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Author Topic: Swiss layout: Kato track plan - to elevate or not?  (Read 89 times)

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Offline Dave_K

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Swiss layout: Kato track plan - to elevate or not?
« on: May 22, 2020, 08:22:41 PM »
Hi - I'm looking for opinions and ideas for a new layout. My initial plan (see attached image) is based upon Pratteln station in Switzerland, it has four lines allowing for passenger and freight - the latter being predominate. I really would like 4 lines all the way round the space I have and want to include the station on one side and a yard on the other. I am aware all my layouts tend to be 'tail-chasers' and very 'flat' in design - I know Switzerland is like that but is it worth me elevating part of my layout to give it a sense if terrain? I struggling to find an idea I could be happy with and although I mapped out the design in Fleischmann, I'll be looking at Kato track, although it seems less for giving if track layout isn't of a uniform design...



- Dave

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Swiss layout: Kato track plan - to elevate or not?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2020, 09:24:00 PM »
Having travelled through parts of Switzerland on a motorbike it would be a shame for everything to be based on 'the valley floor' so I'd be tempted to make the baseboard open framed (baseboard only under track and associated railway buildings) and have the freight lines on the valley floor owing to the sheer weight of traffic and have the passenger lines higher (maybe even much higher) up the valley sides. With good scenics it could be awesome.

Online Bealman

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Re: Swiss layout: Kato track plan - to elevate or not?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2020, 09:33:04 PM »
Yep, if it's Switzerland, I think you're gonna need mountains!
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline swisstrains

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Re: Swiss layout: Kato track plan - to elevate or not?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2020, 09:34:20 PM »
Hi Dave. As you no doubt know the area around Pratteln is pretty flat so I wouldn't worry too much about your layout being basically flat also. If you want to create terrain then you would need to do it over virtually the entire layout or it will look very artificial. This would also probably mean using open frame construction as opposed to solid boards.
One way of adding interest whilst still keeping the layout basically flat would be to have the marshalling yard at a slightly lower level. The tracks in and out of the yard would then have to climb up to join the main circuits in a similar way to some of the tracks leaving Muttenz yard.
I am not a sectional track person so I cannot really comment on your trackplan other than to say that it appears to give plenty of operational interest.

Have you seen "Cornish Trains Jez's" thread at https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=49231.0?
He is also building a similar layout.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 09:40:05 PM by swisstrains »
John

Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: Swiss layout: Kato track plan - to elevate or not?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2020, 09:48:21 PM »
Looks like that would be great to play with  :D 

I think it's crying out for using flexi track and get away from just having straights and sharp corners. Smooth out the curves, and give some of the straight track gentle bends.  If some of the tight curves are necessary then disguise those in tunnels.  This will all help make the line look more natural.

Another vote for open frame baseboards, at least to give yourself the opportunity to have the scenery undulating above and below track level  It doesn't have to be mountainous, but having under- and over- bridges  adds interest.  Setting some buildings lower or higher than track level adds character.
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline Dave_K

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Re: Swiss layout: Kato track plan - to elevate or not?
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2020, 02:15:14 PM »
Thanks for the feedback everyone, much appreciated. I have very few 'must haves' in the layout but they themselves seem to dictate to a degree how the layout would look, I will need to study open frame baseboard techniques as it is something I have not tried, but could help me achieve a bit more variety in a layout other than flat lands.

Of course one of the major decisions is track - the track plan I have come up with will, no doubt, be expensive with Kato or Flieschmann track - so Peco would be better, but I was going to use one of the formers as their track is ready ballasted...so many thinks to consider!
- Dave

 

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