20375 parallel curve 18º
6 ACUS 20380 wide lefthand turnout
1 ACUS 20400 cross 19.5º
6 ACUS custom straight 

As far as grades, the current layout has grades up to 3.5%; stretching it will reduce those a bit by lengthening the graded track sections.  The lowest track is the track at the top with the passing siding - the low point is where it passes under the track near the upper right corner. That low track actually starts at the 19.5 degree crossing, drops gradually to the underpass mentioned above, and then gradually rises again to connect to the 19.5 degree crossing again. Opposite that connection at the crossing, the innermost track rises to loop around and cross over several tracks on the left side, and become the highest elevation at the bottom of the layout.
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