N Gauge Forum

Your Layout and Models => Layout Planning => Topic started by: Paulpp on June 18, 2019, 09:34:08 AM

Title: Starting again after many years
Post by: Paulpp on June 18, 2019, 09:34:08 AM
Many many years ago I had a small N gauge layout and recently have been thinking of returning.  The problem is lack of space - the most available is 3' 6" x 1' 10"'
Have looked at many shelf layouts (lots of good ideas out there) but also would prefer the opportunity of a circle/oval for continuous running (a variation on Janet's Reward is an attractive option).
From what I have read -
1.  Electrofrog points would be better with small locos but would radius be an issue?
2.  Is it possible to use Peco R1 for behind the scenery and R2 in the visible part?
3.  Have seen some references to Kato track where the smallest radius is smaller than the Peco R1 but know nothing about the brand?  Can you mix with Peco?
Any advice much appreciated.
Title: Re: Starting again after many years
Post by: PostModN66 on June 18, 2019, 10:31:06 AM
Hi Paul,

Welcome to the forum!

The small size of baseboard makes an interesting design project; a good size for an initial return to N.  It will by necessity be quite simple, so should be able to be completed in a reasonable time.

1. If you are using small locos (E.g. 0-6-0s or small diesels), radius will not be an issue but electrofrog points would be better.  This would mean that your design wouldn't have any points on the curves, just on the straights.

2. Yes, no problem mixing radii.  I have done it myself on my Deansmoor layout.

3. Kato will join to Peco but it likely to look like a bit of a dog's breakfast.  Again, I have used Kato joining to Peco for the fiddle yard of my Lofthole layout.

Kato might be a good choice for a (re-)beginner.  On Lofthole I have used the 8.5 in radius curves in the fiddle yard and it is fine for diesel locos and MOST rolling stock.  Long wheelbase 4 wheelers like VGAs won't go round it, but if you are envisioning 10ft wagons they would be fine.  Big steamers would have no chance.

Cheers Jon  :)
Title: Re: Starting again after many years
Post by: RailGooner on June 18, 2019, 10:46:28 AM
Hi Paul and welcome aboard! :wave:
Title: Re: Starting again after many years
Post by: Newportnobby on June 18, 2019, 10:53:03 AM
Hello Paul, and welcome aboard :wave:
You've set quite a quandary there. The only ready to plonk track you could use to make an oval from is the Kato 8" radius (20-170) as Jon says above. It may be possible to bend Peco flexitrack down to that but I've never tried.
As for points, the smallest electrofrogs from Peco are 124mm in length as are the Kato #4 points. There are smaller unifrog Peco points in the set track range but some have experienced stalling on the plastic frog with small locos.
If you can get an oval layout to fit your board at least you'll have somewhere to run in new small locos :D
Title: Re: Starting again after many years
Post by: Ditape on June 18, 2019, 11:30:56 AM
 :hellosign: :welcomesign:


Depending on what you want to run the smallest Kato curves are good starting point but a lot of the newer models do not like radii smaller than Peco R2  263.5mm (10 3/8in),I favour Kato unitrack it is sturdy, reliable, easy to use but does tend to be a little more expensive.
Title: Re: Starting again after many years
Post by: Bealman on June 18, 2019, 11:39:51 AM
G'day from Australia, Paul, and welcome to the NGF!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Starting again after many years
Post by: crewearpley40 on June 18, 2019, 12:24:29 PM
Welcome to the forum. Plenty of useful tutorials, skilled modellers, covering boards, wiring, track, scenics, trains. Please do share plans, track plans, ideas, questions. Sure somebody will answer
Title: Re: Starting again after many years
Post by: port perran on June 18, 2019, 04:39:45 PM
Welcome aboard.
Title: Re: Starting again after many years
Post by: Train Waiting on June 18, 2019, 07:28:51 PM
Welcome aboard, Paul.

You are exploring what is possible with tight radii.  Fortunately, others have acted as pathfinders for you.  I suggest that you search for the Windmill Hill layout thread on the Forum which might provide inspiration.

With best wishes.

John
Title: Re: Starting again after many years
Post by: Paulpp on June 18, 2019, 09:04:10 PM
Thanks for your greetings and advice.  Very helpful
Title: Re: Starting again after many years
Post by: dannyboy on June 18, 2019, 10:10:17 PM
Hi Paul and welcome to the forum. There are plenty of Kato aficianados on the forum, (including me), and, whilst I agree it can be a bit more expensive to get started with, the 'plug and play' aspects, lack of wiring required and no need for any soldering if you do not want to go down that road, makes it very worthwhile in my opinion - and, with a bit of 'scenickery', it does not have to look like Kato track.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Starting again after many years
Post by: Paulpp on June 19, 2019, 08:35:32 PM
Thanks for the comments.  Have come up with this - 40" x 20".  Ignore the tunnel symbols.  Thinking a small station in one of the bottom corners and flexi track for the sidings to get better alignment, but unsure whether the length of the sidings are an issue.
Title: Re: Starting again after many years
Post by: Newportnobby on June 19, 2019, 09:19:31 PM
A couple of things about that plan, Paul.
a) I see you are mixing code 80 set track with code 55 points. Mixing codes is just something I refrain from. How about using code 55 throughout via flexitrack and curve the end tracks using a 9" tracksetta?
(b) Putting a station on a 9" curve will create a large gap between coaches and platform. Depending on your viewing angle you might get away with that but otherwise passengers will have to polevault into the coach!
Title: Re: Starting again after many years
Post by: zwilnik on June 19, 2019, 09:36:39 PM
I'd go with code 55 throughout for as much of that design if you can. Aside from the avoiding mixing codes (which is more aesthetic than anything), it if's a small layout it's likely to be seen from closer up, so the finer profile track will look a little better.

You could be sneaky though. Set track does make it a lot easier to get the curves right, so if you keep the Code 80 Set Track curves for the bits that are hidden in the tunnels and use code 55 flexitrack (and the aforementioned tracksetta) for the visible bits, it'll look a lot better.

It also means you can wiggle the visible area's angle a little bit rather than it being a rigid oval, which will help with the overall look.
Title: Re: Starting again after many years
Post by: ntpntpntp on June 19, 2019, 09:47:17 PM
A couple of things about that plan, Paul.
a) I see you are mixing code 80 set track with code 55 points.

Where? SL-E* points are code 80 streamline electrofrog.   SL-E*F would be code 55 points.

@Paulpp (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=7664)

Definitely stick with one system, ie. code 80 or code 55.  Code 55 does look nicer and is stronger when bent (in case you do decide to create the  main curves with flexi track).   

You could still duck out and use Setrack for those main curves if you want, but it would look and work better with code 80 Streamline pointwork. Use flexi track for all the main straights and in the sidings.  Although I use code 55 for all my scenic trackwork I have been known to use Setrack curves  on hidden trackwork, just to save the bother for bending and cutting flexi!
Title: Re: Starting again after many years
Post by: Newportnobby on June 19, 2019, 10:01:01 PM
A couple of things about that plan, Paul.
a) I see you are mixing code 80 set track with code 55 points.

Where? SL-E* points are code 80 streamline electrofrog.   SL-E*F would be code 55 points.


 :oopssign: Quite right. Brain fart on my part.
I'd still go for code 55 for it all using SLE-391/2F small points but that's just my choice
Title: Re: Starting again after many years
Post by: Paulpp on June 19, 2019, 10:11:15 PM
Thanks.  Had not appreciated the difference between the codes