Best way to make an HO/OO Layout?
Hi, I am beginner to making layouts, the most I’ve done is an oval with some switches,etc. Now I want to expand to an actual table with a nice layout. I use HO Scale engines and OO engines as well, both are relatively the same size. What type of track plans should I use? Here is what I would like to have on my layout:
…and I would like it to resemble the Island of Sodor from the Thomas Tank Engine TV Show.
What do you all recomend? Space really isn’t an issue nor is money. I’m aiming towards a British railway not an American one.
I have looked at various fabulous model railroads over the decades and seen monsters with yards and yards of track and no scenery and layouts that hug the walls and could never be taken out of that room, and the one that fascinates me the most and almost gets me into the hobby is modular layouts. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-mo
I was introduced to these at a regional club show in Ft.Worth. The idea is that each person builds whatever they want on the back part of a module that can be moved through doorways, put in cars, etc., but along the front edge are a set of carefully aligned tracks that provide through service and local connections. Thus a mountain mining/quarry scene might have narrow gauge and merely overlook the through line and a town scene might have trolley service to a station at the edge, while an industrial yard (or most famously to me, a circus and carnival) might have great connections and switching.
The three (or four) tracks along the edge allow a display setup to run trains from section to section and all around, while each module, 2-4 feet wide, can be run by the owner.
For a private owner, the modules would allow separate construction and movement, the ability to show off that a basement does not allow, and to take major parts of the layout to a new house with only the need to build connecting ‘bridges’ that might be shallow scenery and a track, or a real bridge, or a tunnel, or even a hidden connector behind books.
I’m thinking to build a model railway, is it best to use OO gauge or N gauge?
I just learned of OO guage thru Yahoo! Answers a week or two ago (It’s HO track, but 1:76.2 scale rather than the 1:87 scale of HO). I’m not familiar with the COST of OO, but a model railway IS a table you throw money onto.
I went with N-scale (1:160) because I have a single bedroom apartment, and N gives me almost double the track length and area. I’m modelling the UP / Caltrain / ACE area of Northern California
ONE thing I will suggest STRONGLY is to buy a few of the books available in most hobby shops on starting a model railroad. “Realistic Model Railroad Operation” by Tony Koester is my favorite reference. AND subscribe to “Model Railroading Magazine”… tons of ideas and pictures that will help YOU decide.
READ those books, and then take a few hundred sheets of graph paper, put down the area YOU have to build your RR… and start sketching layout design ideas !! I even cut out little overhead views of scale locomotives and cars in both HO and N scale so I could “SEE” how big a train I could fit along a stretch of wall. Much cheaper to make your mistakes and learn your hobby on PAPER !!
MY Railroad is the work of a YEAR of planning, and I STILL find errors I made… changes I want to make… hidden track I wish I’d designed into the layout to START.
Again, I went with N scale because of the size… the detail and variety of equipment is incredible compared to the 1970′s. I can model a near-full freight yard along a 12 foot wall (1,900 ft instead of the 1,000 ft of HO or OO scale), AND have a nice strip of main-line for my passenger line to pass thru without turning. ALSO N-scale “benchwork” and scenery can be built MUCH lighter (and inexpensively).
Just FYI… there are SEVERAL new pieces of SOFTWARE out there… ranging from Altas’ FREE layout software throught the $160 “Trainz” and other 3D-cad/ operating programs. You can BUILD your whole layout and RUN it on your computer to help decide on what you like before you start putting saw to wood and holes in your walls !
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