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KG's Micro Layout

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:33 pm
by kajovog
I have finally kicked off my first T Gauge Layout for real and it's time to figure out the track layout. Step one; build a foam board “replica” of the IKEA frame I am using. I fixed copy paper to the “baseboard” with pins so I can draw outlines on the paper vs directly on the foam board. That way I can reuse the foam board template over and over. The foam board allows me to fix track sections to the baseboard using pins.
ikea_ribba.jpg (135.77 KiB) Viewed 2167 times
foam_replica.jpg (166.66 KiB) Viewed 2167 times

The workable area inside the frame is 21.8 x 21.8mm (≈ 8.3 x 8.3in) with a height of 30mm (≈1.18in).

Height calculation:
16M Chassis = 6.6mm
Fine Track = 2mm
Track Base (cork?) = 2mm
Total = 10.6mm (≈0.42in)

Overpass margin: 15mm - 10.6mm = 4.4mm (≈0.16in) headroom.

I am choosing 15mm because its half the height of the 30mm I have to work with. 4mm headroom does not sound like much but in this case it is “plenty”. For the second level I will also have 15mm (0.6in) of available space. If I replace the track base with a bridge foundation I will have 2mm (0.08in) to work with which is 90cm (35in) IRL.

The magnetic wheels allows me to be fairly aggressive with the track grade and I am using that to the fullest in my designs. I came up with 4 options I like. At this point I am not really considering the theme of the layout, just trying to get an interesting track plan. The numbers indicates height of track; 0 = 0mm from ground, +1 = 7.5mm, +2 = 15mm.

Layout option 1: Twice around oval with a circle and an overpass (A), one straight track for a platform/station (B). Simple and straight forward.
layout_option_1.jpg (108.32 KiB) Viewed 2167 times
Layout option 2: Twice around ovals with a curved overpass (A), two straight tracks for platforms/stations (B), a section of track (C) that require trimming a 60mm straight track. This layout is a bit more challenging, more track, and allows for two stops.
layout_option_2.jpg (114.18 KiB) Viewed 2167 times
Layout option 3: Twice around squarish loop combined with a circle. Has a curved overpass (A), one straight track for a platform/station (B), one section of trimmed track (C). The overpass can probably be more challenging than it looks.
layout_option_3.jpg (111.87 KiB) Viewed 2167 times
Layout Option 4: Twice around squarish loop combined with an oval. Has the simplest overpass (A), potentially room for three platforms/stations (B). Will require two more 60mm straight tracks (C) and maybe some shorter trimmed straight track sections in some places. At the moment this is the layout I am leaning towards. Plan would be to keep the tracks from the overpass at 15mm heigh through the straight track to the right (C). That should give me three stops. For a small “go around” layout it is a bit more interesting if you can have multiple stops (with some way over kill automation just for the fun of it).
layout_option_4.jpg (122.75 KiB) Viewed 2167 times

Re: KG's Micro Layout

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:16 pm
by kajovog
Micro Layout Mockup

I decided on the option 4 track plan but I changed the inner oval to be raised versus the outer making the overpass a bit more complex. I made a “mockup” of the layout pinning the tracks to the foam board and created “elevated track support” out of cardboard. This is a great way for me to literally see the mechanics of the layout.
microlayout_mockup_2.jpg (183.28 KiB) Viewed 2120 times
microlayout_mockup_1.jpg (152.22 KiB) Viewed 2120 times
The gradient is steep but I am not so concerned about that. I can see how the raised curve may bank a bit and that can potentially be a real issue. There will be a short straight track connecting the elevated curve with the straight track. Not ideal but I will try to hide that part.

I did also decided on the layout theme. I will build something ultra modern with a “sun powered tram” serving a multi story shopping/transport center. I will incorporate the tracks into the structure with 4 stops. Modern architecture with a lot of straight lines, rectangle and “squarish” elements looks like a perfect fit for 1/450 scale (or not).
cardboard_cutout.jpg (303.52 KiB) Viewed 2120 times
cardboard_support.jpg (292.6 KiB) Viewed 2120 times
cardboard_height.jpg (186.74 KiB) Viewed 2120 times

Re: KG's Micro Layout

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:18 pm
by dkightley
A suggestion....

On the left hand side of the photos where two tracks run side by looks as if you've marked for platforms. Why not raise the platforms to half the elevated height. That way, both tracks at the top will have around the same gradient...instead of one flat and one with a steep gradient.

Re: KG's Micro Layout

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:42 am
by kajovog
Of course..... thanks. Great approach. :D