Here’s another 12×24 layout plan that I drew once upon a time when trying to replace the layout I had built in my parent’s crawlspace. It was drawn while I was still in high school, but it’s a massive improvement from the layout I had been building. Again, it’s a standard 12×24 space, with a side entry between a pair of studs. Schematically it’s a basic loop, with the option for a point to loop operation out of the main terminal. While it has one main yard, that yard represents two places, one at each end though they share a common engine terminal. In my efforts to convince my parents to let me tear out the one layout and replace it with this one I wrote a 6500 word piece about both layouts, but nothing ever came of it. (And no, I’m not going to type that whole thing up here either!) Study the plan for a while if you will, then I’ll walk through a tour and analysis of it.
It’s been a good days off, but busy as evidenced by the lack of posts in the last couple weeks. I’m headed back to work tonight, and figured I better get another post up before then as I have even less time available when at work! I completed 2 Tichy kits this days off, and got another ready for paint next set of days off. I will share some photos one of these days, but for today, let’s look at what I consider to be the pinnacle of my 12×24 layout designs. I have one more to share yet, but this one is the better of the two.
By the time I drew this plan, I was really starting to refine my interests into the steam era. The note at the top of the page indicates it was drawn, start to finish, from April 29, 2001 to May 10, 2001. I called this one the “Arrow Canyon Railway” Where most of my previous plans had been built around SD40-2s and 15 car trains, this one is designed for Mikados and Consolidations on freight, pulling 8 car (plus caboose) trains. Design lengths for freights top out at about 5’6″, while passenger trains behind a Pacific were intended to be up to 6’4″ (6 cars) I also made a conscious effort to minimize the yard in this design, as yards are huge space hogs which add some operation but at a cost of space. Due to squeezing center peninsulas into the 12′ wide space, aisles are a bit tight all around, 24″ for the most part. Let’s take a look, then a tour.
As suggested last time, let’s look at another layout plan, this one from way back when. Part of my thought process to presenting these older designs first is to illustrate where my designs for my current space originated. These early plans were drawn back when I was in high school, still a teenager. I left that time behind a long time ago, but these designs helped bring me to where I am now in terms of layout design. By the time I drew this plan I was still working with the 12×24 space of my parent’s crawlspace, but I had largely started to ignore obstacles of headroom and drain pipes.
The inspiration for this plan came from reading Linn Westcott’s book on John Allen and his Gorre and Daphetid Railroad. I was sufficiently impressed to attempt to fit a replica into the space available to me. Looking back now I can see that the plan is largely a bowl of spaghetti, and would have been exceptionally difficult to build and maintain, largely due to access issues. Schematically it’s fairly true to the G&D, even in terms of rough layout it’s not too far removed, but it wouldn’t have run nearly as well! The plan has a 24″ minimum radius on the main (18″ on branches and spurs), and steep grades. I have the grades listed on a separate sheet, which I don’t have with me, but my memory says they were in the 3 to 3.5% range in many spots.
The first space I had for layout construction was under the kitchen of my parents place, in a crawlspace barely 5 feet to the joists above. What it lacked in height, it made up for in space. I never did measure the entire space, and I don’t have an adequate copy of the track plan to share from that layout, but the area I was using measured 12 feet by 24 feet. The access was from the side, on one of the long sides about 6′ from the end. It was, unfortunately, just a gap in between the studs of a pony wall which made it something like 14.5″ wide! Over time I became dissatisfied with the layout I was building, largely due to design issues which were caused by my lack of experience with layout design and operation. Not only that, there were so many trackwork issues that even if I had corrected the design flaws (very difficult to do), I still don’t think I would have been very happy with it. Continue reading Adventures in 12×24