Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

New shelf layout

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    New shelf layout

    I am embarking on a new layout with a completely different aspect that I am not sure how to plan for. I have always done continuous loops with the idea of running and passing. This new layout will be a point to point shelf layout with the real intent on completing scenery as detailed as possible. I am looking for ideas/suggestions/tips, whatever input you have that will aid me in designing such a layout. Here is some more info that I can provide.
    • Shelf layout, one wall (no corners). 14' wide. I would like to keep depth at something not crazy deep (this is N scale) so maybe in the 18-20" range?
    • I intend to do a lighting valence above so this will look like a "shadow box" or diorama to an extent.
    • Era is early 1990s Burlington Northern in the midwest.
    • I prefer more rural scenes and not cityscape,. That may limit my switching opportunities but maybe a small grain elevator will work.
    • I have some signals I would like to use so maybe depict one end of a passing siding
    • Obviously running is going to be a minimum so I see photography more of an opportunity here. I would like the track plan to account for good photo ops. (IE, get a nice very of the working signals)
    I have been looking online for ideas and not really coming up with much. I welcome input and any good examples you may have. Thank you in advance!
    ~Matt

    My Layout:
    Nebraska & Southwestern Railroad

    A model railroad roster site I built and manage:
    My Railroad Roster

    #2
    Awhile back Greg sent me a link to a guys layout on YouTube. It is a simple plan. Yet he seems to have fun with it, not only simple switching, but video and photography as well.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe-...vn7gWeA/videos

    Maybe this will give you some ideas?

    Since you're going small, maybe try to really focus on one scene?
    You come from and live in a small town, maybe choose one of those towns and work with that as starting point?
    There are a lot of small towns on BN's St. Joe line, snoop around on Google Earth and see if anything strikes your fancy.

    I do like the idea of having a valance incorporated with it!
    The Little Rock Line Blog

    Comment


      #3
      Matt, I had an N scale shelf layout in a spare bedroom / office from 2002 to 2013. It was along a 12ft long wall and was 18" deep with a balloon at each end to allow for a continuous loop with the back track being higher than the front track. It was loosely based on the Southern Pacific's Northwestern Pacific line to Eureka, CA so it was rural with lumber being the main industry. Here are a few takeaways from my own experience.
      • The basic concept of a shelf layout worked out well for me and a refined version of a shelf layout is what I am doing now with my current layout.
      • The height of that layout was at 54" to be over a file cabinet and desk. This height was fine for me, I am 68" tall.
      • I ended up regretting not including any off scene staging on this layout.
      • The basic "flat" shelf design can be limiting in terms of wiring and other utilities and that's why I came up with the shelf-box design I am using on my current layout.

      Here is a blog post I did when I dismantled this layout:
      https://palisadecanyonrr.blogspot.co...ld-layout.html


      Here is a link to some photos of this layout:
      https://palisadecanyonrr.blogspot.co...s-layouts.html

      Good luck with your new project.
      Brad Myers - aka N Scale Brad

      My blogs:

      Home layout - https://palisadecanyonrr.blogspot.com/
      DCC Installs -http://n-scale-dcc.blogspot.com/

      Youtube channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfZt71OYhFcl8SIssQywQLw

      Comment


      • matt s
        matt s commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for the tips Brad. I have always enjoyed seeing your layouts (I like the desert), so much so I have a link to your site on my own.

        My current layout is 52" high (I think the only reason it was that was because that is where it came to the top of the light switch haha). I really like that height range, however I am not sure my smaller kids do. I will for sure stay in that area for height!

        Staging is an interesting thing I hadnt thought about. I am not really keen on the loop idea (as much as I like running, loops to me are the devil haha) Since I am not running I am not sure if staging makes sense? Do I eat valuable scene space for staging? Very good point to ponder over for sure!

        I honestly hadnt thought about not having a frame underneath, I guess that I was assumed for just the reasons you posted. What I am contemplating is whether to do foam or not, which would give me some room to go below track level in areas. I may end up doing plywood where the tracks are and foam elsewhere so I can get some elevation. Another big decision to figure out for sure.

        Keep up the great work! I visit often (even before you replied)!
        Matt

      #4
      Hi Matt. Brad makes some really good points, especially regarding some form of staging. Being able to run a train onto the layout, do some switching and run it off again (basic ops) keeps the interest up if there is no plan for a running loop. My Spencer, OH layout was just such a concept, including an interchange with another railroad, which added some additional modeling opportunities.

      As for construction methods take a look at the posts about sections in my AC&Y thread. Lots of pros and not many cons to building in sections IMO.

