At some point we’ll need to lay some track won’t we? Today I’ve been working on the first layout plans. It seemed like a good idea to start simple. ‘Phase 1’ will be a classic starter set layout: “the oval”. 🙂 I think at the start I best keep it simple, cause there is a lot to learn, in several disciplines.
First there is the woodwork. I plan to make 3 tables. Each will be 60x120cm. They need to be combined together, height adjusting and fixating them to get one smooth surface of 180x120cm.
Then there is the question of the top material. Trains running on track that is laid directly on the wood can become noisy. I read some about this and it seems that there’s a mix of the wood acting as a baffle plus the reflection of the noise on the wood.
There is track underlay for sale. A sort of foam which also gives you a nice raise of the track when you want to create a realistic track bed later. But I think I’ll also like to experiment some with different types of top layers, soft board, isolation board, vinyl, what have you.
Then I need to learn the ropes on laying flex track. How to make smooth curves? How to keep parallel tracks or, more difficult, curved tracks on a constant distance? How to cut, saw, dremel, file track? How to make nice interconnects? How to solder track power feeds, and what more.
There also needs to be a power feed ‘ring line’ under the table. How to do that best?
A lot of trial and error I bet. That’s why I like to start simple, to allow for mistakes. Luckily a lot of info is available on the internet, as well as a lot of instruction video’s on youtube.
Once finished and lessons are learnt, the whole track will be broken down to make place for Phase 2. This is where I plan to do some more serious train driving, with 2 (or maybe 3) trains running through 2 ‘stations’ on a Kidney Bean shaped track.
The design is such that it can easily be expanded after some time by buying 4 more switches and some extra track, after which it start to become a nice layout to experiment with PC control.
Finally … I plan to go for a larger layout, a ‘dogbone’ design.
I gave the layouts their own page in the menu. Please have a look over there to also see a 3d view: the Layouts page.