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My On30 logging layout - The beginning

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  • My On30 logging layout - The beginning

    After a few years where my main concern was to have the new home finished I'm finally starting to find some time to resume some of my previous model railroading projects. One of these projects was to have a On30 layout located near the modeling table on which I could show some of my modeling skills and at the same time have fun building it. Since I'm more of a scenery guy a logging layout is an obvious choice and when I saw Paul Templar's (Shamus) layouts I decided that I would build something like that. On30 was the chosen scale/gauge because of motive power and rolling stock availability/price and also because this scale has a charm that seems to attract people to it (something about the dark side.. I know )

    Well since track planing is not one of my strongest points here I am asking for advice of you guys. As I pointed out scenery is the main objective and having a continuous run is also mandatory, a little bit of switching as some appeal and with these in mind I came up with the following:

    What do you guys think? What would you change if this was your layout?

    Thanks in advance for your contributions.

  • #2
    You don't indicate any runaround track in your stub end terminal nor passing track on the main. Layout would get pretty boring even if you are not an operator.

    Reach across the upper right corner looks pretty long too -- access hatch or ???

    Bill Uffelman

    Las Vegas NV


    • #3
      Thanks for the input Bill, I understand the concept of the passing track and I think I can fit one near the sawmill. As for the "runaround track in your stub end terminal" could you please elaborate, some of this terminology is new to me.

      Access to the upper right corner is made from below trough a hatch.


      • #4
        Runaround is the same as a passing track. Allows the loco to get to the other end of its train. As your plan is drawn loco at head end of train can't get to the other end to leave.

        Not sure what the big "tail" is supposed to be off the turn table. As it does not align with an inbound track you can't push anything across as in equipment storage. In many ways the whole engine terminal L doesn't really seem to work.

        Maybe take a look at Lennart Elg's On30 logging lines to get some ideas for a "better" layout design. You could convert his shelf ideas to a loop.

        Bill Uffelman

        Las Vegas NV


        • #5
          Should have sent link to Lennart's Sn3 work too as there are soem good ideas

          Another thought is the 5 x 10 Elk Creek & Western from MR -- it is a doughnut plan with an entry gate. Give you an oval with a branch that could go to the woods. Send me your email address and I will send you a pdf of the plan and some photos of a version that another modeler is building.

          Bill Uffelman

          ufffam AT yahoo DOT com


          • #6
            This looks very reminiscent of Malcolm Furlow's San Juan Central. With that in mind I would ask, why not implement the full plan? It would give you more operating options, unless there is a reason that this must remain a L shape layout.



            • #7
              Thanks again Bill, as Arthur pointed out this plan is a stripped down version of Malcolm Furlow's San Juan Central but as I was stripping it down I seem to have eliminated some important areas. Thanks for the explanation on the runaround.

              I liked Malcolm Furlow's SJC a lot but since I'm planning it on another scale ( O ) I don't know if I can use the same track plan and still keep the same dimensions, what do you guys think? I believe SJC is a mining layout, is it suitable for logging?


              • #8
                Hi Nelson

                You can use any layout plan for logging or mining. It's what you put in the layout that makes it either. I reckon someone out there has created a On30 SJC style, both in mining & logging.

                Also your motive power will determine the radii of the track. Most of this has been covered on the RRL. Take your time mate to come up with a plan and maybe do a small mockup.

                Have you got a copy of Malcom's SJC book ???

                All the best


                Here's a modified vid of the SJC, just in case


                PS. Pity about the soccer the other night...Oh well..the Aussies didn't go well either...
                " Stay Motivated in Life "



                • #9

                  Get out the pencils and a roll of that brown paper. Lay it on the floor and start drawing out the layout. See if the curves fit and that it will work for you.

                  Bill, Mario and Arthur have given you some great pointers to work with.

                  Best of luck ...
                  Tom M.


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the input Mario,

                    Since keeping the mountainous aspect as one of the key points is mandatory in SJC the big problem is where to place a small sawmill. SJC is 9'-11" large and I have a 11'-15" space to work with so maybe I could fit it in, once again the only doubt is how the gauge step up (from hon3 to ho) would work in this track plan.

                    I have a nice picture taken from top of the SJC layout but I don't have the track plan, anyone know where to find it?

                    I didn't know there was a book about this layout, thanks for the tip.

                    As for the soccer, it was a well deserved win by Spain, our coach acted very defensively and the elimination was the result of that strategy.


                    • #11
                      I understand that operating is not your thing and that you enjoy building models and scenery, but I think that just going in circles would get a little stale. Also, I think that sidings here and there add interest to a scene and having a freigh car spotted here and there makes it look like your layout is alive because it shows some form that activity happens at some time, even if it is not seen.

                      The one thing I never liked about the SJC plan is that trains can only leave the "yard" one way and travel around the layout counter clockwise, unless they back out of the yard, but even then it seems like an odd move to back out of the yard, run the layout, go past the yard lead and then run in. There is enough room to have a wye at the yard area which would allow trains to leave in two different directions and enter from two different directions, it also eliminates the need for a run around (escape) track in your yard, which can take up a lot of track lenght in O scale. Besides, the wye track can be one of the most interesting arrangements to look at, it also eliminates the need for the turn table. Turn tables were not that common on logging lines and in general were avoided on all railroads where possible.

                      I've sketched some additional track that may or may not work out. I added a siding where the saw mill is and a stub siding for product loading. I move the bridge around the curve. the stream passes through the log pod which might not have been something that was done, I guess it would work if at that point it was a lazy stream. I added a switch back to a log loading area which would be a nice feature to model, plenty of scenery and detail to build there.

                      It is hard to say from your sketch what will fit and what won't because it is hard to tell what kind of radius your going to use. My guess is that your layout will be pretty deep.

                      These are just some thoughts to get the brain juices flowing.



                      • #12

                        Nice sketch. As you and others have said: the depth of the layout will be a problem when it comes to building the scenery along the back and the corner.
                        Tom M.


                        • #13
                          Thanks again to everyone helping. Jeff, I loved the wye idea and incorporated it in this next plan. Two other things to add, the sawmill I want to do is along these lines:


                          so there's no need for a lake area and as for access to the "back" of the layout I'll have access from the back wall. I'm also using the room in other configuration that's why the plan change. So here it is a revised track plan:



                          • #14
                            This is much better. You can have two big buildings, the sawmill and enginehouse, and a bunch of smaller buildings.. the same as I have done with my module which is only 3' x 6'. Also the operating potential of this is much better.



                            • #15
                              As you have a wye you don't really need the turntable. With 18" radius presume you will do geared locos and 0-4-0/0-4-2 for the bulk of your motive power. None really need a TT. Maybe use a 3 way stub turnout at the upper end of your yard and turn the engine house scene 180*

                              Suggest a passing track where the saw mill siding takes off from the mainline. Is the RR dropping logs or picking up finished lumber? As there is no timber cutting area presume the mill is provided with logs from water -- river or floated across the lake.

                              Bill Uffelman

                              Las Vegas NV