      Comment


        #5
        A shelf type switching layout is something I'm working towards. Being in rental accomodation, I have to consider it's portability and how to move it out of the room if/when the time comes. I have an idea photo and plan that may interest you (not my own work).
        As for staging, the UK idea of removable cassettes could work, and makes turning a whole train easier too.
        Click image for larger version  Name:	fb5bbd69d818a684aca02cdb578fbea2.jpg Views:	0 Size:	84.1 KB ID:	13574 Click image for larger version  Name:	fc384562cc9b73b71d09c22d4cd74e4b.jpg Views:	0 Size:	111.3 KB ID:	13575 Click image for larger version  Name:	e0e23dc8b5763eb5894fba076b7cfd53.jpg Views:	0 Size:	31.9 KB ID:	13576
        Click image for larger version  Name:	2022-06-22 (2).png Views:	0 Size:	122.4 KB ID:	13577 .
        Last edited by Russ C; 1 week ago.

        Comment


        • craigtownsend
          craigtownsend commented
          Editing a comment
          Russ,
          Did you try tipping it vertical? I've moved a few things that are 2x8 size by tipping them vertical and moving them that way around corners. Not easy when it's a heavy oak dresser, but if it can it through a doorway vertical.

        • Russ C
          Russ C commented
          Editing a comment
          Craig, I tried it almost vertical and, while the sheet got through ok on it's side if I build it like the first illustration it won't get through. the 2 x 4 modules are more manageable in close clearances. I have either a z turn (very close clearance) or 90deg turn to get around which is the problem
          Last edited by Russ C; 1 week ago.

        • matt s
          matt s commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks Russ. I hadn't thought about making the top part of the bottom, I was so focused doing separate top and bottom levels using different shelving brackets. I looked at track shelving costs last night and was a little surprised how expensive that got. I have a 14' run so not sure how to engineer the top and bottom together for that length. I can see it working perfect for a shorter length like pictured here.

        #6
        Well that is a bummer but at least you caught it before going too far along. My current layout is 2' x 6' but I did it in two sections so as not to have any problems moving it out of the room that it is in currently.

        Comment


          #7
          Hey Matt........You've already set the time period around the motive power and rolling stock that interest you. This time period pretty much dictates the style and shape of the industries along the line. Rural America will allow you to go back a decade or so which is an advantage to big city upgrading. Personally, I don't see rail served local lumber yards, because they would have a hard time selling a boxcar full of T-111.

          You already know what industries will fit your future town's location. I imagine grain elevators, feed mill, propane and a fertilizer dealer. On a 14 foot shelf in N scale you will have plenty of room. On my shelf layouts in the past, the challenge has been to develop a scenario for moving cars on and off the operational section. I too am a guy who enjoys signals. You don't need an elaborate signal system on a shelf. I would strongly consider a diamond crossing with an interchange track. From there you could move cars off your layout either in your imagination or possibly onto a cassette. This crossing could incorporate 4 signals. Two constantly RED and the operating track signals could be controlled by a directional toggle switch. A second suggestion might be to create a passing track at the far end of the line that runs off the end of the module. Pretend your through freight has just pulled in there and the power has run around it to come back and switch your town. Two of the three signals at that point would always be RED while you could control the one looking at the train on the main track.

          After completing the benchwork I would Zerox copy a bunch of turnouts and start laying them out toward the industries. You'll do a lot of shifting things around before you come across an arrangement that you're happy with. The thing to keep in mind above all else is your train length and the length of the spurs. Just push some cars around on your drawing to see what really fits well. Don't make any compromises like coupling on a curve. Things like this will kill all the enjoyment later when you start operating. Switching on a shelf layout is very rewarding when everything runs smoothly. Remember, take your time.......no compromises. I am really looking forward to seeing this switching layout come to life. Best wishes, micahel
          HO Scale

          Comment


            #8
            Originally posted by Michael Whiteman View Post
            Personally, I don't see rail served local lumber yards, because they would have a hard time selling a boxcar full of T-111.
            Michael has some great ideas, Matt.

            Though I think you could model a lumber yard of sorts. Far south of Seattle, about 100 miles by rail, in a small town called Chehalis is a lumber transload business. Bulkhead flats cars coming out of Canada get spotted here and there contents shifted onto flatbed trailers for distribution around southwest Washington. Fairly small footprint that is basically a team track.
            Last edited by Paul S.; 6 days ago.
            Paul Schmidt

            Comment


            • Michael Whiteman
              Michael Whiteman commented
              Editing a comment
              A transload would work for sure Paul, and to everyone, regarding my lumber yard statement, the first word is "Personally". Just my opinion.
              Last edited by Michael Whiteman; 5 days ago.

            #9
            When I first moved to Laurinburg, NC, this was a lumber yard: https://goo.gl/maps/wfCY1PzywgaPUMYT6

            They had a rail siding and, back in the 1990's did receive loads of lumber by rail. The rail line there is the Laurinburg and Southern which has always been an independent short line.

