Author Topic: Planning a layout  (Read 424 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline StephenD

  • G3 Society Member
  • Group A Forum Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3
Planning a layout
« on: Dec 20 2021 15:47 »
Does anyone know of someone who can prepare plans (on a professional basis) for my proposed Gauge 3 layout? I have built a large indoor Gauge O layout but the leap to an outside (raised) layout is causing me a major mental block... I do have a number of items on my wish list & certain constraints but I feel that what I want should be possible.

Thanks,

Stephen Dabby

Offline John Candy

  • G3 Forum Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3006
Re: Planning a layout
« Reply #1 on: Dec 20 2021 16:08 »
Stephen,
Garden Railway Specialists offer a planning service and will also construct garden railways.
grsuk.com

Regards,
John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline AshleyW

  • G3 Society News Officer
  • *****
  • Posts: 541
Re: Planning a layout
« Reply #2 on: Dec 20 2021 17:50 »
i'd suggest speaking to a few layout owners. do you want ground level / raised/ both ? steam / electric / manual / r.c etc . plus if you hold off, there's a superb new g3 booklet forthcoming, which may also help. also to consider is durabilty and materials. if i was planning a long term raised track i'd suggest plastic posts, even if the top is wood.
ted sadler has a wooden track raised, as does trevor goodman and john tomlinson. graham pearce has raised with steel construction, where as colin mccaig has ground level, some on concrete, some on timber.
brian torr / tim gleed owen have used very heavy civil eng type construction.

any company advising, may lean towards what is best for their company and usual methods, rather than what ideally suits you - and charge a lot of money.

i'd suggest trying to visit as many of these tracks as possible (and drive your loco's too) , speak to each host and give plenty of thought to it . don't worry about the mental block, it'll un- clog, but don't be too hasty, check out all aspects.

and i'd be happy to chat if you wish to ring.
ash

Offline cabbage

  • G3 Society Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1556
Re: Planning a layout
« Reply #3 on: Dec 20 2021 20:00 »
There are really only two layouts...

The first is "The end to end"  which is most suitable for electric powered locomotives. It is long and thin and can have a station at one end and a " fiddle yard" at the other. Being thin it can have multiple tracks. I term this a drag strip for Diesels and Electrics.

The other one is "The continuous loop" this is best suited for fire and forget steam powered locomotives. John Candy terms these as racetracks for steamers.

I don't know where you are but I am in Derby and if you would like to visit, munch some cake and sup tea/coffee, then you are more than welcome. After ten years of work I think it is nearly complete. But then I have said that a few times....

For ideas have a look at the Hornby shelf layout books.

Regards

Ralph

Offline Chris_P

  • Forum Group A Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 53
Re: Planning a layout
« Reply #4 on: Dec 21 2021 10:01 »
Might I suggest also looking at other garden railway sources.  G3 has the need for large radius curves to avoid issues of buffer locking and to allow long fixed wheelbase prototypes to move freely around them but building model railways in gardens is a well understood process with a long history. 

Much useful data about constructional techniques and materials longevity can be found within publications of such as the 16mm Association.   One of the reasons many garden railway enthusiasts have gone down the narrow gauge route (apart from readily available commercial models) is that like the prototype sharper curves allow a lot more to be achieved in a given space. There is also generally a more freelance approach to such modelling allowing for coarse scale wheels and flanges which cope better with uneven track.  Many of these railways also place emphasis on planting and landscaping which may give further ideas.

My own experience of outside railway modelling is that the ground is constantly moving as it expands and contracts with heat and water.  This either requires a comparatively heavy concrete/brickwork/blockwork base which can still have issues at necessary expansion joints (without which it creates its own cracks!) or a board approach for which some excellent durable plastics are now available which allow the builder to follow a similar approach to traditional indoor baseboards.  Potential ground movement of board supports means that ideally such boards feature some ability for easily re-levelling and care needs to be taken with design to minimise any sagging between supports.  One merit of smaller scales and narrow gauge being that they cope better with humps and dips than the longer fixed wheelbases commonly found on standard gauge prototypes especially where these don't incorporate well designed suspension.  Smooth derailment free operation is very dependent on well aligned (vertically and horizontally) track which can be hard to achieve on a moving base subject to over 40 degree C temperature variations.

