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admin 17.02.2014

I am a new member and excited at concept of having experienced modelers look at my modest 4 x 12 layout, to critique it. I am presently reading two books, Realistic Model Railroad Operation and Track Planning for Realistic Operation. Normally I wouldn't post back on this because this style of layout is so different from what is my taste that I find it hard to provide meaningful critique.
I would also consider ways you could have used view blocks and such to turn this layout from a 4x12 into a long 2x24 with multiple scenes and "operating destinations.
One of the frustrations about being new to anything, is finding information you can understand. Bill Armstrong had the novice in mind when he wrote Track Planning for Realistic Operation; it is the book I feel I will get the most out of and I plan to read it more than once. The thing I see with your layout is that you have made your yard a place to store your trains, and the mainline a place to run your trains which also allows you to turn your trains and run them back into the yard.
The thing which your layout is most missing is a sense that what's in front of you is part of a bigger system which stretches from coast to coast, connecting with other railroads.
I'm not sure how you would incorporate these ideas into what you've already built, but I hope this gives you some things to thing about. What you have constructed so far is primarily intended to allow a train or two to be built up in the yard, run a few laps on the mainilne, and return to the yard. In this way, you could at least get some operation out of your current plan while you learn more about ops and, most importantly, develop your own opinions of what will constitute engaging operation for you. In addtion to these resources (and the V&O book recommended earlier), I highly recommend the Operations Special Interest Group.
The Layout Design SIG is an excellent resource if you would like to develop your understanding of the deeper principles of layout design for the next layout or a substantial re-working of your current plan. As for what am I will to do, almost anything, to get this basic 4 x 12 layout ready for some fun; the main reason I built it.
I still recommend you go to chapter 2 which starts on page 10 and look over that small layout and how Tony describes a simple operating scheme. 3 Purpose is really The main reason for any Railroad, be it a Model or a full scale real working company helping transport the commodities and people across the country. And finally - Illusion - your trains don't have to move more than 5 feet on your layout as long as you create the Illusion that the trains are moving their products fron a starting point to a finishing point.
The drawing is used to prove that the design will fit into the space available and allows any design changes to be made quickly. In 1947, my dad built a spectacular O scale model train layout for me to enjoy at Christmas (shown at right - to see larger photo, click here). 53 years later, in 2000, I built a three-level model train layout for my grandson to enjoy at Christmas. Many of the buildings and structures on this model train layout have been made from modified kits; the building names are reminicent of those in Philadelphia since that's where I grew up.

The front of the model train layout is hinged and folds 180 degrees, so that the tilted-up unit can fit through doorways.
UNITRACK can be used in nearly any layout situation - large or small, permanent or temporary. Kato N scale Starter Set with P42 Amtrak phase Vb locomotive, 3 Amtrak phase IVb Superliner passenger cars and a Kato Unitrack M1 Basic Oval Track Set with Kato Power Pack. Unitrack is a high-quality modular track system, featuring nickel-silver rails and realistic-looking roadbed, that is ideal for beginners and experts alike. The items displayed and sold on this website are not toys, may contain small parts,and are not designed nor intended for children under 14 years of age. However, it sounds like you are reading the right books and that should lead you in the right direction.
I think very quickly you will see that your current design has some serious limitations when it comes to realistic operations..
In my opinion, Realistic Model Railroad Operation, by Tony Koester is a perfect example; Mr. You may not yet be able to answer that question if you haven't had a lot of exposure to other operating layouts, of course.
Cars placed on the two longest tracks could be imagined to be routed from- and to the other railroad. Some passenger service can add some spice and add the challenge for your freight train of getting out of the passenger train's way. I always recommend this book to folks starting out in designing a layout because it teaches how to operate. It requires an understanding of real operations then an understanding of how we can apply those to a model railroad. I have never been published and have never made a How to video but I have been a Model railroader for more than 45 years and built and tore down more than 40 Railroads. Admirers get at invaluable internet experts when things seemed ho scale model train layout plans not too complex. It was a three-level platform with a sleek Lionel Hiawatha streamlined passenger set running on the bottom level. It, too, features a Lionel Hiawatha streamliner running the bottom level, just like the '47 layout. The train layout can then be flipped 90 degrees and rolled on 6 industrial casters which are attached to the back of the layout. UNITRACK can be the answer for the beginner looking for a trouble-free introduction into model railroading without the frustration and disappointment of rail and electrical problems. Also what type of track-plans to lay in the two vacant loops at each end of the train-board, that would give me more switching operations; I am more interested in an operational railroad, as compared to a scenery oriented one.
Unfortunately, the track plan as constructed doesn't offer a lot of potential for the kinds of long-term engaging challenge many people find most interesting.

It's really not aimed at an especially advanced audience, but a few of the concepts require a different way of thinking. While it may take a while to grasp all of the concepts in the magazine, the OpSIG also offers a benefit to members of conencting them with operating sessions on various layouts either in your area or at meetings and conventions. Designate a starting & stopping point on your railroad and put in some sidings with an industry that starts out with raw materials and then an end point where those raw materials can be processed into useful products. The patented Kato Unijoiners (included) snap together to lock the track sections together firmly and evenly, ensuring that all track sections line up correctly and eliminating the likelihood of derailment due to uneven rail joints or separating track sections. That train rolls out on the line, picking up outbounds and setting out cars from the interchange yard. You'll have to figure out where the freight train can safely duck out of the way between crossovers as the passenger train runs, making a couple of station stops along the way.
John Armstrong's book is excellent and you will be rewarded if you invest the time to really study it.
Perhaps I should have stated I was interested in a "Semi-Realistic" model railroad operation?
Thats why I don't usually comment because I don't want to impose my own priorities on others and I really prefer not to be at all negative.
Or, put another way, once you know how to play baseball its easier to set up a baseball field.. Ho 4x6 Track Plans.Building the right type of train table for your HO scale layout is essential for.
Thats a learning experience too and will help you to get a feel for what you can put in the space.. I am starting to see than another modest size table that attachés to this one, might just be what the doctor ordered.
Then your train runs back to the yard, placing the picked-up cars on the interchange tracks for imagined delivery to the larger railroad. This model train layout has over 120 trees, countless bushes and shrubs and almost 100 cars, trucks and buses.
You talk of industry, I always thought that would come at the end of BASIS track construction; if you can, kindly give me an example of what you mean. I am sorry Tony's book didnt work for you, but other book is fantastic and is actually where I would start.

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