            First the rail siding was ripped out, and now the lumber yard is closed. Also, I'm gone, but still visit occasionally.
            Tim Rumph
            Lancaster, SC

            Comment


              #10
              There is a lumber yard in a "rural" area just up the road from me that still gets loads. This is what I will likely try to model or something simliar. https://www.google.com/maps/@40.9228.../data=!3m1!1e3
              ~Matt

              My Layout:
              Nebraska & Southwestern Railroad

              A model railroad roster site I built and manage:
              My Railroad Roster

              Comment


                #11
                I think the "urban"-"rural" is not really a consideration and doesn't really matter. With as small an area as you are modeling (one station) it could just as easily be on the outskirts of a big city as in the middle of nowhere. If you don't worry about rural it expands the number of industries you can have. There are steel/rolling mills in rural places. There are plastic injection molding plants outside cities. There are refineries outside of major cities. There are tire plants in "rural" areas. No need to stick to cliche'd grain elevators unless that's what you want. Pick a major industry you want to serve based on the car mix and the "feel" you want. Don't worry about rural or urban.

                Since you are wanting to do photography, I would suggest that you keep that in mind and design the layout with that in mind. Will the proscenium arch/valence restrict where you can place the camera? How much foreground do you need to get a good picture? Does the foreground need to slope down to get a good picture?

                Comment


                • matt s
                  matt s commented
                  Editing a comment
                  My main focus is not going to be on switching or industry honestly. I thought adding a couple industries would add interest and something to do railroad wise, but I dont see it as a major focus and would like a good portion to be trees/river/bridge non urban landscape.

                  Yes, I do agree on the focus of what to do with the foreground. I think that plays a big part in pulling someone into the scene. The best way to do that is to make the foreground something other than flat out to the edge. I need to plan on the ability to lower the foreground, maybe a river or something

                • dave1905
                  dave1905 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Hmmm. So if you have a shelf layout without continuous running, and you don't have industry or switching, you are basically wanting a photo backdrop or a diorama?

                  One option might be track that more or less runs down a (for lack of a better term) fill down the center of the "layout" that is 3/4 to 1" (or more) above the front fascia. Behind it would be nothing other than a shelf level with the fascia from the track to the backdrop. When you photograph it from the front, all you see is the foreground embankment up to the track and the track itself, then the backdrop.

                  You can make scenery pieces on foam the thickness of the fill or slightly less,and set them on the shelf behind the track. They don't even need to be continuous. You can place various pieces at various places and get unlimited numbers of views. For example if it was 8" from the track to the backdrop, you could make a stand of 3-5 trees on 7" diameter piece of foam. Then just rotate the stand of trees for different pictures, since each rotation will give you a different "look" of trees. Putting rows of trees on 2" wide strips of foam, you can put them side by side or vary how they overlap to create different density treelines. Put a building on a 5" wide strip, an put the treeline in back of it, then reverse the direction of the building and put the treeline next tot he tracks, completely different look.

                • Michael Whiteman
                  Michael Whiteman commented
                  Editing a comment
                  In response to Dave's first comment. This is truly a refreshing way of looking at "rural". Dave's right.... it really is about the industries you want to see and the cars that serve them.
                  Last edited by Michael Whiteman; 5 days ago.

                #12
                For example, coming into Lincoln, NE On the BNSF, ne BN, ne CB&Q, there is the Millard Lumber Co.
                Click image for larger version

Name:	LincMillard.jpg
Views:	37
Size:	85.7 KB
ID:	13609

                There are smaller elevators (both this and Millard technically Waverly)
                Click image for larger version

Name:	LincWaverly.jpg
Views:	34
Size:	81.7 KB
ID:	13610

                There are feed mills:
                Click image for larger version

Name:	LincFeed.jpg
Views:	35
Size:	132.3 KB
ID:	13611

                You also have a boiler works (Cleaver Brooks)that ships out wide loads and depressed center flat car loads of boilers, plus a steel casting company that makes manhole covers and grates, plus a metal scrap yard:
                Click image for larger version

Name:	LincCleaver.jpg
Views:	35
Size:	150.2 KB
ID:	13613

                A rubber manufacturing plant:
                Click image for larger version

Name:	LincConv.jpg
Views:	34
Size:	212.8 KB
ID:	13614

                A concrete products yard:
                Click image for larger version

Name:	LincConc.jpg
Views:	34
Size:	213.0 KB
ID:	13615

                This of course ignores the big kahuna in the area, Havelock Shops, which has made and repaired railcars since the 1800's and could be a room sized layout all by itself:
                Click image for larger version

Name:	LincHave.jpg
Views:	34
Size:	229.7 KB
ID:	13616
                Attached Files

                Comment


                • Russ C
                  Russ C commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Some great ideas there Dave..

                • matt s
                  matt s commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks Dave. These are all in my backyard, all that I am very familiar with. Obviously other than the lumberyard (that I already linked to) and the grain elevator (that I already mentioned), the rest are very urban and not at all what I am looking for. I know most of these could be one off industries in some rural random location. However part of what makes them interesting (and not a regular building like any other building, is that fact they are urban and the trackage going in and out of streets and other industries. And you are right, Havelock could be a layout in itself...and and very interesting place! I appreciate the response.

                • dave1905
                  dave1905 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I guess your definition of "very urban" is a lot broader than mine 8-). If I can drive a mile or so and find myself by a soybean field, I tend not to classify that as "very urban". 8-)
              Working...
              X