There are also keen adherents of loose ground level track typically with conventional track fixed to an equivalent of Brunel's baulk road beneath the sleepers.  They then have a P-way gang to adjust alignment and level as required on a suitable small gravel base before running commences.

The big challenges for all outdoor tracks of whatever scale are weather, ground movements, birds and animals with many different ideas and approaches to mitigations which need to be carefully considered against local conditions (soil types, exposure to wind etc.), budget and desired longevity.  There is little point in a higher cost longer life and more permanent design if you're the kind of modeller who likes to change the track plan regularly.  There is also perhaps the biggest decision of all about whether to have a raised or ground level track the former being much preferred by many for practical and back saving reasons.

Good luck


Offline AshleyW

  • G3 Society News Officer
  • *****
  • Posts: 541
Re: Planning a layout
« Reply #5 on: Dec 21 2021 17:49 »
all good points from chris.
 another consideration is, do you want a track for yourself, or others to attend too ?
 given the ageing membership, some ground levels tracks may prove awkward, unless a pit is employed or the ground is sloping so you can have both ground and raised.
please look back through the archive material.
recently mike williams used scaffold poles with adjustable ends, which are very rust proof , long life, sturdy and height adjustable. ted has also had articles about his line and even more recently, john tomlinson talked about having to re- board some rotting wooden sections. and of course we've had recent reads from tim and brian about concreting and brickwork etc.
chirs you're tempting me with 16mm again !!!!
why not make 2022 a quest to visit every g3 track within reasonable access, so you can see all methods used, get each builders opinion (bearing in mind- there's will be the best way!!!) and make a very informed desicion . you can always amass timber/steel/ bricks/mixers/ track etc in the meantime.

Offline StephenD

  • G3 Society Member
  • Group A Forum Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3
Re: Planning a layout
« Reply #6 on: Dec 28 2021 11:13 »
Thanks for all your replies which are much appreciated. I had made some decisions about the railway: about waist high level; Cliff Barker track & construction methods (plastic uprights & a synthetic top made of a material whose name I can't remember); continuous loop; at least double track all round; a goods yard somewhere; a through station; possibly a terminus station; possibly a turntable; a steaming area (it would be nice to have visitors). I am based near Lewes. I have had a proper survey done (the ground is reasonably level) but as far as I know there isn't any track planning software available for G3 & CAD remains well beyond me.

Regards,

Stephen

Offline John Candy

  • G3 Forum Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3006
Re: Planning a layout
« Reply #7 on: Dec 28 2021 11:46 »
Stephen,

Templot (a free download) is configurable for all the common gauges (including G3).

I have successfully used it to print templates for producing custom turnouts(including tandem/3-way) to fit specific locations, where standard offerings were not suitable.

Regards,
John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline IanT

  • Workshop Practice Adviser
  • *****
  • Posts: 1500
Re: Planning a layout
« Reply #8 on: Dec 28 2021 15:38 »
I always viewed Templot as a bit of a black art Stephen but it does seem to be a little friendlier these days. It's also free to download now.  However, I would also strongly advise looking at the tutorals before you just jump in. The default gauge is 'T55' so you will be prompted to change this setting anyway.

Regards,

IanT 
Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.

Offline AshleyW

  • G3 Society News Officer
  • *****
  • Posts: 541
Re: Planning a layout
« Reply #9 on: Dec 28 2021 17:06 »
i think roger meclellan won't be too far from you and he's just completed his layout, so maybe try go visit roger.

Offline StephenD

  • G3 Society Member
  • Group A Forum Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3
Re: Planning a layout
« Reply #10 on: Jan 07 2022 23:53 »
Thanks all. I will have a look at Templot, speak to Ash & also Roger who lives very near to me and does indeed have a spectacular layout! Stephen